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3d Rendering/Gaming machine (budget $3000)

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January 19, 2010 5:06:51 AM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: January 22 preferably.
BUDGET RANGE: $3000us before Rebates

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: 3d rendering (Mental Ray/Renderman), Adobe CS4, Gaming.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Windows 7 pro 64bit

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: tigerdirect.com -- has some pretty awesome prices, but I'll order from any reliable/cheap source.

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA, Los Angeles

PARTS PREFERENCES: Intel

OVERCLOCKING: Yes SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1200

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I've been doing digital animation for about 10 years now. My mode of thought was always to purchase a computer for high-end gaming (since I love games) and use it for work as well. This worked well until I started getting interested in heavy Lighting & Rendering (Mental Ray and Renderman for example).

I'd like to build a system that will be able to speed up renders and also play modern games at high resolutions. My main dilemma has been the video card, since I know the Quadro and the Geforces are both great, but meant for different things.
Also, a friend of mine just bought an awesome 8core system for rendering for a little under $3000. I'm not sure how it will run games, but I will post his specs below as a starting point.

I have recently bought a Cooler Master HAF 932 Full Tower Black Case for $139.99 for another computer. And I must say that I am very pleased with it. So I'm thinking of buying another one for the new build. (http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...)

I have another friend who will put everything together and over clock the sucker once I have all the parts. My knowledge is a bit limited however.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Below are the specs from my friends computer:
MOBO - SUPERMICRO, X8DAi, LGA1366 /2, Intel® 5520, 6.4 GT/s QPI, DDR3-1333MHz ECC/UECC 96GB /12, PCIe x16 CF /2, SATA 3 Gb/s RAID 5 /6, HDA, GbLAN /2, EATX, Retail

CPU - INTEL, 2 x Xeon™ E5520 Quad-Core Processor 2.26GHz, LGA1366, 5.86 GT/s QPI, 8MB L3 Cache, HT EM64T EIST TB VT XD, 45nm, 80W, Retail w/o Fan

COOLING - 2X *SUPERMICRO, SNK-P0040AP4 Socket 1366 Active Heatsink for 4U Server Chassis, 2050 RPM*
MEMMORY - 12GB (6 x 2GB) ValueRAM™ Dual-Rank PC3-10600 DDR3 1333MHz CL9 SDRAM DIMM, ECC Registered
GPU - Quadro FX 1800 Graphics Card - nVIDIA Quadro FX - 768MB GDDR3

HARDDRIVES - WESTERN DIGITAL, 300GB (WD3000HLFS) WD VelociRaptor™, SATA 3 Gb/s, 10000 RPM, 16MB cache
WESTERN DIGITAL, 1TB WD Caviar® Black™ (WD1001FALS), SATA 3 Gb/s, 7200 RPM, 32MB Cache

DVD BURNER - TOSHIBA/SAMSUNG SH-S223L Black 22X DVD±R/RW Dual-Layer Burner w/ Lightscribe, SATA, With Nero 8 Software*

CASE - ANTEC, Performance One P193 Black Mid-Tower Computer Case, EATX, No PSU

POWER SUPPLY - CORSAIR, CMPSU-750TX TX Series Power Supply, 650W, 80 PLUS®, 24-pin ATX12V EPS12V, Multi-GPU Ready

Thank you for reading all of this, and thank you for the help.
January 19, 2010 7:57:28 AM

^ The above config is good but you just cant get the good of both the worlds from just one card...
You could ask your friend how that PC plays games and am sure you will get the answer as "Not so good"...the workstation graphic cards are not meant for gaming...
If you want to go into PRO 3D rendering and stuff, then you would have to stick with workstation cards...
So I would suggest you either look for a gaming PC or a Worstation PC...
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January 19, 2010 3:41:32 PM

Check the specific recommendations for your application (didn't see it posted) to se if they recommend Quadro cards or not. Even if they do, I would check a message board spcific to your application (such as the Autodesk boards for 3DS Max) to see what users have to say. Many applications have moved away from the Quadro/FireGL cards (mostly due to the fact Microsoft at one point said it would remove OpenGL support from Vista, forcing translation of the instructions through DirectX), and many apps work fine (using the Autodesk line-up as my reference point) on a high end consumer card if you change the settings from OpenGL to DirectX.

As stated gaming performance is poor on Quadro/FireGL cards.
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January 20, 2010 4:06:14 AM

Thank you for the reply. I will look at the article and do more research, and then re-post.
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