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Topic Title: Help on building a 3D Artist Comp!
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Created On: 08/18/2004 10:20 PM
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 08/18/2004 10:20 PM
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Joined: 08/18/2004

I've decided to get a new computer to work on 3d modelling, but want to get a computer that will, at least for a while, stand up to the test of time (and constant updates in processsors, etc.)
Around five years ago I bought a Dell with a dual Pentium3 500mhz processors, a few years after that people were able to get single processors with greater speeds, but at least the comp. lasted that long.
Now, however, I am faced with getting a new computer to work on, as the one I have just can't handle anything anymore. I have lernt 3D Modelling and animation and, with the level of detail I am attempting, am finding it inadiquate. While a new AGP card would help, the comp only has an AGP1x slot, so can't do that.

After doing some research into the current and upcoming technology, I am hopeing to get another dual processor, but one with PCI Express on it to take advantage of the latest technology and hopefully be able to keep up with it in years to come.

The following is what I am planning for, most likely will be building it myself to save on costs rather then purchasing at a higher rate from a company.

Dual AMD Opteron Model Model 246, 248, or 250 (not sure which, problibly cheapest.)
Microsoft Windows XP Professional (64 bit support if becomes available)
600W Power Supply
2GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM (533MHz+ if available)
256MB PCI Express x16 ATI Radeon X800 XT
OR PCI Express NVIDIA Quadro FX 3400 256MB
One(1) 250GB Serial ATA Hard Drive (7200RPM) setup as the primary (C drive
One(1) 250GB Serial ATA Hard Drive (7200RPM) setup as second Hard Drive
(Setup as Raid 0)
Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS Platinum Pro (If a card made for a PCI Express slot is available, please inform.)
3.5 in Floppy Drive
DVD +/- RW Drive
(1) Gigabit Ethernet port (Built into motherboard)


Now, the problem I am facing with the above setup is that I can't seem to find anywhere an AMD Motherboard that supports both PCI Express AND DDR2 memmory! Am I just looking in the wrong places, or overlooking them entirly?
If you know of one, please let me know!
(While I want something good and that lasts, I don't have alot of cash... thats the main reason I want it to last so long...)

Thanks for any info!
 08/19/2004 12:18 PM
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Pci express and DDR2 is still in its teething pains. I would honestly wait....

ps. I would go with an nvidia based card as they are known for having the most stable open gl drivers and solid performance.
 08/20/2004 02:00 PM
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Not to discourage you from building your own...

But, the money you pay someone else to build it is worth every penny if you depend on the machine. I have built three computers to date myself and all of them still have intermittant snags. By going with a real company (I'd suggest Alienware, or someone else who regularly works with dual processor machines like IBM, Sun, etc...) you are significantly reducing the likelyhood of small incompatibilities that plague self built rigs. Now, compatability is getting better, but still isn't as plug and play as you'd like to believe.

I have a dual Athlon MP on an ASUS board with a Raedon 9800 Pro and guess what? The driver version I have to usefor the Motherboard to make both processors run at regular speed makes the ATI card crash the comp. I have to run underclocked (66 Mhz lower bus speed) to remain stable. Or, I run on one processor. If only I'd bought the Tyan motherboard!!!

Plus, when you buy the computer, pay for the extended warranty. Nothing sucks like having no warranty and needing to replace something all out of pocket. Or even worse, you need it for a project and guess what, it's trashed! At least a thousand bucks because something fried when you ran it for five weeks straight rendering that last animation.

I know it costs more - I am a college student in an architecture program making 3D models of entire cities in VIZ (3D Studio) and anything I pay is out of student loans now. However, I'm biting the bullet and buying and aienware workstation.

If you're into saving money and want to get something that performs now and will keep doing it later, buy a 2 processor system from a good vendor but only have them place on processor and RAM for that processor on the board. Also, if you go Alien, call the punks and have them order a Tyan Thunder, not a Tyan Tiger motherboard. You pay for quality. The Thunder is faster and more stable. You can get a 250 Opteron now at top price, and in a year buy another one and 2 gigs of RAM for the same price.

You'll double your performance in 6 months when Longhorn comes out with 64bit support, and then double it again with the second processor and RAM upgrade.

Iwill Zmax DP SFF Barebones kit... (300W PSU, 8 USB, 1 FW, etc...)
Dual AMD Opteron 275's | 2 Gigs (2 Dimms 1024Mb) Patriot RAM 3-3-3-8
WD Caviar 80 Gig HDD - System
WD Raptor 74 Gig HDD
ATI Radeon 9800 Pro 256
NEC ND-3520A Dual Layer DVD±RW | Mitsumi Floppy/Card Reader combo
 08/29/2004 08:32 PM
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I agree 200 percent. This box I have was supposedly full of problems that someone else spent 3 weeks figuring out how to get everything to work. Instead of me. They even cycled through different kinds of ram to see what ram worked best in my mobo. Something I could never do with out spending money.

If you seriously need to count on this box it is worth every penny to have a pro shop set it up and cover the stuff with an extended warranty.

monarch was nice to deal with ....
 09/20/2004 02:23 PM
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for a 3D station to buy from a company go with

They have dual opteron systems that are great.

Their support can't be beat. They supported me even when I was technically out of warrenty -- how can you beat that? They're awesome.

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