I use 3ds max at work and am considering setting up a system at home for freelance. I am presently attempting to determine what the best hardware setup would be to maximize max performance, but I have searched in vain for extensive benchmark information (although I did discover Intel was beating AMD circa 3ds max 5) or even general recommendations that could help me reach any definitive conclusions.
I found a thousand sites that provide volumous documentation of the fact that AMD is better for games in general, NVidia is better for Battlefield 2, and ATI is better for Half Life 2. But I am looking for systems evaluations from a production perspective not a gaming perspective. I need answers to questions like:
1. Is there is clear performance winner between Intel and AMD for professional applications?
2. Is there a substantial advantage in choosing a Xeon processor over a P4 or an Opteron over an Athlon?
3. Is there a substantial advantage in choosing a Quatro graphics engine over a GeForce 6/7 series?
4. Is there a chipset that is provides superior performance for animation and graphics applications?
If anyone could give there opinion on these questions or, better yet, point me to a hardware enthusiast site for production people I would be extremely grateful.
I have only used 3DS Max a little bit but in terms of what system you should buy, it really depends on what level of work you are trying to do in terms of complexity. In terms of which processor is better keep in mind that at the moment the speed at which the final renders will complete has everything to do with how fast your processor is and how much ram you have. In other word the more ram the better and the faster your processor the better. In terms of graphics cards I would go with NVIDIA. But ATI would also be fine. Now depending on the level of detail you need to work with will determine whether you need a workstation graphics card. If you are doing reasonably low res models, then a Geforce card will be fine. But if you are doing models with high detail and high poly count then you should get a workstation card. In the end all your graphics card does for you at the moment is determine how many polys you can display on the screen in real time.