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david225
05-28-2008, 09:21 AM
Hey Wavers,

So here's where I'm at. After long last, I'm considering purchasing an apple computer. This computer will replace the dell laptop I have now, that I run LW on. I plan to use this new computer to run lightwave, as well as most of my other day to day programs (word processing, photo manipulation, email, web, the occasional dvd).

Now, I'm not a professional LW user by any stretch of the imagination, so I'm wondering to save more and go macbook pro, or go mid-upper end macbook. Most people (in the apple store) are telling me to go pro, but here's the thing: I have a 2 dual core windows machines (one a desktop and the other a laptop), both with 2 gb ram, both with better than average video cards. I plan on using these in a network for my really heavy rendering projects (ie: hundreds/thousands of frames).

Is it really necessary for me to get a macbook pro if my networked computers are going to do most of the heavy lifting?

Thanks in advance, guys and gals!

BigHache
05-28-2008, 11:30 AM
Personally, I think you should take most advise from folks at the Apple store with a grain of salt. The majority of their people I've run into are pretty much sales people only. They don't tend to know very much about the systems, and will tell you to go 'Pro' because that's what they're trained to do.

I guess there's a specific reason you're looking at a laptop vs. desktop?

david225
05-28-2008, 11:40 AM
@ BigHache,
There are a couple of reasons that i'm looking at a laptop instead of a desktop.

1) I do a lot of traveling, so I need portability

2) I have a small apartment, so saving space is key

3) I have a couple of flatscreens for external displays (see #2)

Steamthrower
05-28-2008, 12:08 PM
3) I have a couple of flatscreens for external displays (see #2)

That would answer the question right there. Since the MacBook doesn't have good graphics card, your screens would look pretty crappy.

I went through the same indecision when buying mine. Ultimately I got the Pro, because some apps, like Motion or Final Cut, just won't run on a MacBook no matter how much RAM you cram in them.

By buying refurbished direct from Apple, you can save a lot of cash.

david225
05-28-2008, 01:34 PM
Steamthrower,
The most graphics intensive program i'll be using is LW. Is there still much reason to go pro?

Kuzey
05-28-2008, 01:47 PM
I just got a Macbook this week, it's very nice indeed. I haven't played with LW too much yet but it feels much much faster.

Since you're keeping your old gear, I would say go Macbook and use the old stuff if you hit a wall. That is....unless you will be working with scenes that include millions of polygons, then the pro would be a better choice.

Kuzey

david225
05-28-2008, 02:48 PM
I just got a Macbook this week, it's very nice indeed. I haven't played with LW too much yet but it feels much much faster.

Since you're keeping your old gear, I would say go Macbook and use the old stuff if you hit a wall. That is....unless you will be working with scenes that include millions of polygons, then the pro would be a better choice.

Kuzey

Kuzey, I love the avatar!

See, I was thinking the same thing... I haven't yet once made a scene using millions of polys, and anytime the scene I was working on got complex, I would just do multiple passes and composite them afterwards. What speed cpu do you have?

LW_Will
05-28-2008, 03:25 PM
Actually, the processor speed isn't too different now. the difference in the Core2 processors isn't that big. You could feel the difference, I doubt you could measure it.

The optimal system would be the middle MacBook Pro. My sister got this one, and it is very sweet. 2gig ram, 200gig hard drive, 512mb 8800GT Geforce card, and everything else. It has enhanced track pad, uses the pinch tech developed for the Air. It even has a different keyboard, which is nice. (hate my keyboard)

It can be used on an airplane, it is small and light. It is also the Mac of allot of pros... hence the name I guess,,, so it seems to be a good fit.

RAM can be bought anywhere. You can get from OWC a 4gig package for about $100. I would definitely recommend going for more RAM. RAM is a limitation of what you can do with real time apps like Motion.

Also, I recommend that you get AppleCare. I know it is rather expensive, but it should definitely be considered. You can go into an Apple Store anywhere in the world and get repairs. That alone is worth the price of admission. It lasts three years, and can be bought up to a year after the system is bought.

OSX is an amazing system. Go out and have some fun with it.

Kuzey
05-29-2008, 04:05 AM
Thanks David,

I have the latest version as of this week, the good thing was the ram went down $300 in price as I put my order in:

Processor: 2.4 GHz intel Core 2 Duo
Memory: 4 GB 667 Mhz DDR2 SDRAM

OpenGL might be a not be at a %100 because of the graphic card..just something to think about. I'm sure Chilton will jump in with more details about LW's opengl on the Macbook.

Kuzey

Chilton
05-29-2008, 05:45 AM
Hi,

You'll probably want the accelerated video card in the MacBook Pro. While this is not essential in LightWave at this time, you'll find that it will become more important over time, and Leopard leans heavily on the graphics card if possible. Personally, I prefer the MacBook Pros.

That said, never buy Apple hardware this close to WWDC (week after next). Prices might drop, new gadgets might come out, who knows!

-Chilton
(I want a Tablet Mac, I want a Tablet Mac, I want a Tablet Mac...)

jhogarty
05-29-2008, 07:59 AM
I have the MacBook Pro and think it is well worth the extra money. You get a larger screen, firewire ports and ability to drive the cinema displays. If you think you will use LW at all on the laptop, I think you should seriously consider the MBP. Plus you get the express card slot.

For example, I'm redoing my home office so my main box is currently down. But I have a Firmtek eSata express card and external enclosure for hard drives, so I can do my FCP editing on my laptop.

J.

david225
05-29-2008, 08:06 AM
Interesting thoughts guys!
Yeah, I'm waiting until after WWDC before I make any decisions. I'm just concerned that I'm going to spend more cash for options that I won't be using.
Of course, I want to be able to use lightwave, I want a more stable OS (i'm using vista now, and its not as bad as everything thinks in my opinion), I want reliability.

I don't need a powerhouse, I have a PS3 for gaming. If I were to list the programs that I want to be able to use reasonably well, it would be as follows:

Lightwave
Adobe Creative Suite
MS Office Suite (or something comparable)
MS Money (or comparable)
Email, Web, IM

Granted, I understand that the higher end laptop I get now, the better in the long run, but I go through computers pretty fast, and if I need to upgrade to something more specific, I can definitely do that.

Also, I'm hearing about all sorts of issues with LW UB having a hard time running on Macs from the CGtalk crew. Any thoughts on this?

Steamthrower
05-29-2008, 10:59 AM
Also, I'm hearing about all sorts of issues with LW UB having a hard time running on Macs from the CGtalk crew. Any thoughts on this?

This seems to be pretty hit-and-miss. I've had an ideal experience running the UB apps, from 9.3.1 to 9.5, haven't run into any major problems. But someone running it on another identical MacBook Pro could have a multitude of problems. As far as my experience goes, no hiccups at all.

Chilton
05-29-2008, 12:30 PM
Also, I'm hearing about all sorts of issues with LW UB having a hard time running on Macs from the CGtalk crew. Any thoughts on this?

I don't look get a chance to watch the CGTalk forums much these days unless someone points me to something.

That said...

If they're not submitting bug reports, their problems probably won't get fixed until those bugs we know about are fixed.

If they are submitting bug reports, their problems will be fixed.

And if there's something in particular you (or anyone) are curious about, please post a URL and I'll give you an answer.

Thanks!
-Chilton

BigHache
05-29-2008, 05:52 PM
I'm looking to see if Apple updates the Macbooks' RAM from 667 to 800 MHz like the iMacs just got. Among other things that would be nice.

meshpig
05-30-2008, 07:38 AM
Also, I'm hearing about all sorts of issues with LW UB having a hard time running on Macs from the CGtalk crew. Any thoughts on this?

That's hilarious, how do they mean "having a hard time"?

m

david225
05-30-2008, 09:06 AM
Here's what was said over there by a user.



i bought a macbook pro really hi spec and found basically that LW runs appalling on it !
i am running 9.3 UB and basically i have tried every version i can and it really sucks..

9.5 beta Does run a lot better but as we have no official release date then i would wait.

Of course you can run windows now on a mac but i dont really see the point of buying a mac to run windows on !

my advice.. is to either wait or buy a pc..

Chilton
05-30-2008, 11:17 AM
The Open Beta lets you use it right now. I'm sorry we don't have an official release date on it, but I see no reason why any registered users would continue to use any earlier version of LightWave on the Mac, when 9.5 is a free (and small) download for them.

That said, there are a number of things they could do to speed things up (smooth shading instead of flat, turn on VBOs everywhere). If they post issues here, they'll get answers.

-Chilton