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Old 10-10-2008   #1
India48
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Question Workstation help!

Hey guys,

I go by the pseudoname India48 and Im brand new to the forums. Im a young Australian and an aspiring digital artist. Although I have not really started making any art yet, since I need a little help before I can.

I have been saving up some funds so that I can afford to pay for some Gnomon Online courses and build a solid collection of Gnomon Workshop DVDs. However I guess spending all that money could end up to be a semi pointless exercise if I dont have the right tools to make digital art!

My question then becomes, what kind of computer do I need to start learning and creating digital art?

What size LCD monitor should I use?

I would like to build a PC/workstation (My other hobby) that can handle Photoshop, ZBrush, Maya and any of the other applications with ease.

That sounds quite ambiguous but any guidence from you guys on the forums would be appreciated!

Thanks guys!
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Old 10-11-2008   #2
GTpix
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Hi and Welcome India48,
for my part, I use a pentium4 dual core, 3,6 Ghz 3.82 Ghz, with 3 GB RAM.Graphic card Nividia 6800GT till 4 years and I've got no problem.
With 2 monitors connected, you can swith easily between programs.
ok, it is an old computer, but I can open Maya, Zbrush, and 3 of big adobe programs at the same time. hope it helps.
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Old 10-11-2008   #3
India48
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Talking

Thanks GTpix!

By the sounds of it, a decent mid to high end gaming PC should do the trick. Im in the process of building a gaming machine at the moment with the following specs and it would be great if it could function as both a workstation for digital art and a gaming machine!

CPU Q6600 Quad Core OC'd to 3.6Ghz
4GB of 1200Mhz DDR2 RAM
Nvidia GTX280 or ATI Raedon 4870 1GB
ASUS Maximus Formula
750GB Samsung F1 Spinpoint, 32MB cache HDD
22" LG widescreen flat screen LCD monitor

By the sounds of it, purchasing another monitor would be a wise move?

I can see how having 2 monitors could be adventageous. What size monitor do you guys generally use?

Furthermore, I have checked out the Autodesk website for the minimum system requirements for Maya and 3ds Max and it seems to list workstation GPUs (Such as the Nvidia Quadro FX family) as opposed to desktop/gaming GPUs (Such as the GTX260/280 or 9800X2). Is it neccessary to purchase a professional workstation GPU such as a Nvidia Quadro FX in order to use Maya and 3ds Max efficiently? Or will desktop/gaming GPUs suffice?

The specifications for the Quadro FXs as far as onboard RAM is concerned is significantly smaller than desktop/gaming GPUs which makes me wonder why a workstation GPU would be utilised over a desktop/gaming GPU?


Thanks for the help!

Last edited by India48; 10-11-2008 at 01:25 AM.
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Old 10-11-2008   #4
GTpix
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Quote:
Originally Posted by India48 View Post
Thanks GTpix!

By the sounds of it, a decent mid to high end gaming PC should do the trick. Im in the process of building a gaming machine at the moment with the following specs and it would be great if it could function as both a workstation for digital art and a gaming machine!

CPU Q6600 Quad Core OC'd to 3.6Ghz
4GB of 1200Mhz DDR2 RAM
Nvidia GTX280 or ATI Raedon 4870 1GB
ASUS Maximus Formula
750GB Samsung F1 Spinpoint, 32MB cache HDD
22" LG widescreen flat screen LCD monitor

By the sounds of it, purchasing another monitor would be a wise move?

I can see how having 2 monitors could be adventageous. What size monitor do you guys generally use?

Furthermore, I have checked out the Autodesk website for the minimum system requirements for Maya and 3ds Max and it seems to list workstation GPUs (Such as the Nvidia Quadro FX family) as opposed to desktop/gaming GPUs (Such as the GTX260/280 or 9800X2). Is it neccessary to purchase a professional workstation GPU such as a Nvidia Quadro FX in order to use Maya and 3ds Max efficiently? Or will desktop/gaming GPUs suffice?

The specifications for the Quadro FXs as far as onboard RAM is concerned is significantly smaller than desktop/gaming GPUs which makes me wonder why a workstation GPU would be utilised over a desktop/gaming GPU?


Thanks for the help!
My computer is a desktop. I can do HD movies, working with maya, photoshop and flash in the same time without any problems.
I work with 2x LG 19" flat screen LCD monitors. Same model. Using two monitors can help you if you want to have all the maya interface windows open (hypershade, tool box, etc.). but if your graphic card is not very speed in tasks, it can be dangerous. If the Autodesk website lists the Nvidia Quadro FX, it is because the tests done on these workstations responds the best to all of the problems. Memory, rendering, generating particles etc. but it is quite expensive. For gaming, you can trust Autodesk. And regarding to your comuter specificities, don't worry. I think it is a formula one!
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Old 10-11-2008   #5
India48
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Sweet, sounds like my new build will be able to handle creating digital art and gaming

Cheers!
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Old 11-02-2008   #6
neuromancer2
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Personally, I would go with nVidia cards when using Maya. I've heard of some people having issues when running Maya with ATI cards.

As far as what type of nVidia card...a Quadro FX can run you anywhere from $150 to $8000. If you plan on gaming at all on your pc, and not spending thousands of dollars on a card, I would suggest going with a gaming card...as you will get better gaming performance out of it than you would with a comparable Quadro card...and there won't be any noticable difference in how it performs with Maya. And if you will not be gaming enough to care how it performs in games, or not planning on gaming at all, then definitely go with a Quadro. The more money you spend on a Quadro the more performance you'll get.

Quadros and Geforces are essentially the exact same (hardware) card until you get to the higher end Quadros. The only difference between the two are the instruction sets...or they disable certain features on the cheaper ones, that for some retarded reason, allows them to sell them for less. I think it has to do with the support you get/pay for with higher end Quadros as well. You can also find "soft mods" on the internet that unlocks features, that in theory, turns a Geforce into a Quadro. I'm not sure this is actually true but some people have described noticeable performance boosts by doing this.

I was trying to find a benchmark chart online that I used in the past to help me decide which card to get...but can't seem to find it. Anyway, I would also suggest just looking online at benchmarks and reviews, like at newegg.com, to help you decide what is best for you.

I would also get at least get 6 gigs of memory. Not sure which OS you'll be running, but Vist 64bit uses up to 1.5 gigs just to run the OS...it also depends on your settings. And I think Zbrush uses up to 4 gigs...so that's 5.5 gigs right there. I recommend OCZ Reaper...overclocks like a dream and is very stable.

Anyway, hope that helps.
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Old 11-03-2008   #7
neuromancer2
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As far as monitors go...I've used dual monitors in the past, but eventually went back to a single 19inch monitor, since I really didn't end up using the other one that much. If you do decide to use dual monitors then I would suggest using SLI/dual, or, what the hell, even 3 video cards...if that mobo supports it. If you absolutely need more space, personally, I would just buy one big monitor instead of two smallish monitors...that's what I plan on doing once I get the $$$.
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