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Poorman's rendering Advice

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May 16, 2012 7:24:35 PM

So I've recently ventured into fairly low level rendering...I am tossing around the idea of building a machine to render things, just so I don't have to leave my laptop on to do it...Any advice? I'm not looking to animate feature length films or anything, and right now it is confined to rendering 3d models I have created. But maybe I want to have some expansion possibilities if I dabble into light 3d animation down the road?

what would be the bare minimum? Again not looking to spend a ton, as it is to basically feed a hobby ha. And I am not that concerned if it takes hours to render either...as that is the main reason to move to a desktop...start it and forget about it.

I think I posted this in the wrong forum! So sorry!! :??:  :( 

Thanks!! :hello: 
a c 136 B Homebuilt system
May 16, 2012 7:40:56 PM

Do you have a budget in mind?

Windows 7 is $100
I think you can make a very competent set of components for around the $600 mark , but you'd have to add keyboard, monitor , mouse
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May 16, 2012 7:46:40 PM

Well I think most of the Renders have relied on CPU over GPU. Although newer ones like MAYA for instance are starting to use GPU more. I would start out with a good cpu and if this gets serious donate some money for a good GPU.

Geek Approved just linked me this and it may be a good starting point for a cheap render PC

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

$130 for mobo/CPU combo add $30 for 4 gig g.skill ram and you got half your pc built for $160. Also it has HD Intel graphics to get you started.

Cpu - Check i3 fast and cheap
Mobo - Check - suports up to i7
Graphics - Check Intel HD Graphics
Ram - Check - G.skill has very high reviews on newegg.
HD - between 80 & 130 depending on the size you want
PSU - $50 ish
Case - $50 ish

So looksing at $375ish with taxes/shipping You can use the Linux Mint it's a free linux OS very close to windows design or tack on $100 for windows. Also Blender is for linux great modeling program.


Linux build - $375
Windows Build - $475


Leaves room for Dedicated graphics card if this gets serious



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May 16, 2012 7:48:00 PM

Outlander_04 said:
Do you have a budget in mind?

Windows 7 is $100
I think you can make a very competent set of components for around the $600 mark , but you'd have to add keyboard, monitor , mouse


I think 600 would for sure be in the range...probably the upper end. But yeah I would love to see it!!


I am kicking around the idea of running Mint/Ubuntu/some linux distro...main problem is Sketchup has no linux version...Kerkythea does. I don't know, guess I will cross that bridge when I get there. I'm pretty good with software and the entire linux stuff, or at least am able to learn as I go with that stuff...it's picking out hardware I always struggle with....seems so daunting to me. Thanks for all the help!!
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May 16, 2012 7:48:49 PM

c911darkwolf said:
Well I think most of the Renders have relied on CPU over GPU. Although newer ones like MAYA for instance are starting to use GPU more. I would start out with a good cpu and if this gets serious donate some money for a good GPU.

Geek Approved just linked me this and it may be a good starting point for a cheap render PC

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

$130 for mobo/CPU combo add $30 for 4 gig g.skill ram and you got half your pc built for $160. Also it has HD Intel graphics to get you started.

Cpu - Check i3 fast and cheap
Mobo - Check - suports up to i7
Graphics - Check Intel HD Graphics
Ram - Check - G.skill has very high reviews on newegg.
HD - between 80 & 130 depending on the size you want
PSU - $50 ish

Sets you up for about $290 + Case $50 = $340 closer to $375 with taxes/shipping.


Leaves PCI Express slot open for a dedicated GPU later on if you find this is something you love to do.


Thanks for the help!! I am going to look into that too!! $375 ish is pretty incredible!!

Edit: What should I be looking at for PSU as far as watts? (I think that's the general unit?) I know a graphics card down the road might eat up some more. Thanks again!
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May 16, 2012 7:52:38 PM

This will handle low end renders & leaves a lot of room for a higher end CPU or Dedicated graphics card if this gets to be a major hobby. so good luck.


Try linux mint OS it's very similar to windows and many good free programs like Blender in Linux.
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May 16, 2012 8:50:08 PM

The Case is fine, you can't go too far wrong with cases anyway.

With Cases what you look for is the form factor matches the Motherboard.
Your case supports : ATX & MICRO ATX
Your Mobo is MICRO ATX so your covered.

With PSU's you can't go to far wrong either. Both PSU's have ATX 12v Connectors and per the specs of the motherboard thats what it needs.


PSU you want to make sure you have the right connectors.

You need: 24pin or 20+4pin and a second 4pin connector. The Blue Rosewill should work fine.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

So looks like a nice setup there.

Feel free to wait for some others to throw their opinion in. but that puts you at the $375ish range with good reviews on your parts and you can easily put in a dedicated graphics card and i7 cpu later on if you need to turn it into a lot more.

If your new to linux and want to try it. Try Linux Mint it's very user friendly looks the closest to Windows.






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May 16, 2012 9:01:27 PM

c911darkwolf said:
The Case is fine, you can't go too far wrong with cases anyway.

With Cases what you look for is the form factor matches the Motherboard.
Your case supports : ATX & MICRO ATX
Your Mobo is MICRO ATX so your covered.

With PSU's you can't go to far wrong either. Both PSU's have ATX 12v Connectors and per the specs of the motherboard thats what it needs.


PSU you want to make sure you have the right connectors.

You need: 24pin or 20+4pin and a second 4pin connector. The Blue Rosewill should work fine.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

So looks like a nice setup there.

Feel free to wait for some others to throw their opinion in. but that puts you at the $375ish range with good reviews on your parts and you can easily put in a dedicated graphics card and i7 cpu later on if you need to turn it into a lot more.

If your new to linux and want to try it. Try Linux Mint it's very user friendly looks the closest to Windows.


Thanks so much!! See that's the part about the hardware selection I'm awful at, knowing what I need. The pin connector number is pulled from the mobo specs? And another thing I have thought about just going with a 60 GB SSD for Op system and such right now...but the one's I could afford are all 2.5" is that a huge problem, other than needing to get a caddy/carrier chasis to put it in case possibly. I really like the OS and program performance of the SSD's.

And yeah I will probably wait a bit, at least look at some of the others...but I do like the price on this setup. And I think I just was talking to one of the people at my University and am pretty sure I get Windows for free. So I might hold off on the Linux experimentation for a bit longer! :) 

Well, not free, they do take my left arm and future first born in tech fees every semester.
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May 16, 2012 9:15:11 PM

Linux is free too and linux mint is close to windows so free to experiment if you like. Less compaitability issues if you go can get windows though.

When you click on the Mobo and goto Details - Under Physical Specs there is one there called Power Pin - It says 24pin. Which means that your PSU has to have a 24min or a 20+4 pin connector to run that motherboard. Also in the Internal IO Connectors part it says it needs a additional 4pin connector. Thats why the first PSU you suggested works better then the other since it has a extra 4pin connector.

SSD VS HD

SSD has faster read spead.. means if your loading information thats on the SSD then it loads faster, but the Write speed is about the same as a 7200rpm HD. Which means that when you goto save a file or modify a file on your HD it won't do it much faster at all.

for the $$ you can go with one HD now and add a second later to use RAID to make them 1 large harddrive that works twice as fast. I love the SSD technology, but it's Value per $ isn't that great due to how expensive it gets and how small the drives are. Keeping in mind you wanted a cheap startup with long term potential i would go with HD. you can always run a HD & SSD both and put stored files on the SSD and files you change often on the HD. just some ideas you can't go wrong here either.

lol just finished by B.S. in CIT last summer so i feel your school fee pains : )


Another note on HD's your Mobotherboard supports up to 3GBps so you can look for HD's that transfer that fast at www.newegg.com or your favorite pc site and get the faster transfer rate you motherboard supports. you can use a 1.5 or 3.0 but get a 3.0 HD 7200rpm and you should be pretty happy.


Good luck and feel free to email/msg me if you have any questions.

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May 16, 2012 9:22:29 PM

On newegg this came to $359.78 with shipping, not including tax.

So pretty close to the $375 quote i mentioned. Good luck!
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