You can customize this new IBM workstation to meet your needs, but the one I reviewed for this column had a 3.00 GHz processor, 1 Gig of Ram, a 80 GB HD, NVIDIA Quadro FX 1000 (128mb) graphics card, a DVD-Rom and a CD/RW drives. This workstation also comes with 5 PCI slots, 1 AGP, 4 USB ports in the back, two in the front and two firewire ports. The system’s OS is Windows XP Professional.
To conduct my test, I installed a few power-hungry packages like Maya 5, 3ds max 5.1, Avid Xpress Pro and ParticleIllusion 3.0. I’m happy to report that all the packages performed well. In the case of ParticleIllusion 3.0, I created several sophisticated particle effects, and in spite of using several layers on top of each other, I was able to preview them in real-time. By adding a Maxtor 200 GB USB/Firewire harddrive to the system as my dedicated video drive, I used Avid Xpress Pro to edit a video presentation. The editing process went quite smoothly even when I added several effects and transitions.
The Good News: The IBM IntelliStation M Pro has a simple and clean design. Despite all the parts and tools, it’s surprisingly light and easy to move around.
The Wish List: The CPU fan is quite noisy and becomes a problem if you are editing sound or you need to record a voice-over session.
The Bottom Line: This is a very powerful workstation for both animators and video artists.
Web address: www.ibm.com
Animation Magazine’s Seal of Excellence
Final Score: *****
Ease of Use: *****
Ease of Modification and Maintenance: *****