View Full Version : What's the best 3D workstation?
01-05-2006, 08:30 PM
Hey, it's that time of year again, new years resolutions and with it, time to upgrade my workstation. I've been doing a lot of research these past few days, and I think that this is the best computer I've been able to find. http://h71016.www7.hp.com/MiddleFrame.asp?page=config&ProductLineId=433&FamilyId=2094&BaseId=17084&oi=E9CED&BEID=19701&SBLID= Take a look at it and let me know if this is a good deal for the money. My Budget is $6000 +/- maybe a couple hundred. Preferrably I'd like to stick with HP or Dell on this one. The system I'm upgrading from is their HP xw6000 dual processor Xeon, with the Quadro FX2000 card. Any feedback is welcome. Thanks.
01-05-2006, 11:58 PM
Just out of curiosity, have you even considered Boxx (http://www.boxxtech.com) as a solution?
01-06-2006, 12:06 AM
It Looks Like Boxx Only Has Intel Solutions
01-06-2006, 12:13 AM
that hp looks great.
an equal spec'd boxx is $6700, and hp has next day on site warranty which is nice (ive used ibm's on site... sooo nice)
there really isnt much to complain there. maybe more hard drives, but that depends on what you are using it for i guess. the second video card may be a bit of a wase, but maybe not. you cant really make use of em in sli, and in my experience, i never run 3d on both screens at the same time. id replace the second vid card with something cheaper (but thats just me, you may need it)
01-06-2006, 12:14 AM
Surely you are joking. Boxx has dual Opterons, AMD FXs, etc, etc.
01-06-2006, 12:39 PM
That's certainly a kick butt configuration. What's your primary application? How are you planning on using the two graphics cards?
01-06-2006, 03:46 PM
I have a BOXX here at work (Dual Opteron 280 with a Quadro 4500 and 2 GB Ram)...and I haven't had a problem so far...The only thing I can say it's that this machine is the fastest and most stable I've ever used. It did cost teh company a pretty penny but it's well worth it.
Boxx has pretty nice machines, stable and with good support from what I know. Like the rest people said, Boxx has Dual Opterons and I wouldn't get intel at all on Boxx, simply because either people like to debate it or not, AMD kicks ass at this moment on rendering and processing speeds. We use boxx at work and in most cases everything is fine. If I were to buy this kind of stuff I wouldn't look at the prices anymore, I would look for quality and quantity.
Two comments, get a lot of RAM, if you can afford, get more than 4GB registered chipsets (but it depends on the job you want to do, if you don't deal with large scenes then it's ok) and check to see if you can choose chipsets, it's always good to use a good quality RAM manufacturer.
Also, personally I wouldn't go for a SCSI HD, I like the idea but it is a lot of money and little space, you can get equal performance from let's say a SATA maxtor maxline3 @ 300GB with 7k200 rpm and 16MB cache. Check if you have an option on that.
Hope it helps, just an opinion
01-06-2006, 04:24 PM
"Also, personally I wouldn't go for a SCSI HD, I like the idea but it is a lot of money and little space, you can get equal performance from let's say a SATA maxtor maxline3 @ 300GB with 7k200 rpm and 16MB cache. Check if you have an option on that"
well, if the thing is $500 less than the boxx, which has a sata 74gb 10k drive, then i dont quite think the scsi qualifies as more expensive :)
the hp and boxx, scsi asside are more or less identical in every way hardware wise. what you need to look at is price (hp wins there unless of course ed feels like matching) and service. hp has a great warranty, but boxx likely know more about "what you do" and will have better solutions for problems related to cg specific software. replacing a mobo the next day on site is all wonderful, but what if something just "doesnt work'. my past experience with HP makes me feel like avoiding them, even if they are cheaper.
either way, the hardware is pretty much "the best you can get" in that range. its just picking out the sticker on the box now :) boxx, hp, alienware, and many others all make a very similar system, for a similar price.
01-06-2006, 08:18 PM
My primary application is Maya Unlimited, just doing whatever 3D the TV station needs for shows, intros, commercials, logos, posters, etc. Now, if I'm not mistaken, having two video cards, I'll have two options for using them, I can either use a two monitor setup, but as someone pointed out, I probably will only be using 3D on one screen at a time. OR, I can use both the cards working together on the same monitor, doubling my 3D speed. Correct me if I'm wrong, but that was what I read when doing my research. Anyone know if this is accurate?
01-06-2006, 08:41 PM
Right now, you will not be able to connect both cards such that they drive one monitor. Either of these cards has enough resolution to drive two monitors all by itself. If you've got questions, give me a call.
01-06-2006, 09:02 PM
If this computer http://h71016.www7.hp.com/MiddleFrame.asp?page=config&ProductLineId=433&FamilyId=2225&BaseId=16942&oi=E9CED&BEID=19701&SBLID= was only 500 dollars less, it would be a great option, but it's a little bit over budget. HP seems to have changed the way they do things, before you could customize the whole system. Now, you can't take stuff away, you can only add stuff to it. So, for example, I wouldn't be able to take away one of the graphics cards in a dual card setup. The TV station I work for has some sort of contract with HP, so that's the route I have to take. As far as using the graphics cards together to drive a single monitor, here is what I was talking about:
"As with all of Nvidia’s mid-range and high-end PCI Express Quadro graphics cards, the FX 3450 features SLI technology. Providing you have an SLI capable motherboard, the technology enables two boards to be joined together, with a view to boosting 3D performance on a single monitor. However, not all applications will benefit from this technology, and it should be noted that you need two identical cards, so you can’t match a Quadro FX 3400 with a FX 3450 for example. The Quadro FX 3450 also supports SLI Multi View mode, which allows users to pair any two Nvidia Quadro FX PCI Express boards in a workstation and drive up to four high resolution displays."
Now, if that doesn't mean that two cards can work together for more speed on a single monitor, what does it mean? I'm confused now :).
01-06-2006, 09:10 PM
You can ask around here in the forum but, from what I've seen that mode will not work with Maya.
My suggestion on your $500 budget dilema is to drop the processors down to 275s and the memory down to 4gb. You'll still have a great machine and can add the additional memory and second graphics card later.
01-06-2006, 09:27 PM
I've emailed HP support and now am waiting for a reply to see if they'll actually let me downgrade one of their systems just a little bit so I can go for the better graphics card rather than a dual card setup. Thanks for all of your feedback. Now I just have to wait a couple of weeks for them to ship it....
01-06-2006, 09:29 PM
best of luck to you!
01-07-2006, 01:19 PM
If you haven't ordered your system yet, I would seriously consider giving BOXX Technologies a call.
Over the last 15 years I have purchased a large number of high-end workstations from most of the major (and a few minor) manufactures. BOXX's hardware/manufacturing is first rate, their performance is exceptional and the customer service is unbeatable (at least in my experience).
I will be placing the order for my next workastation from them on Monday morning (similar spec to yours).
Just my $0.02
01-07-2006, 01:19 PM
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