Quantcast

Maximum PC

It is currently Sun Jul 13, 2014 9:04 pm

All times are UTC - 8 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 11 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: BYOPC for CG
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 1:16 pm 
8086
8086

Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 1:03 pm
Posts: 8
I realize most reading this website/forum are gamers. However, while I like games as well, I'm wondering where I might find info to build my own Computer Graphics system with a budget in-line with the baseline or performance systems budgets I read about in the Blueprint articles? I'll need two hard drives(small for OS and large for storage) and two monitors. The cost of the monitors can be left out of budget, I just need the system build to handle two monitors.


Top
  Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: BYOPC for CG
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 1:43 pm 
Team Member Top 500
Team Member Top 500
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2005 10:45 pm
Posts: 2980
Location: Central Florida
mrw55 wrote:
I realize most reading this website/forum are gamers. However, while I like games as well, I'm wondering where I might find info to build my own Computer Graphics system with a budget in-line with the baseline or performance systems budgets I read about in the Blueprint articles? I'll need two hard drives(small for OS and large for storage) and two monitors. The cost of the monitors can be left out of budget, I just need the system build to handle two monitors.


CG - as in computer generated graphics - as in 3D content creation? What programs you using including program version? 3DS Max? Maya? other? I ask because I wouldn't want to recommend something that you wouldn't be able to take full advantage of.

But that said, assuming you're using a Maya or 3DS Max, I'd build around the Intel i7-3930K LGA 2011 3.2GHz 6-core processor (6-cores + HT = 12 threads of rendering goodness) & 32GB - 64GB RAM. With current pricing & some minor changes, you should be able to put together a near carbon copy of the Performance PC with the upgraded CPU & additional RAM and still be at or under the $1900 mark.

For example instead of the Sabertooth board, I'd go with one of these two: Asrock X79 Extreme6 or Gigabyte GA-X79-UP4 At $229 the Extreme6 has got one heck of a nice set of features.

Also, if you hurry, you can pickup a great PSU for pretty decent coin: Seasonic X650 Gold certified full-modular 650 Watt PSU $90 after $40 Promo-Code EMCYTZT2318 - 24hr special


Top
  Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: BYOPC for CG
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 2:29 pm 
8086
8086

Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 1:03 pm
Posts: 8
chaosdsm:

Your assumption is correct. I am running (will run) the Autodesk Entertainment Creation Suite Ultimate which includes Maya, 3ds Max, Mudbox, MotionBuilder, Softimage and SketchBook Designer. And later I'll add Photoshop and maybe Illustrator and whatever else I need.
This is to be a dedicated machine. It's sole purpose is running the above software plus an Internet connection for tutorials and such.
The components you listed sound good.
Due to CUDA technology, I need a Nvidia GPU (Autodesk likes CUDA). But what I am wondering is whether I should use a gaming GPU or a workstation GPU and what's really the difference?
I'm not sure I need speed so much as stability and efficiency.
And of course there is the RAM. Autodesk says, and I'm laughing as I type, that 4GB of RAM should be a minimum system requirement. I'm thinking, as much as I can get. I've used 3ds Max along with Photoshop, on an old machine, and my screen would go white. Just completely blank, as a sheet of typing paper.
And now the real question. Compatibility between components. Anyone can throw darts at a website and pick components, but will they work together?
Anyway, thanks for taking time to answer.

Just for the record, I get student pricing on the software. If I could purchase the suite w/o discounts I wouldn't worry about a budget.


Important note: Use of viewport 2.0 requires a graphics card equal to a Quadro FX1800 or higher for Nvidia or equal to a FirePro V4800 or higher for AMD.
Important note: Nvidia Kepler graphics cards (Geforce GTX 670-680-690) are not supported by Maya.


Last edited by mrw55 on Wed Oct 10, 2012 7:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
  Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: BYOPC for CG
PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 5:24 pm 
Team Member Top 500
Team Member Top 500
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2005 10:45 pm
Posts: 2980
Location: Central Florida
First things first, I believe that you will need a Professional / Workstation graphics card, IIRC Maya does not support desktop (gaming) GPU's, or is it only the Kepler's (nVidia 6xx series), that it doesn't support, will have to double check that. Typically for a dedicated Entertainment Creation Suite workstation, I would recommend a Xeon system, but that'll blow your budget out of the water because you're then looking at ECC or Registered ECC RAM, a dual processor server motherboard, although some of the desktop single processor x79 LGA 2011 motherboards are more costly than a nice Supermicro dually. Plus you'll need to go by the motherboard vendor's certified hardware list to ensure maximum stability & reliability.

Basically, you're looking around $4k in a Xeon system to get equal performance to the 3930k for $2k. However, the Xeon system would have a considerably wider upgrade path for future expansion, and you can sacrifice a bit of performance for now & bring the price differential much closer.

Here's an example of a "lower cost Xeon" that doesn't sacrifice a ton of performance... food for thought if you will:
CPU: Xeon E5-2620 Sandy Bridge-EP 2.0GHz 6-core CPU w/HT$400
Motherboard: Supermicro MBD-X9DA7-O Extended ATX Dual LGA 2011 $550
Memory: Samsung 4GB DDR3-1333 M393B5273DH0-CH9 Registered ECC DIMM $44 Each x4 = $176 for 16GB or Samsung 8GB DDR3-1333 M393B1K70DH0-CH9 Registered ECC DIMM $58 Each x 4 = $232 for 32GB or $464 for 64GB
OS & Programs Drive: Samsung 256GB SATA III SSD $200 or two 128GB versions for slightly less & have the second one as a dedicated swap drive
Storage Drive(s): Seagate ST32000645NS 2TB SATA 6GB S Constellation ES.2 7200RPM 64MB Cache HDD $190
Power Supply: Seasonic 80+ Platinum 860 Watt PSU $200
GPU: PNY PNY VCQ2000D-PB Quadro 2000D 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 Workstation Video Card $430

Not Including a case or optical drive, thats about $2200 with the 16GB RAM option. Picked the drives & RAM based on Supermicro's "Tested" lists. The PSU is a bit of overkill, but I included it for future expansion including dual 150W CPU's & a more powerful GPU as budget or funding increases.

Though this system would be slower than a i7-3930K based system and more expensive, the advantage of it, is that you can add a second identical processor later on when prices come down or you get more available funds & even further down the line or if you suddenly find yourself with a financial windfall, you could upgrade to a pair of E5-2670 or 2.6GHz 8-core Xeon's (or better) for a significant performance boost. Where as the only current upgrade option to the 3930K is the Extreme edition 3960k for nearly double the price of the 3930k but only a small performance increase, beyond that, you're looking at a October 2013 before the next batch of LGA 2011 desktop CPU's come to market.


Top
  Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: BYOPC for CG
PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 6:58 pm 
8086
8086

Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 1:03 pm
Posts: 8
Thanks. You have been a big help.
Going for aspirin. My wallet hurts.


Top
  Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: BYOPC for CG
PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 7:16 pm 
Klamath
Klamath

Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2008 6:24 pm
Posts: 286
Perhaps I am a bit skeptical of the Xeon processor and ECC RAM, but mrw55, as a student are you not able to ask around and see what is a typical setup for a system that suits your needs? Teachers and fellow students might give you some of the best insights on what is worth it and what is not.


Top
  Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: BYOPC for CG
PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:15 pm 
8086
8086

Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 1:03 pm
Posts: 8
To hindolio:

As a matter of fact I am.
Only a moment before checking my email, which led me to your comment, I was online at Autodesk's website viewing the compatible graphic cards and systems (read Manufacturers). Something I just discovered.

As to the "Xeon processor and ECC RAM" I have not read any data that specifies one processor or another, yet. I do know that the recommended GPUs are Nvidia Quadros and due to CUDA technology which favors multi-core, the Xeons seem like a good choice. Regarding registered or non-registered memory, at the moment, I do not know enough about the CPU vs ECC RAM.
But I will before I make a purchase.
As for tech support, like everywhere else, it's hit and miss. I do have a request in to Autodesk Tech Support. I have not heard back from them.


Top
  Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: BYOPC for CG
PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 10:38 pm 
Team Member Top 500
Team Member Top 500
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2005 10:45 pm
Posts: 2980
Location: Central Florida
hindolio wrote:
Perhaps I am a bit skeptical of the Xeon processor and ECC RAM, but mrw55, as a student are you not able to ask around and see what is a typical setup for a system that suits your needs? Teachers and fellow students might give you some of the best insights on what is worth it and what is not.


Your skeptical of what? The need to use a Xeon processor over its desktop counterpart, or the ability of the software to scale with the number of cores???

To render a movie like Shrek or Ice Age, or other similar digital animation movies, takes millions of CPU hours. Ice Age 2 supposedly took 15 CPU hours PER FRAME to render. To put that another way, if they had used a single Quad-Core desktop CPU to animate the movie, it would not be released until after the year 2060, because it would have taken over 55 years to render more than 131,000 frames used in the movie.

Check out the recommended & certified systems for Autodesk's Entertainment Creation Suite... all of them are "workstation" systems, with all of the desktops being Xeon systems up to & including dual 8-core Xeon's with HT for 32 threads & all of the laptops being i7 based systems because there are no Xeon based laptops.


Top
  Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: BYOPC for CG
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 1:38 am 
8086
8086

Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 1:03 pm
Posts: 8
To chaosdsm:
I found the hardware recommendations for Autodesk software today. Your assessment is correct. What bugs me is, with the way they give recommendations regarding system use, it's left up to the manufacturer to decide what components should be used in support of the recognized CPUs and GPUs.
Ever seen Dell's workstation offerings? Not alot to be desired.
And, for the buyer, not much choice in the system configuration.
HP is a little better and I am currently unfamiliar with "Boxx". I'll check them out later.
After all I have learned with this post, I do not see any choice but to accept Autodesk's recommendations.
I'm going to build my rig right. Otherwise, it's a waste of time and money. Why dump 2 grand into a system that only works half-a$$? Besides, If I need support, Autodesk will laugh at me if I tell them about an under par rig I am working from.
I look at it this way, as much money as I could have spent on the software, I'm still way ahead as to what I need to spend on the hardware.
It's a trade off I can live with.
Thanks again for all your help.
Later.

P.S. "Ice Age 2 supposedly took 15 CPU hours per frame?"
!!!%@*"+!$$$*
I'll be posting later about a render farm build.


Top
  Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: BYOPC for CG
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 8:09 am 
Team Member Top 500
Team Member Top 500
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2005 10:45 pm
Posts: 2980
Location: Central Florida
mrw55 wrote:
P.S. "Ice Age 2 supposedly took 15 CPU hours per frame?"
!!!%@*"+!$$$*
I'll be posting later about a render farm build.


LOL... that's how the big-boys do it... i.e. Pixar, et.al...

RE: Desktop Vs Workstation graphics, I meant to post on this earlier & somehow missed it. The primary difference between the two is in the color precision. Desktop GPU's are basically designed for gaming where color accuracy isn't very high on the priority list. Workstation graphics cards are designed for content creation where demand for accurate colors is of prime importance.

For personal use, a desktop card will in general be okay, and from the non-recommended / non-certified list on Autodesk's site I see they do support certain higher end desktop GPU's like the nVidia 480 & 580 but no Kepler (600 series) cards. But if you're going to be producing content for professional publishing i.e. commercials, TV spots, movies, a desktop card simply won't cut it. What's the real difference... well, if Shrek had been designed using a desktop GPU, he might have turned out bright lime green or some funky orangish green instead, & his coloring probably would have fluctuated throught the movies.


Top
  Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: BYOPC for CG
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 9:30 am 
8086
8086

Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 1:03 pm
Posts: 8
To chaosdsm:

Desktop vs. Workstation?

Good to know.
Thanks again.


Top
  Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 11 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 8 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group