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Rendering Best Computer to Buy

Hi guys
Sorry in for my lack of computer knowledge in advance. We are looking at buying a new computer for 3D modelling and rendering only we use vray/3dsmax & Google sketchup Solids Work e.t.c in our studio. Having first looked at Dell (as we currently have an account with them) I was wondering what other computer companies we should look at and whether to go for an i7 or Xeon. We would be looking at Nvidia Graphic gt or gtx cards over AMD (more advice on this would be greatly appreciated)and 16gb of RAM. Also what hard drive would be best to invest/use. The main issue we currently have is rendering times. The computer would be used daily and often left overnight for some renders. Our budget is roughly between £1000 - £2000 to start with and we see the computer as more of an investment so would like to upgrade parts in the future.

Thanks
22 answers Last reply
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  1. Which country are you in? That may affect your choices

    Here in the UK, you should have a look at Armari and Workstation Specialist, and of course check out the HP Z series - there are others, but I would start by considering these vendors, who will be able to build you a machine tailored to your setup / requirements.

    In terms of PC spec, your starting-point solution for this kind of work will be a Dual Xeon configuration with a Quadro graphics card, however if you're using the realtime previewing capabilities of Vray you may want to go for a Maximus configuartion - though that may be beyond your price range. Also be careful of the lower-spec Xeon's as once you get down into the 6-core processors, you will find that an overclocked Core i7 4930K is actually more powerful (this is what I run)

    For maximum upgrade-ability you might consider a self build (as I have), however the reality I have found is that most of the time when you upgrade a processor, you frequently need to upgrade the motherboard as well, and also the RAM, and the cooler, etc - in other words, upgrade-ability should not be your first priority in choosing your system. Buy what works for you now.

    Forgot to say - if you're in the US, consider Boxx.
  2. For solidworks and 3dsmax general performance you need singlethread performance (rendering is different but modelling like singlethread performance you can read about it on solidworks forums for example). That eliminates any AMD CPU. Rendering likes CPU power (multithreaded).

    xeon may be slightly cheaper but you will have to check motherboard compatibility. 4770 (non K as you will not be overclocking) or 4930k may be your best bet depending on prices.
  3. Agreed, single threaded performance a priority, therefore an overclocked i7 your best bet. Don't be afraid of an overclocked system from the likes of Boxx or Workstation Specialist - they will have been set up with long term endurance in mind, and overclocked to a safe maximum, rather than right to the bleeding edge
  4. I would build your own vs buying one.

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i7-4930K 3.4GHz 6-Core Processor (£410.99 @ Aria PC)
    CPU Cooler: NZXT Kraken X60 98.3 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler (£114.72 @ Scan.co.uk)
    Motherboard: ASRock X79 Extreme6 ATX LGA2011 Motherboard (£186.72 @ Amazon UK)
    Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£123.50 @ Amazon UK)
    Storage: Crucial M500 240GB 2.5" Solid State Disk (£85.03 @ Scan.co.uk)
    Storage: Toshiba 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£71.99 @ Aria PC)
    Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX Titan Black 6GB Video Card (£772.02 @ Dabs)
    Case: Corsair 300R ATX Mid Tower Case (£62.90 @ Amazon UK)
    Power Supply: SeaSonic S12II 620W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply (£59.35 @ Amazon UK)
    Optical Drive: Lite-On iHDS118-04 DVD/CD Drive (£10.78 @ Scan.co.uk)
    Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) (£103.82 @ CCL Computers)
    Total: £2001.82
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-03-12 13:32 GMT+0000)
  5. logainofhades said:
    I would build your own vs buying one.

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i7-4930K 3.4GHz 6-Core Processor (£410.99 @ Aria PC)
    CPU Cooler: NZXT Kraken X60 98.3 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler (£114.72 @ Scan.co.uk)
    Motherboard: ASRock X79 Extreme6 ATX LGA2011 Motherboard (£186.72 @ Amazon UK)
    Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£123.50 @ Amazon UK)
    Storage: Crucial M500 240GB 2.5" Solid State Disk (£85.03 @ Scan.co.uk)
    Storage: Toshiba 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£71.99 @ Aria PC)
    Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX Titan Black 6GB Video Card (£772.02 @ Dabs)
    Case: Corsair 300R ATX Mid Tower Case (£62.90 @ Amazon UK)
    Power Supply: SeaSonic S12II 620W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply (£59.35 @ Amazon UK)
    Optical Drive: Lite-On iHDS118-04 DVD/CD Drive (£10.78 @ Scan.co.uk)
    Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) (£103.82 @ CCL Computers)
    Total: £2001.82
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-03-12 13:32 GMT+0000)


    Well, as a company you will need the guarantee and all that kind of stuff(reason why many companies buy pre-builded workstations).

    I also made some adjustments:

    No reason for water-cooling a good aircooler sould be efficient.

    No need for higher-end MOBO unless he will be running multiple card or overclock(you should never overclock on a prebuild workstation as it will void the guarantee).

    Faster memory

    It is better having multiple HDDs. 3TB HDD are generally known for it bad stability(compared to 2tb and 1tb).

    Better PSU.

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i7-4930K 3.4GHz 6-Core Processor (£410.99 @ Aria PC)
    CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-U12S 55.0 CFM CPU Cooler (£49.31 @ CCL Computers)
    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-X79-UD3 ATX LGA2011 Motherboard (£143.50 @ Aria PC)
    Memory: G.Skill Sniper Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR3-2400 Memory (£132.47 @ Amazon UK)
    Storage: Crucial M500 240GB 2.5" Solid State Disk (£85.03 @ Scan.co.uk)
    Storage: Toshiba 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£56.32 @ Aria PC)
    Storage: Toshiba 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£56.32 @ Aria PC)
    Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX Titan Black 6GB Video Card (£772.02 @ Dabs)
    Case: Corsair 300R ATX Mid Tower Case (£62.90 @ Amazon UK)
    Power Supply: EVGA SuperNOVA 650W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply (£64.99 @ Amazon UK)
    Optical Drive: Lite-On iHDS118-04 DVD/CD Drive (£10.78 @ Scan.co.uk)
    Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) (£103.82 @ CCL Computers)
    Total: £1948.45
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-03-12 13:52 GMT+0000)
  6. Thanks for the quick responses whyso, and snowcrtl. I'm in the UK started to look at these specs for DELL before the post I'll check out those brands now thou.
    http://www.dell.com/uk/business/p/configuration-compare.aspx?returnURL=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.dell.com%2Fuk%2Fbusiness%2Fp%2Fprecision-t5610-workstation%2Ffs#overrides=

    and also this I7 version here but on second thought I'm not sure again does overclocking mean unresticting the limits of the spec not sure of that term.

    http://www.dell.com/uk/business/p/precision-t1700-workstation/pd?refid=precision-t1700-workstation&baynote_bnrank=0&baynote_irrank=1&~ck=dellSearch&isredir=true

    whyso - we generally model in google sketchup and render in vray but other programs may be in use in the office in the future. But generally it's just rendering time that will be an issue as we are always making alterations to our models ready for presenting close to the deadline.


    As for graphic card

    Other than 1GB 2GB and so on when talk about graphic cards (I take it that this helps power/speed e.t.c and the more memory the better) when it comes to NVIDIA Quadro K2000 K4000 K600 e.t.c I am clueless as to which is better and why I understand that it also depends on other hardware but generally what is better (I understand if this can't be answered wit0hout other spec information) also I have been advised that Geeforece GT's and GTX's are better for rendering this being the case what is better does the higher number at the end necessarily mean the card is better also would you advise going for a high spec NVIDIA Graphics Card e.g a 2 GB GTX 660 over a NVIDIA 7 Graphics Card 2 GB GTX 760 is the jump that noticeable e.t.c


    Another thing is SSD or HDD or low HDD and an external harddrive

    Thanks for all the advice look forward to your suggestions
  7. Why ddr3 2400? Intel generally doesn't get much of a boost from anything past 1600. Also that ram doesn't meet the voltage requirements of the CPU. HDD in general have been hit and miss for awhile, regardless of size. 3tb, I believe, are getting better. I modified your build and added another 2tb for Raid 5.

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i7-4930K 3.4GHz 6-Core Processor (£410.99 @ Aria PC)
    CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler (£25.44 @ Aria PC)
    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-X79-UD3 ATX LGA2011 Motherboard (£143.50 @ Aria PC)
    Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£123.50 @ Amazon UK)
    Storage: Crucial M500 240GB 2.5" Solid State Disk (£85.03 @ Scan.co.uk)
    Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£49.98 @ Aria PC)
    Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£49.98 @ Aria PC)
    Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£49.98 @ Aria PC)
    Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX Titan Black 6GB Video Card (£772.02 @ Dabs)
    Case: Corsair 300R ATX Mid Tower Case (£62.90 @ Amazon UK)
    Power Supply: EVGA SuperNOVA 650W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply (£64.99 @ Amazon UK)
    Optical Drive: Lite-On iHDS118-04 DVD/CD Drive (£10.78 @ Scan.co.uk)
    Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) (£103.82 @ CCL Computers)
    Total: £1952.91
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-03-12 14:22 GMT+0000)


    3tb raid 5
    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i7-4930K 3.4GHz 6-Core Processor (£410.99 @ Aria PC)
    CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler (£25.44 @ Aria PC)
    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-X79-UD3 ATX LGA2011 Motherboard (£143.50 @ Aria PC)
    Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£123.50 @ Amazon UK)
    Storage: Crucial M500 240GB 2.5" Solid State Disk (£85.03 @ Scan.co.uk)
    Storage: Seagate Barracuda 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£79.18 @ Aria PC)
    Storage: Seagate Barracuda 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£79.18 @ Aria PC)
    Storage: Seagate Barracuda 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£79.18 @ Aria PC)
    Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX Titan Black 6GB Video Card (£772.02 @ Dabs)
    Case: Zalman Z9 ATX Mid Tower Case (£36.98 @ Dabs)
    Power Supply: EVGA SuperNOVA 650W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply (£64.99 @ Amazon UK)
    Optical Drive: Lite-On iHDS118-04 DVD/CD Drive (£10.78 @ Scan.co.uk)
    Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) (£103.82 @ CCL Computers)
    Total: £2014.59
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-03-12 14:28 GMT+0000)
  8. Ah the GeForce v Quadro thing...

    Basically they're built for different markets - GeForec for gamers, Quadro for pro apps. Quadro is far pricier, given they're basically the same hardware, but their are differences - firstly the Quadro cards (like Xeon processors) are designed to be able to run at maximum load for long periods, they tend to be quieter, and they have 10bit colour (important if you're colour grading, for example). They also come with dedicated drivers for pro apps, which makes a really significant difference in use with those pro apps, though admittedly this is more apparent with some than with others.

    Given you are using Solidworks, for which the Quadro drivers will make a difference, I would recommend a Quadro. The K600, K2000, or K4000 will all do you fine, depending on your budget, just don't miss the K (as a Quadro 4000 for example, is the previous generation and much slower). Power-wise, higher numbers are better.

    Btw there has been some comment above about not overclocking a machine bought from the likes of Dell etc - but if you buy from Workstation Specialist, Boxx, etc, your i7 4930K will be overclocked by them, and will come with a warranty - you'll never be overclocking yourself (don't fear the overclock)
  9. Titan is really an entry level workstation card that can also game. ;) Software has also gotten better at taking advantage of the capabilities of gaming cards.
  10. Lots to read and digest thanks everyone for your help.

    I'll do some more research and come back and add some more questions tomorrow lots to think about.

    But just before I go what exactly are pro apps ( never heard the term before although) sorry

    and suppose we choose not to use Solidsworks simply just Vray 3ds Max and Google SKU what would be the best graphics processor to go with Quadro or GeForce.

    Thanks again
  11. logainofhades said:
    Titan is really an entry level workstation card that can also game. ;) Software has also gotten better at taking advantage of the capabilities of gaming cards.


    Ashley2011 said:
    Lots to read and digest thanks everyone for your help.

    I'll do some more research and come back and add some more questions tomorrow lots to think about.

    But just before I go what exactly are pro apps ( never heard the term before although) sorry

    and suppose we choose not to use Solidsworks simply just Vray 3ds Max and Google SKU what would be the best graphics processor to go with Quadro or GeForce.

    Thanks again


    "pro apps" are probably referred to as "professional applications" such as the rendering you're doing via vray/3dsmax & Google Sketchup.
  12. logainofhades & sore what is Titan not sure what your referring to there sorry please explain.
  13. Ashley2011 said:
    logainofhades & sore what is Titan not sure what your referring to there sorry please explain.


    http://www.nvidia.com/gtx-700-graphics-cards/gtx-titan-black/
  14. Cheers logaino for the info will read up.
  15. Hi everyone

    Are there any particular brands I should look at that sell pre built (desktop) machines for use with 3D rendering only. I've looked at Dell but they only offer 3GB NVIDIA Quadro k4000's Graphic Cards and really we need it to be a Geeforce Graphics Card either GT or GTX.

    Thanks people
  16. You could go here to and have your system configured how you want it.

    http://www.cyberpowerpc.com/system/Gamer_Xtreme_XT/
  17. logainofhades said:
    You could go here to and have your system configured how you want it.

    http://www.cyberpowerpc.com/system/Gamer_Xtreme_XT/


    Thanks but it really has to be a branded computer available in the UK.
  18. thanks logaiofhades real help
  19. Hi everyone taking your advice and considering our budget for a Brand name computer e.t.c we have decided to go with the HP Envy

    http://store.hp.com/UKStore/Merch/Product.aspx?id=F9P86EA&opt=ABU&sel=PCDT#merch-tech-specs

    Final thoughts would be appreciated.

    Thanks

    Ashley
  20. Take a look at what lenovo offers. HP's quality has been quite poor lately. Lenovo's I know from experience are pretty good.
  21. Pretty sure the OP has figured it out by now. This thread is 3yrs old. Please don't necro old threads. /closed
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