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Helping building a custom PC for Games Design

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June 23, 2011 5:26:29 PM

Hello,
I do Games Design, and im specialising in 3D modelling, specifically in 3DS Max. I want to invest in a capable PC that will be able to cope with the amount of 3D work i will be doing on my course and in the near future. I don't know too much about custom building computers so i'd really appreciate it if someone could help me with what i'd need according to the Spec below. Like what i need to approach a custom pc builder person with. Also i have no idea which graphics card to choose. Failing this, at least a rough quote of how much i'd need to save up would be extremely appreciated! Thanks

The System requirements that 3Ds says i need to have at least is

Operating system: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional x64, Microsoft Windows Vista Business x64 (SP2 or higher), or Microsoft Windows XP Professional x64 (SP3 or higher)

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 8.0 or higher or Mozilla Firefox 3.0 or higher browser
Internet connection for web downloads and Autodesk Subscription-aware access

* Autodesk 3ds Max and 3ds Max Design 2012 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 2012 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 Microsoft 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 2012 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 recommended for the most complex scenes, shaders, and lighting modes.

The integrated iray® rendering technology from mental images runs well on CPU processing alone but can be accelerated by NVIDIA GPU CUDA technology
June 24, 2011 9:03:14 PM

Hey there i think i can help, I dont do 3d modelling however into building gaming rigs.

Scanning over what the recommendations are i think its best to use a Nvidia gpu.

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/255699 - This will do everything you need unless you also want to play games maxxed out on multi screens or something (1GB memory)

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/247677 - 8GB DDR3 RAM

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/251596 - One of the best Sandy Bridge cpu's for gaming/budget

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/260185 - (Sandy Bridge)

This build is suitable for what you need and will last a good couple years , id also suggest buying a additional cpu cooler and overclock to (4ghz). If this is not needed you can just buy the standard i5 2500 without the (k) which means its unlockable.

A 600w PSU will be enough and a well cooled case will leave you with a really nice rig
June 25, 2011 12:52:37 AM

What Dark suggested is a good investment. You are generally going to want hardware along those lines. You'll want plenty of RAM, 8GB's at least! A DX11 video card, a quad core processor, and a large HDD to store everything on.

For a processor, I would recommend you grab a Core i7. Since you are doing professional work you mine as well equip yourself with an i7. You may need it down the road for hyper threading and stuff. [lol] But seriously, I would grab an i7 if I were you.

Since you said you don't know much about PC building you have to make sure you select a CPU that will fit into your motherboard. Some people buy processors that won't fit into the motherboard. If that happens you're going to be sorry. Make sure the CPU and motherboard are compatable.

For Intel, they use socket numbers such as: 1156, 1155, 1366. Make sure your processor socket number matches your motherboard socket number and you will be fine.

AMD uses its own system that is far less confusing. AM3 processors for AM3 boards. Its the same process as Intel's its just less BS to deal with. However you are going to want to buy Intel as AMD is pretty much not what you're looking for.

As for OS's, there really isn't much difference between what branch you pick from. W7 is W7. Just grab a 64bit edition. Don't buy XP or Vista. Grab W7.

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June 26, 2011 1:13:39 AM

Thanks!! :)  This helps a lot
June 26, 2011 11:14:49 AM

ATI Firepro V8800

Would this be a good graphics card to use??
June 26, 2011 3:55:48 PM

Emily89 said:
ATI Firepro V8800

Would this be a good graphics card to use??


I wouldn't buy that for the price. Then again, I don't really know much about the work you do on your soon to be workstation. I would ask around with people you know in real life in your field of work. They would know best on that matter. I don't know much about those cards other than they are really really expensive. I read the specs. They claim to be users for CAD and programs of that nature which you seem to be interested in. I don't see how they could be that much different though than any other GPU in the same performance field.

You could probably get away with a 6970, GTX 580, or a 5970 and not lose any performance whatsoever and save money at the same time in comparison to the Firepro V8800. Again, I have to stress that I don't know much about "workstation" video cards other than they are super expensive. Ask people in your field of study, they should know best about it.
June 26, 2011 5:06:42 PM

If I am not mistaken the only difference between professional graphics cards and their gaming counterparts is that the pro cards are designed to work better with your professional applications than the traditional gaming video card. The main difference is when you pay for the workstation card you get better support from the company and you are also paying a premium for the drivers.

Personally for school I would just get a good video card within your budget. The programs you run should work great on any gaming PC and just fine on most standard workstation PCs. If you want to go crazy and get the best then, by all means, it's a good investment if you are serious about it. I wouldn't be TOO concerned with a workstation card unless you can afford it right now though.
June 26, 2011 7:22:29 PM

HippieMagic said:
If I am not mistaken the only difference between professional graphics cards and their gaming counterparts is that the pro cards are designed to work better with your professional applications than the traditional gaming video card. The main difference is when you pay for the workstation card you get better support from the company and you are also paying a premium for the drivers.

Personally for school I would just get a good video card within your budget. The programs you run should work great on any gaming PC and just fine on most standard workstation PCs. If you want to go crazy and get the best then, by all means, it's a good investment if you are serious about it. I wouldn't be TOO concerned with a workstation card unless you can afford it right now though.


In other words, get a regular card. GTX 580, GTX 570, 6970, 6950, etc. An extra $500+ for just better drivers and optimization for a few apps is just stupid.
!