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Old 27-03-2005, 11:11 PM   #1
Noradul
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Default PC or Mac

Hello

I am going to be buying a laptop for college, where I am going to be studying 3D animation at RIT's school of film and animation. I currently have a Desktop running windows, but I need a laptop in addition. My question is, should I get a PC or a Mac. I know that Mac's are often used, in fact they are what RIT uses. However would they be powerful enough to run maya, which is very system intensive? The apple powerbooks only are 1.67 GHz, and has only an ATI Radeon 9700. The PC i am looking at is an alienware, which has a P4 3.0 GHz, has a Radeon X800 PCI express, or the newest nVidia, plus up to 2 GB or Ram, and bunch of other powerful stuff.
I just want to know what i should get for a laptop, because i have heard Macs are great for digital stuff like maya, but they just don't seem powerful enough
Any suggestions would be appreciated
Thanks
David
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Old 27-03-2005, 11:46 PM   #2
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nothing wrong with mac's, get what you want. Just a couple observations about mac's and maya. If you plan on doing heavy scene work, or complex models you will want as much horsepower and ram as you can get. Also if you want the latest greatest shaders, etc. plug in's.. it does seam to take a month or so, maybe longer wait for them to be ported over to the mac.

about anything else I think is just personal taste.
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Old 28-03-2005, 05:44 AM   #3
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Since you already have a Windows desktop, why not get a Powerbook for your laptop? That way, you'll have the best of both worlds. Given the systems you listed, the Powerbook will definitely not perform as well as the Alienware. However, speaking as a Mac user myself, there are intangible benefits to owning a Mac. To avoid a potential flame war (not that I'm expecting one, but it usually happens in topics like this), I won't go into that right now.

Bottom line is, if you want a laptop that was designed to perform as a laptop and not a small desktop, go with the Powerbook. If all you're looking for is sheer power in a portable package, go with the Alienware.

My two cents.
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Old 28-03-2005, 06:11 AM   #4
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As far as quality of build, I think you be safe either way. And the OSes are similar as to not make much difference either. Other than the video difference, I think you need to decide how you plan to use the portability. The alienware system is really an alternative to a desktop system, as such it mainly designe to be transported then plugged. I think you'll find battery life an issue (not terrible, but noticable as compared to the mac). The power books are designed for the road warrior's mobile use, so it's lighter on battery consumption. Can't go by cpu Ghz ratings since the processor instruction sets are different. Whichever way you decide to go, dropped as much ram in it as you can afford and if you have a choice of video processors, go the workstion model over the gaming model. I envy your dilema.
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Old 28-03-2005, 10:06 AM   #5
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Thanks guys. Yeah I think I probably should go the Mac route, since I already have a windows system, not to mention the college uses Macs, so that way I will have the compatibility. I can get quite a bit of RAM, up to 2Gigs into it i think so that should be ok. I just wish it had a bit more power in terms of graphics card, I hope it will be able to handle maya without too many slowups.

Thanks again, I appreciate your input

David
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Old 28-03-2005, 02:58 PM   #6
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I use both and I like the Mac OS better but I would say that for Maya you will find a lot more plugins and other 3rd party stuff for PC. I would go with a PC just because there are more support materials for it.
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