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jimbob80

Which machine for Games Design? Advice?

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jimbob80    100
Hello there fellow designers...! My name is Jim and I am completing a Games Design degree and desperately looking to upgrade my machine. I NEED YOUR HELP AND ADVICE AS TO WHICH MACHINE WOULD BE THE BEST TO GET. I currently use a Toshiba Notebook with 1.8Ghz Dual Core, 4gb ram, 128 Dedicated Graphics and not much more. It does not do a bad job, but can be painful at times. Especially when working on large scenes. I have been looking at these: Dell XPS Studio Laptop (Quad Core, 1gb Graphics) Macbook Pro iMac (27", Quad Core, 512gb Graphics) I have a budget of about $2500.00. I have been thinking of Mac as I would not mind looking into iPhone dev sometime. But this is not the major factor. Also, I would prefer to run Windows.

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fastcall22    10838
Ditch the laptops; you can get a lot more power for cheaper with a beef machine instead. A desktop computer with the specifications of those laptops could cost anywhere from $500 to $800. There was a recent thread on the subject of laptops vs. desktops (can't find it atm), but the only advantage laptops offer is portability. Everything else from keyboard layout, screen size, price, speed, and power are better served for a desktop. Also, if you get a desktop, you can continue to use your laptop for developing when away from home. ;)

Side note:
Cross posting is not allowed on gamedev.

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lightbringer    1070
I have a Dell (though an old desktop, not a laptop - Dimension 8400) and I would never recommend Dell to anyone on account of the mediocre support (and some other reasons specific to my desktop so they don't matter to you). If you are going to get a laptop, my only advise would be to stay away from Sony. We (me and my immediate family, that is) have a number of those and they are always trouble one way or another. We also have numerous Macs - MacBook Air with SSD, two iMacs - and they are quite solid. The SSD is tiny (60 GB iirc) of course and the extra expense is immense so I wouldn't recommend that either. The iMac is very compact - only one cable compared to the eight or nine on the back of my PC right now - but you generally cannot upgrade it (except for the RAM).

If you're getting a Mac, make sure the software you want to run on it is available for it. You don't want to run a modelling package (assuming that's what you need it for - I do my game design with pen and paper ^_^;;;) through virtualization, although you could always dual-boot. If I was in need of a box for heavy duty today, I would either look to the Mac Pro (not the MacBook Pro) or put one together from parts myself. With $2500 you can come up with a pretty nice self-made rig.

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jimbob80    100
"Yeah, sorry about the cross post. I will remove the other one seeing that I have replies here."

The iMac is interesting me so far. But I am a little unsure if the 512MB Graphics will be suitable... Especially when there are machines with 1GB graphics now.

I have been considering building my own pc, but I am possibly going to delve into iPhone development later on. Therefore, having the option of using OS-X would be nice.

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NineYearCycle    1538
If you're serious about doing iPhone/iPod dev later then you'll have to get a Mac to run xcode, emulate for debugging and deploy to them etc. You can dual boot the new Macs so you could run Windows as well as OSX but you'll have to buy Windows separately.

Just something to consider.

Andy

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Fenrisulvur    186
Quote:
Original post by jimbob80
I currently use a Toshiba Notebook with 1.8Ghz Dual Core, 4gb ram, 128 Dedicated Graphics and not much more. It does not do a bad job, but can be painful at times. Especially when working on large scenes.

My machine is somewhat similar - Toshiba Satellite with a 2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T7300, 2GB RAM, and... *checks* ... ATI Mobility Radeon HD 2600, 256MB video memory if I recall correctly. I gradually learnt that the thing is not good at keeping itself cool, which combined with the typical NSW summer means the CPU regularly exceeds the specified max temperature and dies, and has probably degraded fair bit because of it. These days I'm running the thing on Power Saver to keep the heat down.

It's probably worse up where you are - so, if you're eager for a laptop (and portability is definitely an understandable perk), try to look for something that handles heat well.

Quote:
Original post by jimbob80
I have been looking at these:

Dell XPS Studio Laptop (Quad Core, 1gb Graphics)
Macbook Pro
iMac (27", Quad Core, 512gb Graphics)

I have a budget of about $2500.00.

I have been thinking of Mac as I would not mind looking into iPhone dev sometime. But this is not the major factor.

Also, I would prefer to run Windows.

Well, the major headache here is in your need for the iPhone SDK, practically requiring you invest in a system capable of running Mac OS X, which generally means price-gouging. If you could go with typical x86 Windows or Linux then this wouldn't be a problem - the hardware's much cheaper - so I'd think very carefully about this one.

I was recently informed of a product known as the Rebel EFI by a company called Psystar, which (among other things) facilitaties running recent Mac OS X operating systems on hardware not produced by Apple. It appears that Apple have shown their belligerent proprietary litigious colours in full flair in response, though, based on Psystar's page on Wikipedia - I haven't read to the bottom, but the Rebel EFI might not be available or supported anymore.

Or in other words, be thankful Microsoft hold the monopoly - Apple do appear to be worse.


Anyway, someone linked me to this, which seems like a pretty decent deal for a laptop. With that, you could then probably afford to put a fairly decent wad of cash into a desktop.

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