3ds Max 2010 CS4 Rig

Looking to build a powerful 3ds max 2010 / adobe CS4 rig. I dont have the $$ for a render farm yet so the system will need to do some significant rendering as well as creation.

I have build a number of PCs from scratch but this will be my first that is oriented more towards performance as opposed to a budget.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Within the next 4 to 6 weeks

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: 3ds Max 2010, Adobe CS4 (Photoshop/Premiere mostly)

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: None but not looking for advice on mouse/keyboard etc.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Have always used newegg

PARTS PREFERENCES: I like ASUS mobos and looking to setup an i7 system


SLI/CROSSFIRE: Dont think I will need it for my application


Here's what I have so far:

ASUS P6X58D Premium LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

Antec TPQ-850 850W Continuous Power ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC

Intel X25-M Mainstream SSDSA2M160G2XXX 2.5

COOLER MASTER HAF 932 RC-932-KKN1-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case

2 x CORSAIR DOMINATOR 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TR3X6G1600C8D

Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST31500341AS 1.5TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5

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

Monitor: Thinking Samsung 26" 260HD

I would like to overclock to get some more power out of the system.

I have a few questions:
- should I go for a faster 920 processor? I chose the 9xx over the 8xx due to the triple channel memory
- I' need some advice on an aftermarket cooler and am also concerned that such a cooler will not fit in the case I chose. I love Coolermaster cases but am open to other suggestions.
- Also need advice about a graphics card.
- Parts compatibility?

Thanks for everyone's input!
10 answers Last reply
More about 2010
  1. I wouldn't get a SSD yet... Since you're getting a SATA 6GB/s motherboard, you should wait until they release a SATA 6GB/s SSD. They will be faster than the current generation of SSDs, and should become the new standard.
    If you get a SSD now, im sure you will regret it when the new ones come out.
  2. Thanks for the input - to be honest I dont know if they are worth it and I think the money would be better spent with a faster processor. Does anyone know the performance increase of a faster processor (950 or 960 vs using the 920 and a SSD?
  3. I was also debating using two of the 6Gb/s drives instead of the two I have listed above.

    Seagate Barracuda XT ST32000641AS 2TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

    Unfortunately newegg only has them as part of their $4k bundle. Should I wait and get these?
  4. Imo, no real need for a single 2TB drive.

    I recommend a 2x500GB Samsung F3s in RAID 0 for OS and temp scratch storage. And a single 1TB F3 for long term storage. Or get the 80GB X25-M G2 for OS (DO NOT RAID the SSDs as that will disable TRIM )

    Since you arn't gaming you can get this board: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131386&Tpk=P6T%20SE
    P6T SE $185 after MIR (but currently out of stock)
    for significantly cheaper. Imo, SATAIII and USB3 are not needed yet.

    You DO NOT need a 850W PSU. A 650W quality PSU (ie 650TX) will do.

    As for aftermarket cooling, the Core Contact Freezer 120mm and the LGA1366 bracket.

    As for graphics card, since you aren't gaming, a 4850 will be fine (but still an overkill imo).

    should I go for a faster 920 processor?


    You DO NOT need Dominator RAM. They are meant for high OC with watercooling,etc. Get 2x of these OCZ gold: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227365

    Some notes:
    If this is for pro level work, I highly recommend you consider a 2P build. Also even if going 1P consider a board with support for ECC RAM.

    Also, if you live near a Microcenter, you can get an i7 920 for $200.
  5. Thanks for the advice. Funnily enough, I had switched to the OCZ ram that you suggested this morning!
    I'll check out the PSU you suggested - thanks
    I added the cooler and bracket

    As for the processor, I think i'll be doing heavy rendering at times so the best performance is important to me. I saw a benchmark test that showed a 920 rendering a scene nice and fast when overclocked to 4gigs. I would like to overclock but I am concerned of stability issues since it will be doing a lot of rendering. That's really why I was considering a faster processor that would not have to be ppushed quite as hard...

    Do you know if 3ds max will benefit from a 2P build? I could not find a mobo for dual 920s so is there one you suggest?

    Thanks again
  6. I do know that 3DS Max will benefit a quite a bit (depending on rendering) from a 2P build, for the record I built this: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/267080-31-build
    for a neighbor, he runs CFD/CAD/Renderings quite well.

    You can't run i7 920 on a 2P, you will need to shell out for a Xeon.

    HOWEVER, again, depending on the kind of renderings you do, a 2P may or may not be worth it.

    In any case, you can get 3.8-4Ghz on the i7 quite easily. Still not really pushing the CPU until you start to break 4.1Ghz. Just MAKE SURE you learn the art of stability testing,etc. (ie Prime 95 for 16+ hrs is usually considered stable or LinX/OCCT/Linpack for 6-12+hrs)
  7. Thanks. At my last job we had a dual xeon P4 3.0 gig (single cores) if I remember correctly but it was really a disappointment. We never ran the newer versions of 3ds max though so the older versions may not have been taking advantage of the dual processors.

    I think I'll be shooting to overclock the 920 to 4.0Ghz and see if I can get it stable. Are there any blaring errors that you see is the components discussed above for overclocking? Will the OCZ ram that I switched to be okay? Sunbeam cooler?

    I dabbled a little with overclocking but that was back with single core P4 chips. I could never get them significantly overclocked and stable at the same time. From reading over the last week or so it seems that overclocking has come a long way.

    Thanks again!
  8. Yes, everything will/should be fine.

    However, like I said before:

    1. 850W is overkill. Get a quality 650W PSU.

    2. Get the P6T SE

    3. MAKE SURE you read up on OCing the i7s. It's much different than OCing the P4s.
    Start here: http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/core-i7-920-overclocking.html

    and : http://www.clunk.org.uk/forums/overclocking/22106-core-i7-overclocking-guide-beginners.html

    and: http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/cpus/2008/11/06/overclocking-intel-core-i7-920/1

    ALWAYS use the BIOS to OC the CPU, DO NOT use software OC tools for CPU OCing.

    One more thing I forgot to mention:
    If you can get a old 8800GTS/GTX card, you can softmod it to a Quaddro saving quite a lot of money and should give you a small performance increase. 8800GTS/GTX can be found for ~$55-100.
  9. dns7950 said:
    I wouldn't get a SSD yet... Since you're getting a SATA 6GB/s motherboard, you should wait until they release a SATA 6GB/s SSD. They will be faster than the current generation of SSDs, and should become the new standard.
    If you get a SSD now, im sure you will regret it when the new ones come out.

    WRONG, SATA 6GB has a 750GB/s transfer rate which only a few SSD's can acheive currently and cost way over a Thousand dollars rendering it useless for him, plus transfer rate isn't important, its access time and that isn't affected by SATA at all.
  10. ^Agreed.
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