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Need help assesing Game art computer. Goal price under 1,800 USD

Last response: in Systems
April 23, 2010 8:48:55 PM

So I need an assessment from you guys, the people who know what you are talking about. If you have any overall builds feel free to shoot them my way, but I mainly just want compatibility advice. So here is the Hardware of the rig so far:

Hard drive: 2X Western Digital Caviar Green 2TB 3.0Gb/s Price - 299.89
Processor: AMD Phenom X6 (Thuban) Price - roughly 300
Graphics card: SAPPHIRE Vapor-X Radeon HD 5850 (Cypress Pro) 2GB 256-bit price - 389.99
Motherboard: ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3 AM3 price - 149.99
RAM: CORSAIR DOMINATOR 8GB (4 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 price - 253.99
Disk drive: ASUS Black Blu-ray Drive price - 64.99
Power Supply: COOLER MASTER Silent Pro 1000W price - 169.99

Grand Total - $1628.84 (USD)

Now keep in mind that the programs that I will be using are Maya 2010, Zbrush 3.0, Sketchbook Pro, Photoshop CS4, and Correll Painter 11. The polly count I put out is generally high, and the textures are of a higher resolution than the average game. So anyway, thanks in advance to anyone who leaves there input on the topic and personal opinions.
April 23, 2010 10:03:25 PM

If you were to post in the format in How to Ask for New Build Advice, it would help.

A couple of thoughts off the top of my head:

The WD Caviar Greens are great storage drives, but they aren't really ideal to use as a boot drive. Looking at your budget, you might consider an SSD, or if you don't feel comfortable with them yet, get a Samsung Spinpoint F3 or Seagate 7200.12 500 GB drive for $55.

The 5850 is overkill unless you also plan to game.

The Blu-ray drive you have listed looks like it's just a Blu-ray reader. Do you also need a DVD-R/W drive? You can get combo drives for around $90-100, or you could get a stand-alone DVD-R/W drive for about $20-25.

Corsair RAM usually costs more than RAM with equivalent specs from other manufacturers. The current sweet spot for RAM is 1600 MHz CAS 7. No timings are listed for the Dominators, but I'm guessing it's this kit. That is actually surprisingly not all that overpriced for once. You could save about $20 by going with 2 of these 4 GB G.Skill kits with similar timings.

You don't seem to have a case, power supply, or operating system listed. Do you need any of those?
April 23, 2010 10:12:21 PM

At that price you have enough "budget" to do an Intel Build. I only think about AMD below $1200.

$230 Antec 1200 w/ CP-850
Yes, the LED's have OFF switches :)  ...... HAF 932 w/ HX850 would be comparable alternate

$515 ASUS P6X58D-E w/ Intel i7-930

$200 3 x 2GB Corsair DDR3-1600 CAS 7
Low profile modules will clear aftermarket heat sinks.

$85 Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 1TB

$50 CPU Cooler

$125 Plextor 320SA

$350 Asus ENGTX470/2DI/1280MD5 GTX 470 (Fermi)
$320 ASUS EAH5850 DIRECTCU/2DIS/1GD5 HD 5850

For gaming alone, the GFX card choice is a toss up. However, given your stated usage CS4, etc, the software's nVidia enhancements kinda make the ATI option much less viable.

AFT XM-35U Card Reader

$1590 (The Plextor is the premier unit....can go w/ a cheaper unit but you had the budget so I spent it :) 
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April 24, 2010 10:05:58 PM

The 5850 is a proven performer with very good cooling and reasonably low power consumption, but the 470 has great potential for the future, beats the 5850 in most cases except 2500x1600 but it also run hotter and uses more power (60W or so) Each vendor (Ati and Nvidia) has some exclusive features that can be factored in some how like 3d vision (surround etc) and eyefinity.

Find out whether CUDA from nvidia or Stream from ATI would benefit the type of software (art) you would be using because this could be a decision changer! My guess is at least on of them will benefit your more!
April 25, 2010 1:46:10 AM

Now keep in mind that the programs that I will be using are Maya 2010, Zbrush 3.0, Sketchbook Pro, Photoshop CS4, and Correll Painter 11.

For Maya/ZBrush, you are better off getting a Workstation card.

Anyways, +1 for Jack and coldsleep.

Note: By the looks of this, this build is NOT a gaming build. It's a rendering/CAD type build, given the programs OP listed.

@OP: Will you be gaming (as in play Crysis, CoD, WoW,etc) on this build? Or is this build just for rendering, model creation,etc?