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Need advice for building a 3D rendering computer

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February 22, 2012 12:16:04 AM

I'm currently building a 3D rendering computer for my pre- A+ hardware class. I know a good bit about building a gaming computer but no so much the hardware requirements for building a machine capable of 3D rendering. Price doesnt mean much for the initial build but im expected to half the initial cost for my final machine. any help on what graphics card(s) i might need?
February 22, 2012 11:29:27 AM

If it's strictly for rendering, you don't need a graphics card at all, as you will just be rendering stuff.
If your rendering SW supports CUDA or OpenCL then a graphics card will provide a good amount of extra juice.

However if you are refering to 3D design using real time 3D rendering then, AMD's FirePro series and NVidia Quadro series is the way to go.
SLI or Crossfire is generally not useful for it, you just want a card with plenty of video ram and good support for Open GL and that's what the above provide.
Their prices also go up to about $4000. ( like this: Nvidia Quadro 6000 )
or $3000 on the AMD front. ( like this: ATI FirePro 9800 )

If a consumer model will do, then the GTX570 for example is a decent card at a much more reasonable price in comparison.

February 22, 2012 3:51:23 PM

Quote:
However if you are refering to 3D design using real time 3D rendering then, AMD's FirePro series and NVidia Quadro series is the way to go.
SLI or Crossfire is generally not useful for it, you just want a card with plenty of video ram and good support for Open GL and that's what the above provide.
Their prices also go up to about $4000. ( like this: Nvidia Quadro 6000 )
or $3000 on the AMD front. ( like this: ATI FirePro 9800 )


Those are good cards but they're so expensive that I doubt the average student would be able to afford them. There's similarly priced Quaddro and Fire Pro models but there's no Quaddros in the $300 - $400 range unfortunately.

Here's a $1500 setup similar to one I just recommended in another thread - maybe this will give you some ideas:

Case: Fractal Design Arc MIDI - $99.99
PSU: Seasonic M12II 620W - $89.99
Motherboard: Asus P8B WS - $219.99
CPU: 3.3GHz Intel Xeon E3-1250 - $239.99
Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo - $34.99
RAM: Kingston 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 - $89.99
SSD: 128GB Crucial M4 - $174.99
HD: Seagate Barracuda Green 2TB - $129.99
Optical: Lite On DVD Burner - $17.99
Video Card: ATI Fire Pro V5800 - $379.99
OS: Windows 7 Pro - $139.99

Total: $1,590.89
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