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View Full Version : New Guy, Looking for some computer advice. B4 I purchase


thinksink
12-20-2006, 03:36 PM
Hi Everyone,
New to the forum and relatively new to the 3D world. Last May I enrolled in an introductory coarse in Maya and loved it so much, I'm now off to Graduate School. I'm a graphic / web designer who admits I'm a little bias towards Macs. Although I do have quite a bit of experience on PCs, and realize they do have their advantages. I have a G5 at home but have been in the market for a new laptop for quite some time now. I really would like to purchase the right hardware whether it is a Mac or a PC for grad school. I was looking at a ProBook:

2.33GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 graphics with 256MB SDRAM
3GB 667 DDR2 SDRAM

Great Specs Plus I can cross over between operating systems using bootcamp.

Now my only concern is the graphics card, I was told by the university that they are using:

BOXX Dual AMD 64FX 4400, Nvidia Quadro FX 3400 256MB, 3GB RAM
HP XW8200 Dual Xeon 3.4 Ghz, Nvidia Quadro FX 1300 128MB, 2GB RAM

They mentioned some concern about the ATI card on the Probooks because they have not tested it with the applications that I will be using.

My questions are:
How wil the ATI card fare with 3D applications?
Are their better laptop choices?
I looked into BOXX they don't seem to make laptops, do they?
How about companies like voodooPC or alienware?

Money isnít really an object as long as I buy the right equipment.
Thanks for helping out this newbi!

Signal2Noise
12-20-2006, 09:34 PM
....

My questions are:
How wil the ATI card fare with 3D applications?

In my experience, I've had display problems in certain 3D apps using ATI. I have since used nVidia without any problems.


Are their better laptop choices?

Yes there are.


I looked into BOXX they don't seem to make laptops, do they?


They once did but don't anymore. There's another recent thread about that.


How about companies like voodooPC or alienware?

Haven't used Alienware so I can't comment. VoodooPC, as much as I'd like to support the little homegrown Canadian company, are way overpriced in my books. Certainly nice machines but you could put the money elsewhere. Besides, HP recently bought Voodoo so who knows what the future holds.


Money isnít really an object as long as I buy the right equipment.
Thanks for helping out this newbi!


Well, if money isn't an object then take a look at Voodoo. I would suggest doing a side-by-side comparison between perhaps Voodoo and Dell. I've used Dell laptops for a long time and have had no complaints in running the apps I need (LightWave, XSI, AutoCAD, Painter, Photoshop, etc. ad nauseum)

Also, do a search in these forums. You'll find lots of great info for what pertains to your query as well.

Good luck in your decisions!

thinksink
12-20-2006, 11:12 PM
Great thanks for the help it is much appreciated.

From your advice I went a head and looked into DELLS and think the M1710 would be the way to go, it has some great specs and I think it would be awhile before it would be out-dated. The specs are as follows:

Intel Core 2 Duo T7600G 2.33 GHz
Ram ranges from 1 GB to 4 GB
and a 512MB NVIDIA GeForce Go 7950 GTX

Thanks again!

SalaTar
12-21-2006, 12:07 AM
looks like Dell is slowly killing alienware to me
voodoo is off there rocker

thinksink
12-21-2006, 12:58 AM
yeah Voodoo PC's are way over priced with dell you get twice a powerful computer, for the same price, but you got to love voodoo's color choices.

Signal2Noise
12-21-2006, 05:51 AM
Great thanks for the help it is much appreciated.

From your advice I went a head and looked into DELLS and think the M1710 would be the way to go, it has some great specs and I think it would be awhile before it would be out-dated. The specs are as follows:

Intel Core 2 Duo T7600G 2.33 GHz
Ram ranges from 1 GB to 4 GB
and a 512MB NVIDIA GeForce Go 7950 GTX

Thanks again!

Yep, that would make for a very sweet machine. The M1710 is a very popular choice among CGTalk members.

My suggestion is try to at least double the RAM in it upon purchase. Go with 2GB as a minimum. You can always add in more after-market memory later if the need arises. Also, constantly watch the Dell deals. They change their deals on a weekly basis, every Friday I think. The last Dell I bought (for my wife's xmas present) was an inspiron 9400 and the deal was a free upgrade in video card, free external 250 GB hard drive, and a discount on one of their warranty plans. My Dell Inspiron 8200 (the one I do CG work with) is four years old and still going strong. I eventually replaced the HDD to something bigger and faster as well as maxing out the RAM last year. I'll probably by a new Dell laptop next year.

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12-21-2006, 05:51 AM
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