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Aussie building an Animation/Render PC @ $1750 - Specced

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January 29, 2012 10:00:26 PM

Hi all,

First time builder. Completing my final semester of Animation with a big final project. Wanting to be able to do it all from home rather than at university, so need a lot of grunt in rendering and in general animation applications. Have a Dell Inspiron 530 PC already that is a few yrs old, so have a Mouse, Keyboard, Wacom, dvd writer and 2 screens (one wide, one 4:3)

A guy at work put this build spec together for me 6-12 months ago, just want to know if it is still good, if there is any upgrade worth having or any hardware that doesn't suit 3D Applications/Render:

i7-960 = $298 (MSY)
Gigabyte X58A-UD3R LGA1366 DDR3 Motherboard = $235 (DIY Computers)
Patriot Gamer2 PGD38G1333ELK 8G Kit(4Gx2) = $45 (MSY)
Corsair HX-1000 Powersupply = $275.85 (ARC Computers)
Gigabyte 2GB 6970 PCI-E VGA Card = $347 (DCA Computers)
Microsoft MS Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit OEM = $91.81 (ARC Computers)
Thermaltake Armor A90 Without PSU = $93.15 (GreenBoxIT)
SATA Samsung 2TB HDD = $125 (EYO Technologies)

Total = $1510.81

Approximate Purchase Date: ASAP
Budget Range: 1500-1800
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Rendering, and general Maya and Mudbox use most important, Photoshop and AfterEffects also important.
Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, DVD writer
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: staticice.com.au - any NSW store from those searches
Country: Australia
Parts Preferences: by brand or type: No heavy preference, maybe Intel over AMD
Overclocking: Maybe
SLI or Crossfire: Maybe
Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

More about : aussie building animation render 1750 specced

January 31, 2012 5:19:52 AM

Bump of my own thread as I added the spec I was given 6-12 months ago to the message.
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January 31, 2012 11:28:26 AM

Hey there. I'll just start by noting my experience is more in line with building gaming and general purpose systems. There might be different choices in some hardware that would better suit the specific applications and software you are using for your animation/ 3D/ rendering projects etc.

While it still perform comparatively well, the x58 platform has been superceded by p67,z68 and x79. Prices on setting up an X79 are pretty high (beyond your budget) making z68 a better choice.

To give you a few ideas of what a z68 system could look like (I'll link from PCCaseGear, obviously you can save a bit from your local stores, but this site presents info well):

Intel Core i5 2500K - $229 = High performance processor, easily achieve 4.0 - 4.5 GHz read more info at link
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

CoolerMaster Hyper 212 EVO - $39 = Easy to install and significantly drops CPU temps especially while OCing
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

ASUS P8Z68-V Gen3 - $199 = Quality Mobo. Again check all the features listed to see your covered.
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

Corsair Vengeance 1600C9 8GB - $59 = Dual Channel RAM for this platform from a reliable manufacturer. You might benefit from additional memory with some of those apps, something to look into...
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

ASUS GeForce GTX 570 DirectCU II - $389 = I've chosen an Nvidia card because of CUDA, which is a feature specific to nVidia, that holds advantages for Adobe Creative Suite Applications. More on CUDA below.
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

CUDA info:
http://www.nvidia.com/object/cuda_home_new.html

Corsair TX-650 V2 - $115 = 650W is heaps for this system.. any reason you needed such a high wattage PSU? Again reliable manufacturer.
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

CoolerMaster CM 690 II Advanced - $115 = Loads of feature on this case. Solid build. Nice and cool.
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

Seagate Barracuda 1TB - $105 = HDD prices are stupid at the moment. If you can get that 2TB for $125 sounds like a good deal. Is it a 'green' HDD? If so avoid.
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

OCZ Agility 3 120GB SSD - $189 = A lot of performance gains to be had by using one of these. Load times, caching etc. While this model reviews really well and is recommended on this website... they have had a higher failure rate than some other models... Crucial M4 is another great SSD, just more expensive. I haven't had any problems with the OCZ yet.
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit - $99 = If your picking up parts from many different sources... just check it out... some places are a bit iffy about releasing OEM copies of Windows if you don't get a whole (or most of a whole) system from them (particularly the Mobo).
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

Total - $1538... or there abouts it's getting late :) 
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January 31, 2012 7:56:26 PM

Thanks for the response, I'll admit a few of the terms you listed are new to me - such as the platforms (x58, p67, etc), but always good to go off and learn about.

I had an i7-960 in the old build, is the i5 2500K comparable?

The 1000W Powersupply, I can't remember, possibly because I want to run two monitors?

I think the HDD was 'green'. I wondered why it had dropped so much in price, I'm guessing the original Samsung HDD I was advised to get was not.


Thansk for the help, now I can go and bargain hunt!
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February 1, 2012 1:39:40 AM

Oh... Do you have those parts as listed in your original post? Haha I thought you meant someone put the list together for you 6-12 months ago and wanted to know if it was still ok.
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February 1, 2012 6:39:23 AM

Sorry, you were right the first time, a guy put the list together, never purchased the build.

Just asking if the i5 is $235 and the i7 is $298, if there is a a big difference, it maybe worth upping my specs to that (I can go a little over 1500)
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February 1, 2012 10:54:20 AM

No problems. Ok so that i7 960 won't work on the mobo I listed, but it would on the one you listed. This is what I was talking about with the different platforms (x58, p67, z68 etc). The i7 960 you listed is a processor to go with an x58 mobo (like the one you listed). The i5 2500k processor I listed is designed to work with p67 or z68 mobo. Oh boy there probably a simpler way of explaining it than that (sorry :)  )

Essentially there are different processors that work with different platforms and you need the right mobo to support the processor you choose. When Intel or AMD release processors with different architecture they sometime require the platform to be modified to support it. Often new platforms have other specific features like memory requirements, PCI-E bandwith and other stuff I won't go into.

There are a few i7 processors that work with the on z68 mobos, but they aren't the 960.

Intel Core i7 2600K
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

You can also get a version of this processor, the i7 2600 that isn't for OCing. No 'K' in the name.

Intel Core i7 2700K
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

The main difference with these i7's over the i5 I listed, is that their 4 cores are "hyperthreaded". Hyperthreading is a feature not very many developers have integrated into their software to date. Down the track, it could be more of a benefit to have hyperthreaded cores...

I recommend having a look at what the Veterans and Addicts suggest in other threads in this forum... with people posting new builds etc... that will give you ideas for different parts that might interest you.

And check out all the sytems that get posted in builder marathons on this site for that last few months (Keep in mind its all US)

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/overclock-core-i7-s...

BUT for sure post your final list to check for compatibility.
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February 11, 2012 10:38:05 PM

Thanks again Formata,

I've made an updated list based on yours and others feedback.

Decided to go with either the i7-2600K or i7-2700K (only $33.59 extra for i7-2700K), still not sure which.

I bumped the memory up to 16 GB, as I assume I might benefit from more for rendering. Not sure if I'd be better to get 8 GB that is faster, or just double the memory, like I have done.

I was advised that due to heavy rendering, and dual monitors, I need at least a 750 power supply, and possibly 850+ so went with a HX-850.

Managed to find most of the parts as cheapest at one place, so shouldn't have an issue with OEM Windows 7 purchase from supplier. I decided to pay the extra $20-30 to get it all at the one place, as I'm too lazy to drive around and bargain hunt for the marginal difference. For any aussie in Sydney reading this, the store I'm going to is ARC computers out in Silverwater.

CPU/Processor Intel S1155 i7-2600K Quad Core 3.40 GHz $325.00
or
Intel BX80623I72700K CORE i7 2700K/3.50GHz/8MB CACHE $358.59

CoolerMaster Hyper 212 EVO $39.00
ASUS P8Z68-V Gen3 $196.58
Corsair Vengeance 1600C9 16GB $107.54
ASUS GeForce GTX 570 DirectCU II $375.00
Corsair HX-850 $215.00
CoolerMaster CM 690 II Advanced $115.32
Seagate Barracuda 1TB SATA3 $99.70
OCZ Agility 3 120GB SSD $179.01
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit $94.71

Total for i7-2600K package $1,746.86
Total for i7-2700K package $1,780.45

I could have got the HDD for $20 cheaper online, but I'm guessing there is delivery cost there, and each of the CPU's were maybe $20 cheaper elsewhere, but for convenience, I've gone to one place (can find best price on staticice.com.au). So could get this package around ~1700 with a bit of effort.
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February 15, 2012 2:05:12 AM

Best answer selected by thorncraftb.
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