View Full Version : Switching to Mac, need recommedation

10-17-2006, 01:34 PM
I'm considering switching to a Mac & would like to know what a good LW system would be. I use LW as a hobbyist, & I'm considering the 24in I-mac with 2 gigs of ram and the upgraded video card.Good enough, or go for the G5???

10-17-2006, 02:37 PM

Go with an Intel based Mac if you can. It will really pay off as the UB version matures.


10-17-2006, 03:10 PM
the new iMac should work fine for a hobbyist or a low-end pro :)

I'll probably end up getting the 20" iMac as soon as I'm pretty sure about the availablity of the UB version if Lightwave :D

10-17-2006, 03:21 PM
Plus both Apple and third party support (hardware and sofyware) for the Intel will get better while support for PowerPC versions fades.

The iMac might be fast enough. But I've found that a really fast, expandable system is often a better buy for 3D and video applications.

Whether hobbyist or pro a system like a Mac Pro will increase your pleasure and be more future proof.

That's the way I see it anway.


10-17-2006, 05:20 PM
I personally love my Powerbook for its portability. When the Core 2 Duo models (eventually, inevitably, hopefully, if ever) get announced it'll also be a smokin fast box. Since I'm also in the "I don't do this professionally, just for fun" category, the fact that my "main" mac is portable means that I can whip it out and do some 3d pretty much whenever.

The Macbook, while not costing very much, is actually an impressive box CPU wise. It's no Mac Pro, but it's also much, much cheaper, and with the fact the MacBook finally supports dual-monitor (and not just mirrored monitor) makes it a reasonable choice for a cheapie mac desktop with bonus portability.

And of course the Mac Pro is just blazingly stupid fast but also the most pricey of any Mac model and can get pretty pricey indeed when you deck one out to the gills.

It all depends on how much you are willing to spend.

10-24-2006, 09:39 AM
I used LW for ages with nothing but a 17" 1GHz eMac (this was the last of the CRT all-in-ones). Slow, but plenty doable for the hobbyist. In fact, I got my start with a 300MHz G3 and managed to survive...

10-26-2006, 05:10 AM
I've used a series of Macs with LW dating back to the G3. My MacBook Pro is my current work machine, but I have a 20" iMac G5 at home.

Despite its many hiccups (having to downgrade OS X more than I have liked to because of fixes then breaks), the MacBook Pro has become my favorite Mac ever. In fact, I never turn on my iMac G5 anymore (and am about to sell it).

The MBP has plenty of power. I primarily use LW for one shot frame renders so the performance hit that is taken because it is currently non-UB is negligible for me. However, it does get frustrating during some of the bigger renders.

Additionally, I use all the usual graphics apps (Photoshop, etc.) and most of these are non-UB as well. Opening multiple non-UB apps will eventually crash the non-UB app. So I consciously perform a lot of saves. But they relaunch quickly. Again, I take the performance hits of non Universal apps. But perhaps because I've been using some of these apps since the Mac SE days (talk about slow!), I don't feel like I'm handicapped in any way (except when I have that 100MB+ photoshop file that expands to an almost a Gig of drive space).

In short, my recommendation is that if you have a need for portability without sacrificing power, the MacBook Pro is great (especially with the new Intel Core 2 Duo shipping). With the MBP, I would also recommend a secondary monitor and mouse/keyboard setup.

Of course if you have unlimited budget, I would go for the Mac Pro (that's my dream machine right now). The idea of a 24" iMac is also pretty tasty.

10-29-2006, 06:48 PM
I'm about ready to place my order for the Mac Pro but I have another question. I'm going to get 2 gigs of ram, but what video card is best for LightWave? Stick with the stock GeForce, or go with the ATI card???

John the Geek
10-29-2006, 07:21 PM
I'm about ready to place my order for the Mac Pro but I have another question. I'm going to get 2 gigs of ram, but what video card is best for LightWave? Stick with the stock GeForce, or go with the ATI card???

Ultimately the more VRAM the better, but the stock card doesn't run too bad either. I guess the better question is "will you ever notice a difference if you get the better card?" Eventually that answer will be a resounding yes, but for now you'll likely be happy with the stock Nvidia card as well...

If you have the money go for it... but if not you aren't going to feel it depreciate for a while. Besides, EFI is an Intel technology, not Apple proprietary. So I expect just like those ZIF Processor upgrades we now capable of, I expect more ATI and Nvidia retail cards to show up with EFI onboard and just work in the Mac. Time will tell as EFI gets more popular.

Just my $0.02.

10-30-2006, 07:08 AM
My $0.02.

I bought a 2 Ghz G5 PowerMac for its reliability and installed a Radeon 6800 card (? have I got that right?), which was excellent and made a big difference. 2 weeks later the machine got ripped-off by the local scumbags. The flipside was a new 2.7 ghz dual G5 with a standard video card which has been equally excellent.

I guess I never really knew. Go standard. The factory cards are more than suitable for your needs. Spend the $ on more RAM.

11-02-2006, 01:59 PM
Thanks for the info folks. I purchased a Mac Pro with the standard video card & upgraded to two gigs of ram. This is my first Mac, so I'm really looking forward to digging in!

11-02-2006, 02:22 PM
Welcome aboard! It sounds like a great machine. :thumbsup:

11-02-2006, 06:07 PM
Congratulations on your mac ejo3rd.
Be prepared for some fustration though since we're all in the middle of the transition to UB. This means that programs might run slow, crash ocasionaly etc.
All will be resolved (hopefully) half way next year when all (most) programs are UB and we can run 64 bit with leopard

11-02-2006, 06:18 PM
Thanks Scazzino & Sarford. Does the upcoming open beta mean anything for mac users on new machines??