Best and most economical Computer for Rhino

Discussion in 'Education' started by land based, Dec 2, 2012.

  1. land based
    Joined: Feb 2009
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    Location: usa

    land based Junior Member

    I am interested in learning 3D boat design in my retirement. I have a fair knowlege of sailing and boat design. My immediate plan is to take the YDS 3D course. My computer skills are however confined largely to emailing and web searches. My current computer is limited and I use dial up which I will definitely upgrade. I have looked up the basic requirements for Rhino on the McNeel site but would like some very specific and economical recommendations as far as computer models/brands, necessary cards and other needed software needed to get started. Hopefully some of you can offer recommendations.

    Best Regards,

    land based
     
  2. liki
    Joined: Nov 2008
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    Location: Finland

    liki Senior Member

    Computers are the one thing that is competitively priced in here ... But, judging from here the economically best viable option should be a suitable "value package" from one of the manufacturers. The few things that I'd pay attention to are the amount of RAM, minimum of 4GB, and an average or a little above that 3D GPU. Then just seek the best offer locally, at here the big electronics chains usually have the best offers.

    I think you'll appreciate if you can bundle M$ Office to the deal, though there are also "free" options.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. fcfc
    Joined: Feb 2005
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    Location: france,europe

    fcfc Senior Member

    I would guess any smart phone has enough processing power to do 3D wireframe graphics.

    The real key issue is screen size and resolution. I would say 1920*1200 native screen resolution is the minimum if you want to SEE something on your screen . Better is 2560*1440, or above, but price goes up very quickly.

    That should be 24 or above screen size. Beware, there are 24 size screens with fewer pixels, less suitable for 3D viewing.
     
  4. land based
    Joined: Feb 2009
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    Location: usa

    land based Junior Member

    Liki,
    Thank you for your recommendations. I hope to get a number of people to. give their advice, put them together and get the computer that I need.

    land based
     
  5. land based
    Joined: Feb 2009
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    Location: usa

    land based Junior Member

    fcfc,

    Thank you for your input. The screen size and resolution are not things that I had considered but I certainly see why they would be important.

    land based
     
  6. rwatson
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    Location: Tasmania,Australia

    rwatson Senior Member

    I was in correspondence with the Rhino people about suitable PC's and I asked them about the brand and configuration of Graphics cards. Very few laptops come with high end graphics cards, so they are not the ideal Cad platform.

    Graphics cards. areusually the Achilles heel of Cad packages - and causes more problems than any other component.

    Rhino's ( McNeel) advice was very unhelpful - and contradictory

    In the end, the final 'help' I got was this

    Hi:
    I just removed my post that confused you. After reading through it with a few more months of exposure, I can see it came across too harsh.
    NVIDIA cards work well for some people. They seem to work well for people that are really picked about antiailiasing. Many people are well served by the less expensive AMD FirePro cards that Jeff recommended.
    The bottom line is no one can tell you what card will work best for you on your system with your specific situation.
    I'm sorry it was confusing. I've fixed it b removing the post.

    John Brock
    Technical Support
    Rhinoceros
    Seattle
    USA
     
  7. daiquiri
    Joined: May 2004
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    Location: Italy (Garda Lake) and Croatia (Istria)

    daiquiri Engineering and Design

    Rhino will work well with Nvidia cards, I know it because I am using it - on a laptop computer. But I did have to update the graphic card driver in order to solve some visualization glitches. The critical issues are imo the monitor size, frequency rate, luminosity, contrast and resolution, as FCFC has also pointed out, and RAM. The more is better for each one of these categories.
     
  8. DavidJ
    Joined: Jun 2004
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    Location: Canada

    DavidJ Senior Member

    I agree with liki. You will probably get the best price by sticking with the big electronics chains. Dell and Lenovo often have great prices for solid components but you don't get great selection. Often you can choose higher end components but the price escalates quickly.

    Economical means different things to different people. You will not be able to get a computer with a decent video card in North America for less than about 800 bucks. I'd probably expect to pay more like 1200 - 1500 for something you will really be happy with.

    8GB of RAM should be easy to get nowadays. I'd also recommend a decent resolution, but remember as resolution goes up so does the video processing power. I've done 90% of my work with 1680x1050 res and it is totally fine. 1920×1080 is full HD in the TV world and that's good to have for the future as you may want to watch movies or other on it and you'll be compatible with pretty much everything. I'd be looking for that if possible. You'll see lots of laptops with 1366x768 resolution. I'm not sure why but this is often where manufacturers like to cut corners. They will include a great video card capable of high res and then stick a low res screen on it. Still it can be a good way to save a couple of hundred bucks if money is tight.

    As far as graphic cards go you should get the best one that you can afford.
    Notebookcheck.net maintains a very good ranked list of graphics cards for laptops. I'm sure there is similar for desktops out there.
    http://www.notebookcheck.net/Mobile-Graphics-Cards-Benchmark-List.844.0.html

    As you have probably learned there are professional graphics cards and there are consumer graphics cards. They are usually the same hardware, but the professional ones are optimized for CAD. What this usually means is that the drivers are different and they are made to work better with OpenGL, which is usually the standard for CAD versus consumer cards that are designed for DirectX, which is usually the standard for games. The pro cards always cost more, but you don't always get a better card. The pro cards are certified for use with the top CAD systems. You are paying more for this certification. It's supposed to mean that they aren't going to be buggy but they still are. I've used pro cards at work and consumer cards at home for years and honestly I like the gaming cards better. The low end pro cards are not very powerful and the high end pro cards cost a fortune. A quality gaming card will run CAD software no problem. I've never had a problem with them. Maybe there are colour issues or something for high end rendering work, but for me they are way more bang for the buck.

    Overall Rhino is not a very system intensive program. I have worked with fairly large models on very simple machines. I even do some work on a tablet that doesn't even have a graphics card. It refreshes noticeably slower but it works.
     
  9. rwatson
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    Location: Tasmania,Australia

    rwatson Senior Member

    Multiple monitors

    As I said - the graphics cards are the problem area.

    My NVidea card also works fine for the odd viewing and drawing on my laptop too - but the killer is when you get towards the end of a large project, and the bugs start to surface. Rendering and presentation are the cpu intensive operations.

    I also wouldn't consider a large project without multiple monitors - preferably over 21", and minimum 1920 x 1280 resolution, but the bigger the better. This is also where the video cards performance is critical.

    Just got an email
    "• Rhino 5 is shipping and available from local dealers worldwide."

    My trial version of Rhino 5 was a considerable improvement in ease of use - actually far more enjoyable to use than 4.
     
  10. Tad
    Joined: Mar 2002
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    Location: Flattop Islands

    Tad Boat Designer

    A great deal depends on how elaborate your models and rendering get. For the past 5+ years I've been running Rhino on a big Dell dual processor with an Nvidia Qudro graphics card with 1GB onboard memory. It was great but did slow when modeling a 130' boat with lots of detail. That machine recently gave up and I've replaced it with a tiny and cheap option, no problems so far. For $500 plus shipping at NCIX I got a case and PS, an Asus motherboard with on board graphics, AMD Quad Core A8 processor, 16GB ram, a terabyte of hard drive, and DVD writer and fans. The new box is tiny, silent, and puts out no heat so far.

    My main monitor is an old 20" Crt, the real estate is important.
     
  11. land based
    Joined: Feb 2009
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    Location: usa

    land based Junior Member

    Tad,

    Thank you for the post. It is very specific. I don't know what specs etc. that you gave NCIX but I will call them tommorrow and describe what I need and its purpose. Hopefully it will be alright to mention you and see if that will allow them to give me details and quote an appropriate unit.

    land based
     

  12. Tad
    Joined: Mar 2002
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    Location: Flattop Islands

    Tad Boat Designer

    lb,

    I sent a PM with the order numbers. This only gets you a box (actually two boxes) of parts. You must assemble and get it operating, and you need to add a monitor.

    Best of luck
     
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