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3D Rendering PC and separate File Server - any suggestions

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January 9, 2007 8:49:54 PM

I need to build two machines for 3D rendering and one file server for these machines with 1TB storage. Any suggestions welcome.

There is a medium sized budget, basically I would like to go for best price/performance.

Thanks.
January 10, 2007 4:40:43 AM

i dont know the story or nessesity behind this but i would wait, too many improvements in cpus are being made, eg release of 8 core CPU which would be great as it is desighed for continuos load and 8 cores. but seriously i wouldnt touch anything yet, you may be disapointed.
just keep track of the major two AMD and INTEL because for obvious reasons that will be the defining point in your renderer.
January 10, 2007 12:51:19 PM

Go with Intel, there at the top of the game in performance for your certain uses of your computer. I know you said you have a budget, but if want a really good performing computer for 3d Apps, go for Core 2 Quad *it is really pricey right now though... But if your budget really restricts you, then go for the E6600. Prices for these CPU aren't dropping until Q2 and maybe a little longer.
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January 10, 2007 2:03:53 PM

3 different machines?

Maybe best preformance and easy of use
would be to get one big machine.

Intel Core 2 Duo E6700 Conroe 2.66GHz............... $500
(Or Intel Core 2 Extreme X6800 Conroe 2.93GHz... $950)

4 x Western Digital RE2 WD5000YS 500GB in Raid5... $700

SeaSonic S12 SS-650HT 650W Power Supply.......... $150

G.SKILL 4GB(2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 800................ $500

add Mobo and Case etc and we are talking around $2500
January 10, 2007 5:42:31 PM

Thanks for replies so far peeps. It is 3 separate machines I need yes.

With regards to waiting, well thats not really an option right now. (firefox doesnt let me type apostrophes!)

The suggestion for the server looks nice but a bit pricey. Its a file server so am I right in thinking it doesnt need to have loads of RAM, I am probably wrong.

Looks like I am gonna go with Intel as you guys have been suggesting. I will have a look through the forum to see if there are any other systems which are specced up to do what I would like to do. But in the meantime if you guys could give me a rough idea that would be great.

Another thing, does the RAM need to be ECC?

Ta.
January 10, 2007 6:28:17 PM

Quote:
It is 3 separate machines I need yes.


Why is that?

The config I posted above is not the file server, but the whole set up
configured to one computer.

You need a setup where two people are working on 3D apps the same time?

What about this setup:

Get the $950 Intel Core 2 Extreme X6800 for one computer
and just a $200 terminal computer (thin client) for the second user.

Or

Get two computers that are Intel Core 2 Duo E6700
and if the 3D software allows mesh computing to take advandge of both
cpu if one user is just working.

Ship the file server part, just put the 4 HDs in one computer and tell
it to file share.
The other computer could be HD-less with network boot.
Or use a Western Digital Raptor 36.7GB as a system drive.
January 10, 2007 6:52:09 PM

As others have suggested, Core 2 Quadro would be ideal if you could afford it. If not, you'll be fine with an E6600 or E6700.

File servers need very little processor power or RAM. A good solution would be to use an old Pentium 4 or Athlon XP system (hell, a Pentium 3 system would work just fine) that's lying around and convert it into a file server. I currently have a file server that's also running Windows Server 2K3 with DNS, DHCP, and Active Directory, and it runs perfectly fine on an old 1GHz Athlon Thunderbird.

If you don't have spare parts, then just buy a cheap Socket 754 or 939 AMD Sempron for the file server. Anything more would be overkill, and you even want to consider underclocking/undervolting the processor to lower the power consumption and temperature. You won't need more than 1 GB of RAM, and I'd suggest going with ECC because it will make the server more stable. Just make sure you get yourself a nice hardware RAID 5 card.

You may also want to look into some of the RAID 5 Network-Attached Storage (NAS) solutions that have been reviewed on Small Net Builder (formerly Tom's Networking), as they may be more ideal than a standard computer if you only need it for file serving.

For the hard drives, you should look into the 500GB Seagate Barracuda, as benchmarks show that it's faster than the Western Digital drives.
January 14, 2007 8:29:43 PM

Quote:
It is 3 separate machines I need yes.


Why is that?

The config I posted above is not the file server, but the whole set up
configured to one computer.

You need a setup where two people are working on 3D apps the same time?

What about this setup:

Get the $950 Intel Core 2 Extreme X6800 for one computer
and just a $200 terminal computer (thin client) for the second user.

Or

Get two computers that are Intel Core 2 Duo E6700
and if the 3D software allows mesh computing to take advandge of both
cpu if one user is just working.

Ship the file server part, just put the 4 HDs in one computer and tell
it to file share.
The other computer could be HD-less with network boot.
Or use a Western Digital Raptor 36.7GB as a system drive.

2 separate people are going to be working on 3D Studio Max and VectorWorks and the file server will just be for serving files for the whole office.

Here is what I have come up with so far for the 3D workstations:

Gigabyte GA 965P-DS4
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProdu...

4GB (4x1GB) CorsairTwinX XMS2, DDR2 PC2-6400 (800)
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProdu...

AKASA Zen case - Black Silent Cool Midi ATX
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProdu...

Intel Core 2 Duo E6600
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProdu...

150 Gb Western Digital WD1500AHFD Raptor X
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProdu...

460W SilverStone Strider aPFC PSU
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProdu...


I'm not sure what graphics card to get, its not needed for games AT ALL. So I need to find out what the best price/performance card there is out there for 3D work. Maybe I'll post this in the graphics card forum.

I was wondering about the PSU I've mentioned, should that be enough for what I have listed?

I'll keep you updated.
!