Buying a Workstation for Maya: A How To...

Buying a Workstation for Maya: A How To...

Post by InfinityMachin » Fri, 27 Jun 2003 14:41:19



figured i'd put in my two cents hehe.  what makes a good workstation for
maya...  well really that's vague...  it really depends on what you want to
get out of it.  if you only use it for certain things you don't need a heavy
system all around.  for example if you're making a render machine only, you
only need a fast cpu lots of ram and a big hd.  so here's a little list of
what's important to consider...

high end graphics card:  this is worth a substantial investment.  it
controls your workflow all the way from modeling to interaction, viewing
textures, and even hardware rendering of particles.  the faster the better.
the more memory the better.  you don't want to wait 20 seconds or more to
see a change in rotation.  i tried a bunch of cards out at siggraph last
year and the quadro series put out by pny seemed to be the best of the
medium to high range cards before you hit the $1500-$4000 cards.  i have a
quadro4 750xgl  and it takes quite a bit to slow it down.  oh i'm not sure
about the new ati cards but when i was still in college everyone in the
dorms who had ati cards had problems with the hypershade in maya...

cpu:  okay, obviously faster is better, it controls how fast scripts run,
but mainly it's the single most determining factor in reducing your render
times...  do you want to see an image in 5 minutes or 40...  if you're
planning projects that have fur i'd recommend something rather fast because
the ipr render doesn't work for fur, you have to do a full render each time
to make adjustments.  that can add up to over 4 hours pretty fast.

memory:  well how much memory do you really need?  there's alot of factors
that depend on this...  if you're just starting out, you probably don't need
more than 512 mb of ram.  i'm sure people will disagree with this but unless
you're writing and using global illumination scripts and constructing
massivly detailed scenes you should be okay with about a gig or under.  if
you use alot of image maps painted in photoshop for textures you suck up
memory alot faster too :)

hard drive:  it would probably also be worth your time investing in a decent
sized hard drive has animations suck up space rather quickly

monitor:  well yeah sure you've that old piece of junk laying around and
money is tight but think about it, if it doesn't have decent colors and you
can't port your animations to other machines accurately its not very useful.
decent monitors are a worthwhile investment.  computers change and become
obsolete overnight.  a good monitor will last you a long time and through
many future upgrades.

Chris

 
 
 

Buying a Workstation for Maya: A How To...

Post by Tom » Fri, 27 Jun 2003 15:26:00


Cool. Thanks for the advice. What do you think about photo scanners or
tablets ?

Tom


Quote:> figured i'd put in my two cents hehe.  what makes a good workstation for
> maya...  well really that's vague...  it really depends on what you want
to
> get out of it.  if you only use it for certain things you don't need a
heavy
> system all around.  for example if you're making a render machine only,
you
> only need a fast cpu lots of ram and a big hd.  so here's a little list of
> what's important to consider...

> high end graphics card:  this is worth a substantial investment.  it
> controls your workflow all the way from modeling to interaction, viewing
> textures, and even hardware rendering of particles.  the faster the
better.
> the more memory the better.  you don't want to wait 20 seconds or more to
> see a change in rotation.  i tried a bunch of cards out at siggraph last
> year and the quadro series put out by pny seemed to be the best of the
> medium to high range cards before you hit the $1500-$4000 cards.  i have a
> quadro4 750xgl  and it takes quite a bit to slow it down.  oh i'm not sure
> about the new ati cards but when i was still in college everyone in the
> dorms who had ati cards had problems with the hypershade in maya...

> cpu:  okay, obviously faster is better, it controls how fast scripts run,
> but mainly it's the single most determining factor in reducing your render
> times...  do you want to see an image in 5 minutes or 40...  if you're
> planning projects that have fur i'd recommend something rather fast
because
> the ipr render doesn't work for fur, you have to do a full render each
time
> to make adjustments.  that can add up to over 4 hours pretty fast.

> memory:  well how much memory do you really need?  there's alot of factors
> that depend on this...  if you're just starting out, you probably don't
need
> more than 512 mb of ram.  i'm sure people will disagree with this but
unless
> you're writing and using global illumination scripts and constructing
> massivly detailed scenes you should be okay with about a gig or under.  if
> you use alot of image maps painted in photoshop for textures you suck up
> memory alot faster too :)

> hard drive:  it would probably also be worth your time investing in a
decent
> sized hard drive has animations suck up space rather quickly

> monitor:  well yeah sure you've that old piece of junk laying around and
> money is tight but think about it, if it doesn't have decent colors and
you
> can't port your animations to other machines accurately its not very
useful.
> decent monitors are a worthwhile investment.  computers change and become
> obsolete overnight.  a good monitor will last you a long time and through
> many future upgrades.

> Chris


 
 
 

Buying a Workstation for Maya: A How To...

Post by InfinityMachin » Fri, 27 Jun 2003 21:11:51


hmm good question...   a good scanner can be bought pretty cheaply now,
probably for around $100...  really invaluable if you're doing texture work.
the thing about scanners and digital cameras too is alot of times they list
these huge resolutions which mean nothing, you have to check the specs and
look for the optical zoom and make sure you're not looking at digital zoom.
especially if you're doing something for print later on...  i'd get
something with at least 600 dpi optical

tablets are good if you've got the money hey go for it, it lets you unlock
all the features of maya's artisan toolset.  from painting textures to
controlling the precise amounts of pushes and pulls just by how hard you
press on the pen, very nice.  of course it also works similarly with
photoshop.  the only good pads out there as far as my experience is
wacom/intuos.  i'd reccommed the 6x9  one, i have a 12x12 and it can be a
bit cumbersome i actually have been wanting to trade it in for a smaller
sized one.

good luck :)
Chris


> Cool. Thanks for the advice. What do you think about photo scanners or
> tablets ?

> Tom



> > figured i'd put in my two cents hehe.  what makes a good workstation for
> > maya...  well really that's vague...  it really depends on what you want
> to
> > get out of it.  if you only use it for certain things you don't need a
> heavy
> > system all around.  for example if you're making a render machine only,
> you
> > only need a fast cpu lots of ram and a big hd.  so here's a little list
of
> > what's important to consider...

> > high end graphics card:  this is worth a substantial investment.  it
> > controls your workflow all the way from modeling to interaction, viewing
> > textures, and even hardware rendering of particles.  the faster the
> better.
> > the more memory the better.  you don't want to wait 20 seconds or more
to
> > see a change in rotation.  i tried a bunch of cards out at siggraph last
> > year and the quadro series put out by pny seemed to be the best of the
> > medium to high range cards before you hit the $1500-$4000 cards.  i have
a
> > quadro4 750xgl  and it takes quite a bit to slow it down.  oh i'm not
sure
> > about the new ati cards but when i was still in college everyone in the
> > dorms who had ati cards had problems with the hypershade in maya...

> > cpu:  okay, obviously faster is better, it controls how fast scripts
run,
> > but mainly it's the single most determining factor in reducing your
render
> > times...  do you want to see an image in 5 minutes or 40...  if you're
> > planning projects that have fur i'd recommend something rather fast
> because
> > the ipr render doesn't work for fur, you have to do a full render each
> time
> > to make adjustments.  that can add up to over 4 hours pretty fast.

> > memory:  well how much memory do you really need?  there's alot of
factors
> > that depend on this...  if you're just starting out, you probably don't
> need
> > more than 512 mb of ram.  i'm sure people will disagree with this but
> unless
> > you're writing and using global illumination scripts and constructing
> > massivly detailed scenes you should be okay with about a gig or under.
if
> > you use alot of image maps painted in photoshop for textures you suck up
> > memory alot faster too :)

> > hard drive:  it would probably also be worth your time investing in a
> decent
> > sized hard drive has animations suck up space rather quickly

> > monitor:  well yeah sure you've that old piece of junk laying around and
> > money is tight but think about it, if it doesn't have decent colors and
> you
> > can't port your animations to other machines accurately its not very
> useful.
> > decent monitors are a worthwhile investment.  computers change and
become
> > obsolete overnight.  a good monitor will last you a long time and
through
> > many future upgrades.

> > Chris

 
 
 

Buying a Workstation for Maya: A How To...

Post by Tom » Fri, 27 Jun 2003 23:06:19


Thanks again.

Tom


> hmm good question...   a good scanner can be bought pretty cheaply now,
> probably for around $100...  really invaluable if you're doing texture
work.
> the thing about scanners and digital cameras too is alot of times they
list
> these huge resolutions which mean nothing, you have to check the specs and
> look for the optical zoom and make sure you're not looking at digital
zoom.
> especially if you're doing something for print later on...  i'd get
> something with at least 600 dpi optical

> tablets are good if you've got the money hey go for it, it lets you unlock
> all the features of maya's artisan toolset.  from painting textures to
> controlling the precise amounts of pushes and pulls just by how hard you
> press on the pen, very nice.  of course it also works similarly with
> photoshop.  the only good pads out there as far as my experience is
> wacom/intuos.  i'd reccommed the 6x9  one, i have a 12x12 and it can be a
> bit cumbersome i actually have been wanting to trade it in for a smaller
> sized one.

> good luck :)
> Chris



> > Cool. Thanks for the advice. What do you think about photo scanners or
> > tablets ?

> > Tom



> > > figured i'd put in my two cents hehe.  what makes a good workstation
for
> > > maya...  well really that's vague...  it really depends on what you
want
> > to
> > > get out of it.  if you only use it for certain things you don't need a
> > heavy
> > > system all around.  for example if you're making a render machine
only,
> > you
> > > only need a fast cpu lots of ram and a big hd.  so here's a little
list
> of
> > > what's important to consider...

> > > high end graphics card:  this is worth a substantial investment.  it
> > > controls your workflow all the way from modeling to interaction,
viewing
> > > textures, and even hardware rendering of particles.  the faster the
> > better.
> > > the more memory the better.  you don't want to wait 20 seconds or more
> to
> > > see a change in rotation.  i tried a bunch of cards out at siggraph
last
> > > year and the quadro series put out by pny seemed to be the best of the
> > > medium to high range cards before you hit the $1500-$4000 cards.  i
have
> a
> > > quadro4 750xgl  and it takes quite a bit to slow it down.  oh i'm not
> sure
> > > about the new ati cards but when i was still in college everyone in
the
> > > dorms who had ati cards had problems with the hypershade in maya...

> > > cpu:  okay, obviously faster is better, it controls how fast scripts
> run,
> > > but mainly it's the single most determining factor in reducing your
> render
> > > times...  do you want to see an image in 5 minutes or 40...  if you're
> > > planning projects that have fur i'd recommend something rather fast
> > because
> > > the ipr render doesn't work for fur, you have to do a full render each
> > time
> > > to make adjustments.  that can add up to over 4 hours pretty fast.

> > > memory:  well how much memory do you really need?  there's alot of
> factors
> > > that depend on this...  if you're just starting out, you probably
don't
> > need
> > > more than 512 mb of ram.  i'm sure people will disagree with this but
> > unless
> > > you're writing and using global illumination scripts and constructing
> > > massivly detailed scenes you should be okay with about a gig or under.
> if
> > > you use alot of image maps painted in photoshop for textures you suck
up
> > > memory alot faster too :)

> > > hard drive:  it would probably also be worth your time investing in a
> > decent
> > > sized hard drive has animations suck up space rather quickly

> > > monitor:  well yeah sure you've that old piece of junk laying around
and
> > > money is tight but think about it, if it doesn't have decent colors
and
> > you
> > > can't port your animations to other machines accurately its not very
> > useful.
> > > decent monitors are a worthwhile investment.  computers change and
> become
> > > obsolete overnight.  a good monitor will last you a long time and
> through
> > > many future upgrades.

> > > Chris

 
 
 

Buying a Workstation for Maya: A How To...

Post by Robert Martin » Sun, 29 Jun 2003 23:45:20



Quote:> i'd reccommed the 6x9  one, i have a 12x12 and it can be a
> bit cumbersome i actually have been wanting to trade it in for a smaller
> sized one.

Well, you could reduce the active area of your tablet via the driver,
works for the everyday job and you still have the space if you need it.

--
And tonight I have a message for the brave and oppressed American
people: Your enemy is not surrounding your country, your enemy is
*ruling* your country

 
 
 

Buying a Workstation for Maya: A How To...

Post by Tom » Mon, 30 Jun 2003 02:42:00


"And tonight I have a message for the brave and oppressed American
people: Your enemy is not surrounding your country, your enemy is
*ruling* your country"

Very true.

 
 
 

Buying a Workstation for Maya: A How To...

Post by Tetsu » Mon, 30 Jun 2003 03:04:01



Quote:> "And tonight I have a message for the brave and oppressed American
> people: Your enemy is not surrounding your country, your enemy is
> *ruling* your country"

> Very true.

Let's just hope this knowledge doesn't restrict itself to usenet..

--
Tetsuo