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Need a new pc for 3d modeling and render

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February 27, 2012 3:08:20 PM

Hello,
I need to buy a new pc but I am vastly confused on which would be the best choice for me.
I have a budget of 1500 Euros (but it would not hurt to save something), and I will use ithe pc full time for Autocad 2d and 3d, RHinoceros, 3d studio and rendering.
I have selected a few model who look interesting, and I was wondering if any of you could give an advice:

2) Dell Precision m4600, 1449 Euro
Windows 7 Professional 64bit)
Intel Core i7-2620M (2.70 GHz, 4MB cache, Dual Core)
Dual channel SDRAM DDR3 8GB , 1333 MHz
AMD firepro M5950 mobility Pro graphics with 1GB GDDR5
750 GB (rpm) (7200 rpm) hard disk
Display 15,6 " LED backlit, Full HD 1920 x 1080
3) HP ENVY 15, 1325 Euro s
Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit,
Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-2670QM (2.2 GHz, 6MB L3 Cache) with Turbo Boost up to 3.1 GHz,
8GB 1600DDR3MHz System Memory (2 Dimm)
1GB AMD Radeon(TM) HD 7690M GDDR5 Discrete Graphics(TM) [HDMI, DP],
Disco rigido sata 750 GB (rpm) (7200 rpm)
15.6-inch diagonal HD BrightView LED-backlit Display (1366x768)
4) HP dv6tqe (personalizzato), 1009.99 Euro
Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit,
Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-2670QM (2.2 GHz, 6MB L3 Cache) with Turbo Boost up to 3.1 GHz,
8GB DDR3 System Memory (2 Dimm),
2GB AMD Radeon(TM) HD 7690M GDDR5 Discrete Graphics(TM) [HDMI, VGA],
Disco rigido sata 750 GB (rpm) (7200 rpm)
15.6" High Definition HP LED Brightview (1366x768)

thanks a lot

More about : modeling render

February 27, 2012 3:34:41 PM

Can you build your own system? I do this for living, and I don't feel any of these are optimized for 3d art.
February 27, 2012 3:53:59 PM

I will help you break down the importance of parts relevant to the programs you're using.

Avoid the Radeon cards. They are not optimized for 3d artistry or design.

Autocad(2d) is the least demanding, all of these setups should run AutoCad smoothly. The 3d portion of autocad will use a bit more resources. I will take some of your Graphic cards memory, and medium physical memory usage.

Rhino and 3DS will both rely on your graphics card, but only for display. If you want to run some nice(instant) visual simulations you will need a good workstation graphics card like Firepro or Quadro. This is of course secondary to accomplishing task, but it may be important to you. With large files, 8 GB of memory may be a bit low. although in most cases sufficient.

Rendering, this relies mostly on the processor. The i7 2600 series will do an great job with this. But the more ghz the faster you will render (naturally). This will also create some virtual memory cache, and use available physical memory when creating bitmap information. Which brings me to my next point. If you will be rendering a sequence of images, you'll be surprise how fast you can run out of HD space. Be aware.

Additionally, if you're doing any animations (rendering sequence of images) at some point you'll need some sorta compositing program. Almost any compositing program I can thing of can benefit from having more than 8GB mem on a 64bit architecture. This also applies to photoshop, which I assume as any real 3d designer/artist you'll be using.

Last, the access time and write time of your hard drives becomes really important when you have a work station. Look for Raid setups and/or Solid State drives. 80% of the time I work on a station, the bottleneck on the performance is the hardrives which often have not been defragged to make matters worse. Look for setups that have multiple HDD so that the operating system and/or the operating documents have their own HDD.

hope this helps.
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February 27, 2012 4:30:54 PM

I would suggest at least 27" - 30" monitor with 2560x 1440 or 2560x1600 resolution.
You will need a lot of rendering power so get 570/580 or wait for next generation of cudas.
CPU definitively i7 2600 and 8Gb of RAM or 16 if you plan to virtualize.
February 27, 2012 5:24:21 PM

maxinexus said:
I would suggest at least 27" - 30" monitor with 2560x 1440 or 2560x1600 resolution.
You will need a lot of rendering power so get 570/580 or wait for next generation of cudas.
CPU definitively i7 2600 and 8Gb of RAM or 16 if you plan to virtualize.



2 things... first, geForge cards are not for workstations. They are intended for gaming. Second, graphic cards yield no additional power at rendering time. This is a general misconception. Although it is possible to utilize a GPU for rendering with CUDA, it requires more than just installing a pair of geForce SLi cards on your setup and this has a long way to go.
February 29, 2012 6:57:49 AM

DigitalWarlord said:
I will help you break down the importance of parts relevant to the programs you're using.

Avoid the Radeon cards. They are not optimized for 3d artistry or design.

Autocad(2d) is the least demanding, all of these setups should run AutoCad smoothly. The 3d portion of autocad will use a bit more resources. I will take some of your Graphic cards memory, and medium physical memory usage.

Rhino and 3DS will both rely on your graphics card, but only for display. If you want to run some nice(instant) visual simulations you will need a good workstation graphics card like Firepro or Quadro. This is of course secondary to accomplishing task, but it may be important to you. With large files, 8 GB of memory may be a bit low. although in most cases sufficient.

Rendering, this relies mostly on the processor. The i7 2600 series will do an great job with this. But the more ghz the faster you will render (naturally). This will also create some virtual memory cache, and use available physical memory when creating bitmap information. Which brings me to my next point. If you will be rendering a sequence of images, you'll be surprise how fast you can run out of HD space. Be aware.

Additionally, if you're doing any animations (rendering sequence of images) at some point you'll need some sorta compositing program. Almost any compositing program I can thing of can benefit from having more than 8GB mem on a 64bit architecture. This also applies to photoshop, which I assume as any real 3d designer/artist you'll be using.

Last, the access time and write time of your hard drives becomes really important when you have a work station. Look for Raid setups and/or Solid State drives. 80% of the time I work on a station, the bottleneck on the performance is the hardrives which often have not been defragged to make matters worse. Look for setups that have multiple HDD so that the operating system and/or the operating documents have their own HDD.

hope this helps.


Thanks for your complete and very precise answer.
So you think the dell with FirePro Card or the Quadro, will be sufficient?
I am not a proper 3d artist, I am an architect so I use rendering, but I know a proper machine to make very good renders would be way out of my budget!
For my budget and my needs, (medium quality rendering that would not take 12 hours to process, as it does on my machine) I thought the combination of i7 of 2600 series or better, 64 bit system, 8 GB and a professional graphic card would suffice, but I am not a computer expert, that's why I am looking for advice.
February 29, 2012 7:00:19 AM

DigitalWarlord said:
Can you build your own system? I do this for living, and I don't feel any of these are optimized for 3d art.


Hi,
I need a notebook, for the job I'm doing, an apart from chosing a Personalized Dell, I have no other ideas on how to make a system suitable for my needs.
Keep in mind I am not a 3d artist, I just need medium quality renders for interiors, and I need a decent rendering time.
February 29, 2012 7:02:28 AM

maxinexus said:
I would suggest at least 27" - 30" monitor with 2560x 1440 or 2560x1600 resolution.
You will need a lot of rendering power so get 570/580 or wait for next generation of cudas.
CPU definitively i7 2600 and 8Gb of RAM or 16 if you plan to virtualize.


Unfortunately, I am working with a 15,6" notebook, and I will have to buy a similar one, since it is the only one I can carry around without breaking my back! ;) 
February 29, 2012 5:45:41 PM

valentinam said:
Thanks for your complete and very precise answer.
So you think the dell with FirePro Card or the Quadro, will be sufficient?
I am not a proper 3d artist, I am an architect so I use rendering, but I know a proper machine to make very good renders would be way out of my budget!
For my budget and my needs, (medium quality rendering that would not take 12 hours to process, as it does on my machine) I thought the combination of i7 of 2600 series or better, 64 bit system, 8 GB and a professional graphic card would suffice, but I am not a computer expert, that's why I am looking for advice.


Yes, that should suffice for what you're planning to do. I have two jobs, one as a 3d artist and one helping develop structural and conceptual designs for the engineering and marketing team of a manufacturing company. I use Maya and mental ray for the art side, and I use Solidworks for the engineering and design. I gotta tell you, Maya on the artistic side of things can be far more demanding and stresses the computer much more. when I'm on the go, I run Solidworks on a laptop that has half the specs of what you've described, and I never have any problems. You'll be ok... just try to get 16gb mem instead of 8 if at all possible.
March 1, 2012 7:01:21 AM

DigitalWarlord said:
Yes, that should suffice for what you're planning to do. I have two jobs, one as a 3d artist and one helping develop structural and conceptual designs for the engineering and marketing team of a manufacturing company. I use Maya and mental ray for the art side, and I use Solidworks for the engineering and design. I gotta tell you, Maya on the artistic side of things can be far more demanding and stresses the computer much more. when I'm on the go, I run Solidworks on a laptop that has half the specs of what you've described, and I never have any problems. You'll be ok... just try to get 16gb mem instead of 8 if at all possible.


I never had the chance to experience the demands of this program, I mainly focus on Rhino, 3d studio and Autocad, but from what you tell me you've definitely more needs than I do. If I buy the dell precision, will I be able to add more Ram in the future (that's to say, when I have the money)?
I know the dell always mount two or four slots...
March 1, 2012 8:45:18 PM

Yes, you should be able to add/replace memory on your laptop after you've purchased it. Just keep in mind in some cases all your memory slots are occupied and replacing the existing memory is required. I don't know how frequently this happens with laptops, but I know it happens.
March 5, 2012 3:48:13 AM

Hi, I am too looking for a new laptop to run 3D CAD software and other engineering programs. I am a student however, so I do not anticipate working on very demanding and overly-complicated assemblies.

I am looking at possibly getting a Lenovo Y470p -

Specs:
2nd generation Intel® Core™ i7-2670QM Processor ( 2.2GHz 1333MHz 6MB )
Operating system: Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium 64
Graphics: AMD Radeon HD 7690 1GB
Total memory: 8 GB PC3-10600 DDR3 SDRAM 1333MHz
Display: 14.0" HD Glare with integrated camera 1366x768
Camera: Integrated 2.0MP Camera
Pointing device: Industry Standard Touchpad
Hard Drive: 750GB 5400
Optical Drive: DVD Recordable (Dual Layer)
Battery: 6 Cell Lithium-Ion
Network Card: Intel 1000 BGN Wireless
Bluetooth Version 2.1 + EDR
HDMI (Out)

I know you mentioned that Radeon cards are not optimized for 3D, but do you think that it will make a huge difference if I try to model using SolidWorks or NX with this card, as opposed a Quadro? I can get this computer for $799USD off the Lenovo website, which is hard to beat; however, do you think I should increase my budget and go for a workstation computer? I can get a Lenovo W520 w/ NVIDIA Quadro 1000M Graphics with 2GB DDR3 and 8GB RAM for about twice the price at $1,600USD.

If I get the Y470p, I could possibly add an SSD drive for the OS to be installed on and then run everything else on the 750GB HD that it comes with.

Any advice would be very helpful. Thanks.
March 6, 2012 2:27:44 PM

Hi rvill,
you're asking me the question of my life! if someone has an high budget a super workstation is the best solution, but is there a big difference between a very good comemrcial notebook for 900 Euros and a basic level workstation for 1600 Euros?
I really don't know and I am going crazy to find a solution..
For the little I do know, the professional graphic card has specific drivers to support the libraries of Cad programs, rather then those used for gaming.
The graphic card is important when you are modeling, while for rendering what counts more is the processor.
The ram is equally important, some programs and some files need a decent Ram to be run. Let's say nowadays no less than 8GB.
In italy Lenovo is little know, I don't think I've ever seen one in my life.
But if you live in US, you can customise very good Dell workstation or HP computers.

But for that price you can get this:

Hp dv6-6c80el
(here is 900 Euros, but in Italy we have 21% VAT, so I bet you can get it for less)
Processor : Intel Core I7-2760 QM (2,20GHz, cache 6MB, quad-core)
Display : LCD 16:9 LED (1366x768) LED-backlit LCD
Memory : 8GB 1.333MHz DDR3 (still don't know if it is expandible to 16 GB)
Graphic card : AMD Radeon HD 7690M XTcon 2GB GDDR5
Hard disk: 500GB Serial ATA (5,400 rpm)

From the Dell customer service, I managed to find a big discount for this Dell and for less than 1600 Euros I could buy:

Dell Precision M4600
Processor : un Intel Core I7-2720QM (2,20GHz, cache 6MB, quad-core)
Display : 39.6cm (15.6in) Full High Definition (1920x1080) LED-backlit LCD
Memory : 8GB (4x2GB) 1.333MHz DDR3 double channel (supports up to 32 GB)
Graphic card: AMD FirePro M5950 Mobility Pro Graphics con 1GB GDDR5
Hard disk : 320GB Serial ATA (7,200 rpm)

As you can see the Dell is a basic workstation. The only differences are:
-possibility to increase Ram memory
-7200 rmp instead of 5400 for the Hard disk
-Professional card for Cad

Are these feature worth 700 euros? That's what I would like to know, too... :) 
!