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Heavy CS4 & 3D Studio user ready to build on a student's budget...

Last response: in Systems
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November 24, 2008 12:02:38 PM

As the Title/Category suggest, I am ready to build a workstation that can keep up with my web and graphic design work. CS4 and 3DS Max 2009 are my weapons of choice for my work and SolidWorks and AutoCad are my tools at school. I would like to build a machine that can save me time in all of the above.

I was hoping you could help me answer these few questions to get me off to the right start...

Should I go with a 64bit machine?

Duel or Quad core?

1 or 2 CPU's?

Should I overclock?

And most importantly do you have any recommendations for the the Motherboard, CPU(s),GPU(s), Memory, and even the case....Is it worth going with a liquid cooled system. I want this computer to run extremely cool and quite as I will have it crunching almost 24/7. I would also love to overclock her a bit for old times sake.

Thanks so much for any advice...As you can tell, I have been out of the game for a while now...So many choices out there now its crazy!

Cheers,

Sean
November 24, 2008 12:07:29 PM

Well giving a actual budget would be a good start...
November 24, 2008 12:31:05 PM

definately 64bit, and definately quad core. The new Shanghai's from AMD would be a good choice, and I will say no to liquid cooling, since the Opteron series are pretty low power to begin with. Make sure you get a lot of ram, I'd say 16 GB would be more than enough. 8GB would be more economical. As for the video card, a quadro would be the best bet, but I don't think you would want to fork out over $1000 for a video card alone, so I'm going to recommend the 4870. As for the MOBO, get one that supports lots of ram. Probably look more for the server boards, and get plenty of ram slots, especially if you plan to upgrade this machine. As for the case get a full tower and get good 120mm fans, like those from Scythe. I use those and they are pretty quiet for me yet offer pretty nice cooling performance.
Related resources
November 24, 2008 12:44:20 PM

Wow, thanks for the quick replies. Sorry about that.

I am trying to drop around $1,500 max.

This is a great site. Thanks again!

-Sean
November 24, 2008 1:14:54 PM

Imo kick down that power supply to something cheaper. Change that gpu to a workstation gpu for massive data instead of throughput. Perfer one that gets good acceleration under cs4 and 3dstudio. And get 2 HDD one for just doing rendering on.
November 24, 2008 1:25:39 PM

Although I don't recommend skimming on the PSU, he could always go with a Antec EA650 650W and double up the hard drives.

The 1gb 4870 should be capable, I wouldn't recommend paying $750+ for a workstation GPU.
November 25, 2008 12:07:48 AM

Thanks guys...

Ok

PSU:

The Antec EA650 650W for $50.00 seams like a killer deal and there are very few complaints in the reviews.


GPU:

How about the PNY 512MB Quadro FX 1700? Any experience with this card?


HDD's:

You are recommending two hard drives simply because the computer will not bog down as much if I render to a secondary, non-os drive, right? This is soo simple....I feel like an idiot because I have been rendering to my Master drive forever...doh


CPU:

The Intel Core i7 920 2.66GHz sounds like a good idea but what makes the ....

Intel Core i7 920 2.66GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 Quad-Core Processor

more desirable than the...

Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 Yorkfield 2.83GHz 12MB L2 Cache LGA 775 95W Quad-Core Processor

It sounds like both these CPUs are ready for a little overclockin. I just want to tap 3Ghz in either case..


Finally, what super quite/effective cooling options do I have for these quad core's? I have been looking around but im getting a bit lost to be honest. I want to keep this baby running coooool 24/7.

Thanks again
November 25, 2008 7:27:24 AM

Anyone with input on the 512MB Quadro FX 1700, the two quad cores in question and the cooling solutions?

Thanks
November 29, 2008 3:23:20 AM

Here is the final component list for anyone interested.....

Case: Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

Mobo: GIGABYTE GA-EX58-EXTREME ATX Intel Motherboard

CPU: Intel Core i7 920 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor

Memory: CORSAIR XMS3 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666)

GPU: SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 4870 100259-1GL Video Card

PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W Power Supply

Optical: LITE-ON CD/DVD Burner with LightScribe

Card Reader: VANTEC UGT-CR905 58-in-1 USB 2.0 Card Reader/Writer


Hope this all checks out...I have put at least 20 hours into cross checking every last detail for compatibility. I am going to place the order in the next 48 hours. Thanks again, I cant wait!!

November 29, 2008 4:07:45 AM

Looks good - that build should fly with a bit of overclocking.
December 1, 2008 7:04:15 AM

And for the final final PLACED order :)  Just changed up the memory...DDR3 1600 should be even better for overclocking...I wonder what kinds of numbers I should aim for with the stock cooler?? Also, I wonder if should let solid state drives develop a bit more before I get carried away with all that?

Anyway, Cant wait to build this...I will try to keep updating this thread with some benchmarking results before and after the overclocking.


Case: Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

Mobo: GIGABYTE GA-EX58-EXTREME ATX Intel Motherboard

CPU: Intel Core i7 920 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor

Memory: CORSAIR DOMINATOR 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel

GPU: SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 4870 100259-1GL Video Card

PSU: Antec TPQ-850 850W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply - Retail

Optical: LITE-ON CD/DVD Burner with LightScribe

Card Reader: VANTEC UGT-CR905 58-in-1 USB 2.0 Card Reader/Writer
!