Help for a $2000 VFX based Build

Hi guys.

I'm planning on purchasing and building the parts for this build around the middle of October. My budget is $2000, but I'm definitely open to lowering that, should certain parts be overkill. I'm located in Australia, so Newegg and Amazon are unlikely options to be buying parts from. Pc case gear seems like the most viable option to purchase parts. (

My main requirements for this PC are: Compositing in Nuke and After Effects, Rendering, 3D modelling and photo realistic rendering using Maya, 3DS max. I also intent to use other software such as Flame, shake and Houdini.

I also wouldn't mind being able to play some games on this (like BF3 and Skyrim) but this definitely isn't the main intention of the build. I want it to be geared more towards Rendering.

In regards to parts, I'm very open, as it was quite a while ago since my last build, and I feel a little out of the loop.

Approximate Purchase Date: Late October 2012

Budget Range: $2000 max

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Rendering, Compositing, 3D modelling, Simulations, gaming

Parts Not Required: Mouse, Keyboard, Monitor, Speakers, Optical Drive, OS

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: PC case gear, though I'm open to other sites.

Country: Australia

Parts Preferences: Intel, nvidia

Overclocking: Unlikely

SLI or Crossfire: Unlikely (though open to suggestion)

I've researched a fair bit and my main concerns relate to the CPU, GPU and motherboard choices. I have read that the Xeon's are better for rendering and VFX work than i7's. If this is true, whats the optimum processor for this build?

The same goes for the graphics card. I hear the Quadro's are much better in a workstation environment, but they're quite expensive and would I be better investing more in a CPU and using a Geforce?

I also wish to use an SSD for the OS/Start up Software

Here is what I was thinking:

CPU: Intel Xeon E5 2630


Intel Core i7 3930K

CPU cooler: Arctic Cooling Freezer i30 CPU Cooler

Motherboard: Open to suggestions (I don't have much of an idea in this regard)

Graphics Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 680 2GB Overclocked

Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X F3-10666CL9Q-32GBXL 32GB (4x8GB) DDR3

SSD: SanDisk Extreme Solid State Drive 120GB

HD: Seagate Barracuda 1TB ST1000DM003

Power Supply: Thermaltake Litepower 700W

Case: Enermax Fulmo Mid Tower Case [ECA892BG]

without the motherboard, this build sits at about $2020. As 2k is my limit i was wondering what component/s I could switch out.

Anyway, thanks in advance

5 answers Last reply
More about help 2000 based build
  1. Heyy we have the same name!!!!

    Well now to buissness 2000 is a perfect price range.

    I would go with this system ($1950)

    • Intel® Core™ i7-3820
    • Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit)
    • 8GB DDR3-1600 RAM
    • (2) 1TB 7,200RPM Hard Drive
    • 24x CD/DVD Burner
    • 19-in-1 Media Card Reader
    • AMD Radeon™ HD 6870
    • 10/100/1000 Network
    here is one already built!

    If this is not available to you where you live then you could save 500-600 dollars getting the parts and building it yourself. Alienware is a great company to buy from.

    Things i would change in your build(if you dont like mine)

    Cpu cooler get this one instead

    Cooler master Hyper 212 Evo same price but much better
    Graphics card the one you listed is way too expensive for that here is the best amd card there is (arguably)

    Sorry that it in a store not available to you just search 7970 in your stores website

    As for motherboard I would get a z77 or z68 gigabyte board I have the GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 with the i5 2500K and that will overclock(with the cooler I listed) to 4.5 ghz easy!! Good luck

  2. Thanks for the reply (I was starting to worry no one would!)

    I read over the specs of the build and it seems a little over priced?

    Only 8GB of memory seems a little small, especially when I will be performing a bulk load of RAM previews in after effects.

    I also want a small SSD (Like 128GB) to boot from and to run my most commonly used programs on.

    A few questions.

    Should I get a Xeon? - They seem to be the processor for this line of (CPU intensive) work.
    I'm probably not going to overclock, as I have no idea how to do it safely and I've heard it can void warranties.

    What about a lower end Quadro vs a nice Geforce?

    Any other suggestions for a build?

  3. It sounds like you need a work station, If you want you can build the one I listed and with the money you save you can get a ssd (big or small)d upgrade to 16 gb of ram.

    To answer your other question I would get a nice quadro if you cant afford that get the best quadr
    o you can.
    But if you are going to do 3d rendering then look at this workstation
  4. Thanks,

    3D rendering is going to be a major reason for building this PC. I like the PC you listed in the link, but it says its over $4000, which I cant afford. Is there a decent machine out there that uses an Intel Xeon and a Nvidia Quadro for less than $2000 that would be worth getting over an i7 and a GeForce? Or would a Xeon and a GeForce suffice?

  5. Yes there is here let me find one
    This one has 2 quadro 600s in sli
    an xeon at 3.5 ghzand 8 gbs of kingston ram and it is under 2000
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