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Rate/Advice: $3000 Architecture Build

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Last response: in Systems
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June 10, 2012 7:25:02 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: Monday, as soon as I'm disappointed with Apple's new iMac offering.
Budget Range: $3000
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Rendering in VRay, Revit, Rhino, Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator. Possibly 3DS Max and/or Maya
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: NewEgg seems to have the best prices, but whatever is cheapest is fine with me

Additional Comments: This is my first computer build, but I have a friend that builds them all the time and will be helping me. I'll be using this computer for the next 3-5 years when I enter the Master of Architecture program at UCLA this fall. I've been using a 2009 Macbook Pro 17" for all of my rendering and Photoshop needs, and it's worked great but I'd like to have a powerhouse to speed up my work time, so I think it's time to build my own Windows. I've searched high and low but can seem to find a definitive answer as to the CPU vs GPU debate when rendering. The build below has a large portion going to the FirePro v7900 which I can save quite a bit of money if the GPU is not as important and maybe put that money to better use somewhere else.


Case: Corsair Special Edition White Graphite Series 600T
$150 I've never done a build before, so I'm not sure if this is too small/big but I love the design, which is important to me. There are certainly cheaper cases though, so what do you think?

Motherboard: ASRock X79 Extreme6/GB LGA 2011 Intel X79 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
$270

CPU: Intel Core i7-3820 Sandy Bridge-E 3.6GHz
$300 Is it worth it to get a cheaper GPU and increase the CPU to a 6-core?

GPU: AMD FirePro V7900 2GB 256-bit GDDR5
$690 Here's the largest single price in the build. Is it worth it or will the GPU just pass rendering onto the CPU when it gets down to work?

Hard Drive 1: Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD2 2.5" 128GB
$125 Is 128gb enough for the OS, Revit, Rhino, CS5/6, etc.?

Hard Drive 2: Seagate Barracuda Green ST2000DL003 2TB 5900 RPM
$120 Will I see a big difference in this 5900rpm instead of a 7200rpm?

RAM: G.SKILL Ares Series 32GB (4 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3
$200

Cooling: Intel BXRTS2011LC Liquid-cooled Thermal Solution For the LGA2011 Socket
$80

Fans: COUGAR CF-V12HP Vortex Hydro-Dynamic-Bearing 12CM
$17x4 My friend suggested having four of these, but if the case comes with fans, do I really need all these?

Fan Control: NZXT Sentry-2 5.25" Touch Screen Fan Controller
$25

Power Supply: COOLER MASTER Silent Pro Gold Series RS800-80GAD3-US 800W
$160

Keyboard: Logitech G110 Black USB Wired LED Backlighting Gaming Keyboard
$60 I like that it has the G keys so that I can assign tools to them for programs like Rhino and Photoshop.

Card Reader: AFT PRO-57U All-in-one USB 3.0 5.25" Media Card Reader
$62 This seems pretty steep, but it was the only one I could find that would attach to the front bay. Any cheaper alternatives?

ODD: LITE-ON DVD Burner
$18

Screen: Dell UltraSharp U2412M Black IPS Panel 24"
$310x2 I might just buy one of these and see if it's worth it to purchase another for the two monitor setup.

So that's what I have so far. If you have any comments, suggestions, or can answer any of my questions, please let me know. Thanks!

More about : rate advice 3000 architecture build

June 11, 2012 4:58:21 AM

I think I've decided to go with the cheaper FirePro V5900 which will save me about $250. I saw some benchmarks and it looks like the V7900 is only about 10% better than the V5900, although from the specs and price you would think it was twice as fast.

Anyone else have any thoughts or suggestions?
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June 11, 2012 8:00:49 PM

Well the Apple WWDC was a complete letdown as far as desktop hardware is concerned, so I guess I'm pulling the trigger on this build. Anyone have any last minute suggestions before I purchase today or tomorrow?
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