Custom Build for 3D Modelling + Video Editting

Discussion in 'Computer Hardware, Devices and Accessories' started by nutella, Mar 14, 2013.

  1. nutella

    nutella Low Glycemic Index

    Sep 4, 2008
    Your nearest supermarket
    Hey guys, so I need help with a build I'm doing for my brother so I just wanted suggestions on parts for his build. He's got job interviews coming up soon and basically really wants to have a workstation ASAP. All he has now is a laptop and how he's survived two years on it is beyond me. For reference, his current laptop is the ASUS N53SV.

    For complex 3D modelling and video editing (i.e. Autodesk Maya, 3DS Max, Cinema4D, Adobe Suite CS6 etc.).

    About $2000AU, but a bit more is okay. I'm looking to buy all the parts locally, most likely from my nearest MSY (for the sake of convenience).

    1 x ASRock X79 Extreme-3

    1 x Intel Core i7-3930K

    CPU Cooler
    1 x Corsair CWCH80 H80 Universal Hydro Performance CPU Cooler

    1 x OCZ Vertex4 256GB

    2 x Seagate 3.5" Barracuda 2TB 7200RPM

    2 x G.Skill-NT 16GB Kit(8Gx2)

    Gigabyte GV-N670OC-2GD 2GB GTX 670

    1 x Corsair CC650DW Obsidian 650D Black Mid Tower Case without PSU

    1 x Corsair HX650-V2

    1 x LG SATA Black DVD RW

    Network Card
    1 x USB Netcomm-NP910n

    Total Cost: $2277

    What I would like to know and preferences
    - Is the i7-3930K worth the money compared to the i7-3820? It's significantly more expensive, but a lot of his architectural designs take very long to render (over a day).
    - Any changes you would recommend for my build? Is there anything missing, not thought out well, cheaper parts with comparable performance etc.?
    - I prefer the PSU to be modular.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Carnivean

    Carnivean STARMAN

    Jul 11, 2006
    I'd up the H80 to the H100, marginal price increase for better performance (I did not actually check if the case could take it but for $200 it probably can). A k model is always worth it over a non-k, assuming you are overclocking... And if you aren't bothering with OCing it there's probably no reason to even get a k model with an HXX cooler over a standard one with a fan and heatsink job.

    A higher wattage PSU would probably also be advisable. Might also want a card reader, mic and a capture card depending on how his video editing takes place. I'm assuming it's editing of rendered materials without narrating but it's worth mentioning anyway.
  3. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip Reporter
    Nov 21, 2005
    United Kingdom
    How reasonably priced for an Australian computer parts site. Can't say I think too much of the site design but that matters little here.

    I am not so familiar with high end architectural/civil engineering CAD; in that world 2d room planning or a glorified version thereof is all my customers do and I am not a civil engineer if I decide to don an engineering hat. Depending upon the software you are playing with there are entire extra classes of graphics cards aimed at being rock solid with proper big boy CAD and though they will not often outperform a games card in terms of raw grunt let alone what the drivers do (stable is the order of the day where games can afford to crash every so often) they are often the only things certified* to work with the uber expensive CAD stuff, they do have a price tag to match though and hacking drivers between things is a tricky game and not one often played these days. Your list of programs is more 3d modelling and graphics oriented than engineering of any stripe mind you so that might just be an interesting aside and not a lot else.

    *they will usually run on everything but if you phone them up and say "it has crashed" and your reply to "what graphics card are you using?" is not one on their list then expect minimal support.

    Following on from the graphics stuff above a true workstation is a thing to behold and will cost you a pretty penny for things most people that build gaming rigs of similar effective computing power will laugh at you for including; things here are support for various types of high end RAID, high end networking (renderfarms are not unheard of in this world and your cheap and cheerful onboard gigabit chip might not handle it so well), redundant power supplies, rated hard drives, other redundancy, ECC memory and backup/limp home options at the motherboard level and other parts that companies will fly a proper engineer out to fix at any time of day or night should you buy them. That said you can just build a gaming grade rig and it will have the exact same amount of grunt.

    CAD and video are about the only times more cores beyond two truly makes a difference, whether your workloads and programs in this case will take to it is a different matter; straight video encoding has been usefully multicore for years now, CAD also works well enough and they have long done good things with multicore. GPU and video is an odd one these days- I have never seen a GPU encoder I trust to do more than a rough cut but GPU using filters are a different matter entirely and GPU using programs when you are merging 5 different high res streams and doing fun things with them all is also a popular GPU based task, especially in the fancy adobe stuff.

    Whether the CPU is worth double the price or not is a tricky one. If you are writing it off as a business expense then carry on.

    Motherboard. Nice enough though only 3 SATA 3.0 ports might trouble you down the line (I am definitely backing the SSD and dual spinning drives arrangement- whether you RAID it or not I will leave to a later reply to discuss). The 4 sata 2.0 ports should allow things to happen though without too much trauma.

    The GPU itself... eh it is nice but it is slightly older (DX11.1 and, more importantly for CAD, openGL 4.3 are now available where that one stops at the ones before), I do not know the architectural CAD world well enough to call when that will become a problem here. By the way DX11.1 is technically only available in Windows 8 and the equivalent server version.

    RAM... I am not so sure 16 gigs is truly necessary at this very moment in time but 3 years from now I am all but certain I will not be saying that, doubly so when CAD and video are the orders of the day and if we are into high end architecture and such like then 16 is good to have. If you are bundling light physics in there (and if you have to render a video to look pretty it will be happening), doing FEA or doing fluid analysis, especially building level stuff, then I will shut up now.
    Looking at the choice itself it is DDR3-1600 when the motherboard supports higher and 8 gigs of the faster stuff is about half the price (or as the motherboard sports 4 slots you can get 4 sticks of fast memory to get the same capacity at the same price). If you are going to 32 in a few years time you will probably junk the then old stuff or move it to another machine anyway so no worries there. The motherboard also says it supports ECC but seemingly not on the i7 (that I looked at- I have not checked the manual or BIOS updates at this point and for the motherboard I am only going off the listing).

    Are you not pricing any screens, graphics tablets or proper mice into this? Proper mice and tablets might be a later expense but CAD really likes two nice big bright screens or more. If the video side of things aspires to be truly high end professional grade you may also consider a properly calibrated one but I will not push the boat out too far at this point.

    I have to run now- what you have so far is a nice machine and for the purposes you want there is not a lot other than maybe dropping down to 4 sticks of faster memory that I would change (pending word on the nature of architectural CAD for the graphics anyway). It is definitely a home machine you can do a bit of work on rather than a "why bother going into the office?" machine though but certainly enough for a bit of freelance, fiddling and training up.
  4. nutella

    nutella Low Glycemic Index

    Sep 4, 2008
    Your nearest supermarket
    I did consider getting the H100, though it was really more of a cost cutting move to go with the H80 since I'm over budget already. Upgraded the PSU though, thanks. Card readers and the like are already covered.

    Thanks for all that info, really good stuff to learn from. I did have concerns over the motherboard, but really did not want to go too much over my brother's budget. Definitely going with your suggestion for faster RAM, thanks. Monitors and other accessories are already covered (or will be, but are not essential at this point in time). And definitely recommended configuring a mirrored RAID array to him for the pure fact that he lost a significant amount of his work from a HDD failure last week!
  5. Pong20302000

    Pong20302000 making notes on everything

    Sep 8, 2009
    One's inner self
    lol now thats a spec

    i myself do 3D modeling and 2D stuff too for my actual job
    the programs themselves dont require and overkill spec to do the job

    the part where you need the hardware is when you export/final-render it but that's normally at the end of the project so usually left to do overnight because i want sleep

    these days i do majority of the work on a sub par PC and then render/export it on a 2012 Mac book Pro with 16GB ram to make rendering take about 15mins

    so if you beat the spec of the mac book pro it should do him fairly well
    depending on what he does but the Macbook is also used to export and render full films

    i would also look at what the programs he is using can handle as Autodesk limit there programs to only use so much ram

    also note that depending on the program/3d modeling
    a Nvidia Quadro you will get more beef for your cash
  6. LoloLakitu

    LoloLakitu Shwowow Schogog

    Jul 26, 2012
    That new rad hangout.
    Quadros are literally the same as gtxs just with different drivers, you can do a softmod to your gtx and use the quadro drivers for CAD work.
  7. Pong20302000

    Pong20302000 making notes on everything

    Sep 8, 2009
    One's inner self
    lol but if the program has errors and you call support all they will say is, you need a Quadro, working in the industry myself you have to deal with this as you have the experiment with alot of applications because people using many different softwares
  8. the_randomizer

    the_randomizer The Temp's official fox whisperer

    Apr 29, 2011
    United States
    Dr. Wahwee's castle
    If I may make a suggestion for the HDD. Personally, I'd go with Western Digital (if you can) due to high reliability.
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