Best CPU for 3D Animation

Hi I am going to be using adobe production suite premium (as well as third party plugins), maya, and 3d max and other programs in the same field. I want to know what are the best components for this. There seems to be a lot of discussion about this, but none that I read that totally satisfies my needs. My budget is up to 6,000$

1) I feel a quad core is too little for what I want to do, so I want to go big. I hear bad things about Intel Xeon 6-core. What are the best 6-core and 12-core processors.

2) What is the best graphics card in the game today. Also is two better than one?

3) The best motherboards. I hear Asus is good but i dont know.

4) Best brand of RAM, or does the brand not even matter.

5) Last but not least what online stores are the best bang for your buck?

Thanks and any suggestions are awesome

Thank Gd for this website!
11 answers Last reply
More about best animation
  1. Dual Xeons.
  2. There isn't anything coming close to a Xeon 6-core; I don't know what bad things you've heard, but there are a lot of models of Xeon and Extreme chips.... there also aren't any 12-core processors, just 6-cores with hyperthreading.

    For what you're doing, you don't want a consumer graphics card - you want a workstation Quatro or FirePro

    As for motherboards, I can't give you input on the LGA 2011 boards, as I've never gotten to play with them.

    Since you won't be overclocking, any RAM that's of a reliable company and is low-profile is fine.
  3. Quote:
    I find that in order to achieve maximum potential in 3D you need different machines for different tasks.

    For example, an overclocked i7, just a little overclocking with a simple bolt on liquid cooler, gives better editing performance BUT it lags in a rendering drag race. If you want to build an extreme render machine then a quad CPU Opteron box will smoke anything - you can have up to 64 cores! But the Opteron box, while being super fast in rendering is slow at editing. It comes down to single core/thread performance and the i7s own that right now.

    With distributed rendering you could also just have 1 overclocked i7 for working on and then 2 other less expensive i7s to boost in rendering - very fast and quite inexpensive.

    I hope that helps a little - it may just make it more confusing too. I love building my own machines, which may not be an option for you. If you want just a stock machine with no tweaking then just go dual CPU XEONs.

    Steve Bell

    This is interesting. Basically I am building my own computer. This seems like sort of a render farm idea. It wasnt clear from your message, but this Opteron Box is separate from the main editing bay right? I am all about delineating workloads. What does the costs usually come out to for this option. Also if I would do this, i would probably have to go with a lesser processor on my editing bay (the main pc). Would a single six core be ok?
  4. whats ur budget. and yes the intel 2011 564$ 6core beast would be quite good.
  5. iceclock said:
    whats ur budget. and yes the intel 2011 564$ 6core beast would be quite good.

    Worst comes to worse $6000. But I want to walk out with less than $5000
  6. u mean spend less than 5000?
  7. 3D Rendering-4 socket 16-core Opterons, raw power in amount of cores.
    Server applications-Dual E5 Xeons, low power consumption and heat.
    Non 3D editing, such as Photoshop or Video editing-i7 Extreme edition. Balanced between per core performance/core count.
  8. thats overkill.

    6core or a dual xeon would be fine.
  9. interesting,
  10. Quote:
    Yes, there is sort of a render farm idea in there - I have a large render farm so gravitate towards that. I also have a philosophy that has served me very well for about 10 years and that is "If you cant walk into CompUSA (or Tiger Direct or whatever) and buy the parts then I don't want them". Now, keep in mind I am a full time 3D artist that specialises in LOTS of HD animation so I need as much power as I can get. There is a simple fact that I can build i7 boxes in the render farm for a fraction of the price of XEONs and when I balance out performance per dollar the i7s aren't just a little better - they are massively better. Couple that performance with the fact that I can run into a store and come out with parts for instant upgrades to older machines and I have a winning formula that pumps out money for me 24/7.

    You have two choices in i7s right now, the Ivy Bridge 3770 that I am overjoyed with in my render farm and the Sandy Bridge 6-core i7s that overclock nicely using off the shelf bolt on/in liquid coolers and will smoke similar Xeons in any test. From what I see, if I was you, I would build an overclocked liquid cooled 6-core Sandy Bridge i7, which will fit in your budget, can be easily upgraded later and be super fast in editing and very solid in 3D or any other kind of rendering. That is exactly what I do and I crunched all numbers many times over.

    I am building myself a new desk and actually putting in a small rack so I can then add 3x 2U i7s for distributed rendering - they will build them to be cool, quite and reasonably fast (not over clocked) and they will work out less than XEONs and when connected to my overclocked workstation will run run rings around any other workstation out there. It also means I will have the super fast editing power of the overclocked i7. Gives me the best of both worlds, is totally upgradable, etc. I dont think you could build a workstation that could keep up with 1x Sandy Bridge 6-core and 3x Ivy Bridge 4-cores all tied together! Of course, anything big to process still goes to the render farm but when my client needs his revised high-rez 3D rendering in a couple of hours, the render farm needs a prepass for a 3D animation NOW, or I am burning the midnight oil and need to see previews FAST this rig will be unbeatable.

    Don't get me wrong, the XEON is a wonderful chip but I find it over priced and it is not the fastest for editing. I have been building my own stuff for this game for over 10 years now and still, to this day my formula works. My last Xeon box goes on eBay tomorrow, which will make me feel a little melancholy in a nostalgic kind of way but I am not regretting it when I sit down to this liquid cooled i7 I have now...

    Steve Bell

    Interesting! Wow! basically I am just trying to make sense of all this so please bare with me. Basically I like the idea Sandy/Ivy Bridge as opposed to Xeons that was the point that I was trying to make earlier. Ill most likely go with the Bridges in one computer. I am a little naive about the whole render farm thing. My plan right now, if I were to incorporate it, is to build two different machines. One that will handle editing and light 3d animation, I sort of just dont forsee myself dealing in heavier programs anytime in the immediate future so there is no rush on the render farming. Then down the line I'll build the other computer (the mini render farm) with the 64-core Opteron that you spoke of previously once I need to render actual 3d modeling and so forth. But all i see myself doing in the near future is just AE and light maya tasks.

    So my questions are
    1) Will the single 6-core Sandy be enough for the editing and light animation (as referenced above). Should I get another quad with that (if it is at all possible)? Ill most likely put like 16gb/32GB of RAM in it and Quadro Graphic Card (to give you an idea of my future plans)
    2) For the render farm idea down the road, Is the Opteron the best option or do you think a mix/match of the Bridges is better.

    Thanks, I really appreciate your patience and wealth of knowledge you are throwing my way. Thanks alot
  11. there yah go,

    Also you could drop items into your cart but drop out the 670's and grab 7970's OR quadro/firepro cards :)
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