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First Build - Amateur CG Powerhouse

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September 20, 2012 8:54:46 PM

Hey everyone,

So I've been using a Macbook Pro 2009 since it was released and it's done me fine for the past 3 years, however I've now finished with University and can no longer use their machines for work and rendering, so I need to do my own build to continue working on new projects, I've set a budget of about £1,500-£2,000 which probably works out around $2,000 or so looking at newegg etc.

Approximate Purchase Date: ASAP
Budget Range: £1,500-£2,000
System Usage from Most to Least Important: VFX eg. Houdini, Maya, Nuke, Photoshop (Not worried about gaming)
Parts Not Required:
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: N/A
Country: UK
Parts Preferences:
Overclocking: Maybe
SLI or Crossfire: Maybe
Monitor Resolution: HD - WQHD
Additional Comments:

So far I've done a little research myself as to the parts that I think would work well together:

Intel i7-3930k
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/intel-core-i7-3930k-enth...

ASUS P9X79
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/asus-p9x79-le-intel-x79-...(x16)-atx

Quadro 4000
http://www.amazon.co.uk/NVIDIA-Quadro-4000-Graphics-Dis...

Corsair 32gb (8x4gb)
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/16gb-(4x4gb)-corsair-ddr3-vengeance-lp-jet-black-pc3-12800-(1600)-non-ecc-cas-9-9-9-24-xmp-15v

Samsung 830 256gb SSD
http://www.dabs.com/products/samsung-256gb-830-series-s...

Seagate Barracuda 2x2tb HDD
http://www.ebuyer.com/319641-seagate-2tb-barracuda-inte...

Corsair H60 Cooler
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Corsair-CWCH60-Water-Cooler/dp/...

Corsair 800 PSU
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Corsair-CMPSU-800GUK-Gaming-Ser...

Cooler Master Storm Enforcer Case
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/cooler-master-storm-enfo...

LG Blu-Ray Rewriter
http://www.amazon.co.uk/LG-BH10LS38-AUAR-Internal-BD-RW...

Total = ~£1,900 or ~$3,000

I've always been fairly technical but I've haven't put my own build together before apart from installing a few graphics cards or hard drivers.

One of the things I was wondering was whether anyone had any opinions on what GPU would be best, as I've been trying to choose between the supposedly professional Quadro 4000 and the FirePro v7900. But then do I go for the savings and get a GTX 580 which I can have for at least £200 less. Also is 32gb of memory overkill? Thanks for the help.

Gary

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September 20, 2012 10:40:02 PM

Photoshop isn't compatable with SLi, not that you'd do it anyway with that Quadro. Ruling out SLi, you don't need anything like 800w. Something in the 500's would be more than enough. Running that sort of system, you want the best quality PSU. The highest quality is Seasonic X series, without spending silly money (not that the seasonic is cheap) If you do overclock, it will probably be modestly (stability and reliability are more important than minor performance gain). You may find you need to fit aftermarket fan to that H60, the stock fan isn't the quietest. I should try it, first, to see (or hear) if it is an issue for you. Other than that pretty good. 32GB of RAM sounds a lot, but stuff like photoshop benefits from a healthy amount. Quadro is definitely better, if you don't want any gaming (not FirePro with Photoshop). The better Fermi graphics cards (570 and 580) are ok, but whether it's worth going with them, to save money, is debatable (not AS good, and fairly power thirsty, you may well need 600w). The GTX670 is another option, certainly more power efficient. Personally, if you don't want any gaming, and are struggling to fund Quadro 4000, it would be better to use "lower" Quadro, than switch to consumer card. That's only an opinion!
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September 20, 2012 11:14:39 PM

Malbluff has nailed it, and I don't need to add anything. Except perhaps that the H60 cooler is not really worth it.

A better cooler - in every way
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Noctua-D14-2011-Dual-Radiator-C...

I really can't advise cutting back anywhere. The Quaddro is a good bet given the program list, as is the CPU. I don't see you saving much without impacting performance too much.

I will edit this so that you can choose malbluff as the best answer.
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September 21, 2012 4:20:09 PM

Best answer selected by gnisbet.
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September 21, 2012 4:50:30 PM

Thanks for all your help, it's true if I'm going to buy an expensive build like that then I might as well get a decent PSU to go with it. And I will get a better cooler, I've just always heard about water cooling, so jumped for that one, but I'll save that for a future O/C build :) 
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September 21, 2012 7:35:11 PM

That is not water cooling. Real water cooling looks like this:

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/page-266324_29_50.htm...

Those little self-contained units usually do a worse job cooling than air, and are noisy. The Corsair H100 can be made to do a good job with the right fans in the right case, but no where as good as real water.

Actual water cooling involves the selection of many separate components such as radiators, water blocks, fittings, pumps, reservoir, etc.
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