For the past two weeks or so I have been using the Puget system for everyday work from character creation to clothing creation and then checking that work in VR. It has been a rather boring process that couldn't go any better.
When you are in the early stages of a new workstation you want boring. Drama is the last thing you need but usually the first thing you get. With the Puget, it has been like I'm using an old friend instead of fighting to get drivers playing nicely with new equipment.
No bluescreens, no glitches. No software conflicts and like all 3D digital freelancers I have a ton of software that wants to bully each other for resources but no problems of that kind to report.
Sure, there are times of CPU spikes... particularly when re-meshing a majorly fat model with InstaLOD XL Studio but that is to be expected from that type of tool. It's so smooth on the Puget that I'm afraid of going back to my Dell and HP.
Make no mistake about it... the XPS and Omen were absolute bears to set up with the Dell XPS being the most finicky. I have seen bluescreens on both systems... patiently waited for it to collect data and reboot... what the 'eff else was I going to do? Grab a baseball bat and tell it no... reboot now!!!
Not so with the Puget. Just load the software and get to work. Keep in mind it's only been a couple of weeks or so but that same period with the XPS and the Omen was anything but smooth.
Unless they are practically giving them away... I will never purchase another Dell. Those might be famous last words as I made that same promise years ago then gave them another chance but you see how that worked out.
The HP Omen is a solid platform with fewer kinks than the XPS and I really push it with VR but it's still finicky. Even with an RTX Titan (64 Gigs) in the video slot, VR can give it all it can handle forcing some reduction in quality settings.
Again... not so with the Puget. In fact, I pushed all the quality and texture controls to the max on everything I tried in VR. I then went back into the Steam VR platform and jacked up the supersampling to 180-200%. That wouldn't just choke the HP... it would lock it up tighter than an Alabama tick on a hound dog. Bet you didn't see that reference coming in a tech article.
If you have ever messed around with the nuts and bolts of VR, especially early VR, you quickly realize that bumping the supersampling to increase resolution is like getting new VR hardware. If... that is … your system will handle the supersampling rate without eventually doing an imitation of a barrel of cement.
The Puget ate it up like candy.
Even more crucial is that... and I can't stress the importance of this to pipeline artists... I've not had to worry about how many windows I had open! That's right. Multiple 3D/2D, image, and office apps open at the same time. No crashes, no slowdowns. CPU spike yes but those are going to happen since the spike is reacting to workload.
It's near this time last year that I set up the Dell and reformatted the HP Omen after a bricked Windows 10 update. Restoring the Omen wasn't a big deal since it was a total OS reformat but getting the Dell ready was enough to make me learn new words and at my age that is quite an accomplishment.
So far, I am a bit surprised at the efficiency of using a workstation versus a gaming platform. It used to be the other way around. Enough so that I quit using workstations and migrated to the gaming specs.
If things keep going as smoothly and efficiently as they are... I'll have to rethink that strategy.
M.D. McCallum, aka WarLord, is an international award-winning commercial graphics artist, 3D animator, published author, project director, and webmaster with a freelance career that spans over 20 years. Now retired, M.D. is currently working part-time on writing and select character development projects. You can learn more about MD on his website.