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Ambitious plans: advice, warning, and feedbac welcome

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January 13, 2013 1:54:04 AM

I am a Engineering graphics tech. major, for school I use autocad 201x, and inventor. Solid-works will be introduced this semester. I also have a passion for 3d modeling, for which dabble in just about everything; Maya 2012, Daz3d, mudbox, zbrush, poser8, blender, and sketchup. I do digital illustration with a wacom pad using primarily Painter12, and Photoshop CS5. I also use CS5 for textures and and various photo manipulations. This semester I am starting C++, and I do some extension writing in vb for inventor. I need a rig that can efficiently do all of the previously mentioned and game at reasonable settings. Here is the extra-rub, I would like to be able to boot into OSX 10.7, Windows 7 ultimate, and Red Hat enterprise. I have a hardware budget of $1700 (including S&H). After some research on OSX86, as well as toms on workstation builds, I have come to this selection of components for the initial build. ( I will be upgrading the ram a month after, and vid card maybe 3 months down the line)

Here is my build with brief thoughts on my selection listed within square brackets [] below:
Case:
# NZXT Phantom PHAN-001WT White Steel / Plastic Enthusiast ATX Full Tower Computer Case $109.00
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
[I think it is sexy and has a lot of room for component and cooling upgrades]

Motherboard:
# GIGABYTE GA-X79-UD3 LGA 2011 Intel X79 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard $239.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
[after reading this article on tom's http://www.tomshardware.com/news/hackintosh-mac-motherb... I chose this because it was in the specified series of fully working osx86 motherboards, i could however be wrong]

CPU:
# Intel Core i7-3930K Sandy Bridge-E 3.2GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 2011 130W Six-Core Desktop Processor BX80619i73930K $569.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
[I have read for 3d applications the CPU is the most important choice. I feel that this will serve well for Maya, Mudbox, autcad, and inventor]

GPU:
# EVGA 02G-P4-2645-KR GeForce GT 640 2GB 128-bit DDR3 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card $89.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
[This maybe a controversial choice as it is low end card. Every person who has reviewed it has been happy with its gaming and video performance. I have read many places that is one of the best and most compatible cards for a OSX build http://lifehacker.com/5841604/the-always-up+to+date-gui...]

RAM:
# G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL $46.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
[The best reviewed RAM for a great price, I figure I can always upgrade to 16 gigs later]

OS SSD's:
# Kingston SSDNow V+200 KR-S3090-3H 2.5" 90GB SATA III Internal 7mm Solid State Drive (SSD) (Stand-alone Drive) $89.99*3 subtotal:$254.97
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
[I want to put each OS cleanly on its own drive, which i believe is required for multibeast. Even if it isn't this way each has the capacity to run the programs I need with the disk performance I want]

data hdd:
# Western Digital WD RE4 WD5003ABYX 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive $89.99 (after instant rebate)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
[there are tons of great reviews for this drive and I like WD. It is not huge but I figure I can upgrade in the future]

PSU:
# SeaSonic M12II 620 Bronze 620W ATX12V V2.3 / EPS 12V V2.91 SLI Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply $89.99
(after $35.00 instant rebate)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
[It isn't a hulk of a unit but it should run my rig with a few watts to spare. roughly (i got this from a forum and it seems reasonable so I substituted my component selections values) PwC=(gpu+cpu+mb+(3*ssd)+hdd)*2=(65+130+50+(3*2.01)+25)*2=552.06watts]

Basic cooling:
# Arctic Silver 5 High-Density Polysynthetic Silver Thermal Compound AS5-3.5G - OEM $11.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
[I have had good luck with previous tinkering with this thermal compound.]

# CORSAIR Hydro series H50 High Performance CPU Cooler 64.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
[seemed like a no brainer for the price]

i think this will take you to the public list in it's intirety, though it has done weird things when I have done it others list's:
https://secure.newegg.com/WishList/MySavedWishDetail.as...

Final thoughts
I want to work as a 3D modeler for a large VFX company like ILM, or Weta. I want to be certified in unix administration, Solidworks, Inventor, and Maya by the time I'm through with school in a year and a half. To do what I want I need a digital playground to practice my a** off. Something that will grow with time.
Also I figure, should the Mac OSX86 go pot, Ill just do red-hat and windows 7 ultimate so this build should work for my needs no matter what I hope. Sorry about being log winded. Feedback appreciated.
January 13, 2013 1:58:27 AM

I forgot to add the grand total is $1,576.88
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January 13, 2013 2:46:17 AM

hmm, change up the thermal paste to arctic mx-4. also, you could get 120GB SSDs at that same $90 price point, look for some. those are my only recommendations.
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January 13, 2013 3:00:18 AM

Thanks for the feedback! I'll look into the mx-4 and alternate ssd's.
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January 13, 2013 3:17:22 AM

you can't have both Mac OS and Windows OS on the same partition because they use different file structures - osX cannot write to a NTFS drive

get a mac and use Boot Camp
http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3986
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January 13, 2013 3:25:02 AM

So I did swap thermal for MX-4. The reason I initially chose the smaller kingston's, is while there are cheaper ssd's around, this one was rated very highly by people who had bought them. I didn't like the reviews i read from the customers similarly priced drives. However I found a very highly rated ssd

Kingston HyperX 3K SH103S3/120G 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) (Stand-Alone Drive) $114.99*3 $314.97 i
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
it is a $60 difference. my total will still be within my budget. I have created alternate list for suggestions from here and OSX86 forums so I will think on it.
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January 13, 2013 3:30:13 AM

I like the build so far. I would probably up your card a little bit for the gaming aspect. Maybe a GTX 650 TI or 660. But that is entirely up to you.

I would maybe look into a different water cooler such as

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Or maybe a bigger brother of the H50. H80 or H100.

My preference would be to stick with air cooling entirely, from Noctua. But that's just me.

Looks nice and Good luck to you.
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January 13, 2013 3:32:22 AM

Also, have you looked into the tonymacx86 site? Lots of z77 hackintoshes, not sure about 2011.
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January 13, 2013 3:33:56 AM

Dingo, I own a mac with that runs windows 7 ultimate with bootcamp. I wish to build my own system for performance, educational, recreational, and economic reasons. I am going to try a hackintosh because 1) many thousands of systembuilders have acccomplished it, 2) as I stated I own a mac(accidentally) and despite my best efforts I fell in love with there brand of unix. I know it is mostly just aesthetic, but to each his own. If it doesn't work I still have a system that can do what I want through windows, and redhat.
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January 13, 2013 3:39:54 AM

ok - in that case, you will want a minium of 16GB of RAM, and no slower than 1800 - you'll see a difference in render times - you also want a GPU with a higher memory bandwidth if your budget allows
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January 13, 2013 3:52:01 AM

6Cores is not enough for u to run 3os at a same time via virtual machine.(2core per os).
so Amd fx 8350 (8core)= $200,
Asus crosshair v = $230,
4Gb 2400mhz + oc transcend axeram = $53 x2 =106,
crucial m4 256gb ssd = $200,(x1 for 1os),
Coolermaster 1200w(for future crossfire ) = $240, or 600w(1x gpu) = $70 or $130 = 750w,
Haf advanced cabinet = $140,
seagate 3Tb 3.5" hdd = $130 (x2 for 2 os),
7950 gpu =$320 or 7970= $400,.
that's it.
1530$ for 600w psu.
1700$ for 1200w psu.
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January 13, 2013 4:01:51 AM

oc upto 4.5Ghz in normal water cooler come with processor.
$1530 = Mobo,processor,2xram,1xssd,2xhdd,cabinet ,7950 gpu,600w psu.
$1700 = change psu to 1200 w.
this configuration is future proof and u r softwares are high thread so Amd give more performance definitely.
102501=100Gb accurate.
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January 13, 2013 4:02:06 AM

ohyouknow: I did in fact start out wanting to build a 2770k/3770k powered build. I watched many youtube videos where guys stood next to their bubbly rig with osx booted. The more I looked into it the more it seemed there were hassles with z77. No sound except through VIA, no wireless (not a big deal for me since I refuse to use wireless), and it just seemed no two builds went the same for the people. It's funny but I read many builds from tonymacx86 that used LGA-2011's and also there is a link to a tom's article about fully compatible mobo's for osx86 builders in my initial post. I may have missunderstood it as I am more of a software person than a hardware guy. I believe it boiled down to gigabyte having the the only series of fully compatible becuase the flexibility in the dual efi. I was also seduced by the 6 cores 12 threads. I will keep z77 builds in mind, in case my research shows my choice to be folly. Thanks for the input.
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January 13, 2013 4:15:13 AM

8350 Support mac os.
I7 is more costly than Amd fx. I5 four core 8thread but Amd 8realcore 8thread.
Cache is higher in Amd compare to I5.
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January 13, 2013 4:19:12 AM

dingo: I plan to upgrade to 16 gigs of ram a month after my build is complete. I wasn't sure osx supported 1800 ram, I will look into it. I think it scales back ram speeds if it isn't supported under the EFI, but since I will be using a custom install that may be moot. As for the card, my teacher(as well as a few forums) have aluded to the fact while most autodesk and adobe products make use of some gpu acceleration, the cpu is by far more important component for 3D apps. He said vid cards were mostly for video editing. I know the workstations at my school have quadro 600's which aren't the greatest just optimized for graphics work. The cpu's are Intel Xeon X5672 / 3.2 GHz which are no slouch! Do you 3d model, and if so do you see huge gains in render time and program performance from pro cards?
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January 13, 2013 4:31:55 AM

hytecgowthaman said:
oc upto 4.5Ghz in normal water cooler come with processor.
$1530 = Mobo,processor,2xram,1xssd,2xhdd,cabinet ,7950 gpu,600w psu.
$1700 = change psu to 1200 w.
this configuration is future proof and u r softwares are high thread so Amd give more performance definitely.
102501=100Gb accurate.

I was thinking that,
These PSU jumped out at me,
CORSAIR HX Series HX850 850W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply $169.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PC Power and Cooling Silencer Mk II 950W High Performance 80PLUS Silver SLI CrossFire ready Power Supply $129.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I know corsair, but never had any experience with pc power. Thanks :) 
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January 13, 2013 4:54:19 AM

hytecgowthaman said:
6Cores is not enough for u to run 3os at a same time via virtual machine.(2core per os).
so Amd fx 8350 (8core)= $200,
Asus crosshair v = $230,
4Gb 2400mhz + oc transcend axeram = $53 x2 =106,
crucial m4 256gb ssd = $200,(x1 for 1os),
Coolermaster 1200w(for future crossfire ) = $240, or 600w(1x gpu) = $70 or $130 = 750w,
Haf advanced cabinet = $140,
seagate 3Tb 3.5" hdd = $130 (x2 for 2 os),
7950 gpu =$320 or 7970= $400,.
that's it.
1530$ for 600w psu.
1700$ for 1200w psu.

Oh I am not trying to run 3 Os's at the same time. I am going to use a boot-loader to run each system off 3 separate ssd's. If I want to use 3ds max, visual studio, or inventor which are all native windows programs I will just boot into windows. If I want to mess with a non bell-unix based system, model on maya, and keep myself up to date with an adult flavor of linux, I'll boot redhat. Primarily I will model, and illustrate in mac osx (if I can get it to work). No virtualizaiton. I dislike the performance loss I have seen with both parrallells and oracle virtual box. I tried running visual studio 2010 in parallels, needless to say I went back to using my boot camp windows system after 2 days. I have toyed with the Idea of running redhat through virtualization because I am really just using it to practice system customization, and learning environment for unix administration. It really will depend on how setting up the osx goes. thanks for the warning though
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a c 105 B Homebuilt system
January 13, 2013 4:55:18 AM

hytecgowthaman said:
8350 Support mac os.
I7 is more costly than Amd fx. I5 four core 8thread but Amd 8realcore 8thread.
Cache is higher in Amd compare to I5.


You dont know what your talking about.
Mac OSX is only supported on Intel processors, as they are the only chip available in Apple machines right now.
And you are trying to dissuade the OP from a 3930k with an FX-8350...
More cores (its debatable whether they are even "cores") does not always equal better performance. In literally every benchmark the 3930k smacks the 8350 around.
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/552?vs=697

I have noticed that you fairly consistently give out bad advice. Before you post on a thread, please know what you are talking about.

EDIT: Also noticed you recommended 4GB of 2400Mhz RAM on a 3D modelling oriented machine. My gaming computer can use up to ~3GB at idle, and it easily maxed out 8GB when video editing. For the OP's usage 32GB is what I recommend. And the speed of the RAM doesn't mean anything above 1600Mhz, there is minimal performance difference at a massive increase in cost.
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January 13, 2013 5:25:54 AM

manofchalk said:
You dont know what your talking about.
Mac OSX is only supported on Intel processors, as they are the only chip available in Apple machines right now.
And you are trying to dissuade the OP from a 3930k with an FX-8350...
More cores (its debatable whether they are even "cores") does not always equal better performance. In literally every benchmark the 3930k smacks the 8350 around.
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/552?vs=697

I have noticed that you fairly consistently give out bad advice. Before you post on a thread, please know what you are talking about.

EDIT: Also noticed you recommended 4GB of 2400Mhz RAM on a 3D modelling oriented machine. My gaming computer can use up to ~3GB at idle, and it easily maxed out 8GB when video editing. For the OP's usage 32GB is what I recommend. And the speed of the RAM doesn't mean anything above 1600Mhz, there is minimal performance difference at a massive increase in cost.


I knew the fx-8350 wasn't going to work which is why i didn't respond. To be fair there are several kernel patches for amd builds that have seen relatively moderate success running osx on amd64. particularly for ss2/ss3 processors like phenoms, and early phenom. you might not be able to much that sort of box, being as most the i/o tend to be dead and driver-less, but they boot. supposedly. I haven't kept up with amd since I had to take apart my hp laptop, turn it into a frankencomputer, and put ubuntu on it just to keep it from catching on fire while playing a mkv video. As for the ram, I plan to start out with 8 gigs of 1600 (2x4g). Then upgrade to 16 gigs a month later. Basically gradually working up to 32 gigs over the next year or so. Although the ram I picked might be cheap enough to start out with 16 gigs so you have definitely given me something to think about. I am still not sure about the video card, if the osx works it will definitely limit my choices. Thanks for the feedback.(i appologize if mispoke i can never remember if AMD 64 is the 64bit version of x86 amd architecture or if it is a separate architecture for their older cpu's)
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January 13, 2013 6:08:25 AM

Iam said 600w or 750 w for 1gpu only (yes no crossfire) ,
yes 850w is enough for crossfire.
see the warranty period because transcend axeram 2year warranty .
Mobo 5year warranty ,
1200w Coolermaster max output is 1440w so future proof 5year warranty .
please search the component details in manufacturing website.
ssd Iam said is max performance than other details in toms hardware.
1800mhz ram from transcend give lifetime warranty but

My recamend is fill all slots dont see capacity. see mhz in board and ram.Reason mhz is the key to achive speed. if board support 1600mhz u insert 1333mhz its waste because not get full speed of ram slot. if board support 1333mhz u insert 1600mhz its also waste of money (1333mhz ram is cheaper than 1600mhz)also u not utilise full speed of ram. (2x4Gb=8Gb 1600mhz=3200mhz =3.2ghz) vs (2x8Gb=16Gb 1333mhz=2666mhz=2.6ghz).
study about Virtual memory.
---
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/340-69-hackintosh
---
yes I know u r not boot 3 os at a same time . in future u can consider to use ,then no need to change system.
virtual memory is low cost then ram per gb.
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a c 105 B Homebuilt system
January 13, 2013 6:22:29 AM

Again, you don't know what your talking about.
G.Skill RAM comes with a lifetime warranty and so does Corsair. Both are better brands than Transcend.

Capacity is far more important than speed, and your idea of multiplying capacity by frequency is utter trite. Speed above 1600Mhz doesn't matter, and here is proof.
http://www.anandtech.com/show/4503/sandy-bridge-memory-...
http://www.anandtech.com/show/4503/sandy-bridge-memory-...

I know what Virtual Memory is, and I know that it is only needed when physical Memory is in short supply. It is not a replacement for RAM. Virtual memory is a file located on a HDD or SSD that acts like RAM for your less important data, however being located on a HDD/SSD, it is so much slower than RAM. If you attempted run a system off primarily Virtual RAM, you would end up with a laggy mess of a machine.

Get your facts straight.
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