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.
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