G5 Dual vs SGI Workstations for 3D Models/Anim

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by maclamb, Dec 11, 2003.

  1. maclamb macrumors 6502

    maclamb

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2002
    Location:
    Northern California
    #1
    Many years ago (8) many of us lusted after SGI machines - Indigos, O2s, etc for doing 3D animation - the lust was compunde dby wanting Maya as a Package for doing the work.
    However, back then, a combination like that could cost upwards of $40,000

    Today Maya is about 1/4 of that and I woinder how a DP G5 2.0 machine would compare with an SGI - anyone guess? or actually know some of the numbers? TFLops, benchmarks for the machines?
     
  2. geeman macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2001
    Location:
    At My Mac
    #2
    At the desktop, IMHO, SGI has had its day.

    The Fuel, Tezro and even the Octane2 just don't cut it any more for many applications that are available under other OSs. I know a few 3D artists that work as sub-contractors for a couple of pretty "high profile" motion picture animation studios (ahem..) that tell me that they've deep-sixed their SGI workstations and now either use Macs or PCs running Linux (only one guy I know uses M$) depending on the app they're using.

    They use the more conventional desktop machines only for the modelling. Any animation/rendering is done on a server. I reckon that an SGI workstation that was used for both would probably still make sense to some people (though mucho-moola for an SGI box with a decent amount of RAM could get you quite a few OS X / Linux boxes...)

    The MIPS chipsets and mobos that SGI use (and manufacture) are designed for bandwidth rather than out-and-out integer/FPU performance.

    For shifting large amounts of data from one place to another, SGI servers running IRIX are awesome. Where SGI still kicks a** is at the Server level. Their OS (IRIX) allows great flexibility in load-balancing, clustering, failover and suchliike. However, Linux is certainly biting at their heels - even SGI make Linux servers that try to combine the superior CPU processing power of Intel chips (over MIPS - before you flame me!) with SGI's proprietary CCNUMA server architecture. Great machines - but they cost a fortune....
     
  3. legion macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2003
    #3
    I agree with geeman

    Of note, Maya Unlimited is only available on PCs as is 3DSMax. If you have the money, setting up a small render farm would be the most efficient with some dual Athlon64 servers and attach it to a nice workstation using a good graphics card (ATI GL, 3DLabs WildCat, or Nvidia Quadro)

    I, personally, like my IBM Z Intellistation for 3D (never down, always performs like a champ, and IBM provides Z users a separate support number so any issues are instantly resolved)

    My biggest problem with the 2Ghz Dual G5 (which I have but don't use for 3D) is it doesn't have any serious graphics cards available for it to perform hardware accelerated rendering. It's not even a fair comparison to compare it to the Intellistation.
     
  4. afonso macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2002
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #4
    i work in a high-profile vfx house in london and yeah, all computers here are either macs (g5s) or pcs running linux...

    the renderfarm is all a mixture of blades and other stuff, no macs of course, but hey the xserves are crap :)
     

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