Purchase advice?

Can anyone please help?

I found this tonight at a store close to me:

HP Compaq Presario SR1790AN
Asus MB (not sure which model)
AMD 64 3800-dual core
2 gigs ram(4 dimm slots available)
Nvidia GF6600 pcie 256
200 g HD
lightscribe dual layer 16x
XP Home sp2
lots of little extra's
all brand new,with a great warranty.
Price $1400.

I'm learning 3Dmax8 and Maya7,would this system be ok?
As i become more proficient with Max and Maya if need be i can upgrade to a faster CPU
and more ram and a better Gforce card.
Is XP Home ok or should i use XP Pro?.

Thanks any help would be appreciated


LOOM's picture

the price is fair.

although i would inquire about the motherboard and hard drive. asus also make a few low price 939 boards, also check the hdd for sata or ide.
the cpu isnt the greatest, although it is fine. it will do the job :)
im using a 4400+ atm.

the gfx card is getting kind oldish, but it can power latest games with the very medium framrates.

The main difference between Xp home / Pro is networking type of areas & settings. Unless you are running a small office or somthing similar, id go with the xp pro.

Ram should be ample at 2 gig. Always Easy to upgrade anyways.

Never heard of that dvd burner. sorry.

Carlin's picture

When buying a new computer don?t plan to upgrade it later. Get a well balanced system that will last. Parts that can be added like hard drives are ok. But parts that get replaced like the cpu, motherboard, graphics card and possibly ram should be only upgraded if replacing all of them together.

LOOM's picture

well cpu's for both amd and intel are coming out soon.
dx10 gfx cards will probably be launched 1st Quarter next year, simultaneously with windows vista.

i say if you were to buy that system, you could probably get away with the processor power for around 2 years.
you should be able to upgrade the gfx card to a dx10 wen they arrive.

LiveWire's picture

looks like a good deal for the price, the video card wont run the latest games at high detail (if you care about that), but will run max without a problem.

sheldyn's picture

Thanks,everyone for the reply's.
I've decided to buid a pc,although i thought the HP was a fair price i was concerned
about the Mobo and it's upgrade capacaties not to mention the Graphics Card which i think was a poor version of a GF6600.

For the same price i can get a better deal if i build eg:

Asus- A8N SLI Deluxe (max Dual 4800)
AMD 64Dual core 3800
2Gigs Kingston DDR2 ( 4Gigs max)
120G Seagate sata HDD
PioneerDual DVD
XFX GF7600Gt 256 pcie (2 PCIe slots on MB)
Antec case/450w
19"Samsung 940N


I feel better with this setup,can anyone tell me what they think. Have i made the right decision?

Thanks again,

LiveWire's picture

looks good, how much is the video card?

pretty small HDD though, what kind of 3D work will you be doing? with an OS, games, programs and various files on the HDD there might not be much space left for storing renders and video, if that's the sort of 3 you're doing.

sheldyn's picture

I'm new to 3d modelling, but basically i want to learn all aspects of 3dmax,(modelling,rendering,animation) i illustrate alot and i can see myself diving right into it and trying to learn as much as possible.
This machine will only be used for 3dmax (no games at all),just the OS,Nortons AV and anything i need to keep 3dmax running well including drivers etc.I use a mac for eveything else so im trying to keep this PC minimal,like to also include MotioBuilder and Zbrush but i think i'm stretching my learning curve a bit.
I agree the HDD is on the small side,first thought was 200G but budget sort of kept it smaller.Thought about a 10,000rpm Rapter74gig just for OS and 3dmax and saving to an external Drive but just a thought?
The 7600Gt is $291 at MSY here in Melbourne. Is the 7600Gt a better option than the 6800GT ultra? also is the HDD Rapter10,000 is worth considering.

Just wondering about NEC Lcd's are they good? saw one the other day(Accusync 92V 19").
any recommedations,or just stay with the Samsung?

many thank's


LiveWire's picture

i have a 74gb 10000rpm raptor, mainly because i was tired of waiting hours for games to load. it also boots up windows pretty quick (or it did untli i plugged in my old ATA drive, now it takes longer than it ever has for some reason).

but you'll have no need for one for a 3d only system. It wont affect max in any way, a raptor drive is a bloody expensive piece of hardware for only loading windows quicker! only consider a raptor for games.

LOOM's picture

yeh that rig setup, looks fine.
Id seriously think about saving a bit more money and purchasing the 4400+ x2. it has a bit more oomph and double the cache.

a little offtopic , i was workin at MSY in auburn last year for a few months. busy place [:I]

sheldyn's picture

Busy for sure, the line was nearly out the door.

Would anyone consider a Quadro 540 over a GF7600gt etc.
Only because i can buy one at good price.Just thinking if i'm only doing 3D work
and no games would it be the better way to go? They say their very stable and the better choice for 3d artists.



mcdrewski's picture

Quadros are typically less supported by games than the GeForce series.

unless you're using 3dsmax/acad/renderman exclusively, go for the mass market card.