Dual Head Home Freelance 3D Rendering & Computer Graphics System

Within the next 3 weeks

$1700 +/- After Rebates

Rendering Mental Ray / V-Ray
Maya 2011 , 3D Studio Max 2011, SketchUp Pro 7.1
AutoCAD, AutoCAD RevIt
CS5, Photoshop, AE
Surfing the net
Watching Movies
Day to Day

keyboard, mouse, speakers
(Overstock.com) 2x 24" Samsung SyncMaster 2494HM HD Monitors
FreeAgent XTreme ST315005FPA2E3-RK 1.5Tb eSATA Firewire 400 USB2.0 External Drive
2x Seagate 1.5Tb ST31500341AS Barracuda 7200.11 Internal Drives (in external enclosures)
Windows 7 Ultimate x64 and Windows 7 Home Premium x64 OS



Intel CPU

No to Maybe

Yes to Maybe


I would like dual monitors system
I would like at least 8-10Gb of RAM
I would like to have the ability to expand/upgrade.
I would like to have system last approx 4 years
I would like a quiet PC
Unsure of i7 45nm/i7 32nm advantages vs. cost
Unsure of best GPU to go with GeForce/OpenGL/Workstation/Gaming/Dual Crossfire/SLI
Blue Ray not required
Rendering would rarely be in HD
Researching Windows7 x64 bit install:
SSD ~60Gb Partitioned: {OS/Boot Drive}/{Program Files}
WD Velociraptor/Caviar Black (?) Partitioned: {Project Files/Personal Files}/{Swap File}
10 answers Last reply
More about dual head home freelance rendering computer graphics system
  1. This is a complex build ... I can definately help with the big (tough) decisions ...

    ... I am going to need to research your apps extensively ... I am leaning toward an X58/930 build with 12GB RAM but your budget is really about $500 short of "decent", for a righteous build ... You want lots of RAM and a (fairly) great GPU (or two) ... that ain't chicken feed.


    = Al =
  2. From the looks of it, you look like an architect. If I were you, I'd take a look at this forum for more help regarding maya and max hardware questions.

    Because you want dual monitors, I think that takes away the consumer nvidia cards unless you want to run two in sli. I'm using a geforce gtx 470 to render and model in rhino and max on a 23 inch monitor and it works great although it may be too loud for you when its at full load. I'd go for the intel i7-930 and maybe the ASUS P6X58D-E motherboard I'd also get RAM thats a little on the safer side such as these 1333 cas 7 gskills so you can max out your ram to 12 gb. Or possibly some gskill pi's if you really want 1600 mhz.

    Until you decide on what gpu you need, I can't tell you what PSU you'll want, but anything by corsair, seasonic, xfx between 650 and 860 watts should work great.
  3. Just to share one thing, from my own cart (HDV Edit Rig) ... This Zotac 240 is the most powerful passively cooled GPU available, but is about like a 9800GT (if that).

    So, it may be too wimpy (for your needs) and does not SLI ... I plan to point an ultra-quiet (slipstream) fan at it, just to keep it happy during long renders.



    470 FERMI would be the most bang for the buck ... but costs alot and sucks pwr.

    Here are you other options ...

    *** NOTE *** VERY IMPORTANT !!! *** VERIFY OpenGL 3.2(+) on *ANY* card.

    You Definately DO want nVidia GeForce (if not Quadro or FERMI) ... AND ... OpenGl 3.2

    *** Don't get from newegg ... incorrect sub-model ***********
    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applica [...] u=P56-9824
    PNY VCG98GTEE1XPB GeForce 9800 GT EE 1024MB Graphics Card - 1024MB, GDDR3, PCI Express 2.0, SLI Ready, (Dual Link) Dual DVI, Stereo, Dual VGA Support

    ZOTAC ZT-20109-10P GeForce GTS 250 1GB 256-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] -_-Product
  4. So ... with an OCd 930 @ $290 and Mobo @ $250 Noctua Cooler (Quiet) @ $80 ...
    ... 12GB of 1600Cas7 @ $380
    and a FERMI 470 @ $350

    You are lookin' at roughly $1350 before Diives, PSU, CASE, etc.

    You are lookin at $1900 with SSD(boot) 1TB Spinpoint, HAF922, Win64-Pro and shipping.

    = Al =
  5. With SATA DVDR and one extra SATA cable (plus any other cables/adapters)

    ... Better call it $2K.

    = Al =
  6. OK so here goes . . .

    First off thanks guys for your help and input this far. I can't say where I would be without the input and advice that you have given me. Alvin, if the decent level is $500.00 more then I will have to tighten the belt and find that $500.00 in my budget. There is realy no point in building a machine that is going to not do what I need it to from the outset and would prefer a machine that is going to do it well for some time. What would those builds have that I don't currently have spec'd?

    Secondly I didn't expect the GPU to be the hardest part of the system to spec out but it has become that. It really does seem to be very much a matter of debate for the skillset that I am building this machine for.

    Lastly, maybe a clarification of machine purpose and the software that I use will help. I am just starting out my own Freelance business doing 3D Arcitectural Rendering and Fly-Throughs. I am using Sketch-Up Pro, AutoCAD 2011, 3 Studio Max, and Maya. I am rendering Mental Ray and V-Ray Textures and Lighting locally and to 3-4 Intel Dual Core Systems soon to all be running Windows 7 and each with at least 2Gb RAM. Additionally there will be some image maniputlation and compositing done using CS5, Photoshop, After Effects as well as some web/flash authoring.

    I would love to be able to update or expand this system as needed over the next couple years to keep it relatively up to date.

    Here is what I have already {does not figure into the $1700 +/-}
    FreeAgent XTreme ST315005FPA2E3-RK 1.5Tb eSATA Firewire 400 USB2.0 External Drive
    2x Seagate 1.5Tb ST31500341AS Barracuda 7011.11 Internal Drives (currently in external enclosures)
    Windows 7 Ultimate x64 and Windows Home Premium x64 OS
    All specialized software and rendering package

    Here is what I have need to order:
    COOLER MASTER HAF 922 RC-922M-KKN1-GP Black Steel + Plastic and Mesh Bezel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
    Model #:RC-922M-KKN1-GP
    Item #:N82E16811119197
    Return Policy:Standard Return Policy
    In Stock
    Note (Add11-119-197)

    Save Cancel $109.98 -$20.00 Instant $89.98
    . .
    Update13-131-614R Open Box: ASUS P6X58D Premium LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
    Model #:P6X58D Premium
    Item #:N82E16813131614R
    Return Policy:Open Box Refund Only Return Policy
    In Stock
    Note (Add13-131-614R)

    Save Cancel $309.99 -$80.00 Instant $229.99
    . .
    Update17-139-006 CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power ...
    Model #:CMPSU-750TX
    Item #:N82E16817139006
    Return Policy:Standard Return Policy
    In Stock
    Mail in Rebate Card17-139-006

    Note (Add17-139-006)

    Save Cancel $139.99 -$30.00 Instant $109.99
    . .
    Update19-115-211 Intel Core i7-950 Bloomfield 3.06GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601950
    Model #:BX80601950
    Item #:N82E16819115211
    Return Policy:CPU Replacement Only Return Policy
    In Stock
    Note (Add19-115-211)

    Save Cancel $559.99 $559.99
    . .
    Update20-139-132 Kingston SSDNow V Series SNV425-S2/64GB 2.5" 64GB SATA II Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
    Model #:SNV425-S2/64GB
    Item #:N82E16820139132
    Return Policy:Limited Replacement Only Return Policy
    In Stock
    Note (Add20-139-132)

    Save Cancel $144.99 -$8.00 Instant $136.99
    . .
    Update20-227-365 OCZ Gold 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Voltage Desktop Memory Model OCZ3G1600LV6GK
    Model #:OCZ3G1600LV6GK
    Item #:N82E16820227365
    Return Policy:Memory Standard Return Policy
    In Stock
    Mail in Rebate Card20-227-365

    Note (Add20-227-365)

    Save Cancel $199.99 -$30.00 Instant $339.98
    . .
    Update22-152-185 SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
    Model #:HD103SJ
    Item #:N82E16822152185
    Return Policy:Standard Return Policy
    In Stock
    Note (Add22-152-185)

    Save Cancel $79.99 $79.99
    . .
    Update27-118-030 Sony Optiarc 24X DVD/CD Rewritable Drive Black SATA Model AD-7240S-0B - OEM
    Model #:AD-7240S-0B
    Item #:N82E16827118030
    Return Policy:Standard Return Policy
    In Stock
    Note (Add27-118-030)

    Save Cancel $19.99 $19.99
    . .
    Update35-103-065 COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7 compatible RR-B10-212P-G1 120mm "heatpipe direct contact" Long ...
    Model #:RR-B10-212P-G1
    Item #:N82E16835103065
    Return Policy:Standard Return Policy
    Out Of Stock
    Auto-Notify 35-103-065

    Total Cost w/o GPU: $1628.29

    To this end, what do you think that the best GPU for this configuration might be? What is the most affordable (~$400) answer? Once I have this last piece of the puzzle I might have something to start on putting together.

  7. a FERMI 470 or a Quadro FX 1800

    .. I would prefer the 470 ... much bang and the very latest CUDA/OpenGL/DirectX ...

    ... BUT ... just check on the CS5 forums to see if everyone (with those) is happy.

    Quadros have (apparently) not been updated for some time ... "FX" is what Adobe Specifies and with at least 512MB ... (NOT NVS!) ... I prefer the FERMI (as far as specs and language support and accelleration and bandwidth goes ... but no experience with CS5 (here) yet.

    = Al =

    Hyper 212+ is out of stock and the price shot up at newegg.
  8. Don't EVER do an open box mobo ... some noob prolly abused it.
  9. Sorry for the late response here but I have had the wind taken out of my sails so to speak.


    I was looking forward to building my first computer from the ground up. I really really was. I guess even more so than a couple hundred dollars here or there would matter.

    To that end, my build straight forward all from New Egg is ticketed at New Egg at $18987.90 + tax and shipping.

    The same EXACT system WITH warranty working out of the box from IBUYPOWER.com is $1950.00 + tax and shipping. Plus I get liquid cooling, keyboard, mouse, %15 performance over clocking, standard 3 year warranty on parts and labor, and lifetime tech support.

    I also get this WORKING system in 5-10 business days . . . Not individual parts that might or might not work or be damaged in the mail in that long.

    Then I go back to New Egg yet again to find this.

    A VERY comparable system is/was available OPEN BOX: $1312.99 + 38.88 Shipping!

    How do they do this?
    How can I justify buying anything individually other than a hard drive or wireless keyboard and mouse?

    I hate to say it but I cant afford NOT to go with a deal like these.

    Totally a bummer but with all the warranties, software, throw aways, you really can't build it cheaper in my mind or if you can you only save a minimal amount cash wise and lose out on warranties and tech support.

    That sucks.
  10. You certainly don't have to build your own, and you can take the recommendations given and attempt to apply them to a pre-built, but it's not always going to fit quite right.

    The reason regulars on this forum aren't interested in pre-built computers is because typically those businesses cut corners on some of the less-visible parts, such as the power supply, RAM, and hard drives. This doesn't make them bad people, but it does mean that the parts may not be as good as if you bought them yourself and built the computer on your own.

    You can always build for better quality than pre-builts, and you can usually do it cheaper (though not always).

    For a 3D rendering build, I would consider an AMD X6 build, especially since you are talking about wanting to upgrade it in the future. Intel's current sockets are being replaced next year. AMD's next chip (due out next year) is supposed to work on the current socket (AM3). Beyond that, all bets are off, of course, but it gives you a slightly longer window for a processor upgrade if you find your current system lacking.

    I'm afraid I don't have time to come up with a full build with links at the moment, but leaving aside the graphics card, you could do something like the following:

    AMD 1090T - $300
    790/890 series mobo - $150ish?
    RAM - 8 GB 1600 MHz CL7 - $200-250
    SSD - Intel X25-M - $220
    PSU - ~500W? - $75 or so
    Case - $100? up to personal preference

    I put that at about $1100, without the graphics card. Go with 4x4GB sticks for $500ish, moving the price up to $1350ish.

    1090T X6 vs. i7-950 - close on many benchmarks, ahead on some. And a lot less expensive - 6 full cores vs. 4 cores + 4 HT. And more 3D rendering benchmarks
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