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Looking for advice on a new computer build.

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March 20, 2014 5:16:03 PM

I am looking for advice and opinions on a new computer which I will assemble. Any help would be appreciated.

I am looking at building a new computer. My current computer:

MSI RX480 Neo2
AMD Athalon 64 Athlon 3700+ 2.21 GHz
2 x 1.0 GB RAM
150 GB Western Digital HDD
Radeon x1950 Serieis
Antec 500W PSU
This was my first build and has served me well since I put it together over 10 years ago. But lately I find myself wanting more RAM and my motherboard can't hold it. Admittedly, my computer use could nearly all be classified as "play" because i do not currently earn any money for the time i spend on it. Though that time does include some video production, learning a 3D graphics and animation program(Blender), along with just beginning to toy around with an open source game engine(Unity), and playing some games as well. Want to experiment around with SLI just because I've never done it. Same with over-clocking. Ideally, I'd like to keep both computers usable, but
I'd be willing and able to shut one down until I got enough parts, in order to pimp out my new one a little more. I am basically looking at two builds 1) gets me more for my money 2)Gets me more upgrade potential( I think). My budget is around $1500.00.

Build 1:
Asus Z87 Delux Motherboard
Intel i7-4770k Processor
Corsair Dominator Platinum 16 GB(2 x 8) RAM
2 x AMD Radeon HD 7750
Seagate Barracuda 2TB HDD
Corsair HX1050 PSU

Build 2:
Asus Rampage IV Black Edition LGA 2011
Intel Core i7-4930k Ivy-Bridge E
Corsair Dominator Platinum 16 GB (4 x 4) RAM
Corsair Obsidian 750D Full Tower Case

Both these computers would be a huge upgrade for me and will easily fill my current computing needs. While Build 1 gets me a whole new kicka*& computer(I have a spare mid-tower case) and build 2 would require my current video card, hard drive, and power supply(shutting down 1 computer), I'm really liking build 2. Perhaps I'm overcompensating because lack of RAM hurt me before, But I heard alot of good things about the Rampage IV. Because its Extended ATX it would require a new case which eats into the budget a little. But I get the six-core ivy and the motherboard to take advantage of the extra cores. I know there are already more powerful cpus for the 2011 socket, which gives me hopes of even upgrading the cpu should i ever feel the need. Plus i get quad-channel RAM that I can upgrade to my hearts content. But it also postpones a video card upgrade. Though, I figure I can upgrade to two video cards and a better power supply when I'm prepared to tackle SLI. And if I continue deeper into some the programs i work with(video production, image rendering), I understand the 2011 is best suited to the task.

Questions
Am I correct in thinking The 2011 Socket Better suits my computing needs?
Am I just going over-board with build 2? Imagining that I will ever have the need for that much computing power is crazy?
Can I use my Radeon x1950 in Build 2 until I can upgrade to two video cards(or 4 :) ?
Can I use my current Antec 500W PSU to power Build 2 until I need more power for extra video cards?
I'm familiar with computer, having assembled my first one, but by no means an expert. Anything I'm over looking?
I could postpone this whole build for a few months, any reason I should, except for a chance that prices will drop somewhat?
Any other advice?

Thanks,
Shea

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March 20, 2014 5:55:05 PM

Hi!

I have long experience with PC hardware and I have studied 3D graphics. From my point of view your best choice is Build 1 with ONE graphics card. 3D graphic softwares uses multiple cards only with GPU rendering engines (one powerful for rendering and one basic card for Windows desktop). You get very far in your hobby with 32GB of memory and four cores. LGA 2011 is only needed beyond that.

Little tips: Get one powerful graphics card, lowest possible number of RAM modules for needed capacity, good PSU and defenedly SSD for operating system including little room for project files.
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March 20, 2014 7:12:36 PM

bondlikelake said:
Hi!

I have long experience with PC hardware and I have studied 3D graphics. From my point of view your best choice is Build 1 with ONE graphics card. 3D graphic softwares uses multiple cards only with GPU rendering engines (one powerful for rendering and one basic card for Windows desktop). You get very far in your hobby with 32GB of memory and four cores. LGA 2011 is only needed beyond that.

Little tips: Get one powerful graphics card, lowest possible number of RAM modules for needed capacity, good PSU and defenedly SSD for operating system including little room for project files.


Right on. Thanks for the reply. I do understand that the 2011 is overkill for me right now, and I'll want another upgrade before I could possibly need or use 64 GB of RAM. Just trying to plan ahead so if my hobbies ever became more than just "play" I could just upgrade my board(RAM,Vidio Cards, PSU, maybe processor) to get the specs I was after. But you're right. It would be a little while before I even have the experience or programs to take advantage of the the 2011 and the extra cores.
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March 20, 2014 7:20:03 PM

bondlikelake said:
Hi!

I have long experience with PC hardware and I have studied 3D graphics. From my point of view your best choice is Build 1 with ONE graphics card. 3D graphic softwares uses multiple cards only with GPU rendering engines (one powerful for rendering and one basic card for Windows desktop). You get very far in your hobby with 32GB of memory and four cores. LGA 2011 is only needed beyond that.

Little tips: Get one powerful graphics card, lowest possible number of RAM modules for needed capacity, good PSU and defenedly SSD for operating system including little room for project files.


SSD for sure. And I thought, perhaps incorrectly, that if i have quad-channel memory i should spread the RAM across four slots to take advantage of it. If i was going with the 2011 wouldn't I want to fill at least four slots?

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March 20, 2014 7:38:15 PM

You did not specify what kind of 3D material you want learn to do. I have multiple machines and I still struggle even with < 20 sec. animations for hobby. LGA 2011 would help you with fast high quality test renderings, but for final image renderings I suggest specific machine. Rendering is so time consuming, that your workstation idle time is not enough to get work done.
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March 20, 2014 8:09:31 PM

If you have future use for small memory modules, otherwise I would go as big as motherboard supports. The problem can be to ensure system stability when you later upgrade more memory. Memory manufacturers sell kits for reason. I´m not so technical wizard that I could explain why modules from same manufacturer with identical specs don´t always work together, but safest way is buy needed memory at one time. Memory bandtwidth almost doubles, but in real world scenario benefit will be much much smaller http://www.legitreviews.com/ddr3-memory-performance-ana...

Baseline is to buy biggest possible memory modules, not to stay in dual channel mode forever (LGA 2011).
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March 20, 2014 8:35:08 PM

bondlikelake said:
You did not specify what kind of 3D material you want learn to do. I have multiple machines and I still struggle even with < 20 sec. animations for hobby. LGA 2011 would help you with fast high quality test renderings, but for final image renderings I suggest specific machine. Rendering is so time consuming, that your workstation idle time is not enough to get work done.


That makes sense. as for the work I like to do, so far all I have done is modeling. But the program is capable of much more. heres a short description of the programs I'm currently working with.

Blender is a free and open source 3D animation suite. It supports the entirety of the 3D pipeline—modeling, rigging, animation, simulation, rendering, compositing and motion tracking, even video editing and game creation. Advanced users employ Blender’s API for Python scripting to customize the application and write specialized tools; often these are included in Blender’s future releases. Blender is well suited to individuals and small studios who benefit from its unified pipeline and responsive development process. Examples from many Blender-based projects are available in the showcase.

Unity is a game development ecosystem: a powerful rendering engine fully integrated with a complete set of intuitive tools and rapid workflows to create interactive 3D and 2D content; easy multiplatform publishing; thousands of quality, ready-made assets in the Asset Store and a knowledge-sharing community.

Hope that helped.
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March 20, 2014 8:49:37 PM

bondlikelake said:
If you have future use for small memory modules, otherwise I would go as big as motherboard supports. The problem can be to ensure system stability when you later upgrade more memory. Memory manufacturers sell kits for reason. I´m not so technical wizard that I could explain why modules from same manufacturer with identical specs don´t always work together, but safest way is buy needed memory at one time. Memory bandtwidth almost doubles, but in real world scenario benefit will be much much smaller http://www.legitreviews.com/ddr3-memory-performance-ana...

Baseline is to buy biggest possible memory modules, not to stay in dual channel mode forever (LGA 2011).

Thanks for the link to the interesting article. Good to know.
Yeah, I understand the downsides to mixed batches of RAM. Since i didnt need and could not afford the full 64 GB, i was just going to get 16 (4x4) to quadruple my current RAM. Knowing that if I upgrade in the future I will be replacing all the RAM. Not the most cost effective way, I know. Just allows me to get good quality components without spending a huge amount all at once.
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March 20, 2014 9:35:42 PM

I do only pre-rendered stuff... Just wondered what kind of pre-rendered graphics you want learn to do. For modeling and in real-time applications LGA2011 don´t make difference over LGA1150. Demanding video editing and 3D rendering would seemingly benefit from LGA2011. You have to just guess how often you run into that. In my opinion 16GB is not enough for multitasking graphical content creation programs and would not recommend anyone to buy 4*4GB for this kind of usage.
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March 20, 2014 10:31:01 PM

bondlikelake said:
I do only pre-rendered stuff... Just wondered what kind of pre-rendered graphics you want learn to do. For modeling and in real-time applications LGA2011 don´t make difference over LGA1150. Demanding video editing and 3D rendering would seemingly benefit from LGA2011. You have to just guess how often you run into that. In my opinion 16GB is not enough for multitasking graphical content creation programs and would not recommend anyone to buy 4*4GB for this kind of usage.


Wow, 16GB not enough. Just dipping my toes in this stuff. So far I have only been running each program individually as I learn the ins and outs, and not running them simultaneously while importing/exporting files between them. Partially because of my own expertise within the programs and the fact that the individual programs themselves tax my current system. Most of what I do now is video editing and 3D rendering on a very small scale. But I am enjoying learning how to do these things better and want to invest in a system that could grow along with my ability to use it.
Seems to me that you;re saying I should be getting at least 32 GB of RAM and that the 2011 is better suited for what I do now, but overkill ( which, TBH makes me smile a little inside). Perhaps I should just hold off on the build until I can afford to get the full 64 GB of RAM for the 2011 or go with build 1, scrap a video card, get an SSD, fill the RAM and feel comfortable that my abilities will peak long before my computer does?
By the way, thanks for all the replies. You've been very helpful :) 
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