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Low level 3D workstation

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Last response: in Systems
September 18, 2010 8:51:30 PM

I work in the 3D animation/modeling software packages Newtek Lightwave 9 and 3DS Max my desktop is 5yo and badly needs replaced. Being a college student, I am tight for money but I need as much power as I can afford in order to render.

Budget: $1000-2000

Uses: (most -> least important) 3D Animation/Modeling, Video Editing, Audio Editing

Proposed Build:

CPU: INTEL i7-930 -- $259

Motherboard: x58a-ud3r -- $220

GPU: GTX 460 SLI or GTX 470 SLI -- $450/590

ram: CORSAIR XMS3 6GB (3 x 2GB) DDR3 1600 -- $170

PSU: Corsair CMPSU-750HX -- $150

HDD: WD1001FALS 1TB -- $90

case: Antec 300 -- $60

optical drive: SH-B083L/RSBP Internal SATA 8x Blu-ray Drive / 16x DVD Burner -- $80

OS: Windows 7 - $20 (from the bookstore at my school -- yes we have a license)

subtotal: 1493(with the GTX460) / 1633(with the GTX470)

Peripherals: basic mouse+keyboard (have)

Monitor: crappy dell 20" (have)

Am I missing anything? Does this configuration work? I have never overclocked but should I?
All Feedback is Welcome...

More about : low level workstation

September 21, 2010 3:24:01 AM

looks good to me, consider the AMD six cores though, they could help with rendering times. How about some work station cards? the GTX 4XX are desktop... not made for 3d rendering at all
September 21, 2010 2:59:26 PM

Mr Pizza said:
How about some work station cards? the GTX 4XX are desktop... not made for 3d rendering at all

thanks for the comment! ironically, i have little knowledge as to what constitutes a workstation card as opposed to a desktop card. my logic in the 470 setup was that i could add a third card later if i wanted.

also: I have seen a few other workstation builds posted here that seem to include much more ram than i have.. does this really improve a system enough to justify an extra couple c-notes?
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September 22, 2010 12:16:29 AM

+1 on getting a Quadro if you are not gaming. If you ARE gaming, just stay with a single GTX460. The 460 has quite good OpenGL,etc performance along with good gamin performance. Swap the Antec 300 to a HAF 912 for about the same price.

If you plan to run massive renderings, having 12GB would help. Again, if budget suffices, you may want to look in to a true 2P workstation.

Adding a SSD (OS + main programs) would make a noticeable difference also.

I'm assuming you have heard about this:

Since you are a student, you can DL pretty much any of the Autodesk products. There are no restrictions on features/comands,etc. The only limitations is that models,etc are tagged with a Educational Use tag. Can be removed, but that would be hacking/cracking....
September 22, 2010 1:44:19 AM

Yeah, if you are really looking at a low budget true 2P workstation, the AMD server 6XXX CPUs are cheap and have some great motherboards to go along. If you wanna be all high class the xeons are nice too :) 
September 29, 2010 2:07:28 AM

Best answer selected by eisenregen.