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Final Fantasy Society Forums  >  Community Discussion  >  The Dork Squad

Diving into building my own machine





0
 03.04.2013 11:45pm
Thread Creator

Kellios
Yikes and away!



Hey guys, wanted to pick some of your brains, as I'm quite hardware dumb.

Anyways, I'm looking to building my first machine, and want something that's that going to last (naturally with updates here and there), and has the power I need to get things done.

Primary uses are:
-3D modeling/animation/lighting (Autodesk Maya) - mostly need power for as quick rendering as I can afford
-Photoshop/Lightroom/photo/video editing
-Gaming in general
-Possible media center (debating this)

Looking at a budget of hopefully $2000, no more than $2500.

I will eventually want 2 monitors, but will likely begin with just one. But however that may affect choices to build. I have no real extra peripherals, unfortunately, so I realize that can add to the cost too. But for now, looking to get just set up - case, inside bits, monitor, keyboard, mouse.

And then any guides/resources/whathaveyou to help me put this together would be great too =)

I'm probably not buying immediately - so if there's something coming out in the near future I should have, I can wait. 

Thanks guys!





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0
 03.05.2013 12:50am


Onyx
Butts
Administrator



If you don't feel confident doing it on your own or know someone who can't do it for you, look up vendors like IBuyPower or CyberPowerPC that give you a hell of a lot of options in building your own machine, down to the case and cooling systems. They're also fairly barebones in what they put on the thing. Usually just the essentials like your OS, so you don't have to worry about any bloatware.

If you have a MicroCenter nearby, they're an excellent B&M store for this kinda thing. But I don't know how common they are out in your neck of the woods

The only other suggestions is for your needs, you're probably going to want the more top-of-the-line video cards. I personally prefer nVidia to AMD in that department, but yeah. You're also going to want to make sure it has a lot of onboard RAM if you plan on doing modeling. On that note, you're going to want to make sure you have a powerful power supply to handle said video card as well as a really good cooling system. And likely a LOT of RAM (likely GDDR5, but that's really expensive). You'd also want a motherboard that has a lot of expansion slots.

And it probably goes without saying, but you'd want Win7 instead of 8. Better compatibility and more stable. Plus it isn't Windows 8.




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0
 03.05.2013 12:59am
Thread Creator

Kellios
Yikes and away!



Yeah, I'm also looking at CyberPowerPC if I'm feeling too overwhelmed about it.

I'm also interested in the ideas you gave: Windows 7 professional 64-bit, 32gigs RAM, nVidia over AMD, etc. I guess what I'm mostly just dumb about is the actual CPU/MoBo/GPU to look at specifically. 

I also prefer Intel over AMD, for whatevr it's worth (this in argument of knowing Maya plays better with Intel than it does AMD).

I have Fry's, which would be the MicroCenter equivalent. 





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0
 03.05.2013 2:23am


Onyx
Butts
Administrator



Fry's is an awesome store, from what I've heard, yeah.

I got my last computer from Cyberpower PC and I really liked them. Only thing I can complain about is that the documentation they gave me for the case was for a ThermalTake case when I got a Cooler Master, which on the scale of big deals is pretty small.

I imagine for CPU you're going to want an x64 one (duh). If you prefer Intel over AMD, you'd want an Core I7 processor, which is the high performance line (i3 being lower end, i5 being middle-of-the-road).

As far as video cards go, the latest nVidia line is the Geforce 600. Higher the second number, the more performance you get, so 680 will be pretty high performance while 630 is entry-level. Again, make sure you get a good power supply and cooling especially if you get a 680. I prefer EVGA and Gigabyte as far as vendors go.

Motherboards, ASUS da best. MSI's pretty good, too.




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0
 03.05.2013 1:35pm


TheheirofGondor
Registered Member

For graphic card comparison you can't beat Tom's Hardware

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-card-review,3107.html

They even have a handy chart at the end listing the overall most powerful cards from both ATI and nVidia.  As to which brand is better: from personal experience I've had both and never really had problems with either.  Go with a card that fits your needs and budget.  I agree that for 3d modeling you want to go as high end as you can afford

In the processor category go with an i7, you will need it for heavy rendering and AMD doesn't have something quite comparable yet.

Springing for at least 8 and possibly 16 gigs of RAM is also a good idea for video editing.  The idea with RAM is more is better until a point where you don't need anymore.  I've never done lots of video editing so I'm not sure where this threshold is.

I'll throw Cosair into the power supply recommended names, I've been using them for awhile and have never had any problems.

Motherboards I prefer Gigabye to ASUS, you tend to get the same product only cheaper, MSI is good too.

You might want to get an SSD too to keep your operating system and all your programs on, it will help so much with load times.  You will need a backup drive or two that has a lot more storage then an SSD for video editing though, the more you do the more space you need.




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0
 03.05.2013 2:35pm
 (Edited on 03.05.2013 at 2:47pm)

Crisium
N/A



Well, this would normally be quite easy for your budget:  i7 3770k, GTX 680 or Radeon 7970, 16GB DDR 3 1600MHz or faster, quality SSD drive, etc.

But if you are serious about 3D modeling, then even a GTX 680 is inadequate compared to Workstation cards.  A modern Firepro or Quadro is what you need see:

http://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/articles/AutoDesk-Maya-2013-GPU-Acceleration-166/

Now these cards are very expensive.  The extra cost goes into 3D modeling, not gaming performance.  They are certainly not bad at gaming, but their price-to-performance ratio is terrible compared to a regular GPU.

This article is about a day old:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/workstation-graphics-card-gaming,3425.html

A Firepro W7000 should fit into your budget, and will absolutely offer much better Maya performance than even a GTX 680 ot Radeon 7970.  But for games, it performs inbetween the vastly cheaper Radeon 7850 and 7870.  It comes down to what's more of a priority for you.  You'll have to do a lot of research yourself to see if a Firepro is worth it for you, as I have absolutely no experience with Maya or Workstation cards.

Something else to consider, if you are not in a rush, is that the new Haswell CPUs should come out in the next 3-4 months.  This is the successor to Intel's Ivy Bridge (which are the i7 3770k and i5 3570k, for example).




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0
 03.05.2013 5:08pm


Onyx
Butts
Administrator



Yeah, if this computer is going to be first and foremost a work computer, you'd want to look into Workstation video cards.




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0
 03.05.2013 5:31pm
Thread Creator

Kellios
Yikes and away!



Indeed, it's going to be predominately a workstation. Maya/Photoshop/Gaming pretty much in that order of importance for me. 

I knew I'd had to throw more money at a GPU, and had been looking at the nVidia Quadro. 

Thank you very much for the links and suggestions, Crisium. What you suggested is pretty much what I'm loking at. Exploring the links now. 





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0
 03.05.2013 6:08pm


Crisium
N/A



Nvidia is just now launching new Quadro cards so you might want to check them out as benchmarks start to surface:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/6813/nvidia-launches-quadro-k4000-k2000-k2000d-k600

The Firepro still appears to be faster in regular games, but not sure about Maya bencharks yet.




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0
 03.07.2013 5:33am


Southern Comfort
silently judging all of you



I don't have a lot to add.  3D modeling is heavy gruntwork, so lots of processing power, lots of RAM, and a pro videocard.  And under $2500, yeah, it's going to be an i7, maxed ram, and a Quadro/Firepro.

i'm glad that Crisium knows something about professional video cards, because I do DTP, and no matter how grunty it gets, it's still only 2D.  3D is still in the realm of gaming, for me.




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0
 03.21.2013 12:06pm


Som
Genitals are Funny



I'm going to hijack your thread for a similar stopic. Im hoping to try put together like a small compact HTPC out of part of current computers i have. I know i'll need like a mini atx case and mobo, but is that all i'll need? Even though i pretty much exclusivly game on a PC i basicly know nothing when it comes to hardware.

I'm basicly trying to build a HTPC/steambox out of current parts.

it's late now but i'll have a look at my spare PCs tomorrow and maybe list the parts i have.




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