BABY pc needs your HELP!!

Hello there,

1s of all sorry for wall of text, well,

I am 3D artist, graphic designer and in my free time semi-harcore gamer. The software I use the most is in this order, MAYA, Zbrush, houdini, Nuke - CS4 suit, .... games

Up until now I have worked on Apple/mac computers but the time has come for
me to let my mac machine to be just my final cut pro device and get a pc as I have slowly been getting more and more involved in 3D creation and... I need advice,
good advice and I know I can get it here, so I thank you guys upfront!!! :)

The dilemma is basically what kind of computer I should get, what computer I need, until not long ago I was looking into getting something in this line :

- CPU: Intel Core i7-930 maybe something bigger here

- RAM:1 or 2x Mushkin Enhanced Redline 6GB

- GPU: 2x ATI RADEON 5870 xfire

- PSU: Depends on the GPU decission, something silent
Cooler master Silent Pro M850
Antec CP-850 850W
Nexus RX-8500 850W

- MOBO: Asus P6X58


SilverStone FT02

- SSD:
Intel X25-M 80GB
Corsair nova 128GB

- HDD: SAMSUNG Spinpoint 1TB * 2

· AIR COOLER: Noctua NH-D14

But after loads of reading, a couple of BIG doubts have arisen, number one, is ATI gonna give me any kind of problems with viewport rendering-resolution in my 3D software or with openGL stuff in the CS4 suit, I have read the new catalyst drivers work a treat, but I have also read that there are issues. How much better will I do with a GFORCE GTX 485 in this setup for the software I use.

The second doubt and the most excruciating one is... How much better will I do with a budget workstation using a NVIDIA QUADRO card, render times etc... It is excruciating because 5 hours saved in render time in a 40 hours long
render don´t make it for me if it means I will play no games at all. Something in this line :

ASUS Z8NA-D6C Dual LGA 1366 Intel 5500 ATX Dual Intel Xeon 5500 and 5600 Series Server/Workstation Motherboard

2x Intel Xeon E5520 Nehalem 2.26GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 80W Quad-Core Server Processor

WINTEC 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM ECC Registered DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Server Memory Model 3SR33590K-13

PNY VCQFX1800-PCIE-PB Quadro FX 1800 768MB 192-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 Workstation Video Card

ntel X25-M Mainstream SSDSA2M160G2XXX 2.5" 160GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) - OEM

Sorry for my general noobness, from my ignorance I need your help, I really do PPL!!!!

12 answers Last reply
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  1. Hiya.

    I don't do any of that, but my impression from talking to people here (and I make it a point to ask the artists) is that you can do fairly well with a Radeon these days. Crossfire would be out though... perhaps you could just disable it for work.

    You cannot use a CP-850 PSU in a Silverstone case. It's proprietary to a few Antec cases.

    Do not pay for Redlines unless you are getting some incredible deal. There is no performance benefit. Two sets of this G.skill will do:

    Seasonic X750 would be enough PSU and very quiet. 80Plus gold certified and so very cool running also.
  2. Despite the fact that I push all gamers to ATI due to the ridiculous heat and power of Nvidias new cards, looking at what you do I would probably lean towards the Nvidia 400 series.

    Nvidia have tried to broaden their horizons with their GPU these days, and I think because of this they lost out in the gaming arena (the 480 still performs very well, it's just due to heat and power, the ATI seems a better alternative) so for a gamer the Nvidia series seems a crazy choice, but if you are using lots of other intensive programmes, the extra complex Geforce 400 series could be a great choice - after all, these new cards were aimed at someone and if it was not the pure gamer then who?
  3. Thanks for input, I am talking to artists in other sites but you guys have always been for me and my friends of great help, so keep the help coming plz!!!
  4. It was true two years ago that NVidia gaming cards were better for Maya and such, but those I have spoken with lately said they had success with Radeons.

    There's no doubt that the Quadro would be the best choice for 3D work, but I think you MIGHT get away with a gaming card. Much depends on what you are doing.
  5. I will be doing some dynamics - particle work (mainly on houdini) and then basically all the rest in maya (some dynamics probably in maya too but not much at all) deriving some of the motion graphics part to after effects for easy effects and little post, the comping in shake - nuke, high poly sculpting in Zbrush, and thats probably it,also, I would like to be able to run a couple of games with good settings but its not a life ending issue.

    Problem is im scared my GTX480 will burn over the summer >.<!

    Thanks for amazing help guys, my decission is slowly leaning towards the Nvidia fermi...
    lets see what we get to!
  6. What games are you trying to play while your doing all this? If its crysis or something like that then you know where you need to go, but if your just playing WOW or something along those lines I would definitely recommend the quadro.
  7. ehmm well any game really, although now that you ask my wow times are well over now, but I would like to play any game I can get my hands onto,maybe not at the best settings but I would love to try them out yeah.

    Thing is how big is the difference in between a 2500-3000$ gaming pc and a 2500-3000$ workstation. I know that if I could spend more money on it I would defo buy a workstation, I am just scared that the difference is not so big...

    Also, is it true that old Nvidias perform better in MAYA that the new FERMI ones?? ie :

    GTX 285 > GTX 480 for 3D work?? aparently Nvidia is trying to promote the low-mid range QUADRO line of GPUs but utterly specializing their GFORCES for gaming. This is where dual ATIs 5870 with x fire for gaming and without for working might make a difference hence all my misery...

    I am lost again :s and I have been seing a lot of people on the same situation on other boards .... what a wooorld what a woorld!

    thanks for input and keep the help coming plz!
  8. I know for solid works, which is unrelated and sorry... but the quadro completely blows away the geforce. I have a low end quadro at home and it runs my cad applications better than my 200series geforce in my other computer. For solid works i know it makes a difference. I wish they would finally let us have both connected in the same rig and have the prog. designate which one it will use.
  9. I'm a bit short on time, but if you can search posts like "workstation gaming build" you might get some more feedback.
  10. 1. Max budget?

    2. Is this for pro level work? (As in this is your job,etc)

    3. Are any of your Maya plug ins CUDA accelerated?

    4. What LCD are you using?

    5. Plan to use CS5 soon?
    General recommendations:

    If budget allows, I HIGHLY recommend you get a 2P workstation set up, mainly for Maya. As far as GPU goes, at least for Maya, it doesn't really matter, but Quaddros do have a noticeable advantage for pro level work. Get a single SSD (X25-M G2 80GB) for boot drive + programs. You can use a RAM drive as a scratch disk. Get a RAID HDD (a Samsumg F3 will work quite well for this) set up for your data,etc.
  11. Hello Shadow, thanks for input

    1-. 2500-2750$ aprox.

    2-. I am a semi-pro freelancer, yup 3D and motion graphics are my job.

    3-. Not at the moment - not that I know - If I had to use advanced dynamics pluggins I´d hopefully usually do it in a big studio (as in
    not in my house), sorry for the noobness

    4-. Samsung syncmaster 2232BW not HD x1, will be x2 soon second display will be up2date

    5-. Would love to but I am ok with CS4 atm.


    Thanks again Shadow. I am mainly scared that even If I dont have problems getting my VFXy photorealistic maya work and comping in basically any kind of computer, I would have some problems with heavy particle work for my motion graphics etc... Then again I am a new professional (all this was a hobby for me not long ago) and even though I am being lucky in starting up strong, there will be a time and a place to get a proper beast workstation I think.
    I am kind of lost!

    Also what are the chances of flashing the BIOS of an toxic Radeon HD5870 (or any other model of an ATI card) and get it to be a a Firepro card for heavier things??

    I am not gonna be blowing up the empire state into several billion pieces or working with 700 different layers of smoke like its done in 2012 to be honest, not from home. Also I am trying to move my dynamics work and loads of motion graphics to houdini.

    Thanks for the imput, you guys are amazing
  12. Quote:
    Also what are the chances of flashing the BIOS of an toxic Radeon HD5870 (or any other model of an ATI card) and get it to be a a Firepro card for heavier things??

    Imo, I personally don't recommend doing so with out knowing EXACTLY what you are doing. If you mess up, you're out of ~$400.

    Btw, there seems to be CUDA acceleration for Maya:
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