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Need advice on building a system for rendering

Discussion in 'System Builder's Advice' started by kysg, Dec 29, 2012.

  1. kysg New Member

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    1. Need to build a renderbox.
    Why? well I got a laptop and renders are pretty slow on it.

    2. I can't use macs at school to render and I can't render overnight at the junior college and cloud based rendering I've decided to pass on that.

    3. The main purpose is so I can do lighting. I want to be able to render at full 1080P. I also do effects work in houdini and it runs like crap on my laptop.

    my workflow is something like this. Gimp/photoshop > matchmover > maya > Composite/NUke > lightworks for video editing > houdini for effects.

    I thought about GPU rendering but I think I want to go just straight CPU rendering due to the fact that I'm working in houdini and concentrating on fluids.

    I plan on buying this mid January

    OS is gonna be Linux - ubuntu I believe.

    The budget I'm looking at is $1000 yep that is a lowball.
    I can go up to $1400 to top it off.

    FAQ's:
    1. You budget is too unrealistic - So is everything that is in U.S. but on a serious note I'm not trying to render an FX movie and I know simulations will take a while to render even the stuff at studios take a long time to render on way better hardware than what I would get.

    2. Buy an i7 or face the consequences - Well I did look at an i7 build and it may be a possibility but I'd like to see if I can scale down the price.

    So hopefully that covers all that.

    So this is what I've noticed from research I've done.

    on the intel side best thing you can get is i7 6 core dual cpu'd - that is just not gonna happen
    then there is the i7 ivy bridge this is out of reach
    then there is the i7 sandy bridge this is a possibility

    there is the i5 ivy/sandy bridge and these I can definitely see happening

    i3 and below is just not gonna happen.

    on the AMD end I mostly get the recommendation of 8 core piledriver. I'm not sure where this stacks vs the i7's and i5's...

    I think it beats the i3's and I think is on par with i7 2nd gen sandy bridge....I could be wrong I may have read the benches incorrectly.

    so that would leave the 6 core procs and the new trinity procs and I'm not sure where trinity procs stack up.

    On the video card end.

    There is Nvidia - I mostly see recommendations for GTX 640 Ti or something along that line
    and for radeon I think its the 7790

    Should I grab 1gb or 2gb card for the memory?
    Also is possible to step down from a Ti on the nvidia end?
    I probably need to research cuda cores and fermi because I have no idea what the heck that is.

    I priced up 2 builds
    1 AMD 8 core setup - This is about 800$ shipped to CA and that includes sales tax
    AMD renderbox

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    Subtotal: $827.91

    1 Intel i7 sandy bridge setup - this is about 1100$ shipped to CA that includes sales tax

    Intel renderbox

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    Update EVGA 01G-P4-3650-KR GeForce GTX 650 Ti 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card
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    Update CORSAIR CX600M 600W ATX12V v2.3 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
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    Item #:N82E16817139048
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    In Stock
    Note (Add) $79.99 $79.99

    Update Arctic Silver 5 High-Density Polysynthetic Silver Thermal Compound AS5-3.5G - OEM
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    Update Patriot Gamer 2 Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model PGD316G1333ELK
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    Update MSI Z77MA-G45 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS
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    Update Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000 ...
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    Note (Add) $309.99 -$30.00 Instant $279.99

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    Note (Add) $229.99 -$30.00 Instant $199.99
    Subtotal: $999.91

    both on microatx board. If a case and board combo come out cheaper than what I got then by all means suggest.

    Further thoughts: A - got a lot of research to do. B - A lot of people say this thing is pretty unrealistic and yea but I got get something done I think its possible to get an i7 setup done, if not then i5 may be an option the price on i5 and 8core are similar pricing so it becomes tough to make that decision.

    I just need to get something together obviously on the intel end if I take the sandybridge route I can upgrade to ivybridge later.
    on the AMD end I'm topped out unfortunately...

    So any further thoughts and advice would be helpful.
    Sorry this post got so long
  2. Novulux

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    Is it possible for you to get to Microcenter in Tustin? The i7-3770k is $230 there.

    Intel Xeon E3-1230 V2 Ivy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Tu...
    Xeon version of an i7 without IGP is a good alternative if you don't plan to overclock. Much cheaper.

    I also recommend DDR3-1600 RAM as it has become much more standard, and it is not much greater in price.
  3. NdMk2o1o

    NdMk2o1o

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    if you're not doing GPU rendering you don't need an dedicated GPU, integrated/IGP will be more than enough.

    You can probably build a i7 4c/8t or i7/6c/12t machine with your budget quite easily as all you would need is a budget motherboard (unless you plan to OC) and 16GB DDR3 ram, the rest really isn't important for your requirements from what you have mentioned.
    An i7 4c/8t or 6c/12t is defo a better option than AMD Bulldozer imo
  4. ilikemacandpc New Member

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    need more info

    do you need a high quality monitor, or will a general 1080p monitor work?
    do you have any preferred stores in ca?
    are you going to build this yourself?
  5. ilikemacandpc New Member

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  6. ilikemacandpc New Member

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    ncix build

    all of these parts are on ncix.com

    Xeon 1230 V2
    Gigabyte B75M-D3H
    Seagate Barracuda 1TB
    Intel SSD 330 120GB
    Corsair 16 GB (2x8GB) XMS3 DDR3-1600
    XFX Core Edition Radeon HD 7850
    Corsair CX430 (non modular)
    Fractal Design Core 1000
    LG 24x DVD Burner

    Total approx $1000 CA
  7. kysg New Member

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    @ ilikemacandpc
    - I originally was gonna go that route but hey if I can shave the price down but just taking a 1080P monitor I don't think it is that big of a deal...

    Though I did want to consider LED backlit and the response at 5ms.

    -I'll be building it, I've built 3 pc's all from newegg.
    -Well I guess newegg as an online vendor. I don't have any other preferred stores usually when I go to places like best buy or fry's the prices are typically higher but I know why. I'd guess I'd be open to other online vendors.

    I think I mentioned this but I'm picking up the parts in the middle of january around the 20th


    @NdMk2o1o
    -Well wouldn't that slow me down in the viewport of the program? I'm just saying if it was just drop it in and click render then yea I could see your point.

    I don't plan to OC

    I'd like to hear some further thoughts on a 8 core / 12 core machine or for that matter 6 core because I felt like these were out of range.
    Unless you are suggestion I go with a Xeon / opteron which I would have to research that because I have no idea where those stack up.


    and lastly I will double check the price on ddr3 1600
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2012
  8. ilikemacandpc New Member

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    do you live in california or canada?
    if canada, have you heard of ncix?
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2012
  9. kysg New Member

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    I know about ncix but I don't live in Canada, I live in california.
  10. eidairaman1

    eidairaman1

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    APU setup id say
  11. kysg New Member

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    APU setup you might have my attention on that one...
    hmm I just wonder what the performance in the viewport would be like....
  12. ilikemacandpc New Member

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  13. eidairaman1

    eidairaman1

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    i mean APU is the cheapest you can get but performance is pretty good considering certain model APUs you can augment with Dual Graphics (Discrete Video plus APU).
  14. ilikemacandpc New Member

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    it is not good for $1000 to $1400 build. maybe for a $600 budget rendering pc, because these apus are as strong as i3s. This build will have a xeon which is twice as powerful. a radeon 7850 is several times more powerful than a 7660d.
  15. kysg New Member

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    So it's looking like a xeon huh, hmm guess I get to research how these things stack against opterons

    so if that is the case
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2012
  16. Novulux

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    The Xeon E3 series is the exact same as the i5s or i7's... except with some added features, some models without IGP, no overclocking, but cheaper price generally.
    The E5 series is filled with the real heavy performers followed by much greater prices.
  17. kysg New Member

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    Well just finished up pricing and this is where it stands


    i7 sandy bridge
    $955 shipped

    xeon renderbox
    $975 shipped

    amd 8core renderbox
    $899 shipped

    So yea right under 1000 bucks. I get a little bit of leway on the amd and the i7 because I can run IGP till I decide to invest in a card. The xeon I have to pay for a card.

    Prices can obvious fluctuate from here till middle of january.

    Some other questions
    for the mobo on the xeon
    I have B75 picked out - I have an alternative board with H67 and Z77.

    any advantages here??
    I know I can upgrade with the z77 to something better if I'm correct.

    and had a question about video cards

    for the amd8core I have a GTX 550 TI
    I couldn't find a comparable radeon chip so I think this the go to.

    for the Xeon I have a radeon 7750 picked out.
    Alternatives are the 7850 and a GTX 650 Ti which I was told if I don't get i7 3770k then you shouldn't be touching that GTX 650 ti but I'm not sure.

    Lastly there is Gt series but I think those but wanted some extra advice.

    So final thoughts
    On the AMD can only upgrade ram and hard drive

    the xeon depending on the board I can probably opt for some upgrades down the line depending on the board.

    with the i7 sandy bridge I can also opt for upgrades

    I'm leaning towards either the xeon or the Amd.

    Thanks


    oh yea and about the xeon that one I picked doesn't have IGP but it has HT so you win some you lose some.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2012
  18. OneMoar

    OneMoar New Member

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    if you are gonna be crunching video go intel
    AMD are great for gaming but intel beat the snott out of them
  19. ilikemacandpc New Member

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    the radeon 7850 is 80% faster than the 7750. The xeon is more than well matched to the 7850. if you do not ever plan to overclock, then get the b75 board and the xeon. Even on the b75 board, you could upgrade to a higher end xeon e3 or i7 down the road, but the performance gains will be minimal.
    what are all of the parts in the xeon renderbox that you chose?
  20. Aquinus

    Aquinus Resident Wat-man

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    I'm a little curious why no one has recommended an FX processor. A lot of these tools can utilize multiple threads and something like an FX-8350 could be a powerful option for not a whole lot of money. Just something worth considering.

    Also keep in mind that if you do want to upgrade down the road, skt1155 isn't going to enable you to do a whole lot long term. Xeon or not.
  21. ilikemacandpc New Member

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    too much power consumption and no good m-atx boards- no 970, 990x, or 990fx chipsets
    xeons are faster anyway.
  22. kysg New Member

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    Yea I see what you mean.

    on the Xeon right now.

    Have an H77 board picked out its gonna either be this or the b75 board as an alternate. The price diff aint that much.

    ASRock H77 Pro4-M LGA 1155 Intel H77 HDMI SATA 6Gb...

    since I'm going linux though I've heard support has been better for the nvidia's than it has been for the radeons.

    I'm probably not gonna bother upgrading the CPU. (Came to this realization last night after reading a few other threads)

    Also I don't plan to game so I keep wondering why a recommendation for a 7850 would come up.
    I could only see a need directly for this if I needed to do work in the viewport in maya.

    Which led me to think I could scale back to a 7750, GT 640, or even GT620 but I do realize GT620 and 640 will probably only be good for 1080P playback.


    Right now looking at 940$ shipped but I figure compare prices between newegg and ncix. Might be able to close the gap between the amd 8 core and the xeon on the price end.

    I have it down to just the xeon and amd8core
    I have the lowest grade 8 core chosen but obviously I can throw down a few more dollars for the faster 8 cores.

    monitor wise I could scale down to a 23 or 23.6. Diff is about 20-30 bucks.

    xeon
    case: Fractal Design Core 1000 Micro ATX Computer Case w...
    mobo: ASRock H77 Pro4-M LGA 1155 Intel H77 HDMI SATA 6Gb...
    card: MSI N640GT-MD1GD3 GeForce GT 640 1GB DDR3 PCI Expr...
    PSU: CORSAIR Builder Series CX430 430W ATX12V v2.3 80 P...
    CPU: Intel Xeon E3-1230 V2 Ivy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Tu...
    RAM: CORSAIR XMS3 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR...
    HDD: Western Digital WD Blue WD10EZEX 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB...
    monitor: ASUS VS248H-P Black 24" 2ms HDMI LED Backlight Wid...

    went with the GT640 on the xeon
    about $940 shipped or a little more or less

    Amd8core
    case: Rosewill FBM-02 Dual Fans MicroATX Mini Tower Comp...
    mobo: GIGABYTE GA-78LMT-USB3 AM3+ AMD 760G HDMI USB 3.0 ...
    card: PNY VCGGTX550TXPB GeForce GTX 550 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 1...
    PSU: CORSAIR CX600M 600W ATX12V v2.3 SLI Ready CrossFir...
    CPU: AMD FX-8120 Zambezi 3.1GHz Socket AM3+ 125W Eight-...
    RAM: CORSAIR 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 133...
    HDD: Western Digital WD Blue WD10EZEX 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB...
    monitor: ASUS VS248H-P Black 24" 2ms HDMI LED Backlight Wid...

    about $900 shipped
    and the PSU is 600W but I think I can drop to 500W
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2012
  23. Norton

    Norton WCG-TPU Team Captain

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    Hi just a few comments on going with AMD FX-8:

    Go with the Vishera chip and at least an 970 chipset.... 760G is not that great
    I use an FX-8350 in one of my rigs and it's a multi-tasking Beast ;)

    FX-8320 w Gigabyte 970A UD3 motherboard
    Computer Parts, PC Components, Laptop Computers, L...
    Corsair XMS3 memory
    CORSAIR XMS3 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR...
    NZXT Source 210 case
    NZXT Source 210 S210-002 White w/Black Front Trim ...
    Corsair CX500
    CORSAIR Builder Series CX500 500W ATX12V v2.3 80 P...
    WD Black 1TB HDD
    Western Digital WD Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM 6...
    MSI GTX 650 video card
    MSI N650-1GD5/OC GeForce GTX 650 1GB 128-bit GDDR5...
    ASUS 24" Monitor (same as you chose)
    ASUS VS248H-P Black 24" 2ms HDMI LED Backlight Wid...

    $851.00 Before shipping
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2012
    Aquinus says thanks.
    Crunching for Team TPU More than 25k PPD
  24. kysg New Member

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    yea no good mAtx boards for the 8core amd... there are some m-atx for the 8xx series but it looks like they only can handle 16gb of RAM.

    the 9xx series doesn't carry any HDMI but I figured that doesn't matter.

    why recommend the gtx 650 when I would take a bandwidth hit? Just curious.

    Right now both builds are sitting under 1000 bucks. A lot is a give an take between the video card/mobo/vid card.

    seems with 8core build I'll hit $9xx shipped

    the xeon somewhere inbetween $950's So as far as price, about 50-100 less

    I'm heavily considering taking the xeon with a cheapo card and upgrading it down the line, besides I was originally hoping to spend 1000 with 1400 to top it off but since I'm under $1000 with a possibility of going lower then it is better than what I expected because I originally thought I was gonna have to pay 1300 for an intel build.

    also even if I switch to ATX the price point is still about 50-100 dollar difference between both builds. If it becomes like $125 to $200 gap then yea 8core would sound like an option.

    I'll check some specs on the xeon and compare to the FX chip.
  25. kysg New Member

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