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Proposed Motion Graphics Build - 4k

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May 16, 2012 4:30:08 PM

Here is a dual xeon e5 system I spec'd out. I'm looking for feedback and suggestions. I still keep hearing people telling me that an overclocked i7 at a higher ghz is more helpful for real time viewport performance, but that I may still want to go with lower ghz dual xeon for render times. Decisions, decisions.

Here's the specs, feedback much appreciated as this will be the first time I build myself.

MB: SUPERMICRO MBD-X9DRL-3F-O ATX Server Motherboard Dual LGA 2011 DDR3 1600

CPU(x2): Intel Xeon E5-2640 Sandy Bridge-EP 2.5GHz 15MB L3 Cache LGA 2011 95W Six-Core Server Processor

RAM: G.SKILL Ares Series 32GB (4 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)

Video: EVGA SuperClocked+ 02G-P4-2684-KR GeForce GTX 680 2GB 256bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP

HD: (x2)Crucial M4 CT256M4SSD2CCA 2.5" 256GB SATA III MLC (SSD) with Transfer Kit

(x3)Seagate Barracuda XT ST32000641AS 2TB 7200 RPM 64MBCache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5"

PSU: CORSAIR Professional Series Gold AX850 (CMPSU-850AX) 850W ATX12V v2.31 / EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS GOLD

Case: COOLER MASTER HAF 932 Advanced Blue Edition RC-932-KKN3-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower

Total Price: $4464.88
May 16, 2012 4:42:01 PM

That board won't fit in that case - you'll need an XL-ATX case like a Cooler Master Cosmos II, NZXT Switch 810, or Rosewill Thor.

You may even need to go 4U but the configuration there will look completely different.

Otherwise that all looks good but the gaming GPU will be useless - you'll need a Fire Pro or a Quaddro for that type of system.
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May 16, 2012 4:49:56 PM

What will be your computer use? Explain detailed please.
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May 16, 2012 4:59:02 PM

Compositing and 3D work, mostly in after effects and cinema 4d. I've heard a lot of debate about the quadros being overpriced, still using a gtx architecture, and the gtx 580 and up having more cuda cores for less money. On the graphics card front I'm going to defer to the guys on the adobe and cg forums, who are constantly bickering about quadro vs gtx. I may still go quadro, but it will be lower end quadro and people really complain about the price/value ratio at that point.

Thanks g-unit for letting me know about the case! I like the NZXT switch, but don't like that it doesn't have a fan controller. I noticed that there is no listing on newegg for an 'xl-atx' format, and the cases you mentioned are still listed as normal full atx tower size. Is there any way to tell if a case will fit the board, or a way to search for cases that will?
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May 16, 2012 5:04:22 PM

dbit said:
Compositing and 3D work, mostly in after effects and cinema 4d. I've heard a lot of debate about the quadros being overpriced, still using a gtx architecture, and the gtx 580 and up having more cuda cores for less money. On the graphics card front I'm going to defer to the guys on the adobe and cg forums, who are constantly bickering about quadro vs gtx. I may still go quadro, but it will be lower end quadro and people really complain about the price/value ratio at that point.

Thanks g-unit for letting me know about the case! I like the NZXT switch, but don't like that it doesn't have a fan controller. I noticed that there is no listing on newegg for an 'xl-atx' format, and the cases you mentioned are still listed as normal full atx tower size. Is there any way to tell if a case will fit the board, or a way to search for cases that will?


Fan controllers have been pretty useless in my opinion, I've usually found them a pain to install and never had the need for one but if you want to that's fine.

The Switch 810 will indeed support XL-ATX and is made for liquid cooling, which, while I don't normally recommend it, will be a far better deal for a dual Xeon setup than any combination of air fans will be. It's mainly due to how close the CPUs are together on a dual configuration. If you click on the details tab on Newegg it will tell you what motherboard formats they support.

I can kind of see the arguments against Quaddro - there's been nothing new in the last two years on the professional end and you get screwed on the higher end cards as they run $3K+.
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May 16, 2012 7:45:45 PM

Just for contrast, here's a similar i7 based machine I priced. Does anyone care to comment on possible performance difference between these two builds in terms of motion graphics work? I built this after being advised by several motion graphics hardware consultants that all but the very fastest xeon e5's are often too slow for day to day real time work, and I may be better off with a high end i7.

MB: ASUS Rampage IV Extreme LGA 2011 Intel X79 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Extended ATX Intel Motherboard

CPU: Intel Core i7-3930K Sandy Bridge-E 3.2GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 2011 130W Six-Core

RAM: G.SKILL Ares Series 32GB (4 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)

Video Card: EVGA SuperClocked+ 02G-P4-2684-KR GeForce GTX 680 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16

HD: (x2)Crucial M4 CT256M4SSD2CCA 2.5" 256GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) with Transfer Kit

(x3)Seagate Barracuda XT ST32000641AS 2TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5"

PSU: CORSAIR Professional Series Gold AX850 850W ATX12V v2.31 / EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS GOLD Certified

Case: NZXT Switch 810 - CA-SW810-B1 Black Steel / Plastic ATX Full Tower Computer Case with USB 3.0

Total Price: 3309.89
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Best solution

May 16, 2012 9:21:11 PM

dbit said:
Just for contrast, here's a similar i7 based machine I priced. Does anyone care to comment on possible performance difference between these two builds in terms of motion graphics work? I built this after being advised by several motion graphics hardware consultants that all but the very fastest xeon e5's are often too slow for day to day real time work, and I may be better off with a high end i7.


That goes way beyond my area of expertise but I can definitely see the pros and cons of using a dual Xeon setup where the single CPU i7-3930K configuration might work better. But the Rampage IV is massive overkill - you only need it if you're going to be running 4-way SLI and that's a whole different deal.
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May 16, 2012 9:41:25 PM

Can you recommend any other lga2011 boards with decent room for video cards and expansion +8 memory slots that doesn't have terrible reviews? A lot of them seem to have issues fitting bigger graphics cards without messing with ram slots, other problems not fitting heatsinks, etc.
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May 16, 2012 11:07:26 PM

dbit said:
Can you recommend any other lga2011 boards with decent room for video cards and expansion +8 memory slots that doesn't have terrible reviews? A lot of them seem to have issues fitting bigger graphics cards without messing with ram slots, other problems not fitting heatsinks, etc.


There's no such thing as a perfect board - there's so many different combinations of hardware out there that anything could make your system not work. You just have to pick one and hope that it works, this is the board I go with on X79 systems: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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June 18, 2012 4:00:14 PM

Best answer selected by dbit.
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