Buyer's Guide: Value Professional 3D - October 2002by Matthew Witheiler on October 8, 2002 1:45 AM EST
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Deciding what components to put in a professional 3D system on a budget can be a daunting task. As 3D modeling and programing increases in popularity, more and more computer shoppers are looking for a system that can handle not only Word and Excel but also 3D Studio Max and Maya. Obviously the hardware requirements for professional 3D applications is much higher than those for simple office tasks. The hardware requirements can seem intimidating and may suggest that only systems costing multiple thousands of dollars will be capable of running the programs smoothly. Our value professional 3D buyer's guide sets out to dispel the rumors you may have heard. It is possible to build a fully functioning and fairly fast professional 3D system at a price that does not break the bank.
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.
Today we take a look back and reevaluate our value professional 3D system recommendation made about two months ago. We have made some minor changes to the value professional 3D lineup but for the most part the system remains very close to the configuration suggested last time around. The value professional 3D system actually closely mirrors our value gaming system recommendation: the two share the same motherboard, case, sound solution, and optical drive solution. What we did decide to go with a slightly faster processor, more memory, a different video card, and a faster hard drive compared to the value gaming rig.