PC configuration for 3ds max/rendering

Hi there

I need to build a PC for 3D image rendering and large volume data analysis. I need quite strong graphics card as well since I work with very heavy 3d models and on dual screens. I also want to render shorter animations so quickest rendering time is very import as well. Can anyone please come up with list of compatible products for new build?

Budget is 4800$ or about £3000

Your help is much appreciated.
9 answers Last reply
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  1. Might want to format it according to the guidelines from the link in my signature. What don't you need (OS, monitor, keyboard/mouse, etc.)? Do you need any special items (wireless card, card reader, etc.)? Where do you prefer to buy from? Are you going to overclock?

    You can get a very good PC for your purposes without spending that much. Here are my first thoughts to get it started. Links are to Newegg to look at the specs.

    CPU: i7-920 $289

    Mobo: Asus P6X58D Premium $310

    RAM: 2x Mushkin Enhanced Redline 3x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 6 $500

    HDD: 4x Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB $360 setup in RAID 10

    SSD: 128 GB SSD ~$400. I'm not good about picking the best models, so the price is a placeholder. It might also be smaller depending on the number/size of the programs you need.

    GPU: You might want to consider a workstation GPU for this. Check out nVidia's Quaddro or ATI's Fire line. It will be expensive though.

    PSU: Corsair 750W $110

    Optical: If you need a BluRay reader, it will be ~$100. If you need a BluRay burner, it'll be around $150. If you just need a DVD burner, it will be $30.

    Case: Antec 1200 $160. Another option (and a case I really like the look of) is the Coolermaster Cosmos 1000 for $180. If it needs to be black, Coolermaster Cosmos 1100 for $200.

    Total: ~$2,300. That's using the most expensive stuff in the options. That doesn't include an OS, monitors, keyboard, mouse or any other extras.
  2. Hi and thanks for your help. In this price you do not need to include os, monitor, keyboard an mouse. I also do not intend to get any additional item. I would prefer not to overclock it to maintain maximum stability when rendering.

    I was looking at Intel Core i7-975 Extreme Edition Bloomfield processor. Could you please tell me your opinion on that.

    I will be using this computer for professional use, therefore I will be working with very heavy 3d models like a site of 30 buildings at a time and turning them into 3 minute animations for example. So I am trying to find the most powerful processor without having to buy a rendering farm which could be build for example from 30 processors.

    I want to autobackup files so is Raid 1 best option?

    No need for Blue Ray, just DVD.

    Thanks again for your answers
  3. I will be buying In United Kingdom.
  4. The i7-975 is not worth it. It's a good $700 more than the i7-920, and is essentially an overclocked version of it. However, if you really want to blow the money on it, you can. Keep in mind that as soon as the i9s come out, it will be blown away. So instead of blowing $1000 for a CPU that will be surpassed in a matter of months, you might want to spend $300 on one now, save that budget to replace it with the newer one. I certainly wouldn't recommend this, but it is an option.

    I would also check out some benchmarks of the CPUs for the program you use. See if the $700 is really worth it in terms of performance.

    RAID 1 is completely redundant. It uses one drive to back up another automatically. RAID 10 is using 4 drives, with two pairs of drives in RAID 0, which is then placed into RAID 1. It gives you faster speeds with complete redundancy. The drawback is that it's expensive. You can do this with any even number of drives above 4.
  5. Great this advice is very,very helpful. Thank you very much
  6. Here's my shot at it. From what I understand its all about RAM and CPU when it comes to render times. As far as GPU Cards go I went with a none workstation card, I've seen arguments for both sides and i decided on this based on final price. I should have a public list available tomorrow for now ill link to individually.

    MB: SUPERMICRO MBD-X8DTi-F-O Dual LGA 1366 Intel 5520 Extended ATX Dual Intel Xeon 5500 and 5600 Series
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813182182

    CPU: Intel Xeon X5650 Westmere 2.66GHz LGA 1366 95W Six-Core Server Processor x2
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819117231

    RAM: Kingston ValueRAM 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 ECC Unbuffered Server Memory x4
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820139043

    GPU: POWERCOLOR AX5970 2GBD5-MD Radeon HD 5970 (Hemlock) 2GB 512 (256 x 2)-bit GDDR5
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814131324

    SSD: Intel X25-M Mainstream SSDSA2M080G2XXX 2.5" 80GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820167016

    HDD: Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5"
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136284

    CASE/PSU: SUPERMICRO CSE-743TQ-865B-SQ Black Pedestal Server Case
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811152117

    I've been trying to build a decent workstation that balances power and price. I see a lot of wasteful suggestions where people just spout off the most expensive items. All in all i think this will work very well and it all comes in at around 4700. I'd like to blind test the GPU to see if I'd notice the difference between this and a 1500 dollar quadro fx.

    Just to add confusion, there are always render farms to keep in mind: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/render-farm-node,2340.html

    Good luck

    EDIT;

    found this workstation GPU, looks capable, it is 100 more (@ 835$) than the one listed above .
    PNY VCQFX3800-PCIE-PB Quadro FX 3800 1GB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 SLI Workstation Video Card
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814133271
  7. Processor: Intel 3.5 GHz LGA 1155 Core i7 3770K
    Motherboard: MSI Z77 Mpower - Board Rev 4.1 (min BIOS-V17.OB16)
    Memory: G.Skill TridentX DDR3 (2x8 GB) 2400 MHZ 10-12-12-31@1.65V (F3-2400C10D-8GTX)
    Video Card: Asus NVIDIA GeForce GTX 550 Ti 1 GB GDDR5 (Open GL Optimization v4.1)
    Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 2 TB Hard Drive (ST2000DM001)
    CPU cooler: CoolerMaster V8
    Power Supply: Cooler Master Thunder 700 Watts PSU
    Cabinet: Cooler Master CM 690 II Advanced Mid Tower Cabinet


    SSD: Intel® SSD 330 Series SATA3 6Gb/s, 25nm, MLC - 120GB : SSDSC2CT120A3K5

    Regards
    Venkataraghavan Krishnamachari
    www.archstudio.co.in
  8. So what did you get at last.
    I want to build mine and its good to hear from your experience
  9. I am also thinking about making a render farm in the near future. Here are my thoughts and justification on the matter.

    I have a budget, we all do. No matter how big or small it is, you dont want to spend in the wrong areas, when you could be getting performance rather than something that sounds impressive and really isnt going to be used all that much.

    You will notice that there is a price to performance ratio with each cpu you buy. Benchmark different processors and find out what model of i7 (or amd or whatever you choose) is the most efficient.

    You're not going to go out and buy a top of the line i7 that is 30% faster than another i7 that costs half the price. For this reason PLEASE do not buy top of the line. That's how marketing works... You want MORE render nodes not less nodes that run faster... that's the whole concept of scalability.

    These days you can get a small, cheap i7 mainboard for around 95 dollars, and the core for 295. Dont skimp out on the power supply, so buy a good brand like corsair or thermaltake or one of the higher end gaming power supplies, but think about how many watts you really need! again dont rip yourself off. If you are smart enough with the specs you might be able to afford another one or even two extra nodes! and that will really translate into cpu power.

    You want as many render threads on the screen at the same time as possible, that's your end game.

    Oh another thing... My farm is entirely cpu based so I will be using cheap rubbish onboard graphics with shared video ram... I'll be cutting it down to 16 megs of shared video ram and probably going to be running them on very simple display modes. I will have no budget whatsoever on my (cpu based) render nodes. Sure on my main machine I'll have my old trusty geforce to handle all the display port stuff, but for the render nodes, they need minimal video card power! Dont waste money on this.

    RAM. How fast? well the average i7 runs at 1600mhz so dont waste money on fancey sports ram with impressive cas latencies. just get normal el cheapo 1600mhz ram, I dont know you might want 16gb per node tops? you can always buy more later if you need it

    hard disk on the nodes can be a 320 or 500gb seagate. I tend to avoid western digital and hitachi as they have faild me a few times in the past.

    Dont waste much cash on storage, you can always buy a (seagate) nas later if you need it and use network based storage.

    all mainboards come with onboard gigabit lan cards these days. make sure you also have a gigiabit switch. forget wireless.

    you can get away with windows 7 or even xp home edition if you really want legit software :)

    set up remote desktop software such as vnc or rdp so you can log into your render nodes for maintainence and check thier cpu levels.

    if you need any help with this please contact me https://www.facebook.com/annoni.moose

    - Fabian
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