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GameMasterXL

Game Developing Computers?

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I am wanting to build a pc for developing my game on and have found lots of realy cool hardware that will be good to use and NVidias SLI. I am wondering is SLI any good for me if i am just going to be using one 17/18/19" monitor? and are these specs any good for a media pc. Specs processor: Intel Pentium Double-Thread 3.40GHZ with HT tech 2mb L2 cache Graphics: Nvidia GForce 6800/7800 SLI compatible Motherboard: NVidia NForce4 intel edition SLI Comptaible Sound: Sound Blaster others: Duel ultra-cool Fans 10 USB 2.0 support 2 vidio buffers MPEG-Encoder and Decoder support for duel monitors OS: Microsoft Windows Xp Media Center 2005 edition Is this a good computer? and will it be fine for my programming and 3d development? pleas list all your comments.

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Programming actually doesn't require much in the way of computer muscle. Beyond wanting a fast compile, you pretty much just want a computer capable of executing the programs you write.

SLI will be more or less useless for development; from what I've heard, SLI only supports those applications that are specifically recognized by the drivers (in other words, it has to be programmed in per-game by nVidia).

Why are you using the "Media Center" edition of Windows XP?

I haven't heard of people actually using an MPEG encoder card in years. Do you really need to do much high-quality real-time MPEG stream authoring? If not, your CPU will do fine for encoding.

Overall, it kind of sounds like you looked at a few components with really impressive buzzwords ("Ooh! Ultra-cool! I want that!") and were seduced by their charm. Take some time to actually figure out what the heck they mean. Some mean nothing.

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Quote:
Original post by Sneftel
Overall, it kind of sounds like you looked at a few components with really impressive buzzwords ("Ooh! Ultra-cool! I want that!") and were seduced by their charm. Take some time to actually figure out what the heck they mean. Some mean nothing.


like Vantec "Stealth". so quiet, you would think it's a dead fan... oh wait...

Get a couple of panaflo L1A fans for quiet, or M1A for better performance for little sound, or H1A for high performance but not U1A if you value your hearing.

I agree with Sneftel. SLI is a waste for developing if you're not backed 100% by nVidia's developer support center to work out issues and bugs. As is the Media Center version of Windows. Save the money and buy another LCD or CRT for dual-monitor -- it's much more worth it. Straight WindowsXP is where you want to be.

In this instance, I would also look at an AMD platform, but it really doesn't matter which one you use.

Just don't be fooled into high frame rates with that system if you don't have a slower system to really check what the mass audience will experience [wink]

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Quote:
Original post by GameMasterXL
But the computer will also be doing stuff in 3ds Max and photoshop, illustrator, and for gaming to.

The only thing among those that really needs a high-end PC is rendering in 3ds max; and if you're doing modelling for use in games, you probably won't be doing very much rendering at all. Certainly a better use of your money would be high-speed RAM, which will help Photoshop.

Look, here's an example. Why do you need "2 vidio buffers"?

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Lol that was just for media center but if i don't need it then there is no point in them. What about the intel double-thread 3.40 GHZ 2mb L2 cache processor? and a 1gb ram with 260 gb HD and NVidia NForce4 intel edittion motherboard?

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Man are you working on Halo 3? You don't need a super-hyper-mega computer to develop games. Use something that matches (aproximatelly) the target machine and then add some speed to the CPU and some RAM, to speed up the development tools. Notice that i said "to speed up" - it's not really required.

Of course if you want it to develop AND to play AND money is no problem, buy the best you can. ;)

By the way, if money is no problem, can we be friends? :D

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Lol money is big problem, so what about the NVidia NForce4 motherboard is that any good? and intel pentium 4 with hT 3.40GHZ 2mb L2 cache is that usefull for running my game engine and getting otpimal graphics and performance when running 3ds max or photoshop ect?

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If you're dead set on buying a new computer, read this thread.

But really, it's not necessary, at least for the basic stuff. At some point you might find yourself wanting to do things the system isn't capable of, at which point an upgrade makes sense.

If you're using the machine for other things, gaming in particular, that's a major consideration, of course.

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You could program on a $50 doller computer and use 3ds on a $250 computer. If money is a problem just go on ebay they ussually have good deals or just buy a package. If you wanna test out your game engine just get a tester with good specs.

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Bah... its as if he's trying to say "hey look at my big... COMPUTER" Doesn't matter what you program on. You can program on a stone tablet and that will do most of your work if you need it to O_o. If you want power then go get power. But for programing there is no need for it. Hell people used to program on less then 512k of ram. The fact that you have to ask what type of system is need for "your" programing means that you haven't really started and to start you can run your apps on 25$ machine for a while. After you get skilled enough then consider getting a new comp for it. By then you should know what you need.

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LOL - sounds like you're really defining a cutting edge gamers machine, rather than a programming one.

SLI is (IMHO) overkill - Scalable Link Interface - if you want the benefits of that technology you need TWO of those cards! You're paying the extra money for the FACILITY to link them!

That said, you probably DO need a decent card and LOTS of RAM if you're going to do anything more than model crappy low-poly models in 3DS, which is a serious resource-hog. In that sense, HT does help down the Intel route, and the faster the better, but the fastest is always WAY overpriced compared to models one or two steps down...

Having said that, you could build a kick-ass machine and unless you're going the GMax or piracy route, 3DS-Max 7 will still cost more than the machine you're looking to build:

http://estore.discreet.com/dr/v2/ec_MAIN.Entry?CID=174329&SID=37482&SP=10007&DSP=0&CUR=840&PGRP=0&CACHE_ID=174329

(If the link doesn't work, it's around $3495 USD)

The overall tone of your message reads like somebody young (sorry if I'm mistaken) - just start cheap - seriously - there are many free or shareware modellers that would serve you equally as well while you learn! If you really need to use 3DS files, you can even get a convertor or an exporter plugin for the cheaper modellers...

Just my $0.02...

(PS - Maya is better ;))

J.

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Yeah... these even cheaper computers will be alright for developing and in most cases, playing too. Keep in mind, the price goes up at a steep rate when you buy the newest tech.

What I'd probably do is buy a reasonably fast computer (2.2-3.0 ghz) with 512 mb of ram or so and a graphics card that supports pixel shader 2.0. (Or, if you need 3.0 shaders, get one for that)... This kind of computer isn't the best gaming machine on the planet, but it will probably suit whatever you're trying to do.

Then, in 3 years or whatever, upgrade your graphics card. It doesn't matter if your CPU is a little slow at this point- usually all that's *required* to play games is good graphics cards. Having a bad CPU might make a game run poorly but it'll still be playable.

As for memory, maybe what you can do is get 1 slot of 512... then, if you find you need more later, buy another stick of 256 or 512

roos

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In fact, I think you should use 'normal' pc for developing. If it works nicely enough, you can add optional features and test it on higher-end pc. Making it slower is easy, the opposite is harder

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The Nforce4 is an excellent chipset. Bought one for my father's computer. Mine still has a Nforce3, which is quite stable and fast, too.
Nforce4 mainboards are not that expensive at all and SLI support comes with them, anyway. But I would not buy two SLI capable gfx cards. Wait for the ATI alternative (Crossfire). It might be cheaper, because the Slave Gfx card doesn't have to be Crossfire capable, while with NVidia's SLI both cards have to support SLI.
So maybe buy an ATI X800 or above, this greatly depends on how much money you have available. When Crossfire's out, you can still add a Crossfire capable card and use the X800 as the slave card.
Make sure to have at least 512GB RAM! 1GB is better and I would really recommend that.
But take a look at the AMD64 CPUs. They are cheaper than the Intel ones, have less power consumption and are definitely as fast as them. With AMD Cool'n'Quite support it's also easier to build a low noise system. I think a AMD64 3200+ should do the job quite well.
Make sure to choose a good HDD! I like to use the Samsung ones. They are fast and usually extremly quite. The SATA1 products are more quite than the SATA2 with NCQ, though these might be a little faster. If you really want performance, take the WD Raptor 74GB with SATA2 and NCQ. But they are extremly expensive and definitely not quite :-)

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Thanks for the replys. One big reason why i want to make a new computer is because the one i am on is also being used has an average family pc and with 80 GB HD is going to get used up quicker with my game and family pictures and videos on it. The system i am currently on is a sony vaio and has an 80 GB HD and intel pentium 4 2.0 GHZ processor(dosn't list the cache size), 256 MB ram, 15" monitor, GForce mx 4400. If i do something big in 3ds max i get a GPU crash and my systems graphics go mental and the system crashes happened 3 times all ready with particle systems. The system slows down when running 3ds max and takes a few hours to recover after the program has stopped running. Photoshop also sometimes slows the pc down and this computers security isn't very hiegh so is another downfall. My DVD recorder is corrupt and won't Record onto any CD it isn't to do with +- formats neaver. So that is some reasons why i am wanting to make a new pc for graphics use and my game development to view my work checking the speed and graphics making sure they are fine.

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remember one thing, probably when you create your video game, you are going to create a big or huge consumming memory game. remmeber that not too mmuch people have powerfull computers to run that.

really i can see taht you want teh computer to play not to develop. however, if you have teh money and you don´t care about the proce go for it. i will do the smae some day.

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I've messed about with Maya and Max (Maya is winner) on my computer and made much higher poly models than in games without problems. That was a geforce 2, 2.3 processor and 512 ram. $500 for all of it plus with mobo case and power. I can't really see why you would need anything higher than that unless you expect to make HL2 or something. : p

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What type of computers do gaming companies use? and does the NForce4 motherboard have support for other GPU's other than Nvidia ones? But is what you seem to be missing is how do you view your game on a low end computer if it uses higher end GPU's to process it?

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