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Building Animation Computer

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May 31, 2010 11:45:13 AM

Hi, Im building a Computer for Animation. Im looking for Suggestions. My Budget is around $1100 -$1200 just for the tower itself. For Computer experience id say above average for sure. but im no a expert. And I prefer not to Overclock any parts.

The Set-Up for my current System is(nothing is Overclocked):


Intel Pentium 4 3.00Ghz Hyper Threaded
Asus P5QL PRO Motherboard
2 GB RAM
Sapphire Ati Radeon HD 4350 512MB Graphics Card
160GB Hard Drive

Clearly its not very good. :na: 

So far ive been looking around and i think ill be getting:


AMD Phenom II X6 1055T Thuban 2.8GHz 6 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 125W Six-Core Desktop Processor
ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3 AM3 AMD 890GX HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard

For RAM im debating how much i should get 4 - 8 GB, id like 8 but im trying to keep costs low as possible.
and for graphics card i was thinking Ati Radeon HD 5770,5830 or 5850

Thanks for you help.

P.S. if it helps the software ill mainly be using is Blender, PhotoShop and GIMP and ill be running Windows 7 on my new Computer.
May 31, 2010 12:19:40 PM

^ Any gaming on the PC and if Yes, then what type of games ?
May 31, 2010 12:26:41 PM

gkay09 said:
^ Any gaming on the PC and if Yes, then what type of games ?

No i wont be playing any games, Just some graphic Designing and mainly Animation.
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May 31, 2010 12:31:48 PM

Hmm...
You might want to get Nvidia cards - not necessarily the new GTX 4xx series as Photoshop and other graphic design apps take advantage of CUDA...
So you might want to check out in detail about the graphic cards...Especially check the OpenGL versions...

And if you wont be overclocking, then better to get the 1090T...It is stock clocked at 3.2GHz and has an unlocked multiplier...So if by any chance you would want to try your hand at overclocking, then it is pretty easy with this CPU...

And as for RAM, more the better...If you can, then squeeze in 2x4GB kit into the budget as it gives options to add more RAM if needed...

And you wont need that mobo...check out the MSI 870...It is a very good mobo with all the features that you would get from the ASUS sans the Crossfire, which anyways wont matter for you...
May 31, 2010 1:36:04 PM

gkay09 said:
Hmm...
You might want to get Nvidia cards - not necessarily the new GTX 4xx series as Photoshop and other graphic design apps take advantage of CUDA...
So you might want to check out in detail about the graphic cards...Especially check the OpenGL versions...

And if you wont be overclocking, then better to get the 1090T...It is stock clocked at 3.2GHz and has an unlocked multiplier...So if by any chance you would want to try your hand at overclocking, then it is pretty easy with this CPU...

And as for RAM, more the better...If you can, then squeeze in 2x4GB kit into the budget as it gives options to add more RAM if needed...

And you wont need that mobo...check out the MSI 870...It is a very good mobo with all the features that you would get from the ASUS sans the Crossfire, which anyways wont matter for you...


Do you Suggest 2x4GB or 4x2GB and do you have any links to good ones?

Also i was looking at some NVidia Graphic Cards but wasnt to keen on their price vs Power. I found that ATI had way more powerful ones for cheaper prices. Can you send me some links?
May 31, 2010 3:40:31 PM

Your going to want 8gb if possible, as a hobbyist animator having a pretty large amount of memory can be helpful. Honestly more cores and more ram should probably be the highest priority for a animation rig.

Gskill Pi series is pretty good ram for the buck imo and 8gb should be good
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

AMD 1090T - 6 cores for 309.99, makes it a beast in highly threaded apps
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

1TB hard drive - Cheap and lots of storage
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MSI-890FXA - has all the frills you could ask for. Seems best bang/$ of any amd board i've looked at. Also really easy to overclock on this should you decide.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Nvidia GTX 260 - Someone more familiar with an nvidia card might be able to recommend something better (like a workstation card). This is a really strong card though, and nvidia > ati when it comes to animation. The ability for additional computation to be done on gpu's is still a major plus for nvidia even though they typically lose in fps per $ in gaming.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

corsair 550W powersupply - corsair reliability fairly cheap with a rebate
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HAF 922 Case - the cooling/$ and just awesome qualities of this case makes it difficult for me to recommend other cases though, their probably is a cheaper case that would work.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

DVD burner - 22.99 or so

total price ~ $1238
Rebates - $50

Final Price $1188



June 1, 2010 4:22:51 AM
June 1, 2010 9:30:30 AM

Hey, gK, OP,

First ... If you want to do graphics/animation/rotoscoping/editing with those products and CS5, you will need to "pull your head out" and learn how to overclock ... period. These are not the old days of "Sudden Northwood Death Syndrome" ... OK ???? ... Everybody is doing it and graphics artists, especially.

If a 955(OC) is not enough for you, then go with a 930(OC) ... either or neither.
It is 890FX or X58 with a 4Core.

I can give you exact RAM specs once you make up your mind.

Honestly ... do 930/X58 and 3x2GB G.Skill 1600 CAS7 and a Hyper 212+, HAF922 Corsair TX Series, and that ZOTAC 250.

Get Either an F3 500GB or an INTEL G2 as a boot drive and a 1TB F3 for content.

Strongly recommend one or two >= 24"+ mons @1920x1200 (not smaller).

That Zotac will push two mons ... for a 3rd and/or 4th mon, get a 2nd ZOTAC 250.

Not gonna defend these choices ... take 'em or leave 'em.

= toodles =

June 1, 2010 9:41:22 AM

PS ... gK ... Finally figgered out the mobo slot thing ...

... for X58 ... it is the ASUS P6X58D-E @ (@ x16/x8/x8 or x16/x16/x1)

rather than the UD3R ** BECAUSE ** WE DON'T want THIS to happen ...

Note 2) The PCIEX8_1 and PCIEX8_2 slots share bandwidth with the PCIEX16_1 and PCIEX16_2 slots espectively. When PCIEX8_1 is populated with an expansion card, the PCIEX16_1 slot will operate at up to x8 mode; when PCIEX8_2 is populated with an expansion card, the PC IEX16_2 slot will operate at up to x8 mode.
******************************************************************

We want the option of 16x16x1 with the addition of a third card ... The ASUS allows this .... The UD3R does NOT ...

We want symetrically distributed load/bandwidth, between 2 GPUs at a full 16x AND a third option card WITHOUT dragging down either GPU to 8x .. make sense ?

****************************************************************

= Alvin =
June 1, 2010 11:14:30 AM

does anyone know if there is a difference between have 2x4GB of ram or 4x2GB RAM and why is everyone into NVIDIA i thought ATI was making better cards for less money?

Best solution

June 1, 2010 11:39:21 AM
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2x4GB is more expensive by at least 20% but would be slightly more stable and leave two slots for expansion (but you'll never add more than that on THIS mobo) ...

4x2GB uses all 4 slots but is cheaper ... you may have to boost your RAM voltage by .03V (three hundredths of one volt) in order to stabilize.

Why nVidia?? ... Oh, Lord !!!

I have been researching the Quadro vs. nVidia vs. Radeon for 4 years+ !!

It would take that long to explain ... but, hey, ... I'm just giving my best advice for your stated needs ... That does not mean you have to take that advice.

In a nutshell ... Quadro is specified as the recommended GPU option for dozens of leading pro graphics/edit apps/plug-ins/utilities and partner products, across the industry. GeForce (with OpenGL 3.2) is as close as you can get to a QuadroFX without paying so much. nVidia cards do CUDA and nVidia's "implementation" of OpenGL is the version most pro apps developers "code to" and "test/certify" with.

That is a very short and lame answer ... The real truth is even crazier ... nVidia has been designing and supplying Quadros to the pro graphics/edit industry for well over a decade ... They have tech reps that live on site, at firms like Adobe. They have partner and cross-marketing agreements and they respond to the industry with VERY responsive firmware/driver upgrades and requested features.

They have taken the graphics industry (as a whole), VERY seriously, from the very beginning.

ATi has it's roots in home desktop gaming and media products ... The industry does not trust that they can execute and respond to critical issues and fixes ...

Still, just scratching (at) the surface of the whole nVidia/Pro-Graphics history and evolutiion ...

... Do what you want, tho ... It ain't MY money or MY time that is at stake, here.

= Al =
June 1, 2010 11:40:34 AM

^ The only difference is that if you go with 2x 4GB, you will have 2 slots free, which allows for more RAM in the future if needed...But if you go with 4x 2GB, you will be limited to only 8GB as all the slots are populated...

And as for Nvidia cards, the main reason is the CUDA...It speeds up the rendering and encoding in Photoshop and many graphic applications...
Search CUDA and Photoshop in Google...
ATI does have STREAM, but it is not compatible with wide range of softwares like Nvidia...
June 1, 2010 12:00:39 PM

Also ...

Eyefinity is buggy as hell and is a multi-mon solution designed (almost) purely for gaming ... whereas ... nVidia's drivers (Quadro and Geforce and FERMI) have a very highly evolved multi-mon solution that has evolved over several generations and is very mature ....

ANY combination of two nVidia cards (GeForce, Quadro, FERMI) will allow a 4 monitor setup with very flexible layout options (incl vertical orientation, stretch, clone, etc.) and does not require an SLI bridge to do so ... ALL of these cards do CUDA (now) and any combo of nVidia cards will employ CUDA combined compute and allow ganging of displays.

Eyefinity should not even have been released to the public because it is not yet working properly ... even for games (because only the primary GPU can push monitors and the 3rd mon requires a $100 active display port adapter ... as one example).

= Al =
June 1, 2010 12:13:36 PM

^ Well I wouldn't literally bash the Eyefinity...
Yes its buggy, but its a great feature of the ATI cards and is becoming more mature with new driver releases...
No offense, but if not for CUDA and Linux, frankly I wouldnt suggest a Nvidia card - I mean the current gen cards...
ATI cards would get my vote if it is for gaming...
June 1, 2010 2:14:20 PM

Just to chime ...

I have already said that I would leap with levity if the graphics industry (broadly, and as a whole) would embrace ATi (fully) ... I think it'll be about 3+ more years before all the foolishness subsides (so long as ATi is perceived as fully committed).

I just make all the rounds and read the requirements, certified-systems, recommended configs, and so forth.

Truth? ... so long as you are not rendering 3D and all that ws-gpu accellerated crap, then the ATi should do both jobs OK ... I have heard the term "accuracy" used, in reference to those quadro drivers (Shadow-cat?) ... but hell if I know what THAT means?

Like I said ... not a whoring fan-boy, here ... just giving those apps what they are demanding (asking for).

I'd love a $35 ATi card that would kick a QuadroFX 1800's arse ... lemme know.

= Al =
June 1, 2010 2:27:51 PM

PS ...

... And, oh, yeah ... I started out with a Matrox card, in my P3/933 edit rig and loved it ... Got another better Matrox for my P4 Northwood ... Loved it .... WAS saving for a Matrox Parhelia 512MB triple head (even APPLE was specking them for 30" LCD) ... AND ... THEN ... AVID did a Rev of AXP that choked on Mattrox, but flew on Quadro ... Adobe went along with all that and ... Matrox, is now an odd footnote in history ... Like rusted crusader armor, my old Matrox was tossed in my "B" parts box.

... happy?
June 1, 2010 7:38:35 PM

If i were to get NVidia, which would you suggest. Ill be using the computer for 3d modeling, and rendering. Occasionally ill be using photoshop. Do you know of any good workstation cards from them?
my budget is around 250$ the less the better. but around 250$ even 260$ if its really good.
btw from looking at benchmarks ati's new 5000 series is getting higher scores. Why is that?
June 2, 2010 2:48:06 AM

QuadroFX 1800 is the "Industry Bench"

June 2, 2010 3:01:10 AM


http://www.buy.com/retail/product.asp?sku=205985202&lis...

Don't know anything about this seller ... Something isn't kosher with that price...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CAN I SHOW YOU SOMETHING ELSE ???

I want you to look at the specifications of the following turnkey systems, at B&H ... (I did).

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?Ntt=turnkey+adobe&...

Then ... Look at this ...

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

YOU WOULD WANT THE ONE FROM TIGER DIRECT (ONLY) ... newegg has the wrong sub-sub model

= Hmmmm ? =


June 9, 2010 10:50:02 AM

Best answer selected by JVillella.
August 1, 2010 12:15:45 PM

hi , i am a animator , i use Autodesk Maya,Max and Mud box a lot but thing is i am also a gamer and i am very confused
which graphic card to buy a Latest Nvidia Fermi GtX470 Or a New fermi Based Quadro which is the latest quadro card
please help me ,please . i just want to play high end games and i also want that my New GPU can handle a very high poly
mesh scene in Max or Maya please suggest GTX or QUADRO ? Can we play games like crysis 2 ,Gta 4 and ARKHAM ASYLUM
with full settings on New Quadro cards
August 2, 2010 11:16:37 AM

@Alvin
now I understand why nvidia... but ..why intel i7 , why not AmD X6
!