New Build for 3D animating in Maya $1000

I am an Animator looking to build or buy a new computer. I am trying to determine if it will be financially worthwhile to build my own. I started reading about building a computer 30 min. ago, hence I'm a total beginner. I only have $1000 to spend. If anyone has the time, I would greatly appreciate a rough "blue print" of a new build. I have no clue where to start and on what to place my spending emphasis for 3D Animation. Perhaps this also helps:

Approximate Purchase Date: Within next 3 weeks (May 1 - May 21 2014)

Budget Range: ($1200) After Rebates; After Shipping

System Usage from Most to Least Important: 3D animating, watching movies,

Are you buying a monitor: Yes

Do you need to buy OS: Yes

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: None, whatever you think

Location: Bonsall, CA, USA

Parts Preferences: None

Overclocking: not sure

SLI or Crossfire: Please advise

Monitor Resolution: 1440x900

Additional Comments: Not very picky, just want it to run smoothly and last a couple years

Thank you in advance to anyone who is open to help. I understand its a broad question.
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  1. Best answer
    AMD workstation cards are the best option for Maya, this would be a good budget workstation. If you wanted to spend a little more, I would try and upgrade to an AMD FirePro W5000.

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Xeon E3-1230 V3 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor ($244.99 @ Amazon)
    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-H87M-D3H Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($98.98 @ SuperBiiz)
    Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($129.99 @ Amazon)
    Storage: Samsung 840 EVO 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($82.99 @ Amazon)
    Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($56.98 @ OutletPC)
    Video Card: ATI FirePro V4900 1GB Video Card ($155.98 @ Newegg)
    Case: Silverstone PS08B (Black) MicroATX Mid Tower Case ($39.98 @ Newegg)
    Power Supply: XFX 550W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($50.99 @ TigerDirect)
    Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24F1ST DVD/CD Writer ($14.99 @ Newegg)
    Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8.1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.99 @ NCIX US)
    Total: $965.86
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-05-01 19:17 EDT-0400)
  2. Thank you so much, I'm sure Ill have further questions later.
  3. Being a beginner at this, what will the trickiest part be? I am competent, will I encounter any troubles I can't solve over this thread or the www? Is assembly straight forward? Am I going to blow anything up?
  4. Hardest part is installing all the case and power cables. Everything is straight forward, things can just be time consuming and frustrating. If it's a good quality motherboard and case, everything should be labeled for you.
  5. Ok, thank you. From my findings it seems the anti static wrist strap is of much importance, is that correct? Transmaniacom has recommended spending extra money on the graphics card. Other's on the web seem to emphasize directing that $ towards a better CPU. Please advise?
  6. The strap is unneeded if you properly ground yourself. Basically you are supposed to touch metal that is touching the ground often to dissipate the static electricity that you build up. If it is instead dissipated onto your components you could fry them. The strap is attached to a piece of metal that dissipates it for you. I didn't find a need for it when I built mine. As long as you don't work on carpet and ground yourself it'll be fine.

    For gaming, the GPU often bottlenecks the CPU so more $$$ is spent towards the GPU. For video editing and anything that involves encoding, the CPU will gain more from an upgrade. When you use workstation cards, most of the work that would be done by the CPU in 3D modeling is now done by the GPU. The build that is recommended on this thread is bottlenecked by the GPU, so spend more money towards that.
  7. Could you please tell me why you did not include a CPU cooler in the build you laid out for me? Thanks
  8. Also why are there two storage devices?
  9. I'm doing a bit of research. I've come across this,

    It's about $250 more than the build at the beginning of this thread. The build here is without mouse and keyboard, so add $50. The HP has 3TB Hard drive though. It seems the price difference is small. I understand its easier to upgrade a self built computer later (advantage). What am I missing on the HP. Is the HDD junk? GPU junk? Any opinions on buying this HP or building this one in the thread. Advantages, disadvantages. Thanks
  10. It lacks a quality PSU and a good GPU. A good GPU would be ~$150 more than theirs and the PSU around $70. Then you factor in the better HDD and that you're paying for a brand name, leaving you at around a $250 difference.

    You shouldn't buy prebuilt computers. You'll want to upgrade one day.
  11. Maya files are easy to make huge. Even before you worry about rendered footage, Maya will eat your SSD for breakfast. Once you start rendering things, a few multipass EXRs of your footage and your SSD is suddenly full...
  12. Most CAD programs take advantage of GPU acceleration now, and for Maya, workstation cards are much better than gaming GPUs. Your performance will be greatly increased by upgrading the GPU.

    I have two hard drives there because you will install your OS and applications on the SSD, and use the HDD for storage of everything else.

    You don't need a CPU cooler because that CPU is locked and can not be overclocked. The stock Intel cooler will have no problem keeping that cool, but you could upgrade the cooler to something that is quieter.
  13. If by GPU acceleration you mean OpenGL or DirectX acceleration of the display of geometry then yes. If you mean CUDA/OpenCL acceleration, then only for specific tasks, usually rendering, and GPU-based rendering has limitations that CPU-based rendering does not. Some physics simulations and fluid simulations allow for GPU accelerations, but the complexity of the simulations is often limited by the GPU's memory very rapidly- a problem you'll also encounter with GPU rendering. Actual operations within the 3d software's user interface is not really GPU accelerated. Maya 2015 uses Opensubdiv for GPU-accelerated handling of subdivision surfaces, while earlier versions do not.

    If you plan on GPU rendering with a stock Maya or 3ds Max install, you're going to need an NVIDIA GPU. Both piece of software come with mental ray, and iray, the GPU-based version of mental ray, is CUDA-only. Otherwise, you're going to be talking about buying V-Ray or another renderer that supports OpenCL for its GPU rendering. Also, you'll want a card that has a lot more than 1 GB if you plan on using GPU rendering- the V-Ray test i created for Tom's was limited to a single car in the scene purely because I didn't have enough GPU memory on the 1 GB Quadro 2000 to load another car object.
  14. Thanks so much for all the answers.
  15. Do I need to get a WiFi card for this system?
  16. Do you use wifi or wired LAN?
  17. I use wifi.
  18. then yes, you'll need a wifi card or a USB wifi adapter. I'd lean toward the USB adapter as your chosen board has a limited number of slots.
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