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I'm disabled CG (3d)artist: affordable workstation i7

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Last response: in Systems
January 2, 2013 8:56:57 PM

hello, i have unique situation:
previously worked as CG production artist (games/3d science & various video post-production studios) in the past----yet now disabled/early-onset-arthritis.

*Thus, too problematic to build my own pc nowadays.*

So I'm hoping to afford a reliable low-end workstation under $ 1,000.
--Basically would like an i5 or i7 with any decent-power Nvidia card (my old 1 was GeForce 8600),
--Only need 8 Gb ram for now [with Win7 pro 64bit to be upgradable to lots of ram in the future].

I need *reliability* much more than speed :
my health-issues have caused me to head-back for a graduate-degree (to go into teaching),
so i do not need the speed/processing power i used to require as a production artist/3d modeler back in
studios in which my previous-priority was heavy workload/deadlines.

--Key Questions:

1) Anyone have experience/ideas for prebuilt from smaller companies? I've priced systems from hi-end-smaller outfits like Puget,
and AVA Direct,
but their price-point is $ 500 to $1k over my budget;

2) I like Asus mobos/hardware in the past & am finding some great
prices on Asus 6870
[their model 6870-3AB has i7, Ivy Bridge & nvidia card that i like while under $850 @ B&H online]
*however* i'm concerned that Asus' popularity/growth could mean their pre-builts have less-quality/reliability these days? ((similar concern with Cyberpower).

Any feedback mucho appreciated folks !

More about : disabled artist affordable workstation

January 2, 2013 11:41:57 PM

i was going to suggest some of neweggs ibuypower and cyberpower computers , i have had good luck with cyberpower so far i know people had issues with them in the past , besides newegg got your back if anything goes wrong and they constantly have sales on them.

i have this one my self got it for around 600 bucks on sale ! , i know the reviews don't look good but has been working for me for about 3 months now no problem.
January 2, 2013 11:49:32 PM

Your best option might be buying the parts on NCIX - they have an option where you pay them $50 and they build it for you. That'll get you better parts and value, but no tech support.
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January 2, 2013 11:57:20 PM

^^ That may actually be a good option. Despite saying gamer in the title that is much more of a workstation rig.
With the $100 left over you could swap to the generic PSU to a decent quality one if your after long term reliability.

^Of course its always possible to spec out your own system and pay someone you know to build it for you. So if you have any techie friends or family then that's always an option.

EDIT: Or Darksables idea of paying the retailer to build it for you. Though if you go that route, don't order a particularly large heatsink. Retailers often don't mount them when shipping as they can put a lot of stress on the mobo while travelling and can snap the board. I suspect that mounting the heatsink would be the hardest part to do for a person with arthritis.
January 3, 2013 12:04:44 AM

i agree the psu is very low end i would recommend changing that and probably go for a better gpu if you have some extra cash . for a work station i think that is more than enough ram and that CPU is a beast! the 7750 i am not a big fan of but it is fine for a workstation and light gaming.
January 3, 2013 4:17:11 PM

Thanx everyone for gr8 feedback ! Yeah i like the idea of utilizing someone to build the system from parts i choose/purchase, but the lack of tech support then concerns me. So here's follow-up question: how do folks feel lately about ASUS' customer support?
Like i'd mentioned, their mobos rock solid in the past but they seem to have
expanded their operation at an amazing-rate, thus the customer support I received in
the past might be different & short-lived if
ASUS techs are too busy w/ millions of customers and entire PCs as opposed to the

days when they tended to field-mobo-questions & things related to specifics, not full-pc & multiple-manufacturer issues involved.
I"ve tried looking for online sites that
rank current state of companies like ASUS & others--but it's very elusive it seems! And C|Net & similar PC Mag & others tend to rate the power/speed more than customer support for someone like me who's health makes that a priority, whew!
January 3, 2013 8:43:14 PM

You would still have tech support, just on each component rather than the system as a whole.
No idea about ASUS' customer support unfortunately. Haven't gotten any ASUS components in my rig and my tablet from them hasnt died just yet.

ASUS make prebuilt computers? I thought they only made system components, laptops and tablets, not whole builds.

EDIT: Yeah, forgot about their all-in-one computers.