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Low-Budget Rendering Build

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October 24, 2012 2:30:44 AM

Hi guys, I built a computer almost 4 years ago via tom's hardware & newegg (Thanks everyone!)
It died and now I'm wondering what I can purchase that is more capable of 3d rendering than my previous machine?

When I plan to buy-----ASAP!! sooner the better.
What i need-------------All components except monitor, tower, and 600w PSU
Budget------------------Around $600 (to $1,000 if absolutely necessary)
What I do---------------Lots of photoshop, Autodesk Maya/rendering, Mudbox, Zbrush

I know my budget is laughably low so I am not thinking I'd be getting the performance of a $3,000 monster machine or anything. In fact, I do small rendering like character models.. nothing too intense. So a $3k build may actually be overkill.

My previous machine, RIP, handled the 3d modelling process well, but took a bit long to render. Basically, I would just like something that outperforms it but is more geared toward 3d rendering.

!!!Here are the specs of my comp that died:
Antec 900 Tower
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CPU cooler Dark Knight (still in working condition, btw)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Geforce 9600gt
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CPU AMD phenom quad core 2.5ghz
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
gigabye amd 790gx mobo
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
7200 rpm HDD 32mb cache
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
& OEM windows vista


Again, the above hardware is for my comp that died so you can at least see what I was working with.

Ps: Sorry I have no starting point. I am using a borrowed computer and only have a few minutes on here to type this post out. Couldn't thoroughly research any hardware :( 

Any ideas for a new mobo, cpu, graphics card, etc? I have no idea what type of hardware is out there now or what I'd even need to render more quickly. :??: 
October 24, 2012 2:38:33 AM

You could probably re-use the case and the HDD, and you most likely have an optical drive.

I would recommend something, but my knowledge of Quadro and Firepro workstation cards is not present.

I WOULD recommend though a i7-3770. If you aren't going to overclock, go for the non-k. Then you would be able to use a H77 board to save some money.

As you can see, I like to save money :) 
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October 24, 2012 2:43:44 AM

Deemo13 said:
You could probably re-use the case and the HDD, and you most likely have an optical drive.

I would recommend something, but my knowledge of Quadro and Firepro workstation cards is not present.

I WOULD recommend though a i7-3770. If you aren't going to overclock, go for the non-k. Then you would be able to use a H77 board to save some money.

As you can see, I like to save money :) 



Definitely want to try and re-use case, 600w psu, and perhaps even the CPU cooler IF they are compatible. They do work :) 


Eek... I have never even heard of a Quadro and Firepro workstation card. I'm sort of ashamed for posting now; though in my defense I haven't had a comp to research this stuff on...do these still run all the same graphic programmes a regular 'geforce' type of card would? I do still need to be able to get into the 3d environment I render for. Though, I do not 'game' nor need a 'gaming' computer.

Thx for the info on the i7-3770! Nice affordable price. Noticed its an intel as opposed to my previous AMD... would the intel be better for rendering?
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October 24, 2012 2:58:05 AM

I did some googling, I don't think I can use a 'workstation card'.. Just need to stick with the more basic graphic drivers like geforce or similar.

But I need something that would render faster than my old machine, which used a geforce9600gt. Maybe just an upgraded machine of some sort?

Sorry for any confusion (I am a bit confused myself)
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October 24, 2012 3:03:44 AM

If you want to save cash and want to go the AMD route, the Piledriver was released like.. yesterday? :lol: 
The FX-8350 is amazing on multi-threaded programs such as yours, and are almost on the levels of an i7.
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October 24, 2012 3:11:45 AM

excella1221 said:
If you want to save cash and want to go the AMD route, the Piledriver was released like.. yesterday? :lol: 
The FX-8350 is amazing on multi-threaded programs such as yours, and are almost on the levels of an i7.

Indeed cheaper than the i7. I'll have to go with that then.

I'm trying to buy time on this borrowed laptop to look stuff up.


I'll use this as my starting point, then.

CPU:
FX-8350
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
MOBO:
Gigabye 990fx
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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October 24, 2012 3:14:21 AM

Here's one to get you started.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD FX-8350 4.0GHz 8-Core Processor ($219.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock 990FX Extreme3 ATX AM3+/AM3 Motherboard ($119.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($82.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card ($269.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($91.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $784.95
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
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October 24, 2012 3:18:59 AM

excella1221 said:
Here's one to get you started.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD FX-8350 4.0GHz 8-Core Processor ($219.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock 990FX Extreme3 ATX AM3+/AM3 Motherboard ($119.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($82.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card ($269.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($91.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $784.95
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)


Woo, thanks man!!

I'll wait and see if anyone has something to add to this or a change that may give me faster render times. Then I need to buy pronto.

I have not heard of ASrock.. is this preferable to this Gigabye board:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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October 24, 2012 3:21:25 AM

PS- If I try to use my current HDD for this (it is in good working condition with all my files/software/programmes and vista 64 installed) will win 7 wipe my data from the HDD?

Have never done this before. Only ever started with a brand new hdd.

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October 24, 2012 3:26:52 AM

why would you get a fx 8350 when the 8320 will be a good bit cheaper and can be overclocked on the fly?

the 7870 is super close to the 7950. id get it instead

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/lfxF
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October 24, 2012 3:32:23 AM

manuboy said:
Woo, thanks man!!

I'll wait and see if anyone has something to add to this or a change that may give me faster render times. Then I need to buy pronto.

I have not heard of ASrock.. is this preferable to this Gigabye board:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Sure, go ahead. It has more features, though a bit pricier.
ASRock is the 3rd on the world's top motherboard manufacturers, right next to Gigabyte and ASUS, who are #2 and #1, respectively.

+1 on TheBigTroll, the 8320 is around ~$50 cheaper; it has 3.5GHz compared to the 8350's 4.0GHz, but you can OC it anyway.

The 7950 OC's better than the 7870, but then again he might not really need that much GPU power since he won't be gaming.
So yeah, the 7870 is a viable choice. It's also a beast card of its own. :) 
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October 24, 2012 3:37:41 AM

TheBigTroll said:
why would you get a fx 8350 when the 8320 will be a good bit cheaper and can be overclocked on the fly?

the 7870 is super close to the 7950. id get it instead

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/lfxF


sigh.. as great as both those graphic cards look. Just saw that they won't work for me cause I need to have complete access to openGL and seems there is compatibility issues with those cards and openGL (directX)

Hows this one seem? will need to stick with Nvidia for graphics card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



+thx for the tip on the alternate cpu
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October 24, 2012 3:44:02 AM

I think you were looking at the 7950GT.
I don't see any issues about the 7870 with OpenGL, and as far as I know, AMD cards perform better with it.

nVidia has CUDA though.
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October 24, 2012 3:44:44 AM

well nvidia has cuda. radeon is based more around OpenCl/Gl what do you think?

550ti is crap. dont bother.

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October 24, 2012 3:45:12 AM

excella1221 said:
Sure, go ahead. It has more features, though a bit pricier.
ASRock is the 3rd on the world's top motherboard manufacturers, right next to Gigabyte and ASUS, who are #2 and #1, respectively.


ah ok, really good to know.

Newegg has got a rebate deal going now on the gigabyte. Ill just choose between the 2 of them in terms of which is most affordable when I place the order :D 


excella1221 said:
I think you were looking at the 7950GT.
I don't see any issues about the 7870 with OpenGL, and as far as I know, AMD cards perform better with it.

nVidia has CUDA though.

One of the games I create in, Second Life, ppl are reporting crashing with AMD cards and say Nvidia works better for the openGL support. Though, I don't quite trust everything they say on the forums over there.

I could give it a go.. it'd be worth it if it worked!
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October 24, 2012 3:51:29 AM

TheBigTroll said:
well nvidia has cuda. radeon is based more around OpenCl/Gl what do you think?

550ti is crap. dont bother.

Cuda is supposedly great for rendering. Which is important for me.

Since the 550ti is crap, do you have a suggestion for a better nvidia card (for the cuda)
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October 24, 2012 3:51:36 AM

AMD drivers are improving. the newest one just gave amd another kick in performance. they arent perfect but they are now very good
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October 24, 2012 3:58:04 AM

If you are using the default renderer or mental ray, these are cpu based so a gpu will not help at all. If you thought your 9600gt did well, even a 7850 is over twice the performance. This said, it might be better to get an i7 and lower the gpu.
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October 24, 2012 5:14:26 AM

I like the idea around the Piledriver actually. Never though of that excella.
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October 24, 2012 11:36:21 PM

k1114 said:
If you are using the default renderer or mental ray, these are cpu based so a gpu will not help at all. If you thought your 9600gt did well, even a 7850 is over twice the performance. This said, it might be better to get an i7 and lower the gpu.

So, I'm kind of confused. I'm using Maya 2012 with mental ray, Global Illumination, raytrace etc.. I do a lot of viewport previewing, and batch bake rendering. Are both of these methods CPU based?

There is vray GPU and such (which I may get into at some point)... Would it be in my favour to get a good CPU as well as a good GPU for both types of rendering so I am covered.. or would the 2 work against each other?
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October 25, 2012 3:57:10 PM

All those are cpu based. Vray still uses both cpu and gpu. In either case you want both a good cpu and gpu. The fx 3850 or 3820 is a bit cheaper for almost the performance of an i7 so is better bang/buck. But instead of a 7950, I'd put some money into an ssd. Do you have an external backup? It is important so you don't lose all of your work.
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