I´d say you´d benefit from the HT-enabled 3.06Ghz P4, if you can afford it. The Athlon is a very good performer as well, but the latest 3DSMAX is P4-optimized (or so i´ve heard, someone correct me if I´m wrong!) and should get a boost from HT as well. That and a granite bay motherboard with lots of PC-2100 memory (depending on your use of 3dsmax), would be your best bet. As a cheaper (and very good!) alternative, I´d agree with Spitfire and his AMD-based core.
Then again, you could wait for the 800Mhz FSB and Canterwood combination, which should come into play within a month or two (for $$$) and should (hopefully) be wonderful performance-wise. Decisions, decisions...
In any case, you´ll probably need a good video card as well, for the games, like the ATI Radeon 9700 Pro, or (budget-oriented) a GeForce4 Ti4200.
My suggestion would be to get a dual processor rig. Hyperthreading can only go so far on a single CPU. Max is SMP friendly so will probably benefit from it under certain loads (I do not know this first hand, I am just guessing). Just keep in mind that for the price of a P4 3gig processor you can get 2 (two!) amd mp processors or 2 (two!) xenon 2.4 533 processors (they are HT so you will end up with 4 virtual processors!!). I say the 2.4 intel ones cause it is reasonably priced compared to the higher ones. It is a huge jump in price from 2.4 to 2.6 and in my opinion is really not worth it now. The motherboards for the 533 xenons cost a bit more for a nice workstation one, but unlike going amd, they will support 8x AGP. I am not sure how much more this will get you FPS-wise with games. The RAM for these boards (PC 2100 REG ECC... a few mobo makers say that you can use unbuffered RAM but do not do that) is not the swiftest on the market. Most games today, all but Q3, I think are not SMP friendly so you will not get any better performance from 2 processors (it may even slow it down just a tad). You will get loads better performace with Max in rendering because it is SMP friendly. For video cards: most 8x AGP ones will work fine in a 4x slot and I am not even sure if many programs take much advantage of 8x anyway (for now). The best solution no matter how many processors you get is to have 2 video cards and just swap them out. As a general rule, gaming cards are not the greatest at CAD/VideoEditing and CAD/VideoEditing cards are terrible at games. Even an ati FIRE GL 8800, which is a great 3d card still today for the price will do much better than a 9700 pro in Max. For harddrives, get at least 2 (of course). Regular drives are a lot less expensive than scuzzy drives and are getting faster and faster (WD just released a 10k rmp one). ||||
Ask around on sites like 2cpu.com. You really cannot go wrong with SMP. Despite what is said of dual processors, for real world performance they just rock. You can have Max open in one window and have adobe open in another. It is not twice as fast even for SMP friendly progs, but you can keep Max open and whip up a texture at the same time. Just keep in mind the power and thermal requirements for dual rigs. 400 watts min and you are going to have to live with a case that sounds like a small hovercraft. To keep my aircooled rig below 50 C under any conditions there is a wall of heat blowing out the rear of my computer. If you want more game performance then get a P4 or XP, but if you are serious about Max 2 processors is a must. If you like to have several intense progs open at once SMP is for you as well. SMP is more stable too because if a program hangs you still have enough resources left to be able to kill it before having to do the dirty deed of holding down the reset button.
I´ve just checked pricewatch.com for the prices on a dual xeon, and from what I´ve seen, it looks like a dual 2.4Ghz Xeon (533Mhz FSB) would cost at least the same as a single 3.06Ghz. If you want the Granite bay chipset to be in the dual mobo, it´d cost you more.
But I have to say this: I myself play games and use 3dsmax on my computer. It´s a dual P3 933Mhz with a GeForce4 Ti4200. And about your guess: yes, 3dsmax is THE application that uses two processors, getting close to 100% on both. This means quite simply that the dual xeon option would be the best RENDERER. No doubt about it. It´d be faster than the fastest single cpu in the market for quite some time. Only 3dsmax would benefit so much, as none of the games would take any real advantage in it.
But there is the question of how bogienights intends to use 3dsmax. I don´t think I´d buy another dual cpu system now, and I still use 3dsmax. It´s just that I don´t render enough to really need those two processors. I´d rather invest in a single, very robust cpu, right now (I´m thinking about upgrading later this year). Besides, it is ONLY the scanline rendering (final stage) in max that benefits so terribly from dual processors. So bogienights, if you plan on making lots of movies with max, then going dual xeon would be your option indeed. Plus, dual systems are more solid than single ones...
Both would be fine, a 3.06Ghz P4 HT and a dual Xeon 2.4Ghz, I guess. Multi-threaded apps should appear more often because of HT anyway, and the dual xeon setup would have 4 logical processors.... (sounds wonderful for Max, I have to admit...)
Unlike what others say AMD are not a good pefrome on 3D rendering anymore and cost for there high-end chip is higher that those from AMD.Dual settup is good for 3D rendering but gain from a 3.06 to a dual 2.4B E7500 will be low if not slower.Also Rambus is much faster that DDR on workstation.
If you use a quadro or fire open gl use a intel there driver are made for intel workstatation wich increase again the lead of intel.Also AMD 760 MPX is really a bad chipset
You should consider checking <A HREF="http://www.nvworld.ru/index_e.shtml" target="_new">this site</A> which describe how to turn a mainstream GeForce/Radeon into a full featured Quadro/FireGL using a simple to use, yet powerfull software tool.
I won't get into the technical details but, put simply, the mainstream and professional GPUs are the same but the two manufacturers use some kind of tricks to prevent users from the CAD optimised drivers on a mainstream card. The price difference between the two identical GPU is ridiculously bloated.
That mean you can buy a GeForce/Radeon and get Quadro/FireGL performance out of it for free, saving you a few hundred dollars.
Since no hardware mods are required, your future card would still be covered by it's garentee.
I plan to use it myself to turn a Radeon 9500 into a FireGL Z1 once I get my student loan and buy one.
Incorrect. The GF4 and Quadro 4's now have hardware differences and it will turn gf4 to quadro counterpart and give ~2-5x performance boost, but it will never acheive the numbers of a real quadro. Anyway, the Quadro FX has a really big lead over the others.
Bah, I knowingly ommited to mention the slight differences between a SoftQuadro4 and a real Quadro4 in order to keep things short.
<A HREF="http://nvworld.ru/docs/sq4e.html" target="_new">The Quadro4 article</A> I linked to in my last post gets into the details, yes, there are some big difference in a few benchmarks they ran but the overall difference between a SoftQuadro4 and a real one is marginal at best, not enough to justify the price difference between the two, both manufacturers are ripping people off their money IMHO.
I seen people here and on the graphic card forum going crazy over a new set of driver that boost the performance of a GPU by 3-5%, in most case, the SoftQuadro get a 200-500% boost.
I'm impatient to see if Nvidia tried the same kind of stunt on their "professional" version of the GeForce FX.
If it can save 50 hour of developing in the year that a good buying it clear that you dont see it that way a corporation dont look at the price but how much time i will save vs the price of my developer+++/Hour
`Change will be minimal at best it will be the config of the buffer nothing that made change in the main layout of the chip<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by juin on 03/07/03 11:03 PM.</EM></FONT></P>