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3000$ 3d artist build

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March 25, 2011 9:42:50 PM

Hello this is my first time here so sorry if i did any mistakes lol


Approximate Purchase Date: This week - 1 month

Budget Range: 3000$ - 4000$

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Rendering (V ray and mental ray) , 3d modeling (3ds max and Maya) , game engines (Unity and UDK), and gaming is least important

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Anywhere is fine honestly. I have used NewEgg more but any store that is the cheapest will do fine :) 

Country of Origin: US

Parts Preferences: The best i can find for the price

Overclocking: Don't know how to over-clock

SLI or Crossfire: Don't know what that means .... I'm not to good with computer terms.

Monitor Resolution: Standard 1920-1080 is fine

Additional Comments: I'm a college student on my last 3rd year and I'm about to enter the real world soon so i want a computer that can render out sweet animations and to make video game levels using the programs i listed. My budget is about 3000$ but my family can help me out and give me an extra 1000$ i think to help. Thanks for all help !!!

More about : 3000 artist build

March 25, 2011 10:36:39 PM

As an artist and a student your first priority should be to purchase Adobe CS at the ridiculously reduced student price (80% off) before you finish school. Think this is ~$800 after discount.

Secondly, buy a Cintiq its the single best input device for artists and once again you can get a student discount on one. ~$2000

Now that you used $2800 of your budget....your down to $1200 which is just enough to buy an i5 2500k rig. Just use the system builders guide for $1000 and add an OS windows 7 64 bit Pro OEM.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-6950-unlo...

March 25, 2011 10:58:30 PM

I guess i should have been a little more clearer. I don't do much 2d work so i don't need photoshop, I do a lot more 3d work, plus I already have all the programs i need since its provided to me by the school so thats not a problem at all. Also what I have currently now is dual core xeon processor with an old Nvidea quadro card and i'm in dire need of an upgrade. I'd much rather just buy a new computer and use this computer as a render farm since my animations go for 20 mins a single frame and i would have 20 sec animations or something around there. I did some research although I'm no expert but i think I would want a quad core processor or better for render times and maybe the new Quadro 4000 for my game development programs. Any suggestions would be helpful thank you !
Related resources
March 25, 2011 11:46:18 PM

There is a nice machine setup in this page (scroll to the bottom).
http://www.videoguys.com/Guide/E/Videoguys+DIY8+Sneak+P...

It is a bit outdated, but you can easily swap the MoBo (P8P67 would work) and CPU for a Sandy bridge (2600 because you are not overclocking).

For video cards, see
http://www.nvidia.com/object/cuda_home_new.html
Pick a card from their list that can get the work done (Quadro 4000 might do the job nicely).

If you are not overclocking you won't need to buy a CPU fan....

Also, for a HD don't go with Velociraptor, get a 120GB SSD and a couple of large but efficient (7200rpm) hard drives...

Let us know if you have any other questions.
March 26, 2011 12:33:38 AM

Being that your system is predominately for modelling 3D and rendering with mental ray and v-ray engines your best bet is the following:

1. Though an Intel 980 or 990x CPU would be the most preferred option for rendering because of their six cores, really it would be a waste of money unless you overclocked it. It is a crime to have one of those chips and not OC it! Dual Xeon processors would be ideal but they would be very expensive. Get the 990X and find a friend to OC it.

2. I do CAD work with which uses Direct3D like 3DS Max does and really all you need is a top end graphics card. A workstation card like the FireGLs and Quadros give a little extra performance but at a massive costs. A top end Quadro would eat your entire budget! Maya on the other hand uses OpenGL so in that case a gaming card would not suffice. Because of Maya I would get a $1000 workstation card.

3. SLI and Crossfire means running to cards (or more) together in the same system. This would not suit as you will be needing a workstation card.

4. With the heavy load required for 3D modelling memory is vital. Tank your system with 4x4GB (16GB) of RAM. 1600mhz is fine.

5. Lastly having experience is 3D modelling and CAD I would suggest in the future at least upgrading your monitor to a higher resolution of 2560x1600. Makes a huge difference to this kind of work.

6. Get an SSD which will help with the constant loading of models and components. I would suggest the upcoming OCZ Vertex 3. Back your data up with two 2TB harddrives in RAID 0. In which one of the drive will mirror the other keeping your work safe.

Hope this helps!
March 26, 2011 1:31:29 AM

WOW what amazing help everyone thanks a lot !!! @ Rainwilds .... You gave me a quick lesson in computers lol and thanks. I may consider a six core processor and ask my friend to OC it for me. Also @Selas .... I was looking at that exact page earlier today lol http://www.hardware-revolution.com/2500-workstation/ .... So I was thinking getting that build but to have 6 cores on that would cost 2000$ although that uses 2 processors instead of one. So what I'm trying to ask is having that build better or should i just get that build minus the two quad cores and opt for a single 6 core one. Thanks a lot everyone again, your making this much easier on me :) 
March 26, 2011 7:53:49 AM

shadowzero89 said:
WOW what amazing help everyone thanks a lot !!! @ Rainwilds .... You gave me a quick lesson in computers lol and thanks. I may consider a six core processor and ask my friend to OC it for me. Also @Selas .... I was looking at that exact page earlier today lol http://www.hardware-revolution.com/2500-workstation/ .... So I was thinking getting that build but to have 6 cores on that would cost 2000$ although that uses 2 processors instead of one. So what I'm trying to ask is having that build better or should i just get that build minus the two quad cores and opt for a single 6 core one. Thanks a lot everyone again, your making this much easier on me :) 


I would get a 990X and get your friend to overclock it. For what you would pay for two Xeons the 990X would match their performance. Also, a good dual Xeon motherboard is much more expensive than a good 1366 socket mainstream board. The extra money (if any) could be allocated to good quality low-timing RAM. Lucky you by the way!
March 26, 2011 12:11:52 PM

rainwilds said:


6. Get an SSD which will help with the constant loading of models and components. I would suggest the upcoming OCZ Vertex 3. Back your data up with two 2TB harddrives in RAID 0. In which one of the drive will mirror the other keeping your work safe.

Hope this helps!



In RAID 0 there is no mirroring and can make drives unstable. I think you meant RAID 1 :) 

March 26, 2011 1:22:09 PM

selas said:
In RAID 0 there is no mirroring and can make drives unstable. I think you meant RAID 1 :) 


Yeah your right! I'm just keep seeing 1 and 0s. :o 
March 26, 2011 1:26:09 PM

Everything sounds awesome !! So i will def get the 990X. Is the build on that website i put on my last post still work fine with it? I guess I'm concerned if the mobo will be able to take it or not. Also instead of getting the cheap quadro card i would instead get the 4000. If all goes well I may just start ordering now !
March 27, 2011 10:25:56 AM

Since you already have a system.....I would wait till LGA 2011. Its a mistake to buy an i7 1366 990x, when the replacement for that socket is within 6 months.
March 28, 2011 12:12:40 AM

3lvis said:
Since you already have a system.....I would wait till LGA 2011. Its a mistake to buy an i7 1366 990x, when the replacement for that socket is within 6 months.


Six to eight months is a huge wait. May as well then wait for Ivy Bridge!
March 28, 2011 12:16:42 AM

Yea i can't afford to wait that long since i need so start building my portfolio asap and i need the extra power that my current computer doesn't have
March 28, 2011 12:29:20 AM

shadowzero89 said:
Yea i can't afford to wait that long since i need so start building my portfolio asap and i need the extra power that my current computer doesn't have


The thing is; there is always a better chip on the horizon. It gets to the point where you have to bite-the-bullet and starting building. Though I must say that I am considering waiting till June for the new AMD Bulldozer chips to showcase. They may be very good because of their 8-cores for mainstream. It may be worth your while also.

Really it comes down to what is your deadline for a new PC. I can make the stretch to June.

Check the details out here.
March 28, 2011 12:51:28 PM

rainwilds said:
The thing is; there is always a better chip on the horizon.


Granted new chips are introduced regularly, however new "enthusiast" sockets from intel are far less frequent. The last one LGA1366 was introduced november of 2008. Since then the socket LGA1155 2500k and 2600k processors have carved huge holes in LGA 1366 sales because they perform better then all but of the most expensive 1366 processors. Socket LGA2011's architecture will need to perform head and shoulders better then both socket LGA1366 and LGA1155 to justify its expense. With 33% more socket pins, 4 memory channels as well as 40× PCIe 3.0 lanes I think they will succeed.

rainwilds said:
Six to eight months is a huge wait. May as well then wait for Ivy Bridge!

Another reason to wait for Socket 2011, Ivy Bridge compatibility. Ivy Bridge is expected to be 20% faster then Sandybridge.

rainwilds said:
It gets to the point where you have to bite-the-bullet and starting building.

That reminds me of a quote by Trip Hawkins 'At the end of the day you have to break down pick a platform and have fun!' CEO of the now defunct 3DO platform.

If you absolutely can't wait the buy a i7 2600k LGA1155 system. Sell it and upgrade to socket 2011 when it comes out. It will be far easier to recoup your costs on (6 month old tech) $330 processor then (2 year old tech) $1000 one. When you compare benchmarks the 990x @3.47 Ghz has a passmark of 10624 and the 2600k @ 3.40 Ghz has 9273 (87.2% of the performance for 1/3 the cost). If you extrapolate compute per dollar up from the 2600k, the 990x is worth a meager $378 (making it $622 overpriced).
All of which adds up to buying i7 990x being a huge mistake.

rainwilds said:
Though I must say that I am considering waiting till June for the new AMD Bulldozer chips to showcase.


Good call there's good stuff coming very soon... Intel has completed designing Ivy Bridge processors and is planning to showcase them during Computex Taiwan 2011 in June (probably in an attempt to steal AMD's thunder). I honestly hope AMD's bulldozer is a game changer, but I'm not gonna hold my breath.



March 28, 2011 2:47:31 PM

Forget the 990X it's a complete waste of cash. 2600K i7 gives comparable performance for 1/5th the cost.

AMD Bulldozer will be slower than the 2600K, forget that as well.

Please explore the possibilities of GPGPU and OpenCL for your rendering. The CPU is a very inefficient place to do 3D rendering these days. The GPU is far more optimised for this kind of work. Nvidia CUDA cores are dominating right now.

Other posters are correct in saying an SSD system drive and a traditional RAID-1 array for saving your work is the way to go.

I have created for you a simple, relatively cheap build with an enourmous amount of 3D rendering power with a monumental 1024 Cuda cores and 3GB of video RAM. If you render on the CPU it will be at least 4 times faster than your current Xeon setup, but if you learn enough about OpenCL and manage to utilise all of the CUDA cores, you can probably render a frame every few seconds on this beast:

Mobo $190
GIGABYTE GA-P67A
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128478

CPU $330
Intel Core i7-2600K
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115070

PSU $185
Corsair AX850 Pro
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139015

Graphics Cards $1000
2x ASUS ENGTX580
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121429

RAM $250
CORSAIR Vengeance 16GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820233143

SSD $210
OCZ Vertex 2 120GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227551
(Or, wait a few weeks and the Vertex 3 will be out, a few more $ but a lot faster)

Hard Drives $180
2x Samsung F4 2TB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822152245

Case $200
LIAN LI PC-A71F
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811112244

DVD Drive (any) $20

Total: $2365
March 28, 2011 5:11:28 PM

Wow this changes a lot of things. I have been doing some quick research and apparently GPU power is the way of the future so now i'm at a loss. Based on that i would have to agree with @Ten 98 but can anyone give me some more opinions? I use 3ds max with Vray if that means anything to you. Thanks again and sorry for asking so many questions.
!