Daz Studio - Which new computer should I buy?

SkatingJesusSkatingJesus Posts: 40
edited December 1969 in DAZ Studio Discussion

Hi everybody,

I'm now a new Daz user, and I have to say it's just an awesome software. I'm still practicing and learning how it works, and what are the functionnalities, but I can say Daz got all I was looking for. And for free! Just perfect!

But I work with my personnal computer: a laptop ASUS n61j series (I7).
http://www.laptopspirit.fr/62652/asus-n61jq-jx017v-16-pouces-avec-core-i7-radeon-hd5730-et-640-go-a-999e.html

It's a good enough laptop to work, but it takes really lot of time to do a good render.
For exemple, I need 70 minutes of rendering to do a scene in "The old warehouse" (DzFire), with 1 Victoria 4.2, 4 spot lights, 2 light-ball, and uber (I'm actually trying to learn how this one works!).

So, I'm looking for a new laptop. I prefer laptops because I don't have enough room in my appartment to have another desk and a classic computer. I like to have a mobile computer, and I think I will stay in this way.

Now, I found a few interesting gamer laptops than you can see here:

http://www.materiel.net/ordinateur-portable/asus-g75vw-t1431h-paris-games-week-2012-edition-82397.html
Good point: 16Go of RAM

http://www.materiel.net/ordinateur-portable/asus-g75vw-t1432h-ssd-edition-82399.html
Same than the previous one, but less RAM (8Go), but SSD.

http://www.materiel.net/ordinateur-portable/msi-gt70-0ne-283fr-80232.html
Less powerful I7(3610 instead of 3630), but better graphic card (GTX680)

I'm quite far to be an expert with computer, so my question is:
What is the most important point for Daz Studio?
Do I need the better processor i7? Do I have to more consider to get more RAM? Is the graphic card the most important point?

My other question is: Problems of Slow rendering is only a lack of power of my computer, or Daz Studio program itself can't do it a lot faster?

Sure, I won't buy a new one because of Daz, and I will play some game on it (Skyrim HD! Yeaaaaaah), but it would have an impact on my decision to buy a new computer now or later.

My budget is 1500 to 1800€. Maybe more if something a bit more expensive could be far better.
I don't need Bluray.

Thanks a lot in advance for the your futures answers!

Comments

  • SkatingJesusSkatingJesus Posts: 40
    edited December 1969

    I saw some Alienware laptops, but I got the feeling it's expensive for nothing really more.

  • Proxima ShiningProxima Shining Posts: 1,001
    edited December 1969

    I´d actually need the exact opposite - a cheap laptop that is at least moderately good at handling DAZ Studio. Any ideas? 1500 EUR is way out of my league... :shut:

  • wancowwancow Posts: 2,708
    edited December 1969

    You want the most powerful laptop you can get for the money. I like Toshiba because of their customer service. I've had excellent experiences with them. ASUS is also pretty good.

    70 minutes to render The Old Warehouse is pretty damn fast, by the way... Much as I love it, it does make the fan in my laptop go on overdrive...

  • Herald of FireHerald of Fire Posts: 3,357
    edited December 1969

    Really there are two major things you should focus on. CPU and memory. A fast CPU and decent memory will let Daz load in more objects and render them that much quicker. The 3Delight renderer uses software rendering, so no matter how insane the graphics card, it won't take advantage of it unless you render in OpenGL mode which is really designed more for draft images rather than final quality. Obviously if you're using it as a games system as well though, you'll probably want at least a half-decent graphics card for the latest releases.

    I'm currently running a Core i7 w/ 16Gb RAM, and things move pretty smoothly. I do get some lengthy renders, but that's largely due to heavy use of ambient occlusion and raytracing. Then again, when I built my machine I did so with the intention to use it more exclusively for rendering and modelling rather than gaming (although, I do plenty of that as well!), so I put aside a bigger budget and streamlined it for that purpose.

    While you're splurging on a brand new system, you should definitely check out the Daz store for the various Genesis figures and outfits if you're serious about rendering. Any of the Genesis outfits will work regardless of how you've applied your morphs and character blends to the main character. Yes even Michael 5 in a pink tutu. What I have seen cannot be unseen. There really is a wealth of content available, so be sure to expand your character roster to keep things fresh.

    Welcome to Daz.

  • SickleYieldSickleYield Posts: 5,992
    edited December 1969

    I'm currently running a Core i7 w/ 16Gb RAM, and things move pretty smoothly. I do get some lengthy renders, but that's largely due to heavy use of ambient occlusion and raytracing. Then again, when I built my machine I did so with the intention to use it more exclusively for rendering and modelling rather than gaming (although, I do plenty of that as well!), so I put aside a bigger budget and streamlined it for that purpose.

    Same, I've got an i7 6-core and 16 gb RAM. It better serves my needs than my old rig and does DOF and UE much faster. My graphics card is an Nvidia Geforce 560 and I have found it adequate both to my DAZ/Poser work processes and to playing Skyrim. :D


    You cannot have too much CPU for rendering. If I could afford it I'd have one of the workstation graphics cards as well,but given I don't do OpenGL renders it's less necessary. RAM doesn't hurt. The SSD is by no means necessary. I just like having one because Windows operates faster on it - they're so unstable that absolutely nothing but my OS goes on it (not even my paging file).

  • SkatingJesusSkatingJesus Posts: 40
    edited December 1969

    Thanks a lot, guys, for answering me, that was exactly what I wanted to know.

    I'm now a Daz user for 3 weeks now. I acquired a few elements on the library, like Vicky4 and 5.
    I'm still learning (as an autodidact!) how to do some good stuff, and I will soon post my firsts works. For now, they are not really interesting, but I know I will improve soon the quality of my future pics.

    I think I will wait just a few weeks/months to gdt my new laptop, when I will have some good enough Daz skills, but your answers gave me the first ideas I needed. Thanks a lot, again, guys!

  • Herald of FireHerald of Fire Posts: 3,357
    edited December 1969

    ayrtons11 said:
    Thanks a lot, guys, for answering me, that was exactly what I wanted to know.

    I'm now a Daz user for 3 weeks now. I acquired a few elements on the library, like Vicky4 and 5.
    I'm still learning (as an autodidact!) how to do some good stuff, and I will soon post my firsts works. For now, they are not really interesting, but I know I will improve soon the quality of my future pics.

    I think I will wait just a few weeks/months to gdt my new laptop, when I will have some good enough Daz skills, but your answers gave me the first ideas I needed. Thanks a lot, again, guys!

    We'll look forward to seeing your work. Most of us here still have things yet to learn, and I've found the community to be very supportive and friendly, so if you ever get any queries regarding your projects or how to get specific results, someone around here is bound to have an answer for you.

    I'm still fairly new to Daz, Studio but I've been a long time user of Poser and too numerous Daz products to mention, so the transition wasn't too much of a culture shock. Once you find your groove you'll be amazed at the quality of work you can produce.

  • SkatingJesusSkatingJesus Posts: 40
    edited December 1969

    Once you find your groove you'll be amazed at the quality of work you can produce.

    Oh yeah, I'm already amazed of what Daz can offer to me! What you can see in my avatar is a picture I did in less than 5 minutes, just to try some "Photography Studio" lighting test, and for every pic I produce, I think "Oh God, the possibilities are infinite!".

    I can't wait for my job week to finish, to spend the full week-end on my new passion!

  • Herald of FireHerald of Fire Posts: 3,357
    edited December 1969

    ayrtons11 said:
    Once you find your groove you'll be amazed at the quality of work you can produce.

    Oh yeah, I'm already amazed of what Daz can offer to me! What you can see in my avatar is a picture I did in less than 5 minutes, just to try some "Photography Studio" lighting test, and for every pic I produce, I think "Oh God, the possibilities are infinite!".

    I can't wait for my job week to finish, to spend the full week-end on my new passion!

    I'm by no means an expert, but the following was literally rendered overnight (the original file is a LOT bigger) and came out pretty well. It's amazing how easy it is to make high quality work using Daz. Consider this a shameless plug as I'm quite proud of how it came out and didn't feel it warranted its own thread :D

    The full-sized render is up on my DeviantArt account for anyone curious.

    Santas_Summer_small.png
    905 x 803 - 925K
  • frodifrodi Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    SickleYield, I am getting i7 6-core and 16 gb RAM outfit with 120 SSd and 2Terabyte HDD. You say you only have the OS on the SSD, do you have all your apps and DAZ/Studio, Painting Programs etc on the HDD? How did you manage that? I cannot quite see how DAZ/Studio for instance, can access all the folders it needs to install to.

  • SickleYieldSickleYield Posts: 5,992
    edited December 1969

    You can install DS to a secondary hard drive just by telling it to customize installation and then telling it to install to e:\DAZ (or wherever). It will install some settings to Windows no matter what, but you can have all your runtime goodies safely on the secondary, so that if the SSD blows up (as they sometimes do, suddenly and irrecoverably and much more often than SATA drives) you lose nothing that is not easy to replace. Also, 120 gb is not enough to handle Windows plus other programs plus a significant content setup, so you're going to have to have some stuff on the secondary anyway.
    .

  • ReDaveReDave Posts: 815
    edited December 2012

    @ayrtons11: this site links a lot of offers in France as they become aware of them (http://www.laptopspirit.fr/category/promotion-vente-flash), it might be a good idea to give it a browse just before Christmas (or even better, after Christmas ;-) ). I'd get an ASUS, personally since they are a big name and make very affordable laptops. Also look up with Google those models you posted and see what is their maximum RAM. You could buy say a Toshiba with 10 Go of RAM (that was an odd thing that struck me), and later, when RAM prices come down, expand to 32 Go, but it must have four RAM slots for that. Some of the laptops are capped at 16 Go, so you have to browse a little to find out this rather significant detail.

    @Proxima Shining: same thing, try to find the cheapest laptop you can afford that can be expanded (the expandable Toshiba is this one: http://www.clubic.com/shopping-761873-3-toshiba-satellite-p875-31g.html , I think). You can also browse the various Amazon sites and Ebay for used laptops; this one is unfortunately capped at 8 Gb from what I can see, otherwise I'd have jumped on it myself: http://www.amazon.fr/Sony-VAIO-VPC-F22S1E-Ordinateur-i7-2630QM/dp/B00578MFPS/ref=sr_1_10?s=computers&ie=UTF8&qid=1354629969&sr=1-10 (amazon.fr, as you can see).

    Post edited by ReDave on
  • Proxima ShiningProxima Shining Posts: 1,001
    edited December 1969

    Thank you for the info ReDave. But how does one tell whether some laptop can or cannot be expanded?

  • SkatingJesusSkatingJesus Posts: 40
    edited December 1969

    Thanks for the infos, ReDave! I will have a look!

    Anyway, I began to make some renders with my actual computer. For now, it's still confortable to work, but a bit slow.
    For the dancer picture, it took only 20 minutes for rendering, as I used only 2 lights (distant light: Sun, Uber).

    Enjoy, and feel free to give me advices!
    http://skatingjesus.deviantart.com/

    girl_dancing_in_the_streets_by_skatingjesus-d5ndowc.jpg
    1063 x 751 - 95K
  • Herald of FireHerald of Fire Posts: 3,357
    edited December 1969

    Not a bad start for a newcomer to Daz. Nice DoF usage and use of characters. Since you're using Daz 4.5, you might want to look at using Genesis figures and applying the outfits using autofit if you're using characters in more extreme poses. It probably hasn't escaped your notice that Victoria 4's foot doesn't bend very naturally when put in extreme positions, whereas the Genesis figures tend to be more flexible without breaking.

    If you don't have many morphs besides the presets for Genesis, another thing you can do is export your character and morph the leg manually to better accommodate the bends and twists needed in your images. Good luck, you're off to a great start.

  • SkatingJesusSkatingJesus Posts: 40
    edited December 1969

    Thanks for your answer,

    You're right, the pose of Vanessa is a bit weird, if we look her left leg for exemple. The truth is that pose was one for a pack and I just customize it just a bit, only her right arm (the original pose looked like a military salutation!). Even I told before I worked more on all the pic, I didn't spend time enough on the girl pose. I think the ankle's weird visual effect is amplified, increased more by the shadow on the right part of the pic (and so, the left side of all her leg). I didn't noticied that on the 3d preparation because I turned off lights!^^

    My objective, my goal for that render was more a work about light, shadows in an economic way, and in a less important part, real photographic effects (blur and focal) to avoid a 2 hours render.
    I worked too on skin effect, and light refraction, to avoid an opacity effect, and I'm quite happy of my settings with this body and skin texture!

    But even I tried to work on a lot of parameters, you're right, I should have worked more!

    Thanks for the advices!

  • ReDaveReDave Posts: 815
    edited December 1969

    @Proxima: I generally google for the complete computer model string then add "max" and "ram" as search terms. Which usually gives the answer in only a few hits. You can also try "number of memory slots" or similar, which should give a pretty good idea of the maximum RAM.

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