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1000-1500 dollar desktop for 3dmax, rhino, cad...

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December 21, 2011 6:58:24 PM

I've never done this before... I need a start

Approximate Purchase Date: january 18th

Budget Range: $1000-$1500

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Rhino, Autocad, 3d max, photoshop, illustrator, indesign, opening pdf's, maybe a game or two like Skyrim

Country: usa

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: idk if it's necessary

I'm an architecture student and have been using a sony vaio laptop for the past 2 years but I definetly need to upgrade. The main thing I need is a desktop that can handle multiple programs running at once. Most of the time on those projects I am jumping back and forth from Rhino to max then to photshop and so on. I'm also annoyed at how choppy rotating a 3d model on rhino is on my laptop. And most importantly, for my last project I had to render a model from 3dmax using the hair and fur modifier to mimic grass and it took almost 20hrs to complete the rendering, i'd like to be able to do this much faster.

This is what I have so far:
case: Thermaltake SopranoRS VG7000BWS Black SECC ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

hdd: Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 500GB Drive (I researched the model number I have and I believe this is one of the hard drives with the software failure so I'm scared to use it)

I don't know if I need to overclock or not, I don't know if I need SLI or Crossfire, and I don't know if I should use a solid state drive or not.

Please help if you can, I need suggestions to make a desktop that works for me.

December 21, 2011 8:03:01 PM

Quote:
hdd: Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 500GB Drive (I researched the model number I have and I believe this is one of the hard drives with the software failure so I'm scared to use it)


You shouldn't be - I don't know what kind of software failures it has had so I'd need to read up before I could recommend something else. If you want to be safe go with the WD Caviar Blue (I own two and haven't had problems yet), then add a solid, stable SSD like the Crucial M4 later on.

Quote:
case: Thermaltake SopranoRS VG7000BWS Black SECC ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] =sopranors


I'm generally not a fan of cases with doors (I'll make an exception for the NZXT Phantom) - they tend to make installing drives extremely difficult. We've used a couple where I work, and I will say they don't have the best cable management on the market. For the price you're better off going with the Antec 300 Illusion or the Cooler Master HAF 912 (I use this one and it's been great so far). If you want to put a bit more into the case, the Corsair Carbide 400R and Fractal Design Arc MIDI are excellent choices as well.

Quote:
I don't know if I need to overclock or not, I don't know if I need SLI or Crossfire, and I don't know if I should use a solid state drive or not.


If you're not going to be using this as a gaming system then I'd definitely say no to all 3. My main reasoning behind that is my own reasons - me personally, I don't have the money to spend on new hardware should something go wrong (hence no OC'ing) and I generally like to play it safe with my builds, so I don't purchase any experimental hardware (like liquid cooled video cards).

Definitely get a good CPU cooler for sure to ensure longevity for your CPU. You don't really need SLI if you're not playing games since you won't notice too much of a difference - get one good, solid, single GPU like the 570 or 6950, as opposed to two lesser ones like dual 560s or 6850s.

Quote:
Please help if you can, I need suggestions to make a desktop that works for me.


Before I can - there's two things that I need answered. The first is do you want to run an AMD rig or do you want to run an Intel rig?

From my experience - I'd personally suggest Intel as SB is pretty much unparalleled in performance and easier to maintain in the long run, but the initial cost is more expensive. AMD's are cheaper initially but usually you have a harder time finding motherboards that work and long term maintenance is a bit more on the pricey side.

The second question is - do you plan to run multiple displays or not? This will be a big factor in determining what GPU you get.
If you want to run 2+ displays go with an AMD Eyefinity card, if you don't then go with NVIDIA.
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December 21, 2011 8:42:07 PM

First what ya got......

The 7200.11 had firmware issues.....7200.10 and 7200.12 were just fine. In the 1TB size, the 7200.12, WD Black and Spinpoint F3 are the big performers. Step up to the Barrcuda XT or Momentus hybrid if budget allows.

I'd like to get ya into a Quadro for the rendering work but budget doesn't allow for anything decent. A single 580 I think would do better for the rendering but the twin 560's would be better in gaming.... 40% more fps than the single 580. So pick ya poison based upon what is more important to ya.

For rendering and the other tasks you'll want CUDA so that rules out AMD cards which BTW just haven't been too good in my office even w/ 2 D drafting. SLI helps in some rendering apps (i.e Maya ) but I don't recall that 3d Studio max is so enabled as yet.

This is what I'd get for $1459....adapted from one of our standard builds.

Case - - Corsair Carbide 500R http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PSU - $ 90 - XFX Core Edition-850 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
MoBo - $ 210 - ASUS P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CPU - $ 220 - Intel Core i7-2500K http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Cooler - $ 50 - CM Hyper 612 PWM http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
TIM - $ 5 - Shin Etsu http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
RAM - $ 47 - (2 x 4GB) Corsair Vengeance http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GFX - $ 230 - Asus GTX 560 900Mhz http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GFX - $ 230 - Same

or single 580 GTX EVGA superclocked http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HD - $ 110 - Spinpoint F3 1TB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
SSD - $ 209 - 120 GB Mushkin Chronos Deluxe http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
DVD Writer - $ 58 - Asus Model BC-12B1ST/BLK/B/AS http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Overclocking is basically a given on SB.....I OC the office CAD boxes w/ 2600k or 2700k to 4.6 Ghz w/ HT enabled. The gaming boxes I do 2500k's to 4.8 w/ HT off. If not OC'ing an aftermarket cooler is a waste of time, money and effort.

With SSD's at $200 , there almost hard not to get one. the way Autodesk products insist on writing to disk all the time, less hourglasses w/ a SSD...the one above is the fastest in tier 3 (fastest available for 120/128GB size)
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December 21, 2011 9:04:36 PM

Quote:
With SSD's at $200 , there almost hard not to get one. the way Autodesk products insist on writing to disk all the time, less hourglasses w/ a SSD...the one above is the fastest in tier 3 (fastest available for 120/128GB size)


Yeah that is *SO* annoying with anything Autodesk makes. Revit's the biggest offender since it's such a resource hog and it takes all kinds of horsepower to get it to work properly (worse than CS5... :lol:  ).

Quote:
Overclocking is basically a given on SB.....I OC the office CAD boxes w/ 2600k or 2700k to 4.6 Ghz w/ HT enabled. The gaming boxes I do 2500k's to 4.8 w/ HT off. If not OC'ing an aftermarket cooler is a waste of time, money and effort.


Not necessarily. I mean like I said I like to play it safe with my builds and if the OP is a student I'm guessing he probably doesn't have the money to replace something if something goes wrong.

Quote:
For rendering and the other tasks you'll want CUDA so that rules out AMD cards which BTW just haven't been too good in my office even w/ 2 D drafting. SLI helps in some rendering apps (i.e Maya ) but I don't recall that 3d Studio max is so enabled as yet.


That's also not necessarily true - where I work we use a wide variety of stuff (and every Autodesk product known to man) and a wide variety of system configs. We've been able to get most AD products to run on way less than a lot of what you're recommending. I'm using an i3-2120 and I never use the CPU to its' full capabilities even on heavy redraws.

Quote:
I'd like to get ya into a Quadro for the rendering work but budget doesn't allow for anything decent. A single 580 I think would do better for the rendering but the twin 560's would be better in gaming.... 40% more fps than the single 580. So pick ya poison based upon what is more important to ya.


Yeah you'd need to fork over some serious cash to get any decent model Quaddro or Fire Pro. :lol: 

This is what I'd recommend:

Case: Fractal Design Arc MIDI - $109.99
PSU: Seasonic X750 Gold - $149.99
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3P - $179.99
CPU: Intel Core i5-2500 - $209.99
Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo - $33.99
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 4GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 - $43.99 each ($87.98 total)
SSD: 64GB Crucial M4 - $109.99
HD: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM - $149.99
Optical: Lite On DVD Burner - $17.99
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 6950 - $279.99

Total: $1460.79

I chose the Radeon 6950 for its' ability to set up multiple displays easier than 2 560s would.
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December 22, 2011 2:04:27 AM

I am looking into getting an intel i7 processor to help me run all those programs I use simultaneously.

The case I need to stick with is the soprano because I already bought it like 3 years ago.

So with the hard drives I need both a ssd for quick access to my autodesk programs and a disk drive for main storage?

For RAM memory I am assuming I need like 16gb

So I do need an expensive graphics card for rendering like a nvidea 570?
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December 22, 2011 2:18:22 AM

Quote:
The case I need to stick with is the soprano because I already bought it like 3 years ago.


If you already have the case, that's fine - you can definitely reuse it.

Quote:
I am looking into getting an intel i7 processor to help me run all those programs I use simultaneously.


You can get by with an i5 and be perfectly fine. You don't really need to OC it - personally the way I operate with systems and ESPECIALLY business systems is that you want to minimize system downtime as much as possible. OC'ing could cause tons of problems from BSODs to anything else you can think of, and you don't want to spend all your spare cash on replacing computer parts (and trust me I know from experience - it sucks :lol:  ).

Quote:
So with the hard drives I need both a ssd for quick access to my autodesk programs and a disk drive for main storage?


That's generally the way I run it. But with Autodesk programs they generally tend to take up a lot of room. So you could get by with installing all your applications on the secondary or getting a 120GB SSD but that could eat into your budget.

Quote:
For RAM memory I am assuming I need like 16gb


Yes - you will need 16GB since you will be working with some really memory intensive programs (Revit especially is a huge memory-eater).

Quote:
So I do need an expensive graphics card for rendering like a nvidea 570?


Not necessarily. Where I work we've used 2 - 3 year old Fire Pro cards and have been able to get by on current software. Actually we've been able to get by on way, way less. :lol: 
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