my brother who has just finished is masters in architecture (australian university degree), has asked me to build him a ‘rendering’ machine which primarily uses 3ds max and cad. i do have gaming rig building experience, but simply NO professional design rig experience. i also have a few question on the case and coolign system.
from my studies, it is pretty obvious that i need a top quality CPU, RAM, a SSD for system and a HDD fpr storage. GPU is less important as he has told me he is doing 0 animations, but there are a few question related to that.
is this the basis of a good rendering machine? any advice on changes will be highly appreciated.
also i have a question on the GPU. from my readings, i have learnt that the professional cards are much more suited for this line of work, than say your gaming cards. but as my brother is doing 0 animation work, is it worth it getting a professional card? could i just get a cheap gaming card? the reason i ask this is because even though he wants a work computer and is not much of a gamer, he has always loved DOTA and HON, so i am pretty sure he would want to play the new DOTA 2. so my question is, should i get the low end professional card? or just get a gaming card that can just run dota 2?
also i would like some recommendations on a CASE. neither of us care about looks, and we just want something practical that can fit all the above stuff. i just want the cheapest thing possible. but my question is, are all cases the same or do they have small details which i should really look which could decide if my parts will fit in the case or not?
also if he is rending for long periods of time, i can imagine that would generate some heat on the CPU. is third party cooling necessary?
3ds and some CAD applications do have the option of working on the retail gaming cards, sometimes its a bit of a hack - depends on the application - but for these apps it is usually "not supported" so paid for support wont cover it. For the most part it is reasonably stable to operate like this once you have a stable driver that works well with the applications and the workaround.
The main issue with gaming cards is that the drivers have frequent updates to fix various glitches and to increase performance. Workstation cards do not, as they are not generally used to play games (and usually suffer for it). The result is that workstation card drivers are much more stable, are tested for far longer before release, and have far less issues.
If you want to use a retail card, then it becomes imperative to not update the driver just because a new one is released. Once you have a stable setup, dont go changing it because there is a new driver.
As for a Case. Some are better than others in terms of airflow and space, and you'll end up paying for a better case. I like these myself http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i... which are fairly quiet and have decent airflow, but for what you've listed you will fit in any ATX case.