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Matt
03-27-2003, 02:16 PM
In case anyone ever wondered about Boxx Computers (http://www.boxxtech.com) (A sponsor of CgTalk, correct?) My buddy Ray just ordered a new system through them, which will arrive on Monday morning.

He's not a member of CgTalk, but I'll filter through his opinions and possibly some benchmarking results sometime in the following week.

The system he ordered isn't their most powerful beast, but it will surely be a great system for 3DsMax R5, which is why he bought it. The specs are something like this (If I remember correctly off the top of my head.)

2.4Ghz Pentium 4, 512MB DDR Ram, nVidia Quadro4 380 XGL, and a 120GB hard drive.

It's not the absolute best, but it beats most. I'll see how she handles against Hal 9000+ (http://68.98.61.64:8888/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=6&sid=3fbc8eda911597254ebcc916f57d3b8f)

Pentiums seem to take the ballfield when it comes to 3DsMax, but we shall see. My downfall: Graphics card. I'm hungry to see the raw render output comparison.

I'll keep you updated. Boxx seems like a good company. There aren't many out there who really care about the 3D or Visual Effects/Video Compositing artists. SGi sort of dropped the ball in 1996, although everybody would still like to see them make a huge comeback. Oh well.

EDIT:
The benchmarks I currently have in mind are:
3DMark01, a complex scene render (3DsMax), a Q3 BSP compile, Q3A FPS, Sandra2003, a WindowsXP boot speed test, and we'll run them both head to head in Prime95. Does anyone have any other benchmarks in mind?

dvornik
03-27-2003, 03:37 PM
Most important viewport performance tests are the benchmarks in the Benchmark folder on the second 3ds max CD. They are pretty much the standard for reviewers.
http://www.discreet.com/support/max/videocards/

Rendering benchmark can be found on 3dluvr.com.
http://www.3dluvr.com/content/maxbench.php

Another important benchmark is SPECapc for max (not the Specviewperf which is also important but not for max).
http://www.specbench.org/gpc/apc.static/max42info.html

Make sure you run the viewport benchmarks with both Maxtreme 4.00.28 and the regular OGL drivers.

It seems that Boxx has become the most expensive vendor out there over the last year. HP, Dell, Alienware are all cheaper than Boxx. Personally I have certain problems with their dual AMD machines (15 of them) that their tech support is unable to resolve. That said Boxx is indeed focused on our segment of the market which is a good thing I guess.

Signal2Noise
03-27-2003, 04:20 PM
Matt, what did Ray pay for this system? Did he get a monitor with it or just the box(x)?

I'd be curious about how he likes the performance once he is using it for a while. We have a high end custom computer (http://www.voodoopc.com) distributor here in the North Country which are more well known for gaming rigs but are pricey.

Matt
03-28-2003, 03:08 AM
Around $1800. He didn't buy a monitor because he has a Sony LCD Tablet-Screen monitor that he can use a stylus to draw on.

VoodooPC are very good as well. Coming from a PC sales background, I show zero respect for brands such as Dell, Gateway, eMachines, HP/Compaq - But, a lot of online enthusiast brands are great. VoodooPC, AlienWare, and Boxx to name a few. They seem to cater to the needs of the true performance people who don't want to build a PC on their own.

Matt
03-28-2003, 03:10 AM
Originally posted by dvornik
Most important viewport performance tests are the benchmarks in the Benchmark folder on the second 3ds max CD. They are pretty much the standard for reviewers.
http://www.discreet.com/support/max/videocards/

Rendering benchmark can be found on 3dluvr.com.
http://www.3dluvr.com/content/maxbench.php

Another important benchmark is SPECapc for max (not the Specviewperf which is also important but not for max).
http://www.specbench.org/gpc/apc.static/max42info.html

Make sure you run the viewport benchmarks with both Maxtreme 4.00.28 and the regular OGL drivers.

It seems that Boxx has become the most expensive vendor out there over the last year. HP, Dell, Alienware are all cheaper than Boxx. Personally I have certain problems with their dual AMD machines (15 of them) that their tech support is unable to resolve. That said Boxx is indeed focused on our segment of the market which is a good thing I guess.

The only problem is, I own MaxR4.2, and he just bought MaxR5 through his school. Since he owns R5, and I own R4.2, would it be illegal for me to temporarily give him R4.2 for the benchmark? I guess it wouldn't count as warez or anything, which I'm completely against.

GregHess
03-28-2003, 04:36 AM
R5 is backwards compatible with R4 files.

Aka Max5 will open them no problem.

Matt
03-28-2003, 07:12 AM
Yeah but, can I run the same R5 benchmarks on R4.2?

GregHess
03-28-2003, 06:19 PM
You both could run the R4 benchmarks.

Not much difference between the two sets...only one or two scenes are different.

If your talking rendering, the islands and apollo max are still on the r5 cd as they are on the r4 cd. Waterfalls wasn't included though, and you'd have to get that off the r4 cd.

dvornik
03-28-2003, 08:05 PM
I would benchmark everything in max5 cause max4 is on it's way out more or less. Also, max5 viewport performance is way more problematic.

I believe discreet lets you use max in trial mode for a couple of weeks before you need to buy a license unless your PC is already "marked" by c-dilla with a different license.

I was very enthusiastic about buying from Boxx or other non-propriatary manufacturers myself half a year ago, but now I'm having some second thoughts. I honestly don't know what's a good manufacturer to buy from if you can't build a system yourself.

Here (http://www.cgtalk.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=39337)'s our Boxx problem if you're curious.

Matt
03-30-2003, 10:50 AM
Originally posted by dvornik
I would benchmark everything in max5 cause max4 is on it's way out more or less. Also, max5 viewport performance is way more problematic.

I believe discreet lets you use max in trial mode for a couple of weeks before you need to buy a license unless your PC is already "marked" by c-dilla with a different license.

I've got R4.2, I think I'll give him R4.2 for the benchmarks and then he'll uninstall and put 5 on it. Maybe I'll just get him to run the benchmarks alone because I don't like seeing AMD lose. (Discreet put in some optimizations that favor P4 and kill AMDs.)

GregHess
03-30-2003, 05:10 PM
Max4.26 also has those optimizations Matt.

You'll also note that the SSE optimizations are DISABLED by default in Max5. You will have to enable them manually in the render dialog check box.

They do help the XP/MP chips slightly as well....only slightly though.

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