One thing I wanted to mention is that if you want a pipe/cable, all you need to do is turn on "Renderable in Viewport" for your spline...and then play with the amount of edges if you want it to have less polygons. Then you turn it to Editable Poly and you're done much sooner.
Also, I like that they added pelt mapping to Max a few versions ago, but other programs, like DeepUV (from 2003!), Unfold3D and Roadkill have relax tools that are a million times better. Pelt Mapping unfolds your polygons but it stretches them based on your pelt map shape...which is stupid. In stand-alone apps, you press relax and it's already unfolded AND relaxed properly. DeepUV saves me a ton of time when UV mapping anything, and it's an old program too. Autodesk really needs to work on the UV mapping tools.