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New System for Everyday Use and Architectural Renderings

Last response: in Systems
January 3, 2013 6:02:26 AM

Hello All, So the day has finally come for me to build a new system because my 8 year old Desktop has passed. I have depended on school computers and my laptop for rendering and my adobe programs but now would be a great chance to create my own system fit for my needs.

Approximate Purchase Date: ASAP, Possibly by Next Week.

Budget Range: 2-3K

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Architectural Renderings, 3d Modelling (Rhino VRay, AutoCAD, 3ds Max), Adobe Programs (Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, Gaming, HD Movies, Internet, ect.)

Are you buying a monitor: No

Do you need to buy OS: Possibly Buying Windows 8 to See how if it's any good, but sticking with Windows 7

Preferred Website(s) for Parts:

Location: NYC

Parts Preferences: Asus or MSI

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 seems fine for me; I am running on a Dual Screen set-up

I have chosen the following parts so far:

Processor:Intel i7 3930K ( )
GPU: Geforce 680 GTX, Possible SLI ( )
Mobo:X79 Motherboard ( )
Case: NXZT Phantom ( )

I want a computer that helps me do everything, so that is why I decided to go for a 680 and not a Quattro. Is this a really bad move? I am not really sure how much Ram I need because the last time I built my system, 4 Gigs was the max amount of you could have lol. I am not dead set on the Motherboard, to my understanding most of them are very similar since they're based off of the Mobo that intel released? Also I am not set on the Case either (even though this isn't possible, I would love for my build to fit into a Mid ATX to save some space lol, I would love to have a Antec 900 instead). I also Don't know what wattage my power supply should be. I am not familiar with Water cooling, but ive been told it might be beneficial to my build. Is it hard to maintain? and I am willing to grab 2 680s and set up SLI if they can help me with the rendering a bit.

Sorry for the barrage of questions, but since my computer failed, I can no longer slowly do my research (I started looking at parts for a new build 2 months). Thank You!
January 3, 2013 11:11:37 AM

RAM now is good with about 16GB max, often less than $90 for a kit. With X79 you'll have plenty of room for expansion later. As for the motherboard, the sabertooth may be dearer for the name (not sure) have you looked at the Asus P9X79 Pro or LE versions? The LE is cheaper I think and offers most features except bluetooth.

Also, why wouldn't it fit in a mid ATX case? The MB should unless you get something like the P9X79 WS which is eATX. The graphics cards should fit too without much bother. (still, check that first! reviews may help here.)

PSU if you plan to SLI with 680s would have to be pretty powerful probably up at 1000W although for just one, a 750W is cheap enough to get a good one.

Hope some of this helps :) 
January 3, 2013 8:48:20 PM

Thanks Michael, it did help.

I also wanted to know How this build would handle my Architectural needs? say compared to a Workstation? Can anyone give me their two cents on this question, for it is a vital. I am pretty sure this set up will handle games and HD videos just fine lol.

Like I said, I know that what I probably should be getting is the a Quattro GPU/Xenon Processor but I am only building One computer and It's going to be used for everything.
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January 4, 2013 4:08:41 AM

Sorry guys, I just realized there was a format here.
January 4, 2013 11:39:38 AM

Hmm, I'm not all that sure about architectural stuff. Hopefully someone else will have something useful.

Although, what is your main/most intensive program you use? Also, if you used it on your old computer what did it have by way of graphics and processor if you know?
January 5, 2013 5:12:25 AM

Hey, Sorry for the delayed response: My old desktop ran a Core 2 duo with a Geforce 9500GT. It ran all of the programs adequately to say the least except for rendering, which would crash almost always if it were a complicated render. I would have to depend on workstations at school to get the job done. it was a pretty old machine lol.
January 5, 2013 7:39:59 AM

Ok, well the build your proposing would run all your other programs well then. Umm, do you know what the workstations at school run? Only if they're not as powerful you can assume this would render better. I have a laptop with an i7 and 540M graphics which can do rendering in autodesk inventor although that may not be as high level as what your doing.

For a program like Autodesk Maya (which is pretty high level I think) your card would run it according to this from the official website.

That is for windows 8 though 7 offeres even lower level cards that what you have selected which looks powerful enough.
January 5, 2013 8:29:19 AM

This is what I would recommend.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-3930K 3.2GHz 6-Core Processor ($499.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: Asus Rampage IV Extreme EATX LGA2011 Motherboard ($419.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($84.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($84.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($89.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Samsung 840 Pro Series 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($247.55 @ SuperBiiz)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($384.98 @ Newegg)
Case: NZXT Switch 810 (Black) ATX Full Tower Case ($171.11 @ TigerDirect)
Power Supply: Corsair Professional Gold 850W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($169.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8 (OEM) (64-bit) ($87.99 @ NCIX US)
Other: XSPC Raystorm EX360 Water-Cooling kit. ($260.00) From
Total: $2501.57
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-05 05:18 EST-0500)

That is a very nice beast of a machine and I think will serve your needs quite well.
The build is overclocking and SLI ready. The reason why there are two 16GB kits instead of a 32GB is for colour co-ordination purposes, red mobo so red RAM.

You are correct that a rig of this kind would benefit from water-cooling, with the massive heat output of the processor (especially after overclocking) most air heatsinks would struggle. This setup will allow you to push it quite far and possible even include your GPU into the loop if you wanted too. However it is a custom kit, so assembly will be required and you will have to research how everything go's together. I suggest starting here so you get an understanding of water-cooling concepts.
Then you would want to be watching build guides and such as to how to actually assemble the loop.
If you have any questions on water-cooling dont hesitate to ask.
January 5, 2013 10:28:09 AM

A GTX670 won't be as powerful for the architectural rendering though. 680 performs stronger if you can get it. Also, your CPU looks strong enough.

Finally, most air coolers keep that CPU is good temperatures even with a considerable overclock. These results are for the even more powerful i7-3960X which has more heat output than the i7-3930K.
January 5, 2013 10:45:24 AM

The bit about the 680 is true if the application being used can leverage CUDA, as the 680 has more CUDA cores.

The 3930K is the strongest chip you can get without spending $1000+ on a CPU alone.

The 3960X has the same TDP as the 3930K, 130W at stock.
I also question those results. I had a 212 EVO on my rig before I upgraded to water-cooling and my chip would hit ~61c under load with ~15c ambient temps (lower than the test), and it has half the heat output of a 3930X.
January 5, 2013 11:07:54 AM

Is that an ivy-bridge chip? Only didn't many of them have trouble with higher than expected heat outputs?

I don't really know - I've just ordered a machine with a 3930K and a 212 EVO but its yet to ship. Hope it runs ok else I'll be having a much earlier upgrade than expected.
January 5, 2013 11:29:43 AM

No, so far LGA2011 only has Sandy Bridge-E chips. Ivy Bridge-E will eventually release but so far it hasn't been announced.

Ivy Bridge only has heat issues once you overclock far enough to need to turn up the voltage. Though IMO there's no reason too for a gamer, a 3570k/3770k can get to ~4.3Ghz without needing extra voltage and is more than enough even at stock. There's not much point clocking further unless your bench-marking or just enjoy pushing your chip.
Although if number crunching is what your doing (say Folding@Home), then clocking the chip further than that I consider reasonable.
January 5, 2013 11:27:47 PM

Wow thanks for all the replies guys! I will certainly look into everything that was said.

However as I continue my research I have been reading that the 680's Kepler architecture is not really meant for anything other than gaming anymore. However It seems like the Radeon HD 7970 is a better all around card? would crossfiring them do any better?

If this matters, I mainly use Rhino to make my 3D models and usually render with Vray. However I think I will start to explore other options such as 3ds Max and Vray RT.

anyone have an input on using the HD 3970 for these programs?

Best solution

January 5, 2013 11:53:42 PM

If your after GPGPU, OpenCL/GL performance, the 7970 is much better option. The Kepler cards are fairly weak in these aspects because Nvidia want the people looking for that kind of grunt to buy their Quadro or Tesla series workstation cards. While AMD do have their own workstation series, Firepro, they have still kept strong compute performance on the mainstream cards.
Though the mainstream Nvidia cards do have CUDA, so you have to balance which technology (OpenCL/GL vs CUDA) is more important to what your doing.
I personally think for gaming that the 7970 is the better card, especially after overclocking. Cant speak from personal experience about its compute performance vs the 680, but reviews and public opinion points to the 7970 being stronger.
The SmallLuxGPU test near the bottom shows their relative OpenCL performance.
And it appears that OpenCL performance does scale with Crossfire.
January 7, 2013 3:50:56 AM

After all my research I think that I have set my sights on crossfiring 2 HD 7970s for gaming and work.

When i started researching for parts, I basically assumed that Intel was the better choice, hence I set my sights on the i7 3930K or the i7 3970X. However I recently stumbled upon the AMD FX-8350 Vishera, which has 8 cores. I am not sure which is better because I've read that the current gen. AMD CPUs don't really live up to their performance? Why are the AMD CPUs so much cheaper than their intel counterparts? what are your thoughts on this?
January 7, 2013 8:07:40 AM

Well the AMD Bulldozer modules dont exactly fit the traditional definition of a "core". A core typically has one cache and one processing unit, while a Bulldozer module has two processing units sharing a single cache.
In AMD marketing, a processing unit = Core, so each Bulldozer module = 2 Cores so four of them = 8 Cores.

But anyway, the 8350 is nowhere near a 3930k in performance.

AMD chips are cheaper overall since they dont have as large a range. The FX-8350 is about equivalent to a Core i5 overall, the performance tiers above that AMD dont have covered.
January 14, 2013 6:33:14 PM

Hey Guys, So after quite a bit of research, I think I have come up with a pretty solid list. Here it goes:

Processor:Intel i7 3930K ( )

*GPU: Asus DCUII Geforce 680 GTX, X2 for SLI ( )

*Mobo: Asus P9X79 Motherboard ( )

SSD: Samsung 840 Series X2 ( )

*RAM: Corsair 32gb - 4x8gb sticks ( )

*Power Supply: Corsair 850W ( )

Case: NXZT Phantom ( )

Water Cooling: Corsair H100 ( )

I think that about sums up everything that I need. If you haven't noticed, I favor Asus quite a bit. Everything I have an Asterisk in front of is something that is up for grabs.

I am not sure if that Motherboard is worth it, or if I should grab another model instead. The only reason I chose that specific GPU was because it was the only one that looked pretty decent/dependable and wasn't sold out. I do like the 4gb of Vram on it though. I do know know if the Power supply I chose will work with my rig or not, Should I opt for a 1000W or is that not needed? I chose the Corsair DDR3 1600 RAM because it was cheap and I do not really need to OC my ram. I will not be OCing my GPU/CPU a lot, but there will be certain instances where I might, so i bought the water cooling just in case.

Please let me know what you guys think, especially if one of the parts is not compatible with the others! Thanks for all the help, this thread certainly pointed me to the right direction!
January 15, 2013 4:29:28 AM

Best answer selected by TekMann.