Animation and Visual Effects Forum

General => Hardware => Comparisons => Topic started by: davlouros on June 20, 2010, 04:02:28 PM

Title: PC or Mac
Post by: davlouros on June 20, 2010, 04:02:28 PM
Hey all.
I am purchasing a new laptop.

And was just wondering which is more suited for our course, Mac or PC?

I kno Macs are more expensive.

But i just want a honest answer, which one would be more suitable for all 3D stuff n all that that we do.

Cheers in advance Guys, really appreciate it!  ;D
Title: Re: PC or Mac
Post by: davlouros on June 20, 2010, 04:03:36 PM
wait! for some reason i am signed in as Dav!

This is Becky Gibson wondering about Macs or PC's.

Thanks again guys!!!!
Title: Re: PC or Mac
Post by: Becky-G on June 21, 2010, 10:22:32 AM
hey so i am looking at the

Toshiba Qosimo F60.
its on sale for about $1700..... and with the student laptop rebate thing.... could be about $1500 for a fairly good laptop yeh??

Any opinions would be great. Thanks..
Title: Re: PC or Mac
Post by: nFerrar on June 21, 2010, 03:08:42 PM
im a mac lover, so im biased, but i would suggest a mac, and you can get a discount from them for being a student of up to 10%
Title: Re: PC or Mac
Post by: Ben Wotton on June 21, 2010, 03:10:19 PM
For our course you wanna make sure you have a good amount of RAM (I'd say 4GB Minimum) and a really good graphics card. Also if you have to choose between a laptop or a PC, definitely get a PC! you get waaay more bang for your buck.
Title: Re: PC or Mac
Post by: Diminuendo on June 22, 2010, 09:27:28 AM
yeah, I think instead of this being a Mac vs. PC argument we should look at what we are using on said computer. I think it's fair to say PC is more suited towards our cource.

BTW if you can try to get a computer that runs 64 bit out of the box.
Title: Re: PC or Mac
Post by: Ben Wotton on June 22, 2010, 02:04:24 PM
If it helps (which it probably doesn't, lol) here are my system specs.

Windows XP
4x Intel Core 2 Quad CPU Q9650 @ 3.00GHz
Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce 9500 GT

Though I do want to upgrade to Windows 7 x64 and add more RAM, this setup works fine for everything. I can do stuff like be rendering out of AE, have Premiere open and be working in MAYA at the same time without trouble.
Title: Re: PC or Mac
Post by: Becky-G on June 22, 2010, 02:24:16 PM
sweet thanks ben!

Yeh its so confusing with all the different specs n stuff!

Just trying to work out a sweet deal and hopefully i should have a new comp by the end the day :D:D:D
Title: Re: PC or Mac
Post by: Ben Wotton on June 22, 2010, 02:57:27 PM
Yeah I hardly get all that nerdish either!  :D

I just know you want all those numbers to be high, lol. Hope it works out for you!
Title: Re: PC or Mac
Post by: rowan on June 22, 2010, 11:56:51 PM
Macs are more then capable of doing the stuff we do in this course, but not at ~$1500-1700. Sorry to say it. Therein lying the difference. You need to pay a reasonable amount more money for the luxury of a mac, and you aren't necessarily rewarded with any more outright power, though your life may be a little more zen and aluminium. I bought a computer for this degree prior to really knowing what I needed (at the time I also wanted to play games  :D) and I would've drastically changed the order now that I do.

Could rant hugely, but if you really can't wait 6 months, consider the CPU for 3D. They're the easiest things for companies to tart up and lie about (all these XTREMES and Qi9898's bulls***), and they're also, in my opinion, kinda the most important part. RAM and GPU's aren't going to affect your render time much at the end of the day, just your work flow. You can sculpt 3 million poly models reasonably well on a 2gig system, I'm doing so right now. You can't however render out an animation on a piddly dual core cpu clocked at less then 2ghz. But if you aren't interested in batch rendering, say if you assume you'll use the labs for that; focus on RAM and a decent GPU, a RAM heavy setup also suits compositing packages like AE a little better, cause it's a RAM whore (though I'm starting to believe GPU influence is overrated in Maya, and second to a good CPU - if you had to choose between them).

The most important advice I can give you is to take much time  comparing apples with apples (no pun) with a third party subjective source. I use this one - it's interesting to see what's advertising hype and what's genuinely worth having. You can also rate your own computer and decide mathematically what you need to upgrade, and by how much by assessing what you do and don't like about your computer's performance.

Don't rush it, you'll come to rely on it - good luck  ;).

<3 Rowan
Title: Re: PC or Mac
Post by: John on June 23, 2010, 02:26:38 AM
That's true to an extent, it's more like this:

CPU - Rendering
GPU - Viewport rendering
RAM - Stops maya from crashing.

Macs are fine for what we're doing at uni, in theory. Near all of autodesk's products are mac native, as is the Adobe suite. The issue is the cost as was said earlier, and also it's usespan. You can expect to pay upwards of $1000 spec wise compared to a PC, and you won't be able to upgrade.

If you get a PC, you won't really be able to go wrong with the processor. You'll get what you pay for, look to be spending around $250-$350. The more cores the merrier. AMD don't have a hyperthreading solution, so you'll probably want to go Intel.

For a GPU, your best bet is nVidia. Mostly because maya is notoriously sluggish with ATI cards. nVidia has CUDA technology as well, which is pretty cool, but it's hardly supported in current apps. You don't need to spend an outlandish amount here, it's practically only used for viewport rendering. Unless you have a production specific card like a Quadro which cost a s***-ton, you won't notice too much difference. GPU rendering or at least visualisation is the way of the future though, checkout Iray ( that's hidden in maya, right now.

Throw in as much RAM as possible. It's cheap, and once you start working with massive textures and massive scene files, you will use it all. I think Rowan & Bridgets project was using 2k texture maps just for the old mans face? taking into account the scene usage, windows and whatever else is open, that's probably 4gb there. If you're CPU supports tri-channel memory, go with 6 or 12gb. If it doesn't, (I think only the 1366 socket does) go with 8gb.

And x64 windows  8)