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Help! Performance vs Price: 3D Rendering/ Video

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July 13, 2010 11:44:51 AM

Looking through these forums for guidance, I've managed to put together a list of the components that I think will give me a good performance. However I feel like I'm probably spending too much, so need your opinion on my decisions and alternatives that will bring the price down. Ideally, without sacrificing too much performance. Most of the work I do is either compositing with After Effects or 3D animation & rendering in Maya/ Cinema 4D. Some of the things I'll be making will be for professional use, but mostly for personal work. Its currently adding up to about £1500 ($2266.52). I was only planning to spend £800 ($1208.81) max, so its a bit too much. If I do go with this configuration I will probably buy the graphics card separately when I have chance to save a little more. As the one I have selected doubles the price!

Here is my list. I mainly use ebuyer.com, but am buying from whoever is cheapest:

Case:
Coolermaster Cosmos RC-1000
£143

Power Supply:
Coolermaster GX 650W PSU
£60.31

Motherboard:
ASUS P6X58D Premium
£240

CPU:
Intel i7 930
£228.20

CPU Cooling:
Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro rev 2
£16

Graphics Card:
NVIDIA Quadro® FX3800
£732

RAM:
Crucial 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3
£90

Hardrive:
Samsung HD103SJ 1TB SATAII 7200rpm
£48.49

DVD/ CD:
Samsung SH-S223L
£13.83

Total: £1571.83

My ideas for what could be changed:

I'm not sure if such an expensive motherboard is necessary? The case and power could probably be replaced, but what with?

If you have any suggestions or comments with either the CPU or GPU I'd be happy to hear them.
July 13, 2010 2:24:12 PM

Brilliant. Thank you, that has brought the price down to at least £966

I have a few questions about the alternative parts if you don't mind:

I'm not planning on getting one yet, but if I buy an SSD hard drive - will it still work in this motherboard?

The gtx 470 seems to have some systems for rendering like CUDA & PureVideo. Although it seems to be marketed at gamers - Do you think that it matters?

HSF stands for heat sink fan?

Thank you!
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July 13, 2010 2:35:53 PM

I have just checked the mid-range Quadro fx1800 and fx1700

They are also far cheaper than the fx3800. I'm not going to do any gaming on it so was wondering if the gtx 470 has advantages over them or vice versa?
July 13, 2010 2:58:55 PM

SSD will work with any mobo with SATA ports (ie any made in last 5 years). It's no different than a SATA hard drive.

GTX 470's fermi architecture is actually gpgpu oriented. No one's done benchmarks that I know of, but in terms of pure GFLOPS, the fermi's will easily outclass the cheap quadros.

The main difference btwn quadro's and GTX's is the drivers. You're paying a huge price premium for them. In terms of actual GPU power, fermi's got the quadro's beat. This'll more than make up for the difference vs a fx1800, vs a fx3800? No idea. Would really depend on program.









July 13, 2010 3:13:16 PM

Brilliant - that's really helpful thank you. Its the first time I've looked at components in any detail - so I'm finding all the specification comparison a little confusing. I'll check out the gtx 470 and see if I can find benchmarks for it.
July 13, 2010 11:40:53 PM

I asked somebody about the gtx 470 and they told me that I should get the gtx 275 (prev. gen), because its very similar. I looked on ebay and it's certainly a lot cheaper. All I wonder is if I'm going to be at any major disadvantage by missing the new features?

Somebody else told me to SSI a few of them. I read that Cinema 4D doesn't support it though, so that probably won't be worth my while.

Thanks for your help!
July 14, 2010 3:41:27 PM

Actually, thanks to the release of the GTX 460 you've got another card to consider. If you want bit streaming, the GTX 460's offer that in addition to CUDA features. Would definitely get the 1GB version though.

The gtx 275 and gtx 460/470 also support a higher OpenGL version if it matters.
July 14, 2010 4:14:12 PM

Oh right I didn't know that. I've been thinking about the gtx 460 as a possibility. I'm not sure what bitstreaming is for.. but found out its something to do with audio?

OpenGL probably matters for me. I've never been able to turn it on in the programs I use, but understand it improves the on screen design process.

Somebody has also suggested the ati 5970 as a condender. Do you know if this has anything over the gtx 480? My friend seemed to believe that it's faster or overclocks better (something like that!)
July 14, 2010 4:24:18 PM

dlthomas said:
Oh right I didn't know that. I've been thinking about the gtx 460 as a possibility. I'm not sure what bitstreaming is for.. but found out its something to do with audio?


Actually, not sure myself! haha. I'll just direct you to the article
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-460-gf1...

5970 is 2 5870 chips thrown onto 1 card and underclocked to 5850 speeds. They do this so they're aren't violating the max TDP of 300w standard.

However, since we're all overclockers here, we don't mind going over (OEM's sell non standard cards that do as well)

That said, the 5970 was designed to be clocked back up to 5870 speeds. Explained here
http://www.anandtech.com/show/2877/4

The issue is that only Nvidia offers CUDA.



July 14, 2010 4:44:53 PM

Awesome info thank you...

I'll check out this ati card a little more. Good point about the CUDA though. A lot of people said I'd benefit from that in particular.
July 30, 2010 3:33:32 AM

Have you checked out the ATI Firepro V4800 1gb GDDR5 OpenGL 3.2. ($175-$180)

I am facing the same dilemma. Was going to buy the GTX 460 seeing as there were no comparably priced newer workstation class cards before seeing the ATI Firepro listed. The GTX looks really nice though..if only we could get a CUDA enable fermi workstation card around the same price.

What 3D packages will you be using?


July 30, 2010 10:26:49 AM

This is an option if u either dunno or are sure your apps/software do not take advantage of GPU acceleration - IGP ensures a working rig anyways ^^
Off Ebuyer UK : 611 pounds ^^

I have a feeling that your apps will be either fine on IGP or else a professional class GPU nets ya the biggest gains/stability
!