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3d apps (3dmax, zbrush) build - what to look for?

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September 13, 2009 11:40:13 AM

Hi everyone.
Theres an expression in italian that says "like a fish out of water", no idea if there an equal in english, but thats exactly how i feel now that i have to build my next PC system. Im a student of game design and spend a lot of time in front of my pc for work and for pleasure.

Been working a lot with 3d applications like 3dstudio max, maya, zbrush, mudbox, all of them having huge problems with my actual pc when handling scenes of 50k polys. (except mudbox, where i can work up to 4mio polys). my aim would be working with 1gb big files and around20 mio polys per scene.

the problem is, thinking "ill get a good grafic card and all will be fine" sounds a bit minimalistic, so im here to ask you guys (and i hope you know better than me) which components are essential for working fluently with 3d applications. On the other side, i also play on that pc. Im not the kind of guy who has 20 last.gen games installed at a time, so for instance a good velociraptor300gb will do on that field..

my budget is around 1600-1800euros, 1400-1500gbp... (screen included, 22-26inch)
if any of you has good builds to point out on that matter, or a guide for that specific matter, or knows about people working in that scene being very happy with a product, please let me know..

waiting for your answers!
regards, raffael
September 13, 2009 12:06:38 PM

Intel Core i7 860 2.8GHz Socket LGA 1156 8MB L3 Cache Retail Boxed Processor £219.38

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/172754

ASUS P7P55D PRO iP55 Socket LGA 1156 8 channel audio ATX Motherboard £126.84

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/173450

ZOTAC Geforce GTX275 896MB GDDR3 Dual DVI HDTV Out PhysX and Cuda ready PCI-E Graphics Card £359.93 2 of these

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/161657

Kingston 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1333MHz HyperX Memory Kit CL7 1.5V £151.11 (8 gb)

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/169488

Antec 300 Three Hundred Black Case - No PSU £44.80

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/143854

Western Digital WD6401AALS 640GB Hard Drive SATAII 7200rpm 32MB Cache - OEM Caviar Blac £51.79

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/150247

Corsair 750W TX PSU - 120mm Fan, 80+% Efficiency, Single +12v rail £89.70

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/134677

Samsung T240 24" TFT Monitor 1920x1200 1000:1 300cd/m2 5ms DVI/HDMI Rose B £239.50

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/143848

comes to £1283.08 from http://www.ebuyer.com/

September 13, 2009 12:49:17 PM

That's a nice build and good choices.

Ideally you would work and play on different machines, because you would get better work performance from a workstation GPU such as:
http://www.dabs.com/products/pny-quadro-fx-3700-512mb-p...

I understand there are ways to get good 3D modeling performance out of a standard GTX card though... you might want to look around for that info.
Related resources
September 13, 2009 2:32:35 PM

if there a reason for you to pick the geforces instead of lets say 2 radeon 4870?
i mean i have some remote reminance of someone saying nvidias work much better with autodesk programs.. not sure thou.. maybe something related to the control server or drivers...

about the GPU i dont really know.. heard one cant almost play anything with one of these.. artifacts all over the place.. but it might of be someones trouble and not a standard.. and also the price isnt really "amateur" friendly..
September 13, 2009 2:56:45 PM

3d applications make use of CUDA which helps a lot in rendering ati hasn really got anything that can match it
September 13, 2009 7:32:30 PM

Also Nvidia drivers play better with professional programs such as those.
September 13, 2009 9:36:17 PM

This is an interesting review of Nvidia Quadro FX vs ATI FirePro, read it before buying a new Graphics card.(remember new ati series is coming out soon)
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/video/display/quadrofx...


You need a Blue-Ray player (or writer), Sony, Samsung, Pioneer and LG are good makes).

I would go for 8 [2x4] giga byte of memory and another Hard drive for backups. (you could setup up a raid).

As for the OS Windows 7 64Bit



September 13, 2009 11:16:09 PM

^+1 for another HDD for back up. As for RAM, go 12GB if possible. No need for Blu Ray.

Imo, going LGA1366 (aka i7 920) will be a better option as you will be able to use the i9s which are hexacore CPUs later. You should notice a decent performance increase with an i9 upgrade down the road. And no, i9 will not be available for LAG1156.


Quote:

I understand there are ways to get good 3D modeling performance out of a standard GTX card though... you might want to look around for that info.

I'm assuming you are talking about softmodding gaming cards to workstation? If so no, you can no longer softmod on ATI/nVidia cards. :cry: 
September 13, 2009 11:22:09 PM

obsidian86 said:
3d applications make use of CUDA which helps a lot in rendering ati hasn really got anything that can match it

That depends on if OP has the plug ins for it. There are no NATIVE CUDA support with 3DS and most other programs.
September 14, 2009 12:15:28 AM

Intel Core i7 920 D0 BOX, Quad Core, 2.66 GHz, LGA 1366

DFI LANParty DK X58-T3eH6, ATX, X58, LGA1366, SLI, CFX

Corsair HX3X12G1333C9, 6x2GB, DDR3-1333, CL9-9-9-24@1.5V

WD VelociRaptor WD3000HLFS, 10'000rpm, 16MB, 300GB, SATA-II

ZOTAC GTX-275 AMP! 896MB DDR3, 240SP

Samsung SyncMaster T240, 24" TFT, DVI-D + HDMI, schwarz

Corsair CMPSU-TX750, 750W, SLI/CF, ATX2.2/EPS, 80Plus

Noctua CPU-Kühler NH-U12P SE1366 - Sockel 1366

Lite-On iHAS324-32, 24fach DVD Writer, schwarz, S-ATA
September 14, 2009 12:19:50 AM

so thats the result of a small council i had with a friend of mine keeping in mind the suggestions done here an the high-profile approval it got.. (btw im getting 2 of them grafic cards)

what exactly are you talking about the 19? unknown matter to me.. ¨cheers
September 14, 2009 6:52:53 AM

Shadow703793 said:


Imo, going LGA1366 (aka i7 920) will be a better option as you will be able to use the i9s which are hexacore CPUs later. You should notice a decent performance increase with an i9 upgrade down the road. And no, i9 will not be available for LAG1156.



I'm assuming you are talking about softmodding gaming cards to workstation? If so no, you can no longer softmod on ATI/nVidia cards. :cry: 


That's a very good point Shadow, I had totally missed that. The ability to upgrade to 6 cores might be quite nice.

Too bad about the soft mod thing.
September 14, 2009 6:55:12 AM

Not 19 but i9... The next gen LGA 1366 CPU. By going with the X58 board now you should be able to upgrade to a 6-core CPU down the road.
September 14, 2009 2:57:38 PM

None of those 3D applications take advantage of SLI/Crossfire. Look into getting a more powerful single card that will be also fast enough for gaming.
September 14, 2009 3:13:16 PM

With that kind of budget, OP could probably get good performance from SSD, might be worthwhile to have an OS/Programs/Working Directory drive, and then have a RAID 1 backup.

September 14, 2009 3:31:48 PM

noktek said:
Intel Core i7 920 D0 BOX, Quad Core, 2.66 GHz, LGA 1366

DFI LANParty DK X58-T3eH6, ATX, X58, LGA1366, SLI, CFX

Corsair HX3X12G1333C9, 6x2GB, DDR3-1333, CL9-9-9-24@1.5V

WD VelociRaptor WD3000HLFS, 10'000rpm, 16MB, 300GB, SATA-II

ZOTAC GTX-275 AMP! 896MB DDR3, 240SP

Samsung SyncMaster T240, 24" TFT, DVI-D + HDMI, schwarz

Corsair CMPSU-TX750, 750W, SLI/CF, ATX2.2/EPS, 80Plus

Noctua CPU-Kühler NH-U12P SE1366 - Sockel 1366

Lite-On iHAS324-32, 24fach DVD Writer, schwarz, S-ATA

Good build. BUT wait for the ATI 5xxx.

noktek said:
so thats the result of a small council i had with a friend of mine keeping in mind the suggestions done here an the high-profile approval it got.. (btw im getting 2 of them grafic cards)

what exactly are you talking about the 19? unknown matter to me.. ¨cheers

Core i9:

Gulftown, aka i9: 6 cores 12 threads.

Transmaniacon said:
With that kind of budget, OP could probably get good performance from SSD, might be worthwhile to have an OS/Programs/Working Directory drive, and then have a RAID 1 backup.

True that.
September 14, 2009 4:17:54 PM

when is the new ati serie coming out approximately? and the i9? i guess i could postpone a bit even thou it is kind of a vicious circle..
September 14, 2009 4:42:43 PM

The new 5XXX series should be out in a week or two, I would definitely recommend waiting for them, the i9 is just a heads up for down the road, it will not be released anytime soon, i7 920 is the best choice for your needs.
September 14, 2009 7:28:28 PM

It's not about waiting, but about an upgrade path. Using the X58 board with the i7 920 will allow you to upgrade to 6 cores next year.

Using the P55 board with the i7 860 will cost less now, but future upgrades will be limited to 4 cores.
September 23, 2009 9:13:31 PM

up
September 23, 2009 9:25:37 PM

The 5xxx cards should be on Newegg etc, soon.
September 23, 2009 10:05:55 PM

@ proximon

You Write: "It's not about waiting, but about an upgrade path. Using the X58 board with the i7 920 will allow you to upgrade to 6 cores next year.

Using the P55 board with the i7 860 will cost less now, but future upgrades will be limited to 4 cores."





I've read this same thought from many people, and I always find it missing in its logic. The upgrade path is not limited to anything specific, unless you clarify what upgrade means to you. Lets say a person chooses 1156 socket now, perhaps due to performance today and saves $100 over buying 1136. (just a for-instance).

Then lets say in two years (not immediate upgrade, but once the technology settles, that person chooses to upgrade to the i9.


They do have a path! They buy a new mobo, processor/hsf. Who knows what that will cost, but to decide if that process is desireable, you would have to reduce that cost to npv which would be the cost of the mobo + processor/(1+i)^2, and you'd have the ability to calculate a figure of merit for the decision to buy 1156 now as: $100- present value of the cost of the future mobo/processor. (i represents the interest rate)


You then have to compare that result to the other scenerio, which is 0 savings now, and the cost of the processor (only) in, say, 2 years. Which is 0 - processor costs/(1+i)^2


How can you say which way is better without knowing the future cost of the mobo and processor, the likely interest rate, and without knowing if something else about mobos for i9 will be different in 2 years to render it undesireable to continue to employ the "old" x58 mobo?

Best,
Bob
September 23, 2009 11:41:41 PM

Not bad Bob, but there are other factors. Most people choose an OEM edition of Windows when building their own comp. This can be quite the hassle with MS to change the MB.

Replacing a motherboard is a great deal of work involving as well a re-format and a fresh OS install.

CPU and RAM can be dropped into a board fairly quickly, and no software changes are needed.

Unless you are a serious enthusiast like me, you will generally hang onto a build until it no longer works for you... and my experience has shown me that the immediate reaction at that time will be, "What can I do to upgrade for minimal cost?"

Also, CPUs tend to come down in price over time.
September 24, 2009 12:54:44 AM

Proximon, your reply helps fill in your assumptions: that is the "upgraders" will normally seek a sub-optimal upgrade in exchange for reducing the upgrade time to that of replacing a processor/hsf.

I suggest "sub-optimal", because I value the fresh os install that always accompanies my upgrades. I can't remember an upgrade in which I didn't redo the mobo as part of the build. And the technology is always changing, whether as part of an improved bios, or i/o or power or sata or something....

Agreed that cpus come down in price, but mobos, and ram do too. That's why I think the op could be making a good choice to avoid the high cost of the 1136 mobo today, even if he may wish one for a future upgrade.

At least we owe the op the awareness that there could be a potential benefit to planning his i9 build to simply be a different build rather than an extension of this one.

I've rebuilt, btw, (normally a new mobo/processor/ram...sometimes video) nearly a dozen times with OEM Windows and never faced a hassle, so I'm not sure what you are referring to. All you have to do is inform MS of the upgrade.

Best,
Bob
September 24, 2009 1:04:13 AM

Quote:
All you have to do is inform MS of the upgrade.


That was true for XP. Vista has changed that. As long as you lie and say the MB died you are OK though.

Although, I have heard from some that they were told to replace the MB with the same one. Depends on the rep I suppose.
September 24, 2009 1:06:19 AM

ahhh, thanks for that, I didn't know as I'm only now about to go from xp to 7. I skipped vista. I wonder what the "rigamarole" will be when upgrading with the intent to use the same license of 7 in a new machine.
October 13, 2009 12:01:55 PM

You guys are probably going to flame me for bumping this one month old thread but no PC has been bought yet.. so i was wondering if the parts uggested here (obsidians build and mine) are all still actual and if theres anything new to be taken into account before buying..

(for those who dont want to read all the posts up here, its all about doing an awesome build for 3d apps/games with 1600 €, screen included)
October 13, 2009 3:26:30 PM

I would go with one of the new ATI cards, the ATI HD5850 is about the same price as the GTX275/GTX280, and performs better than them, so you might want to look into that, or if you have a little budget room, the ATI HD5870 is the fastest card out there right now.
October 13, 2009 8:28:50 PM

@OP:Start new thread.
!