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Pro 3D/2D Artist's Build

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February 24, 2009 8:19:30 PM

Hey guys! Looking to build a new PC for 3D/2D editing and this seems like a great place to get some good feedback.

I use a lot of Maya, Zbrush, and Photoshop. I want something that's going to run these programs like a champ.

Already have a Nvidia Quadro FX 5800, two Dell 20" monitors, WinXP64Pro, keyboard, mouse, and speakers. I'm looking to spend on or around $1,500 for the rest of the hardware and I'm pretty loose if I'll see nice gains. As configured this list comes to $1,567.92.

I'm considering getting a full 12GB's of RAM and would be easily swayed (though I could always upgrade later). Also thinking about a SSD for the OS but I'm kind of leery of the technology as it stands and could always do an update in a year or so with more RAM and an SSD.

Here she is so far...

Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASUS P6T Deluxe LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

LIAN LI PC-60BPLUSII Black Aluminum ATX Mid Tower Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR DOMINATOR 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Fujitsu MBA3300RC 300GB 15000 RPM 16MB Cache Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) Hard Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

XIGMATEK Dark Knight-S1283V 120mm Long Life Bearing CPU Cooler
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Arctic Silver CMQ-22G (a couple extra dollars, why not?)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...







More about : pro artist build

February 24, 2009 8:59:44 PM

I appreciate that you want a nice case, but I'm not sure that's the best choice. You would need to remove that air scoop from the CPU area, and the rear 80mm fan will likely be a bit noisy. Then there is the depth. That Xig DK might not even fit.

Cooler Master Cosmos
Nice clean lines, quiet and adequately cooled.

Silverstone FT01-B
A bit more, but there is nothing like a Silverstone when it comes to quality. This would exceed your standards I'm sure, while cooling well and being quiet.

I can't comment on the SCSI drive. I'll have to get caught up there.

The rest of your parts look great.
February 24, 2009 10:52:56 PM

Thanks Proximon, the Silverstone FT01B is looking like it might be the one! Do 80mm fans produce more noise than 120mm or is it just the case you're referring to?

Any suggestions on 6 vs. 12GB RAM?

Also didn't realize that Fujitsu was SCSI. I've read that its faster than SATA but if it's not going to be a noticeable performance gain I'm good with leaving it out and just getting a bigger raptor than the one I have now (74gb).
Related resources
February 25, 2009 12:20:58 AM

In order for the 80mm fans to keep up with a 120mm, they have to spin faster to move the same air, and thus make more noise. The bigger the fan, the slower it needs to spin to produce the same results (measured in cubic feet moved (cfm)).

6 GB would likely be plenty, but more never hurt anyone =). If you are looking for somewhere to save a few bucks, don't hesitate to drop the RAM down, you can always add more later and when you do it will likely be cheaper.

As far as that SAS drive goes, you need a motherboard that supports it, otherwise you will need to invest in a SAS controller, which can run pretty high. Generally these types of hard drives are used in servers.

Dropping that drive for a pair of 150GB Velociraptors in RAID0 would provide similar results. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Also, it would be wise to have a backup for your data, seeing as this is a professional build, time is money, and time spent re-doing something is not favorable. I would suggest getting two of those 1TB drives and putting them in RAID1, this way if a drive fails, you have it backed up.
February 25, 2009 2:27:28 AM

The P6T deluxe DOES support SAS. I'd like to see some comparisons done with that board, myself.

Also, I can't imagine that any software you run would prefer XP 64 over Vista 64. Vista 64 is more stable, and more compatible with new hardware.


February 25, 2009 3:04:39 AM

Thanks for the update, wasnt sure if it was the deluxe or V2 that has SAS
February 25, 2009 3:58:36 AM

TX650 is plenty of power and slightly better quality (Seasonic built).

You don't need 1600 RAM unless you're OCing. 1066 or 1333 is fine.
February 25, 2009 4:17:43 AM

breoniks said:

Fujitsu MBA3300RC 300GB 15000 RPM 16MB Cache Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) Hard Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I know it seems to be logical that a 15K HDD will be faster than a 10K HDD. And that is true in a multi user server environment when multiple, highly random, non-sequential HDD reads are required for web or database servers.

For a single user environment where sequential HDD reads are the norm (even with multi-tasking) you'll get better performance with a less expensive 10K WD VelociRaptor 300GB $200.
In this chart the Seagate Cheetah NS is a SAS 10K HDD (Random read/3.9 msec Random write/4.2 msec Latency/3.0 msec)


source: http://www.storagereview.com/WD3000BLFS.sr?page=0%2C2

Going with the VelociRaptor also means you can opt for the less expensive Asus P6T.
And you can drop your PSU in size to the Corsair 650TX and still have more power than you can use in your build.

That 22grams of Arctic Silver is a whole lot more than you need. Get the 2.5 gram tube or better yet get some Arctic Cooling MX-2 or OCZ Freeze instead. Thermal Compound review
February 25, 2009 11:26:55 AM

I am looking to build something similar to this. Assuming I dont have the cash to drop on a Quadro, whats a good video card to get under a budget? I was thinking in the 4850-4870 price range.
February 25, 2009 2:24:47 PM

Another chart showing the single user vs multi user comparison using the VelociRaptor and a Seagate Cheeta 15K Ultra320 SCSI (not SAS)
February 25, 2009 6:49:37 PM

Thanks for the advice guys. You're really making this a lot easier!

So, it looks like I'll drop the SAS drive since the reviews are so mixed and I've had good luck with Raptors.

Now the choice is whether to get two 147GB in Raid0 or a single 300GB (either with an extra 1TB as storage). I've never done a Raid setup, and I'm wondering if that puts more stress on the HDD's and if the speed difference is going to be noticeable.

I didn't mention before but I want to OC this thing "moderately". Based on a Proximon's "Guide to choosing parts" post I think it's a good idea. I'm guessing I should stick with the RAM/Mobo combo I have now to OC?

WR2 also mentioned I could drop to a lower PSU if I got the Velociraptor? Honestly, I don't even know how to gauge what kind of PSU I need for my setup...

February 25, 2009 7:07:23 PM

billin30 said:
I am looking to build something similar to this. Assuming I dont have the cash to drop on a Quadro, whats a good video card to get under a budget? I was thinking in the 4850-4870 price range.


Start your own thread.
February 25, 2009 7:10:43 PM

breoniks said:

WR2 also mentioned I could drop to a lower PSU if I got the Velociraptor? Honestly, I don't even know how to gauge what kind of PSU I need for my setup...


The Corsair TX650 has already been suggested twice. Although changing HDDs really has very little impact on the size of PSU unless you have a lot of them.
!