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hints on 2D & 3D Graphics Build. 1500$

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September 16, 2013 2:57:46 PM

Hi everyone,
I am looking to build a desktop for 2D and 3D graphics.
I read around as much as possible, but still can't quite figure out where to start from.
Any build suggestion is more than welcome!

Approximate Purchase Date: in the next month.
Budget Range: 1500$/1700$ max (not including monitor)
System Usage from Most to Least Important: 3D graphics and renderings (3dsmax, solidworks, rhino, maya...), 2D graphics (photoshop, illustrator, premiere, after effects...)
Are you buying a monitor: Yes
Do you need to buy OS: Yes
Location: Montreal, Canada.
Parts Preferences: intel cpu.
Overclocking: possibly not.
SLI or Crossfire: No
Additional Comments: I do not need to set-up a render farm obviously, but need something which might drastically cut the render time.
And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: I am working on a laptop which just can't make it anymore.

So far I made up my mind about the monitor which I need to be enough trustable in terms of color calibration: (accepting suggestions here too..)
ASUS PA248Q Black 24.1"
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

something I have been considering:
CPU: Intel Core i7-4770 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor
RAM: 32 gb (4x8gb) ddr3
VideoCard: Asus GeForce GTX 680 2GB Video Card (not so sure about it)
HD: ssd + 2T hd (also considering 4x2t in raid10, for reliability)

Thanks.
September 16, 2013 3:26:57 PM

Your parts you are considering look OK but perhaps some other options to consider.

What kind of Ram are you looking at, speed? Here is a new piece on memory you may want to go over...
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/memory-scaling-gami...

The 680 is sort of old news now days for a new build, perhaps look into the 770. Also AMD is releasing their new line up very shortly in a couple weeks, you should look and see what they have to offer in graphics when the announcement and pricing is set..

The ASUS PRO is a solid MB at a reasonable price, but their are many that are very good also.

What size SSD are you planing on?
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September 16, 2013 3:37:47 PM


This should do.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($319.99 @ Amazon Canada)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.99 @ NCIX)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V PRO ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($186.50 @ Vuugo)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance Pro 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($168.41 @ DirectCanada)
Storage: Samsung 840 Pro Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($133.07 @ DirectCanada)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($66.98 @ Newegg Canada)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($66.98 @ Newegg Canada)
Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card ($339.99 @ Memory Express)
Case: Fractal Design Define R4 w/Window (Black Pearl) ATX Mid Tower Case ($101.95 @ Amazon Canada)
Power Supply: Corsair 760W 80 PLUS Platinum Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($193.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24F1ST DVD/CD Writer ($29.43 @ Newegg Canada)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8 Full (64-bit) ($109.33 @ Newegg Canada)
Monitor: Asus PA248Q 24.1" Monitor ($309.99 @ Memory Express)
Total: $2056.60
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-09-16 18:39 EDT-0400)
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Related resources
September 16, 2013 4:29:23 PM

endeavour37a said:
Your parts you are considering look OK but perhaps some other options to consider.

What kind of Ram are you looking at, speed? Here is a new piece on memory you may want to go over...
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/memory-scaling-gami...

The 680 is sort of old news now days for a new build, perhaps look into the 770. Also AMD is releasing their new line up very shortly in a couple weeks, you should look and see what they have to offer in graphics when the announcement and pricing is set..

The ASUS PRO is a solid MB at a reasonable price, but their are many that are very good also.

What size SSD are you planing on?


Hi endeavour,
not really any idea on which kind of ram actually. I know that I'd feel safer filling up to 32gb but then I've got no idea on anything in particular so far. I'll have a look at that link, thanks!
SSD I was thinking about the samsung 128gb, as boot and apps
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September 16, 2013 4:39:18 PM

iNova said:
eakl8 said:
endeavour37a said:
Your parts you are considering look OK but perhaps some other options to consider.

What kind of Ram are you looking at, speed? Here is a new piece on memory you may want to go over...
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/memory-scaling-gami...

The 680 is sort of old news now days for a new build, perhaps look into the 770. Also AMD is releasing their new line up very shortly in a couple weeks, you should look and see what they have to offer in graphics when the announcement and pricing is set..

The ASUS PRO is a solid MB at a reasonable price, but their are many that are very good also.

What size SSD are you planing on?


Hi endeavour,
not really any idea on which kind of ram actually. I know that I'd feel safer filling up to 32gb but then I've got no idea on anything in particular so far. I'll have a look at that link, thanks!
SSD I was thinking about the samsung 128gb, as boot and apps


The build I posted above. The HDD is nearly as fast as an SSD. Even faster then some to!

If you missed it:
http://ca.pcpartpicker.com/p/1EzYb


Ehi, I was right about checking your build there. Thanks for it!
You're saying that I should go for the i7-4770k instead of the i7-3770k right?
If I don't want to OC I could just get the 4770??
Last, would it be better going for 16gb ram at that speed you put in your build or 32gb for something slower??
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September 16, 2013 4:43:40 PM

eakl8 said:
endeavour37a said:
Your parts you are considering look OK but perhaps some other options to consider.

What kind of Ram are you looking at, speed? Here is a new piece on memory you may want to go over...
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/memory-scaling-gami...

The 680 is sort of old news now days for a new build, perhaps look into the 770. Also AMD is releasing their new line up very shortly in a couple weeks, you should look and see what they have to offer in graphics when the announcement and pricing is set..

The ASUS PRO is a solid MB at a reasonable price, but their are many that are very good also.

What size SSD are you planing on?


Hi endeavour,
not really any idea on which kind of ram actually. I know that I'd feel safer filling up to 32gb but then I've got no idea on anything in particular so far. I'll have a look at that link, thanks!
SSD I was thinking about the samsung 128gb, as boot and apps


Hi, give me a few minutes here and I will edit this comment.........
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September 16, 2013 5:16:07 PM

I have a question for you, you say your not going to OC your system, you can get a bit more performance if you did, the difference between the k and non-k is about 40 bucks. I'll make a config with a non-k for you to look over, you already have 2 good set ups to look at, mine just slightly different. Give me a a few minutes, just got done doing something that had to get done........
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September 16, 2013 5:24:26 PM

endeavour37a said:
I have a question for you, you say your not going to OC your system, you can get a bit more performance if you did, the difference between the k and non-k is about 40 bucks. I'll make a config with a non-k for you to look over, you already have 2 good set ups to look at, mine just slightly different. Give me a a few minutes, just got done doing something that had to get done........


Is mainly cause I wouldn't know where to start. And trough the years I learned to obey to the Murphy's laws.

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September 16, 2013 5:32:18 PM

eakl8 said:
endeavour37a said:
I have a question for you, you say your not going to OC your system, you can get a bit more performance if you did, the difference between the k and non-k is about 40 bucks. I'll make a config with a non-k for you to look over, you already have 2 good set ups to look at, mine just slightly different. Give me a a few minutes, just got done doing something that had to get done........


Is mainly cause I wouldn't know where to start. And trough the years I learned to obey to the Murphy's laws.



Rog that :)  You say a graphics intensive machine, not so much gaming, right... or no. Rendering and such, video editing?

Win 7 or 8??????
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September 16, 2013 5:34:41 PM

endeavour37a said:
eakl8 said:
endeavour37a said:
I have a question for you, you say your not going to OC your system, you can get a bit more performance if you did, the difference between the k and non-k is about 40 bucks. I'll make a config with a non-k for you to look over, you already have 2 good set ups to look at, mine just slightly different. Give me a a few minutes, just got done doing something that had to get done........


Is mainly cause I wouldn't know where to start. And trough the years I learned to obey to the Murphy's laws.



Rog that :)  You say a graphics intensive machine, not so much gaming, right... or no. Rendering and such, video editing?


Yup, graphics, photo editing and 2d in general, 3d rendering and modeling of heavy cad stuff. Gaming is not a necessity at all....
win7 or 8.. that I still haven't figure. Need to check all the software compatibility first I guess...
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Best solution

September 16, 2013 5:55:20 PM

Perhaps something like this.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-4770 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($294.97 @ Outlet PC)
CPU Cooler: Xigmatek GAIA SD1283 56.3 CFM CPU Cooler ($24.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Asus Z87-PRO ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($179.98 @ Outlet PC)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($119.00 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 840 Pro Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($122.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($84.98 @ Outlet PC)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 770 2GB Video Card ($397.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Case: Fractal Design Arc Midi R2 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($64.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: SeaSonic X Series 760W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($159.98 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($16.98 @ Outlet PC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8 (OEM) (64-bit) ($86.98 @ Outlet PC)
Monitor: Asus PA248Q 24.1" Monitor ($299.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Total: $1853.82
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-09-16 20:53 EDT-0400)

Have some comments to make on it but take a look
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September 16, 2013 6:07:16 PM

That seems quite like something I was aiming to. Thanks again!
Guys, thanks all of you.. I would just abuse of your patience and knowledge with a couple more dumb questions :) 
(I start by saying that my last pcbuild was not less than 10 years ago.. haven't followed things so much after it)
Pro and Cons of OC at this point..? should I really consider it? Is it "safe" enough....(?)
Brands wise, for the motherboard and the memory is it an issue.. or just a i$$ue??
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September 16, 2013 6:15:13 PM

Cases are like cars, a very personal choice, a matter of taste. I prefer plain simple and elegant with all the magic inside, others like eye candy, just me. There is a new case not on PP, a larger version of this case, very cool indeed.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Don’t know what Win you want, does not really matter either way, your choice.

Heavy rendering I understand likes RAM, 32GB may not be a bad idea at all. With 16GB in 2x4 you can always add 16GB more easily if needed. Or just get 32GB to go.

If your not OCing a moderate CPU cooler should be just fine, I don’t have confidence in boxed fans, so just a few bucks to protect a expensive part is not wasted I feel. Most here are CM212 fans and it is a proven workhorse indeed, yet this one is spoken highly of here also, it looks like a good one for the price. They look like twins if compared, either one will serve well.

Have not heard of a HDD to match an SSD yet, perhaps but who knows. For just storage any HDD will do, the WD Black is fast and dependable, it is durable also. A bit more expensive than Blue or Green.
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September 16, 2013 8:29:22 PM

eakl8 said:
That seems quite like something I was aiming to. Thanks again!
Guys, thanks all of you.. I would just abuse of your patience and knowledge with a couple more dumb questions :) 
(I start by saying that my last pcbuild was not less than 10 years ago.. haven't followed things so much after it)
Pro and Cons of OC at this point..? should I really consider it? Is it "safe" enough....(?)
Brands wise, for the motherboard and the memory is it an issue.. or just a i$$ue??


It is not really hard to put a slight OC on your CPU and GPU today pretty safely if your don't go overboard. Is it worth doing for a slight edge on speed, good question. That i7 stock is pretty darn spiffy out of the box, a 770 is but a few tiers below bleeding edge top of the line.
Does one need to OC a system like you are building to make it better because it's sort of sluggish, heck no! But I would not really know because I don't have an i7, but I understand they are fast :) . I would think your set up will rock and serve you well for a few years with no problems, perhaps more memory may help if really intensive rendering, but maybe not, check the usage when you really have it under load working hard.

Brands, ASUS, Gigabyte, MSI and ASRock are very good MBs. Selecting one takes a bit of thinking to figure out what you need and what you don't. If you not going to Oc don't get a board with a ton of stuff mounted to it to OC, like buttons and switches, if your not going to run a lot of drives you don't really need a lot of SATA ports, you get my drift here. Set a price range and compare everything i n it.

RAM, Corsair, Crucial, GSkill, are good brands, many others also.

Power supplies are important, Corsair, SeaSonic, XFX and Antec are good brands.
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September 17, 2013 8:00:36 AM

endeavour37a said:
eakl8 said:
That seems quite like something I was aiming to. Thanks again!
Guys, thanks all of you.. I would just abuse of your patience and knowledge with a couple more dumb questions :) 
(I start by saying that my last pcbuild was not less than 10 years ago.. haven't followed things so much after it)
Pro and Cons of OC at this point..? should I really consider it? Is it "safe" enough....(?)
Brands wise, for the motherboard and the memory is it an issue.. or just a i$$ue??


It is not really hard to put a slight OC on your CPU and GPU today pretty safely if your don't go overboard. Is it worth doing for a slight edge on speed, good question. That i7 stock is pretty darn spiffy out of the box, a 770 is but a few tiers below bleeding edge top of the line.
Does one need to OC a system like you are building to make it better because it's sort of sluggish, heck no! But I would not really know because I don't have an i7, but I understand they are fast :) . I would think your set up will rock and serve you well for a few years with no problems, perhaps more memory may help if really intensive rendering, but maybe not, check the usage when you really have it under load working hard.

Brands, ASUS, Gigabyte, MSI and ASRock are very good MBs. Selecting one takes a bit of thinking to figure out what you need and what you don't. If you not going to Oc don't get a board with a ton of stuff mounted to it to OC, like buttons and switches, if your not going to run a lot of drives you don't really need a lot of SATA ports, you get my drift here. Set a price range and compare everything i n it.

RAM, Corsair, Crucial, GSkill, are good brands, many others also.

Power supplies are important, Corsair, SeaSonic, XFX and Antec are good brands.


Thanks a lot sir, very very exhaustive!
Got enough infos to start playing around now :) 

EDIT: sorry.. last thing. iNova quit, but I was checking at his OC build. The MB he picked there would it be compatible with ram dd3-2400? from the specs seems to skip that.. (Memory Type: DDR3-1600/1866/2133/2200/2600/2800/3000)
And, could this be a good OC build solution!? http://ca.pcpartpicker.com/p/1ENyZ
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September 19, 2013 9:52:03 AM

That build looks real good to go with. Not sure about the RAM, there will not be much difference between 2200, 2400 and 2600 memory to speak of.
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