3D FX specialist’s build $4000 - $5000


I am a 3D animator looking into refining my craft. I have found that investing in a good system pays off in the short run. I have a Dell Precision 650 and an Inspiron 9100 that six years ago, when they were the hot stuff, saved me thousand$ in rendering and developing my skills. Now I want to build my own machine, because a system with the parts that I want would cost 2 if not 3 thousand more if ordered from Dell, and it’s got be fun, right?
What I’m most concerned with is the parts being compatible with each other and that I won’t be missing anything such as another fan, pack of SATA cables or something that’s a given in the builder community but I just missed out on. Oh, and still I’m not understanding the advantage or disadvantage of getting OEMs for drives, please advice too.

Thank you before hand for the help, this forum in Tom’s is amazing, gotta love the internet community.

Purchase date: within the next couple of weeks.

Budget: $4000 to $5000 (really, this is not to show off, it’s an investment, strictly business)

System usage: 3d Animation using Maya and Nuke. Particle, cloth and liquid simulations. Zbrush and Mudbox sculpting. Rendering using Mental Ray and Maxwell. Burning DVDs and possibly BluRay to distribute demo reel to prospect employers/clients and submitting to film festivals.

Preferred website for parts: Newegg

Currently living in Weehawken, NJ, right next to New York City (in case I should go to NYC for parts, please suggest).

Interested in: reliability, quietness (maybe liquid cooling if possible and easy enough to install), dual monitor support, fast read/write drive speed, flawless graphic support for particle simulations

Not interested in: Gaming, overclocking, bling cases, SSD drives (unless it’s been proven to be reliable for thousands of tiny writes and rewrites, I will be compositing A LOT of frames, passes, layers).

Parts chosen so far:

Case: COOLER MASTER COSMOS 1000 RC-1000 $169.99

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R $209.99

Processor: Intel Core i7-980X $999.999

Graphics Card: ATI 100-505603 FirePro V8800 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 $1244.99

RAM: (2) Crucial Ballistix 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Desktop Memory $141.99 (each pack of 3, for a total of 12GB)

Powersupply: COOLER MASTER Silent Pro 1000W $164.98

Primary drive: (2) HITACHI Ultrastar 600GB 15000 RPM 64MB Cache SAS 600 Serial Attached SCSI 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive $499.99 each

Secondary drive: (2) HITACHI Deskstar HD31000 IDK/7K (0S00163) 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" $74.99 each

Bluray Burner: Pioneer Black 12X BD-R 2X BD-RE 4MB Cache SATA Internal Blu-ray Burner Blu-ray Disc/DVD/CD Writer - OEM $25.99

Lightscribe DVD burner: LG Black 2MB Cache SATA 22X DVD Burner - Bulk LightScribe Support – OEM $25.99

Internal Card Reader/Writer: Nippon Labs ICR-BB $19.99

OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders – OEM $174.99

Most of these come with free shipping in Newegg, totaling around $4,656.81 at the time of posting.

Again, thank you for your feedback
9 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about specialist build 4000 5000
  1. The only advice I got was to get a more reliable brand for the Ram. I will be using Corsair (Dominator DDR3 1333)

    Aside from that, it's been a week and there are no replies to my post, I'll take it then that the parts clear, they're compatible with each other.

    Any last minute comments are welcomed. I'll be ordering the parts this weekend.

    I will post on my results for this build.
  2. Just curious, can I see some of your work xD
  3. You are the first person i have seen who actually needs a 980X, there are a few suggestions i would make.

    I would swap the PSU for the Seasonic X750, bit more efficient so there is less heat for fans to need to deal with, it didnt turn on its fan for the first two tests at jonnyguru, and its also a bit cheaper

    Since what you are doing will be very memory intensive, i suggest going for a DDR3 1600MHz kit at 1.5V or less, it will boost the bandwidth a bit and let you bump the voltage up if necessary to get all 6 sticks stable. I suggest the 12GB Gskill Pi kit, it costs about $50 more than the crucial kits but your applications will appreciate the extra speed and gskill makes very good stuff.

    High RPM hard drives tend to be greatly overpriced and a single 1TB Samsung F3 is faster than a 300GB Velociraptor for a lot less, but for the price of those drives you can get some high end SSDs and get much better performance.
  4. Thank you for the reply hunter315!

    I am considering your suggestions, specially the Seasonic x750. One question on that, will it be enough power to run the components I want to have (processor, GPU and hardrives)? I tried to figure out the power usuage on each one and add them up, but could't understand the volts to watts conversion.

    Gskill is a good suggestion too, I have to look into tripple channel DDR3 articles, and of course, get a good price

    I would have loved to get a SSD, but it seems memory degradation is still a problem, and I'll be using tons of tiny files for rendering and compositing.
  5. xxgamxx said:
    Just curious, can I see some of your work xD

    ha, thanks! You can see some of my work here,

    I am currently all about character rigger and animation, and want to get into particle and cloth dynamics, and in the meantime do my own short films.
  6. Best answer
    You can drop the specs into this PSU calculator to get an idea of what your actual power draw will be.

    The X750 will definitely be enough, your processor uses ~130, your GPU uses no more than 300W(no pci-e card is supposed to use more than that, only the ASUS Ares does) and everything else in the system doesnt use too much, so it leaves you with plenty of headroom. The X750 has enough power to run 2 5870s in crossfire so a single work station card isnt going to push it to the limit.

    SLC SSDs cost more but suffer less memory degredation than MLC SSDs, and i think the number on usable time is pretty high these days, but if you dont want to do SSDs i suggest swapping all your HDDs out in favor of the 1TB Caviar black that is running 500GB platters and put them in RAID 5 or raid 1+0 so you get a speed boost and data protection.
  7. Best answer selected by getacarlos.
  8. Hey, this goes to hunter315 as well,

    The ram you guys recommended is not compatible with the motherboard. The Gigabyte UD3R only takes DDR3 2200/1333/1066/800, the memory you were suggesting is a 1600.

    Thank you anyhow.
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