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I need you to recomment a computer for certain hardware and tell me why.

Posted on 2003-11-27
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-26
A man and requires 10 new workstations for the Graphics division. He isn’t sure whether to go with Macintosh, Silicon Graphics or PC and needs some information on which is the better choice for his money.

He needs these computers to be able to work with:
•      CAD/CAE/CAM
•      Architecture, engineering and construction (AEC)
•      3D animation
•      Game development

If you choose either an sGI or PC, he would like to know whether he should use Windows NT, 2000 XP or Linux. Provide some information on which would be a better choice.

He would also like a quote on the platform that you recommend including warranty and services.

Budget: Open but justification must be give and cost is always a concern

Ok some questions

the software list above what are those softwares and is silicon graphics and sgi the same if not what are they and what is CAE.   Please e-xplain in detail thank you very much i really need your help. Also tell me what you can do with that software with the pc. And which is a better buy mac , silicon graphics or pc.

I would really appreciate it if you answer my question as soon as possible.  
I am desperate!!!


Question by:theitguy
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Accepted Solution

dbrunton earned 1500 total points
ID: 9835290
Its really a case of horses for courses.

Get a big sturdy horse for a wet track.
Get a light fast horse for a hard dry track.

Game development is a PC.  OS is either Windows XP or Linux in that order.  Why?  The game will probably run on Windows and XP is a more modern version of NT and supports the more modern hardware.  You use Linux for debugging and security of OS.

The other 3 is a matter of how you want to do it.  You get more bang for your buck from a PC.  You might get more work done with a SGI.  Debatable but it costs more.  Also what sort of 3D animation do you want done?  Under Linux you have power to burn.

Which is the better machine?  I'd use a Mac for Desktop publishing.  You haven't mentioned that here.  And then I'd probably use a PC for everything else.  For specialised stuff its the SGI but the cost is too high.

Author Comment

ID: 9835319
what is a sgi is it the same thing as silicon graphics.   And what is  AEC. Is it a software.

And 3d animation like 3d studio max or softimage or what not.


Expert Comment

ID: 9835335
Silicon Graphics changed their name to SGI a while ago.
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Expert Comment

ID: 9835348
It really depends on what software applications you are going to be running as to what hardware you get.
I agree that Macs are the go for DTP work but then if you are using a variety of apps for CAD,CAM & CAE these softwares will determine what hardware you will need.
If you really have an open budget then SGI gear would very nice (hard to justify) but nice to have.
AEC is architectural , engineering , construction

Expert Comment

ID: 9835353
Kind of like Kentucky Friend Chicken became KFC =)

Cost is one factor, another thing to keep in mind is what will compatability be like with current software if you decide to go the SGI route?

If you're deciding to outfit the graphics unit in one hit from the ground up then, consider what applications will be used primarily.  That's a pretty wide and varied list you've got there:

•     Architecture, engineering and construction (AEC)
•     3D animation (3d studio, etc)
•     Game development

A pc based system should handle most of the applications above quite easily.  Cannot say for certain if you get a SGI machine that you would be able to do everything you need it to do, however having said that for 3d animation that machine would be an absolute rocket.  Still however, no-one ever got fired for walking the middle road (i.e. pc).

You could end up with several very powerful pc's for the same price mind you, so it won't be too bad, if you can get a Oxygen graphics card, dual Athlon 64 processors, 2gb ram on Windows 2000/Linux.  Not too shabby for a workstation.


Expert Comment

ID: 9835378
I agree with Howie_ly that the PC is going to be the best allrounder, alot of graphics people tend to be fanatical about Macs though............
So really to answer your question we need the software packages that you will run & maybe you could end up keeping everyone happy by having a mixed network of all 3 systems.

Author Comment

ID: 9835422
Ok can you give me examples of any game developing software and the other 3 software.

is cad like auto cad or something.

ANd give me an example of AEC software.

And also the CAE


Expert Comment

ID: 9835441
yeah there is heaps but the main ones are Autocad, vectorworks, caddsman, intellicad etc
this site is dedicated to CAE stuff
so is this one
here are some aec sites

Author Comment

ID: 9835461
alright guys i need to know what is cae and aec used for. I  think  i am a bit confused between the two.

Expert Comment

ID: 9835477
CAE = computer aided engineering
AEC = software that covers architectural engineering & construction requirements.(more business orientated)
the following is from  http://www.aecsoft.com/products/desktop/fasttrack/overview.asp
No matter the scope of your project, FastTrack Schedule provides an instant framework for all your project details. This award-winning scheduler delivers more sophisticated features than day-planning programs, yet is easier to use and half the price of traditional, high-end project managers.

In a single schedule, you can outline multiple projects, assign resources, track cash flows, set up task dependencies, and add colorful legends and graphics. FastTrack Schedule also gives you the control to display project information the way you want—as a Gantt chart, a traditional calendar, or a resource graph that tracks the people, equipment, and materials essential to project success.

FastTrack Schedule reduces project planning to a simple point-and-click process. So regardless of your skill level, you'll create professional schedules quickly and easily. FastTrack Schedule's colorful timelines clearly illustrate and communicate project status, assignments, and objectives—keeping team members and clients up-to-date and in control of project goals.  


Author Comment

ID: 9835521
Alright perfect now i know what AEC is. I have a good understanding.  

I need some names of game developing softwares and why did you pick the one you did.
 Now finally the only think i have trouble with is the CAE. Above you have told me what it stands for but i did not get an understanding of it.
So lastly i would appreciate it if you guys clear that up for me.


Expert Comment

ID: 9838145
I wouls also have to say, since you are doing such a boroad array of things, that PC owuld be the way to go.
As for the hardware. I think that you will want to go with a 64 bit processor.  Either intel or the new AMD. You might also consinder duel Xeon workstaion.You are going to want to get a very good video card that will do better at 2D then it would at 3D.
LVL 14

Expert Comment

ID: 9843082
As indicated by the above experts, Windows platform and a high end professional graphics workstation video card designed for CAD and DCC, such as an NVidia Quadro, would be the most cost effective. I would think 32 bit is fine in light of the lack of 64-bit software to be mainstream as yet. T

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