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Graphic Designer computer??? (help)

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Anonymous
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June 1, 2001 7:46:16 PM

Any one can help me to build a good system for a graphic designer??

What cpu, graphic board, screen,... do we need for this kind of work?

Is the mac still the leader in this kind of work???

Thanks.
June 1, 2001 8:30:47 PM

The first question is how much do you want to spend?

"In three words I can sum up everything I've learned in life: It goes on." -Robert Frost
June 1, 2001 8:57:33 PM

And what kind of graphic design? 2d/3d or both? Internet media or for print? What software will you be using?
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Anonymous
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June 1, 2001 9:08:07 PM

"what kind of graphic design?" : 2d/3d.
i will like to spend: 1500 to 2000$.
June 1, 2001 9:20:55 PM

My recommendation is a P4 1.7 with a GeForce 3, 256MB PC-800 RDRAM, 19 inch monitor(21 if you can afford it), CD-RW/DVD, 2 20GB IBM drives with a promise fastrak controller running raid 0. That is of course if you need it right now....if you can wait for a while, wait for Northwood to come out or maybe Athlon 4.

"In three words I can sum up everything I've learned in life: It goes on." -Robert Frost
June 2, 2001 11:52:11 AM

Is the mac still the leader in this kind of work?

Hmmm, I don't think so. What you have now is some nostalgic feelings. You see, Mac had a head start in graphics. In those days, those who study graphics use Mac. So, when they graduated, naturally they use Mac also because at that time there are not many graphics programs to use with the PC except programs like Ventura and CorelDraw which came very close if not on par. Now they are many graphics programs available for the PC and PCs are cheaper than Mac and yet those who stayed on with Mac are just being nostalgic. I remember PageMaker used to have a new release for the Mac followed by PC a few months later. With each new releases, the period between Mac and PC becomes shorter and shorter until at one time PageMaker was released for the PC first before Mac. Software vendors cannot neglect the abundant of PCs. Its like a sea compared to a lake if not a pond.

It don't come easy.......not always.
June 2, 2001 1:21:01 PM

what the heck has any of this got to do with graphic design? You just listed a gaming system, not a graphics ws.

I know approx. zero about professional/serious graphics design, but I know enough to know that a GeForce3 is totally the wrong video card for serios @d/3D work.

Generally if you really don't know - it is best not to post, don't guess and give people bum advice.

-* This Space For Rent *-
email for application details
June 2, 2001 6:01:29 PM

the geforce3 is geared to professional 2d/3d and gamers, it's a pretty good all-around card, espacially for a graphic designer.

"AMD/VIA...you <i>still</i> are the weakest link, good bye!"
Anonymous
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June 2, 2001 7:54:02 PM

the geforce 3 isn't gear to professionals at all, that is what the quadro line if for.
June 2, 2001 7:56:26 PM

Don't listen to these children The Geforce 3 is far from a professional 2d/3d for graphic design. What I would suggest you do is list the software you will be using, and perphaps if you know anyone in the same field find out what they are using and how it works for them. Don't listen to these kids poor advice. When it comes to professional Video cards for that kinda of usage Nvidia ain't smack! Next time u post a topic like this ask for responses from people in the same profession, there advice will be far more valuable to you.

I can't speak for everyone but there are alot of children on this forum, and they sometimes give alot of uneducated advice and opinons.

knowledge + commonsense = A Wise Man
inexperience + experimentation = Dangerous!
Anonymous
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June 3, 2001 10:24:02 AM

I know that the geforce3 is not a professional graphic board and i think that the amd is better for that kind of work because it has a better floiting point than the p4.
But for the 3d card, is a quadro2 will be enough or i have to go for a wildcat board?
Oxygen's board are too expencive, but theire a lot better than the other.
For programs, i don't know exactly what i will be using, but know it's: 3d studio max, corel draw, autocad(for engineering work), photoshop...
I am waiting for your responce about the 2d/3d card.
Anonymous
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June 3, 2001 12:39:45 PM

With regards to Apple Mac: There is a perception that Mac's are quick because they are used in the graphic design/print world. Its a long story but years ago Apple started making computers to drive print machines. From this early development they derived the colour palletes and colour correction technology and made inroads into both print and design industry's. Also in the earlier days 1980's(Atari 1040st days) the graphics programs for mac's were better developed. IBM led the way into business machines by offering a 24 hour support line and Apple led the way in graphics machines. I read an article for the G4's claiming that they ran Photoshop more than 100% faster than PC's. They do in fact have an instruction set developed around Photoshop however the P4's are claiming to run Photoshop much faster again. Dollar for dollar there is no way the Apples can compete with the PC market. You can get a better Dual Cpu machine for less than the price of a G4. They know they're only real market is graphics (only because they heavily subsidise school machines) and that there customers are stupid (they really are..ask a few graphic designers about hardware and watch there blank faces) so therefore this is one reason why there still in existence. However there is one BIG issue to consider. When you go looking for a job alot of design firms will want you to have good knowledge of OS9 and all the mac shortcut keys. These people are often Apple fanatics so if you tell them the PC platform is better they will begin to hate you! You mentioned Autocad and 3D Studio Max? Not to many graphic designers use these packages, whats up? My advice to you is buy something fairly cheap because your a beginer and when you find your work is pushing the limits of your system go out and spend big. The same dollars will get you a much better machine a year from now as everyone knows. Maybe look at a Elsa Synergy 3 card. Optimised drivers for Max and Cad with dual monitor as well. Or get a cheap vx-1 or gvx-1. I have a wildcat 5110 and compared to my vx-1 at home it only really kicks in when I'm face meshing a complex component or working out cam profiles. As school develops (I think that where your going as you don't know exactly what programs your using) hang onto your money because you may choose to specialise later. It may be 3D work (you'll need a top end machine) or it maybe print (a middle range machine) or the web (budget machine as you will always be working with small file sizes) so hang in there.

Oh and kelder...thanks for not lying...I think your improving.

"Cock-a-doodle-do" is what I say to my girl when I wake her UP in the morning!!
June 3, 2001 12:40:39 PM

For 2D, pretty much any modern card will do.

For 3D, the GeForce series cards are gaming cards. The Quadro series cards (beefed-up GeForce series chips) are still "wannabes" in the professional 3D world. Cards like the Elsa Gloria series cards and the Permedia series chipsets (used in the Diamond FireGL cards) still trounce the Quadro for professional 3D (geometry processing power is more important than fill rate in this scenario).

This isn't to say a GeForce series card is useless in professional 3D. It does accelerate OpenGL's T&L nicely; I've managed to get by in trueSpace and Blender quite well using a GeForce DDR. Additionally, for less complex scenes, a T-bird's or P3's x87 horsepower is often enough to handle the geometry processing.

I think my method of working in 3D is fairly standard; I design the mesh for each object in wireframe mode (just drawing edges, no texture mapping). Although most 3D software does allow you to design mesh with texture mapping and polygon filling and all that, it's terribly inconvenient, because you really need to have all vertices visible. The scene is typically not shaded until it's time for photorealistic rendering, and that happens purely as software raytracing--hardware-accelerated shading just can't touch a raytraced image for realism! Because of this, a lot of a GeForce 1/2/3's power just sits idle in professional 3D.

The scenes I typically work on are mainly "mechanical diagrams" that I like to render realistically. I have a penchant for high detail; I like to design every mesh down to the threads of screws. The sort of geometry processing required for that can easily bring an nVidia card to its knees--or the CPU, if I'm relying on that.

However, the thing that really requires power is the final raytracing--which happens purely in software and is extremely floating-point intensive. When I was rather more dedicated to 3D work, it was not uncommon for me to leave my system sitting in an overnight raytracing session.

So I'd have to say concentrate on CPU floating-point power for the 3D side. Get yourself a T&L card (like a GeForce 1/2/3) all the same; it does speed up geometry processing, and you might like to play some games! Before you even think of a P4, make very sure your 3D apps of choice are P4-optimized--else you'll severely regret it!

Kelledin

"/join #hackerz. See the Web. DoS interesting people."
Anonymous
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June 3, 2001 1:55:04 PM

I think a p4 1.5ghz or an amd 1.33ghz, with a lot of ram and an oxygen gvx1 will be good to begin.
But i don't know if the oxygen can run games well if i want to amuse myself, is there an add oxygen card, that i can add to my vga, so i can work real profesional graphics and play high end games???????
June 3, 2001 2:08:04 PM

"Professional" 3D cards like the Oxygen do not run games well at all, even as gaming cards don't do well in professional 3D. Each one is specialized for its purpose. Even old TNT2 cards tend to get better framerates in games than professional cards.

However, there's a PCI version of the Oxygen card--I know several people who have an AGP GeForce card for gaming, and a PCI Oxygen card for professional 3D . The Oxygen can get by on PCI bandwidth because the system typically won't be passing textures to it.

Oh, and as for handling both cards at once...if you can't find an Oxygen card with a VGA pass-through, you have a few other options:

1) Get a monitor with dual inputs. A lot of professional monitors have dual inputs--one "5x BNC," one 15-pin DSUB (standard VGA). BNC can easily be connected to a VGA card with the proper cable. My monitor (Sony GDM-FW900) has dual inputs, and I believe many larger ViewSonic monitors do as well. The monitor's specs should usually list its input ports.

2) Get a cheap 2-way KVM switch. I've seen these for under $30 on Pricewatch. This is a somewhat inferior solution though, as these switches may degrade video quality, especially at 1600x1200 or higher.

3) Get an extra monitor. Only if you have money to burn!

Kelledin

"/join #hackerz. See the Web. DoS interesting people."
June 3, 2001 2:13:52 PM

Well this setup should work well. I built my friend's pc for graphic design too:

Dual P3 733
256mb SDRAM
60gb 7200rpm ata100
FireGL 2 64mb
Sound blaster live! value
Sony 21in monitor

Nice Intel and AMD users get a Cookie.... :smile: Yummy :smile:
June 3, 2001 3:31:01 PM

alot depend on what programs you are using

if they are see2 optomized then go with the p4 bu i doubt they are

else look at a dual p3 or a 1.33 ghz atholon while you what a little bit the 1.4 will becoming out
Anonymous
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June 3, 2001 3:52:09 PM

I run a vx-1 at home with W2K and dual processors. It's a pain in the butt to run games on but if your looking for the super stable Max and Cad drivers its great. Maybe an Elsa Synergy 3...with dual monitor, quadro mx based on the geforce mx. Maybe that will run games fine since its heritage was derived from a games card? Maybe you ought to consider a dual p3 setup. I can run a 500MB file in Photoshop and blast it with plug ins and it runs fine. Kicks butt in Cad and Max too.

"Cock-a-doodle-do" is what I say to my girl when I wake her UP in the morning!!
Anonymous
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June 3, 2001 6:57:35 PM

In the 3dlabs site they told that the oxygen gvx1 is a vga and mdr20, so what is the ""MDR-20""??????
June 3, 2001 7:51:58 PM

also note that there was talk awhile ago about making a regular geforce gts into a Quadro card, but I'm not sure what that involved or where I saw it the link.

if anyone has any links please post them.

another thing, I used dp's oxygen cards and elsa synergy(permidia) for a long time and I found the geforce2 gts to be better at higher polygon counts and opengl general better scene handling.

so I can only guess that the Geforce3 would be even better.

"AMD/VIA...you <i>still</i> are the weakest link, good bye!"
Anonymous
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June 3, 2001 9:00:35 PM

http://www.geocities.com/tnaw_xtennis/
This is said to change the bios chipID without soldering but I haven't tried it nor heard of anyone that has either
http://members.sitegadgets.com/tnaw_xtennis/board/3194....


Many people fail to realize that the geforce 2 series cards actually have a quite powerful geometry gpu even though it is a games card. Although a firegl or wildcat series card would do better. Oxygen cards are just don't have a large enough push ahead of geforce cards to warrant the huge price difference, unless of course you don't mind paying more.

Pentium4=Best viewport speed, bad rendering times
Pentium3(dual or don't)=Second best viewport, second rendering times
Athlon=Acceptable viewport speeds, best rendering times

If you are not needing to buy the system right away I suggest waiting for the Athlon MP boards to come out. They are going to be out by the end of summer for around $300. With dual Athlons you'd get viewport speeds close to the P4 and rendering times would be laughable. Also, wait for the northbridge to come out as well. With the P4 getting more cache, better bandwidth and I've hear more FPU it should be really nice although you need to get much higher mhz to keep it competitive, which Intel will make you pay more for. If intel can get that FPU up to at least on par with the Pentium 3 then a dual pentium 4 northbridge setup would really kick some ass for 2d/3d work.

All and all I suggest you wait and see what happens with the Pentium 4's new northbridge that is coming and see what a dual setup could do for you with those and wait and see what the dual Athlon has to offer. Put that $1500-2000 away and don't touch it, even add more. Dual setups cost you enough right now as it is, when the newer stuff comes out it will cost even more but it will be a nice leap in the right direction. I almost waited too but I needed to upgrade my system badly as I couldn't stand how slow the rendering times were. After the northbridge and dual athlon mobo's have had a chance to get in the market and get all the bugs out I think I will move to one of those.

The system I bought now will do great in the likes of 3dsmax and photoshop.

I had very little money for this so it isn't the ideal.

1ghz athlon @ 1.4ghz (single system to work on, waiting less for renderings is important)
256mb (soon to be at least 512mb)
Geforce2MX (only need the geometry and t&l of the card so any geforce2 style of card performs nearly the same whether you have a sdr card or a ddr card)
Didn't upgrade to a raid setup yet but will soon (you need that for the big file loading in apps like max and photoshop) The hd is the slowest part of the system as the comp can't do anything while it is working.

Again, if you can wait a bit please do, we are about to see updated cpu's and new chipsets from intel and amd that will have direct effects on which system is the best for graphic work.

Tonestar believes I am a liar because I think that moving to dual pentium 3's and using any oxygen video card doesn't give enough power over a system like mine to a budget minded person. I've allways said that if you have the money and don't care how much you spend then go with the more expensive route.
Anonymous
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June 3, 2001 11:00:38 PM

I've seen a comparision at tomshardware between a geforce2 gts, an elsa gloria3(quadro2 pro), and a diamond fire gl2.
The fire gl2 is the leader, and it beets the quadro2 pro at least with double speed on benchmarks, but there was not a big diference between the gloria3 and the geforce2, there were equal almost all the time.
So what you think guys about the fire gl2 (1200$)....
Anonymous
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June 3, 2001 11:29:40 PM

The thing is maiden hell your not at a level where you can utilise a pro card to its premium level, if you don't even know what programs your going to use it probably means it'll be ages before you really need a good machine. If mummy and daddy are going to pay for this machine why not wait till later anyhow. Whatever you buy know will be a nasty cheapy in a couple of years. Autocad and Max take about a year of full time effort to master to a professional level (even longer sometimes) and about 3 years part time. In your course you'll just touch on these, so maybe wait till you get into things a litle more before you spend the money. Like I said what if you decide to specialise in something like Flash and action scripting (if your going to do multimedia)? Then you'll be working with tiny graphics files and hard coding? Kinda sounds like my draftspeople, always wanting a better machine but still unable to push the ones they've got. Check out the 3D ring (eg. 3DGate) and you'll see some great work by people with modest machines, often better than those with double the power. The best machine in the world won't make you the greatest designer in the world and I suggest that if you don't even know what software your going to use to perhaps maybe take up another career path.

"Cock-a-doodle-do" is what I say to my girl when I wake her UP in the morning!!
June 4, 2001 1:14:37 AM

I heard about that mod--it's basically modifying a single component, like modding the resistor onto a Promise RAID card. Wish I could find the article on it...

As for the Quadro's performance...Tom actually had a review a while back, comparing a Quadro 2 card to a FireGL 2 card. I'll have to dig it up, but it basically had the Quadro 2 trouncing the FireGL 2 at fill rate, and the FireGL 2 trouncing the Quadro 2 in geometry processing.

The latest Quadro3 (the QuadroDCC) might do better though. Perhaps it's time for someone to do yet another review!

Kelledin

"/join #hackerz. See the Web. DoS interesting people."
Anonymous
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June 4, 2001 9:28:23 PM

If any one knows anything about professional graphics chip, so you can respond in the "graphics card" section, and the post is "professional 2d/3d cards".
!