G5 Dual vs SGI Workstations for 3D Models/Anim

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

  1. maclamb macrumors 6502


    Jan 28, 2002
    Northern California
    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

    Nov 27, 2001
    At My Mac
    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

    Jul 31, 2003
    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

    Feb 5, 2002
    San Francisco
    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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