Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question
Solved

Upgradining for 3D graphics

Last response: in CPUs
Share
January 16, 2010 5:48:17 PM

The machine I currently have is a HP xw 4400 Workstation and it is time to upgrade. It has XP pro 32 bit, Intel
Core2 CPU 6600, 240 Ghz, 4 Gb RAM but it just isn't getting the job done anymore. I wanted to just upgrade the CPU but was told that the board couldn't hold a Quad Core CPU so I am now looking for a complete overhaul. I am using the machine for animation and game design using programs like Autodesk Maya 2010, Mudbox 2010, Unreal 3 editor, Torque 3D, and all the Adobe CS4 software. It was a good system when I bought it 3 years ago but it is having a hard time efficiently running the new programs I am trying to run on it. Any advice?

More about : upgradining graphics

a b à CPUs
January 16, 2010 6:38:17 PM

go i7 and DDR3 RAM triple channel
m
0
l

Best solution

a c 199 à CPUs
January 16, 2010 6:55:24 PM

I have found when building boxes for my engineering (CAD) business, that a hi end box (say one tier down from top end) will last about 4 years. It does become a hand me down tho, going from the CAS table to an Engineer's box to a secretarial station as it "goes thru life" making it last a bit longer.

Like a gaming box, one of the 1st decisions is just how big on GFX do you wanna go ? Single card, multiple cards ? ..... You going to be using PhysX plug ins for Maya / 3D Studio Max ?

http://www.geeks3d.com/20081207/physx-plugins-for-3d-st...

Then that's another consideration....back to GFX later.

Case / PSU - Hard to look away from the Antec 1200 / CP-850. ($250 for both at newegg)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (Extra Case Fans)

MoBo - Usually a gamers MoBo, the ASUS P6T7 WS Supercomputer gives you three GFX card slots + a 4th for a dedicated PhysX card. Unless you're looking at 3 or more cards, I'd recommend the ASUS P6X58D Premium which provides SATA III and USB 3 support but only PCI-E x 16 lanes (16 x 16 x 1 or 16 x 8 x 8). Lowest I'd go for is the ASUS P6T Deluxe V2.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($400)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($310)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($290)

CPU - i7 obviously but what you buy is strictly a budgetary decision. The 920 is a great CPU but fact is time is money and though the 920 can be OC'd to 975 speeds, the 940 is faster, each step up is also faster. Go with the max you can afford is box will be used in a production environment.

Memory - 3 x 2GB is the starting point. Does your work demand more ? DDR1600 is a great choice for it's OC ability, no need to go higher unless you looking for 210+ BCLK's . Gran the lowest CAS # you can afford at DDR1600. Best right now is Mushkin 998692's w/ the Ascent coolers w/ CAS 6 (6-7-6-18) if you can find them (but can only use 3 modules cause of the cooler's width on most MoBos. The sister modules (998691) w/o the coolers are back on newegg. The cheapest CAS 7 seems to change every few days.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($245)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($180)

Hard Drives - Check out the performance charts and pick whatever 500 GB per platter drive performs best under your usage patterns. The WD Black 2 TB is a good choice but at smaller capacities, you are limited to the Seagate 7200.12 or the Spinpoint F3. The 7200.12 excels in gaming, multimedia and pictures whereas the F3 wins at music and movie maker. See the comparisons here (copy past link in manually, link won't work in forum):

(http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/2009-3.5-desktop-har...[2371]=on&prod[2770]=on)

SSD - If ya budget can afford it, get one. Intel G2 series or new OCZ Vertex2 if it hits the streets
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

Optical Blue Ray Reader or Blue Ray Writer ?
Plextor Model PX-B320SA Blue Ray Reader / DVD Writer w/LS OEM
PLEXTOR r Model PX-B940SA SW Blue Ray Writer

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($135)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($280)

Heat Sink - For performance and ease of installation, the Prolimatech Megahalems fits both criteria. Here's what I'm putting in new builds Mega w/ IC Diamond TIM and twin Scythe PWMfans (make sure ya MoBo can handle the fan wattage). ($95 for the HS, TIM. two PWM fans and a Y cable splitter))

http://www.frozencpu.com/products/8807/cpu-pro-01/Proli...
http://www.frozencpu.com/products/7038/thr-41/Innovatio...
http://www.frozencpu.com/products/10026/fan-639/Scythe_...
http://www.frozencpu.com/products/8418/cab-150/FrozenCP...

If that's a budget breaker, look at the Xigmnatec S1283 or one of the others here:
http://www.silentpcreview.com/Recommended_Heatsinks
http://www.frostytech.com/top5heatsinks.cfm#INTELHEATSI...
http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...

GFX Cards - Though plain ole CAD is a staple here, I don't get much call to build 3D Workstations, so I'll have to beg off on recommendations here since I'm not keeping up w/ the latest and greatest. Like w/ the HD isue, the selction of best card will depend on what program. The last THG article I read had the nVidia winning the Quadro FX 4800 Editor's Choice designation but Maya specifically favors ATI cards. Compare your usage with the benchmarks here to make a determination.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/quadro-fx-4800,2258...
Share
Related resources
January 17, 2010 1:46:57 PM

This was an awesome answer! Thanks so much for the detail. I feel like I was in a class or something :) 
m
0
l
a b à CPUs
January 18, 2010 2:45:44 AM

^^Careful! I don't think the 1200 supports SSI CEB, your board might not fit in it!

Well, Jack may know something I don't... Probably...

I would recommend this memory instead:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($180)

1600MHz, CL7. Better heatsink for better cooling, and in turn, better OCing.

I never liked Mushkin because they mark up their products a bit too much.

Definitely, definitely, definitely SAVE MONEY FOR A SSD. SSDs will dramatically increase the performance of your computer. Invest in a quality SSD with TRIM support.

Don't buy Plextor. Since 2007, they have been outsourcing to Lite-On to make their drives. They just change the bezel and make the LED Blue.

I would suggest the Noctua NH-D14 for the heatsink. This is the best air cooler as of now (better than the megahalems), and comes with 2 fans. You don't really need PWM because the fans generate ~32dBA at 5 feet. They also come with resistors to make the fans quieter.

If you have to squeeze a HSF into your budget, the Xigmatech is a good option, and the Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro R2 is an excellent cooler too.

I would suggest an Nvidia Quadro or ATi FirePro if you're serious about 3D. I can't say I know too much about them though.

hehe, hope all these posts help!
m
0
l
January 18, 2010 12:56:02 PM

As for SSD,

The OCZ Vertex2 is due out in March roughly and is pegged to be very pricey, but OCZ are levering it as an enterprise class SSD...

The Crucial C300 is being very quietly being released and available for purchase in the 1H of Feb with a 5 year warranty:

Sequential Read 355MB/s
Sequential Write 217MB/s

and blistering random Reads and Writes more importantly too. Its 4k random Writes are twice the speed of the Intel X25-M !!!

and will be faster than the Vertex2 as well as a lot cheaper.

available in
128 $399
256 $799
512 (ADATA are also doing a version of same tech. in this size - no price yet)

These new drives support the new SATA 6BG/s interface which give a decent speed advantage for a single drive over the 3GB/s due to more efficient controllers.

Also of course supports TRIM too.

Am pretty sure there is a new 6GB/s RAID controller out there by now - or Very soon that supports TRIM too... someone else can help enlighten us on that one???

m
0
l
a c 199 à CPUs
February 5, 2010 3:32:30 PM

The new Noctua is a great performer but the weight (3 pounds !) scares me a bit. So is the new Tuniq

I have 18 dba fans and I am throttling them because they are audible over everything else .....waiting for PWM replacements to arrive. Remember that fans are tested for noise in open air ..... you don't hear wind standing in an open field......but in car you hear wind noise as the air is disturbed by protrusions from the vehicle.....same thing......blowing air thru a bunch of fins creates much more noise than blowing air against nothing on a test bench.

At full speed I can hear the Mega's fans....at 80% of speed, they are silent.

Also Seagate has new PCI-E based SD's coming out.
m
0
l
March 14, 2010 1:53:05 AM

JackNaylorPE said:
The new Noctua is a great performer but the weight (3 pounds !) scares me a bit. So is the new Tuniq

I have 18 dba fans and I am throttling them because they are audible over everything else .....waiting for PWM replacements to arrive. Remember that fans are tested for noise in open air ..... you don't hear wind standing in an open field......but in car you hear wind noise as the air is disturbed by protrusions from the vehicle.....same thing......blowing air thru a bunch of fins creates much more noise than blowing air against nothing on a test bench.

At full speed I can hear the Mega's fans....at 80% of speed, they are silent.

Also Seagate has new PCI-E based SD's coming out.


Hello Jack (if I may call you that)
You posted suggestions to me earlier and I just wanted to get your final opinion between these two boards the ASUS P6T7 WS Supercomputer gives you three GFX card slots + a 4th for a dedicated PhysX card. Unless you're looking at 3 or more cards, or the ASUS P6X58D Premium which provides SATA III and USB 3 support but only PCI-E x 16 lanes (16 x 16 x 1 or 16 x 8 x 8). Lowest I'd go for is the ASUS P6T Deluxe V2.

My main question is which of these boards will serve me best in the long run with a i7 930 CPU and one of the Ram choices you gave me? The ASUS P6T7 gaming board may serve two purposes if I can utilize my Nvidia Quadro FX 3500 for my Maya usage and the on board video card for my gaming (Is this possible?) otherwise I may just need to stick to making the machine purpose driven by getting the ASUS P6X58D since it is to be my new workstation (modeling, animating, rendering with Maya 2010). I looked at the reviews and the p6X58D got higher reviews but I am so new to this whole "build your own machine" thing, I feel like I am getting lost in a maze after reading about so many different components. I do really appreciate your input above and am buying from the list you provided but the boards have me stumped. Can you please direct?
m
0
l
!