PC Questions ... I am an idiot
I have a crappy dell 4600 pentium 4 2.4ghz with a gig of 2700 ram and a geforce4mx440 64mb card ... i have had alot of problems with it due to the psu and configuration of it and decided to build a new computer. I am going back to school in january for a batchlors in media arts and animation at the Art Institute of Las Vegas (i have an associates in graphic design from IADT-Pitt). I'd like a computer that is focused mainly for 3dmax and maya modeling, animation, ect. I also recently got into pc gaming and enjoy cs:s alot, but gaming has got to take a back seat (i hate being responsible). I'd like a computer that is powerful and very reliable, and that is upgradable down the road. I have done alot of research, but I still cant get passed the first steps of the process, so here it goes ....
1. Intel or AMD? Which is better for modeling (What do you think, and what does the majority of professionals think?) I know that AMD is supposively better for gaming, but what about Max and Maya (AI Las Vegas teaches both software)? Fry's techie said AMD was good for Max and bad for Maya, is he right?
2. What is the Intel equivalent of a AMD Athlon64 3400+ cpu? Called Fry's twice ... called Bestbuys geek squad twice ... asked the same question. Fry guy 1 said an intel p4 3.2ghz ... BB GS 1 said a take the Athlon64 number, subtract 400 and divide by 1000, meaning 3.0ghz ... Fry guy 2 said simply divide by 1000, meaning 3.4ghz ... BBGS 2 said that he would need to see my graphics card to tell (?) ... What do you guys say? The reason I ask is because I want to know, for the money, how much of an upgrade i am getting compared to my current system ...
3. If I go the intel route, is the LGA775 mobo the best move? PCi-express, ddr2, hyper threading, ect ... how does all this make an animator piss his pants (are these features the next standards)? From what I have read, it all sounds good, but I am kinda nervous about the prescott cpu chips and there heating problems. How bad is the problem? Could the heating problem be solved by waiving 40 bucks at it really fast?
4. From what I have read here and via google ... Nvidea graphics cards and their driver updates create less headaches for modelers and animators? Everyone is different and has there own oppinions, but for the majority here, is nvidea the way to go? Also, if i blow the bank and get the 6800gt pci-e, how long can I expect to be satisfied with its performance (both modeling and gaming)?
5. And lastly, the Ahtlon64 3000+ chip is said to extremely easy to overclock to speeds that rivals athlon and intel chips that are hundreds of dollars more expensive ... how complicated is overclocking? Can I, a computer idiot, do it?
Thats it for now ... I am currently constructing wishlists at newegg. I'll post them later to hopefully get more opinions and recommendations from you guys. Thanks alot for your time and any answers you can give me ...