View Full Version : The best Personal Computer Config for 3D
19-06-2003, 01:36 PM
I was planning to buy a pc, so i thought some of u guys out there, could help me decide what config i need to put in.
I also thought that this thread would be helpful for guys looking out for a new PC.
So guys with knowledge about the latest / best PC (config) for 3D could help me / us out.
19-06-2003, 01:59 PM
i'm looking for one myself - or rather, wondering if i have enough cash to invest in a new one.
how much money are u thinking of spending? because with a limitless budget, go look at some work stations, SGI and the like... :D
i'm thinking of getting an AMD 2400, 1 GB DDRAM, ATI Radeon 9700 Pro, a 40 GB hard disk, and a logitek mouse.
VIA motherboard, Gigabyte make.
19-06-2003, 02:58 PM
Totally depends on how much you want to spend Rajeev.
Lillypusher: Looks like an excellent system. Though I highly recommend looking at a better mainboard, it can greatly increase stability and performance. Probably the best 2 boards out there now IMHO are the:
MSI K7N2 DELTA-ILSR
Asus A7N8X Deluxe
Both are Nvidia Nforce 2 chipsets. This chipset is not only faster than the VIA chipsets it has integrated sound that rivals an Audigy 2 soundcard.
N.B. The MSI can be a bit more picky when it comes to memory brands than the ASUS.
19-06-2003, 04:48 PM
I would recommend a fast dual CPU´s computer, I have a Tyan Tiger S2460 with dual Athlon XP 1700+, 2 Gb Memory and SCSI HDD, and a Matrox Parhelia 256 ddr video card. After a year with it (and the present config) is really fast and stable, for all night long renders and heavy polygon count modelling.
It isn´t remotely as expensive as a brand workstation or server and this way you can have exactly what you want for your specific needs, also MSI dual cpu motherboards seem to be quite good and relatively cheap.
The graphics card is essential for a good/fast render, ATI Radeon 9600 PRO is probably a good choice, but in my experience Matrox Parhelia is better, just a little more expensive (around $600 in 256mb and $450 128mb)
And an advice, never buy cheap memory, if you want a stable system always buy brand memory like Crucial or Mushkin, the motherboards that i recomended before use ddr and support around 4gb so 1gb to 2gb should be all you need.
Hope this helps
19-06-2003, 08:14 PM
thanks for the info - but i do have a limited budget. so if i have 2 sacrifice somewhat with the motherboard and memory brand, there's not much choice.
Incitatus - i read that the nvidia chipset is slightly slower?? than the Via kt400a series. something about it not being effiecient enough.
and alejandro_m1 - with Mushkin there's green memory, blue memory - do u know what the difference is?
Tyan Tiger S2460 - is a motherboard??
OK,OK no more questions.
20-06-2003, 08:25 PM
Mushkin has various levels of memory, green is the cheapest, slowest, without any memory correction, blue is registered memory which has better performance and stability, if you decide to buy a Tyan motherboard you would need black memory wich is even more expensive, in that case I would recommend Crucial memory, for that specific motherboard (for price and performance). If you go for the Via motherboard you could use simple, unregistered memory (Mushkin green memory) and it would work quite nice.
Tyan Tiger is a motherboard indeed, uses dual AMD cpu´s which are cheaper than Intel and work really nice with graphics and 3d. This motherboard isn´t that expensive, but I think the new generation is Thunder K7. I really don´t think that it is very expensive either.
By the way, if you want more info on motherboards and config go to this forums www.2cpu.com
21-06-2003, 12:37 PM
Hmm Alejandro makes an interesting point. I'll be updating soon too and I'll seriously consider going with a dual Athlon setup.
22-06-2003, 08:36 AM
thanks for the link!
22-06-2003, 05:18 PM
Anyone getting AMD at the moment get a 2500 Barton. It is only $93 (I think) on newegg and is extremely overclockable and would go well the Asus A7NX8 DX. The Ram on that mobo can run in dual channel too, I'm not sure if it makes a huge real world performance difference, but if you have two identical sticks of RAm (like two 512MB sticks instead of one 1GB stick) then the mobo takes advantage of that and the theoretical bandwidth doubles. Just buy some good Ram and bring up the FSB and those CPUs can run at around 3000+ levels stable (so I've heard I'm too poor to try at the moment).
22-06-2003, 10:17 PM
If you are not a gaming type ....
then dont buy radeon 9700 pro.. bu radeon 9700 and convert it to a FireGL with only some tweaks with the drivers... And taadaaa you get 3x faster in 3dsmax;)
23-06-2003, 01:23 PM
i never understood that. how can u tweak the drivers to fireGL?
i've got a 9500 Pro right here, can i do anything with that?
and can anyone point me in the direction of a good overclocking tutorial? because i know WHAT u mean, but i have no idea how or why to implement it.
23-06-2003, 02:05 PM
The 9500 non pro can be modded to a 9700 non pro. The 9500 pro can't because it already has all 8 render pipelines open.
I think overclocking in general is for super PC geeks :P. You might be able to get an extra 400 MHz out of your CPU, with expensive cooling. But anyone saying he notices the difference in real world performance is lying.
Anyway check the hardware forum @ www.tomshardware.com -> community.
I'm still suprised at you software mod there Downup, I haven't been able to find it anywhere else on the Inet.
I agree about the XP 2500+. If you're in the market for an AMD get that! With a nice ASUS or MSI motherboard, and 2 sticks of mermory for the dual mem channel capability.
BTW I think the general concensus is that Nforce 2 and Nforce 2 Ultra are faster than Via chipsets.
Alejandro -> You put 2 XP's or MP's on you're dual AMD motherboard? If XP's, did you mod the L5 bridge? Because otherwise I don't think XP's work in a dual setup, one of them simply won't do anything.
23-06-2003, 07:02 PM
Can I ask a question? Why are you all dismissing the Pentium 4? It has much faster Front Side bus than the AMD chips (they are also extremely slow compared and unstable) they can have a maximum FSB (front side bus) of 800! Compared to AMDs measly 300fsb or something along those lines.
As well as that you have Hyper threading which means in some cases you have the equivalent of 2 Processors in one!
I know they are expensive but I think they are a far better choice if you want the speed and reliability.
I thought I better mention it...
I am also looking to upgrade I will be going for the P4 3ghz. 2gbddr pc3700.
23-06-2003, 08:07 PM
hah! i spit on the pentum IV!! ptooii!!!!
well, the only reason i'm going after the AMD is because of the price. i need to spend around 500 $ on memory and video card alone, so i'm trying to get the rest of the pc at rock bottom price. i know it's problematic, but i have a very tight budget.
23-06-2003, 08:46 PM
$500 whats that in real money?? bout £300 whoa! you could get about 4gb memory with that. :D good on you mate. sounds good.
23-06-2003, 08:56 PM
when i read your post i was in tears. for me that real money is about 2500 NIS give or take, which gives me 1 (one) ati radeon 9700 pro 128 mb DDR and 2 (two) memory cards of 512 a piece, for a grand total of 1 (one) GB of memory.
sniff - one day the prices here will be normal. and i'll take over the world.
23-06-2003, 11:42 PM
I´m using dual XP´s no mod, straight from the box in my Tyan. It isn´t "supported" but that doesn´t mean it won´t work, but for 2/3 the price of an MP I decided to take the risk.
You can use up to two XP 1900+, if you want more you would need to be indeed a geek and know how to make some mods on the XP´s.
I found some guide for modding Athlon processors in 2cpu.com (I don´t have the url right now but i´ll post it later). I´m not sure if I´ll do the mods cause I lack any experience in things like that but if I find someone who has the experience that is willing to do it I would be happy to have a couple XP 3000+ :D !!
I'm sure loads of people are gonna give me stick for this but may I suggest you look at the gf 4 series for a GFX card. This is an opinion solely based on personal experience but I own a FireGL 8800 and have to say it is the worst gfx card I've ever owned. Their OpenGL drivers are verging on illegal and their tech support is useless. I used to have MAX crash every 1/2 hr when I used that card. I now have a 750XGL and it's rock solid!
Just my two cents...
21-07-2003, 07:55 AM
I am in a dilemma , I dunno whether I should go in for a Intel P4 processor, or an AMD Opteron for working on 3D ? Could anybody help me out please ? Thank you. :)
24-07-2003, 04:30 PM
i would go for the new P4 C class. They are probably some of the better processors out there. I wish Discreet published 3dsmax for Mac Os X cause then i would suggest a Dual G5 powermac, they are without a doubt the fastest out there.
26-07-2003, 07:06 PM
I`m into PC` s since 1990 and during that time i`ve change about 20-25 machines...I had them all...X86`s,286,386, 486dx-dx2, pentium 60-75-90-100-200pro-233mmx-266mmx-PII 300-450, 600, 1ghz, Athlon thunderbird 1,2-1,8, XP 2,0, 2,4...and some others i cant even remember.:):) I have a warehouse full with PC`s, monitors and similar stuff...My current home pc is an Athlon Xp 2,8 with 4gb ram ,120gb HD, asus A7N8X motherboard and a Asus Ti4800 geforce 4...At work i have installed a network of 15 P iv`s 2,453 and 10 athlon XP`s at 2,0mhz...8 of them are for the production group (modellers,animators) and the other 17 stands as rendering machines...Rendering Pc`s have 512ram and the others 2gb...Graphics cards wise all of them have geforce3`s v8200 at 64mb...
The Ati rage 9700 pro and rage fury pro, are made for games and not 3d apps....I know their technical specifications are even greater than the geforce fx5900, but the geforce`s core is much more stable under directX and openGl protocols...I dont say that an Rage9700 pro wont run 3dsmax. It will certainly do, but the program will not be too stable. Also another problem is that Ati`s under serius pressure (like heavy rendering), get a little too overheated ,causing system failures. That`s because ati havent yet placed seperate heat absorvers (coolers) (besides fan`s cooler) on its cards...My conclusion is that ,if you dont have enough cash to spend for a Wildcat, go for a geforceFX, if you`re into 3d...
As for the mainboards, MSI (Micro-star international) is a great company with great products. I would probably go for a MSI 875P Neo (for pentium users) or a MSI K7N2 delta with the powerfull Nforce 2 spp chipset (for athlon users)...I currently have an Asus A7N8X mainboard. Its quite good (it comes with a MCP network adapter), but i hate that supports only 4gb ram...
Speaking of memory, it would never be enough as it comes to 3d...1gb is the standar ,4gb is good, 8gb is great...I want more,more,more...:):)
As for another ``gadget`` that we 3d artists havent yet realized the importance of. Is the monitor...My motoe is ``go for the big one``...And you have to know that a monitor is something that stays for years...And you have not to think ``cheap`` when it comes in purchasing a monitor...Minimum 17`` maximum -- infinity--...:):):) lol...No a 21`` is the mildstone...I always stayed sticked to Sony`s 17``...Now with the MItsubishi diamond pro 2070 (22 inches) i find it really hard to work on 17``s...
29-07-2003, 09:28 AM
thanks a lot for your reply, It did clear some doubts of mine.
I still do have some doubts. If you dont mind, i will mail you my doubts and you could please mail me back some solutions ?( if it is not a problem )
Even iam on my way to collectiong pc's, i already have 3 . :D
An old laptop, 486 DX, P III ....
30-07-2003, 02:35 PM
No worries mate...Email and ask me whatever you want...:)
31-07-2003, 10:50 AM
OK, I have to put my 2 cents in as I was a OEM at one time.
As for what you should go with, currently the price break is at the 2600 Barton core chip (I am still in the know with from the old days connections). The ASUS A7N8X board is an awesome board to go with, I would however go with either the rev 2.0 board, or opt for the one with the Nforce 2 Ultra chipset. Thus ensuring full compat with the 400MHz fsb's later if you decide to upgrade.
In comparison with the P4's vs. Athlon XP's. It's your call. A good heatsink and a Athlon is just as stable as any P4. But much cheaper. In regards to the P4's vs. Opterons, there is no contest. The Opterons, although clocked slower, would smoke a P4 in rendering. It's like driving through NY on a 4 lane highway vs a 8 lane highway. Get it? If you don't believe me, even Tom's hardware has stated that AMD64's and the Opterons are finally making sense. Because of Siggraph. You can check it out right now on Tom's front page. Or here is the link Athlon 64 + Opterons make sense (http://www17.tomshardware.com/business/20030730/siggraph_2003-01.html)
And actually here is a quote from them.
The good news is that there is a big deal: the Opteron can conceivably go on to own the Digital Content Creation market. I don't say this lightly. The reasons are simple:
* In the DCC market, time is money, and the biggest time sink is rendering.
* Most DCC applications can immediately take advantage of the 64-bit extensions of the Opteron through "plug-ins", and while they remain 32-bit applications, they can move the rendering part into 64-bit.
* Most DCC applications where time is money need to render high-definition images of 2k x 2k and higher, meaning even more of a need for 64-bit processing.
So as you can see. Opteron's are the better choice for the 3D professional if you want to run multi procs, if not. When they are released the Athlon 64 chips would be the better choice.
LittleJohn something that bothers me. How do you have 4 gigs or ram on your board. I have a ASUS A7N8X Deluxe and it only has 3 mem slots. Are you using 2 2gig sticks? or is the non deluxe version have 4 slots?
You are totally right about the monitor thing though. I was working with a 17" and now I have a Viewsonic P810 21" Professional Series monitor, and I could never go back. The colors and the size and everything, WOW!. What a difference. And I even got a deal through my connections, $175 for it! I highly recommend buying a cheaper part here or there to get the cash for the big monitor.
31-07-2003, 11:29 AM
Actually I just looked and the board only supports up to 3 gigs of ram. Care to explain?
04-08-2003, 06:18 PM
Hey lilttle john,
sent you a mail, please check and let me know :)
03-09-2003, 09:29 AM
well... if i have a big budget ? then whats the config ? :D
06-09-2003, 06:57 PM
I like alot of the advice mentioned here, except for one thing, I -HATE- AMD. They probably hate me too, but I've never had anything good come from an AMD processor. I find them slow and way too hot. I even bought a new cooling fan for the processor(worth 40 bucks), and still the damn thing wouldn't stay cool.
So for me, it's Intel for now on.
2000pro is also my OS of choice. XP makes me mad as hell. I can't stand an OS that try's to baby you through everything. I know, you can turn it off, but re-installing that POS-OS brings forth a rage in me that wants to destroy whoever thought up that 14 day period you have to activate that CD key (have you ever had to tell them it's just a re-install?).
Vid card, I would like to go with ATI, however the viewports look all messed up (with max anyway) when you try to use the hardware view, and not software (plus instability). So Nvidia would be a good choice here. I will always have a spare cpu hanging around with an ATI card though, great gaming cards they are ;)
Well, that's just 3 of my many cents, cudo's!
07-09-2003, 03:59 AM
Big budget PC or Mac... well we have two different systems to deal with, most of you i assume PC.
Dual XEON 3.06 ghz with 800mhz front side bus. And an Nvidia Quadro FX something along those. I think a wildcat would be good but ive never used them. I'd stick to Intel for big budge rendering beast.
As far as mac dual G5. Get what ever the hell video card you can. and you're set. I'd put 8gigs of ram (PC's go eat your heart out).
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