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First time build $2500 CG workstation

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June 20, 2012 2:54:14 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: asap This week

Budget Range: Would like to stay under 2500 but invest in a system that lasts at least 4 years

System Usage from Most to Least Important: CG workstation, programs such as Autodesk Maya, Pixologic Zbrush, Adobe suite to do animation, modeling, sculpting, rendering and compositing, watch movies, with the option of playing games

Parts Not Required: Need everything, upgrading from laptop

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com

Country: US

Parts Preferences:

Debating between

Intel Core i7-3930K Sandy Bridge-E 3.2GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 2011 130W Six-Core Desktop Processor BX80619i73930K

and

Intel Core i7-3820 Sandy Bridge-E 3.6GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 2011 130W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80619i73820

Leaning towards a Nvidia graphics card, not sure which one

Would like to put it all together in a IN WIN MANA136 WHITE SEEC ATX Mid Tower Computer Case but open to going bigger if necessary.


Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Monitor Resolution: 1920 x 1080 duel monitors will suffice

Additional Comments: I would like it to be as quite as possible.
June 20, 2012 3:35:22 PM

get the i7 3930K, 6 core processors are great for the 3D and video editing. You'll probably want a quadro graphics card. They are great for modeling, but are very expensive as you can see: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Here is a more affordable one for $750: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... That will put you at $1340 but the most expensive parts are out of the way. Spend $200-250 on a motherboard, AS Rock, Asus and Gigabyte are usually the best, Get at least 16gb of ram for about $100, Corsair is usually the best. Get tons of hard drive space, at least 2tb, 5 is probably preferable, you may also want an SSD, but that's not necessary. Spend a $200-500 on hard drives. That will put you between $1840-2190 leaving you plenty for a case, psu, and disk drives.
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June 20, 2012 4:56:37 PM

Thanks for the suggestions willze7.

If anybody could offer some advice on cooling I'd greatly appreciate it. The IN WIN MANA136 WHITE SEEC ATX Mid Tower Computer Case I'm looking at has included fans but I want to make sure they will be enough. I was also wandering about a CPU cooler because the i7 3930K doesn't come with one and I'm not quite sure what I need.

Also, what should I look for in a power supply? High wattage? How much would I need if I go with the i7 3930K and the PNY VCQ4000-PB Quadro 4000 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Workstation Video Card that willze7 suggested?

Appreciate any and all help!
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June 20, 2012 5:25:13 PM

qrsjohnson said:
Thanks for the suggestions willze7.

If anybody could offer some advice on cooling I'd greatly appreciate it. The IN WIN MANA136 WHITE SEEC ATX Mid Tower Computer Case I'm looking at has included fans but I want to make sure they will be enough. I was also wandering about a CPU cooler because the i7 3930K doesn't come with one and I'm not quite sure what I need.

Also, what should I look for in a power supply? High wattage? How much would I need if I go with the i7 3930K and the PNY VCQ4000-PB Quadro 4000 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Workstation Video Card that willze7 suggested?

Appreciate any and all help!


What PSU you get really depends on what GPU you get - if you get a GPU like the GTX 670 you won't need an ultra high wattage PSU. If you get a professional card with an SLI setup in mind you're looking at somewhere between a 900W - 1KW.

As far as cooling goes you really want a strong air fan - I don't really trust liquid cooling but I'm reading more up on it, however do not purchase a closed liquid block like a Corsair H80. They're a lot better than previous generations but they still need a long way to go before they're perfected and a strong air fan like the D14 will give you the same results.

As far as the SSD comment - sure they're not necessary but on even the highest end builds - if you're using a mechanical HD - that will always bottleneck your system, even a 10K drive like the Velociraptor will only give you a minor speed increase. You want a good SSD like the M4 or even the new Vertex 4.

Try a system like this:

Case: NZXT Switch 810 - $169.99
PSU: PC Power & Cooling Silencer MKII 950W - $149.99
Motherboard: Asus Sabertooth X79 - $319.99
CPU: 3.2GHz Intel Core i7-3930K - $559.99
Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 Socket LGA 2011 Edition - $85.99
RAM: 16GB G.Skill Ares 1600MHz 1.5V Quad Channel - $84.99
SSD: 128GB OCZ Vertex 4 - $129.99
HD: 2TB Seagate Barracuda Green ST 5900RPM - $119.99
Optical: LG Blu Ray Burner - $79.99
Video Card: EVGA Geforce GTX 670 - $399.99
OS: Windows 7 Pro - $139.99

Total: $2,299.89
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