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shockeddesign
06-21-2003, 07:31 PM
ok i have a question all my fellow lightwavers and others! so do you think alienware area51m laptop is a good pc to have for CG Art. Because its made for gaming but is known to do everything.

so if any of you know how alienware is please give me my information, i do not want to pay 3000 for a customize piece

o and adminastrators please do not move thread i like to talk to my fellow friends in the lw section

Shade01
06-21-2003, 09:11 PM
All of alienware's products are pretty good. I think they are overpriced though. Me personally, I'd probably go with Dell first.

shockeddesign
06-21-2003, 09:23 PM
thats understandable, but I looked at the dells and I didn't like there preference's. for example 2.0 ghz compared to an alienware laptop 3.06 ghz

thats just one feature I would have to side with alienware

Shade01
06-21-2003, 10:05 PM
I would say shop around if possible. Whatever price Alienware is selling something for, you can be sure it cost less somewhere else.

peanuckle
06-21-2003, 10:10 PM
Alienware are superpowerful and come with the best GFX card that are around. The only probs I know of with them are of course the price and they get REALLY hot, so you cant really hold it in your lap for to long.

pea~

SimianLogic
06-22-2003, 05:20 PM
I've never seen a laptop that doesn't get hot. Some day I'll get me a new one, it sucks running LW on an 800 mhz laptop with only 128 megs of RAM and an 8 meg video card. My only warning is that a lot of laptops have integrated motherboards. This is a bad thing. I haven't looked at the alienware, so I can't say anything about it. When I started doing animation I figured I'd upgrade and just buy some more RAM...no such luck. I'd have to replace the entire motherboard. If you get something new, just make sure you can upgrade it if you need to without spending a ton of money.

ToiletDuck
06-22-2003, 06:23 PM
Can't lightwave run on a mac laptop?

ToiletDuck
06-22-2003, 06:24 PM
With the new g5's about to come out I would wait before tossing down $3k

BlueCougar
06-22-2003, 06:46 PM
Check the Dell refurbished boards on the net, they sometimes have really good deals on trade-ins from corporations and companies.

Kenn

NanoGator
06-22-2003, 10:25 PM
Back in December, I bought a Dell Inspiron 8200 with an Ultrasharp(TM) display for about $1900.

Here's the specs:

- 768 meg of RAM. (it came with 256, then I bought more at crucial.com...)

- 1600 by 1200 screen capable of refreshing at 16ms. To put it another way, 60 fps games don't get blurry. That, to me, was more important than render speed.

- 1.7 ghz processor. Processors are faster today than they were back in December. However, I could have bought a 3ghz machine at Alienware for like $1,000 more. It didn't seem like such a great deal, especially considering that I was getting a superior screen with Dell.

- DVD/CD RW. Firewire. No USB 2.0, though. If I had waited another month...

- Accidental Damage warranty. If I drop my laptop off my desk and break the screen right now, they'll fix it for free. I couldn't find a warranty like that with Alienware.

Oh there were other comparisons I made, but in order for the AW machine to make me happy, I would have spent another $1,000 dollars. Instead, I went with the Dell. It's been 6 months, and I'm not aching for a new machine. I even play games on it. Beat Vice City on it not too long ago.

I guess the lesson learned here is to not over-weigh the negatives. Okay, processor's slower. You get a better screen and a better warranty, not to mention a cheaper price. Make sense?

Anyway, I'd look at Dell too. I'm actually rather happy with it as a 3D machine. I might have been happy with Alienware machine, but I'd also be another $1,000 in debt. ;)

chikega
06-22-2003, 10:32 PM
Check out Powernotebooks.com - the Sager 5670 is the same exact notebook - atleast same OEM - but much cheaper. But the exception is that the 5670 has an optional UXGA screen which is brighter, has more contrast and has wider viewing angles - very nice!!! Alienware doesn't have this option for some reason.

Gary E. Chike
http://www.3ddmd.com

ToiletDuck
06-23-2003, 12:45 AM
For under $1000 here is a notebook that I built.
Athlon XP 2400+
512mb ram
8x dvd drive
15 inch screen
40gig IBM 5400rpm harddrive
128mb ati graphics card.

Now I know it's a desktop processor. But from what I've heard AMD's are better at rendering and such. I might be wrong on that one. But if your on a budget and want a fast one that can do some pretty good designing. I'd say play around with it.

Duck
http://www.americancomputech.com/

NanoGator
06-23-2003, 01:24 AM
The problem with <$1500 laptops is that they typically come with 1024 by 768 screens. If you can live with that, then more power to ya, but it is rather limiting for using LW.

As for the AMD vs. Intel debate, that picture is rather fuzzy. LW 7.5 is heavily optimized for Pentium 4. I did an informal benchmark where 1 true AMD megahert was equivalent to 1 Intel mhz. So a 1.6 ghz AMD was equivalent to 1.6 ghz P4.

Is it as simple as that? Heh no. The AMD I tried it on has a 256k cache, recent processors now have 512. That'll make a difference. But wait! Intel's been beefing up the FSB! Grr. Hyperthreading (not widely availalbe on Laptops yet) would likely make LW renderings even faster given it's multi-threaded capabilities.

Personally, I'd say go for Centrino. It's a P4 with a 1 meg cache. Wow. I'd love to get one of those to do some benchmarking with.

Anyway, point is that don't necessarily go by the "AMD's faster than Intel" argument, it's just not as true anymore, ESPECIALLY when talking about Lightwave. Intel's in bed with Newtek.

I'd also recommend not focusing everything on MHZ. Are you going to use your laptop for modelling/animation, or as a rendering station? If your answer is the former, then you need a good fast screen, a good vid card, and not necessarily the greatest processor.

Actually, part of the reason I went for the cheaper Dell laptop over the alienware was because the $500-$1000 I saved meant that I could beef up my desktop station. You can get a dual AMD for $500-800. That's EXTRA rendering power on top of what your laptop can do. So then the laptop becomes the modelling/animation station and then the files are sent to the dual machine for rendering, freeing my laptop for other stuff. I never did get the dual, I haven't done any significant rendering lately. Still modelling, so I waited.

That's another option to consider. ;)

mokba
06-23-2003, 03:52 AM
I am sending my reply via my first time connecting to the net with my new alienware area 51 'workstation'. Wish I could answer this directly regarding the laptop but I could not live with the screen size. I installed lightwave about six hours ago and have never had a grin so wide. I shopped around and even did the Dell compare thing. I was within $100 when I priced the exact same spec at Dell. I may sound gushing but I think the alienware box was worth every dollar and then some. On top of everything else it is beautiful to look at. I cranked some extremely high poly models and complex scenes since installation and didn't skip a beat. Take a look aroung but don't eliminate alienware simply on price.

ToiletDuck
06-23-2003, 04:06 AM
I didn't think about the monitor situation. You could take the $2k you save and get a nice flatscreen montior :drool: those things always rock. I was just posting that out there. I know that 1024/768 might be a litte restricting. But then again you are saving two thousand dollars. I love my dual system right now. However I think that for rendering I still would need more once I move into the animation area. It still takes 30-40 minutes to render one photorealistic scene with low AA. If I turn the AA up it can take over 10hrs a pop. So that brings up a question that I was thinking about.

Personally, I'd say go for Centrino. It's a P4 with a 1 meg cache. Wow. I'd love to get one of those to do some benchmarking with.

Does cache on a chip really matter when rendering? Would dual 800mhz with 4mb cache each be faster than dual athlon 2200+'s with 256kb? I know the first is a 64bit Itanium chip, but I just always wondered. And it seems odd that there isn't 64bit rendering software.... Well i'm still new and looking. But right now I haven't found any. What's your take on mhz vs cache?
Duck

Shade01
06-23-2003, 04:11 AM
Does cache on a chip really matter when rendering? Would dual 800mhz with 4mb cache each be faster than dual athlon 2200+'s with 256kb?

You know, I was wondering the same thing. I run dual P3 800 Mhz Xeons with 2mb cache each, and I was wondering how much faster, say, the dual athlon 2200+'s with 256kb would run?

ToiletDuck
06-23-2003, 04:51 AM
ohhhhhhhh ohhhh. I hear a dual lol. Why don't you pick a scene and we can both render it to see what the deal is. I'll give you my specs.

Dual athlon 2100+'s(I usually run them at 2200+ but when rendering forever I run them a little cooler) FSB is at about 288mhz and I have a gig of ram. Find a website or tutorial with a pre-made scene and we can both render it. :beer:

NanoGator
06-23-2003, 05:01 AM
Whenever the cache runs out, the processor has to go fetch the next bits of data. This has a noticable cost. It's kind of like having a really fast car but having to make a few stops on the way.

Wish I could give you a math equation on it, but it's possible that 800mhz + 4mb of cache could outdo the 1.8ghz processor in some situations, such as raytracing, though it'd be a close call. It's not a guarantee.

There's so much going on in there.

ToiletDuck
06-23-2003, 05:03 AM
no 64 bit encoding software is there?
I have no idea how intel managed to make a buck on those itaniums.

NanoGator
06-23-2003, 05:06 AM
Probably not. Earlier versions of LW ran on 64-bit alphas, but I think that died with 6.

ToiletDuck
06-23-2003, 05:14 AM
Now why would they do that? 64 bit is much quicker. That's where the future of computing is going. So why kill it off?

NanoGator
06-23-2003, 05:25 AM
64-bit isn't quicker, it's different. Imagine if you could only send one instant message a day with ICQ. That message can only contain 400 characters. It'd be difficult to have a deep conversation right there, right? Imagine that's a 32-bit processor.

Now, imagine a new ICQ allowed one mesage per day but it's max is 800 characters. This would be like a 64-bit processor. Still, though, you can only send out one message. If you have a lot to say, then you'll get twice as much done! But, if all you have to say is 'lol', then the 64-bit is no faster than the 32-bit version. But if the 32-bit one could do two messages in a day, then it'd beat the 64-bit version.

Sorry if that metaphor is confusing, but I'm sleepy heehe.

Triple G
06-23-2003, 05:27 AM
I'm not sure if you guys are familiar with this site (http://www.blanos.com/benchmark/), but there's lots of benchmarks there for you to compare and draw your own conclusions. :)

fig
06-23-2003, 07:10 AM
random observation, but realize that the alienware laptop is rather heavy. from their site:

Weight: 9.6lbs. w/ Battery

dang...

chris

ToiletDuck
06-23-2003, 08:52 AM
yea that is. but in reality your not going to be working no it while standing up. if you are... Tablet pc time.

shockeddesign
06-23-2003, 01:59 PM
I just orderd my alienware area51m @ a price rather high but worth it. $3,127 - now yes a very high sum of money but I'm only 16 and get paid alot at my job. So I believe I'll have plenty of money left for college :buttrock:

Anyways heres the specs on my system I ordered :
Aliencare Toll-Free 2-Year 24/7 Depot Warranty
High-Performance LPT DS Chassis - Conspriacy Blue
Intel® Pentium® 4 Processor 3.06GHz 533MHz FSB w/ 512KB Cache
Intel® 845E+ICH3M Chipset - FC-PGA DDR
1024mb DDR PC-2100 - Two SO-DIMMs
60GB 5400 RPM ATA100
15" UltraXGA 1600x1200 LCD Display
ATI Mobility RADEON 9000 128MB DDR
Sound-Blaster Pro Compatible 3D Audio
3.5 3-Mode Floppy Disk Drive
24x10x24 CD-RW / 8X DVD Combo w/Software MPEG2 Decoder
Integrated 10/100Mb Ethernet NIC
56K Modem with V.92 Technology
Targus Sport Standard Computer Backpack - Platinum/Black
Microsoft® Windows® XP Professional
Free Alienware® T-Shirt - Black
Bonus 12-Month Subscription to Computer Games Magazine!


i believe thats all

-Joe

Shade01
06-23-2003, 07:03 PM
Holy cow! That is a lot of money for something that includes:

A 15" monitor ? They still make those?:p That is way too small to work with 3d/2d graphics programs, imo. In the graphic design industry, a monitor is priority. I wouldn't dare go smaller than 17".

Sound Plaster Pro? Not Audigy or Live???

ATI Radeon 9000? That card is pretty old to be including it in a $3000 machine :surprised It isn't even DX9 complient for the upcoming games (if you play games)

And a 5400 rpm hard drive???

Well, as long as you're happy.





Here is something I put together at Dell for $2,938

Dell Dimension XPS Series: Pentium® 4 Processor at 3GHz with 800MHz front side bus

Memory: FREE UPGRADE! 1024MB DDR SDRAM at 400MHz

Monitors: 19 in (18.0 in viewable) M992 CRT Monitor M992
Optional Second Monitor: 19 in (18.0 in viewable) M992 CRT Monitor

Video Cards: New 128MB DDR ATI RADEON™ 9800 Graphics Card with TV-Out and DVI

Hard Drives: 200GB Ultra ATA/100 Hard Drive (7200 RPM) with DataBurst Cache™ 200

Operating System: Microsoft® Windows® XP Home Edition

Network Interface: Integrated Intel® PRO 10/100 Ethernet IN [430-0412]

Modem: 56K PCI Data/Fax Modem

CD or DVD Drive: New 4x DVD+RW/+R Drive w/CD-RW including Roxio's Easy CD Creator®

Sound Card: Sound Blaster_ Audigy 2™ sound card with DVD Audio

Speakers: Harman Kardon® HK-395 Speakers with Subwoofer

Limited Warranty, Services and Support Options: 1 Year Limited Warranty plus 1 Year At-Home Service
XPS Specialized Support: XPS Specialized Support Included
Surge Protectors - Protect Your Investment: Belkin SurgeMaster Gold - 10 Outlet with Coax (for Broadband)

Triple G
06-23-2003, 07:29 PM
Originally posted by shockeddesign
I just orderd my alienware area51m @ a price rather high but worth it. $3,127 - now yes a very high sum of money but I'm only 16 and get paid alot at my job. So I believe I'll have plenty of money left for college :buttrock:

Anyways heres the specs on my system I ordered :
Aliencare Toll-Free 2-Year 24/7 Depot Warranty
High-Performance LPT DS Chassis - Conspriacy Blue
Intel® Pentium® 4 Processor 3.06GHz 533MHz FSB w/ 512KB Cache
Intel® 845E+ICH3M Chipset - FC-PGA DDR
1024mb DDR PC-2100 - Two SO-DIMMs
60GB 5400 RPM ATA100
15" UltraXGA 1600x1200 LCD Display
ATI Mobility RADEON 9000 128MB DDR
Sound-Blaster Pro Compatible 3D Audio
3.5 3-Mode Floppy Disk Drive
24x10x24 CD-RW / 8X DVD Combo w/Software MPEG2 Decoder
Integrated 10/100Mb Ethernet NIC
56K Modem with V.92 Technology
Targus Sport Standard Computer Backpack - Platinum/Black
Microsoft® Windows® XP Professional
Free Alienware® T-Shirt - Black
Bonus 12-Month Subscription to Computer Games Magazine!

Wow...that sure does seem like a lot of money for what you get. For that money, I would've headed over to www.boxxtech.com and gotten the following:

Pentium 4 3.0GHz 800MHz FSB, w/ Hyper-Threading Technology, 512K Cache
1 GB 400 MHz PC3200 DDR
Nvidia Quadro4 750 XGL 128MB 4x AGP
40GB 7200 RPM ATA133 Hard Drive
120GB 7200 RPM ATA133 Hard Drive
CDRW/DVD Combo Drive (32x10x40x12)
Integrated 10/100/1000 Controller
Soundblaster Live! Dolby Digital 5.1
Creative Labs Inspire 2.1 2500 Speaker System

Total Price with $300 rebate: $2,332.00

I would've then taken the remaining $800 and bought myself a nice 19" monitor. But...that's just me. :shrug:

NanoGator
06-23-2003, 07:36 PM
Yeah, make sure you get a 800mhz fsb and hyperthreading. It's worth a little more. ;)

Shade01
06-23-2003, 07:50 PM
Okay, having just come back from Alienware's site and configuring this for $2,735

1-Year AlienCare Toll-Free 24/7 Phone Support with Onsite Service
Alienware Full-Tower Case (420-Watt PS) - Plasma Purple
AlienIce™ Video Cooling System - Astral Blue
Alienware Cable Management System
Intel® Pentium® 4 Processor 3.0GHz 800MHz FSB w/ 512KB Cache & HyperThreading
Intel® Desktop Board D875PBZ - Intel 875P Motherboard
1GB DDR SDRAM PC-3200 - 2 x 512MB Module
120GB Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 ATA-100 8MB Cache - Quantity 1
Samsung 52x24x52x16x CD-RW/DVD Combo Drive - Black
Alienware™ 6-in-1 USB 2.0 Internal Card Reader
ATI RADEON™ 9800 PRO 256MB 8x AGP w/DVI & S-Video - LIMITED AVAILABILITY
Creative Sound Blaster® Audigy 2 - 6.1
Integrated Intel Pro/1000 CT Gigabit Ethernet Adapter w/CSA
US Robotics 56K V.92 Performance Pro Modem
NEC 19" MultiSync FE991SB Flat CRT - Black
Creative Inspire™ 6.1 6600 Speakers - Black
Microsoft Internet Keyboard - Space Black
Microsoft IntelliMouse Explorer 3.0 - USB - Standard Color
Microsoft® Windows® XP Home Edition
Free Alienware® T-Shirt - Black
Bonus 12-Month Subscription to Computer Games Magazine!
AlienAutopsy: Automated Technical Support Request System



I think Alienware intentionally ripped you off! How did you end up with that computer? They don't offer a P4 with 533 FSB, they also don't offer the Radeon 9000 or any 5400 rpm hard drive either!

NanoGator
06-23-2003, 08:52 PM
I'd recommend dropping down to a 2.4 or a 2.6, you'll save like $200.

Right now a 3 ghz p4 is $400. A 2.4 ghz p4 is $180. Savings of $220. That $220 could buy 2 2.4ghz CPUs.

I'd buy the cheaper CPU today, and in a year buy whatever processor you can get for $220. You'll do better in the long run. ;)

johnnyh66
06-23-2003, 10:08 PM
I was looking at the Alienware and Boxx machines... they all look great but I went with a private builder outside Chicago (Ace Computers) and built the same machine but saved about $1000. If you do something like that make sure of the parts your getting... private builders will try to get you the cheapest stuff they can but demand the high end stuff.

johnnyh66
06-23-2003, 10:14 PM
here's mine, this was about 6 months ago.

Workstation ATX Mid Tower w/ 420W Power Supply & (4) 80mm Chassis Fans
Intel D845EBG2L ATX Board, 845e 4x AGPset, 400/533MHz Bus, ATA/100, (6) USB 2.0
Intel Pentium 4 2.4GHz CPU, 512K, 478-Pin, 533MHz, Fan & Heat Sink
512MB, PC2100, DDR, SDRAM Memory (1x512MB Module)
80GB Western Digital Ultra ATA/100 7200RPM Hard Disk Drive w/ 8MB Cache
1.44MB 3.5" Floppy Disk Drive
128MB DDR nVidia GeForce4 Ti4600 AGP 4X Graphics Controller w/ TV/DVI-Out
52x Internal EIDE CD-Rom Drive
Sony 2.4x DVD+RW/+R, 12x10x32x CDRW-Rom Combo Drive Unit
Creative Labs Sound Blaster PCI 128 Audio Controller
Integrated Intel PRO/100+ 10/100 Fast Ethernet Network Connection
Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional OEM CD
Logitech Office Internet Keyboard w/ 3-Button Optical Wheel Mouse
Altec Lansing ACS21W 2-Piece PowerCube Speakers
(3) Year Carry-In/Depot Warranty on Parts & Labor


$1,745.00

shockeddesign
06-24-2003, 03:54 AM
OMG....DUDE I GOT A LAPTOP....SO WHAT U GUYS WERE TALKEN ABOUT WAS DESKTOP MACHINES

shockeddesign
06-24-2003, 03:55 AM
I needed something for work! and now I can use this, I have money to use i'm not really worried about cost.

Shade01
06-24-2003, 05:39 AM
what do you do where you are 16, work, and can afford a laptop for work? I guess the Opium business is brisk over there?

j/k about the last part :p

ToiletDuck
06-24-2003, 05:54 AM
Shade you going to check you PM already lol. I want to do our test on mhz vs cache.

shockeddesign
06-24-2003, 06:19 PM
no no, not drugs. I work at autofair - car place!

ChrisR
06-25-2003, 01:32 AM
I wouldn't break the bank on any laptop at this point and time.
No laptop is ever going to have the benefits to cost advantage that a desktop or tower has. Sure there are plenty of fast laptops out there but they kind of defeat the purpose of buying a laptop... portability. The laptops you guys are talking about are too heavy and get far too little battery life to be considered truly portable. Of course that's ok if you intend this to be desktop replacement with only an occasional move. A 3.06 ghz laptop, you would be fortunate to get 1.5 hrs of battery life. A Radeon 9000, any faster and you run into that battery issue again. Same thing with faster 7200 rpm hard drives. All these devices require energy and the faster and more capable the device you put into a laptop the less battery life you get.

I think someone already mentioned it but I think a good Centrino based laptop is the ticket right now. More efficient incarnation of the P4, intergrated Wi-Fi, USB 2.0, Firewire etc ( Acer comes to mind here, they even have a Radeon 9000 w/64mb and I think you can get one for 1650.00). All the essentials, relatively good performance and 4-5 hours of battery life ( which by the way sounds just like what Apple's laptops have been doing for a while now). Ideal situation would be a good laptop ( not the fastest but good) for the field and a fast besktop to do your heavy lifting when you get back.

Anyway, just my .02

NanoGator
06-25-2003, 01:45 AM
Originally posted by ChrisR

No laptop is ever going to have the benefits to cost advantage that a desktop or tower has. Sure there are plenty of fast laptops out there but they kind of defeat the purpose of buying a laptop... portability. The laptops you guys are talking about are too heavy and get far too little battery life to be considered truly portable.

You're over-generalizing a bit. Not every aspect of 3D requires the fastest processor or the greatest video card.

I'm using a laptop to do my 3D work right now and I love it. Battery life is aboout 4 hours. It is a little heavy, but I'm cool with it. Renderings happen in a reasonable amount of time and modelling has been quite acceptable and the LCD screen is much easier on my eyes.

So why do I have a laptop instead of a souped up desktop? Portability. My laptop is my primary machine. Having it with me at work is certainly a blessing. It's not holding me back either.

Laptops are quite suitable for 3D these days. You pay a little bit of a performance cost for portability. No biggie. I'm quite productive with my 1.7 ghz laptop.

ChrisR
06-25-2003, 02:08 AM
You're over-generalizing a bit. Not every aspect of 3D requires the fastest processor or the greatest video card.

That's exactly the point I was trying to make. Instead of getting the fastest, most powerful laptop out there, you can get a laptop that will give you good performance and reasonable battery life while saving you a considerable amount of money ( that's why I mentioned the Centrino based sytems which, although new, are already coming down in price and offer reasonable performance and excellent battery life).

Now you may be getting 4 hours of battery life with your 1.7 ghz laptop but there's no way the gentleman that started this thread is going to see 4 hours of anything with the 3.06 ghz laptop he was inquiring about.

shockeddesign
06-25-2003, 05:19 AM
wow...LOL
did i start a war about laptops and how long they last, because that deff. was not the issue. i bought an extended battery package with my laptop that is made for this machine so I'm sure i'll do fine ;)

thanks for all of your input

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