Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Advice for Architect's Rendering Computer

Last response: in Systems
Share
April 15, 2012 5:09:39 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: This summer

Budget Range: $2000-ish. If it's cheaper than an iMac and faster, then I'll consider a higher price, but the lower the cost and faster the computer, the more likely I am to opt for a PC over the Mac.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Rendering with programs like Revit, Rhino, V-Ray, Grasshopper, Sketchup, Kerkythea, and possibly 3DS Max and Maya. I will also use a LOT of Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign.

Parts Not Required: I need everything

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Whatever you guys think.

Country: I'm here in the USA

Parts Preferences: I've read about the new Ivy Bridge being the latest and greatest, but I'm definitely a newbie.

Overclocking: Hell, if I'm building my own computer, then why not.

SLI or Crossfire: I don't know what this means

Monitor: I'd like to have a 2 or 3 monitor setup because I run a lot of windows open at once and it helps when editing extremely large photos and renderings. This needs to be accounted for in the budget

Additional Comments: To start, I know close to nothing about building a computer. However, I have several good friends that have been doing it for years and I have a lot of time to learn and assemble the components, so I'm not too worried about the time it might take me. I'm a huge Mac fan, and currently use a Macbook Pro for all my rendering and adobe needs, but I would like to get something faster when I start my Master of Architecture program at UCLA this fall. I'm still debating the whole PC vs Mac setup, but if I can save a grand and have a faster computer with PC, it will probably win the debate, assuming it doesn't crash as often as I've experienced with other PCs. I've heard that the more cores the better for rendering purposes, in RAM and CPU, but have heard conflicting comments about the need for a good graphics card (which is where the iMac is lacking I guess). Any suggestions, or complete setups, please let me know. I don't need the computer immediately, so I can wait if any new and amazing components are coming out later this summer.
April 16, 2012 11:46:05 PM

Bump.

If it takes too long to make a full list of components, feel free to just offer suggestions as to the RAM, processor, etc. that would make those programs run the fastest.
m
0
l
April 17, 2012 12:05:59 AM

When looking at rendering you'll have to get all the GPU power you need but not in the gaming sense what you need is something like the quadro series cards from Nvidia. Don't know the ATI equivalent.

http://www.nvidia.com/object/workstation-solutions-nvs....

SLI or Crossfire means hooking up more than one Graphics Card in parallel. This is definitely favourable in your case. What workstation have you been using so far?

I guess you are currently using windows as Operating System? Important is the driver support of the programs you'll be running. Some programs heavily favour one brand over another(NVIDIA or AMD) as well as 32 bit vs. 64 bit.

You'll most probably want to have a i5 with something like 8GB of RAM and two Quadro cards in SLI. Might be a bit overkill and depends upon you using windows as 64 bit version. Hope that helps!
m
0
l
Related resources
April 17, 2012 12:14:09 AM

Quote:
Budget Range: $2000-ish. If it's cheaper than an iMac and faster, then I'll consider a higher price, but the lower the cost and faster the computer, the more likely I am to opt for a PC over the Mac.


Ugh... an iMac will not be good for rendering apps especially when many are Windows 7 and XP based, I work with CAD machines daily - trust me I know. You won't be able to run multiple displays with an iMac either as the built in GPU will only accommodate for one additional display and the built-in one.

Try this:

Case: Corsair Carbide 400R - $99.99 ($10.00 MIR)
PSU: PC Power & Cooling Silencer MKII 750W - $109.99 ($20.00 MIR)
Motherboard: Asrock X79 Extreme 6 - $269.99
CPU: 3.6GHz Intel Core i7-3820 - $309.99
Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo - $34.99
Accessory: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo Socket LGA2011 Retention Bracket - $5.99
RAM: 32GB (4 x 8GB) G.Skill Ares 1600MHz 1.5V - $209.99
SSD: 128GB Crucial M4 - $159.99
HD: 2TB Seagate Barracuda ST - $119.99
Optical: Lite On DVD Burner - $17.99
Video Card: ATI Fire Pro V5800 - $359.99
OS: Windows 7 Pro - $139.99
Monitor: 3 x Acer S211HLbd 21.5'' 5ms LED-Backlight LCD Monitor Slim Design - $129.99 each

Total: $2,248.85

A little bit over budget but X79 will give you that extra RAM boost because programs like Revit and MAYA will eat RAM for breakfast and X79 has a maximum RAM capacity of 64GB (96GB on some boards) and that gives you a lot of flexibility. The video card is professional grade and will handle 3 monitors out of the box with no problems - you can get different monitors, those were the cheapest 20" 1080p displays I could find.
m
0
l
April 17, 2012 12:38:15 AM

Thanks for the responses. That price is fine, as I can probably save some money on Windows software from school and find some deals on monitors.

I've read that Revit is 32-bit based and for some reason can only actually use up to 8GB of ram even if you have more. Any idea if this is true?

Also, since I don't need the computer until the fall, do you think there's a graphics card or processor (like Ivy Bridge) or anything else that will be the latest and greatest and worth waiting for?
Any reason you chose the quad-core i7 instead of the six-core? Is the six not worth the added cost?
If I decide to install Windows 8 at some point, will I need to update any of these components?
m
0
l
April 17, 2012 1:14:53 AM

Quote:
Also, since I don't need the computer until the fall, do you think there's a graphics card or processor (like Ivy Bridge) or anything else that will be the latest and greatest and worth waiting for?


I don't know if Ivy Bridge will make a significant dent in performance on a rendering build or not - IB-E (the successor to SB-E) might be out then and it will be based on the 22nm Haswell process so you might see better performance there.

Quote:
Any reason you chose the quad-core i7 instead of the six-core? Is the six not worth the added cost?


Not all applications use six-core - a few do, but there's not very many. Even full-load Revit rendering jobs will only use quad at the most. If you want to use the 3930K there's some areas where it will be worth the additional cost but you won't notice it at first.

Quote:
If I decide to install Windows 8 at some point, will I need to update any of these components?


No - just the drivers. I wouldn't bother with Windows 8 yet - it's just Vista with a cell phone interface, programmers have got to learn sooner or later that not everything can run on apps - desktop computers aren't cell phones.
m
0
l
August 26, 2012 4:30:31 PM

It's probably late to respond to this, but BUY A NOTEBOOK!!!
Dell mobile workstation or preferably a boxx tech mobile workstation (configured to budget). They may cost a little more but definitely worth the ability to work on your design studio project in studio, at home, in structures, etc. Can always run a second monitor where ever your primary work zone ends up being. I used an Alienware workstation class notebook (2009-only made one year) and loved it. It had a dual core, 8 gb of ram, a high end nvidia quaddro and it could run all the standard architecture school programs while rendering in maxwell render. Building your own is fun but requires the know-how to troubleshoot an array of potential problems without any type of real tech support.
m
0
l
!