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View Full Version : What is LW9 like on an iMac?



imazip
05-08-2009, 11:00 AM
I am ready to pull the trigger on an iMac -- (a long-long-overdue upgrade for my G4/dual 500).

I am also looking to dust off my Lightwave 7.5 license and upgrade to v9. Haven't even launched LW for quite some time, but I am looking to jump back in and do some illustration work and play with v9. (More as a hobby. Not for anything revenue-generating)

That being said, budget constraints limit options to iMac-only. (Probably the 2008 iMac 2.8).

So the question is -- How does LW "feel" when working on an iMac? Is it workable? Is it absolutely painful?

Thanks in advance for the insight.

Scazzino
05-08-2009, 11:02 AM
Coming from a G4 I'd think anything would pretty much scream on a new iMac in comparison.

:D

Johnny
05-08-2009, 06:14 PM
I'm looking at the iMac myself, but I'm also paying attention to video-related issues in iMacs. I'm not sure if some of the issues are screen-specific, or if they can be attributed to the video cards/drivers, but IMO, there are a LOT of video issues.

Enough to make me wait to make sure that Apple's got a handle on it.

Otherwise, the iMac looks like a pretty good bang for the buck. Poke around Bare Feats to see just how well an iMac does against a Mac Pro in many of the cateogories.

J

LW_Will
05-08-2009, 09:20 PM
The new iMacs have nvidia cards. all of the old iMac video problems were from the ATI video, so... no problems.

littlewaves
05-09-2009, 07:06 AM
I get by with my 3 yr old imac 24". 2.16 core 2 duo with nvidia 256mb graphics and 3gig ram

It crashes from time to time but I would say generally stable. Saving regularly is a good idea though! especially when using fiber fx but maybe that's not a problem limited to the imac.

Also I'm still using tiger which is probably not ideal but I'm not about to buy leopard if snow leopard is just around the corner.

JonW
05-11-2009, 01:41 AM
I use my prehistoric Mac (G4 Dual 533) for everything other than Lightwave, well almost, I still do LW compositing & also when I need a Quicktime, as my PCs are 64 bit.

Keep using your Mac & get a cheap PC with an i7 920 CPU. The 920 is almost as quick (radiosity is just plane fast) as my E5450 V8 (the same CPU as the last batch of Mac Pros). you will have a killer box at a fraction of the price.

Just for a laugh at how old my Mac is, http://3dspeedmachine.com/?page=3&scene=39 test scene is 37 x slower than my E5450.

Macs & PCs will work perfectly together on a network.

JonW
05-11-2009, 02:00 AM
Also, if you do go with a PC you may need to change your Dongle. My old Dongle was only ok with a Mac. When you upgrade to LW9x it shouldn’t cost anything to exchange the Dongle.

accom
05-11-2009, 05:09 AM
I use my prehistoric Mac (G4 Dual 533) for everything other than Lightwave, well almost, I still do LW compositing & also when I need a Quicktime, as my PCs are 64 bit.

Keep using your Mac & get a cheap PC with an i7 920 CPU. The 920 is almost as quick (radiosity is just plane fast) as my E5450 V8 (the same CPU as the last batch of Mac Pros). you will have a killer box at a fraction of the price.

Just for a laugh at how old my Mac is, http://3dspeedmachine.com/?page=3&scene=39 test scene is 37 x slower than my E5450.

Macs & PCs will work perfectly together on a network.

Agree as far as the HW price is concerned... licencing SW is another question. Also the work-friendlyness... especially, if one is a mac-fan (but not fanatic! :) )

JonW
05-11-2009, 10:25 AM
This is why I still have the Mac it has most of my software, but at least one can move LW around at no extra cost & have the best of both worlds.

As far as user friendliness, both have good & bad points but at the end of the day they are about the same.

Its a bit like the Apple & Dell monitors, they are both good & they both work with a Mac but they have different features, one just needs to choose the make that suits one’s needs the best.

bugzilla
05-11-2009, 01:15 PM
I've had no problems so far on my 19" iMac. Of course, I have not done alot of rendering on the Mac. I usually create my scenes on the Mac then render on my PC, especially since I HATE doing creative work on the PC since I've got the Mac. The Mac is so much more trouble free. I can actually get things done instead of spending half the night installing updates, drivers and patches.

imazip
05-11-2009, 08:38 PM
Thanks for the input everyone. Switching to a PC is always an option if I wanted a dedicated 3D system. I'm not there yet.

To Jon W's point: It's amazing how well some of these older systems hold up over time. My G4 is running great -- but it's definitely time for an upgrade and the price on the 2.8 iMac's seem to be a good value right now.

Any other iMac reports are welcome. But I wanted to thank everyone for their input.

waverguy
05-11-2009, 10:15 PM
Does an integrated graphics card hinder LW? I ask because I think some iMacs have an integrated graphics card instead of dedicated ram. I could be wrong though.

JonW
05-11-2009, 11:58 PM
Integrated graphics card is ok. If your budget allows, get a 24” model. LW is a lot easier with more real estate.

littlewaves
05-12-2009, 02:12 AM
Does an integrated graphics card hinder LW? I ask because I think some iMacs have an integrated graphics card instead of dedicated ram. I could be wrong though.

I seem to remember Chilton saying that the graphics on the latest Mac Minis with the Nvidia 9400m were fine for lightwave and thats the same chip as the lower end imacs.

It goes without saying however that a better dedicated card will perform better.

ToMar
05-12-2009, 04:19 AM
I use my prehistoric Mac (G4 Dual 533) for everything other than Lightwave, well almost, I still do LW compositing & also when I need a Quicktime, as my PCs are 64 bit.


Ehm... what do you mean by that:question: Quicktime and it's codecs doesn't install/run or just some apps that use Quicktime as default?

JonW
05-12-2009, 07:51 AM
In LW (Win64) Output options for Animation File are: 4x Storyboard, AVI(avi), DirectShow(.avi), Film Expand, Storyboard, Flexible Float (.flx), Flexible Integer(.flx).

I can do quicktime in another program, but its easy to assemble a few frames on the Mac with LW since this option is not available in LW 64bit. I believe its an issue with Apple & not LW.

littlewaves
05-13-2009, 02:08 AM
In LW (Win64) Output options for Animation File are: 4x Storyboard, AVI(avi), DirectShow(.avi), Film Expand, Storyboard, Flexible Float (.flx), Flexible Integer(.flx).

I can do quicktime in another program, but its easy to assemble a few frames on the Mac with LW since this option is not available in LW 64bit. I believe its an issue with Apple & not LW.

Don't think I've EVER used lightwave to output an animation file. I always output to frames as pngs and then "open image sequence" in Quick Time Pro.

I'm sure you can get qt pro for windows. Faster than switching computers just to render?