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Need new rig for 3d anim/rendering/gaming ~$1500-1800 CDN

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January 25, 2012 2:24:07 PM

Hey guys, I've been rocking a core2duo for the past 4 years, think its definitely time for an upgrade. I'm going into the 3d animation/game production field so I'll be running a lot of games as well as 3dS max, maya, softimage, zbrush, UDK, all that fun stuff. Ideally I'd like a system that'll hold up for at least 3-4 more years without failing on me, but I haven't kept up with technology so I'm gonna need some hardcore help :) 


Approximate Purchase Date: ranging from this week to the next two weeks

Budget Range: EDIT: Willing to spend between $1500-1800 at this point

System Usage from Most to Least Important: 3d modelling/texturing/rendering, gaming (multitasking/running multiple software efficiently is a significant bullet point)

Parts Not Required: I've got pretty decent hardware outside of the CPU, just need the contents of it (and the case itself), hard drives can be reused,
(Also, I have 2x Corsair XMS2's (4GB) already (These ones) should I keep them? or are there better alternatives for a good price? )

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.ca, ideally

Country: Canada

Parts Preferences: processor wise, I'd like to stick with intel. GPU wise, nVidia.

Overclocking: Probably not

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe, if I can do without it all the better, but if its worth it under my budget, I'll go for it.

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 (don't need a monitor though)

Additional Comments: quiet, good temperature control, fan cooling, ~4 front USB jacks ideal, if I wanna skimp on one thing it'd be the sound card, don't need anything fancy in that regard. OS Windows 7


I hope this is realistic enough. I don't need a top-of-the-line system, just one that will be able to handle many of the tasks effectively and *hopefully* last a few more years


Thanks!!
January 25, 2012 2:38:43 PM

can you re-use your old hard drives and PSU? 500 is a very tight budget for what you want to do. Also, do you have an OS?
January 25, 2012 2:44:59 PM

If you just wanted to use Zbrush (which is brilliant in itself) you could get away with a good CPU and 8GB RAM (doesn't actually use the GPU much at all) but for decent performance in Max/Maya etc you will need a more powerful machine than your budget will allow. If you want to test your characters/scene assets etc in the gaming environment you will need a powerful GPU, at least a GTX560 Ti.
Related resources
January 25, 2012 2:46:50 PM

ebola28: yeah, I can definitely reuse my hard drives. I might need to upgrade PSU's, I believe mine is 600W or 700W at the moment. Also, 500 is just the minimum, and I don't think I should be super strict about it if I need to spend a bit more to get what I would require :) 

Windows 7, OS wise.



Trist_58: I'm currently just learning the software, so I don't think I will be doing hardcore testing anytime soon, but I was hoping for something that'll hold up when I finish school and start working; something that's easily upgradeable to a higher end machine without doing a complete overhaul, is that a realistic way to look at it at all? heh
January 25, 2012 2:51:37 PM

An SSD will greatly benefit your 3D apps too.
January 25, 2012 3:20:04 PM

Kolinkc, If it were me building for this purpose my priorities would be:

1: CPU (I have an older i7 860 which still holds up pretty well in Max)
2: RAM at least 8GB of it
3: decent GPU (most important for viewport responsiveness in your 3D apps)

Of course if you want to upgrade later rather than a complete overhaul get a mobo that will be compatible with future tech, such a Ivy Bridge cpu's, Sata III and multiple graphics card slots etc...

January 25, 2012 4:53:44 PM

ideally, you would have a 2600k, but that would destroy your budget. you can always start with an i3 2100 and as your schooling gets more advanced and your system cant handle the rendering, upgrade to the 2600k or by that time, ivybridge.

This would let you get a solid build (case, mobo, psu, OS, ram, GPU). then upgrade your CPU and GPU as needed.
January 29, 2012 1:10:49 PM

thanks, I think I'm seeing the scope of things more now, would it help if I doubled my budget to about $1500-1800? would I be able to build a lasting system for professional use with that amount? or would you guys recommend waiting until I'm able to afford $$3000+?
January 29, 2012 1:59:04 PM

you can build a good system for that budget.my suggestion-
cpu-2600k
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
case-HAF 922
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
psu-antec 900w high current
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
ram-vengeance 8GB
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...
mobo-P8z68 pro/gen3
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
cooerl-5X performa
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1683...
ssd-crucial m4 128GB ssd
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...
explaination-
hyperthreading will benefit you so go with 2600k.
HAF 922 is a great case.good airflow,huge and looks sexy.
Antec is a reputed brand.900w will do fine with any crossfire or SLi setup.that's a good psu.
8GB is enough ram.
you can get cheaper motherboards but i would suggest Asus cause they are known for their quality and performance.that's a really good mobo.pci-3.0 will leave room for upgrades.
m4 is not the fastest but one of the most reliable and quality SSD available.i have one and it's awesome.
for video card,you can easily arrange a 7970 in your budget but i saw you parts preference towards nvidia so gtx 580 twinfrozer is your best bet.
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
OR if you want to try ATi than-
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
that gigabyte cooler will keep your temps down when you are enjoying your rig :D 
no need for spending 3k unless you are building a x79 workstation!
January 29, 2012 2:01:02 PM

1500-1800 would be great. 3000+ you are talking about true professional duel xeon processor setup
January 30, 2012 5:28:47 PM

hellfire24 said:
you can build a good system for that budget.my suggestion-
cpu-2600k
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
case-HAF 922
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
psu-antec 900w high current
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
ram-vengeance 8GB
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...
mobo-P8z68 pro/gen3
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
cooerl-5X performa
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1683...
ssd-crucial m4 128GB ssd
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...
explaination-
hyperthreading will benefit you so go with 2600k.
HAF 922 is a great case.good airflow,huge and looks sexy.
Antec is a reputed brand.900w will do fine with any crossfire or SLi setup.that's a good psu.
8GB is enough ram.
you can get cheaper motherboards but i would suggest Asus cause they are known for their quality and performance.that's a really good mobo.pci-3.0 will leave room for upgrades.
m4 is not the fastest but one of the most reliable and quality SSD available.i have one and it's awesome.
for video card,you can easily arrange a 7970 in your budget but i saw you parts preference towards nvidia so gtx 580 twinfrozer is your best bet.
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
OR if you want to try ATi than-
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
that gigabyte cooler will keep your temps down when you are enjoying your rig :D 
no need for spending 3k unless you are building a x79 workstation!


Thank you guys for all the help, and thanks a lot hellfire24! I think I'm definitely gonna work with that build, though I'm wondering if its acceptable to cheap out on the case at all as I think I'm gonna need to divert some funds toward a non-Solid state on top of the SSD to compensate for storage purposes etc. Are there are cheaper but decent enough alternatives to the HAF (even if it looks crappy)? or is it the best bang for the buck?

I would like to stick with nvidia since I'll be using the unreal engine quite a bit i figure, and from what i read nvidia has a better track record with it.

I'm gonna check around a bit, but I think I'll be pretty happy with how this will turn out :)  Thank you again!
February 1, 2012 2:42:33 PM

thanks again! but I decided to go with your original build (haf922 and gtx) already, placed the order couple days ago already heh
February 2, 2012 2:56:55 AM

no problem!have a good time.
!