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New graphics workstation on a budget

Last response: in Systems
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December 29, 2011 5:01:16 PM

Hey everyone, I need to build a new workstation for 3D animation and video editing. I’m an independent filmmaker who works in both animation and live-action, and this will be my primary work machine. I’ve built 2 workstations in the past, the latter of which is 6 years old, and I’m still using it. I’m more of an artist than a tech person, and rarely have time to keep up with what’s going on in hardware, but I’ve done a bunch of research this week (a lot of it right here in this forum) and hopefully have come up with a build that could potentially work for me.

Purchase date: ASAP
Budget range: The least I can get away with (while still producing professional-quality work in a reasonable time frame)… right now I’m looking at around $1500
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Maya 2012- every part of the CG process from modeling to animation to rendering. Adobe CS 5- primarily Photoshop, Premiere, and After Effects.
Parts Not Required: Windows 7, keyboard, mouse, monitors.
Preferred website for parts: Newegg, Tigerdirect, and Amazon
Country: USA
Overclocking: no
SLI or crossfire: no
Additional comments: Portability is somewhat important to me. Not important enough to spring for a laptop with similar specs, but I sometimes travel across the country 2 or 3 times per year to live/work on-location in different states, and having a workstation that fits under the seat of a plane and is easy to carry through an airport has been important with my current workstation (which is in a “LAN party” case). That's why I'm trying for Micro ATX for the first time here, but would love advice as to whether this is a mistake or not. :) 


CPU: AMD Phenom II X6 1090T Processor $198
http://www.amazon.com/AMD-Phenom-1090T-Processor-HDT90Z...

Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-880GMA $102
http://www.amazon.com/GIGABYTE-GA-880GMA-USB3-880G-Micr...

PSU: Corsair HX750 PSU (CMPSU-750HX) $130 w/rebate
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Video Card: Quadro 4000 $739
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR3 $85
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD: Seagate ST1000DM003 Barracuda 1TB Hard Drive - 1TB, 7200RPM, 64MB, SATA 6Gb/s $130
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

DVD: ASUS DRW-24B1ST 24X $19.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case: Silverstone SG03 Micro-ATX $89
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Any advice from the community here would be greatly appreciated!
December 29, 2011 6:02:36 PM

The Phenom is a good cpu at its price point , and the 6 cores help it in rendering tasks , but the Intel i5 quads are more powerful and power usage is lower .

ASRock Z68 PRO3-M LGA 1155 Intel Z68 $110
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Intel Core i7-2600 Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz $300
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And a 40 gig SSD if you can [ and assuming it fits your case?] for caching . The Z68 chipset can use a small SSD to cache frequently used data and speed boot and loading times

nVidia say the maximum power draw from the quadro is 142 watts . Your total system draw will never exceed 300 watts , so a good quality 500 watt psu is appropriate . Make sure its MODULAR or it will be a mess in such a small case

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