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High-End personal Workstation Guidance

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December 5, 2010 9:04:54 PM

I'm interested in building a highish-end workstation that will be mainly using Rhinoceros CAD, Vray Rendering, 3ds Max, all adobe programs, and some video editing programs. I'm looking to get an optimal computer that will allow me to do high end rendering without crashing. I've looked at many of the builds but am still searching to answer these questions. Please respond if you can help.

CPU + GPU Qs:
1. Is it more important to load up power to the CPU or GPU? As i understand it, the cpu is used to process the rendering... but i think there there is a move towards the GPU becoming the rendering processor. Does anyone know more about this situation?
2. What exactly does the dual CPU do when rendering?
3. What is the benefit of Intel Xeon processors over AMD Opertons? (like the AMD Opteron 6134 Magny-Cours 2.3GHz 8 x 512KB L2 Cache 12MB)
4. Why shouldn't i be looking at CPUs like the phenom II 1090t? vs. the workstation CPUs?
5. I understand CUDA to be a major reason to go with Quadro over Firepro. Is this so, or is there a benefit to Firepro?

Memory:
1. How does memory affect the rendering applications? What's the logical minimum and maximum memory amount that will actually affect my rendering processes?
2. What kind of memory is the best?
3. What pieces to this type of computer are beneficial when it comes to memory compatability? does the CPU sync with the memory some how?

Raid - what does this do for my system? How will it benefit it?

Does it hurt to play a video game on this type of computer? I read a phrase "over kill". I'm not sure what that means. I'm only interested in playing 'Civilization V' on this build but that is far from the priority and if it would hurt i would nix that from thought.

Any other advice that might help me decide is greatly appreciated. I've put together the system i'm currently thinking of building... it's highly influenced by gkay's high end workstation. I'm trying to spend between $2000-3000 but would like to know the max and min affects of these choices even if i can't afford it... like what is the benefit of going bigger/ better?

MoBo: what are the important things to look at with a mobo besides the fact that all the pieces work with it. Do some parts work better with certain mobos than others?
CPU: 2x Xeon Westmere's
or
2x AMD Magney-Cours/ Lisbons/ Istanbuls (i don't really know what's good with AMD yet)

GPU: Quadro 4000 (for sure!)

Mem: Patriot Signature 12GB (3 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) ECC Registered Server Memory Model
or
Crucial 12GB (3 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) ECC

SSD: yes

HDD: (should i have two, one 10000rpm and one 7200 rpm?) Why?

Monitor: ? (advice please?)


I know this is a lot. I've built pc's in the past but they were for this specific task and these double CPU rigs are a whole new thing to me, but they are what i need. So any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks.
December 5, 2010 11:10:21 PM

I hope you are going to have time to master and "justify" all those toolsets, before this "space-ship" becomes obsolete.

Forget FirePro (fer sher!) And, 10K drives just are not a worthy compromise.

If you must purchase this system, before next April, then we can go with what is currently on the shelf.

I am going to recommend a Single Socket 1366 X58 enthusiast mobo.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Intel Core i7-980X Extreme Edition Gulftown 3.33GHz 6 x 256KB L2 Cache 12MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Six-Core Desktop Processor BX80613I7980X
(Should easily clock to 4GHz Plus ... 12 threads!)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=19-115-...

Noctua NH-D14 120mm & 140mm SSO CPU Cooler
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Two of these 12GB (3x4GB) RAM KITS (24GB RAM, IN TOTAL)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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

SECONDARY GPU (COMBINED CUDA COMPUTE) DUAL-LINK
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Matched Pair of Hi-Rez/Large-Format Dual-Link LCD monitors ...
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/715066-REG/HP_Hew...

One 90GB Vertex2 SSD
Two 120GB Vertex2 SSDs
One 256GB Vertex2 SSD

G-TECH G-RAID 4TB USB 2.0 / IEEE 1394b / eSATA Dual-Drive Storage System GR44000
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

A PREMIUM SILENT PSU
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


COOLER MASTER HAF X RC-942-KKN1 Black Steel/ Plastic ATX Full Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

*****************************************************
GRAND TOTAL SHOULD COME IN AT $7,800 USD
(INCLUDES DVDR, Mon+Drive cables, paste, extra fans and shipping)

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

You would have to be an abnormally productive, bonified world-class, intellectual asset, to warrant more than this (IMO)

i.e. ... If you don't pull $75K+/year, salary, you won't need more.

December 6, 2010 12:27:25 AM

Thanks Alvin, but unfortunately I don't got it like that. I need this to be somewhere inbetween $2 - $3,000. But I am interested in your choice decisions. Why the dual GPUs? and what's the minor one going to contribute to? Does linking them make them like a v6000? Secondly, what's up with all the SSDs? and why an external hard drive? You don't propose ECC memory, you suggest 4 SSDs? What's the strategy here Alvin? Alvin? Why not Firepro? Why is the 10k not worth it? Money? What's happening next april?

and that case is just not cool man. No offense. Thanks for your suggestions.
Related resources
December 6, 2010 1:28:12 AM


A few other, important considerations:

Blackmagic Design UltraStudio Pro
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/686593-REG/Blackm...

http://www.blackmagic-design.com/downloads/manuals/eng/...

Blackmagic Design Intensity Shuttle
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/686585-REG/Blackm...



A decent pair of industry standard "cans"
Remote Audio Sony MDR-7506 Headset with Talkback Mic (Straight Cable)
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/286902-REG/Remote...


AND/OR ... TWO OF THESE:

KRK RoKit 6 G2 68W 6" Two-Way Active Nearfield Monitor
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/567757-REG/KRK_RP...

December 6, 2010 1:30:23 AM

Oh ... never mind ...

forget everything I said and, best of luck, to you ...

... Go to videoguys.com and read all their DIY and Home-Build recommendations.

= Chow =
December 6, 2010 1:38:46 AM

I guess i wasn't super clear to you Alvin, thanks anyway though.
December 7, 2010 12:29:51 AM

noone has any more relatable advice out there? I could really use it, i'm looking to purchase within a month. thanks.
December 7, 2010 1:13:26 PM


Well, your aspirations (assertations) were exceedingly high, considering what you intend to spend. ... Also ... If you are actually going to PAY FOR all those hefty sw suites, I would have expected you to spend similarly, on hw ... Finally, you were going on about "workstations" and dual sockets ... so ... "get real".

[:jaydeejohn:3] [:jaydeejohn:3] [:jaydeejohn:3] << YOU vs. ME >> [:bilbat:3]

Project-Studio System Budgets can be a real "SUPER MASSIVE BLACK HOLE", as all components "scale together" ...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HlZRtHMXObQ

Luckily, there are several ways to skin this cat.

*** I would STILL ... STRONGLY ... recommend an X58 mobo and an nVidia GPU part. ***

Those monitors are not only LARGE, at 30 inches, but are also "extra-high" rez with butt-loads more color depth than your endeavors are likely to expoit ... Each of the LCD displays (in my original spec) would have required TWO (both) DVI (i..e. Dual-Link) outputs to run (just) one display ... So ... Lets just call that choice "over-kill" and we can save a bundle, right there ...

MotherBoard ... There are some VERY acceptable mobo solutions that cost *MUCH* less dough ... The reason for the enthusiast mobo was for feeding both quadros the maximum PCIe lane allocation ... A moot point with just one Quadro (which can run TWO, normal-rez displays, per single GPU) ... Yay !

Memory ... You can get by *VERY* well, with 12GB DDR3 ... You can get by "pretty dam good", with a measly 6GB, too ... I'd stretch for 12GB, tho ... it will speed everything you do and, those apps can/will make good use of 12GB (so will Win7-64).

Drives: ... I would just get one 120GB and One 256GB SSD, and as many Spinpoint F3s as you can afford (at least two Spinpoint 1TB drives ... plus a spare, if RAID is in your future.

The G-RAID (external 4TB) is only required if you are using the top-end BlackMagic Design "ULTRA-STUDIO" and doing stuff like SDI capture/ingest ... But, using "normal" AVCHD encoding, along with the (much less expensive) "Intensity Shuttle" or "Intensity HD PCIe" option ... Well ... You won't need the "true hardware" G-RAID unless you are straining your other resources, with 4:2:2 Intra-Frame codecs and/or lower density compression of media.

That PSU is great, but corsairs are cheaper and you can lop-off another $40~$60, on the PSU, as well.

Less drives and displays mean fewer cables ... they can add up ... a few cents saved.

Case? ... On the lower end ... A HAF 922 can save you $100 and would be fine, considering the lower cooling requirements, of a winnowed config (as we are discussing).

... Lessee ... hmmm ... CPU !! ... Scale down to a (VERY CAPABLE) i7-950 and, there goes another $700, off the total price.

Are we getting anywhere ??

SANDY BRIDGES should reach higher clocks and lower prices, by mid-spring, of next year ... If you can wait, some, I'd advise you stick around here and become one of us ... for a good 4 months ... It will pay off and you will increase your tech prowess (and get teased, flamed, and badgered and bullied ... FUN! )

Still want to play ?
December 7, 2010 1:38:40 PM

thanks alvin, this last post was very helpful. You explained a lot of the decisions you are making, and that's what i'm interested in. I still don't get the difference between a 2 CPU and 1 CPU workstation. What does the 2 CPU station provide that a high end 1 CPU station won't. Also, the rendering from the GPU or CPU isn't clear to me either. It seems like GPU is up and coming way, but is there a combination of input between the CPU and GPU ever? or is it just one or the other? And what is adding the quadro 2000 doing for me Alvin? Why not just get two CPUs and keep one video card?

Also, what's the power behind the AMD dual CPUs (magney-cour/ lisbon/ etc.) vs. intels (xeon's/ + whatever else they offer in workstation cpus).
December 7, 2010 2:23:21 PM

You ask large questions, Grass-Hoppah ...

Just forget dual CPUs and Forget AMD/ATi ...

BELIEVE that a single Quadro 4000 is PUH-LEN-TY (and then some).

I recommend that you keep whittling my original spec, down, until you can (finally) afford it. Don't get too complicated, or fancy ... K.I.S.S.

As for the rest of all your questions ... You are asking for a graduate level understanding (i.e. literally a 12 credit hour college course), of "coneptual integration" and, balancing a complex build, to meet the requirements of SEVERAL OF THE MOST DEMANDING (finnacky) APPS, ON THE PLANET, is no mean feat (an understatement).

You need to commit to several months of (fairly) intense study, to get all the answers that you seek ... but you WILL do this ... because ... like me ... you are a FREAK !!

Some of the things that YOU must do, besides hanging out, right here, for 6o days, or more.

** Got to the official site, for each major applications suite, and STUDY (download/compile) the * system requirements * recommended configs * for EACH app in that suite (photo-shop does not need a particular FERMI/Quadro solution, while Premier MPE *DOES*, for instance).

** Go to the advanced user forums, for those same products, and hang out and make-fool-of-noob-self ... be polite and grovel with sincerity.

** Avoid Tom's GPU forum (young and happy ATi fan-boy gamers will steer you wrong).

** Go to VideoGuys.com and read ALL their DIY ... Home-Built info.

** Go to Anandtech.com and USE their CPU benchmark comparison calculator tool and also view their SSD and GPU benches.

** Read EVERY (Tom's) article that appears in the side-bar, of this forum, for two or three months. (one full product cycle of 18 months, if u r serious)

Just forget about dual proc systems ... Like TOP end CPUs, the return on investment presents drastically diminished returns, once you get into *TRUE* workstations ...
... If you are pulling $60K+ as a PAID/DEGREED/Post-Grad PROFESSIONAL, then YOUR EMPLOYER may deem the puny boost in productivity (at great cost) as "justifiable", as a percentage of your annual SALARY. ... hmmm?

Don't over-estimate the quality or the quantity of the FINISHED OUTPUT that you will produce, during the service-life of this system! ... SO MANY noobs think that having all those tools and capabilities and speed will (some-how) transform them into a super successful and productive, creative genius ... BZZZZZT !!! ... WRONG !!!
... You still have to MASTER those tools and actually not spend all your time smokin' dope (or fraggin' zombies). If you are making a 3 Million $USD feature "film" ... sure ... hire some CG engineers and **RENT** a render-farm.

Am I getting thru ?? ... That is just the SHORT list. ... Start a new thread, for each of these (important and intelligent) questions (which you have asked) ... You will rack-up forum points (your rank and status) ... you will learn A - LOT ... just be friendly and humble and grovel, with flair.

Be patient ... you are asking a lot of very big questions, all at once, and many of those answers require an entire "field" of recent knowledge. I've been gone for 3 months and it will take a month for me, just to catch up on new GPUs (the land-scape as a whole).

I am willing to put in that time. ... Are YOU ??? ... IF **NOT** THEN, just give me a budget and tell me what gear you already have and what (three) main applications suites that you need to run. ... THEN ... Buy what I tell you to.

Either DO YOUR HOMEWORK (OVER TIME) or just SHUT YOUR MOUTH (and do what I/we, collectively TELL you to).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oIVVid-bgUk


= Al =


December 7, 2010 3:49:28 PM

... and if $2K~$3K is your target, for just the system unit (sans any LCD displays), then it is really pointless to be talking about dual socket solutions, as they are WAY out of your league (beyond anything you could stretch for, once appropriately "populated" with procs (plural) and RAM (starting at 12GB and up to 64GB) ... PENTAGON BUDGET !

But I always try to build you up, once I have torn you down ... because ...

It is FREE-KINK AMAYY-ZINK what $2K~$3K will buy you (but you will need that much money, just for the hardware ... Even student versions of "your" chosen apps cost as much, again). ... and "even" a hs student would warrant dual 22" LCDs @ 1920x1200

... Just for grins, though ... (entertainment only, I hope) ... Let's just say we were to take an AM3/890 **MICRO**ATX board and 8GB of "sluggish" DDR3 (cas 9, even) ...
... we put that ~$100 mobo in a regular ATX mid-tower case (most are mATX-drilled) ... An Antec 300 case, or a RoseWill, or CM-Centurion ... and we JUST use ONE 90GB Vertex2 (sys/boot/apps) and (just) one Spinpoint F3 @ 1TB and we slap a FERMI 570 in there and give it a *Slower* Phenom-II x6 core proc and just use the stock retail CPU cooler and salvage a DVDR ... To include a couple of ASUS 22" (standard) monitors ???

I'm just gonna sorta try-tah add this up in my haid ... tick-a-tick-a-tick-a ... kerchunk!

Hell !!! This would WORK !!! I'm gonna build this thing (for my OWN enjoyment), right here, and right now) .. This is a "3rd World" pro-sumer (pro-really) edit/render rig ...

... You have INSPIRED Alvin ... I do not believe this (I'm such a lazy hack).


December 7, 2010 5:04:47 PM

HERE IS THE PASTE, FROM MY CART *****************************************
3rd WORLD GRAPHICS "PRO" BUILD (CS5 CAPABLE)
*****************************************

THE MOTHERBOARD
ASRock 890GM PRO3 AM3 AMD 890GX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
Item #: N82E16813157192
$96.99

THE PROCESSOR (STOCK COOLER INCLUDED)
AMD Phenom II X6 1055T Thuban 2.8GHz Socket AM3 125W Six-Core Desktop Processor HDT55TFBGRBOX
Item #: N82E16819103851
$179.00

THERMAL PASTE
Arctic Silver AA-1.75G Thermal Compound
Item #: N82E16835100014
$4.99

SYSTEM MEMORY / TWO 4GB KITS = 8GB DDR3
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-10600CL9D-4GBNT
Item #: N82E16820231253
$95.98
($47.99 each, of two 4GB kits)

GPU (This will work with CS5/MPE ... AND PLAY GAMES GREAT !!)
PNY VCGGTX570XPB GeForce GTX 570 (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
Item #: N82E16814133370
$349.99

TWO HDMI CABLES (from FERMI 570 to your DUAL LCD Displays)
Link Depot 10 ft. HDMI TO HDMI A/V Cable Model HDMI-3-HDMI - OEM
Item #: N82E16812189054
$15.99

DUAL LCD DISPLAY MONITORS 1920x1200 2ms
ASUS VW266H Black 25.5" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen LCD Monitor
Item #: N82E16824236047
$559.98
($279.99 each)


BOOT/SYSTEM/APPS SSD DRIVE
OCZ Vertex 2 OCZSSD2-2VTXE90G 2.5" 90GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
Item #: N82E16820227611
$184.99

TWO SPINNERS FOR MEDIA CONTENT/GENERAL/INT-RAID
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Item #: N82E16822152185
$139.98
($69.99 each)

SATA DVDR DRIVE
ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM
Item #: N82E16827135204
$19.99

YOU NEED TWO EXTRA DRIVE CABLES (Two come with mobo)
OKGEAR 18" SATA 6 Gbps Cable, Right Angle to Right Angle W/ Metal Latch, UV Blue, Backward Compatible 3 Gbps and 1.5 Gbps
Item #: N82E16812123112
$5.38
($2.69 each)

ONE DECENT CASE OPTION (INCLUDES NEEDED FANS, STOCK)
Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Item #: N82E16811129066
$69.99

YOUR PSU (Don't go under 625 Watts ... says newegg pwr calculator)
Antec EarthWatts EA650 650W Continuous Power ATX12V Ver.2.2 / EPS12V version 2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified ...
Item #: N82E16817371015
$69.99

********************************
Subtotal: $1,783.24

(does not incl Windows7-Pro-64Bit OEM)
********************************



December 7, 2010 5:44:25 PM

... So ... That should "bracket" the full gammut of viable options ...

You can start with my FIRST suggested system, and build down ... OR ...

You can start with my 3rd-World LOW COST build, and work up, from there.

I have roughly the same build (for SONY VEGAS) but I am going with TWO GT240 GPUs (to push 3 monitors) and an Athlon-II x4 Plus an extra 128GB SSD ... Otherwise, my system is exactly the same as the cheaper build, just posted.

December 7, 2010 6:58:46 PM

Alvin, can I jump in here with a question? As I understand it, when using 3DS MAX, there is no longer any advantage to using a "workstation" video card because AutoDesk has dropped Open GL? Is that correct? Thanks!

Tony
December 8, 2010 3:34:48 PM

Important Notes
The following describes important notes related to the graphics hardware Certifications
for the for the Autodesk 3ds Max 2011, Subscription Advantage Pack and Autodesk 3ds
Max Design 2011, Subscription Advantage Pack software product releases.
 Scene Effects are not compatible with the new HW shading features such
as Ambient Occlusion and Tone mapping
 Certification of graphics cards has mainly been done using Direct3D®
mode
 OpenGL® has been Certified but to a lesser degree, and therefore you
may encounter issues that have not been listed in this document
 DirectX® 9.0c has been used, in Windows XP, Windows Vista® and
Windows 7®. DirectX 10.0 has not been tested
 Certification is being performed on both single and dual screen
configurations at resolution of 1920x1200 (60Hz each).
 If you are experiencing additional display issues not listed in this
document, please search our Knowledge Base or contact customer
support (http://www.autodesk.com/3dsmax-support).Single screen at
resolution of 1920x1200 (60Hz)



Operating system: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional x64, Microsoft Windows Vista Business x64 (SP2 or higher), or Microsoft Windows XP Professional x64 (SP2 or higher)

For general animation and rendering (typically fewer than 1,000 objects or 100,000 polygons):

Intel 64 or AMD 64 processor with SSE2 technology*
4 GB RAM (8 GB recommended)
4 GB swap space (8 GB recommended)**
3 GB free hard drive space
Direct3D 10, Direct3D 9, or OpenGL-capable graphics card† (256 MB or higher video card memory, 1 GB recommended)
Three-button mouse with mouse driver software
DVD-ROM drive††
Microsoft Internet Explorer 7.0 or higher or Mozilla Firefox 2.0 or higher browser
Internet connection for web downloads and Autodesk Subscription-aware access
For large scenes and complex data sets (typically more than 1,000 objects or 100,000 polygons):

Intel® 64 or AMD64 processor with SSE2 technology*
8 GB RAM
8 GB swap space**
3 GB free hard drive space
Direct3D 10, Direct3D 9, or OpenGL-capable graphics card† (1 GB or higher video card memory)
Three-button mouse with mouse driver software
DVD-ROM drive††
Microsoft Internet Explorer 7.0 or higher or Mozilla Firefox 2.0 or higher browser)
Internet connection for web downloads and Autodesk Subscription-aware access

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

 Scene Effects are not compatible with the new HW shading features such
as Ambient Occlusion and Tone mapping
 Certification of graphics cards has mainly been done using Direct3D®
mode
 OpenGL® has been Certified but to a lesser degree, and therefore you
may encounter issues that have not been listed in this document
 DirectX® 9.0c has been used, in Windows XP, Windows Vista® and
Windows 7®. DirectX 10.0 has not been tested
 Certification is being performed on both single and dual screen
configurations at resolution of 1920x1200 (60Hz each).
 If you are experiencing additional display issues not listed in this
document, please search our Knowledge Base or contact customer
support (http://www.autodesk.com/3dsmax-support).Single screen at
resolution of 1920x1200 (60Hz)

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

3ds Max Composite Functionality on 32- or 64-Bit Operating SystemsThe 3ds Max Composite feature requires one of the following 32-bit or 64-bit operating systems:

Microsoft Windows XP Professional (SP2 or higher)
Microsoft Windows XP Professional x64 (SP2 or higher)
Microsoft Windows 7 Professional x64
Media cache hard drive requirements:

10 GB minimum, 200 GB recommended
HDD: IDE, SATA, SATA 2, SAS, SCSI

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

Autodesk 3ds Max and 3ds Max Design 2011 have been optimized to take advantage of the SSE2 extended instruction sets supported on Intel Pentium 4 or higher, AMD Athlon™ 64, AMD Opteron™, and AMD Phenom™ processors. Autodesk 3ds Max 2011 will not operate on computers that do not support SSE2. Several utilities are available on the Internet that report CPUID, including supported instructions sets.

** Autodesk recommends settings that allow Windows to manage virtual memory as needed. There should always be at least twice as much free hard disk space as system memory (RAM).

† Some features of 3ds Max and 3ds Max Design 2011 are enabled only when used with graphics hardware that supports Shader Model 3.0 (Pixel Shader and Vertex Shader 3.0). In addition, Quicksilver hardware rendering requires additional GPU resources to work effectively. A minimum of 512 MB of graphics memory should be used. A minimum of 1 GB is recommend for the most complex scenes, shaders, and lighting modes. Check with your manufacturer to determine if your hardware supports these requirements.

Certified Hardware
For the latest list of certified hardware, including graphics cards, to run Autodesk® 3ds Max® 2011 and Autodesk® 3ds Max® Design 2011, refer to the 3ds Max certified hardware chart.

†† Autodesk 3ds Max and 3ds Max Design 2011 are available only on dual-layer DVD media (or electronic download where available). DVD-ROM drive is not required if installing using electronic download. However, to accommodate the installation files, you will need 9 GB of hard disk space and an additional 16 GB of space for temporary files created during the installation
Product Info Already a User? Resources Follow 3ds Max

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3ds Max Design Brochure (pdf - 440Kb)
3ds Max FAQ (pdf - 69Kb)
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December 8, 2010 4:26:18 PM

holy smokes... this is some heavy stuff Alvin. Thanks man, i got some research to do. I'm struck by your strong opinion towards a single CPU. i'm very interested in upgradability and stability, I think this might come with dual CPUs but i'm not sure. I'll work on it and let you know. Thanks for all the advice, it's given me a super start on my knowledge in these regards. Way better than, 'here build this'.
December 8, 2010 4:37:01 PM

This link was supplied to me by runswindows95 in another post:

http://www.cgarchitect.com/news/newsfeed.asp?nid=4960

It is VERY interesting! It is obvious that not only do different applications require different GPU's for optimum performance, but even different functions from the same application perform very differently depending on the GPU.

For 3DS Max, I think I'm going with a GTX-570. For the price, I can always change it later (and use it in a future gaming rig)
December 8, 2010 4:38:46 PM

Argh! I meant GTX 570, sorry!
December 8, 2010 5:37:35 PM

iliya77 said:
Alvin, can I jump in here with a question? As I understand it, when using 3DS MAX, there is no longer any advantage to using a "workstation" video card because AutoDesk has dropped Open GL? Is that correct? Thanks!

Tony


I really did (most ardently) rummuge thru a good many of the current links and resources, associated with this product, this a.m. ...

I chased the core essense of your question to the bitter end and I ended up at a PARTNER POLICY STATEMENT LINK ... yup.

In essence, this joint statement asserts that BOTH/ALL AutoDesk *and* nVidia *and* AMD/ATi ONLY "CERTIFY" the professional graphics line options, from either/or. ...

Consumer Graphics Cards
Important: Although Autodesk tested the NVIDIA GeForce and ATI Radeon consumer graphics cards, it is Autodesk, NVIDIA, and AMD policy to only recommend and support the professional NVIDIA Quadro, ATI FirePro, and ATI FireGL graphics family cards.

See the NVIDIA Quadro vs. GeForce GPUs White Paper [PDF].
Technical Brief
NVIDIA Quadro vs. GeForce GPUs
Features and Benefits

http://www.nvidia.com/object/quadro_geforce.html

If you have any questions, please contact:
NVIDIA: NVIDIAAutodeskhelp@nvidia.com
AMD/ATI: http://emailcustomercare.amd.com
... And ... there was also this interesting link:




This is about serious realities. Think of this as a MilSpec Standard.

Bridges and tunnels collapse, every now and then ... Jets crash, etc. And the finger-pointing begins ... Contractural liabilities and a controlled "quality channel" for GSE Bids.

If BOEING or FORD is complaining about driver issues, to nVidia support and product development reps (living on-site?) ... Well ... nVidia is definately going to respond to those customers, let alone some issue that might affect command and control display systems, in the nuclear power and military industrial complex.

If you are a graduate sdudent/intern, in the Schools of Engineering/Architecture/Chemistry, etc. ... Your school work is likely to become part of some skyscraper, if your designs should win some competition.

If you are using this system for land-scaping, garden design, fashion design, or for tasteful, quasi-erotic photo-art (HQ) ... Well, go for the FERMI and game yer arse off.

Entire cities are designed and controlled (Dubai, et. al.) by such products, ... traffic control, power-mngmnt, ... so ... there is a whole other cultural evolution of the drivers, and of the balance of enabled features (on die) and how they might be adressed.

There is a further link, to a document published by nVidia, which rattles off a checklist
December 8, 2010 6:00:23 PM

jfklimek said:
holy smokes... this is some heavy stuff Alvin. I'm struck by your strong opinion towards a single CPU. i'm very interested in upgradability and stability, I think this might come with dual CPUs but i'm not sure. I'll work on it and let you know.


Yeah ... You DO that! ... "Work on it and let me know!" ... (LoL!)

Opinion? Dude ... Either you were not listening OR you just are not getting the point (just yet ... but you will).

FORGET the number of CPUs !!! NOT RELEVANT! AT ALL !!!

The whole point is that you CAN get these tools to run on modest systems (even powerful notebooks, certified by model) ... BUT ... These powerful professional toolsets can utilize many processing THREADS and will make use of all the speed and memory you can throw at it (to a point).

FURTHERMORE ... there is the issue of BUDGET vs. BALANCE ...
Think of this as plumbing ... pipes ... You want data to pour thru it and the narrowest pipe is the bottleneck.

IF YOU ARE NOT WORKING IN A ROOM FULL OF ENGINEERS, FORGET ABOUT MULTIPLE CPUS ... you can't afford it.

You are like a 16 year old asking the driving instructor if you first car should be a Mustang GT or A Formula One Race Coupe ...

I would recommend the Mustang ... It will get you down the road, with "snap" ... and ... if it ain't fast enough, for ya ... you can sink up to $100,000 USD into it and STILL not be close to the cost of an F1 RACER ... And you'll need hotel rooms for your pit-crew, too.

December 8, 2010 7:11:54 PM

Alvin, check this build out. He sort of goes against the whole CPU thing you are saying. This is causing confusion within my cranium. I wouldn't mind spending in the upper $3gs if its worth it in the long run and this is close to it. What are your thoughts on his 'not using desktop parts for a workstation' quote and the CPU choice?

Also, I'll be using this machine as my everything machine that mainly needs to do cad and render work for me.

this build about to be revealed is found as the winning build for a workstation on this thread:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/296080-31-best-config...

"+1 not to overclock a workstation and not to use desktop parts on a workstation...

Here is a config -

CPU x2 - Intel Xeon E5620 Westmere

Mobo - SUPERMICRO MBD-X8DAH+-O Extended ATX Server Motherboard

RAM - Definetly an ECC Registered -> 2x
Crucial 12GB (3 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM ECC Registered DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Server Memory Model CT3KIT51272BB1339

CASE - LIAN LI PC-A70F
Or
COOLER MASTER ATCS 840

PSU - Seasonic X750 Gold

Workstation card - PNY VCQ4000-PB Quadro 4000 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Workstation Video Card
Or
ATI 100-505604 FirePro V7800 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 CrossFire Supported Workstation Video Card

SSD - I would definitely have a SSD just for the boot times and the app load times,...
OCZ Agility 2 120GB

HDD for apps and other high I/O operations - 2x in RAID 0
Western Digital VelociRaptor WD6000HLHX 600GB 10000 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

DATA Drive - Hitachi Deskstar 7K2000 HDS722020ALA330 (0F10311) 2TB

BD Burner - LG WH10LS30K 10X Blu-ray Burner - LightScribe Support

Total - ~$4200"
December 8, 2010 8:44:20 PM

iliya77 said:
This link was supplied to me by runswindows95 in another post:

http://www.cgarchitect.com/news/newsfeed.asp?nid=4960

It is VERY interesting! It is obvious that not only do different applications require different GPU's for optimum performance, but even different functions from the same application perform very differently depending on the GPU.

For 3DS Max, I think I'm going with a FX 570. For the price, I can always change it later (and use it in a future gaming rig)



Wow! That was a great article ... pretty squirrelly benches, eh??

I also could throw a link that shows how to hack the MPE config file for any geForce card, ... but I won't.
December 8, 2010 8:57:35 PM

Alvin Smith said:
I really did (most ardently) rummuge thru a good many of the current links and resources, associated with this product, this a.m. ...

I chased the core essense of your question to the bitter end and I ended up at a PARTNER POLICY STATEMENT LINK ... yup.

In essence, this joint statement asserts that BOTH/ALL AutoDesk *and* nVidia *and* AMD/ATi ONLY "CERTIFY" the professional graphics line options, from either/or. ...

Consumer Graphics Cards
Important: Although Autodesk tested the NVIDIA GeForce and ATI Radeon consumer graphics cards, it is Autodesk, NVIDIA, and AMD policy to only recommend and support the professional NVIDIA Quadro, ATI FirePro, and ATI FireGL graphics family cards.

See the NVIDIA Quadro vs. GeForce GPUs White Paper [PDF].
Technical Brief
NVIDIA Quadro vs. GeForce GPUs
Features and Benefits

http://www.nvidia.com/object/quadro_geforce.html

If you have any questions, please contact:
NVIDIA: NVIDIAAutodeskhelp@nvidia.com
AMD/ATI: http://emailcustomercare.amd.com
... And ... there was also this interesting link:




This is about serious realities. Think of this as a MilSpec Standard.

Bridges and tunnels collapse, every now and then ... Jets crash, etc. And the finger-pointing begins ... Contractural liabilities and a controlled "quality channel" for GSE Bids.

If BOEING or FORD is complaining about driver issues, to nVidia support and product development reps (living on-site?) ... Well ... nVidia is definately going to respond to those customers, let alone some issue that might affect command and control display systems, in the nuclear power and military industrial complex.

If you are a graduate sdudent/intern, in the Schools of Engineering/Architecture/Chemistry, etc. ... Your school work is likely to become part of some skyscraper, if your designs should win some competition.

If you are using this system for land-scaping, garden design, fashion design, or for tasteful, quasi-erotic photo-art (HQ) ... Well, go for the FERMI and game yer arse off.

Entire cities are designed and controlled (Dubai, et. al.) by such products, ... traffic control, power-mngmnt, ... so ... there is a whole other cultural evolution of the drivers, and of the balance of enabled features (on die) and how they might be adressed.

There is a further link, to a document published by nVidia, which rattles off a checklist




Alvin, all this stuff is giving me a headache, literally. Can we talk about something off-topic for a minute?

I see your little picture says "Espresso Addict" Is it true? Because I cannot LIVE without espresso. I have an Isomac TEA and a Mazzer Mini. But lately I've been so broke I can't afford decent beans. I've been forced to buy them at... actually I'm too embarrassed to say. But they've been getting me by. I could really use a good shot right now, but I'm at work, and my machine is at home. Actually I do have an old Silvia here, which was my first machine, but no grinder, so I get stuck drinking coffee-flavored water from the Melitta thing.

Anyway, back to the computer stuff... Somehow I managed to miss that Nvidia PDF you posted. It's very informative. Now I really don't know what to do. Did you see this:

http://www.cgarchitect.com/news/newsfeed.asp?nid=4960 ?

I'm really only interested in 3DS Max. According to that guy, for 3DS Max, the GTX 480 (was) the best overall GPU. That's why I decided on the GTX 570 until I read the Nvidia PDF you posted. So now I don't know. Would you just TELL me what card to get? Thanks! :D 
December 8, 2010 9:10:49 PM

I thought i'd throw this on here, since it could significantly alter a builds priority from CPU to GPU. I guess in the future we will be power renderings live from our GPUs. Makes me think dual heavy GPU power might be the smarter decision.

http://www.trinity3d.com/media/chaos_group/VRayRTmovies...

any professional opinions on this and it's implications to the build of rendering machines?
December 8, 2010 9:23:57 PM

This thread is wacky
December 8, 2010 9:27:36 PM

If gaming is not a practical need ... FX1800.
(plus a GT240, if more than two displays)

As for me? ... For Premier MPE ? and INTENSITY? ... 570.

December 8, 2010 10:09:33 PM

Espresso ...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaN0wcr8CPE

I get totally wired, at least 4 nights each week ... I find that a few days off, every week, helps to give the old kidneys a break and resets my tolerance, for the next blast off.

I am on a budget, too. I purchase one pound+ of fresh (dark roast) latin american beans, from my grocer and grind them at "one notch coarser" than espresso grind ...
... I mix that whole bag with a "fresh" large red plastic tub of FOLGER'S BLACK SILK drip coffee and shake all that up vigorously.

I put an un-bleached #4 filter in a plastic #2 cone and fill to the top of the plastic cone (packed!) ... I then cook my 1st meal whilst I dribble roiling water (a bit at a time), ...

I used to use my espresso machine but it only made 4 oz. at a time and was a little bit of a pain to clean.

I also used to fill a 4 cup Pyrex measuring cup half full of fine grounds and then fill to the 4 cup line and steep-n-stir (alternately) before pouring the whole mess thru a filter cone ... great joe but too much cleanup.

... It still takes me 15 minutes to brew and clean up, but now I get more than 8 full oz. of pure black tar and just a little cleanup ... (no caraf or other mess ... no vinegar douches, etc ... and no explosions when I forget "pressure status").

... And that 8+oz lasts for 20 hours ... trust that.

... Sometimes, when I'm running low, I get 7-11 (Seven Eleven Corporation) Dark Mountain Roast or Brazillian Dark Roast and add that to the "blend tub" ...

.... At *-bux I say ... "Black-n-Bold Grande Blackeye with a-inch-uh-ice, at the bottom." (Texas Accent).




Is there anything else you would like to know about my personal habits? Lint? Jam?

December 8, 2010 10:58:51 PM

jfklimek said:
I thought i'd throw this on here, since it could significantly alter a builds priority from CPU to GPU. I guess in the future we will be power renderings live from our GPUs. Makes me think dual heavy GPU power might be the smarter decision.

http://www.trinity3d.com/media/chaos_group/VRayRTmovies...

any professional opinions on this and it's implications to the build of rendering machines?


If you say so ...
... I should have mentionned (and, now, I must) ...
Micro-ATX mobos ONLY have/support ONE PCIe 2.0 16x GPU Slot ...
... You would (at least) have to step up to an 890GX UD3 grade mobo (~$150 USD) ... slap TWO 570s in there, and re-assess your power requirements (750Watts, at most)

... Tho ... As I originally said, An i7-950 on a mid-grade mobo, with 12GB of 1600c7 and dual Quadro FX3800s (or 2x 570s) and "all the rest", would put you into the ws game, at around $5K (with those two 25" LCDs), 90GB-SSD and 2TB Internal RAID-0 .

And ... With two fat GPUs ... and RAID? ... Big cooler ... FULL TOWER

December 8, 2010 11:07:54 PM

why RAID? I'm sorry it's so noobish but what's the point? and what's the difference with the numbers proceeding RAID-? What the heck does that mean?

What about a dual CPU dual GPU rig? Would it be pointless to dual CPU if the rendering ran off GPU? or would there be a performance advantage if I were to dual both? Right now that's my big inquiry/ decision to be made. Do i go with dual CPUs and dual GPUs or is that just wasting money? If so, then i need to decide if dual GPUs is a better setup than dual CPUs.
December 8, 2010 11:09:04 PM

Spiderm0n said:
This thread is wacky

and by wacky you mean classic.
December 8, 2010 11:16:26 PM

Alvin Smith said:
Espresso ...

I used to use my espresso machine but it only made 4 oz. at a time and was a little bit of a pain to clean.



You're joking, right? 4 oz.??? You are WAY under-extracting, man. That must taste like black shite. Get a better grinder, go way finer, get the extraction down to about 1.5 oz in 30 seconds (for a double-shot). Should be a deep reddish-brown syrup that leaves a resin-like residue in the cup. Espresso is the sweet nectar of the coffee bean. At 4 oz. You're turning it into something like what comes out of an old tractor crankcase. Think of Johnny Walker. Would you want 4 oz?

I hope you know more about computers than you do about coffee. :kaola: 

By the way, why are you recommending the FX1800 now? Just a little earlier you were for the Quadro 4000. What gives?
December 9, 2010 4:54:03 AM

Seriously ... I give up.

Nice article, tho ... Did you read the comments that followed ??

The dual socket ws are "way overkill" ... way!

You know, tho? ... I live in Texas and there are PLENTY of store-front cowboys who own one ton deisel crew cabs with 8 foot beds and 4WD lift kits with winches and goose-neck trailer hitches ... etc. ... ad-nauseum.

They don't own ranches ... they never rode a horse ... they use the dam things to take their kids to school and socker games ... never seen a dirt road ...never even get dusty.

These days? ... A dual socket system is just a white elephant ... sure ... If *YOU* want to buy me one ... I'll sure find a use.

... BTW ... Do you pay your own power bills or does someone else ?

Knock yer-sef out ... and, btw, most of those techs that spec'd those dual proc systems do NOT own one and have never even actually built one ... betcha your lunch money.

... Tho ... As I originally said, An i7-950 on a mid-grade mobo, with 12GB of 1600c7 and dual Quadro FX3800s (or 2x 570s) and "all the rest", would put you into the ws game, at around $5K (with those two 25" LCDs), 90GB-SSD and 2TB Internal RAID-0 .

And ... With two fat GPUs ... and RAID? ... Big cooler ... FULL TOWER


Customer's always right ... look out for that big red button.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9pxjnl1yuXk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&feature=fvwp&v=vuamSK...


Some folks just need to find out the hard way ... I can live with that.

December 9, 2010 3:40:57 PM

http://blog.renderstream.com/?p=442

okay so I'm sold with the idea that the GPU will be processing the renderings/ visual. Now what does this mean for my build? If the CPU isn't loaded with the weight of this work, can i go with a mid class mobo? Is there any advantage to a single intel Xeon over the i7-950 provoked by Alvin?
December 9, 2010 6:39:02 PM

jfklimek said:
http://blog.renderstream.com/?p=442

okay so I'm sold with the idea that the GPU will be processing the renderings/ visual.


... oh, ... really ?! ... NOT !!


Look ... All YOU are going to need is 4-to-12 threads, running at better than 3.2GHz and at least 8GB of DDR3 ... or ... 12GB (if X58 3ch) ...

You could go with any proc from (my) Athlon-II x4 (OC'd to 3.6GHZ ... to ... A 12 thread i7 extreme ... Anywhere in there.

Two mid-grade quadros (FX3800) or two FERMI 570/580s.

One more time ...
X58 UD3 mobo (or ASUS at same price)
Core i7-750 (OC'd to 3.8GHz with a Noctua 140mmx120mm push-pull cooler)
12GB DDR3
Two FERMI 570s with as much GDDR/card, as you can get.
A 90GB boot SSD
Two 1920x1200 LCDs of at least 23.5" and a refresh of under 7 ms.
... AND ... ANYTHING else you want to add.

... Oh, yeah ... I gave up trying to save you from yoursef ... never mind.

December 9, 2010 7:17:19 PM

I'm shocked Alvin, You don't even comment on the myth busters awesomeness in that video. And your build you are telling me to do takes their experiment into acknowledgement. Why don't you just bend your almighty boastfulness a little and realize i'm working to help you, and of course, myself out. We need to understand this whole CPU/ GPU thing before we can go ahead and jump into making these big decisions. Your build tells me that the 'idea that the GPU will be processing the renderings/ visuals' is true. Your sarcastic '... oh, ... really ?! ... NOT !!' remark tells me that you have a desire to be understood as the almighty knowledge. Come on man, you keep giving plenty of example builds. I'm into why you are stating such builds as the answer... why do I only need '4-to-12 threads, running at better than 3.2GHz and at least 8GB of DDR3 ... or ... 12GB (if X58 3ch) ...'

I've thought about OCing an Athlon 1075, but I heard OCing workstations was a bad decision since they tend to be less stable. Hence my obsession with bringing the Xeon into the question.
December 9, 2010 8:38:26 PM

jfklimek said:
I'm shocked Alvin... Why don't you just bend your almighty boastfulness a little and realize i'm working to help you, and of course, myself out


And this coming from a guy who asked "what those RAID number-thingys mean." !!!

I really have to admit, this Alvin guy has A LOT of patience.
December 9, 2010 9:06:58 PM

iliya, what's the raid number-thingys mean?
December 9, 2010 9:26:31 PM


The reason I spend my time on " smoke puff" is because of his enthusiasm and because he reminds me of myself, in that he thinks he actually knows something (ha).

Just so you know, I worked L2 corporate workstation and server issues, for DELL, among many other great jobs, in network and systems support ...

I was literally maintaining and operating SLBM launch systems before you were born.

I sher ain't here to prove anything to YOU.





December 9, 2010 9:56:19 PM

Some typical industrial configs.

The thing is that, you don't really need a dual xeon system unless you are doing complex multi-cam or uncompressed SDI on many layered tracks ... So ... sure ... If you want to rival the output of Fox Sports Network, and you are working on a frantic deadline ... go for the big guns. But if you have time to make sandwiches, during your final renders ... eh ... no reason a 950 with 12GB wouldn't be plenty. Remember that two years from now ... whole new worlds of cheaper solutions (upgrades) will be available.


http://www.videotexsystems.com/product.php?productid=18...

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/707042-REG/B_H_Ph...

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/707033-REG/B_H_Ph...


There certainly are PLENTY of Xeon(x2) turnkey CS5 systems out there ...

... I suppose my philosphy differs, in that, I am seeing this investment as VERY TEMPORARY ... and expect you will have MUCH better core-compute options, within the next few years ...

The Core i7 four core and six core procs have 8 and 12 threads, respecively and can clock over 4GHz, on air, without breakin' a sweat. ... Add a serious 12GB of DDR3 to that and you are golden.

The dual socket solution locks you into an expensive base platform ... one that you won't likely want to throw away, any time soon ...
... A socket 1366/X58 (fully tricked), on the other hand, can be re-tasked to do many other great things and you won't be stuck with a huge, expensive, power-guzzling boat anchor ...
... Imagine yourself, two years from now ... having invested in a ws dual socket system and twin procs ... and you are seeing (new gen) notebooks (now) that can run circles around your battleship ws.

It is your money ... your future ... Two years from now, you'll know for sure, if I was full of crap, or not.

December 9, 2010 10:27:16 PM

Alvin Smith said:
The reason I spend my time on " smoke puff" is because of his enthusiasm and because he reminds me of myself, in that he thinks he actually knows something (ha).

Just so you know, I worked L2 corporate workstation and server issues, for DELL, among many other great jobs, in network and systems support ...

I was literally maintaining and operating SLBM launch systems before you were born.

I sher ain't here to prove anything to YOU.



You, who? Not me, I hope. I never asked you to prove anything. I'm just amazed at how much you have put up with from that jfk guy and still remain civil.

As for me, I never launched any missiles. I'm just an old assembly language programmer from the CP/M days.
December 9, 2010 10:44:57 PM

iliya77 said:
You, who? Not me, I hope. I never asked you to prove anything. I'm just amazed at how much you have put up with from that jfk guy and still remain civil.

As for me, I never launched any missiles. I'm just an old assembly language programmer from the CP/M days.


Well, if you have coded assembly, into a tight space, then you totally get where the bottlenecks truly are ... You know where the obstacles are.

I built an IMSAI and a Heath/Zenith Z-100(S-100 Bus) ... Solder ! ... Before I ever went into the USSS and graduated 1of27 in subsurface electronics, before moving on to FBM training ... I used to convert hex to octal, on the fly, as I keyed in register values, 3 bits at a time.


"Puff" has a point ... there are many dual proc xeons out there, as mainstream CS5 turnkey rigs so, yeah, I can see why he might want some concrete justification (assurance), that X58 would be plenty for an ambitious noob.

You and I have been around long enough to know that much iron will become obsolete, much sooner than he relizes and also that his personal level of proficiency/efficiency/productivity is not likely to justify or to effectively utilize any extra performance which might be gained by doubling his core-compute investment.

... I am patient because he really does remind me of myself and because I hate seeing folks up-sold into a sucking money hole, when all they really wanted was to express and communicate their unique vision, to others.

You don't need a one ton pickup to haul plywood from Home Depot, on weekends.

You DO need a one ton truck to haul a full crew and a two palletes of cynder blocks, 6 days a week.

=sigh=
December 9, 2010 11:25:38 PM

Alvin Smith said:

You don't need a one ton pickup to haul plywood from Home Depot, on weekends.

You DO need a one ton truck to haul a full crew and a two palletes of cynder blocks, 6 days a week.


Don't get me started talking about pickup trucks... but BELIEVE me, I know EXACTLY what you're talking about! (My own truck, I've literally pulled the eyes off the front shocks more than once, I've overloaded it so bad).

So, what exactly does my daughter, being a 5th year college kid, need? (rhetorical question) I don't know. How could I? All I do know is she has maxed out what she currently has (laptop) and is constantly frustrated by it.


So, based mainly on what you've written here, AND my own financial restraints, this is what I've come up with:

Intel Core i7-950 Bloomfield 3.06GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor BX80601950
Item #: N82E16819115211

GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD3R LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
Item #: N82E16813128423

PNY VCGGTX570XPB GeForce GTX 570 (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
Item #: N82E16814133370

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 12GB (3 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model
F3-12800CL8T-12GBRM

COOLER MASTER HAF 922 RC-922M-KKN1-GP Black Steel + Plastic and Mesh Bezel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Item #: N82E16811119197

CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power ...
Item #: N82E16817139006

2 - SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Item #: N82E16822152185

OCZ Vertex 2 OCZSSD2-2VTXE90G 2.5" 90GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
Item #: N82E16820227611

Noctua NH-D14 120mm & 140mm SSO CPU Cooler
Item #: N82E16835608018

Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM
Item #: N82E16832116758

Arctic Silver AA-1.75G Thermal Compound
Item #: N82E16835100014

Plus misc cables, DVD burner, 19" second monitor, etc.

What do you think? The only thing I think might be controversial is the GPU. I'd appreciate your input.

Thanks.



December 10, 2010 12:09:37 AM

iliya77 said:
So, based mainly on what you've written here, AND my own financial restraints, this is what I've come up with:
Intel Core i7-950 Bloomfield 3.06GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor BX80601950
GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD3R LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
PNY VCGGTX570XPB GeForce GTX 570 (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 12GB (3 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model
F3-12800CL8T-12GBRM
COOLER MASTER HAF 922 RC-922M-KKN1-GP Black Steel + Plastic and Mesh Bezel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power ...
2 - SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
OCZ Vertex 2 OCZSSD2-2VTXE90G 2.5" 90GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
Noctua NH-D14 120mm & 140mm SSO CPU Cooler
Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM
Arctic Silver AA-1.75G Thermal Compound
Plus misc cables, DVD burner, 19" second monitor, etc.
What do you think? The only thing I think might be controversial is the GPU. I'd appreciate your input.
Thanks.


Tears are welling up, in my eyes ... my lower lip is trembling ... and I just passed gas in my space-suit!

That is *THE* most perfect "Sweet-Spot Power-Build" that I have *EVER* seen !!! (crying, now).

Each and every frickin' part ... right down to the sub-model ... absolutely, "from nut-to-butt", the most perfect combination of cost/capability (careful word choice), on the planet ... at this moment.

You could buy 144,000 units, exact, and just sell them to anyone who came to you with any need ... really ... We should call it "The OAK RIDGE CREAM PUFF"!

December 10, 2010 1:40:01 AM

Alvin Smith said:
... We should call it "The OAK RIDGE CREAM PUFF"!


In my best Gaston voice: "Why, thank you Belle."
December 10, 2010 1:42:56 AM

You might wish to shave a few bux ...

Hyper 212+ cooler ... save ~$50
Only 6GB 1600c7 ... save ~$80
Only one F3(1TB) ... Save ~$70
December 10, 2010 1:46:27 AM

woops ... You would need a second 120mm fan for push-pull, with the 212+ ...
... If you should decide to do that, I can pull the exact part# for the matching fan ... there is only one part that is a perfect CFM/RPM match, and it is not easy to find.

... but the 212+ costs ~$30 and comes with mounting hw for the second fan and also comes with decent paste. (very effective and highly rated ... a good part and a good value (under $40).


So you could save up to $190 without feeling much (if any) pain ... the 2nd spinner is a good idea, tho ... more as an external backup or internal RAID-1 (that should allay any disasterous crash/loss).
December 10, 2010 2:47:15 AM

The closest shave ... Let's get chintzy !!

I have been thinking about the OAK RIDGE CREAM PUFF and your old pick-em-up truck ...

... Now ... unless your dear daughter is editing AVCHD video, regularly ... you might ...

(1) Go with the stock (INTEL retail-boxed) cooler and run at stock-clock speed.
(2) Go with cheaper RAM (one of these kits, maybe two because: ... *more* RAM will make your system faster than "faster RAM".
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
(3) Go with TWO of these (F3 @500GB), in RAID-1 (@ $55 each)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
(4) *Possibly* shop around for a 930 or a 940 CPU (if more than $20 cheaper).
(5) Go with an alternative PSU that is "adequate" (fingers crossed).
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
(6) Salvage a DVD(-R) from an older PC

Just some thots ... Going with 6GB of cheapest RAM and the Stock Cooler make a lot of sense, for a student build ... as for the rest? ... meh.

December 10, 2010 2:52:11 AM

Thanks, Alvin. Well, as far as the cooler, I really have no idea. I haven't built a system for several years so I haven't been keeping up on cooler technology. I was just going by what you have been posting. However, I never like to skimp on cooling, plus I plan on shooting for 4 Ghz.

For memory, 3DS Max specifies 8 gig. minimum. 12 seems about right.

And I was planning on RAID-1. I have bought several large external HD's for her over the years for her to back-up to, but she's doing her thesis project now and any data loss is just, you know, not an option.

But what about the GPU? I'm very nervous about using a consumer card. This machine will get ZERO gaming. 3DS Max 2011, AutoCad 2011, CS5, Rhrino 3D, in that order.

I'm pulling the trigger tomorrow.
December 10, 2010 2:59:03 AM

OK ... did not realize we were getting that "real", just yet ...
... Give me a few moments to browse parts ...

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