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residentcoppa
09-13-2006, 11:33 PM
Hi

I´ve been trying to decide between a Boxx or a Mac Pro
My main interest is 3d rendering ( maya 8 , mental ray )

Is it fair to say that at the moment in terms of quality/price nothing beats the Mac Pro? ( plus , it has the advantage of being able to use windows )

Let me hear your opinion guys

Thanks
r.

enygma
09-13-2006, 11:40 PM
Boxx: Supports Windows XP 64bit
Mac Pro: Supports only Windows XP Service Pack 2

Boxx: Supports Maya 8 32bit and 64bit natively
Mac Pro: Supports only Maya 8 32bit natively for Windows only. OS X version isn't supported on Intel platform yet.

Those should be 2 things to keep in mind. The latter point probably being most important.

residentcoppa
09-14-2006, 10:05 AM
Thanks Chris

So apart from those points , at the moment what´s the advantage of buying a boxx when i can get the same configuration 1000$ cheaper with apple


One other thing: Is Dell a good option? in terms of quality price?

r.

lots
09-14-2006, 01:18 PM
In terms of quality, Dell is pretty bad. We have several hundred computers in the department, all Dell because the University has a deal. It seems every week or two I'm calling them for replacement parts. Most of the time, we encounter bad memory, bad hard drives, and bad power supplies. Just the other week in one phone call I replaced 5 or 6 brand new machines' power supplies and/or RAM because none of them would boot properly.

I can say one thing though., Dell computers are good for thier warranty, if you've got a good plan, like here. Everything gets replaced in less than a day, and they even offer a tech to come install the stuff for you (not that I would :P)

tecton3d
09-14-2006, 01:56 PM
Mac Pro: Supports only Windows XP Service Pack 2
is this a fact? Will the MacPro support XP64 or Vista sometime in the near (hopefully sooner rather than later) future since it's based off the same intel hardware the boxx uses?

JDex
09-14-2006, 02:16 PM
is this a fact? Will the MacPro support XP64 or Vista sometime in the near (hopefully sooner rather than later) future since it's based off the same intel hardware the boxx uses?

It does support vista now (at least there are people out there running it on bootcamp).

The issue is likely to be remedied, but it is because the Bootcamp drivers are built only for XPsp2 and Vista32bit (beta) at this time. Bootcamp is a beta solution that is the testbed for the upcoming OSX Leopard release which will natively include bootcamp and it is suspected that Apple will provide driver builds for XP, Vista 32/64 and probably XP64... How long? Your guess is as good as mine.

lots
09-14-2006, 05:20 PM
Also dont forget about the Windows OSs that support EFI. I suspect that these OS's will have an easier time running nativly on a MacPro (without bootcamp)

tecton3d
09-14-2006, 06:23 PM
Also dont forget about the Windows OSs that support EFI. I suspect that these OS's will have an easier time running nativly on a MacPro (without bootcamp)

is Vista the only Micro soft OS to support EFI?

http://www.intel.com/technology/efi/
http://www.uefi.org/

lots
09-14-2006, 08:11 PM
Vista 32bit does not support EFI, but I believe 64bit will.

Similarly 64bit XP and 64bit Server 2003 support EFI. All the info is on MS's site...

residentcoppa
09-14-2006, 09:05 PM
In terms of quality, Dell is pretty bad. We have several hundred computers in the department, all Dell because the University has a deal. It seems every week or two I'm calling them for replacement parts. Most of the time, we encounter bad memory, bad hard drives, and bad power supplies. Just the other week in one phone call I replaced 5 or 6 brand new machines' power supplies and/or RAM because none of them would boot properly.


Is this a common opinion ? Anyone using Dell computers for 3d with different opinions ?

Thanks
r.

atarigraffx
09-15-2006, 12:45 AM
IMO macpro is the better option because for one if you want to edit some animation clips you can use FCut
and you can handle digital video like champ on the mac pro
and you dont have to really worrry about all that retarded shit that PCs do for no reason like the dell workstations
buggin the **** out for no reason
and once the drivers are avail for XP64bit which shouldnt take too long its gonna be strong as anything Boxx got
and when adobe puts out CS3 sometime around july 07 the macpro will run photoshop like a demon
and the fact that its a gangster ass mac may even get you laid
plus Mac has be shitting on PCs in all those commericals

enygma
09-15-2006, 01:55 AM
Thanks Chris

So apart from those points , at the moment what´s the advantage of buying a boxx when i can get the same configuration 1000$ cheaper with apple
Sorry for the late response...

Basically, the advantage you get when buying a Boxx, especially if you use Maya, you get proper 64bit support for both Windows and Linux.

Come to think of it, any of you guys know if any Linux distros have been known to work on Mac Pros? A 64bit Linux with Maya and Mental Ray satellite would certainly make for a serious second workstation for the office... well... second Apple workstation.

lots
09-15-2006, 01:10 PM
and you dont have to really worrry about all that retarded shit that PCs do for no reason like the dell workstations
Funny, they have the same things inside (motherboard, CPU, etc) :P Apple just chose to go with a more reliable maker for parts. Plus take my experience with a grain of salt. For one, I'm dealing with 100s of machines, I'm bound to have a few that break down, or a shipment with something busted. My chances of such an even happening are higher than the average user :P

On the flip side of the "duds" we have plenty of good, working machines from Dell. Some have been running fine for years. Remember Dell has always been going for the lowest price on its systems. I'm sure they cut corners to do so, and this is why we get faulty PSUs, bad RAM, or a dead HD. They could offer the systems for a higher price with better quality parts, but then they're just like anyone else. Its probably cheaper for them to use lower quality parts and just replace the ones that break. It works out, since we have a nice plan with Dell.

Since Apple and PCs now run the same hardware, stating that one is better than the other is kind of a moot point (unless we're talking AMD :P) Nowadays the real comparison should come from the OS, the hardware is somewhat trivial..

motoxpress
09-15-2006, 02:46 PM
Come to think of it, any of you guys know if any Linux distros have been known to work on Mac Pros? A 64bit Linux with Maya and Mental Ray satellite would certainly make for a serious second workstation for the office... well... second Apple workstation.

There has been some success in getting certain builds to run but, EFI prevents a lot of the distros to have problems with it.

-gl

Kai01W
09-16-2006, 05:35 PM
In terms of quality, Dell is pretty bad. We have several hundred computers in the department, all Dell because the University has a deal. I

At the academy I studied at, it was the other way around. Lots of macs and just a few dell workstations, which worked without any issues in the 3d department. The macs however had lots of problems: bad memory that caused lots of apples greyscreen of death, problems with heat in the G5s, G5s not coming out of sleep modus, Powerbooks who twice had their mainboards exchanged cause connecting a firewire disk to it would blow them, etc.
So I guess Apple is just as good/bad as the rest.


-k

maX_Andrews
09-17-2006, 06:54 AM
It also depends a lot on the IT department mantaining the machines and the hardware choices they make. For example, the it department in the photo program at school installs crappy RAM and crappy hard drives, and the G5's there have had a few problems. But we have the same G5's where I work in a print facility. They have better hard drives, and better RAM, and they run 24/7 without any issues.

AdamantiumKnot
11-17-2006, 04:57 PM
I've had nothing but a great experience with boxx, and anyone I know who has purchased through them is completely satisfied.

Rock-solid products built specifically for animation/video and top-notch customer support!

Can't say I've had any problems with my g4 powerbook, though, either.

GregHess
11-20-2006, 12:12 PM
At the academy I studied at, it was the other way around. Lots of macs and just a few dell workstations, which worked without any issues in the 3d department. The macs however had lots of problems: bad memory that caused lots of apples greyscreen of death, problems with heat in the G5s, G5s not coming out of sleep modus, Powerbooks who twice had their mainboards exchanged cause connecting a firewire disk to it would blow them, etc.
So I guess Apple is just as good/bad as the rest.


I think whether or not a particular platform of choice has issues is primarily determined by both the IT department maintaining the systems (as per max's examples), and the amount of said systems in use.

For example, if your department has 95% mac's, and 5% pc's, its far more likely you're going to see a stream of problems with the mac's just because there are so much more of them. Gotta kinda of look at it statistically. If you've got 100 macs, and 10 have a problem, its basically the same as if you had 10 pc's, and 1 had a problem. Dell usually gets unfairly bashed because of this, as many businesses and universities use primarily dell machines. It's not necessarily that they are unreliable or use crap parts (unless you are using dimensions instead of latitudes/optiplexs/percisions), it's just that there is a HUGE population of one type of machine, when compared to the others. Always make sure to take into account the number of machines in use when looking at # of problematic machines!

I actually did a harddrive failure tally a year or so ago, where I inventoried every failed harddrive (or damaged one) I had ever replaced. Turned out the actual failure rate per manufacturer was almost identical. At first glance, it appeared that maxtor was the worst, but then the university was using 8x the number of maxtor drives as seagate or WD's. When you took into account the # of drives in use, the failure %'s were nearly identical...the only difference being that the 5400 rpm drives were nearly indestructible when compared to the 7200's.

As for particular manufacturers, I'd have to side with boxx over apple, just because I've seen apple completely screw over students before by denying them proper applecare support, even though they paid for it. It's one thing to have a macbook problem, it's another to spend 6 weeks trying to get it fixed.

Garduna_Knight
11-20-2006, 01:52 PM
posted one too much, if someone can delete this post

Garduna_Knight
11-20-2006, 01:53 PM
Hey there, I've got a boxx laptop/workstation since end of august and it's been completely awesome. i haven't had a single problem and it runs VERY fast. only downside is that it can get kinda warm lol. Since i also use g5s as well as been testing around with my friend's new probooks and to be honest, i still feel my laptop has more power overall. i've used a macbook for 4 years before getting my boxx laptop. I've had so many problems throughout the 4 years and i'm not the only one, all of friends have had problems in general. so when i needed a new laptop, i opted for a boxx eventho it's costed me more. I've started seeing apple stores in some of the malls around my area "toronto" so in that respect, getting a mca fixed or at least getting it looked at can be faster. since I live in toronto, getting a boxx fixed (hardware related) can be very troublesome. However, even before making the purchase for my laptop, I've never had the kind of service and information that boxx has done for me. Their customer service is simply amazing.

Kai01W
11-21-2006, 08:17 PM
I think whether or not a particular platform of choice has issues is primarily determined by both the IT department maintaining the systems (as per max's examples), and the amount of said systems in use.

For sure. I just wanted to weight out the statistics a bit which usually claim dell's bad quality. Our IT department is very mac save (pc... not so much), so its not there fault.
As I said, I don't think apple is worse than the others but the claim that there hardware was so much better than the rest is based on a myth. At least nowadays.
Quite a few people in the company I am working now got the new macbooks, and quite a few have serious issues and some were very treated quite badly by their reseller/apple.

Of course on the internet you will always find someone who has bad experience with a certain brand. So I generally take these kind of advices with grain of salt. But even more so do I question the generally less critical attitude towards hip underdogs.


-k

maX_Andrews
11-22-2006, 10:32 AM
It's easy on either side of the fence to blow negative incidents out out of proportion to suit your own particular view. But the truth is that on average, hardware failure and repair rates are almost identical for about every manufacturer out there. I saw a chart a few weeks ago about this and I'll post it later if I can find it again.
Apple was recently rated as having the best computer support by consumer reports, and my experiences with them in this regard have been mostly positive.

Between Boxx and apple, it is a difficult comparison to make. Apple mostly makes slim, pretty machines that work great with multimedia and audio. Boxx makes all-out performance machines that are targeted squarely at 3D design and high-end gamers. The only system that apple offers which is in the same market as Boxx is the mac pro. THe mac pro is a fabulous, cost effective computer for working with all sorts of content, especially within OSX. With its current options, it is not ideal for windows based 3D content creation because of the unfortunate behavior of ATi drivers under windows. This seems to be more of an issue in maya than in other applications but nonetheless, if you're after the best windows solution for 3D content creation, then the Boxx is exactly what you are looking for.

EnlightenedPixel
11-22-2006, 02:20 PM
Keep in mind you arent going to get any 'real ' tech support running XP or Vista on a MacPro. If Drivers dont work, thats your problem, and if someone out there hasnt written up new drivers to fix issues, well then, youre up pooper creek without a paddle. With a BOXX, youre at least assured the components and software are going to work together properly without unofficial drivers and patches.

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