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New computer build for rendering and photo editing - some final decisions

Hello,

I'm currently putting together a new computer, and I'd appreciate any input you could provide.

The primary uses for the computer will be: photo editing, 3D modelling and rendering (e.g. vray, maxwell), (some) video rendering, and a small amoun of gaming (though, mostly older games).

With the help of the forum I have come closer to figuring out what to get. As always the number of options for each component makes the process quite lengthy. I've done some more research, and now have just a few more components to decide on.


The list of parts is the following:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: AMD FX-8350 4.0GHz 8-Core Processor ($169.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.98 @ OutletPC)
Motherboard: Asus M5A97 R2.0 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($87.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($159.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 840 EVO 250GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($129.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GT 630 2GB Video Card ($54.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Corsair 200R ATX Mid Tower Case ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair CX 500W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $742.91
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available


I've purchased the CPU, the CPU Cooler, the motherboard, the primary storage, and the power supply.

It comes down to a few final decisions (and questions):


I'm not so sure about the motherboard. I had originally intended to buy the Sabertooth 990FX, but was convinced otherwise. Since I wanted RAID support, I went with the next best board (or so I thought) that had RAID support (the one listed above). Based on what I've read on this forum, it seems that there's a better board (M5A99FX PRO R2.0 - http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131851), and it does actually support RAID (though Newegg and ASUS suggest otherwise).

For me, the price difference only ends up being about $30 - with that in mind, is getting the M5A99FX a better idea? (Most notable difference is the 200MHz faster FSB.)


The memory listed above seems like a reasonably good deal. I need 16GB for rendering and for editing large photos (and so forth). I've come across a set of DDR3-1600 RAM, and I'm curious if there's any real difference between the two. So:

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231568

Timing 9-9-9
Cas Latency 9

OR

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900)
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231615

Timing 9-10-9-28
Cas Latency 9


Does the difference in timings matter that much? The price is the same (and memory with lower latency is quite expensive).

Also, is filling all slots important? I've noticed that it's recommended, but I was under the impression that using fewer slots was better for timing differences.


I think the video card above is suitable for my purposes (I just need two DVI ports for my monitors). But, is there a better video card at that price point (+/- $10)?

I'm wavering between:

EVGA 02G-P3-2639-KR GeForce GT 630 2GB 128-Bit DDR3
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130821

And

EVGA 01G-P3-2631-KR GeForce GT 630 1GB 128-Bit DDR3
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130792


Is the Corsair 200R a good case for what I'm using it for? From what I understand there's enough clearance for the CM 212.


Anyhow, based on what I intend to use it for, is the above setup suitable? Are there any suggestions or changes that you would make? I'm hoping to keep the system under $1000.

Are there any minor changes that would make for significant improvements in performance?


I'm also getting two 2TB HDD - are there any that particularly good? Is there any significant benefit from using Hybrid HDD?


Thank you for your time and any help.
4 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about computer build rendering photo editing final decisions
  1. Get a 2nd drive/array to render to

    For your GPU, many rendering & photoediting apps can make use of GPU rendering, check with your software on which cards are supported/work best.

    Your motherbds FSB is fairly locked as deviating the fsb results in issues fairly quick, is what you're referring to the ram speeds? Is so then those won't make a huge difference unless you're going up 2 steps like from 1600 to 2000 might be noticeable but 1600 to 1866 wouldnt really be (to a user).
  2. popatim said:
    Get a 2nd drive/array to render to

    For your GPU, many rendering & photoediting apps can make use of GPU rendering, check with your software on which cards are supported/work best.

    Your motherbds FSB is fairly locked as deviating the fsb results in issues fairly quick, is what you're referring to the ram speeds? Is so then those won't make a huge difference unless you're going up 2 steps like from 1600 to 2000 might be noticeable but 1600 to 1866 wouldnt really be (to a user).



    Hello,

    Thank you for the reply.

    I'm not sure what you mean by "Get a 2nd drive/array to render to". Do you mean besides the 250GB SSD, and the two 2TB RAID 1 setup?

    The GPU seems like a tough decision. I'm not playing any games that need it, and I'm only getting one because there are no on-board graphics via the motherboard. I don't want to spend money unnecessarily, but I also don't want to cripple the rest of the system just to save $50 (or so). Would something like http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130827 be better? (Some of my software does use Nvidia for GPU acceleration, such as Photoshop CS5.5, but most (or all) of the cards are quite expensive. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think any card I would get would be useful in the long run.)

    As for the motherboard, do you think spending the extra $30 is worth it? Is a 2600MHz bus that much better than a 2400MHz?

    Since the 1866 and 1600 memory are the same price, I was thinking of getting the 1866, but the timings are slower on the 1866. Given the speed increase of 1866, is the slower latency of the 1866 going to cancel out the performance improvement of a faster clock?

    Thanks again.
  3. Best answer
    I didnt see the raid 1 2tb array. I'm assuming this is final storage?

    Usually, When you render you pull frames from one drive or array and render them to another drive/array.
    Otherwise you are making the drive/array try to read and write at the same time which will cut their speed to less than half as the drives heads have to constantly reposition themselves. Read, move, write, move, read, move, ....

    Now SSD dont suffer from this mechanical process and may be able to keep up with doing double duty but I guarantee that your system will be bottlenecked by the raid 1 if its either the source or the destination. You will need need raid0 (mechanical) to max out your processor. I had to upgrade to raid0's in my rendering rig years ago.

    So with that in mind, whats your workflow going to be like?


    As for GPU, dont bother with enabling gpu rendering with a gt630. There arent enough cuda cores to do the job quicker than your processor can.

    AS for the ram, I believe the 1866 is faster than the 1600.
  4. popatim said:
    I didnt see the raid 1 2tb array. I'm assuming this is final storage?

    Usually, When you render you pull frames from one drive or array and render them to another drive/array.
    Otherwise you are making the drive/array try to read and write at the same time which will cut their speed to less than half as the drives heads have to constantly reposition themselves. Read, move, write, move, read, move, ....

    Now SSD dont suffer from this mechanical process and may be able to keep up with doing double duty but I guarantee that your system will be bottlenecked by the raid 1 if its either the source or the destination. You will need need raid0 (mechanical) to max out your processor. I had to upgrade to raid0's in my rendering rig years ago.

    So with that in mind, whats your workflow going to be like?


    As for GPU, dont bother with enabling gpu rendering with a gt630. There arent enough cuda cores to do the job quicker than your processor can.

    AS for the ram, I believe the 1866 is faster than the 1600.



    Thanks for the reply.

    Yes, the RAID 1 array is/was final storage. I'm doing a lot of photo editing (upwards of 600 megapixels, at least for now), 3D modelling and rendering, and also some video editing and rendering.

    In the end I've decided against RAID 1, and am going to just have one drive be backed up to the other (by Windows), and also have an external backup (same drive, for a total of three identical 2TB). I also have a NAS (with RAID 1) and a few 32 GB USB drives that I'll probably use for "between backups."

    Doing that will allow for the best of both worlds (I hope), in that I get the backup ability but also the performance increase should I need it in certain situations.

    I picked up a GTX 750, so that should help a bit (one of the rendering programs I use can work with CPU and/or GPU).

    Thanks again for the help.
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