I need to buy a computer that will be able to handle a ram-intensive 3d modeling program.
I'm not smart enough to figure out what components match other components, the major manufacturers test all this to get a high degree of compatibility that I see many home-built folks have trouble with by patching systems together, but I really don't know what one to buy from.
I don't care about looks (if I could I wouldn't even put it in a case, just put it in a cardboard box), or loudness, or whatever, just that it will be reliable and fast. As fast as possible, a lot of storage space doesn't matter I only need like 200gb space, I don't need a bunch of ports or a burner etc.
My budget is 1500$ and I'm looking for a desktop, I'll be using 64-bit windows 7 ultimate
Here's what the 3d modeling program creators recommend as minimums:
The main point is that the program relies on OpenGL.
• Windows Vista or Windows 7, 64 bit
• Processor – Intel Quad Core, i7 or comparable AMD - Speed: close to 3ghz (or greater).
• RAM – minimum recommendation is 2-4gb depending on O/S. Window 7, 64 Bit, (only) get as
much as is affordable; 8gb is great 12 to 16 is better.
• Video Card – presently: Nvidia GeForce (stressing the word: GeForce) GTX 500 series (and the
obsolete 400 Series). (The cards noted “TI” are questionable.) Also, the Nvidia Quadro 4000,
5000 (or 6000) series. ATi FirePro V series (only). (V3800 is entry level and not recommended.)
OpenGL is the default, and fastest, display mode used by the program so the video card must be
listed to use OpenGL.
GDDR5 VRam is highly preferable with all video cards/chip sets. 1.0gb VRam or more,
depending on the average size of projects.
• Key to the success of the computer operation with the program is a high quality video card/chipset,
a fast motherboard and the compatibility of all components. The speed of the system ram should
be matched to the FSB of the motherboard.
Roughly this is a nice build. Just need to put a DVD drive if you need it.
Plenty of system ram matched at the motherboard native speed.
A 2GB video card for displaying a nice and big 3d part. Sadly can't fit there a quadro card, it would be MUCH better.
A nice IPS panel and a PSU that have low power but yet meets your requirements, it's a very reliable one btw.
Basically $1370 dollars without the mail-in rebates. If you don't need the monitor, try to stretch about hundred dollars and change the Geforce GTX 560 + monitor for a nice Quadro 4000 2GB
Preferably you would want to have a Quadro or FirePro card in your system for doing this type of work, but you can still do quite a bit these days on a consumer card (just not a GTX600 series).
I am making a few assumptions on your build:
1) not overclocking, or doing a simple turbo OC
2) not interested in tons of the latest interfaces or ports
3) not gaming, not interested in SLi or xFire, just a single high end GPU
4) All prices are Newegg unless otherwise noted
Video: GTX 570 with 2.5GB of memory ~$340, but plan on upgrading to a pro card later if you can afford it (there is a huge jump in production performance between the 560 and 570, even you have to do the 1.2GB ram stick with a 570 GPU) http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...
CPU: i7 2600 $300 ($250 at microcenter), while not made for OCing you can OC the turbo boost (meaning power when you need it, but not all the time). I got mine up to 4.2GHz without having to change any voltage settings, just the multiplier. The new Ivy Bridge 3000 series CPUs are out, but they only add ~3-5% in performance while costing 7% more, and the motherboards that go with them cost more as well, that that is money better spent on the GPU and storage medium. Quite frankly if you do not need more than 2 SATA3 controllers or 1-2 USB3 controllers then there is little reason to spend money on IB until the release price comes down a little bit, or if building a system that relies on onboard graphics.
Motherboard: ASRock Pro3 Gen3 $105 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Ram: 16GB 1.5V ddr3 1600 (4x4GB configuration), your brand of choice $90-100. If you feel the need to get more than 16GB of ram then raise your budget a bit and go with a SB-E platform where you can get 8 much more 4GB modules, and the quad channel memory will help out a little (not to mention a 6 core CPU). 16GB of ram is plenty for most projects, and with an SSD your virtual memory will not slow you down a whole lot if you need to tap into it. http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...
CD/DVD burner: $20, all brands suck equally so just get a cheap one that matches your case color
SSD: Crucial M4 256GB $245 (~50GB for OS and a few programs, ~200GB for usage), HDDs are the bottleneck of any system, this will make sure that you are getting what you paid for out of the rest of your system. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Case: Aethetics aside, look for a roomier case with a bottom mounted power supply and space for 120mm fans. For budget builds I like Cooler Master Elite 311 and Thermaltake V3 Black (V3 Black is what I use, it is cheap, plenty of space, and relatively quiet). Both go for ~$40
Power Supply: $45 after rebate. A lot of people rag on OCZ's power supplies due to their less than stellar history. However, OCZ has purchased PC Power and Cooling which is hands down the best (most accurate) PS maker, and have learned a lot from the aquisition and the new OCZ supplies are cheap and work great. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
System Price: ~$1200
This leaves ~$300 for a monitor
Monitors depend greatly on your workspace, and your need for color accuracy. 1920x1080 should be a minimum requirement, 1920x1200 is pretty good and what I use for video editing, and anything above that is nice to have... but likely out of your budget. All monitors need to be calibrated, do not expect the best results when you first turn the thing on, you will have to play with it a little even on the best screens.
If you absolutely have to have color accuracy then IPS with LED backlighting is what to look for. Dell and HP make some of the best of these screens for a minimal cost, but they are still much more expensive than a traditional TN screen. If color accuracy is not an issue then you can get a truly monolithic screen so that you can work sitting back from your screen a bit, and not strain your eyes when trying to make out text and small details.
Dell 21" $225 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Dell 24" $340 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
HP 24" $350 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Acer $300 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212+, or EVO. + is slightly cheaper, EVO is slightly quieter, the cooler is the same, just a different fan. I got the EVO for my system because it comes with mounting brackets for a 2nd fan, but for your uses (and because you do not care about noise) the + should do just fine. On my system silence is a necessity, so I removed the fan that came with it and put it in my case, and then installed 2 silent aftermarket fans and could not be happier. With 2 fans it performs just as well as a $80+ cooler, and I spent a grand total of $45 on it and the fans.
HDD: If you feel the need for more storage here are a few guidelines; 5400rpm sucks. 5900rpm has good throughput (nearly as fast as 7200rpm) and runs silent, but has crappy seek time (perfect for video editors in RAID1 or 5). 7200 has a bit of noise, but is the standard on seek time and throughput. 10,000 has excelent seek time (for a HDD anyways), but not a whole lot better sequential throughput, and they make a ton of noise. While the SATA standard the drive adheres to technically does not matter (because even the fastest HDDs barely max out SATA1), the drives with SATA 3 connects tend to be more modern and thus be a little faster than their SATA2 brethren... just do not expect SATA3 speeds coming out of it. As far as brands go I like Seagate because they are cheap and I have had 0 problems with them so far (8 drives over ~10 years), but many like Toshiba or Hatachi/Western Digital better.
Or, you can run 8x16GB ECC in quad-channel if you feel the need to grow to 128GB
Either way, that should handle your memory bandwidth needs. Your issue really comes down to disk I/O, and the price of HHDs is not your friend as of late. A 60GB SSD for your OS/Apps around $75 is the best place to start. The Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB is currently the same price and beats up on that above Seagate 750GB.
Ultimately, depending upon your software, your disk I/O goal may be 2 RAIDs. A RAID for project files, textures, objects, etc., with a second RAID for output rendering. My point being that 4 250GB drives may be a less expensive goal for you over time than 4 1TB drives for RAID.
As far as OpenGL, you should verify that there are application accelerators available for you to gain the benefits of a pro card. Compute performance probably has little to do with it. The FirePro V4900 looks good from your standpoint at $164 with OGL 4.1 --- there are some 4.2 cards that are less expensive but they have GDDR3.