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Whats the best way to spend $4000 for 3D station?

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January 14, 2009 1:18:57 AM

I've got a total of $4000 to spend on CPU/MOBO/memory/graphics and need some help specing out parts. I've got everything else already and just need help with those four components with a total cap of 4 grand.
a b à CPUs
January 14, 2009 1:37:57 AM

That is a HUGE budget for those components. What will it be used for?
January 14, 2009 1:42:54 AM

sorry... computer will be used for modeling/rendering high poly XSI projects with mental ray.
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January 14, 2009 1:50:17 AM

with that budget you could go for a dual cpu motherboard, and i think you should be looking at the intel i7, but im not up to speed on dual socket motherboards so im not the best one for advice
a b à CPUs
January 14, 2009 2:37:04 AM

It appears (from looking around) that you won't need a tremendous graphics card then, so you'd be best off getting a ridiculous CPU and RAM setup. I'd say a dual socket is definitely something to be looking at. If you can wait a bit though, IIRC, the dual socket Nehalems will launch in not too long, and they are a BIG boost from the prior generation stuff.
a b à CPUs
January 14, 2009 6:32:46 AM

I don't know, the GPGPU capabilities of some graphics cards will help render times, and the NV Quadro and AMD FireGL cards are around for this very purpose.

You will need to look at what sort of acceleration mental ray supports.
a b à CPUs
January 14, 2009 6:38:42 AM

I've taken a look on their website and can't find any hard evidence either way, although it's highly parallel and can even be run across networks of computers so I wouldn't be surprised. might be worth contacting them.

BTW. are you running the standalone, or are you running in Maya, Autodesk, etc.

WARNING! If you run a dual CPU machine you will need two licences!
http://www.mentalimages.com/products/how-to-purchase.ht...
a b à CPUs
January 14, 2009 1:40:08 PM

mi1ez said:
I've taken a look on their website and can't find any hard evidence either way, although it's highly parallel and can even be run across networks of computers so I wouldn't be surprised. might be worth contacting them.

BTW. are you running the standalone, or are you running in Maya, Autodesk, etc.

WARNING! If you run a dual CPU machine you will need two licences!
http://www.mentalimages.com/products/how-to-purchase.ht...

I couldn't find anything stating that it supports GPU acceleration, which is why I wasn't recommending a fast GPU.
a b à CPUs
January 14, 2009 2:01:55 PM

fair enough!
January 14, 2009 2:23:34 PM

Intel i7 with gobs of memory and speedy disk system is the answer... There are no dual socket i7 boards yet - and a single i7 will equal 2 x anything else in an app like this.
a b à CPUs
January 14, 2009 2:29:00 PM

how about i send u my dual core and u send me the $4,000 and then i build a system then we swap for a week then we switch back and i take your parts and switch em out with mine then send you my case and BAM we are both good!
January 14, 2009 7:05:17 PM

raisemoney said:
I've got a total of $4000 to spend on CPU/MOBO/memory/graphics and need some help specing out parts. I've got everything else already and just need help with those four components with a total cap of 4 grand.


raisemoney said:
sorry... computer will be used for modeling/rendering high poly XSI projects with mental ray.


Jeez, with that budget you could spend $2K now and put the rest aside for
a dual-Deneb or dual core i7 system.

i'm rendering some particle exercises now and it's fairly compute intensive. on a Q9550. in 3D Max.

for core parts - and that budget - i would get
core i7 940 - $550
Asus P6T - $300
memory, DDR3, 12 GB, it's about $80 for 2 GB - $480
video - here i'm very conservative & i don't like driver problems. if you're going to worry about driver problems - the Sapphire ATI 3870 256 bit with 512 MB RAM.

if you want to go for it & not worry about driver problems - one of the 4870 boards with 1 GB RAM.

or else downshift a little, allocate $2K for the desktop, and get this quad core laptop -
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
a b à CPUs
January 14, 2009 11:31:46 PM

The best way to spend $4,000? We can spec you a killer system, and you can buy TWO of them.

You can get an i7 setup, watercool it for best overclocking, put in lots of ram and a 64bit OS, put in a fast disk system, and you'll still have a lot left.
a c 480 à CPUs
January 14, 2009 11:54:51 PM

It's very difficult to give you recommendations because most video card reviews are skewed towards gaming rather than rendering. I'm sure there are reviews for professional video cards, you'll just need to Google for them.

$4k for a 3D rendering station should be good enough for a decent rendering rig if you already have a high quality monitor. That's 'cause a good rending card can cost $2k by itself (or more), and a high quality monitor can also cost $2k (or more). So that's $4k for just 2 items.

I suggest you speak to other people doing 3D rendering to find out where you can get better recommendations and opinions for the type computer you want to build.
a b à CPUs
January 15, 2009 12:17:39 AM

jaguarskx said:
It's very difficult to give you recommendations because most video card reviews are skewed towards gaming rather than rendering. I'm sure there are reviews for professional video cards, you'll just need to Google for them.

$4k for a 3D rendering station should be good enough for a decent rendering rig if you already have a high quality monitor. That's 'cause a good rending card can cost $2k by itself (or more), and a high quality monitor can also cost $2k (or more). So that's $4k for just 2 items.

I suggest you speak to other people doing 3D rendering to find out where you can get better recommendations and opinions for the type computer you want to build.

It depends on whether the app is video card accelerated or not though. If so, the card alone will chew through a large chunk of the budget. Otherwise though, there is definitely enough money there for a dual socket nehalem, which should be out in not too long.
a c 480 à CPUs
January 15, 2009 12:20:15 AM

cjl said:
It depends on whether the app is video card accelerated or not though. If so, the card alone will chew through a large chunk of the budget. Otherwise though, there is definitely enough money there for a dual socket nehalem, which should be out in not too long.



Yep, which is why I recommend he/she speak to others in the same career field.
!