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3D Animation PC build, $2000, not a gamer

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December 28, 2009 1:12:46 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: will have to place order by 31st Dec, for tax reasons

BUDGET RANGE: $2000 - $2200 AUD, roughly

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: 3D Animation (Maya, etc) quite important. Motion Graphics (After Effects, etc) some video processing. Usual Adobe suite, Photoshop/Illustrator/Flash - gaming is NOT important (don't play)

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: I'll probably get new everything, keyboard, mouse etc, but just focusing on the system at this stage.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: MSY

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Australia

PARTS PREFERENCES: Almost definitely Intel and thinking either Dual 24" Dell's or perhaps a 30" with a smaller screen?

OVERCLOCKING: Never tried/done it before, but if it's worthwhile, then why not :) 

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Whichever is suited to what i'm looking at doing

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920 x 1200 (current 24" Dell specs) but will be 2 x 24" or maybe 30"

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Not interested in bling, clear windows, lights etc. Quiet PC would be nice (if rendering over night, etc). Australian government has a 50% small business rebate on at the moment, so i'm planning on making use of it as best as possible, so i'm kinda happy to spend a decent amount for a system that i guess has room to grow, or is semi-future proof.

Are the Dell LED screen's better for what i want to do compared to the top of the line, double price, versions?

Thanks in advanced for the help! Need to order asap
December 29, 2009 7:54:12 PM

My list:
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Core i7-920 359
ASUS P6T 277
6G Kit DDR3 1600 G.Skill NQ 160
1GB 4670 Powercolor / MSI / Gigabyte / ASUS 82 / 82 / 90 / 90
WD SATA 1TB 105
SATA DVDRW SONY 43
Antec Sonata III 180
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Comes out to $1214 AUD. You need to pick out a keyboard, mouse, monitor or two, and OS. For stills & 3D, I strongly suggest you look at IPS monitors. They're more than twice the price of regular TN monitors, but definitely worth the price if you're serious about colors. And you'll have to calibrate the monitor before use.

http://www1.ap.dell.com/au/en/home/monitors/monitor-del...

The entry-level GPU has 3 outputs. You may need an adapter to hook it up to the 2nd monitor. The retailer doesn't carry any professional workstation 3D cards.

The Sonata case is pretty silent and comes with a quality Earthwatt 500W PSU which is enough for even HD 5870, shall you choose to upgrade the gpu later on.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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December 30, 2009 2:34:56 PM

thanks so much for that!

I have a Dell 2405fwp but not sure how it stacks up to the current U2410... there's a lot of years in between..

So you rate the ASUS mobo's over the gigabyte ones?

So you would go a case with a power supply in it, as oppose to say something like this..
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

or this (like the idea of this one, seems VERY quiet)
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

and then buy a separate PSU? I saw something mentioned on msy.com.au for '80Plus' some new low power item? If i can keep the build as 'green' as possible, i'd be up for that.
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Related resources
December 30, 2009 11:53:50 PM

I used to be a Gigabyte ho. Their last straw is that they're charging people for RMAing (returning for repair) otherwise good mobos under warranty. I wouldn't be surprised if there's a class-action lawsuit against this. What does warranty mean?

Nope, ha. I only recommend Sonata III to new buyers to simplify things. Yes, either of 'em cases are good. I have used Antec cases. They're well built. No cutting fingers. Easy maintenance.

Yep, get the 80Plus PSU. Make sure it's Antec Earthwatts, Corsair, OCZ or if you want higher quality, PC P & C, Silverstone, Seasonic.
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January 6, 2010 12:57:25 PM

ok, found a place that will do msy prices, but back date invoices until Jan 15th to the 31st dec :D 

so i'll be buying from

centrecom.com.au - sorry to chop and change, but these guys have a much bigger range and said they can pretty much order anything in as well (ie, they said i can get LianLi, NZXT cases if i want)

so would you change anything given the bigger range of these guys?

they did say i should probably get a SSD, but if i don't care about load times, is there any other reason to get one?

semi-final specs
i7 920
Asus P6T SE (same price but with copper?)
6gb Kingston DDR3 1600 (2 x 3gb)
1TB WD or Seagate
DVD RW SATA
1gb Asus ATI EAH4670-DI-1GD3
Antec Sonata III 500

thanks so much for your help so far!
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January 7, 2010 1:49:58 PM

suggested specs:
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Intel Core i7-920 / 2.66GHz / 8MB Cache / LGA1366 $358.00
Asus P6T Intel Mainboard - 6x DDR3 / 6x Sata Raid / 1x IDE / Gigabit Lan $277.00
Kingston DDR3 6GB PC-8500/1066 (3x2GB) CL7 Value Ram $199.10
Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 7200RPM 32MB SATA 3Gbs $136.40
Samsung SH-S223B SATA DVD Re-Writer (22x - Black) $68.00
XFX ATI HD4670 PCI-E 2.0, 1GB, DDR3, 128bit, DVI, VGA, HDMI, Fan (HD-467X-DDF2) $92.40
Antec Sonata III 500 - Black Super Quiet ATX Tower Case (500W) $189.20
Corsair X32 Extreme Series 32GB 2.5" SSD SATA 3Gbs $179.30
Sub-Total: $1,499.40
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A few things are more expensive than the other retailer. I threw in a 32GB SSD. It's nearly as fast as the OCZ VERTEX 30GB which is what I'd use for a SSD. Yes, the retailer made a great suggestion on the SSD. You WILL drop your jaws when you see your OS loads up in a min. W7 probably in less time. My F3 500GB HDD loads up Vista in 1.5 min. Use the large HDD for storage and data. Save everything to it. Click Start, right-click Documents, properties, location, browse to a new location (HDD), move.
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January 7, 2010 9:53:38 PM

Yeah, they are more expensive, but they'll move on their prices a bit i think.

but besides load times, would there be any real benefit for a SSD? i'm happy to wait normal load times if it saves me $170-$180... if there's no major benefit when i'm 'in program' ie Maya, After Effects, Photoshop, etc... i'll probably skip it... but having said that... if there is, i'll probably add it :D 

Thanks again!
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January 8, 2010 2:04:39 PM

No big benefit in your listed programs. Drop the SSD. SSD will benfit general usage somewhat in that everything will load up faster. Once the program is loaded, there's no further benefit unless it's video/audio processing, but then you'd be saving this to the 1TB HDD.

Forgot to mention the separate PSU/CASE selection. If you want do it separate, you'll have to select a mid to full-tower ATX case + one of the following:

Antec EarthWatts 500W ATX Power Supply $93.50
Antec Neo Eco 520C 520W ATX Power Supply (No Power cable) $73.70 (needs a power cord)
Corsair VX-550 550W ATX Power Supply $108.90
Zalman 500W ATX Power Supply (ZM500-ST) $85.80

Or the same make & model with higher wattage. 500W is more than enough for even HD 5850. You'll have a bit of a GPU upgrade headroom.
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January 8, 2010 10:55:24 PM

would i be able to separate out the EartWatts 500W from the Sonata III if i wanted to upgrade? or the case won't allow that?
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January 8, 2010 11:01:18 PM

p55ibexpeak said:
I used to be a Gigabyte ho. Their last straw is that they're charging people for RMAing (returning for repair) otherwise good mobos under warranty. I wouldn't be surprised if there's a class-action lawsuit against this. What does warranty mean?

Nope, ha. I only recommend Sonata III to new buyers to simplify things. Yes, either of 'em cases are good. I have used Antec cases. They're well built. No cutting fingers. Easy maintenance.

Yep, get the 80Plus PSU. Make sure it's Antec Earthwatts, Corsair, OCZ or if you want higher quality, PC P & C, Silverstone, Seasonic.



Sorry dont want to be a buzzkill, but when mentioning those PSU's there, they should be the other way round. Corsair and OCZ make THE BEST PSU's in the market while Antec, Seasonic and P & C make lesser rated PSU's. If you want top a notch quality PSU then go for a Corsair HX 550.
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January 9, 2010 12:28:20 PM

The Sonata is a standard ATX case, so yeah, you could move the PSU out if you wanted to upgrade it. I recommend only standard cases that is compatible with standard PSU & MOBOs.
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