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Building a non-gaming professional PC - $2K budget

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December 20, 2011 3:02:23 AM

I need to build a new PC for a friend. The budget is $2,000. The computer will be used mainly for the following programs:

Photoshop CS4, Maya, iClone, Autodesk 3ds Max, Adobe Premier, and other 3D editing software.

I was thinking about using a workstation video card instead of the standard ones, but I wasn't sure of how much of a performance gain that would result in since I have never owned a workstation card.

Can anyone guide me with this? I need this PC done by January unless something much better is coming out that would be worth the wait.

Also, just a little side. This friend wants to stick strictly to AMD CPUs! He has his reasons and I'm not going to argue with anyone about this. He knows what he's doing, trust me. I know Intel would be stronger, but please just help me with this build using the strongest AMD CPU.

I tried putting a parts list together, but I'm not sure if I went with the best possible combination under that budget. I also didn't pick out a workstation GPU yet since I don't have much knowledge on which is the best. Please let me know if there is a better combination that I can go with that would still fit the budget and all the requirements mentioned in this thread.

Here is the link to the parts list: http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx?WishListNumber=14314614

Thanks in advance.

More about : building gaming professional budget

December 20, 2011 10:28:57 PM

Anyone?
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December 21, 2011 12:03:01 AM

I think right now is a bad time to build an expensive computer that isn't to be built upon the Intel SB-E CPUs. AMD's current CPUs are all either old and slow compared to Intel or new and even slower compared to Intel.

AMD is supposedly making large improvements on their new FX line (the new and really bad line right now) next year but I'm skeptical of AMD. Your friend may have his/her heart set on AMD but AMD should only be bought with the knowledge that AMD's top FX CPU, the 8150, isn't much better than the i5-2500 even though the i5 is $50 cheaper. go up $30 and you have the i7-2600 which kills the 8150, definitely worth another $30.

I also have no experience with professional graphics so I can't help there but AMD is not the ay to go with expensive computers intended to last a long time.

According to benchmarks the FX 8120 works at the same speed as the FX 8150 when overclocked even though it is much cheaper so it may be a better option. If your friend wants to waste money on a slower machine then at least waste money wisely (lol).

Don't buy a 2x8GB kit to get 16GB of RAM buy a 4x4GB kit. it will also be much cheaper without sacrificing any performance.
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December 21, 2011 12:10:04 AM

+1 to blazorth, unfortunately your friend is not very cleaver.
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December 21, 2011 12:11:36 AM

clever lol*
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December 21, 2011 12:30:01 AM

sod16 said:
+1 to blazorth, unfortunately your friend is not very cleaver.


I'm.. I'm so touched. No one ever gave me a +1 before. Thank you.

Seriously, with a $2k budget I would be thinking about SB-E with a 3930K CPU and an 8 DIMM motherboard to house 32GB of quad channel RAM paired with at least a decent graphics card, maybe two or more if they're cheap cards that support quad crossfire/SLI (a few cheaper Radeons support quad crossfire with four graphics cards, I don't think any cheap Nvidia cards do).

Throw in a high-wattage PSU, a decent case (I tend to skimp on cases to get faster parts), peripherals, drives, and a monitor and you have a computer that can qualify as king of the hill in performance.

Although to be honest I still have my trusty 19" CRT monitors from the mid 90s... They just won't die and I can't waste them.
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December 21, 2011 12:39:35 AM

If he really want to get a amd maybe he could try a Opteron since he has $2000 to waste on amd
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December 21, 2011 12:43:47 AM

steelhero said:
If he really want to get a amd maybe he could try a Opteron since he has $2000 to waste on amd


That's a good point I hadn't thought of. The Valencia Opterons (based on Bulldozer) are priced pretty well compared to the older Magny-Cours Opterons and most of the software you intend to use will probably use as many cores as you have available. On a side note the SB-E i7-3930K would be around the same price as the 12/16 core Opterons but is much faster than them too.
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December 21, 2011 5:39:32 PM

steelhero said:
If he really want to get a amd maybe he could try a Opteron since he has $2000 to waste on amd

I was also suggested this on another forum. Are you sure the Opterons would be better in terms of the programs he is using? And you know, CS5, CS6 and so forth.
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December 21, 2011 7:20:05 PM

i know it's better then the new fx cpus
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December 21, 2011 9:15:15 PM

Mo786 said:

I was thinking about using a workstation video card instead of the standard ones, but I wasn't sure of how much of a performance gain that would result in since I have never owned a workstation card.


It depends how heavy his models are. One of the main benefits of the workstation cards is they are optimized for handling denser meshes... millions of polygons instead of tens of thousands. There are also certain display features available on workstation cards (anti-aliased lines, iirc) that aren't on the consumer cards. If he isn't working on high end stuff, he'll never notice the difference between the cards. My big suggestion would be, if he is going to be doing a lot of video editing, to upgrade Premiere to CS 5.5 and use an NVidia card , there will be a vast difference in render times thanks to the CUDA acceleration.
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December 22, 2011 6:33:57 PM

Draven35 said:
It depends how heavy his models are. One of the main benefits of the workstation cards is they are optimized for handling denser meshes... millions of polygons instead of tens of thousands. There are also certain display features available on workstation cards (anti-aliased lines, iirc) that aren't on the consumer cards. If he isn't working on high end stuff, he'll never notice the difference between the cards. My big suggestion would be, if he is going to be doing a lot of video editing, to upgrade Premiere to CS 5.5 and use an NVidia card , there will be a vast difference in render times thanks to the CUDA acceleration.

Thanks for the tip. I have informed him to upgrade to the latest version of Adobe.

Now if anyone can help me decide between the Opetron and FX CPUs and if its worth the extra money.
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December 27, 2011 2:56:26 AM

Opteron vs FX, I would say it's worth the money. I don't use any of the software you mentioned but I assume all of what you mentioned can use as many threads as you throw at it. Multimedia software tends to use as many threads as you have available, from what I've read.

If not then you would be better off with an FX, but even that FX would be worse than the older Phenom IIs, which are worse than the oldest chips of Intel's core i CPU lineup.
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