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In need of help for a new computer build

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June 22, 2009 2:52:45 PM

Hello all,
This is my first post on the boards. I am actually going to school for 3d animation and I am using alot of Autodesk Maya and all the adobe products. I was wondering what would be a good built system for me that would help with render times. Also I was wondering would it be better to go for a Quadro 3700 over a GTX 285 2GB graphics card? Also money is a bit of a concern trying to stay just under 2 grand. I just built two systems on new egg one being the i7 core 950 and another being a Phenom II X4 955. I would love some feed back that would be great. oh yeah also the system is going to start out with 8 gigs of ram no matter what. Thank you in advance for the help everyone

More about : computer build

June 22, 2009 3:14:13 PM

You could start by posting the two builds so we can compare and critique them.
June 22, 2009 3:25:52 PM

I will go ahead and do that give me a bit but really I was more concerned with the CPU and the GPU. I will post them as soon as I can though
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June 22, 2009 3:28:00 PM

Which adobe products in particular? If you are doing video editing and encoding then you are going to get a boost from an i7 but if its just photoshop or illustrator you wont get too much of a gain over a PII 955
June 22, 2009 3:29:58 PM

Drewvian said:
I will go ahead and do that give me a bit but really I was more concerned with the CPU and the GPU. I will post them as soon as I can though


Anything over 1200$ should be an i7 for the CPU. The 955 is a very good CPU, but the i7 is alone in the high end market right now. As for the GPU, I have no experience with workstation graphics. Form what I've read you'll be better off with the Quadro series as the GTX285 is a gaming card they're designed with those different uses in mind. That being said, I can't comment on the 3700 vs. the 285 specifically.

I can help with the rest though :D 
June 22, 2009 4:01:30 PM

Ok cool thanks. I will post the other stuff soon just I am eating and getting ready for class.....If I can't do it in the next hour then I will post all the specs later tonight ((8 hours worth of class)). I am using the whole adobe master suite as that is what I got from my school on starting day. So I will be doing it all encoding and photoshop and stuff like that. So would it be better to go with i7 then the phenom II X4?
June 22, 2009 4:07:11 PM

Yes, for any kind of rendering go with the i7 920/X58 motherboard and at least 3x2 GB sticks of DDR3 RAM.
Buy the memory kits intended for the LGA1366 platform at 1.65v, not the 2x2 GB DDR3 kits for 775 or AM3
June 22, 2009 4:14:50 PM

alright i do similar work to your (maya/max/zbrush and a lot of photoshop)
i use a quadro FX 1500M in my laptop workstation at home, and a GeForce 9800 GTX at work. for my purposes, i see very little gain in performance between the two. i do not work in a lot of heavy scenes, i do most game characters/assets, zbrush sculpting (which runs independent of the GPU) and texture painting in photoshop, which is more RAM and CPU intensive rather than GPU.

so it depends on what sort 3D work you do. if you work in heavy poly scenes, with a lot of real-times lights and dynamic simulations going on, then i guess a quadro would suit you pretty well. remember that rendering is CPU/RAM intensive, not so much with the GPU.

i am currently building a workstation/gaming machine, you can search the forum for my build as it stands now.

a few other tips

dump the i7 950 and get the 920. its the same CPU, just clocked lower, but you can overclock it above the 950 easy.

dell is selling their 23" 1080p LCDs TOMORROW ONLY (6/23) for the absurd deal of $150 (i dk if you are looking for monitors, but i thought id let you know). i am picking up 2 of them tomorrow. 2 23" 1080p's are too hard to pass up for $300.

here:
http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/products/Displays/pr...

look on their 10-days-of-deals page, its usually linked on the main dell.com page

and with an i7, you want to use triple channel RAM, so you may as well just get 12GB of you are going to get 8GB. it will run a little smoother.
June 22, 2009 4:17:56 PM



ASUS P6T LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail


Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601920


Patriot Viper 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2000 (PC3 16000) Desktop Memory + 2GB Xporter Razzo USB w/3DMark Vantage Model PVS34G2000LLKNB


Seagate ST310005N1A1AS-RK 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive

Antec CP-850 850W Continuous Power CPX SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC "compatible with Core i7" Power Supply



PNY VCQFX3700-PCIE-PB Quadro FX3700 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 SLI Supported Workstation Video Card - Retai

These are the specs of my system I am looking to build let me know what you think. If there are any parts you think I should swap out go ahead and let me know. Again I am trying to keep it under 2K.....again I am a student but quickly getting into more and more complicated scenes that take long render times just for one frame. Again thank you guys for the help I greatly appreciate it =)
June 22, 2009 4:21:51 PM

mdale thanks for that....The scenes I am working in and doing for school are more towards movie based not to towards videogames. Yet I like to turn on the real time lighting ((7 key)) to see just a estimation of my lights and what not. Now a question to you would be the higher my poly count the more the quadro shold help me right? It will cause less tearing and little lag when moving around the scenes? I was going to go for the 920 it is at the right price point for me.
June 22, 2009 4:53:17 PM

yeah a quadro is better for displaying lights/complex scenes, realtime render. high poly count will help as well. though ive found CPU and RAM play into that a lot as well. there are many faults of a GPU that can be overcome with powerful CPU loads of RAM, ive found.


its funny. only quadros can display a decent realtime render in maya, yet the whole point of a geforce gaming card is to render scenes in a realtime engine. i know its different tech, but its still weird

what are you doing for storage? if you are rendering alot, you are going to want 2 drives. when i render at work or school, i always render to a fast drive which is not the same as my OC/program drive. instead of 1 1TB, you may want to go 2 640's or 500's. never ever ever ever keep render data on your primary drive. i havent read anyhting on the seagates, but the WD caviar black drives seem really nice. many people say their speed is almost that of a WD 10k raptor.

what are you going to do about cooling if you are overclocking the 920 (which you should be). i am getting the xigmatech dark knight (about $40). it has really good reviews, and will allow you to overclock to 3-3.6GHz easy.
June 22, 2009 7:32:36 PM

I think I will take your advice on the HD and cooling. I have 2 TB external that I run back ups on my macbook pro and my current desktop. If what you say is correct then I will take another look at my hard drive situation and revaluate it all. Just to let you know I am going to full sail university. Great school learned alot in a short amount of time. Now the kind of work we are doing is really heating up and I am in need of more and more power. Since I am in the computer animation program and not the game program. Well also they architeture for the geforce cards are different then the quadros and I know what you mean when you explain it. I really want to thank you all for this help. Right now I am lighting a scene that is taking awhile to render. So having that quadro now would help me figure out how my lights are acting with out having to render it for 10 min every time. Just wondering how hard would it be to make just a simple render farm?
June 22, 2009 7:38:04 PM

with that PSU, remember to get the correct case.
June 22, 2009 8:09:06 PM

its not all that hard, its really just a computer without a display, and a mod-ed OS (ones ive used) BOXX sells their RenderBoxx's, i used one at Gnomon while i was there, it was pretty fast. i really doubt for your purposes you need one though. that i7 will be damned fast :) 

good call on dumping the mac for 3D work. there are far too many little plug-ins and programs that dont run on OSX in the 3D industry, and 0 studios work with macs. most places you work at run their own lunix. rhythm & hues used a particularly nice set up.
June 22, 2009 11:12:14 PM

Yeah my school gave us macs to work on because we are also doing video compositing and stuff. LoL my shading and lighting teacher worked at Rhythem and Hues for 5 years. Funny that you said them lol. I like the mac and it is powerful. I need to upgrade my desktop and now I know what to get. Yeah I was thinking when I get closer to my demo reel time that I would ask for a early graduation present from the family and get a renderboxx. I agree way to much power for what I need. Also Gnomon is freaking great. I have alot of their training DVD's. In a few years I want to go to them for some extra training =)
June 22, 2009 11:13:29 PM

hey Mdale was wondering mind if I get your email and if possibly you could critique my stuff.....when need for my projects?
!