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Animation/CG, Game Design on budget

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August 26, 2011 3:55:25 PM

Hello!

Quick summary of below – looking to spend around $1000 for a build more focused on Animation and Game design. Playing games is nice also, but the focus of the build is workstation power.

I have been reading many posts here and this is a great web site. I wish I learned about this earlier. Years ago I was building computers but have taken a long break, so I need a heads up on what I am looking at and the compatability and room for growth.

I am looking at a build that will be around $1000 that has all the basics I will need to start. (will look to upgrade video card and ram when I can) Taking what I have seen built here, DIYs at NewEgg and other comments I put this build together all items have great ratings and fit almost into a system around my price range. With that in mind I am open to down grades in certain areas right now, to fit in the finishing odds and ends.

Price change options that I can think of:
- Is full tower really needed for a strong system for growth? (or is it really for servers)
- Cheaper brand of RAM and/or go for only 4GB right now?
- Would like to keep crossfire/sli capability for later
- X4 CPU to save money for now? Then put more money into Video card?
- An Antec Case or CoolerMaster are good alone? (should I invest into extra fans, cooling sys?)

I can spend a little more because I will need to add some touches – hard drive, DVD dual layer burner, these though are of lesser importance to me. These seem to be things I can add in later, or is it better to buy it all for the set?

Case - Antec Twelve Hundred V3 Black Steel ATX Full Tower
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MB - ASUS Crosshair V Formula AM3+ AMD 990FX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Gaming Motherboard with 3-Way SLI/CrossFireX Support
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power - Antec High Current Gamer Series HCG-750 750W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V v2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Certified
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM - G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2133 (PC3 17000) Desktop Memory Model F3-17000CL11D-8GBXL
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU - AMD Phenom II X6 1090T Black Edition Thuban 3.2GHz Socket AM3 125W Six-Core Desktop Processor HDT90ZFBGRBOX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Video Card - XFX HD-687A-ZNFC Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit DDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM

Any help is greatly appreciated, I will be continuing to look at other people's builds here. Am I better off copying someone elses?
a b B Homebuilt system
August 26, 2011 4:02:45 PM

Does the 1000 include a monitor, keyboard/mouse?
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August 26, 2011 4:05:33 PM

I have a monitor, keyboard, mouse, tablet, some old external and internal hard drives, plenty of cables. Looking at the core components really.

That layout with a HD 6' cable will cost 979.93 before Mail-In rebates
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a b B Homebuilt system
August 26, 2011 4:06:58 PM

Two thoughts. The Antec 1200 case is, in my opinion, a pain to work in. It's not toolless at all, and it's showing it's age (only having 1 usb 3 up front). I'd look for something else in a mid-tower case. A full size case is not necessary. Definitely look for something that makes assembly easier. The CoolerMaster cases are great in this regard.

Also, I'd rethink the AMD intel issue. Right now, for your use, Intel wins in performance with the i7-2600k CPU.
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August 26, 2011 4:16:37 PM

Hmm I will definitly take a look at the CoolerMaster then, they do seem to be more user friendly.

AMD vs Intel is driving me crazy. I use to be AMD only and a lot of people say go for AMD. Are you saying Intel is better for the workstation vs the gaming of the AMD?
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a b B Homebuilt system
August 26, 2011 4:24:15 PM

There's not much really to the intel/AMD thing. Basically, for 100 more for an intel, you get significantly more raw computing power.
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a c 92 B Homebuilt system
August 26, 2011 6:30:33 PM

AnimWill said:


Price change options that I can think of:
- Is full tower really needed for a strong system for growth? (or is it really for servers)
- Cheaper brand of RAM and/or go for only 4GB right now?
- Would like to keep crossfire/sli capability for later
- X4 CPU to save money for now? Then put more money into Video card?
- An Antec Case or CoolerMaster are good alone? (should I invest into extra fans, cooling sys?)



1. Depends on how many drives you add in the long run. Full towers are great for storing multiple hard drives and CD/DVD burners, but you only need those things if you're going for mass production of your products. Otherwise I'd look at getting a large-ish mid tower with plenty of room to expand in the future.

2. RAM is so cheap that you could max out your motherboard with the full 16GB for less than $150. Doesn't really matter which brand - Kingston, Crucial, Corsair, and G.Skill all make quality stuff for not that much money. If you're gonna get more than 16, you need to add Windows 7 Ultimate. There aren't a whole lot of motherboards right now that use more than 16 - some z68s do, and most x58s do (and then there's EVGA's Classified SR-2, but no one needs that kind of power for several lifetimes... :lol:  )

3. That doesn't matter - pretty much any motherboard since 2009 is SLI/Crossfrire capable.

4. The x4 is fine, it's inexpensive and plenty powerful. If you insist on AMD then I'd suggest going with the x6 1055 - it's not that much more than the x4 and it's a pretty powerful CPU. If you want to go Intel - the Sandy Bridge processors are sweet, the i5-2500 should suit your needs for quite some time. And then you can always add the Ivy Bridge CPUs later on.

5. Both are excellent choices, and I just bought a new Cooler Master case. But if I were you I'd seriously take a look at what Corsair has to offer in this category if you want expandability, these cases have pretty much everything. They're a bit more expensive, but the expandability, interior room, and features these cases have are absolutely amazing. They'll handle any graphics card setup you might have, any power supply, any cooling system, you name it. The Graphite 600T is awesome, it's the case I use for my home system, and the Obsidian, from what I've heard, is an amazing full tower. Thermaltake has some really nice offerings in this category as well, but they're pretty hit or miss.
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August 26, 2011 7:07:42 PM

Awesome info, thanks g-unit1111

on 2 - RAM
Is it better to have larger sizes of RAM and less sticks, or more sticks (for example Four 4gigs for 16 or is some other config better with only 2 sticks)?
as long as it fits price wise 16gigs is ultimately what I am looking at for CG

on 4 - CPU
Going to the i5 or the i7 seems to be the more preferred for what I am looking at. I probably will put in the extra cash for the i7-2600 on the next idea for a build.

For the case/cooling I have seen a variety of people on this site use the Corsair Graphite 600T so I am putting together some specs using that right now.

With all this memory intensive hardware should I look at a better Power source? More than 750W?

Thanks!

EDIT:
To anyone who is awesome enough to give advice: I will be sans computer/internet this weekend. I will try to read and reply with my phone, but I can't say it will work yet. Thanks again.
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August 26, 2011 8:42:44 PM

g-unit1111 said:

4. The x4 is fine, it's inexpensive and plenty powerful. If you insist on AMD then I'd suggest going with the x6 1055 - it's not that much more than the x4 and it's a pretty powerful CPU. If you want to go Intel - the Sandy Bridge processors are sweet, the i5-2500 should suit your needs for quite some time. And then you can always add the Ivy Bridge CPUs later on.


with all due respect i think that is not a good recomendation. if this is a CG computer he will be doing rendering and a i5 2500 is not as good as the 2500k let alone the 2600k. to the original poster, i think you only option is to get an i7 2600k. i would definitely get the k model.
AnimWill said:
Awesome info, thanks g-unit1111


on 4 - CPU
Going to the i5 or the i7 seems to be the more preferred for what I am looking at. I probably will put in the extra cash for the i7-2600 on the next idea for a build.


make sure its a 2600k.

z68 board i want you want for quicksilver hardware accelerations

z68 board - 150
2600k - 330
samsung f3 - 60
hyper +212 cpu fan - 30
6870 - 220
case + psu - 200
ram - 80

total - about 1100 dollars and a system MUCH more powerful then any AMD solution for many years, including bulldozer.
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/287?vs=288
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/287?vs=88


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a c 92 B Homebuilt system
August 26, 2011 9:12:11 PM

AnimWill said:
Awesome info, thanks g-unit1111

on 2 - RAM
Is it better to have larger sizes of RAM and less sticks, or more sticks (for example Four 4gigs for 16 or is some other config better with only 2 sticks)?
as long as it fits price wise 16gigs is ultimately what I am looking at for CG

on 4 - CPU
Going to the i5 or the i7 seems to be the more preferred for what I am looking at. I probably will put in the extra cash for the i7-2600 on the next idea for a build.

For the case/cooling I have seen a variety of people on this site use the Corsair Graphite 600T so I am putting together some specs using that right now.

With all this memory intensive hardware should I look at a better Power source? More than 750W?

Thanks!

EDIT:
To anyone who is awesome enough to give advice: I will be sans computer/internet this weekend. I will try to read and reply with my phone, but I can't say it will work yet. Thanks again.


No problem.

RAM: Yes. If you have fewer sticks with more RAM, you leave room to install more later, but remember that all sticks must have the same speed and timing.

CPU - If you have the extra cash for the i7-2600K, then by all means it's definitely the best CPU on the market right now.

Case: The Corsair Graphite 600T is a superb choice, keep in mind that it is really big, but it will handle anything you can think of.

PSU: No. 750 is more than enough. PSU wattage really depends on how many devices you have connected to your power supply - you need more if you connect things like ten HDs, 5 DVD burners, some crazy custom liquid cooling configuration, or multiple graphics cards.

cbrunnem said:
with all due respect i think that is not a good recomendation. if this is a CG computer he will be doing rendering and a i5 2500 is not as good as the 2500k let alone the 2600k. to the original poster, i think you only option is to get an i7 2600k. i would definitely get the k model.

make sure its a 2600k.


I'm not quite sure I understand the difference between the 2600 and the 2600K - does the K version really make that much of a difference?
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August 26, 2011 10:04:32 PM

it means that the mulitplier for the clock speed is unlocked so you can overclock super easy. the 2600k will easily overclock to 4.5 ghz
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August 30, 2011 4:10:22 PM

Thank you for the info, the 2600k is probably too expensive for me to try and have it fit my goal price. I am looking the the I5-2500k for price reasons right now.

In terms of Video Card is there a recomended brand / size? - Keeping in mind the focus of the build a 1 gig should be strong enough right? If I remember correctly the video card doesn't affect comp. graphic programs as much as the processer and the ram?

Once I put another set up together I will link it here and see if people have any more recomendations.

Thanks again for the information.
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August 30, 2011 5:09:36 PM

partially incorrect. the video card has a little to do with rendering i believe is you set up hardware acceleration but the video card has a large influence on the viewport speed. for that reason a workstation card is lightyears better then a gaming gpu at this task.
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August 30, 2011 7:23:01 PM

What I am currently looking at:

Case: Corsair Special Edition White Graphite Series 600T Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Power: Antec High Current Gamer Series HCG-750 750W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V v2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Certified
CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500K
MB: ASRock Z68 EXTREME4 GEN3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
RAM: CORSAIR Vengeance 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMZ16GX3M4A1600C9
Video: XFX HD-687A-ZDFC Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity

OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM

All newegg, with current prices/deals end cost is 1044.93 before shipping and mail in rebates. The price is right on, I am just wondering if it is looking like it will work together and if anything is overkill/not enough??



With "labor day deals" coming up does anyone know of a decent monitor sale? I have one high res one but looking to have two. (current samsung)

Thanks
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a c 92 B Homebuilt system
August 30, 2011 8:42:37 PM

AnimWill said:

With "labor day deals" coming up does anyone know of a decent monitor sale? I have one high res one but looking to have two. (current samsung)

Thanks


Tiger Direct usually has some pretty good sales on monitors during Labor Day, check them, and Newegg as well.
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