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PC built in 2009 for 3d modelling and graphics needs fresh components: suggestions?

  • Systems
Last response: in Systems
July 9, 2013 6:50:49 AM

Hello everybody.
Four years ago i started to rise my antennas to catch up with the computer hardware world.
I put my personal computer together with the following components: Now, four years later, i have some money to put in it for upgrades and alikes. Something around 600$ more or less. I work as a videogame freelance, so i believe i might want to invest a bit on a graphic card, as i already have a SSD. or maybe on a new processor. or maybe on both. Im not one of those persons that wants the super duper latest graphic card or so, something with a good price/performance ratio is perfect, maybe a bit more on the performance side. but apart from that, im open to any suggestion, as i stopped following the hardware scene a while ago.
please note that my pc cassis is on the medium/small part and that i fitted the gtx275 with difficulty in this one.. and i cant be assed to dismount everything: need a "small" graphic card or an external one (given they exist and are decent)

bests, raffaele

Intel Core i7 920 D0 BOX, Quad Core, 2.66 GHz, ...
Noctua CPU-Cooler NH-U12P SE2 - Sockel 1366/1156
AsRock X58 Extreme, Intel X58, LGA1366, SLI, CFX
GeIL EVO ONE 6x2GB Kit, DDR3-1600, CL7-7-7-24@1...
Samsung HD103SJ, F3, 7200rpm, 32MB, 1TB, SATA-II
OCZ SSD Vertex 2 Extended Cap. 120GB, SATA-II, ...
WD VelociRaptor WD3000HLFS, 10'000rpm, 16MB, 30...
LG GH22NS, 22x DVD±R Brenner, SATA, schwarz
Cooler Master RC-690-KKN1-GP, inkl. Mesh-Gitter...
Corsair CMPSU-850HX, 850W, SLI/CF, ATX2.2/EPS, ...
Noctua CPU-Kühler NH-U12P SE2 - Sockel 1366/1156
MSI GTX-275 Lightning (GT200b) 1792MB GDDR3, 55...

More about : built 2009 modelling graphics fresh components suggestions

July 9, 2013 7:25:40 AM

Definitely spend the budget on GPU. In fact, just $400 for a GTX 770 would be very nice upgrade for that system, and has virtually the same clearance as your current GPU.

In regards to physical clearance, you should be fine:

MSi GTX 275 Lightning: 10.6"
MSi GTX 770 Lightning: 11"

If you don't think you can clear the extra 0.4", there are plenty of shorter versions available.
July 9, 2013 7:26:51 AM

you have to upgrade your CPU , GPU

everything else looks alright to me

i would suggest an HD 7870 (220 $ ~ ) and FX-8350 ( 200 & ~ ) or you can go for the i5-3570k ( 200 $ ~ )

( the FX-8350 is better if you are looking for an future proof CPU sine it has 8 cores while the i5-3570k is Quad core CPU )

if you will upgrade the CPU you will need a new MOBO for sure
for the FX-8350 :
( if you want cheaper : )

for the i5-3570k :
( if you want cheaper : )
Related resources
July 9, 2013 7:48:47 AM

ram1009 said:
I suggest the OP & both responders read this:

The most important thing to take from this article is that gaming GPUs do not fair well in professional environments.

Mmmm... that's a given without reading the article. I suppose I made the assumption that OP has some hardware knowledge, had a reason for previously purchasing a GTX 275 (also plays games?), and that replacing like with like would be in his interest. Of course, my assumption could be entirely wrong. OP?

July 9, 2013 8:18:25 AM

Hi and thanks for your answers!

gmkos: thanks for your input, from the little time i lurked around i too tought the gtx770 seems like an unique money/performance gem, rarely a card is such a "sure pick" in communities... and also thanks for the size infos, exactly what i needed.

KareemGT: the CPU was also one of my worries: i was already a bit on the low side four years ago.. it is indeed outdated by now. Tough i did buy that precise motherboard because of some structural hypothesis on the coming CPUs. long story short, someone suggested that with that type of mobo i wouldnt have problems upgrading to a different CPU years later. Do you believe it is inevitable to to change the MOBO in the case of a CPU upgrade? do i have any other options?

ram1009: thanks for the link, interesting stuff. I kind of wanted to read something like that to refresh my knowledge on the matter, seems the situation has remained unchanged

gmkos/ram1009: yes gmkos is right, i do have some vague hardware knowledge, but nothing spectacular, i would sum it up like that:

for someone who works in 3d mostly and plays videogames from time to time, quadros and alikes are a waste of money that results in disappointing performance

for someone who works in 2d (photoshop) mostly, does NOT play videogames, and has double the money that a gaming card requires, Quadros and alikes are the way to go

To me, from the quick overview i gave these benchmarks, it looks like the quadros cant hold a candle to the gaming cards for 3d viewports and rendering, but are the way to go if you spend yout time in photoshop with thousands of layers. I notice that while i get good performance with my gtx275 in 3dapps like zbrush or maya, in photoshop it really suffers... rotating the canvas at mid/high resolutions results in atrocious lagging.

Best solution

July 9, 2013 10:09:10 AM

At this point, if you update the CPU, you should absolutely also update the motherboard. If not, you'd be severely limiting yourself in value for your dollar, as there are only a limited amount of CPUs available for the 1366 socket.

I would personally advise against spending money in that direction, as you can sufficiently run a more powerful GPU than your current on your existing system.

Just to put things into perspective using hardware from this thread with passmark scores:


Intel Core i7 920 @ 2.67GHz

Intel Core i7-3770K @ 3.50GHz

AMD FX-8350 Eight-Core

Potential for performance improvement is roughly 90% at a cost of (at least, with a cheap board) $300.


GeForce GTX 275

GeForce GTX 770

Potential for performance improvement is almost 600% at a cost of $400.
July 9, 2013 10:35:04 AM

thanks for the details..
ive been reading these benchmarks further and seriously i see no trend whatsoever... some 3Dapps do great with quadros some other with gtx... and seen how they reccomend a quadro4000k for ~700$ it does look like a viable option... if there was a well defined difference between performance in 2d and 3d environments the choice woulve been easy, but with these wild benchmarks... meh
July 9, 2013 10:36:30 AM

oh and some years ago quadros were WAY more expensive than 700... and i was younger, and gamed more.. maybe the time has come... :) 
July 9, 2013 3:04:05 PM

noktek said:
oh and some years ago quadros were WAY more expensive than 700... and i was younger, and gamed more.. maybe the time has come... :) 

You're right, they have made the entry level for workstation GPUs more reasonable in recent years. Seems like a viable option for you provided everything you've shared.
July 10, 2013 7:01:19 AM

one last question, i doubt the quadro would fit from the looks of it.. i couldnt find the size specs.. any idea where to look at?