Buyer's Guide: Value Professional 3D - July 2002by Matthew Witheiler on July 25, 2002 11:59 PM EST
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We keep with our promise and today bring you the third AnandTech Buyer's Guide in three weeks. To date we have made system recommendations for value SOHO systems and the value gaming systems. Today we add to that list by looking at value systems in the professional 3D space. Let's take a look at what the AnandTech buyer's guide is:
What we will keep doing is brining you up to date system configuration suggestions on the type of system that you are interested in. Although it is impossible to suggest a single configuration for each individual in each situation, what we can and will do is provide you with recommendations towards a system setup; recommendations which can be altered appropriately for each user's specific needs. We will do what we have always done in buyer's guides: spec out a system using reliable components from reputable vendors. Remember, these prices are not necessarily the lowest prices on the web but are meant to be representative of what is out there and representative of what we think is the best solution in one of the six categories.
Changing this time around will be the format of the buyer's guides. We will maintain the six specific categories, value SOHO, value gaming, value professional 3D, high-end SOHO, high-end gaming, and high-end professional 3D, but this time around the recommendations will not be lumped together. Instead, we will be publishing one recommendation from each category weekly. We kicked off the buyer's guide with the value SOHO category and continue this week with the value gaming category. After the value and high-end recommendations are made we will do one article on a dream configuration. At this rate, new recommendations for each system will come every eight weeks so in eight weeks from today you can expect an updated value gaming buyer's guide. Not only does this keep the system recommendations fresher, it also keeps the price estimates more accurate.
Every component in a recommend system, from case to monitor, is covered. The only hidden costs are shipping costs, which can add anywhere from 5% to 10% to the total system cost depending on what you get and from where. The best way to keep shipping costs down is to order as much as possible from a single vendor or pick things up locally. Be sure to take a look at the AnandTech Hot Deals Forum to see if any AnandTech readers have posted a special deal on a piece of hardware in the recommended system. Also be sure to check out our Weekly CPU & Video Card Price Guide and our Weekly Memory & Motherboard Price Guide to see if prices have been updated since the buyer's guide was last posted.
Like before, an OS for each system is recommended but the OS price is not included in the final system price listed.
Building a professional 3D system on a budget is not an easy task. Professional 3D systems need fast CPUs, a good amount of memory, and a powerful video card to perform ideally. They also need stable components and a large monitor able to handle all the 3D tasks you throw at it. We can afford to be a bit more flexible when it comes to the price of our value professional 3D system but obviously we cant be overly generous when picking out components. The key here: mixing and matching reasonably priced pieces of hardware to create a system that can perform in 3D Studio Max, Maya, Autocad, ProENGINEER, SPEC and other professional 3D applications.
Like our other buyer's guides, the value professional 3D buyer's guide has changed quite a bit since we last recommended a system a full year ago. The vast majority of components have changed as has the price.