Price When Reviewed: 299 . 1189 . 4159
Pros: XSI is a compelling 3D product that seems to have little in the way of weaknesses. It’s an artist-centric package and the Advanced version has all the tools and features you could wish for.
Cons: The Advanced version is expensive.
When Softimage|XSI was initially launched as a next-generation 3D animation program, it showed a lot of promise but fell short of the initial hype surrounding its advanced animation capabilities. XSI 5.0 is at last the “next generation” 3D suite Softimage has always promised, thanks to some very important advances.
This is the first version of XSI to run on 64-bit enabled systems. We tested XSI on a Windows XP Pro x64 Edition workstation. Over the course of testing, the system was remarkably resilient and robust without a single system hang. This is quite a surprise for such a new technology, and bodes well for production houses chomping at the bit for 64-bit applications.
We tested the application on a Pentium Dual Core 3.2GHz Fujitsu-Siemens machine with 2GB of RAM and a NVidia Quadro FX 1400 graphics card (reviewed as part of our group test on page 108). We were not able to install a dual boot system to run the 32bit version of XSI – possibly due to the 64-bit architecture – but it was clear that XSI 64-bit was running very nimbly indeed.
We were advised that 64-bit really comes into its own when you run scenes requiring 4GB or more of RAM, but XSI
is designed to work with any amount of RAM efficiently.