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mobkon
09-04-2012, 12:13 AM
Im looking to upgrade my system. Heres what I currently have running Maya 2012. Its fine for small-medium size scenes, but rendering takes a really long time due to my outdated hardware:

current setup:

AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 6000+ 3.1GHz
2GB RAM (this is the max amount this motherboard takes)
NVidia GeForce 9800GT

I am on a complete budget and most likely want to switch to a laptop. Seems after some research, HP has some 17" low-budget (though spec wise really not so bad at all) for around $400. Heres what Im looking at:

HP Pavilion g7-1365dx
AMD A-Series A6-3420M(1.5GHz) Quad Core
17.3" Screen LCD
4GB Memory (I'd up this to 8GB right away)
640GB HDD 5400rpm
DVD Super Multi
AMD Radeon HD 6520G

I can get that for about $400 shipped. Im assuming its going to be head over heels better than my current rig.

Any thoughts? I really want to stay cheap. I can go up to an intel i3 for maybe $100 more...but is it really worth it for an i3?

olson
09-04-2012, 01:02 PM
Im assuming its going to be head over heels better than my current rig.


Not really, a little faster but I wouldn't call it head over heels. If you want the biggest bang for your buck don't get a laptop.

CKPinson
09-04-2012, 02:37 PM
IME (in my experience) ppl without a budget tend to do other things then create CG themselves- If at all they may pay someone to do it ;)

olson
09-04-2012, 03:15 PM
AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 6000+ 3.1GHz
2GB RAM (this is the max amount this motherboard takes)
NVidia GeForce 9800GT


Keep the case, graphics card, hard disk, power supply, and other components in the current setup. Use the same monitor and peripherals as you have now. Here's a new motherboard, processor, and memory that will vastly improve the rendering performance.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157309
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148466
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103960

There's 16 GB of memory and upgradeable to 32 GB. The processor has 8 cores at 3.6 GHz and can be overclocked fairly easily if you're interested in that kind of thing. Not a bad upgrade for $330 including shipping. If you need a new version of Windows get an OEM copy for around $100 or if you're eligible get an academic copy for like $30.

mobkon
09-04-2012, 03:17 PM
Not really, a little faster but I wouldn't call it head over heels. If you want the biggest bang for your buck don't get a laptop.

Only reason I'd go for a laptop is because I live in a small apartment and being able to take my work on the road with me is important. Though I do also have an older 2008 MacBook Pro, its also outdated more than my desktop.

Any suggestions on what a better, cheaper build desktop would be if you don't recommend a laptop?

mobkon
09-04-2012, 03:21 PM
Keep the case, graphics card, hard disk, power supply, and other components in the current setup. Use the same monitor and peripherals as you have now. Here's a new motherboard, processor, and memory that will vastly improve the rendering performance.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157309
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148466
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103960

There's 16 GB of memory and upgradeable to 32 GB. The processor has 8 cores at 3.6 GHz and can be overclocked fairly easily if you're interested in that kind of thing. Not a bad upgrade for $330 including shipping. If you need a new version of Windows get an OEM copy for around $100 or if you're eligible get an academic copy for like $30.

Thanks for the reply. Only thing is the case I have is a smaller HP desktop case. I'd have to buy a whole new case. In the end I'd be spending probably $450 on everything. My video card is a older, I'd want to upgrade that at some point as well.

olson
09-04-2012, 03:23 PM
Thanks for the reply. Only thing is the case I have is a smaller HP desktop case. I'd have to buy a whole new case. In the end I'd be spending probably $450 on everything. My video card is a older, I'd want to upgrade that at some point as well.

Your 9800 GT is faster than the graphics in the notebook you're considering. The graphics card could be updated down the road too. If the HP case is a standard micro ATX case you could just get a micro ATX board and not have to buy a new case. What model HP do you have?

mobkon
09-04-2012, 03:25 PM
Your 9800 GT is faster than the graphics in the notebook you're considering. The graphics card could be updated down the road too. If the HP case is a standard micro ATX case you could just get a micro ATX board and not have to buy a new case. What model HP do you have?

HP dx2250 microtower

olson
09-04-2012, 03:31 PM
HP dx2250 microtower

That is indeed standard micro ATX. I thought the board I linked to earlier was full size ATX but its also micro ATX so it would work in your HP case. Down the road if you wanted you could also upgrade the case, power supply, and whatever else you wanted. That's the beauty of a desktop. :thumbsup:

mobkon
09-04-2012, 03:39 PM
That is indeed standard micro ATX. I thought the board I linked to earlier was full size ATX but its also micro ATX so it would work in your HP case. Down the road if you wanted you could also upgrade the case, power supply, and whatever else you wanted. That's the beauty of a desktop. :thumbsup:

Ive actually already upgraded the power supply to accommodate the 9800GT so Im ok there. Hmm, I guess I have something to consider. The ease of a laptop being able to take my work elsewhere is intriguing. Also clearing up some space in my tiny apartment is as well.

I use to do Maya on an old Dell XPS a few years ago and it worked out great, until I had to upgrade and buy a new system since replacing laptop parts opposed to desktop parts isn't nearly as easy.

thanks for the help!

olson
09-04-2012, 03:46 PM
In my opinion a laptop is the wrong tool for the job (the job being computer graphics). The vast majority of users don't need the portability of a laptop, they just like the idea of the convenience. The cost of that convenience is huge though. Not just in terms of dollars but also in terms of the quality of work. Faster hardware means faster iterations, more iterations in the same amount of time means more developed work. Not to mention the users with laptops who leave them plugged in at the same place 99.9% of the time, kind of defeats the purpose of a laptop.

paintbox
09-06-2012, 12:45 PM
For the budget you are on, I doubt you can really make a punch with added performance. If you double your price point to 800 dollars, you might find a nice HP (dv6t) or MSi. Laptops cannot compete with desktops comparing money/speed. But you already know this :-)

I switched from a desktop to an HP dv6t myself and for general 3D work it is quite good, I like going mobile and I can also plug in my main monitor for added convenience and screen real estate.

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