<$2500 3D Workstation

I know relatively little about computer hardware, so I'm definitely open to all suggestions and really appreciate any help I can get. I've been burned before by my own oversights when picking hardware for 3D applications, so I'm pretty nervous about putting together my own build again.

I also have pretty much no idea how to pick out a PSU, case, or cooling methods, so that will probably be where I need the most help.

I did read the "Guide To Choosing Parts" but I wanted to see if I can get some more insight since my needs are pretty particular.

Approx Purchase Date: 1-2 months
Budget Range: $1500-$2500. Lower is better, but I am willing to pay for significant performance gains and/or "future proofing."
System Usage: Pretty much 100% dedicated to CG work. I will primarily be running Mari, Mudbox, Maya, V-Ray, Nuke and Photoshop. No gaming.
Country: US
Preferred Website for Parts: newegg.com, any other reputable online source, prefer Fry's if buying parts in person (not sure why I'd have to do this, just throwing it out there.)
SLI or Crossfire: Maybe. I wouldn't mind having this option in the future, but I have no plans to buy two video cards right now, so it's not a deal breaker.
Overclocking: Probably not (not opposed to it, I'm just lazy and not experienced with it.)
Monitor Resolution 1920x1080
Parts Not Required: mouse, keyboard, speakers, monitor
Parts Preference:
Video Card -
PNY VCQ4000-PB Quadro 4000 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Workstation Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814133324
The reason that I'm leaning heavily towards this card is because it's important to me that I can run Mari smoothly. You can see the system requirements here. I compared these cards to the certified video cards for Maya/Mudbox and I believe that rules out the GeForce cards, leaving me with only the Quadro Fermi series cards. Since the 600 only has 1G of memory, I thought I'd go with the 4000. The 5000 quickly eats up most of my budget.

CPU/Processor
I have always had AMD processors in the past (for no particular reason) and would like to try an Intel processor for this build (also for no particular reason.)
I want at least 4 cores, but would consider paying for 6 if it's worth it.
I was looking at the i7-2700k, but I'm not familiar with the intricacies of 1155 vs 2011 vs 1366, so I'm open to suggestions. I read a couple places that Sandy Bridge actually isn't preferable for someone who isn't doing gaming and is doing CG work, why is this?

Additional Thoughts:
I'm basically building this workstation around the video card, since it was (arguably) the most important component for me.

Clearly, the more RAM the better, so my initial goal is 16G+. Mari needs a ton of space for cache files (easily 300G+) so I thought that I would go with a small SSD for the OS (and maybe some other things?) and a large HDD for everything else. Not sure if there's anything I should know about picking these components beyond what was in the "Guide to Choosing Parts"

I would like to have money left over for
- a second monitor (1920x1080, doesn't have to be top quality, so let's say ~$200)
- a new tablet (most likely an Intuos 4 Medium, so ~$350)
- a blu ray drive (~$100)

So I think that leaves me with ~$1100 after buying the Quadro 4000 (if I actually spend $2500.)

I have and might be able to re-use...
Thermaltake Armor Series VA8000BWS Black Aluminum / Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811133154
My current desktop is in this case, I can definitely gut it and use it for the new build if it's suitable.

RAIDMAX AURORA 2 RX-700F 700W ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817152037
This is the PSU in my current desktop. I started to read up about choosing a PSU, but picking one seems intimidating. Any thoughts on reusing this or what I should get instead?

I've been (and will continue to) read up a lot on various parts, but I don't have a ton of free time and there's SO MUCH to consider, so... any help is greatly appreciated!
5 answers Last reply
More about 2500 workstation
  1. hello op

    use the case but not psu because it can burn and take down your computor anytime

    i would suggest a computer with a psu of corsair , seasonic , antec , silverstone , xfx or at least ocz , coolermaster , etc


    Samsung by Seagate Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ/ST500DM005 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
    Item #: N82E16822152181

    -$5.00 Instant
    $89.99
    $84.99


    SILVERSTONE ST75F-P 750W ATX 12V v2.3 / EPS 12V 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
    Item #: N82E16817256059

    -$20.00 Instant
    $15.00 Mail-in Rebate
    $143.99
    $123.99


    CORSAIR Vengeance 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMZ16GX3M4A1600C9B
    Item #: N82E16820145347

    -$6.00 Instant
    $98.99
    $92.99


    ASUS P9X79 WS LGA 2011 Intel X79 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 SSI CEB Intel Motherboard with USB BIOS
    Item #: N82E16813131798

    -$20.00 Instant
    $399.99
    $379.99


    WACOM Intuos5 Touch PTH450 Small Pen Tablet
    Item #: N82E16823100090

    $229.99


    Intel Core i7-3930K Sandy Bridge-E 3.2GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 2011 130W Six-Core Desktop Processor BX80619i73930K
    Item #: N82E16819116492

    $599.99


    PNY VCQ4000-PB Quadro 4000 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Workstation Video Card
    Item #: N82E16814133324

    $749.99


    ASUS Black Blu-ray Burner SATA BW-12B1ST/BLK/G/AS
    Item #: N82E16827135252

    $20.00 Mail-in Rebate Card
    $94.99


    Corsair Force Series GT CSSD-F120GBGT-BK 2.5" 120GB SATA III Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
    Item #: N82E16820233191

    -$35.00 Instant
    $30.00 Mail-in Rebate Card
    $199.99
    $164.99

    Subtotal: $2,521.91


    use the case as it is compatible

    i cannot squeese a monitor as the blue ray and tablet is eating it up i can reduce on mobo and processor but it will hurt on performance and realiability :cry:


    i choose the ws workstation because

    1. it supports up to 64 gb ram
    2. it readily supports tesla and quadro cards than any other mobo
    3. it can be run 24x7 without problem
    4. if any problem its code will be flashed on to its led where you can quickly and efficiently solve the problem
    5. please look at this site for more features http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/Intel_Socket_2011/P9X79_WS/

    you can upgrade to a i7 3960x when needed and oc it

    the psu is enough for 3 quadros but u wont use it and it will save electricity as it is 80+ silver :D

    i included ssd to install your programs whill will load faster and keep data on that 500gb hdd :D

    it can be fully upgradable in future :bounce:
  2. I wouldn't use the old PSU. The case is fine but since it's the only thing worth keeping, I'm thinking keep that PC intact.

    LGA 2011 Build - $2192 - Includes 120 GB SSD, extremely fast large HD which you will need and the BR drive ya were saving for later.

    Case - $ 125 - Corsair Carbide 500R http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811139010
    PSU - $ 150 - Corsair HX650 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139012
    MoBo - $ 130 - ASUS P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131790
    CPU - $ 340 - Intel Core i7-2700K http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115095
    Cooler - $ 50 - CM Hyper 612 PWM http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103103
    TIM - $ 5 - Shin Etsu http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835150080
    RAM - $ 144 - (2 x 8GB) Mushkin Blackline DDR3-1600 (White) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820226314
    GFX - $ 750 - NY VCQ4000-PB Quadro 4000 2GB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814133324
    HD - $ 240 - Seagate Barracuda XT 2TB 64MB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148506
    SSD - $ 200 - Mushkin Chronos Deluxe 120 GB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820226225
    DVD Writer - $ 58 - Asus Model BC-12B1ST/BLK/B/AS http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827135247


    LGA 2011 Build - $2652 - I'd really like to see you in a LGA 2011 build but pulling the $$ from the storage subsystem to the CPU subsystem will probably decrease performance as no matter how much RAM ya have, AutoDesk is still disk intensive. So this still includes 120 GB SSD, extremely fast large HD which you will need and the BR drive ya were saving for later. ....no need for a 4-way SLI board since for rendering, ya won't see any significant performance improvement w/ SLI.

    Ya could save $40 substituting a DVD writer for the BR Drive, and another $55 on the cooler but the speed boost you'd get from the OC is well worth the $55

    Case - $ 125 - Corsair Carbide 500R http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811139010
    PSU - $ 150 - Corsair HX650 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139012
    MoBo - $ 330 - ASUS Sabertooth X79 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131801
    CPU - $ 600 - Intel -7-3930k http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116492
    Cooler - $ 50 - CM Hyper 612 PWM http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103103
    TIM - $ 5 - Shin Etsu http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835150080
    RAM - $ 144 - (2 x 8GB) Mushkin Blackline DDR3-1600 (White) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820226314
    GFX - $ 750 - NY VCQ4000-PB Quadro 4000 2GB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814133324
    HD - $ 240 - Seagate Barracuda XT 2TB 64MB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148506
    SSD - $ 200 - Mushkin Chronos Deluxe 120 GB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820226225
    DVD Writer - $ 58 - Asus Model BC-12B1ST/BLK/B/AS http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827135247
  3. He would need 4 sticks of ram in 2011 build :lol:
  4. NZXT Switch 810- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811146089 170$ this case will fit the huge Asus WS motherboard

    Asus X79 WS & 3930k- http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.832927 954$

    Scythe Mugen 3- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835185175 55$ this is lga 2011 compatible

    Rosewill Capstone 650w- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817182071 100$

    Seagate 2tb 5900rpm- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148681 120$ a large storage drive. speed is not necessary in a storage drive.

    Corsair Force GT 120gb- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820233191 165$

    Gskill 16gb 1600mhz- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231547 90$

    PNY Quadro 4000- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814133324 750$

    LG Bluray Burner- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827136241 80$ this oem actually comes with bluray software so you can actually play bluray discs

    Total=2484$
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