View Full Version : LightWave on Mac

06 June 2003, 07:38 PM
Hey all i need some serious help.

I have a mac and i have very little money.
DP 867, radeon 9000 pro, 512 DDR

I would like to start learning lightwave, and am considering buying it soon, but would it be better if i saved up for a pc and then bought lightwave? Is there really a major performance boost when using lightwave on a fast pc?

it would take me ages to save up for a pc, but not long to get LW on my mac. Is it worth it???

Please answer honestly and leave out all the 'Macs rule'! crap, i know they're good, i have one. But are they good with LW.

Also having LW on a mac, does it limit you in anyway in terms of software like 3rd party stuff?

06 June 2003, 07:48 PM
You can buy LW first and use it on your Mac and save money to buy PC if you want to later. The USB dongle works on both Mac and PC!

06 June 2003, 09:23 PM
My advice would be to start lightwave now, use it, continue to save up for a new computer, and if you come across plug-ins that you simply must have and cannot live without, then you can consider getting a PC.

Or just get a G5, next year with the money, you would've spent on a computer now.

So, Lightwave now, Computer later.

For the last 2 year's i'd been running Lightwave on a laptop, with an 800mhz p3 and 256 meg of ram, with 8 mg video.

For me that was perfectly useable.

Good Luck!

edit: The other advantage of having a mac, is that you've got iMovie and iDvd, which'd be perfect for making a demo reel.

06 June 2003, 09:27 PM
do tutorials and everything you need to learn it come with the cd?

or are there places i can see now?

i'm also looking at cinema 4d, how is that in contrast?

Triple G
06 June 2003, 09:47 PM
I'm currently running Lightwave on a single-processor 1GHz G4, with 1GB of RAM. The performance is acceptable, but the two biggest places where you'll notice speed differences are

1) rendering times - even the newest DP 1.4 GHz Macs can't compete with a similarly-priced PC. The fact remains that Mac hardware is overpriced and underpowered, especially when it comes to 3D. There are benchmarks all over the net which will back this up.

2) interface speed/feedback - especially noticeable when you have very high-poly scenes and/or scenes with more than 4 or 5 IK chains. There are workarounds that you can do to improve your feedback in such situations, but it's a fact that there are much more powerful graphics cards available for PCs. I think even the newest Macs are still only AGP 4x, and the closest thing to a "pro" card is a Radeon 9000 or a GeForce 4 Ti. Not bad, but again...many more options are available on a PC. I also think that the Open GL implementation in OS X is nowhere near what it should be, so that probably has a lot to do with it. It's still a relatively new operating system, and there are still a lot of things that I'm sure have yet to be optimized. There was a massive improvement with interface speed from 10.1 to 10.2, and hopefully Panther (10.3) will continue this trend. There are also rumors that this next OS update will finally bring support for "Pro" graphics cards such as the ATI Fire GL and Nvidia Quadro series, so that could make things much more interesting. :)

So, things are not so bleak for Lightwave, and 3d in general, on the Mac. I would heed the advice that the others have given you already...get Lightwave now. Since it's got a dual-dongle, you can install it on your Mac and get comfortable with it. When and if you feel the need to migrate to a PC, you just call up Newtek, they'll give you another license key for it, and then you just swap your dongle into whatever machine you want to use, whenever you want to use it. :thumbsup:

06 June 2003, 09:54 PM
Thanks man.

But are there complete newb friendly tutorials and manuals for it?

Does it ship with ALOT of help?

i have to tell you i have no idea about lightwave, and if it comes with out help and tutorials there is no point in me buying it.

So whats the deal?

Triple G
06 June 2003, 10:12 PM
Check out this thread ( for information on LW help files which you can either download to your system or access online at any time.

There are lots of tutorials available at Newtek's Site (, and also at Also, is an excellent place to check for LW-related news/plugins/tutorials/etc.

You could also check out video training material such as those at Desktop Images (, or most any of the Lightwave-related books that you can find on Amazon. In fact there was a thread that was started here not too long ago about which LW book to get, so you may want to check into that also.

At different points in time, resellers will also run specials where there are different kinds of training material (books, DVDs, etc.) included when you purchase. So be on the lookout for that as well. :)

06 June 2003, 02:17 AM
Frankly, LW performance on Macs have not been on par to those on PCs (this might change with todays G5 announcement by Apple). I work primarilly on a Mac but also have a killer PC set up. As the others have pointed out, LW now comes with a duo dongle so you can use both for PC and Mac (in fact Newtek ships 2 CDs - one for Mac and one for PC). I know that the Photoshop performance gap is narrower between the 2 but with LW its miles apart.

So finally, get LW first then think of what you want to do later when you have more money. :beer:

06 June 2003, 02:19 AM
And oh by the way, if I were you, I'll act fast since Newtek is offering a free upgrade to LW[8] if you buy LW[7.5] now, plus you get a free copy of DFX+ (PC version)! :bounce:

06 June 2003, 03:49 AM
Frankly, I have a single 867 G4 and a 2400XP Athlon. There's about a 30% difference in render speeds.

Big freaking whoop.

Maybe the P4 with hyperthreading blows it out of the water. The Athlons aren't anything to write home about. Even so, it's nice to have two boxes to render, and the PC's are quite a bit cheaper.

I'm pretty happy with Lightwave on the Mac (OSX). It's pretty zippy, and I've only crashed once (yes, really, once on quit when I had the graph editor open on another monitor.)

I think you'll be happy too. A lot of Mac users who complain just have a vague impression that the PC is lightning fast.

Both Win and Mac versions come in the same box, and the dongle is good for both. So whenever you buy your PC, you'll be able to move it right over. And Lightwave itself is identical on both platforms, so you won't have to relearn anything.

06 June 2003, 07:05 AM
Does anyone here run lightwave 7.5c with 10.2.6 and a radeon card?

if so how well does it run? and will it run better once 10.3 comes out?

thanks for your help everyone

Triple G
06 June 2003, 07:22 AM
Originally posted by digitalshaman
Does anyone here run lightwave 7.5c with 10.2.6 and a radeon card?

if so how well does it run? and will it run better once 10.3 comes out?

thanks for your help everyone

7.5c, 10.2.5 (or 10.2.6), and a Radeon card have been a formula for disaster, in the experiences of myself and many others who've attested to the fact here ( It looks like your best bet is to downgrade your OS back to 10.2.4 if you're having troubles. I did, and everything's working remarkably well. :thumbsup:

06 June 2003, 09:13 PM
Digitalshaman, I have the same machine as you do and it is more than adequate for LW use. Later on, you might want to add more ram, a faster video card, and learn how to use Screamernet to render simultaneously with both processors. But for the moment, you have a better setup than you know, which is better than some offices I've worked in. You'll know when you'll need to upgrade or an additional computer to render when you the time comes.

paul k.
06 June 2003, 09:59 PM
Buy a G5 in August it runs much faster than any Xeon config according to independent testing...

06 June 2003, 10:07 PM
Originally posted by paul k.
Buy a G5 in August it runs much faster than any Xeon config according to independent testing...

Sorry but ROFL

I donít think you can provide a link with a Lightwave benchmark on the new G5 !!! :curious:

06 June 2003, 10:13 PM
please done suggest buying a G5 or any computer, i dont have the money. epecially with apples overpriced stuff. besides the 64-bit Pentiums will blow the G5 out of the window like usual.

please stay on the lightwave/mac topic.

thankyou :)

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