[New Build] Beginner looking for 3D modeling/rendering hardware

Hello good people of Tom's Hardware. I've been on the computer for the past 3 days non stop trying to discover which components would best fit my needs for my upcoming year of school in digital design. This will also be my first time building a PC from ground up, I've upgraded many components before, but never have I built a PC entirely by myself.

Approximate Purchase Date: this week (the closer the better)

Budget Range: ~2500$ (Possibly to 3000$ if the system can last me a few years)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Optimization for 3D DCC programs (Maya, 3DS Max, Renderman), Ability to still play recent games on the system (If I go with workstation hardware will I still be able to?)

Are you buying a monitor: No, already have a 1920x1080 27"

Parts to Upgrade: EVERYTHING, Fresh Build

Do you need to buy OS: Yes, Windows 7 Pro 64-bit

Preferred Website(s) for Parts:, (Have amazon prime)

Location: City, State/Region, Country - Central NJ, USA

Parts Preferences: Unsure to go with x2 intel xeon processors for a workstation powerhouse OR i7 3770k or better

Overclocking: Maybe, dont want to cause issues, need computer to be stable

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: I need this PC to run relatively cool (liquid cooling?), it will be in my dorm which is a small space and I don't want it to overheat

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: Getting tools so that I can begin to delve into these DCC programs and ultimately build a demo reel for my future well being within this field. If I have to sacrifice the ability for this computer to play PC games I am okay with this, but if it is possible to have a system that can have solid rendering times while still being able to play games, that would be ideal.
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  1. Best answer
    LG Black 14X BD-R 2X BD-RE 16X DVD+R 5X DVD-RAM 12X BD-ROM 4MB Cache SATA 14X Internal BDXL Blu-Ray Burner with SW, 3D Play Back - BH14NS40

    COOLER MASTER HAF 932 Advanced RC-932-KKN5-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case with USB 3.0, Black Interior and Four Fans-1x 230mm front RED LED fan, 1x 140mm rear fan, 1x 230mm top fan, and 1x 230mm side fan
    $159.99 and a $20 rebate makes the final price $139.99.

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

    CORSAIR H70 Core High Performance Liquid CPU Cooler
    $79.99 and a $10 rebate makes the final price $69.99.

    Western Digital Caviar Blue WD10EZEX 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

    CORSAIR Vengeance 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CML16GX3M4A1600C9

    ASUS P9X79 WS LGA 2011 Intel X79 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 SSI CEB Intel Motherboard with USB BIOS

    SeaSonic X-SERIES X-1050 1050W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Full Modular Active PFC Power Supply

    SAMSUNG 830 Series MZ-7PC128B/WW 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

    EVGA 04G-P4-3687-KR GeForce GTX 680 FTW+ w/Backplate 4GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

    Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit - OEM

    The total for this build comes to $2587.89 and the reason for the 1050w psu is that the 850w which I was going to list is the same price so to go for the larger psu at the same price to me was the thing to do. The cpu is the stronger Sandy Bridge-E and is matched with the Asus WS motherboard and 16gb of ram. If 32gb is needed then there are 4 more ram slots and the MB will support up to 64gb of ram. If the GTX 680 is not good for what you are doing with 3D modeling and need to switch to AMD then you can go with this card;

    MSI R7970 Lightning Radeon HD 7970 3GB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card

    However I'm thinking that the Cuda cores of the Nvidia card will be more helpful to the 3D modeling.
    This Pc build will also be able to game.
  2. inzone said:
    EVGA 04G-P4-3687-KR GeForce GTX 680 FTW+ w/Backplate 4GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

    Do you think it would make sense to go with the gtx 670 2gb card and possibly go SLI? Unsure how changing to 2 video cards would alter the system if at all
  3. Quote:
    SAMSUNG 830 Series MZ-7PC128B/WW 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
    $129.99 [...] 20-147-163

    Also, do you have any knowledge of the performance changes when getting x2 SSDs and putting them in Raid 0? This is also something I'm considering...
  4. The reason I chose the 680 was that it had more Cuda cores than the 670 and the model I chose has 4gb of video memory which you will nees for your 3D modeling so if you wanted to change to the 670 then I would go with the 4gb model there as well. Having two cards does not mean that you add the video ram on the two cards together , only the memory on the card that's connected to the monitor counts.
    I don't know enough about 3D modeling to say whether two cards will make a difference , it does in gaming and I do know that.
    I'm not sure of the benefit of putting two SSD's in raid would have on 3D modeling and the SSD's are fast as it is so putting them in raid would not double the speed but it would defietly increase it. I think that by overclocking the cpu you would gain a good amount of performance and it would be more of a benefit then a SSD raid. Also faster ram speed would help.
  5. inzone's system suggestion looks great to me. That is what I want my 3930K system to eventually become as I put back upgrade money.

    I wasn't exactly sure what you were talking about when you said you wanted to make sure the system ran cool because it will be in a dorm room. Do you mean that you want to minimize the amount of heat the computer puts off because you don't want the room to get too hot? Did you mean that the small room might get hot and stuffy, and that it may cause your processor to overheat?

    In the first case, it won't matter whether you use liquid or air cooling, both will end up heating up your room, because the processor is putting off the same amount of heat, no matter how you choose to cool it. Luckily, the Asus board he suggested allows you to take full advantage of the Intel SpeedStep technology, which lowers the clock rate of the chip when it isn't being used. My 3930K sits at 1200MHz when I'm not using it for anything, and my bedroom stays very cool, compared to when I had my Core 2 Quad Q6600 (which noticeably heated my room).

    If you mean the second case, then liquid cooling may help some, but it is really unnecessary unless you are overclocking the system. One advantage of using liquid cooling in the case of the X79 chipset, however, is that is keeps a large heatsink/fans from blocking your RAM slots, and those nice Corsair Vengeance sticks are too tall to fit under any cooler that is capable of cooling the i7-3930K.

    Running SSDs in a RAID array can be an iffy affair. One of the methods by which the system can keep SSDs from losing their performance over time is by taking advantage of the TRIM command, which is a way of marking a section of storage as 'to be deleted' so that the SSD controller's garbage collection routine can handle the blocks in a way that boosts performance and allows for proper wear-leveling. If you put SSDs in an array, then it's possible that the RAID controller may not know how to use TRIM. I haven't been paying a lot of attention to whether or not this has been taken care of in modern motherboard FakeRAID firmwares or hardware RAID controllers. I remember hearing that Intel had begun work on it, so the X79 chipset may handle SSDs just fine. Maybe someone here can chime in and let us know. I've been considering getting a second Mushkin 120GB SSD to match the one I own for a RAID0 array, but have also thought about just getting one of the 256GB Samsung 830 SSDs and using the Mushkin drive as an SSD cache for a large hard drive.

    I wish you the best of luck with your system. You will definitely love the i7-3930K... the only thing that could beat it would be a $2000 Intel Xeon E5 chip with 6 or 8 cores (or one of those server/workstation boards... C602 chipset?... that can handle two of those Xeon chips and 512GB of RAM... drooooolll!)
  6. Best answer selected by videogmark.
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