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Glasko
10-28-2004, 05:22 AM
Well, I've purchased LightWave3D as a student. Now, I'm getting a new computer with student loan money (think I'll spend anywhere from 500 to 1000) and I'd really like the best computer I can have with that budget for running a utility of this power. I noticed the minimum requirements, but what would you guys particularly reccomend? Right now I'm a big Wings3D modeler, so I'm used a modeler that can fit on a floppy disk... I'm really entering a whole new realm of 3D, and I want to do it right. Thanks for the guidance-- peace, Dan

Para
10-28-2004, 07:01 AM
You'll want a lots of everything - lots of MHz in the processor, lots of RAM and lots of OpenGL power. For example I paid a little less than 1000 euros (~1200 dollars) for my current rig and it runs LW quite smoothly. I did take some old parts to it from my old computer though.

You may want to consider 64bit processors since LW is going to be 64bit in the future and those are actually quite cheap. Good amount of RAM is generally considered to be over one gigabyte, preferably DDR-RAM. With the graphics card you must find yourself a compromise between games and work since ATi's cards rule on D3D which is used mostly on games and nVidia rules on OpenGL which is used a whole bunch of professional apps including Lightwave.

Oh, here's my current rig's important parts for comparison: Athlon64 3400+, 1gig of 400MHz DDR-RAM, Radeon 9600 Pro (bottleneck of my system). Runs LW pretty smoothly and games are also playable. Good system for a student :)

MattClary
10-28-2004, 02:47 PM
As much CPU and RAM as you can afford, and as much consumer-level video card as you can afford.

Pretty much sums it up.

Signal2Noise
10-28-2004, 06:06 PM
Like others have mentioned already: CPU, RAM, and a good vid card.

But don't forget one important item that is often overlooked when spec'ing out a system. The monitor. Get as much screen real estate as you can afford. The larger the monitor(s) (plural because dual monitors rock!) the better. I would suggest a minimum 19" screen. Trust me. Once you have all your tools, multi-apps, texture editors, etc. open you want to be able to have them all arranged on the screen. And your eyes will love you for it too!

:thumbsup:

Celshader
10-28-2004, 07:07 PM
Well, I've purchased LightWave3D as a student. Now, I'm getting a new computer with student loan money (think I'll spend anywhere from 500 to 1000) and I'd really like the best computer I can have with that budget for running a utility of this power. I noticed the minimum requirements, but what would you guys particularly reccomend? Right now I'm a big Wings3D modeler, so I'm used a modeler that can fit on a floppy disk... I'm really entering a whole new realm of 3D, and I want to do it right. Thanks for the guidance-- peace, DanHere's what I use at home:

AthlonXP 2400
1GB DDR 2100 Mushkin RAM
ECS K7S5A motherboard
nVidia FX5700 AGP card
dual monitors

It's served me well for learning LightWave and for working on freelance/personal projects. I plan to upgrade to a dual-Opteron someday, but I can't justify it until I start working on a project that exceeds the limits of my current system.

Here's what I built on that system back when it had a single monitor, a 1.2Ghz Duron and a Geforce2 Pro card:
http://www.celshader.com/gallery/lore/

---

Here's what my current employer gives me at work:

dual 3.2Ghz Pentium4 Xeons
nVidia Quadro FX 3000
3.5GB RAM
dual monitors

The memory's good to have for enormous scenes; the processor speed comes in handy for ClothFX calculations. Don't even think of spending this kind of money, though, unless you have a massive project that justifies it.

Any system that can run Doom3 to your satisfaction can run LightWave fast enough for learning. :)

architook
10-28-2004, 07:27 PM
Invest in CPU and RAM.

Do NOT spend much on the video card. LightWave doesn't need it. Get a CHEAP card, $80. Spend the savings on more RAM and a notch better CPU.
LightWave's OpenGL performance is not great. This is NOT improved with a faster video card. It IS improved with a faster CPU.

CPU wise, either P4 or Athlon 64. LightWave doesn't really speed up with more cache, so don't pay extra for a bigger L2 cache. [For example, the Athlon64 3800+ renders at the same speed as the Athlon64 4000+, since they have the same Mhz but the 4000+ has a doublesize cache.] Surprisingly this makes the budget Celeron and Sempron CPUs perform quite well in LightWave.

My recommendation, Something like a 1GB RAM, Athlon64 3500+, with a cheap Nvidia 5600 vid card. You'll spend probably only $800, and have some $ left over for a nicer LCD monitor
or FPrime.

Trench
10-28-2004, 09:14 PM
When I really got into LW for serious work I was on a PII400 with 384 MB of RAM. It worked fine and I got the work done... I'm not saying you should buy it from me, but hell, if you twist my arm I'll let it go for whatever you said your budget was...

Seriously... I'm sure raw absolute power will corrupt you absolutely, but I promise you, if you're still learning, you're not gonna need it all. Get a stable computer (prefab or from solid reliable parts) that you can rely on and you know will work well together... Even if the parts will run you a little extra... or at least that's what you'll wish you would have done when fits hits the shan...

But I'm guessing the "gaming" might be of interest as well in which case you can disregard the little rant above...

Glasko
10-31-2004, 05:06 PM
Hmm, thanks for the specs so far. Unfortunately, I'm not a builder... I'm sure I could learn, but I've never been especially good at that type of thing. Dell, huh? You're prices are out of my league, bones :(. The most I could spend on a computer would be 1200 dollars, and even that's stretching it. Bear in mind I'm not much of a gamer at all outside my puny emulated NES games. I've already got an SBLive soundcard that suits me well, what I really need is processer speed, RAM and space (and obviously OpenGL power). I want a 19 inch flat-screen monitor for sure.

Here's the problem. The most I can spend is 1200 dollars. I've been smart with my loan money and I've been paying off large chunks with a summmer job, but I'm going to need a good computer for all I want to do (Not everybody studies 3D design on the side). My work has gotten better, and I've long felt that Wings3D and Bryce5 (although interesting combinations) have long been a stepping stone that I can break (I never use Bryce defaults).

It's just too bad I can't find a package for that price that would suit my needs. I guess life can't always be that easy :).

Somebody directed me http://www.a2zcomp.com/ here-- how do these deals look?

architook
10-31-2004, 10:19 PM
Building your own machine isn't really that hard if you like geeky assembly. It's about an afternoon job. Biggest hint is don't start building until you have all the parts, then just take it one step at a time.
A book like "Building The Perfect PC" by Thompson can handhold you if you like.
In the end, you don't really save much money, but you DO get very good control of exactly what you want in your PC.
And read my post a couple before this one, you can make a quite nice 64 bit machine for $800.

Glasko
10-31-2004, 10:29 PM
Building your own machine isn't really that hard if you like geeky assembly. It's about an afternoon job. Biggest hint is don't start building until you have all the parts, then just take it one step at a time.
A book like "Building The Perfect PC" by Thompson can handhold you if you like.
In the end, you don't really save much money, but you DO get very good control of exactly what you want in your PC.
And read my post a couple before this one, you can make a quite nice 64 bit machine for $800.
It doesn't appear the version I'm buying (Newtek LightWave 3D 8) Really needs the 64 bit. But on this Dell site, I can't locate in the Components where the video card is displayed. Hrm.. I just posted the http://www.cgtalk.com/showthread.php?t=182979 specs for the computer I'm planning on getting (it has some perks that I want more than I need... but I need to make sure of it's ability to run Lightwave3D efficiantly first and foremost). Thanks for your help!

NileshXYZ
11-01-2004, 04:12 PM
Dule View Video Cards is super for LW on one screen Modler on other screen(monitor)

got 2 gig of ram, not sure what to use it for besides video editing. hopefull it will come in use in LW on a big project.

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