iMac for maya and 3d modeling

Discussion in 'iMac' started by rockwellsulcata, Dec 8, 2014.

  1. rockwellsulcata macrumors member

    Oct 21, 2014
    Hi everyone,

    So, I have been using a macbook pro from 2009. The 15in one.

    I have been using maya and sculptris. I plan on using zbrush too.
    But my macbook pro keeps crashing during the programs. It gets super hot too. My macbook pro has 8GB of ram and an SSD 256Gb. I also use a cintiq 13HD.

    I want to upgrade to an imac. But which one? I would maybe try out the 18 month financing option so I could afford it. Is the imac with retina display good?

    All help is appreciated.
  2. Nosferax macrumors regular

    Nov 11, 2014
    You may end up with the same problem with the iMac...
    There isn't enough airflow to keep the component cool enough for extended heavy rendering session.

    For rendering and heavy lifting you have to go the nMP way if you want to stay in the OSX ecosystem.

    If you're on a tight budget, you would probably better off going the PC way since all of your apps are available on windows. You'll get better performance and a greater choice of components, especially GPUs (you can have more than one in a PC).
  3. rockwellsulcata thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 21, 2014
    Yeah, I figured. I never see pixar or other big studios use imacs. But pixar has its own animation software, so that makes sense that they have custom builds.

    I am on an $700-$800 budget. So I don't know how I would get a decent computer for that much.

  4. mdelrossi macrumors member

    Jun 22, 2005
    How are you using these programs, student, work?
    I use After Effects. I recently output a render that took 44 min on a 2008 MacPro 2.8 octo, the iMac 5k i7 did it in 12 min.
    The fan did come on full force and the temps did spike but the machine was able to handle it.

    That being said the old MacPros' fans never really ran full throttle.

    I don't know if Maya uses gpu's for rendering, but if they do you might want to look into an used classic MacPro and add a few gpu's to it.
  5. rockwellsulcata thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 21, 2014
    I'm using the non-commercial version of maya. I am just learning the programs because I have a desire to learn them. (and yes, I do know blender is easier, but I want to master maya instead) I use sculptris for now, but I have been trying out mudbox 2015, and its a pretty good sculpting program.

    I do have after effects CS6 (full version)
    Since I have a wacom cintiq 13HD, can I use that as a display for the mac pro?

  6. rockwellsulcata thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 21, 2014

    Are mac mini's good for what I want to do? (Like I would buy they $699 one and upgrade it to an i7 processor)
  7. Nosferax macrumors regular

    Nov 11, 2014
    Yes you can use your Cintiq as a display, albeit a smallish one...

    And, btw, Blender isn't really easier. Blender GUI is still a work in progress with options and tools appearing in two or three differnt places.

    The easiest is 3dsmax GUI wise, but then again I'm not really into sculpting. I'm more into archviz and vehicule modelling.


    Not really. They're all dual core laptop processor now with integrated gpu.
  8. rockwellsulcata thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 21, 2014
    Alright, thank you.

    You mentioned a mac pro classic? Where do you buy those? Are they cheaper?
    Will I have to add more graphic cards?
  9. mdelrossi macrumors member

    Jun 22, 2005
    Craigslist, Ebay. It will most likely come with one but you can add more if you need them for rendering. there are some 3D renderers that utilize the GPU especially Nvidia GPU's.
  10. rockwellsulcata thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 21, 2014
    Hi again,

    I just want to ask this question again. or more as explain my situation.

    I need something to run maya 2014 and mudbox 2015.

    I noticed today, that almost all the tools in maya, don't even function because my macbook pro is so old.

    I'm looking for more "you buy the product and pay a monthly payment" option.

    Honestly, I don't care about how fast rendering can take. If it takes a day to render something, I don't care. All I care about is if I can use all the tools in maya and mudbox, and the computer won't crash. I also want a computer that won't overheat to the point where it burns to touch it. I know that a little warm is normal. But my macbook pro hurts to touch now. It gets really really hot.

    So, I checked out dell precision laptops, and thats probably the safest route right now. But I heard the graphics cards in those are sorta bad?
    I thought about mac mini, but I heard they aren't the best either.

    Thanks for all the help,
  11. sprynmr macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2002
    If you can find a used Mac Pro, the new cylinder, on eBay or craigslist, that would by far be your best bet. The graphics cards on the iMac aren't meant to handle professional level apps like that. It will do ok, but if you are at all serious about it then those Mac Pros, even an entry level one that shouldn't be too much more than a retina iMac, have WAY better graphics card for that type of work.

    Source: I mastered in 3D and digital imaging.
  12. mjoshi123 macrumors 6502


    Apr 14, 2010

    Stay far far away from 2014 version of Mac Mini if you are intending to do anything serious on it. You will be better off finding 2012 version because it is still upgradable to 16GB RAM and 2TB of SSD (aftermarket). 2014 version of Mac mini is more of an appliance now.
  13. pcd109 macrumors regular

    May 1, 2010
    I do 3d for a living. You want few things for your workstation. First of all, no all in one and no mac mini. Mac minis don't have the graphic power required to run Maya and other 3d apps, and all in one(imac or laptop) develop serious issues for over heating. Your best bet is to find out a cheap 4.1-5.1 mac pro - the classic one. You can buy a 4.1 upgraded to 5.1 and 6 core cpu for 800-1000USD. Later on you can find an Nvidia Quadro for mac pro edition and you are set for the next 2-3 years. As you grow you can add more ram(8gb is no near enough for 3d). Once you outgrow your classic macpro you can build a small linux render farm to decrease render times. You say it does not matter how long it takes to render. Well, if you render a still image, yea, it might be true. But when you animate??? You will look into squeezing every second you can from the render times, trust me. Do your search though as i am sure that Maya uses nvidia quadros for viewport 2.0, not amd firepro as in current macs.....
  14. Hirakata macrumors 6502


    Mar 17, 2011
    Burbank, CA

    iMacs are built to not overheat, so you don't need to worry about that. When I render overnight on mine (I don't have the latest iMac), the fans blow hard, but everything's fine in the morning. I've been doing this for a few years now with no issues.
  15. rockwellsulcata thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 21, 2014
    Thank you all so much for the help.

    I wouldn't mind stepping out of the OS X system. I would rather have something that I could upgrade the processor and everything. Plus, I would like to try out windows so I have different opinions on an OS. But, I will have to admit that OS X is really simple and just nice to look at.

    But it seems like I could upgrade parts with the classic mac pro.

    I have been really considering the dell precision M3800. Its a portable workstation, and it has monthly payment options.

    Thank you,

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