3-D Animation and Graphic Design Set Up

If anyone could offer some advice I would appreciate it immensely.

I am attempting to build a workstation that can:
a. run several Adobe CS5.5 programs at the same time while keeping a good pace. Some projects will be large in scale so I need programs like photoshop to run without taking too long rendering.
b. allow me to model/rig/render professional quality 3d animations. I am patient with final rendering but I want the programs to move quickly.

This is not for gaming. The only time I would use it for such is if I was testing out a game I helped to make.

I have never built a pc before and from what I can tell it would be cheaper than buying one from apple or HP.

I think I have everything I need but I want to make sure that I do this right. I don't want to build a pc only to have it not work.

This is what I have.

AZZA Solano 1000R full tower ATX case
ASUS M4A87TD EVO AM3 AMD 870 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
AMD Phenom II X6 1100T Black Edition Thuban 3.3GHz, 3.7GHz Turbo Socket AM3 125W Six-Core
ATI 100-505604 FirePro V7800 2GB 256-bit GDDR5
CORSAIR Vengeance 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
HITACHI Deskstar 0S03230 3TB 5400 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive (2x)
ASUS VW246H Glossy Black 24" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen LCD Monitor (2x)
Antec EarthWatts EA750 750W Continuous Power ATX12V version 2.3
LITE-ON Black SATA DVD-ROM Drive Model iHDS118-04

I know it's a lot to go over. I suppose I am looking for advice on getting good quality while keeping a somewhat reasonable budget ($2,500-$3,000). I also want to make sure that everything will work together. I did as much research as I could. I found it rather hard to actually find advice that was up to date, more or less.
I can not afford to mess up but I need the high performance.

Along with this I have some other questions.

I saw some systems linking two 6 core processors. Is this advantageous? If it is how is it done?

When looking into memory I wanted a lot, 32GB, but they came in sets of six while all the motherboards I looked at had only four slots. How can you add more memory?

I also was wondering of the benefits of linking two graphics cards. I intend to have two monitors but will this matter? If it does, how is that done?

Is an RAID connection needed for my requirements?

And all of the instructions I read seemed to lack telling me how to make my pc pick up a wireless signal. I have no ethernet port in my room so I need to figure that out.

If you know answers or can point me in the direction I would be grateful.

Much Obliged.
10 answers Last reply
More about animation graphic design
  1. Can you wait for the new AMD Bulldozer CPUs due in Q3?
  2. for rendering the intel i7's are better. also dont get a 5400 rpm drive. they are slower and just as much as a 7200 rpm drive. and with your usage i would recommend a ssd to speed up your programs.
  3. Thank you for your advice.

    I swapped out a few things.

    Intel Core i7-950 Bloomfield 3.06GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor
    G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 24GB (6 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333
    EVGA 141-GT-E770-A1 LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Extended ATX Intel Motherboard
    Thermaltake ArmorPlus(Armor+) VH6000BWS Black Aluminum / Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case
    HITACHI 0A39289 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" x 1/3H ULTRASTAR A7K2000 25.4MM 32MB Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

    I looked into Solid state drives but they are a bit too pricey. I might lower some of my RAM too and add more later.
    The six core intels are expensive too so its going to be a quad core until I upgrade later. I found an extended atx motherboard though so I can push 24gb of RAM which I am happy about.
  4. He mean the i-7 2600 or 2600K, socket 1155.
  5. yes i was refering to the new socket 1155. the 2600k is generally faster then the 950 but on par with the hexacore i7's. ram usage is where the 1366 socket has the advantage. id grab a 2600k and a good air cooler overclock it to 4. 5 and be happy.

    also grab a couple of these put them in a raid array and youll have a fast hard drive. they are generally accepted as the best bang for the buck

    also you might look into faster memory then 1333.
  6. So use an i7 2600k. Alright. So really the 1366 wouldn't benefit me?
    And what do I need to do in order to make a RAID Array? I know you need a RAID controller. But is there more to it than linking the hard drives?

    Is it possible to take two intel processors and link them somehow? I heard that was used in high end workstations.
    On a similar note. Should I leave the FirePro or should I get two cards of a little less strength and use crossfire to link them. I think that is what craossfire is, correct me if I am wrong.
  7. Okay. So I think I have it set. I did more research and adjusted some things to get this.

    COOLER MASTER HAF 932 Advanced RC-932-KKN5-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower
    Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core
    PNY VCQ4000-PB Quadro 4000 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Workstation Video Card
    ASRock P67 EXTREME4 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
    HP 24X Multiformat DVD Writer Black SATA Model 1260i (2x)
    SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - (3x)
    G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
    Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit - OEM
    Asus VE228H 21.5" Full HD HDMI LED BackLight LCD Monitor w/Speakers (2x)

    As far as I can tell it should all work together.
  8. looks good but wheres the cpu cooler? if you going to render you might as well overclock it to atleast 4.5 ghz. most people can without even a voltage change.
  9. Okay. Will any other part need additional cooling? I heard the Quadro gets hot but I dont really know if I can do anything. Is liquid cooling a good idea?
  10. Maybe get a cheaper case, mobo and PSU (you don't need 750W) and a bigger monitor. If you have a bigger monitor you can use a part of it for the preview.
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