View Full Version : New system needs

05-01-2003, 08:23 PM
I need to upgrade my system. The last system I bought was a DEC Alpha with a Perception Board about 8 years ago. That system has died and I need a new one but I have no idea what's used now. Anybody got a great system they've recently purchased?

05-02-2003, 06:11 AM
Man, that's a really broad question. If you were running an Alpha, then is all your software for an Alpha? I personally prefer to build my own, but a lot of people go with Alienware, Boxx, or Dell. If you want a pre-built system, those are probably the best choices, but not neccesarily the cheapest.

05-02-2003, 08:54 AM
DEC Alpha??
Were you working with LW 5.6 until now or what? Don't think Newtek continued development for that platform.

Until Athlon64/Opteron based workstations come out you should look into a P4/Xeon system, the Athlon XP just lacks too much performance when it comes to tasks where Lightwave's SSE2 optimization show up.

05-02-2003, 11:28 AM
eight years? must have been one hell of a machine...i'm on my fourth since late '95. i second MATTCLARY's recommendations - i've got a DELL now, but if i was to need a new one, i'd likely go with an ALIENWARE.

05-02-2003, 01:49 PM
I've been using 7.5 on a PC to do my Lightwave but I transferred the rendered files to my Perception Board via a LAN to output the animation to a Beta deck for clients. This was kind of a round about way to do it but I paid over $13K for the DEC Alpha with the Perception board so I had to make it last as long as possible. Since Newtek stopped upgrading Lightwave for the Alpha that was the only option I had. I guess the question is, what card are you guys using to output your animations. I don't know if Perception Boards are even still in existence. I know Lightwave really well and all of the attendant programs including AutoCAD and FormZ but I don't have too much time or really the interest to keep up with the technical side. What do you use to output your animations to tape?

05-03-2003, 06:20 AM
Uhm...oh. You really need Beta video?
I have no experience with video production etc, but isn't these days anything digital anyway? Do customers actually want (beta) tapes?
(Or what tapes are those?)

My dad is surveyor for accidents (if that's the correct english term) and they went totally digital, photos, DV video etc.
They don't use analog videocards anymore, just firewire and apropriate software and DV camcorders, and in court they use laptop+beamer istead of VHS tape...

Wouldn't you be perfectly fine if you save your animation as uncompressed AVI or something, put a say Pinnacle Pro-One (~1000$) in your PC and you have everything for video editing and digital plus analog output plus tons of Software.

05-03-2003, 09:00 AM
For exporting animation I use a Powermac G4 and Final Cut Pro 3, export to miniDV deck or to DVD/DLT via DVD Studio Pro 1.5.

05-03-2003, 10:44 AM
It depends on the quality of video you need. DV is pretty heavily compressed but a lot of times it looks alright. My guess it that you want something higher quality though.

The obvious recommendation is a Video Toaster card. It's uncompressed and you get a bunch of software with it. I think there's a substantial discount for registered Lightwave owners.

You could look into getting a Serial Digital Interface (SDI). They usually do uncompressed 10 bit (more color... less banding on gradients). I don't know what's available for Windows Machines though.

You may be able to get Windows drivers for your Perception card. try www.leitch.com. They're the ones who now handle DPS's stuff. Maybe you'll get lucky and not have to buy anything :)

There are other input/output cards available. Look at Safe Harbor (sharbor.com) or some other digital video related websites.

Personally, I use DV or burn the rendered files to CD or DVD (or hard drives or send them through a LAN) to whatever system they need to go to. It depends on where I'm at :)