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3D Rendering: Vital Components

by demon0 / March 18, 2005 5:01 AM PST

A client of mine does 3D rendering freelance work from home. He does not do any animation, but makes minimally-textured 3D models of projects that construction companies and other firms will build. The only problem is that his home computer, as opposed to his work computer, does not have the performance he is looking for.

The computer currently has a 1.8ghz Pentium 4 processor, 512MB of Ram, and a 64MB Video card (I don't know which brand or kind). What I am wondering is what PC components (memory, video card, processor, etc.) should I upgrade for him to get the best performance. I would like to stay away from processor upgrades as they will be too costly for his low budget, but if that is what affects performance the most then I will let him know that. Any help in this aspect will be greatly appreciated.

Rob Williams

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Graphics Card
by damasta55r / March 19, 2005 3:51 AM PST

You could upgrade the graphics card. It can be from $90-120.00. RAM is also a priority, 1 GB is recommended if you ask me.

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Re: rendering
by John Robie / March 19, 2005 4:52 AM PST

I'm surprised he is able to do any 3D rendering with a 64MB video card. He needs to upgrade to at least a 128MB card or 256MB card with his current system, and I would suggest a Nvidia at least in the FX5700 range but higher if he can afford. And like damasta indicates, more RAM would probably help as a secondary step.

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avoid the 5700 because...
by ozos / March 19, 2005 3:32 PM PST
In reply to: Re: rendering

they are harder and harder to find for a fair price
most on newegg are out of stock
what is in stock costs more than it should

I would suggest a 128MB or 256MB 9600XT, as they are all in stock, at most retailers, easily found, and the 9600XT currently retails in the $125-$175 range

you could always get a professional grade card
but your looking at a very expensive board there

given that you said 1.8GHZ P4
i'm probably safe in saying the following two thigns:

A) it's a williamette
B) it's using either SDRAM or RDRAM, either way, the RAM is seriously bottle necking it (P4's like RAM bandwidth)

I would suggest a new motherboard, and dual channel DDR (1GB) but if it's a tight budget, the gfx card upgrade will give you a MUCH MORE NOTICEABLE PERFORMANCE BOOST

as for a new motherboard, assuming he has a Socket 478 chip, i'd suggest the Abit VT7 with VIA's new PT880 (that is the chipset on the board)

and as for memory
i'd get PC 3200 so you can get a new 800 FSB chip in the near future, and use that with out having to upgrade RAM (if your wanting true 1:1 you want PC 1600, but PC 3200 would run fine with that system (the CPU would become the bottleneck)

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