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View Full Version : OT: Laptops & LightWave



adrian
08-31-2005, 03:18 AM
Hi fellow Lwavers,

I'm seriously thinking about buying a laptop and was wondering if LW runs perfectly well on them? I take it I would need to buy another dongle as my existing one I take it will only work on my main machine.

This is probably a really stupid question (but I've never owned a laptop before), but can you use a "proper" mouse with them? I cannot imagine trying to do delicate, high-precision stuff with those awful finger-mice that come with them.....

Adrian.

Captain Obvious
08-31-2005, 03:39 AM
I can't imagine a laptop wouldn't run Lightwave. It won't run it as good as a stationary computer would, obviously, but you shouldn't have any problems.

They're called touch pads, I think, and yes you can plug in a real mouse.

BeeVee
08-31-2005, 04:14 AM
...and if you have a USB dongle, there's no reason why you need to buy another licence. It's a bit trickier with a parallel dongle only because laptops often don't have parallel ports any more. Even if you have a parallel port dongle you can pay a fee to get it exchanged for a USB one, and we'll even do it for free if you ask for a dongle swap at the same time as you order an upgrade...

B

adrian
08-31-2005, 04:28 AM
Actually I got a USB dongle with my LW8 upgrade, so you're saying that should work on a completely different machine? Nice :-)

Which reminds me, I still haven't sent my old one back to Newtek-Europe...

Adrian.

BeeVee
08-31-2005, 04:37 AM
Oh it's you we've got "da boyz" for? Better hurry, they are getting ready to be sent out, the only delay was that they had no fuel for the chainsaw... ;) LightWave allows you to install it on as many different machines as you like (PC or Mac) and they will all work as demos unless you have the dongle plugged in, at which point they become full licences.

B

T-Light
08-31-2005, 06:48 AM
If you're wanting to use the the laptop for heavy LW use I'd do a lot of research before buying, and think about how often you'll be using it on the move.

There's laptops out there which will out perform most desktops but you're unlikely to be able to run them for more than 70-90 minutes without a power supply. Have a look at the Pentium M processors and equivalents. There was some talk of this on another thread and the point that Pentium M's will cut your processing power to save battery life,(not good for LW), however, certainly on my model (HP nx7000) you can turn these features off.

Also, be sure to look into the graphics card, go for something with up to date 3D accelleration (DirectX 9 and OPenGL 2 compatablilty) which preferably uses it's own memory rather than shared with the main system.

Good Luck :)

adrian
08-31-2005, 07:50 AM
To be honest, I'm looking to use it to use with Photoshop as well as LW and maybe to load one or two of my old-fashioned games on (they don't use much memory) - just to use when I'm away from home.

I was also under the impression you could plug it into the mains? Battery life isn't really a consideration as I won't need for when I'm travelling. That said, I suppose I could use it to demonstrate CG/Web work I have done/will do for clients.

Thx for the advice re: graphics cards...

Adrian.

T-Light
08-31-2005, 08:25 AM
Adrian-

I was also under the impression you could plug it into the mains? Battery life isn't really a consideration as I won't need for when I'm travelling. That said, I suppose I could use it to demonstrate CG/Web work I have done/will do for clients.

Every Laptop needs to be plugged into the mains at some point, at the very least to recharge the batteries. -EDIT - They should all come with the neccessary power supply, yet to come across one that doesn't :)

Demonstrating work on the move is one of the primary reasons for using them other than work on the move (although some people are buying them to replace their desktops because of lowered prices).

Something else to look out for if you're thinking of showing work to clients, a decent speaker system, most laptops are pretty poor in this department. If you look around you can find lightweight slim speakers that can be powered from your laptop's USB.

ps Mine's only DX8 so it's limited in modern games, however, I do have GTA Vice City installed - runs full speed. :D

BluTulip
08-31-2005, 09:06 AM
I am also interested in purchasing a laptop to load my Lightwave, Vue Infinite 5, and Photoshop on. It would be really nice if the software companies could recommend different types of hardware that thier software would work best on and even had promotional offers in affliation with the hardware companies. I am also interested in upgrading to LW 9 and was oblivious to the fact that they issue you a new dongle with an upgrade until I read this thread. If I read this thread correctly I could have my LW loaded on my desk and laptop as long as only one was being used at a time. Is that correct? Thanks.

BeeVee
08-31-2005, 09:16 AM
We don't "issue you a new dongle" unless there's something wrong with the old one, and we want that back before we send out the new one normally. But yes, you can have LightWave installed on as many machines as you'd like (Windows PC or Mac OSX) and only the one that currently has the dongle connected will work as a full licence, the others will all act as demo versions.

B

adrian
08-31-2005, 10:18 AM
We don't "issue you a new dongle" unless there's something wrong with the old one, and we want that back before we send out the new one normally. But yes, you can have LightWave installed on as many machines as you'd like (Windows PC or Mac OSX) and only the one that currently has the dongle connected will work as a full licence, the others will all act as demo versions.

B

... which is a much better way of doing it than the old way, which as I understood it, the old serial/parrallel dongle would only work with one specific machine.

BTW the games I play are MAME (oops, should I admit to that here?) and a wicked breakout game called Enigma. Not into all these modern games ;-(

I *promise* I will get round to posting back my old one, please don't send round the heavies :)

Adrian.

BluTulip
08-31-2005, 10:31 AM
We don't "issue you a new dongle" unless there's something wrong with the old one, and we want that back before we send out the new one normally. But yes, you can have LightWave installed on as many machines as you'd like (Windows PC or Mac OSX) and only the one that currently has the dongle connected will work as a full licence, the others will all act as demo versions.

B
So the upgrade is on a cd and works with the old dongle. Is it just a matter of downloading with a new serial number issued at the time of payment? When are the LW 9 upgrades going to be available and if you buy the upgrade with the Vue Infinite 5 and printed manual will it be on a cd? Thanks.

Wickster
08-31-2005, 10:40 AM
I run Lightwave (8.3) on my laptop everyday. My laptop specs are:

Toshiba P25-477
Pentium 4 2.4GHz with HT
512MB Ram
60GB HD
Nvidia GeForce 5200Go

So far it runs really smooth, my only complain is that the Open GL display seems to slow down a bit once the scene gets too complicated. Video Card limitations I guess but you shouldn't have this problem since my laptop is already a year old and most newer laptops comes with a better card installed.

You shouldn't have problems with switching the USB dongle from your workstation to your laptop cause I've been doing that too, specially if I need to finish something elsewhere.

The battery life sucks on my laptop though a little over 1hour max. So bring your battery charger always. And yes your next purchase after the laptop itself is a USB mouse. Or a Tablet if you have a lot of money left.

Who needs to interact with other people when you can sit at a Starbucks Table and do some Lightwavin or your laptop. :thumbsup:



...But yes, you can have LightWave installed on as many machines as you'd like (Windows PC or Mac OSX) and only the one that currently has the dongle connected will work as a full licence...

I've requested Newtek for an OSX license before but I never got a reply back. Is there a procedure as to how I should ask for my OSX license like whatI need to provide (address, social seurity number, credit card number, name of my first born :D ) should I call or email, etc.? Thanks!

handron
08-31-2005, 11:03 AM
Here's my experience. I bought a Dell Inspiron XPS because I wanted the rare occassion to take it with me on a trip/vacation. It has desktop power but battery life is horrible, not a big issue since I'm almost always near a power source. Getting down to the nitty gritty I've only found one drawback.

Video card is pretty much permanent. The drivers that came with my XPS didn't like Lightwave very well. The screen didn't refresh when I moved the cursor during operation and was always left with an image of the cursor's original position (it looked like two on screen, one moving and the other sitting still). Fortunately, 2 months later, Dell released another driver update (for DOOM's release) and all was well. The Point: You are at the mercy of the vendor's driver update and they may well never release another one to match newer technology. On a desktop you can always buy a new card to evolve with your needs.

Otherwise, I replaced my desktop with my XPS (gave it to my son). I have a keyboard and regular size mouse attached at all times. I have also recently connected a 19" CRT monitor to it and use the laptops screen in conjunction with the CRT. Hard to go back to one monitor after using two.

I have my Lightwave Dongle on my keychain and have Lightwave installed in two places. I pop the dongle into either machine and I'm good to go. The only drawback is that if I lose my keychain I've lost my dongle and would have to purchase another license, eek!

BluTulip
08-31-2005, 11:04 AM
The particular model I was looking at was a Toshiba M45-S355 with a Pentium M processor, 1 GB SDRAM, Video 128 MB (does not say what graphics card), etc... You seem to get more for your money when purchasing a Toshiba.

sculptactive
08-31-2005, 02:00 PM
There is some great choices to run LW on both PC & Mac laptops.

Iīm just upgrading my old Dell M50 to the new M70. Itīs not neccessarily the best but I know LW will work great with its NVidia card and I got a good deal on it.

If I had money to spare I would have bought the Boxx 2300 or for a little more than the M70, an Alienware laptop.

Still if your really serious about working on a laptop you might want to wait a month or two. The Dual Processor 64īs are just around the corner if they are not here already.

I know some people really love running LW on the 17ĻApple laptop, Iīve tried it and it works well. but for 3D work I prefer the 1600 x 1200 PC screen ratio. Itīs a personal thing.

Bottom line make sure you have lots of Ram and a decent NVidia card and you will be sweet whichever make you go for.

w_will
08-31-2005, 09:15 PM
I agree the Toshiba laptops have always been a good value. Watch out as the newer ones all seem to have smaller resolution screens. They used to be the leader with a lot of 1600X1200 screens. I switched to a Dell D800 with a 1920X1200 15' screen and love it. Any of the Pentium M CPUs will run lightwave fairly well. No matter which laptop you get look into one of the cooler pads if you plan to do overnight renders. I found a cheap cooler with 2 fans that plugs into the laptop's USB that helps keep the beast cooler when doing long renders. Some laptops are more prone to heat issues than others, but they all get a little warm from time to time.

T-Light
08-31-2005, 09:50 PM
Wickster-

I've requested Newtek for an OSX license before but I never got a reply back. Is there a procedure as to how I should ask for my OSX license
The Mac version of LW should have came with your original PC disks, both versions share the same serial and registration, don't know if that's what you were asking. :)

Something else to look out for when buying a laptop.

Friend of mine bought one in November of 2003. The company went bankrupt just before the Christmas and his machine blew the following January. Luckily he'd taken out extra insurance when he bought the machine, however, the insurance company denied his claim stating that the circuitboards and chips would still be under the original manufacturers warranty??!. The fight went on for months until his bank stepped in (It was purchased through a loan) and replaced the machine with the loan insurance.

My advice, buy from the big boys if at all possible.

adrian
09-01-2005, 12:12 AM
Thanks for all the valuable advice guys - I'm now armed and ready to battle with those salespeople!

Oh yes, I was always intending to buy from "the big boys".... I know you generally pay a little over the odds doing it that way, but you do get the extra insurance in the event of the unthinkable happening....

Adrian.

Wickster
09-01-2005, 12:19 AM
The Mac version of LW should have came with your original PC disks, both versions share the same serial and registration, don't know if that's what you were asking.

I've installed the OSX version but is has a different Lock ID than the PC. I tried putting my Registration number but it didn't accept it. I might have to call Newtek again soon.

sculptactive
09-01-2005, 12:32 AM
adrian

Just noticed your based in the UK. The RockDirect looks great with AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800+ Dual Core, but I would want to see the 256Mb ATI Mobility radeon X800 XT working with LW before putting my hand in my pocket.


http://www.rockdirect.com/notebooks/xtreme64_cons.htm

sculptactive
09-01-2005, 12:50 AM
Wickster
Just go online and register your software again @ Newtek except this time use your Mac ID Lock to get the permenant key. Or simlpy call customer service. You will then have two keys 1 for the PC and 1 for the MAC

BeeVee
09-01-2005, 02:06 AM
I'll happily second the Rock laptop choice. A friend of mine has one and they have the nicest laptop screens I've seen, plus his is a dual core Athlon 64, meaning it's also incredibly fast. Oh yes, and because the screen's big they put a numeric keypad on the laptop as well - superb for LightWave users and perhaps good enough not to "need" an external keyboard as well as a mouse...

B

TheDAve
09-01-2005, 02:45 AM
Sorry I'm a bit late to this party.

My main PC is a laptop - which I use for lightwave.

It is a Dell Precision M60, and although it is a couple of years old now it is still a superb machine.

It was a bit pricey at the time - but it does have a superb 1920x1600 screen driven from a NVidio Quadro FX G0 700 - Perfect for lightwave.

The new version is the M70 and I'm so tempted to upgrade, but have no reason since this machine is working well. It can be found on the workstation section of Dell's website.

As to the dongle - I've just pre ordered the upgrade to [9] and took the opportunity to upgrade to the USB dongle free, but previous to that I used a parellel port dongle with no problelms.

I'm not sure about the battery life, but I mainly run plugged in to the mains - my main requirement was mobility not being able to work anywhere.

I hope this infomation is of use.

DAve

Wickster
09-01-2005, 10:42 AM
Just go online and register your software again @ Newtek except this time use your Mac ID Lock to get the permenant key. Or simlpy call customer service. You will then have two keys 1 for the PC and 1 for the MAC

Sweet! I'll try that once I get home from work.

I would think most "Gaming" Laptops would be a good choice to run Lightwave since most of them have 17" screens, a fast processor, a good video card and lots of ram. The Boxx "GoBoxx" laptops are a nice buy, i think, if money is not a factor...which it always is.

If i have it my way I'd buy a midsize aluminum briefcase, rip apart a cheap ATX case and just get the part were the motherboard scerws in, get a 1U AGP riser. Buy a decent dual xeon/opteron board/CPU combo and make it all fit in the briefcase, drill a couple of holes for cooling and plug an LCD screen on the other end of the briefcase. And there you have it...the ultimate "Mobile Workstation." :D