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Old 03-30-2006, 06:56 AM   #1
rafimmedia
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Exclamation Guide to buy a New PC

hi,
thx to all my loveable brothers.

now i planed to buy new hi config machine. but i dnt know which config
is the best for 3Danim and visual effects industries. and howmuch it costs
my budget is min 1 lakh by Indian rupees (2500$) only. please guide me .

what is the silicon graphics system?

my neighbour said to me silicon graphics system is best for all industries. how much it coast
and what are config of that?
 
Old 03-30-2006, 08:05 AM   #2
scrimski
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Don't you have google access in India?
http://www.sgi.com/

Afaik SGi doesn't work with Windows, so it maybe the wrong choice for your task.

I'm pretty sure AfterEffects won't even run on an SGI workstation, beside this, there is a hardware forum on CGTalk, search there, better chance to find some answers there.

http://forums.cgsociety.org/forumdisplay.php?f=23

Last edited by scrimski : 03-30-2006 at 08:12 AM.
 
Old 03-30-2006, 08:16 AM   #3
beenyweenies
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bah

Quote:
Originally Posted by rafimmedia
hi,
thx to all my loveable brothers.

now i planed to buy new hi config machine. but i dnt know which config
is the best for 3Danim and visual effects industries. and howmuch it costs
my budget is min 1 lakh by Indian rupees (2500$) only. please guide me .

what is the silicon graphics system?

my neighbour said to me silicon graphics system is best for all industries. how much it coast
and what are config of that?


Silicon Graphics machines may have been hot back when the average computer had 16MB of RAM and a 350mhz processor, but these days they are overpriced relics in my opinion.

Here's what I would recommend in terms of specs:

Athlon X2 Dual Core processor - the 4400+ model is a sweet-spot in terms of price vs. performance (it has the 1MB level2 cache). It is a really good processor with plenty of bang for the buck. Dual processors improve 3D rendering times dramatically, and you should also see some results in After Effects. With Nucleo, it's a beautiful thing.

2GB (minimum) RAM - In my box I use Corsair brand RAM because, well, it's the best out there. It is more expensive, but in machines meant to handle high-end GFX and 3D, you can't rely on the dirt-cheap crap that passes for RAM in the consumer market. If you build a machine yourself, for your budget you should have enough money to buy more like 4GB of RAM, if you do it right.

NVidia Graphics Card - the 6600GT model is a good value. Decent price, good performance, overclocking potential etc. I don't really buy the hype that you need a workstation card (such as the Nvidia Quadro) until I see more evidence of its value beyond marketing hype. For most people, a gamer graphics card will do just fine. Do be careful about which drivers you use, however. I had display problems in Maya with the newer Nvidia drivers.
On this topic, I know others here will strongly disagree, but I would not recommend the Radeon cards for this type of work. They have been notoriously slack on their drivers, and the cards themselves have always left me feeling ripped. Go Nvidia.

RAID Hard drives - Most modern motherboards offer at least a 2-drive RAID option right on the motherboard. I tend to store my programs and OS on one medium sized drive (80-300GB depending on your needs) and then RAID 2+ drives together for all my media, 3D files, after effects stuff etc. Creating a RAID array is so simple yet many people seem to think it's voodoo, but really one click of a button is all it takes. From there, the bandwidth of your hard drives is in some cases dramatically improved.

Dual Monitors, Dell 1905FP LCD - For monitors, these things just rock. They are a bit spendy, running about $380 each here in the US. But for After Effects and 3D, you really need dual monitors, and LCDs are the way to go. I have two at every station and they look great, sharp, color is dead on and no dead pixels.



Overall, the whole process is about eliminating bottle-necks, something you don't have much choice on if you buy a premade computer like a Dell or Alienware. I would strongly suggest building your own computer if you can. You will get WAY more performance for your buck, you can control the bottlenecks, AND you know your computer well so if anything goes wrong you won't be left having to figure out how to proceed.


If you like the idea of building your own box but don't know how, I'd be happy to post some suggestions on how to go about it.
 
Old 03-30-2006, 08:51 AM   #4
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Beenyweenie is right. Although the new G5s do a very good job on After Effects and even Maya, Id stick to his PC advice, as you get more bang for your buck.

And forget about the SGIs. These things were a big deal 10 years ago, but they all got trashed in the last 5 years (Hmmm, all those nice memories coming back ).

Chris
 
Old 03-30-2006, 02:31 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beenyweenies
If you build a machine yourself, for your budget you should have enough money to buy more like 4GB of RAM, if you do it right.


But don't buy 4GB of RAM as in 4x 1GB dimm. Windows won't work with that. It will only recognize 3 GB. That's what happened to me.

I could go for 64-bit windows XP, it'll see the extra dimm, but i don't know how well the programs,which programs and how the drivers will hold up in that environment.

Another thing, i don't know if this is true but, the dual channel possibility is rendered useless in this config. In 32-bit XP i mean.

Quote:
Originally Posted by beenyweenies
RAID Hard drives - Most modern motherboards offer at least a 2-drive RAID option right on the motherboard. I tend to store my programs and OS on one medium sized drive (80-300GB depending on your needs) and then RAID 2+ drives together for all my media, 3D files, after effects stuff etc. Creating a RAID array is so simple yet many people seem to think it's voodoo, but really one click of a button is all it takes. From there, the bandwidth of your hard drives is in some cases dramatically improved.


Does RAID5 work?... I think it really slows the machine down at writing stage. For everyfile it write it also builds redundancy. (help when 1 of your hardraves crashes, u won't loose anything)(and you'll need three drives for this config.)

RAID0 is called "striping". This is where your speed is getting bumped up. It will see your 2 drives as 1, so, twice the bandwith (give or take). But, if one of these drives crashes you will loose everything on both drives.

Last edited by DarkstaR1st : 03-30-2006 at 02:46 PM.
 
Old 03-30-2006, 06:43 PM   #6
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Great tips, beenyweenies vbmenu_register("postmenu_3402843", true); .

I have another kind of doubt:
i am a Matrox Digisuite LE user and, till After Effects 5.5, i could view into a RGB monitor (or even a common TV) direct from AE timeline. Unfortunately, Matrox didn't upgrade the Digisuite LE drivers and, since 5.5 version, i cant have the preview into my RGB-NTSC monitor...

My question is:
which are the video capture cards that can return me a program view from AE into RGB monitor?
And are there some video cards that allow me this kind of preview?

tks in advance.
 
Old 03-30-2006, 07:26 PM   #7
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In use a Matrox Parhelia for my AE and editing jobs and it's possible to preview via S-video out after installing a plugin provided by Matrox(the same with Photoshop).
 
Old 03-30-2006, 10:39 PM   #8
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Raid works very well with AE and any compositing or editing app. SATA RAID 0 is one of the cheapest and easiest way to get a performance increase out of a box for compositing especially if you are doing hi-def work or film.

Don't bother with matrox cards. By an Nvidia card, it will be a big help with After Fx 7, as it has all kinds of nice excelleration. IF you can afford it ! Quadro 4400 or 4500 sdi have all the goodness of a fat openGL but also provide SDI output and all the goodies.

Ram. stick with 3gb at the moment after effects can't address more.


Processor. althon x2 is faster for gui. Dual is faster for rendering.
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Old 03-30-2006, 11:07 PM   #9
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Yep... stay clear of the Matrox cards. Could be nice cards if the different programs would support it better. But, it doesn't.

It sucks

Nvidia has nice cards... but Ati has too... i recommend them both... Get one of the higher ones... All good.
 
Old 04-01-2006, 07:03 AM   #10
beenyweenies
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fonte Boa
which are the video capture cards that can return me a program view from AE into RGB monitor?
And are there some video cards that allow me this kind of preview?

tks in advance.


The best way I know of (and my current method) is to run firewire out to a device like the Canopus ADVC100, which converts the firewire signal to s-video. After Effects (and a lot of other apps) runs monitor previews out the firewire port, that's why this method is preferable.


Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkstaR1st
But don't buy 4GB of RAM as in 4x 1GB dimm. Windows won't work with that. It will only recognize 3 GB. That's what happened to me.


The system uses some RAM for PCI devices, and above 3GB it's true that it does eat into your windows recognizeable RAM. If your CPU supports it, however, you can use the /PAE switch at bootup method to get around this. Supposedly Windows can recognize upwards of 8GB of RAM using this method.


Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkstaR1st
Does RAID5 work?... I think it really slows the machine down at writing stage. For everyfile it write it also builds redundancy.


In terms of raw speed, the best RAID configs are RAID 0 and RAID 5. With RAID 0 there is no redundancy so like you said if a drive goes you lose it all. RAID 5 uses a 4+1 configuration, so you get parity PLUS the speed boost. RAID 5 is what most production facilities use, because it is blistering fast yet has the parity so nightly backups are not mandatory like they are with RAID 0.

In HD editing, for example, the ideal situation is using 8 drives (SATAII) in RAID 5 config running through fibreChannel (and very soon infiniband) to a dedicated RAID 5 card in your box. This should get you close to the 300MBps bandwidth needed to stream uncompressed HD in realtime.
For us mere mortals, 2 drives in RAID 0 config should be plenty, 4 would be ideal.
 
Old 04-01-2006, 07:49 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fonte Boa
which are the video capture cards that can return me a program view from AE into RGB monitor?
And are there some video cards that allow me this kind of preview?"

I'm also interested in this... I notice the 7800gtx has an HDTV out capable of displaying up to 1080p... Has anyone used this functionality with After Effects? Is it useful when doing color correction or other sensitve work in AE?
 
Old 04-01-2006, 09:30 AM   #12
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cards

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2a03
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fonte Boa
which are the video capture cards that can return me a program view from AE into RGB monitor?
And are there some video cards that allow me this kind of preview?"

I'm also interested in this... I notice the 7800gtx has an HDTV out capable of displaying up to 1080p... Has anyone used this functionality with After Effects? Is it useful when doing color correction or other sensitve work in AE?


None of the consumer level cards are useful for color correction. Unless the card has SDI output, I wouldn't trust it for color work. The reason is that to get accurate color you need to be seeing, at minimum, a 4:2:2 signal, and s-video is not up to the challenge at all. Most of those cards with hdtv out are doing so through the s-video port, running to a break-out-box with component plugs. This is totally silly, it's the equivelent of hooking up a pair of $1,000 speakers to an AM radio.

If you are doing even remotely serious color correction work, you may look into Blackmagic cards (even their $195 model has SDI out and can handle HD) or the Kona cards.
 
Old 04-01-2006, 10:23 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beenyweenies
None of the consumer level cards are useful for color correction. Unless the card has SDI output, I wouldn't trust it for color work. The reason is that to get accurate color you need to be seeing, at minimum, a 4:2:2 signal, and s-video is not up to the challenge at all. Most of those cards with hdtv out are doing so through the s-video port, running to a break-out-box with component plugs. This is totally silly, it's the equivelent of hooking up a pair of $1,000 speakers to an AM radio.

If you are doing even remotely serious color correction work, you may look into Blackmagic cards (even their $195 model has SDI out and can handle HD) or the Kona cards.


Thanks... Yeh I've investigated the whole Blackmagic route... my current workstation has a slow pci bus and to go the Blackmagic route I would have to buy a new workstation to put a decklink in + HDlink + another 24" lcd + SATA Raid to play back my 10bit 1080 files... I just thought that there was maybe a cheaper way.
 
Old 04-01-2006, 10:23 AM   #14
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