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3D Rendering PC Upgrade

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December 5, 2011 12:09:30 AM

Hello,

My sister is a student who needs to use 3D rendering for videos. I don't really know anything about this field. Her complaint is that the rendering speed of her current computer is very slow. Here are the specs:

http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/Docume...

Which parts would you upgrade first? Any suggestions on affordable, mid-level performance products?

More about : rendering upgrade

December 5, 2011 12:59:22 AM

When it comes to rendering, the more raw power, the better. What are the specs of her current computer? Also, what rendering (and/or other software) does she use?

If the software can make use of multithreading, get a fast(er), multi-core CPU with hyperthreading, if available, and probably more RAM (say, 8 GB), assuming the motherboard can handle them. If overclocking is possible and isn't a scary concept to you/her, that would help. If money is not much of an object and and her software can use CUDA, a good NVIDIA graphics card would also help - lots of RAM there too and lots of fast processing cores (~US$150 or more). Depending on her configuration, you might need a new power supply for the latter.
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December 5, 2011 1:17:15 AM

My guess is its the graphics card. Its more of a gaming card than it is a professional card. Tell her to look at the nVidia Quadro 2000. Its not cheap, but it sounds like it will do what she wants. She'll want a professional/workstation card. Tell her to look at the nVidia Quadro line and the AMD/ATI firepro line.
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December 5, 2011 1:18:19 AM

MikeG72 said:
When it comes to rendering, the more raw power, the better. What are the specs of her current computer? Also, what rendering (and/or other software) does she use?

If the software can make use of multithreading, get a fast(er), multi-core CPU with hyperthreading, if available, and probably more RAM (say, 8 GB), assuming the motherboard can handle them. If overclocking is possible and isn't a scary concept to you/her, that would help. If money is not much of an object and and her software can use CUDA, a good NVIDIA graphics card would also help - lots of RAM there too and lots of fast processing cores (~US$150 or more). Depending on her configuration, you might need a new power supply for the latter.

All the specs are in the link. She has an i7 920 and a GTX260
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December 5, 2011 1:39:36 AM

Could you confirm which type of renderer (Vray, Scanline...) is she using? The requirements are quite specific to each renderer.
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December 5, 2011 12:31:45 PM

gmaster456 said:
All the specs are in the link. She has an i7 920 and a GTX260
Oops, that's what I get for posting past my bedtime. Wow, and she thinks rendering is "slow" on that system? What sort of systems is she used to working on? High quality rendering is computationally intensive with a capital I. (That's why hardcore enthusiasts use server boards with dual quad-core CPUs, and professionals use dedicated render farms!) A GPU with more cores would help, but given her apparent expectations, I'm not sure it would help enough to warrant the cost, especially if her software actually requires the drivers that come with workstation cards.
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December 5, 2011 11:19:50 PM

thanks so much for your replies, everybody. i really appreciate all the help. i will ask her what software she uses.
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December 6, 2011 1:58:54 AM

I still can't quite get over her thinking her rendering is slow on that CPU, unless she's used to using a high-end workstation, maybe. You might ask if she's sure everything is set and configured properly to make use of multiple cores/threading and the GPU, if applicable.
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December 10, 2011 2:50:02 PM

MikeG72 said:
I still can't quite get over her thinking her rendering is slow on that CPU, unless she's used to using a high-end workstation, maybe. You might ask if she's sure everything is set and configured properly to make use of multiple cores/threading and the GPU, if applicable.

Her graphics card isn't really designed for 3D rendering. Its more of a gaming oriented card.
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