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3D workstation - First Timer Step-by-Step

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January 8, 2013 9:02:18 PM

Hi all,

This looks like a good place to start documenting my progress in terms of getting advice/suggestions from this community for my first machine build. I have had a quick look through some of the discussion topics here and I cannot really find one specific for my build (please highlight if there is an existing discussion and link to me)

I am a 3D character artist working professionally however my personal computer (laptop) is ancient and not up to scratch for my practise and/or future experimentation in new programs.

This build will first and foremost be a 3D workstation that will need to run the following with ease:

Autodesk:
3D Max
Maya
Softimage XSI
Unity
Adobe:
Photoshop
AE

My budget for this build would range somewhere be up to €3,000 ($3924) and this I hoped would include peripherals such as monitors, case etc.


I was told by a workmate in IT to start from the CPU outward and I have done some research in this area and this is where I will start from and move forward to motherboards, RAM etc. (Please - if I am incorrect with my findings or there is a fault with my hardware matching please highlight)

I have filtered my search for CPUs between Intels i7 3770k and i7 3930K . After much reading I understand the certain differences between the too, the main one being the price, the 3930k being the more expensive. Benchmarking one off the other shows that they are pretty close to matching in certain areas from here 3770k vs. 3930K and the 3930k is slightly better with regards to my interests in the 3D Max tests.

I am wondering now would I see major differences in choosing the more expensive/powerfull 3930k over the 3770k with regards what I need it for?

If anyone has first hand experience on this or can give advice, especially from a 3D graphics viewpoint, I would love to hear it. Also if anyone has any relevant links that may be of importance that would be great too.

Best,

D
January 9, 2013 3:07:27 AM

You would go for the i7 3930K if all you will be doing is workstation stuff, The extra Cores in the 3930K can prove to be useful.

Also if all you will be doing is pure workstation stuff, go for a professional Graphics card(at least 500+ area)

Also you can wait for IB-E to come inside if you would so like.

But to save money, i would opt for an i7 3770k, 256GB SSD, 16GB of ram, and a 670
January 9, 2013 7:06:15 AM

Thanks boulbox,

Yes it will primarily be used for 3D work.

Could you tell me what IB-E is?

EDIT: IB-E stands for IvyBridge-E - Intels upcoming platform release http://www.guru3d.com/news_story/8_core_sandybridge_e_a...


Do you reckon
Quote:
i7 3770k, 256GB SSD, 16GB of ram, and a 670


would be powerful enough for the programs mentioned?
Related resources
January 9, 2013 10:42:02 AM

Just read the sticky for this discussion group. Here are some further details:


Approximate Purchase Date: March 2013

Budget Range: €2,500 to €3,000 ($3269.00 to$3925.50 )

System Usage from Most to Least Important:
3D Workstation using Autodesk software
Video Editing using Adobe software
Gaming (not much)
General Usage with Internet

Parts Not Required:
Mouse
Keyboard
Speakers

Preferred Website(s) for Parts:
amazon.co.uk
amazon.com
scan.co.uk
komplett.ie

Country: Ireland

Parts Preferences:
Intel
nVidia


Overclocking: Possibly

SLI or Crossfire: SLI ... will do further research into the GPU for my needs after I finalise on CPU/Mobo/RAM



January 9, 2013 7:01:04 PM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-3930K 3.2GHz 6-Core Processor (£431.94 @ Aria PC)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 SE2011 CPU Cooler (£57.49 @ Amazon UK)
Motherboard: Asus P9X79 LE ATX LGA2011 Motherboard (£159.35 @ Scan.co.uk)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LP 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£124.23 @ Dabs)
Storage: Samsung Spinpoint F4 2TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive (£60.96 @ Dabs)
Storage: Samsung Spinpoint F4 2TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive (£60.96 @ Dabs)
Storage: Crucial M4 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk (£145.97 @ Amazon UK)
Video Card: ATI FirePro V7900 2GB Video Card (CrossFire) (£555.58 @ Dabs)
Video Card: ATI FirePro V7900 2GB Video Card (CrossFire) (£555.58 @ Dabs)
Case: Cooler Master HAF XM (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case (£94.99 @ Amazon UK)
Power Supply: XFX 850W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (£88.62 @ Scan.co.uk)
Monitor: Asus PB278Q 27.0" Monitor (£462.32 @ Scan.co.uk)
Total: £2797.99
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-09 21:00 GMT+0000)

something that i would do, if you like Nvidia more, then you can grab a quadro 4000 or 5000 instead
January 9, 2013 9:11:01 PM

Thanks for that..I've taken note of your suggestion! I've never used that PartPicker site before...must login and give it a shot.

I've found the 3930k on the US version of Amazon for the much cheaper price of €456 rather than the €530-550 mark I have found in domestic and UK sites.

January 9, 2013 10:34:45 PM

there is a UK version for pcpartpicker

just put uk after the / on the website.

and yes price does vary place to place but the build i have put up there is using uk resellers
January 10, 2013 7:32:28 AM

Would it be plausible to buy parts from the US version of Amazon, as they are about €100 less than the UK version?

Certain Amazon shops ship internationally for a reasonably small price..
January 10, 2013 11:47:37 AM

Actually scratch that...customs here apply VAT of up to €110 on this item :(  Thought I was onto something there
January 27, 2013 11:47:34 AM

After much deliberating and discussion with people in the IT dept at work...I have decided to go for the 3770k CPU instead of the 3930k. Mainly because of the large price difference in relation to the power minor difference

I am now looking into the MB for this guy and I am thinking about going for the ASUS P8Z77-V DELUXE http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Would anyone have any comment on this combination?

January 28, 2013 8:02:21 PM

Below is an update of where I am at with regards the combination of components. I'm going to start buying parts within the next fortnight so all/any advice would be well appreciated.



PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor (£233.99 @ Aria PC)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 65.0 CFM CPU Cooler (£56.85 @ Ebuyer)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V DELUXE ATX LGA1155 Motherboard (£180.40 @ Dabs)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LP 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£70.00 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: Intel 520 Series Cherryville 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk (£104.06 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£57.59 @ Amazon UK)
Case: Corsair 400R ATX Mid Tower Case (£78.89 @ Amazon UK)
Total: £781.78
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-28 21:38 GMT+0000)



I am certain about the CPU, Mobo and RAM above.


CPU Cooler: (Noctua NH-D14) has gotten great reviews, however I am concerned about its size and would it fit into the case

Storage: Would the 120GB be enough for th OS and numerous 3D packages? Would I be better with more?
boulbox recommended theCrucial M4 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk. On reading reviews alot of people were saying it was unreliable as a boot drive so Im a bit weary

Case: Has gotten great reviews. The 500R is also an option here

GPU: A bit of a blurry area...not 100% sure of what to go for here


This was a bit of inspiration I found :) 
http://forum.corsair.com/v3/showthread.php?t=109513

January 28, 2013 8:28:30 PM

If your budget is €3,000, go for the i7 3930k, it is stronger than the i7 3770k but it does cost a whole lot more. If you want to save money then yes go with the i7 3770k but if you want the strongest, get the 2011 platform

January 28, 2013 8:37:19 PM

Also the M4 works fine as a boot drive, don't listen to the newegg ratings and find a better site that does professional testing on the components themselves.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($317.26 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 65.0 CFM CPU Cooler ($80.77 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme6 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($151.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Kingston Black 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($69.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: OCZ Vertex 4 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($212.95 @ Mac Connection)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: PNY Quadro 4000 2GB Video Card ($699.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Corsair 500R White ATX Mid Tower Case ($101.93 @ Mac Connection)
Power Supply: Corsair Professional 750W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($119.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB/RSBS DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1842.85
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-28 17:35 EST-0500)

for GPU, either get a professional card(if you are going to do 3D work most the time, the card i put inside is a bit strong so you can go for the cheaper ones if you would so desire) or a 670(if you want to game a bit and do some professional work, of course this card is meant for gaming and the other is meant for professional work)
January 29, 2013 7:14:49 AM

Thanks for that boulbox.

Just wondering why you went for the ASRock Z77 Extreme6 over the Asus P8Z77-V DELUXE?

With regards to the graphics card, yes I hope to do a lot of 3D work (particles,fluid,fume etc,) TBH I have to do more research here with regards to how the 3D programs utilize the graphics hardware.
January 29, 2013 1:15:58 PM

ASrock will have all the things you will ever need(unless you need more ports for HDDs) it can OC like a beast it has a lot of features in the box and out of it.
January 29, 2013 2:35:11 PM

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/AhoO
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/AhoO/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/AhoO/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($229.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-C12P SE14 65.0 CFM CPU Cooler ($64.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($119.99 @ Microcenter)
Memory: Kingston Black 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($68.99 @ NCIX US)
Memory: Kingston Black 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($68.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($89.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Kingston HyperX 3K 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($89.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Kingston HyperX 3K 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($89.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 670 4GB Video Card ($419.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Fractal Design Define R4 w/Window (Black Pearl) ATX Mid Tower Case ($94.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: XFX ProSeries 850W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($122.75 @ Amazon)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB/RSBS DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)
Monitor: Dell U2713HM 60Hz 27.0" Monitor ($649.99 @ Amazon)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Keyboard: Cooler Master Storm QuickFire Rapid Wired Gaming Keyboard ($72.00 @ Mechanical Keyboards)
Mouse: Logitech Performance Wireless Laser Mouse ($82.99 @ Adorama)
Total: $2373.60
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-29 11:34 EST-0500)

Base Total: $2490.87
Mail-in Rebates: -$30.00
Total: $2460.87

should do the trick.

only advantages with the 6core intel is faster rendering times. but thats about it.

January 29, 2013 8:18:52 PM

boulbox said:
If your budget is €3,000, go for the i7 3930k, it is stronger than the i7 3770k but it does cost a whole lot more. If you want to save money then yes go with the i7 3770k but if you want the strongest, get the 2011 platform


I think because this is my first build and considering that the budget has to cater for peripherals that includes two monitors and software I think I will go for the 3770k. (I also want to budget for a kick ass executive arm chair :) )
January 29, 2013 8:26:36 PM

how do u like my build daawaa, sorry doesnt include super spacial awareness 3d super chair :D 

January 29, 2013 9:02:11 PM

Hey iceclock :) 

Liking your build too, a few questions for you actually on it:

- I see you went for the ASRock Z77 Extreme mobo aswel. I'm looking into this now and comparing this with the Asus P8Z77-V (Pro/Deluxe)

- Why two Kingston HyperX 3K?
January 29, 2013 9:05:38 PM

for maximum speed. 2x120gb in raid is alot faster than just 1 240gb ssd. also the asrock is cheaper and just as good as the p8z series.

January 30, 2013 2:49:49 AM

iceclock said:
for maximum speed. 2x120gb in raid is alot faster than just 1 240gb ssd. also the asrock is cheaper and just as good as the p8z series.


not true at all, many cases of this kind of scenario, the 240GB SSD wins.

You will see raid do a difference when you do it with HDDs. Other than that, SSD raid has little to no performance boost and sometimes deactivates TRIM which keeps the SSD in check to keep up to speed.
January 30, 2013 3:22:48 AM

actually thats totally innacurate pairing 2x120s in raid will outperform 1 single ssd, raided ssds can reach over 700megs a sec. versus lower for single usage. i think its called ssd grapping,

January 30, 2013 6:52:51 AM

Wow, this is an area I was never aware of...pairing up 2 SSD's.

This site I think explains it well

Would a setup like this be absolutely necessary for me? It seems RAID can either be used for data backup/ faster data transfer or both
January 30, 2013 1:07:30 PM

yes be useful for maximum speeds. fast access to programs and transfer of big files when needed.

databackup would be on ur data drive, and ssds for speed and performance.

January 31, 2013 11:54:39 AM

iceclock said:

databackup would be on ur data drive, and ssds for speed and performance.


Interesting! So the TB HD would act as a Backup for all files (renders, docs etc.) and the 2 raids would control the software and OS...

Would all three drives be connected somehow or would the 2 SSDs be separate? Is there a lot to setting a raid like this?
January 31, 2013 12:30:11 PM

2ssd be seperate but u can transfer we u want from the ssds to the backup tho.

not really. just like regular raid i suppose, theres people here on toms who could give u more help about it as i dont use raid but im thinking about it
January 31, 2013 9:28:14 PM

Ok another update from from my perspective so far (with my current knowledge or lacking there of)..

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor (£233.99 @ Aria PC)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 65.0 CFM CPU Cooler (£56.23 @ Ebuyer)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V DELUXE ATX LGA1155 Motherboard (£180.61 @ Dabs)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LP 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£70.00 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: Crucial M4 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk (£149.60 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: Crucial M4 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk (£149.60 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£54.99 @ Amazon UK)
Case: Corsair 400R ATX Mid Tower Case (£78.89 @ Amazon UK)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) (£67.99 @ Aria PC)
Total: £1041.90
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-31 23:19 GMT+0000)



Motherboard: As you might see I still need to get my arm twisted on the benefits of the ASRock Mobo over the Asus. Still looking into this..


GPU: Doing a bit more research into the usage of the GPU for the software packages I'll be using. I have seen that latest Adobe package utilise processing power when it comes to 3D rendering. However more importantly I cannot find solid advice/information on what to look out for when buying a GPU for a 3D graphics workstation, more so whether these 3D packages actually take advantage of the GPU. I would have thought that particles and simulations would use the GPU??

Case: Wondering whether the CPU Cooler will actually fit into this case??
January 31, 2013 9:33:06 PM

issue here is that ur limited to 32gb of ram, and video editing 64 or more could be handy.

id get a 2011 board that supports 128gb of ram+a 3820.

February 3, 2013 5:16:32 PM

iceclock said:
issue here is that ur limited to 32gb of ram, and video editing 64 or more could be handy.

id get a 2011 board that supports 128gb of ram+a 3820.



It will be using it at times for video editing, but it won't be too intensive and speed would not be a major issue for me here.

Where I do need speed is more with the 3D Software I'll be using..
February 3, 2013 7:32:04 PM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor (£233.99 @ Aria PC)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 65.0 CFM CPU Cooler (£56.23 @ Ebuyer)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V DELUXE ATX LGA1155 Motherboard (£180.61 @ Dabs)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LP 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£70.00 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: Crucial M4 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk (£150.00 @ Aria PC)
Storage: Crucial M4 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk (£150.00 @ Aria PC)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£57.59 @ Amazon UK)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card (£288.97 @ Amazon UK)
Case: Corsair 400R ATX Mid Tower Case (£78.89 @ Amazon UK)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) (£67.99 @ Aria PC)
Total: £1334.27
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-03 21:30 GMT+0000)



I'm pretty happy with this selection at the moment. Unless anybody spots any flaws or has any further suggestions??
February 7, 2013 7:37:47 PM

get this motherboard

http://uk.pcpartpicker.com/part/gigabyte-motherboard-ga...

will do the job pretty good and saves you quite some money.

the case is fine, cheap and great but this case is just my preference
http://uk.pcpartpicker.com/part/cooler-master-case-rc92...
if course no need to get if you want to save money

I don't see a PSU inside your build so i recommend this one if you plan on SLIing in the future

http://uk.pcpartpicker.com/part/xfx-power-supply-p1750b...

February 7, 2013 8:15:39 PM

That case looks great!

The only problem id that I am setting up a RAID 0 with 2 X 2.5" Solid State Disk and this case only has the 1 2.5" drive bays..
February 7, 2013 8:22:03 PM

Since SSDs do not move/produce much heat, get the sticky(or hook) velcro straps and mount it behind everything with the wires
February 7, 2013 8:37:33 PM

Seeing your high budged, I would get a few 256GB SSDs and put them in a RAID 0 or RAID 10.
February 7, 2013 8:59:04 PM

Yes I am planning on getting two 120 GB SSD's in a raid.

Since I started this thread there has been a slight change to the budget where I've had to drop a considerable amount. I am now looking in or around the E2,000 ($2950/£1706.08) range at them moment.

I have updated my list based on advice:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor (£239.99 @ Aria PC)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 65.0 CFM CPU Cooler (£56.23 @ Ebuyer)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V PRO ATX LGA1155 Motherboard (£144.84 @ Amazon UK)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LP 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£74.80 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: Intel 520 Series Cherryville 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk (£106.94 @ Scan.co.uk)
Storage: Intel 520 Series Cherryville 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk (£106.94 @ Scan.co.uk)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£57.59 @ Amazon UK)
Case: Cooler Master HAF XM (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case (£94.99 @ Amazon UK)
Power Supply: XFX ProSeries 750W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (£93.99 @ Amazon UK)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) (£65.99 @ Aria PC)
Total: £1042.30
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-07 22:41 GMT+0000)

A few questions still remain:

GPU: Still researching the GPU. A lot of clashing reviews about which is best for 3D/Video Editing workstation. Keeping all options open...

Storage: Is there anything I should be looking out for when setting up for a RAID 0 in terms of the SSD's and mother board. From my research I believe my selection is compatible

February 17, 2013 8:19:58 PM

In light of that article above, where he notes a considerable difference in 3D viewport feedback by upgrading from the 3770k to the 3930k I have put together a build for the 3930k, just to have an option there if the budget for this build was to increase.

This build now has one SSD for software and a lower spec video card that would bring the price 200 pounds more that the 3770k

Tell me what ye think...

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-3930K 3.2GHz 6-Core Processor (£428.39 @ Aria PC)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 SE2011 CPU Cooler (£59.99 @ Overclockers.co.uk)
Motherboard: Asus P9X79 LE ATX LGA2011 Motherboard (£164.24 @ Dabs)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£68.99 @ Dabs)
Storage: Intel 520 Series Cherryville 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk (£106.94 @ Scan.co.uk)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£52.00 @ Amazon UK)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 550 Ti 1GB Video Card (£79.98 @ CCL Computers)
Case: Corsair 400R ATX Mid Tower Case (£78.89 @ Amazon UK)
Power Supply: Corsair Professional Gold 750W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (£134.53 @ CCL Computers)
Optical Drive: Asus BC-12B1ST/BLK/B/AS Blu-Ray Reader, DVD/CD Writer (£47.12 @ CCL Computers)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) (£65.99 @ Aria PC)
Total: £1287.06
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-17 22:15 GMT+0000)
February 19, 2013 8:16:06 PM

I have been watching a few videos on guys putting together builds from scratch, and some of them have sound cards. Is this something I should be thinking of aswell?
February 20, 2013 4:00:23 PM

sound cards are not needed, on board is just fine.

If you are an audiophile(listen to a lot of music with top of the line headphones and such) then yes, i would possibly put inside an audio card
February 21, 2013 9:17:04 PM

Buying time..

I am going to put the extra finance in and go for the 3930k system. I am hoping to purchase parts in the coming week and this is where I stand. If anyone has any last minute pieces of advice please speak now or forever hold your peace :) 

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-3930K 3.2GHz 6-Core Processor (£433.99 @ Aria PC)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 SE2011 CPU Cooler (£62.99 @ Novatech)
Motherboard: Asus P9X79 PRO ATX LGA2011 Motherboard (£200.60 @ Dabs)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LP 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£79.29 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£52.71 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: Intel 335 Series 240GB 2.5" Solid State Disk (£143.14 @ Scan.co.uk)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB Video Card (£215.94 @ Aria PC)
Case: Cooler Master HAF XM (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case (£94.99 @ Amazon UK)
Power Supply: Corsair Professional Gold 750W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (£132.62 @ CCL Computers)
Optical Drive: Asus BC-12B1ST/BLK/B/AS Blu-Ray Reader, DVD/CD Writer (£47.12 @ CCL Computers)
Total: £1463.39
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-21 23:07 GMT+0000)


I have also made this list up in two sites as can be seen in attached images. They are www.amazon.co.uk and http://lb.hardwareversand.de





http://lb.hardwareversand.de is a german based company and many people on Irish (where Im from) PC building forums have used it and recommended them and their price seems fairly competitive. So I will more than likely going with them.

February 26, 2013 6:59:49 AM

Someone brought to my attention the importance of the usage of ECC or non-ECC memory and compatibility of it with the mother board.
I've researched the term and have a good grasp on what it means and where/when it should be used (mainly that ECC is mainly for servers )

What should I be looking out for when looking at parts? Is there any benefits with going with either versions?
February 26, 2013 10:08:15 AM

Good luck.

I have just completed my build using:
Asus P9X79 Pro
i7-3930k
Asus GTX 660ti
16 GB (4x4GB DDR3 G.Skills RipjawsZ)
Noctua NH-D14

A couple of pointers that you may alread know:

Fit the RAM before the CPU cooler

have you checked compatibility of the RAM with this cooler ? (the CPU cooler extends over all the memory DIMM slots - some sticks project too far and clash with the cooler fins) - ah - just seen you went with LP sticks - that should be OK.

have you checked the case for size with the Noctua too ? some cases are pretty tight as it is such a big lump stuck on the side of the mobo.

Only glitch I has putting the system together (so far - and I've now installed windows and most drivers - just need to load 3dsmax, revit, AutoCAD etc.) was me being confused on where to connect the case fans (went with connection to case fan controller unit rather than mobo).
February 26, 2013 11:46:01 AM

Awesome, this is great input! Thanks a million

wyvernwood said:


have you checked compatibility of the RAM with this cooler ? (the CPU cooler extends over all the memory DIMM slots - some sticks project too far and clash with the cooler fins) - ah - just seen you went with LP sticks - that should be OK.


I have updated my parts list since, I will put it up later today..but yeah thats one thing I wsa keeping an eye out for with this CPU cooler

wyvernwood said:

have you checked the case for size with the Noctua too ? some cases are pretty tight as it is such a big lump stuck on the side of the mobo.


Yup the latest case I've selected will cater for this beast

wyvernwood said:

Only glitch I has putting the system together (so far - and I've now installed windows and most drivers - just need to load 3dsmax, revit, AutoCAD etc.) was me being confused on where to connect the case fans (went with connection to case fan controller unit rather than mobo).


It would be awesome to hear how these programs run - especially 3D Max - when you're up and running!

Could you give me a full list of the components you chose (PSU, case, etc.)




February 26, 2013 1:31:50 PM

CPU: i7 3930k
MB: Asus P9X79 Pro
Memory: 4x4GB G.Skills RipjawsZ PC3 14900 C9 1866
CPU Fan - Noctua NH-D14

Sandisk Extreme Sata III SSD 120GB
Western Digital 1TB Caviar Sata III 6GB/s

Corsair Pro HX750 Modular Gold PSU
Fractal Define R4 Case (it's huge - but lots of space internally for air-flow).

GPU: Asus GTX660ti (2GB) - not a 'pro' card, but from feedback, it is capable of driving viewports, using CUDA cores for iRay, and handling physics in Max. Most of my productive rendering in Max is Mental Ray - which is purely CPU anyway.

The assembly was pretty straightforward, the ASUS P9X79 does a good job of going thorugh the various connections, and what goes where. The case was large enough to make the fitting of components nice and easy. Cable management was easy too.

As ever using thermal paste and fitting the CPU fan is nerve racking, as is getting the motherboard inserted into the case.

Actually, the most akward part of the whole assembly was offering up the mobo and getting the rear ports aligned correctly with the insulated panel that you insert into the case. They weren't quite aligned properly, and it needed a bit of coercion.

I dind't get any additional case fans - although I will almost certainly be adding a couple more (+1 to the front, possibly 2 top fans).

CPU temp at idle is around 26 celcius at present (haven't really stressed it at all yet). First thing I did was to load ASUS probe to monitor temperatures to make sure that I got a good contact with the thermal paste / Noctua.
February 26, 2013 4:21:59 PM

daawaa said:
Hi all,

This looks like a good place to start documenting my progress in terms of getting advice/suggestions from this community for my first machine build. I have had a quick look through some of the discussion topics here and I cannot really find one specific for my build (please highlight if there is an existing discussion and link to me)

I am a 3D character artist working professionally however my personal computer (laptop) is ancient and not up to scratch for my practise and/or future experimentation in new programs.

This build will first and foremost be a 3D workstation that will need to run the following with ease:

Autodesk:
3D Max
Maya
Softimage XSI
Unity
Adobe:
Photoshop
AE

My budget for this build would range somewhere be up to €3,000 ($3924) and this I hoped would include peripherals such as monitors, case etc.


I was told by a workmate in IT to start from the CPU outward and I have done some research in this area and this is where I will start from and move forward to motherboards, RAM etc. (Please - if I am incorrect with my findings or there is a fault with my hardware matching please highlight)

I have filtered my search for CPUs between Intels i7 3770k and i7 3930K . After much reading I understand the certain differences between the too, the main one being the price, the 3930k being the more expensive. Benchmarking one off the other shows that they are pretty close to matching in certain areas from here 3770k vs. 3930K and the 3930k is slightly better with regards to my interests in the 3D Max tests.

I am wondering now would I see major differences in choosing the more expensive/powerfull 3930k over the 3770k with regards what I need it for?

If anyone has first hand experience on this or can give advice, especially from a 3D graphics viewpoint, I would love to hear it. Also if anyone has any relevant links that may be of importance that would be great too.

Best,

D


________________________________________________________

Top O' the Mornin'- well, Early Afternoon actually- Daawaa,


As your new computer use emphases use of AutoDesk 3D applications, it is worth a visit to the Autodesk support and scroll through their hardware and graphics card recommendations >

http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/syscert?siteID=123...

Autodesk software historically has been suited to computer configurations that are surprisingly modest and file sizes were small. However, as the CAD world moves into 3D, that is changing. Maya is polygon, rendering, and animation (simulation) intensive and in combination with rendering needs, all of which are CPU intensive- and rendering is one of the few Autodesk tasks that can use all the CPU speed and cores it can get, the suggestions for the 6-core 3960X instead of are valid. Also, as typical with workstation you are likely to use multiple applications (more than once a day I use AutoCad 2007, Solidworks 2010 x64, Sketchup 8, Adobe CS4 or Corel Technical Designer, and Internet) simultaneously the amount of RAM should be generous- 16GB or more. I don't use Maya, but I imagine the file sizes can be quite large. May as well make it fast RAM as well- 1866 or better and with the lowest latency available.

As for the graphics card, again, I would take the Autodesk certified card list seriously and an additional benefit is that you can download special optimized driver ("partnered") versions for their applications. With CAD, I tend to prefer Quadro cards as they use special drivers that emphasise accuracy and, importantly, enhanced anti-aliasing instead of the frame rates orientation of gaming cards like GeForce. At a moderate use level, GeForce is much better value than Quadro, but with the applications you're using- especially Maya, the ability of Quadros to do things like 128X anti-aliaising, and reliability will make important differences in the results and frustration level. There may be better performance with multiple viewport software also. For example, Solidworks would not run viewports on a GeForce GTX 285, but does so happily on a Quadro FX 4800. I also had a severe problem in Sketchup with shadow artifacts using the GTX285 that did not happen with the Quadro. I may be mistaken, but as these artifacts displayed but did not print, I assumed they were graphics card-based- plus the change to Quadro cured them. You might consider a used Quadro 6000- 6GB GDDR5, 448 CUDA cores, 384-bit and thereby will never run out of steam- one of the great video editing cards. These were $3,700 new, but today (2.13) are often going for $1,200 to $1,400 on eBay. These are beautifully made and made for reliability on long video editing, rendering, and animation slogs. The previous top o' the Quadros, the 4GB FX 5800 is an excellent one too- 4GB, $3,500 new and today more like $400-500. BTW, I chose the GTX 285 as it shares with the Quadro 5800 the same GPU, 512-bit interface, and 240 CUDA cores. In newer cards, the Quadro 5000 (2.5GB)- $600-700 used are great too and you can use these in SLI. Very high 3D performance. I'm not sure, but is VAT on a used card be at a lower rate than new?

As an alternative to the i7 3960X, you might also cop a butchers at Xeon processors- which like Quadro graphics emphasise accuracy- and use ECC error correcting memory. Xeons also often have more cache than i7's. (I use a a Xeon X5460 quad core @3.16GHZ, 12MB cache in a Dell Precision T54000 For accuracy and reliability, Xeons can not be multiplier / voltage overclocked. The other thing is that some versions (2XXX) can be used in pairs, so you can buy 2- quad cores for an 8-core machine or 2-6 cores for 12 cores /24 threads. With dual CPU's comes not only more cores for processing /rendering, but more PCI rails, and up to 16 RAM slots- some server boards can use 512GB RAM. I believe multi-GPU co-processing is going to be the future of 3D CAD, video, animation, rendering workstations, and on a dual CPU machine with lots of PCIe x16 slots, you could run at first one graphics card, then two - to have muti-monitors and later add 3X Tesla GPU's- which are bound to be affordable by small firms and individuals in the future, and which would be more or less a personal supercomputer capable of astoundingly fast and precise 3D modeling. And, if you dare to try used Xeon, a pair of X5680's - 3.33GHZ 6-cores, 12MB cache- about $600 each eBay would do very nicely, ranking No. 23 on Passmark Benchmark. Those were $1,000 new. A single CPU, new Xeon I like- and is not outrageously priced- is the 6-core E5-1650 ( 12MB cache LGA 2011 socket) at $600-700, ranked No. 14 on Passmark. For comparison, the i7-3960X ranks No. 8, and in contrast to Xeon, can be overclocked. Still, the way in which Xeons have been optimized by the applications and specialized "partnered" workstation GPU drivers -Quadro and Firepro- and I believe esp. in big projects, the experience will be more comfortably reliable and precise with a Xeon / Quadro. I make the analogy between workstations and gaming computers with cars like BMW saloons and Aston Martin DB9- the Aston is optimized to do the Nurburgring in 8:00, but the BMW M5 will do it in 8:05 and in comparison to the DBS, the M5 can drive 4 people comfortably and won't compress their spines and explode the gearbox on the way home!

Sorry to ramble on so long, but 3D CAD workstations are important, expensive decisions.

Cheers,

BambiBoom
Los Angeles

[ Today > Dell Precision T5400 (2009), Xeon 4-core X5460 @ 3.16GHz (No. 239 Passmark), 12GB RAM, Quadro FX 4800, WD RE4 500GB, Windows Ult. 64-bit]
[ Next week > I have already purchased the parts to have > 2X Xeon 4-core X5460 @ 3.16GHz, 18GB RAM, Quadro FX 4800, WD RE4 500GB / Seagate Barracuda 500GB, Windows Ult. 64-bit. The upgrade is due to two projects, one is a 6,000 part assembly in Solidworks, the other is a 110MB Sketchup architectural model and will need 40+ large, high resolution renderings- hence adding 4 more CPU cores. ]
February 26, 2013 7:36:48 PM

hey bambi!

A very insightful rant there, t'was like looking into your head for the few minutes spent reading this :) 

bambiboom said:
As your new computer use emphases use of AutoDesk 3D applications, it is worth a visit to the Autodesk support and scroll through their hardware and graphics card recommendations >


I actually find that feature on their site pretty frustrating and ambiguous, especially the fact you have to select ready-mades from Dell, HP etc. and cant put in component specific details.


As far as the CPU is concerned I think that I will be going for the hex core 3930k for this build, as it sits on the fence it seems of performance and price between low and high end CPUs go. The 3930k has popped up at numerous times in discussions about this rig both online and off so I think I will start from here (even though previously I was going to go for the lesser 3770k)

bambiboom said:
I believe multi-GPU co-processing is going to be the future of 3D CAD, video, animation, rendering workstations, and on a dual CPU machine with lots of PCIe x16 slots, you could run at first one graphics card, then two - to have muti-monitors and later add 3X Tesla GPU's- which are bound to be affordable by small firms and individuals in the future, and which would be more or less a personal supercomputer capable of astoundingly fast and precise 3D modeling.


Yes I will be hoping this is the case in the not to distant future, and will probably then be willing to pay the extra bit of cash on the higher end (fingers crossed cheaper) graphics card.

It was pretty hard to find solid evidence of a graphics card worthy for a rig with specs like mine... thrawling through forums at autodesk, area, cg forums were pretty fruitless. So I opted for the 660 ti...with hopes to upgrade down the line.
!