I'm personally working on 3DSMax as well. I just bought:
- Intel Prescott 3.20 GHz
- 2x Corsair VS 512 MB PC3200
- Asus P5GD1 (915P)
- Asus X600XT 128 MB (I really don't recommended it, absolutely a wrong decision)
- Seagate 120 GB SATA
- Cheap casing with 380W PSU
Overall, I'm quite satisfied with the performance. Though the fan noise is really disturbing when you leave it work all night rendering scences. The heat is spectacular too. Once I leaved it 6 hours working in my room without AC on, the room temperature increased very noticeably. Good for me I was having cold that time. ^^
I recommend you buy at least like mine with the exception of the graphic card. If an X600XT is good enough for you, better get an AGP8x mobo and a 9600XT card, it will be much cheaper with similar performance. If it's not, find ATI X800 or Nvidia 6800 (Nvidia is better at OpenGL workstation program).
AMD Athlon64 is a bit weaker in this field, but somehow I feel it would be better if I had gotten this one than the Prescott.
Btw, 512 MB is unlikely enough for those application. Get at least 1 GB.
<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Cyrus on 01/03/05 04:57 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
While the Northwood is better in the majority of applications, the Prescott might perform better for your application. Still, the heat difference would have me favor the Northwood. The Prescott will normally force you to use an annoyingly loud cooler, and if you read enough review you'll find that it often throttles down even under nearly ideal conditions. The performance difference either way (depending on application) is small.
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I have a Prescott 3200 with 2gigs RAM and air cooled using Gigabyte 3d Cooler Pro and CPU with ATI X800XT PE video and the processor has never throttled down due to overheating; I also run AutoDesk Land Desktop software.
It does get warm, with max tempurature under load around 67 degrees F, normal around 53degress like right now, but performs very solid.
I really don't see the heat as a performance problem, a problem from an energy standpoint, yes, but performance, no. But I do not overclock this, and if I did, I would buy a water cooling kit first.
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I'm about to order a p4 560 prescott for my new computer as well. i use Lightwave, Max, maya, etc... etc... for work here at home.
My previous system had 1GB of Ram, now personally i'm stepping it up to 2GB in my new system, but 1GB for you should be fine. I would strongly advise against 512MB, esp for 3DS MAX.
Things you might want to consider tho, is that if you go with a LGA775 prescott, 99% of the time your motherboard is going to use DDR2 SDRAM, and not DDR SDRAM. And also you may want to consider going from "value" ram to "performance" ram, but that's not a 100% neccessity. Also for the prescott, like others said, make sure to cool it properly, throw out that intel heatsink and fan and go with something better, personally i'm going to get the Zalman CNPS7700 <A HREF="http://www.tomshardware.com/cpu/20041213/index.html" target="_new">http://www.tomshardware.com/cpu/20041213/index.html</A>, but there are others out that that will work just as well, just do good research.
The only other thing i would suggest considering is the video card as mentioned before. If you are going to be working with low or medium poly models, than an X600 XT (that's going to be on PCI Express so remember to get a compatable motherboard) should be..... "OKAY".
If you want extra power, or are gonna be working more with medium to high poly models, then i would suggest an X800 XT, and if you are gonna work with huge poly models (750,000+) you may want to consider a workstation graphics card, as in something from the ATi FireGL line, or nVidia QuadroFX line. An ATi FireGL V5100 will run around the same as an X800 XT, but cards like the V7100 or nVidia QuadroFX 3400 will run anywhere from $900-1300.