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Which is good for animation - Mac pro or imac?

Which is good for animation - Mac pro or imac?

Postby natalio46 » Thu Jul 28, 2011 9:28 pm

3d Animation is a really big hobby of mine. I don't do it professionally though..I like to make scenes and short movies at home. Some of my scenes get really detailed and I put in a lot of work to them. I used to do my 3d work on my 7 year old pentium 4. I used Maya 7 and it ran quite ok on this computer. But after my scenes got a little huge and complex, it took a lot of time to render one frame and it took my computer almost 5 hours to render a 3 second animation clip. Plus rotating the viewport in these huge scenes was a little frusrating because it would jerk horribly. When you open the default scenes which come with Maya the jerking would go off control lol.
Anyways I'm thinking about buying a mac for my animation work. I was going to buy the mac pro because it has a lot of horsepower..which is what I need. I recently went to the mac store and a guy there told me that the new imacs are almost as powerful as the mac pro. I heard that the 21.5 inch model can hold 8 gb of ram and it has a really nice ATI HD graphics card. So I need some advice guys. What should I buy for my kind of 3d work? PS: I also like to game and I would like to buy a system which can play all the latest games at their maximum possible settings while maintaining a smooth frame-rate.
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Which is good for animation - Mac pro or imac?

Postby jager30 » Thu Jul 28, 2011 9:29 pm

Viewport performance is related to the graphics card. The best Maya experience will come from running it under Windows running on a system with a professional graphics card. The Mac version has nowhere near the same number of users and doesn't receive the same level of development and a graphics card such as a Quadro or FirePro have drivers for Windows that are heavily optimised for Maya and many other top 3D applications.

Of course you don't "need" such a set-up; Maya works under OS X and midrange consumer cards will give you decent performance depending on how complex things are. You want at least an iMac with 6770M graphics, with the top graphics solution (6970M) being the most preferential upgrade - as you can upgrade the memory cheaply and easily later - although that means a 27" model.

A Mac Pro is going to give you similar performance levels as they are using older technology, so if an iMac is okay in other areas (glossy screen, limited expandability) then a Mac Pro isn't going to offer you much unless you go with the very high end models. Or wait for new ones that will come within 6 months which will be a bit better in terms of performance.

OS X just really wouldn't be my first choice for what you are saying you want to do, "3D" is just much more superior under Windows, be it utilisation in the form of games or creation in the form of applications like Maya. Bigger markets, serious competition and enterprise demands really drive it in those areas.
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Which is good for animation - Mac pro or imac?

Postby amd58 » Thu Jul 28, 2011 9:33 pm

imac, It's more up to date with today.
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Which is good for animation - Mac pro or imac?

Postby allon92 » Thu Jul 28, 2011 9:34 pm

imac, It's more up to date with today.
Well the power house is the MacPro - it has a more powerful CPU, and a dedicated graphics card instead of the integrated card on the iMACs.(but you can always upgrade) and it's a desktop whereas the iMAC is an all in one. The MacPro would also suit all your gaming needs but keep in mind they are very pricey about a grand more than the iMAC's.

I don't know much about MAC's - I use them only once in awhile, but I have read a little here/there and friends who use them, make their opinions known so I've picked up some key points.

MacPro's have bigger data pipes which can better utilize high-end 3D programs - plus they have dual and quad core capabilities in the Xeon chips which will always mean more power, speed and all around better processing than the iMAC's i7 core. I;ve heard that the iMAC's screens are not as accurate in color gamut as MacPro's and they are problematic with over heating. And if the screen goes...and has to be taken to a professional - then there goes your entire pc!

What I really think is more important than the brand of pc you buy is the software you're using. If you really love this hobby than you should be using the proper software that's going to produce the best 3D animations - with the widest variety of tools and that would be Adobe Creative Suite. CS5 is the latest version and it's fantastic. (just released 5.5) It's has compatible versions for both Windows and MAC - you specify when you purchase it.

The reason I think it's more important than the pc itself is because you can still buy a good quality pc for a lot less than a MAC and you can still get the quad core processor, quality Monitor, graphics cards, etc. and have enough $ left over to buy Creative Suite. Yes it won't be "The great and powerful MAC" but in the 7 years I've been using both I still can't see that much difference in the graphics. Maybe I'm blind.... but I DO think the software is more important for your particular needs.... You should be able to explode with creativity with the right tools.

In the CS Editions - there are 5, I believe - Standard for print, Premium for design and animation, Web focuses on web design and then the Master Web edition which has it all. The premium has Photoshop extended, Illustrator extended, InDesign, Dreamweaver, Flash, Fireworks, Bridge, Acrobat Pro, and a few others I can't think of right now. The premium edition is the one you want because it focuses on graphics, sound and 3D animation. On some sites you can trade out apps and replace with Premier and Soundbooth.

I know you said it was a hobby but who knows where the right software can take you when you have no limits in creative expression? So if I were you, I would concentrate on getting that software as a priority but definitely a fast computer with a quad core processor, an excellent graphics card, (upgrade if you need to) and lots of RAM - at least 6 gigs.

Good Luck

here's a link where you can get real trials and training of Adobe Creative Suite

http://prodesigntools.com/version-comparison-differences-between-cs5-vs-cs4-vs-cs3.html
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