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New workstation for architectual 3d and some rendering

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June 12, 2012 5:33:02 AM

Hi everyone,
I am trying to figure out a perfect configuration for a new pc that I will use most for Architectual 3d (revit, archicad, sketchup) and do some rendering (v-ray).
for more complicated projects I will send them to professional renders.
I understand that with this type of computer (3d cad) I can not have the ultimate gaming experience, but I wish I could use the PC for a few good gaming session (I really like flight simulator and others).
I need suggestions for every parts.
my first idea is on

Intel Core i7-3930K

ASUS Rampage IV Extreme ?

GEFORCE GTX670 SC PCIE 4096MB

should I use a quadro 4000 n sli?

16 or 32 ram?

June 12, 2012 5:57:38 AM

Do your 3d apps support SLI? If not, then SLI would be useless. I don't know if vRayRT responds to a second card in the machine, the machine I am using for the THG vRay tests only has a single card. I do know that the 6x0 series NVIDIA cards have significantly lower compute performance (i.e. OpenCL and CUDA) than the 5x0 series and would recommend one or two of those instead. How much RAM depends on how complex your projects are... since you can always put in another 16 later.
June 12, 2012 9:25:27 AM

Do you really need all the PCI-Express x16 slots on that motherboard? My suggestion would be the Asus P9X79 WS:
Newegg.com - ASUS P9X79 WS LGA 2011 Intel X79 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 SSI CEB Intel Motherboard with USB BIOS

I have the Asus P9X79 Deluxe in my Core i7-3930k build, and it really impresses me. I can't possibly imagine any use for the extra PCI Express x16 slots or the additional overclock-related settings. I will be able to do anything that I need to get the highest possible overclock performance using this board, so I can't imagine that there is anything more that the Rampage IV Extreme board would be able to offer me. The WS (a workstation-oriented version of the P9X79 boards) edition of the P9X79 series of boards by Asus also uses 2 hardware-accelerated gigabit NICs by Intel (generally seen in server hardware) and has better compatibility with PCI-E RAID cards.

I don't know anything about Nvidia's line of workstation GPUs, so I can't really help, there.

As for the RAM, I'd suggest investing in some good quality 1866MHz or 2133MHz RAM that gets excellent reviews. I will be in the market for such a thing eventually, but I haven't started looking, yet, so I can't make any suggestions. I would just suggest that you find some RAM that has a manageable sized heatsink. I went cheap on the RAM and picked up 16GB of DDR3-1600MHz (4 x 4GB). Just make sure that you pick up a quad-channel kit so you can get the best performance out of the 3930K.

Speaking of heatsinks, the LGA 2011 Sandy Bridge-E CPUs do not come with a stock CPU cooler. You will have to choose one yourself when you purchase the chip. If you aren't going to do any overclocking, then I'd recommend the Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO:
Newegg.com - COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO RR-212E-20PK-R2
It has been keeping my 3930K under 60C no matter what I've thrown at it. If you are going to do any overclocking, you should look into something a little beefier, or you could look into the Corsair H80 or H100 liquid coolers if you want to do some serious overclocking.

I absolutely love my new i7-3930K build. I'm sure you'll get great performance out of yours!

-- Matt
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June 15, 2012 4:24:45 AM

Thank you guys,
Form what you wrote I can conclude that the processor it's ok (Intel Core i7-3930K)
I will start with 16gb of ram..(which one?)
Asus P9X79 Deluxe for Mobo (thanks nobox!!)
and maybe 2 570gtx (the cost it's almost the same as the 670..do you really think the 5 serie it's better?)
I need some suggestion for the ssd, the hdd, power ecc..
please help!!
thanks
June 15, 2012 4:38:43 AM

gptour said:
Thank you guys,
Form what you wrote I can conclude that the processor it's ok (Intel Core i7-3930K)
I will start with 16gb of ram..(which one?)
Asus P9X79 Deluxe for Mobo (thanks nobox!!)
and maybe 2 570gtx (the cost it's almost the same as the 670..do you really think the 5 serie it's better?)
I need some suggestion for the ssd, the hdd, power ecc..
please help!!
thanks


Sir, I would deinitely pick the GTX 670. The GTX 670 is the successor to the GTX 570. The 670 is more of like more bang less buck high end video cards. But if you want a more workstation pc than a gaming one, I would go with a professional card.
June 15, 2012 4:52:49 AM

gptour said:
Thank you guys,
Form what you wrote I can conclude that the processor it's ok (Intel Core i7-3930K)
I will start with 16gb of ram..(which one?)
Asus P9X79 Deluxe for Mobo (thanks nobox!!)
and maybe 2 570gtx (the cost it's almost the same as the 670..do you really think the 5 serie it's better?)
I need some suggestion for the ssd, the hdd, power ecc..
please help!!
thanks


I am doing a pretty similar build to yours. Including picking 16gb of ram. Heres what I picked.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
June 15, 2012 7:52:02 AM

thank you Panamera..and good for you I really like the car!! ;-)
the Patriot Viper Xtreme Division 4 16GB are the best quality/price?
for the Gpu which one between the gtx 670 and the quadro4000? (quadro6000 it's too exp.)
June 15, 2012 8:10:13 AM

The 670 will outperform the Quadro 4000 unless you turn on features unsupported by the 670. The Quadro is more likely to be supported by the software developer.
June 15, 2012 8:59:05 AM

You're welcome and yes the car is awesome. Honestly I don't know for sure if the ram is the best, but from reviews I have read to me they seem to offer the best for me. I have personally owned a 8gb kit by them and had no problems what so ever. I think the kit I suggested is new actually and Im excited to get my rendering build together.
June 15, 2012 11:21:20 AM

The Patriot Extreme Division 4 Edition are a great choice if you need to save some money, are absolutely not going to overclock while using that RAM, and you plan on getting better RAM at some point down the road to replace those sticks. I chose this Patriot quad-channel kit because it had high reviews and the lowest price of those high reviews. I wasn't paying attention when I was shopping online, but after I received the RAM I noticed that in order to achieve 1600MHz and those nice 8-9-8-24 latencies, the RAM had to run at 1.65v. This is why these RAM kits are sold as "X79 chipset quad-channel kits". The memory controller in the LGA 2011 chips are specced to handle higher voltages than those in the regular Sandy Bridge or Ivy Bridge CPUs. If you plan on ever upgrading to 32GB by adding 4 more 4GB 1600MHz chips, then you would have to buy the same sticks or, at the very least, other sticks that run an XMP profile that specifies similar timings for 1600MHz at 1.65v. That may be hard to find in the future.

My suggestion is to either buy these chips "for now" with the intent of replacing them at some point down the road and enjoying the money you saved or just going all the way and finding a high-quality quad-channel kit that runs at 2133MHz and enjoying the added boost in speed.
June 15, 2012 7:30:43 PM

N0BOX said:
The Patriot Extreme Division 4 Edition are a great choice if you need to save some money, are absolutely not going to overclock while using that RAM, and you plan on getting better RAM at some point down the road to replace those sticks. I chose this Patriot quad-channel kit because it had high reviews and the lowest price of those high reviews. I wasn't paying attention when I was shopping online, but after I received the RAM I noticed that in order to achieve 1600MHz and those nice 8-9-8-24 latencies, the RAM had to run at 1.65v. This is why these RAM kits are sold as "X79 chipset quad-channel kits". The memory controller in the LGA 2011 chips are specced to handle higher voltages than those in the regular Sandy Bridge or Ivy Bridge CPUs. If you plan on ever upgrading to 32GB by adding 4 more 4GB 1600MHz chips, then you would have to buy the same sticks or, at the very least, other sticks that run an XMP profile that specifies similar timings for 1600MHz at 1.65v. That may be hard to find in the future.

My suggestion is to either buy these chips "for now" with the intent of replacing them at some point down the road and enjoying the money you saved or just going all the way and finding a high-quality quad-channel kit that runs at 2133MHz and enjoying the added boost in speed.


O wow, glad you pointed that out. For me 16gb of ram will be enough for now. I do intend to replace this kit with a 32gb one if the need ever arises. Of course gptour will not have the same plans as I.
June 17, 2012 1:48:17 AM

N0BOX said:
The Patriot Extreme Division 4 Edition are a great choice if you need to save some money, are absolutely not going to overclock while using that RAM, and you plan on getting better RAM at some point down the road to replace those sticks. I chose this Patriot quad-channel kit because it had high reviews and the lowest price of those high reviews. I wasn't paying attention when I was shopping online, but after I received the RAM I noticed that in order to achieve 1600MHz and those nice 8-9-8-24 latencies, the RAM had to run at 1.65v. This is why these RAM kits are sold as "X79 chipset quad-channel kits". The memory controller in the LGA 2011 chips are specced to handle higher voltages than those in the regular Sandy Bridge or Ivy Bridge CPUs. If you plan on ever upgrading to 32GB by adding 4 more 4GB 1600MHz chips, then you would have to buy the same sticks or, at the very least, other sticks that run an XMP profile that specifies similar timings for 1600MHz at 1.65v. That may be hard to find in the future.

My suggestion is to either buy these chips "for now" with the intent of replacing them at some point down the road and enjoying the money you saved or just going all the way and finding a high-quality quad-channel kit that runs at 2133MHz and enjoying the added boost in speed.



Thnaks again..
which high-quality quad-channel kit that runs at 2133MHz should I buy?
June 17, 2012 8:20:05 AM

That Corsair Vengeance kit looks like a good choice by the specs. It runs at 2133MHz while maintaining 1.5v. My only worry with that kit is that the heat spreaders might get in the way of your CPU cooler. If you are using a CPU cooler that has high enough clearance of off the motherboard, then this kit would be my choice.

When you get into the range of 2133MHz, you'll often find that the RAM will have to run at over 1.5v to achieve that speed, so I'm not sure what voltage would be best to shoot for. With the i7-3930k, you should have no troubles with RAM that goes to 1.65v, so that Kingston kit you chose should run great. I'd definitely pick the Kingston HyperX kit if I had a CPU cooler that is low to the motherboard.
June 17, 2012 8:24:47 AM

workstation graphics cards existfor a reason . Use one for a work station and only use gaming card for gaming ...or if you are desperately poor and dont mind waiting for renders

RAM running at more than 1600MHz is unlikely to give you a noticeable performance boost because to make it clock higher the timings are increased .
Look instead for 1600MHz RAM that will run at 7-7-7-21 , or 8-8-8- 24
June 17, 2012 9:58:59 AM

Outlander_04 said:
workstation graphics cards existfor a reason . Use one for a work station and only use gaming card for gaming ...or if you are desperately poor and dont mind waiting for renders

RAM running at more than 1600MHz is unlikely to give you a noticeable performance boost because to make it clock higher the timings are increased .
Look instead for 1600MHz RAM that will run at 7-7-7-21 , or 8-8-8- 24



Unless you are using GPU-based rendering (iray, VRayRT) graphic cards have *zero* affect on render times, and consumer 'gaming' graphics cards (with the exception of the 6x0 series) are actually faster for GPU-based rendering than 'workstation' cards as long as their use is supported- the gaming cards are clocked faster and their memory is clocked faster, becaue they are spec'd for speed over stability. This is why a 'really fast node' on a render farm can be faster than your desktop machine and yet have only onboard Intel graphics. You'd be surprised (or maybe you wouldn't) how many 'high end animation studios' use 'game cards' in their animation systems instead of 'workstation cards'.

Card memory interface memory speed bandwidth GPU clock CUDA cores
Quadro 6000 384-bit 2900 MHz 144 GB/s 574 MHz 448
GTX 570 320-bit 3800 MHz 152 GB/s 732 MHz 480

So as you can see from the above example, the GTX 570 is actually faster than the top-end Quadro 6000 and has more CUDA cores, so for CUDA-based processing (and OpenCL as well) it is likely considerably faster. (At some point I hope to actually test this)
June 17, 2012 6:54:24 PM

Draven35 said:
Unless you are using GPU-based rendering (iray, VRayRT) graphic cards have *zero* affect on render times, and consumer 'gaming' graphics cards (with the exception of the 6x0 series) are actually faster for GPU-based rendering than 'workstation' cards as long as their use is supported- the gaming cards are clocked faster and their memory is clocked faster, becaue they are spec'd for speed over stability. This is why a 'really fast node' on a render farm can be faster than your desktop machine and yet have only onboard Intel graphics. You'd be surprised (or maybe you wouldn't) how many 'high end animation studios' use 'game cards' in their animation systems instead of 'workstation cards'.

Card memory interface memory speed bandwidth GPU clock CUDA cores
Quadro 6000 384-bit 2900 MHz 144 GB/s 574 MHz 448
GTX 570 320-bit 3800 MHz 152 GB/s 732 MHz 480

So as you can see from the above example, the GTX 570 is actually faster than the top-end Quadro 6000 and has more CUDA cores, so for CUDA-based processing (and OpenCL as well) it is likely considerably faster. (At some point I hope to actually test this)


Most rendering is going to be OpenGL

Here is AMD's base model firepro benchmarked .
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/firepro-v3900-revie...
What makes this so interesting is that the card is essentially identical to a radeon 6570 , and the 6570 is included in the comparison . The firepro workstation card is totally dominant in renders . The gaming card is just wasted cash .

I look forward to the results of your test , but Im sure you wont get the results you expect
June 17, 2012 8:10:44 PM

Outlander_04 said:
Most rendering is going to be OpenGL

Here is AMD's base model firepro benchmarked .
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/firepro-v3900-revie...
What makes this so interesting is that the card is essentially identical to a radeon 6570 , and the 6570 is included in the comparison . The firepro workstation card is totally dominant in renders . The gaming card is just wasted cash .

I look forward to the results of your test , but Im sure you wont get the results you expect


No, it isn't going to be OpenGL. OpenGL is used for the 3d preview you see on the screen, not for final renders. The review you linked to, if you actually look at the screenshots at the bottom of the page for each application test, clearly shows that the images are OpenGL previews, not final renders. Final renders are either done entirely in software, or using CUDA or OpenCL. OpenGL's capabilities are far more limited than what you need to see in a final output render- no GI, no ray-traced reflections, refractions, caustics, or shadows. For final renders that don't use OpenCL or CUDA-based acceleration, your graphics card matters exactly zero (In fact, your renderer is usually running as a command-line application controlled by your 3d application or by a render controller like Backburner, the renderer does not even have a GUI.)
June 17, 2012 8:52:45 PM

the system requirements for Revit
http://usa.autodesk.com/revit/system-requirements/

click the link to find the certified graphics hardware .

NONE of the card recommended is a gaming card . All are Firepro or Quadro
If you are correct , why would they recommend workstation graphics cards?
June 17, 2012 10:59:52 PM

Outlander_04 said:
the system requirements for Revit
http://usa.autodesk.com/revit/system-requirements/

click the link to find the certified graphics hardware .

NONE of the card recommended is a gaming card . All are Firepro or Quadro
If you are correct , why would they recommend workstation graphics cards?


Because they don't test Revit with gaming cards. Once again, stability versus performance. There are some features (namely, hardware antialiased lines) that Quadros have that 'game cards' don't. Once again, this is on-screen OpenGL previews, not rendering.

To render from Revit, most people use mental ray or export the project to DWG and then import it into 3dsMax, and use VRay to render.

Lets look at the requirements for those renderers shall we?

http://images.autodesk.com/adsk/files/mental_ray_standa...

Mental ray standalone system requirements (PDF)- thats what you'd install on a render node. Notice, it says nothing at all about the graphics card requirements because it does not matter, since mental ray doesn't use the graphics card. (Unless you're using iray, which isn't quite the same renderer.)

http://www.chaosgroup.com/en/2/vray.html

VRay- notice also, no GPU requirement listed because the renderer doesn't use the GPU. (Unless you're using VRayRT, which isn't quite the same renderer.)


June 17, 2012 11:57:27 PM

Draven35 said:
Because they don't test Revit with gaming cards. Once again, stability versus performance. There are some features (namely, hardware antialiased lines) that Quadros have that 'game cards' don't. Once again, this is on-screen OpenGL previews, not rendering.

To render from Revit, most people use mental ray or export the project to DWG and then import it into 3dsMax, and use VRay to render.

Lets look at the requirements for those renderers shall we?

http://images.autodesk.com/adsk/files/mental_ray_standa...

Mental ray standalone system requirements (PDF)- thats what you'd install on a render node. Notice, it says nothing at all about the graphics card requirements because it does not matter, since mental ray doesn't use the graphics card. (Unless you're using iray, which isn't quite the same renderer.)

http://www.chaosgroup.com/en/2/vray.html

VRay- notice also, no GPU requirement listed because the renderer doesn't use the GPU. (Unless you're using VRayRT, which isn't quite the same renderer.)


Got any technical articles or reference material you can share?
I
June 18, 2012 12:14:09 AM

Lets see... how about an article on building a renderfarm? Right here on Tom's Hardware? Unfortunately, Dreamworks wouldn't let me photograph their renderfarm when I toured there... the nodes themselves were blades.
June 18, 2012 9:32:53 AM

thank you guys again for your passion..even if everything is more complicated now for my eyes!!
I normaly check this site for the comparison..
for each gpu they test different 3d software..
let me know hwat do you think about it.

http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/high_end_gpus.html
June 18, 2012 9:56:18 AM

it would seems that for high detail quality while drawing in 3d the pro card appear to be better but they tested the same drivers used by the quadro serie and
the geforce cards work great!
but than again..it seems that the 5 series is better for this purpose of the new series 6..
I am getting lost again!

Best solution

June 18, 2012 11:45:07 AM
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gptour said:
thank you guys again for your passion..even if everything is more complicated now for my eyes!!
I normaly check this site for the comparison..
for each gpu they test different 3d software..
let me know hwat do you think about it.

http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/high_end_gpus.html



Yes, but that's your display, *not* for rendering. With iray or VRayRT, you *can* render on the GPU but there are some pretty severe limitations on the renderers.
June 29, 2012 5:42:33 AM

Sorry everyone I was away on business!
if we want to sum up can we say that the best configuration is a Intel Core i7-3930K cpu, Asus P9X79 Deluxe MoBo, 16gb kit Kingston HyperX Genesis X79..

willing to opt for the gaming card I still do not have a definitive answer..
which would you choose a couple of gtx 570 or 670 (I have had different opinions about it)

Finally, which cooling system do you suggest?
which monitor?
which hhd and ssd?
thank you again
June 29, 2012 6:02:39 AM

The 570 because CUDA on the 6x0 series is crippled.
July 6, 2012 12:38:16 AM

Best answer selected by gptour.
!