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What PC should you have for GD?

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What is the best PC out there for Game Development and what software should you have like what OS, 3D modeling software, compiler, photo editing software, and also music producing software? And do you recommend building your own PC or going with companies like Dell, Gateway, or Alien Ware? [edited by - DIRECTXMEN on May 1, 2003 2:02:05 PM]

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The pc requirements depend on the game engine requirements that you want. e.g. you can't code stuff like gpu programs shaders without the proper videocard that has this feature built-in.

Personally I prefer building your own pc, because it's almost always cheaper and pre-built pc's often don't fully comply with your personal needs.
Off course, prebuilt pc's from known brands are well-tested on stability, which isn't done by every computer firm that sells pc's with your own specs.

[edited by - Vich on May 1, 2003 2:04:54 PM]

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It all depends on what you are doing, the only reason I personally upgrade my computer is so that I can play some high end games. For OS I think you should go with an OS that you like and fits you, not win95 or ME, all the other ones are alright, but if you like Linux, try that, plus Linux and Unix run very well on older machines.

I would agree with Vich - I preferably build my own than buy a companies because its fun, and i dont need all that printer and Free AOL shit that always comes with a new computer.


NeFrUgLe

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i am thinking about building my own computer. What are some tips for starting out? I would prefer to buy everything in stages over the summer instead of everything at one time due to money constraints.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
I personally would prefer to build your own. OS, whatever you want, I personally use linux, because I like the way it works, if you want windows: 2000 or XP. Starting out to build your own machine, buy enough parts at first so that the thing boots, and can load an operating system, CPU, Memory, Motherboard, any drives that are required. Or even perhaps stripping an old computer and swap old for new as you get cash is a good way to gradually do it. For game development, the specs of the computer are dependant on what games you want to make, you want to create a doom 3 killer, I would suggest a SMP box, with the fastest 2 processors that you can find and probably a GeForce 3. For smaller games, single processor decent graphics card (Radeon 8500?, Geforce 3?), and enough hard disk space to get everything fit(~60-80 gigs is fine).

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Guest Anonymous Poster
quote:
Original post by Kickboy Face
i am thinking about building my own computer. What are some tips for starting out? I would prefer to buy everything in stages over the summer instead of everything at one time due to money constraints.


unless your first stage will consist of enough parts to make it boot like the Anonymous Poster above said, I wouldn''t recommend going that route. save your money for a while then buy it in one shot- prices on various parts are almost always going down, and you''ll be kicking yourself if while you''re buying a monitor the CPU you bought earlier got $50 cheaper.

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You''re probably right. I really want to build my own. I would rather know what is on my computer than having some company load a bunch of crap on it that I have no idea what purpose it serves. I have been through two Gateways and I don''t really want to buy another fully-assembled machine. Plus, it will give me something else to do over the summer. Does it really save money in the long run than paying for a Dell or something similar?

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quote:
Original post by Kickboy Face
Does it really save money in the long run than paying for a Dell or something similar?


That''s actually very debatable these days. IMHO the biggest advantage to building your own is knowing that every little piece is what you want--and knowing it''s quality.

Companies like Dell have the advantage of buying in bulk, which cuts their costs. They also cut corners to lower costs--which often makes it so that the only place you can buy upgrades from is the place you bought it from(which can cost you)as they sometimes have custom parts.

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Everyone explained the hardware part (Besides the O.S.) now for the software I'll tell you what I have/use to give you an idea.

Compiler:
VC++

Image editors:
Photoshop
Paint Shop Pro

Music Production:
Fruity Loops 3.5 (Awesome)

3D Modelers:
Maya 4.5 Unlimited
3D Studio Max 4
Lightwave
Poser 4/5
Bryce 4

I don't know if poser and bruce actually fall into modelling, but they're well worth the mention. Those are some to consider, but a little pricey. (Loans out the butt )

Good luck on building your computer!

-UltimaX-

"You wished for a white christmas... Now go shovel your wishes!"

[edited by - UltimaX on May 1, 2003 12:57:49 AM]

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The advantage to building verses off the shelf is,you can usualy get better perfomance for less by building your own.What you realy need to look into is the motherboard.Make sure that it will support the speed of the processor that u want,and is compatiable with the operating system you will be using.The mother board is the spinal cord of your pc.Get the best mother board you can afford.

big

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quote:
Original post by UltimaX
Everyone explained the hardware part (Besides the O.S.) now for the software I''ll tell you what I have/use to give you an idea.

Compiler:
VC++

Image editors:
Photoshop
Paint Shop Pro

Music Production:
Fruity Loops 3.5 (Awesome)

3D Modelers:
Maya 4.5 Unlimited
3D Studio Max 4
Lightwave
Poser 4/5
Bryce 4

I don''t know if poser and bruce actually fall into modelling, but they''re well worth the mention. Those are some to consider, but a little pricey. (Loans out the butt )

Good luck on building your computer!

-UltimaX-

"You wished for a white christmas... Now go shovel your wishes!"

[edited by - UltimaX on May 1, 2003 12:57:49 AM]



Thanks.

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There are so many little things in your computer that aren''t even advertised. All those little things can add up and make a huge speed difference. The brand of motherboard and the chipset is the single biggest factor in your system''s speed, as i see it. Somehow, ASUS always manages to get a little more performance out of the same chipset as other, less quality brands. Using CL2 memory instead of CL2.5 is like adding 200 Mhz to your processor. The difference in price between the two is about 15 dollars. Dual channel memory is another new technique that has a huge speed increase. And the list goes on and on.

Computer companies tend to only advertise the CPU''s specs when selling a computer. While that may have made since 10 years ago, the bottleneck on most systems is not the CPU anymore. While the CPUs have continued to double in speed every 18 months or so, the memory access time has not kept up the pace. In time, the companies like dell might change their advertising campaign to take into account these factors. In the meantime, i''d suggest building your own system, if you''re capable of doing that. Spend a lot of time researching the different mb, cpu, memory, etc. It can save you money and increase performance. Plus, it''s fun.

As for price, last summer i built my brother a computer for school. The specs were

Athlon XP 2100+
ASUS A7V333 m/b (w/audio)
256 MB CL2 RAM
geforce2TI (at the time, the geforce4 wasn''t looking too good)
40GB, 7200RPM hard drive
16" monitor
40X 12X 48X cd drive
generic case, keyboard, mouse, floppy drive

It all added up to about $550

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At the time, the gf3 cards were still expensive and seemed to be on the way out. The gf4 cards were the new ''top of the line'' cards, but had mixed reviews. There were rumors about the new ATI card beating out the gf4 (which it did). My options were spend > $100 on a gf3 card that would be out of style in less than a year, spend more than that on a supposed top of the line gf4 card knowing that a new card was about to come on the market possibly being even faster than the gf4 for the same price, or shell out $35 on an adequate gf2 and let my brother wait out the competition and buy a new card somewhere down the line.

16" viewable.

And why am i explaining myself to you anyways?

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Hi,
If you are planning on building your own PC. I strongly recommend you buy all the parts at the same time. If you DON''T buy all the parts at the same time, make sure you have the means to test the parts you have purchased. Otherwise you could be ''sitting'' on parts that could be faulty.
"well i would just send the faulty part back", i hear you say. Well bear in mind that your 12 months guarentee is only valid from the date you purchased your product. Which means if you find out 6 months down the line that the brand new part you bought is faulty, when they return your new part. You will only have 6 months left on your guarentee. This would be a good time to point out to keep your receipts safe.

As was mentioned previously, choosing the right parts is half the battle. Try to steer clear of motherboards with onboard sound/video/lan...etc as these are not really what you should be looking for. Also make sure you get the right RAM for your mboard. Not all memory fits all boards. Make sure you have got the right PSU (power supply unit) in your case.

Finally MAKE A LIST of the parts you need. You dont want to get home after your shopping trip to find out you forgot to get a fan or something.

As for software, UltimaX gave a pretty good list. Although you might want to consider some of macromedia software.

Flash MX
Authorware 6.5
Director MX
Fireworks MX

You can download 30 day trial versions of these titles at:

http://www.macromedia.com/

I hope this helps...

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I''m going to build my own PC as well. It''s much cheaper that a normal PC and then upgrading the lousy bits of it. Here''s my system:

ASUS motherboard
Athlon 2,4 Ghz
512 Mb RAM
80 Gb HDD
ATI Raedon 9700 Pro 128 Mb (!!!)
17" CRT monitor
40x24x40 CD-RW
Generic casing, power, keyboard, mouse, floppy

Total cost: less than 1100 Euro''s (US$ 1200?)


Sander Maréchal
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