pentium wrote:I seem to recall that years ago someone here made a post talking about how they had saved up for an O2 and he went to SGI, was rather warmingly welcomed considering he was walking in off the street to buy a machine. They gave him coffee and doughnuts and a small tour and when they finally sat down to order the machine he asked what speck of a machine he could get for $5000.
He went home empty handed.
Yes, that was me. It was an Octane having seen the Octanes running softimage at Siggraph. They did tell me to visit their office from the siggraph floor showroom.
I had like $8k saved actually but.... of course some of this would have to be software but figured "what could it cost?". I had no idea what the machines cost at the time.
I went to Siggraph 95 but ended up at SGI on Olympic and Bundy after Siggraph 97. The Octanes where the big hubbub. So I had them kit out an Octane with two CPUS and RAM and Softimage. It was going to be $32k to 50k depending on all the options I wanted hardware and software wise. When I saw this price I was defeated.
They did have some Indys and other stations that I could probably grab but there was no hope considering that Softimage was about $20k with all options.
So of course there was the O2 systems that they would give me a deal on with low options and no Softimage. I almost went ahead on the idea I would piece the system together buying more ram and eventually Softimage.....(or upcoming Maya) .... but.....I left empty handed.
Overall... on the topic itself....
I often wonder why there isn't more prosumer offerings for Maya, 3DsMax, Houdini, etc regarding workstations.
For the most part yes... you can get a good prosumer workstation for between $2k and up most pricing around $4k-$8k.
I have setup Linux workstations to be optimized for 3dfx workflows.
Worked at Digital Domain for five years. We used debian and later centOS. These systems were setup using Quadro cards so we could display nice CAD models in the GL viewports and of course we had multicore CPUs for having multiple threads for rendering.
Somehow I think if it was done right a company could create a prosumer, ready for networking, satellite rendering, linux 3D workstation.
Yet, I see Boxx and I do not get inspired to buy them at all. I always feel like I can assemble a higher end machine (and have three times) than what they offer from Boxx at the same price.
Probably due to the niche market and the fact that it is already hard to make a profit at that level.
Somehow though. I think that it could be possible for someone to create something really unique like a modern day equivalent to the old SGI machines of the 90s.
From case design to graphics card/hard drive/cpu options etc there might be an innovative way to create a new prosumer creating desktop/workstation. A real modular workstation that would let you work as you like.
There are these hybrid setups where you have linux 3d stations running windows emulation in wine so you can still do Photoshop, Zbrush and 3dsMax.
Softimage, Maya, Houdini, mudbox, Modo and a few others have Linux versions. As well as Renderman, Arnold, and Vray being choice render engines for Linux based workstations and render farms.