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Help Build a PC for an Architect


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#1 emka

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 10:09 PM

Hello everyone,

I am planning to build a custom PC that I will use for architecture/design related projects. Specifically, I need to be able to 3D render quickly (with VRAY for 3DS Max & Rhino for example), multi-task with various design software programs and animate and edit videos videos. I am not knowledgeable about computer hardware AT ALL so would love an advice about the build. My budget is around $1,300. So far, the list below outlines the specifications that I have researched that might fit my purpose. Please, help me out! Would you recommend going with these specs? Is there anything I can save on? Or maybe I should invest in something else? 



Processor
Intel Core i7-4770K
Motherboard
ASUS Z87-A

RAM

16 GB 1600MHz DDR3 (I haven't decided on brand yet)
Video Card
NVIDIA GTX 660 1020MHz
Power Supply
Corsair CX600W
SSD
120gb (something that would cost me no more than $150)
HD

1 terabyte

 

I am not sure I will need a water cooler either. Is it necessary?

Any thoughts/advice on this list & the build overall would be greatly appreciated!

 



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#2 synergy513

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 12:40 AM

you may want to check out the workstation gfx cards like firepro or quadro. I am Definitely not knocking the 660 as it is probably the best mid-range gaming card in circulation, but that is a gaming card for use with motion/3D. the workstation cards are crazy in price range..they can be had for cheap ($100), or they can reach the $4k range. you may find a happy medium that gamers like  (price/performance/diminishing returns etc.). but at the end of the day the workstation cards are better for the renderings/texture and presentations/art, calculations etc.

 

 All the other hardware i see listed looks great. Would an i-5 be just as effective for less bucks?  The xeon processors are in the workstation class.

 

i will look on newegg for same price range of the gtx 660 and is compatible with your i-7 z87 for maximum compatibility.

 

here is a firepro in the same range:

 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814195099

 

 

 and a sweet quadro for a few extra bucks :

 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814133353

 

 

the SSD is a great idea for your operating system to load from. but that 120gb will run out of space fast if you want to use it for apps. Veteran Users prefer the Intels and Samsungs in the 240 gb range..

 

 Speaking of Apps: Do not fall prey to publisher suggested hardware bundles, there is a red flag for the individual user, the bundles are suggested for corporate entities, multiple licensing from servers etc.

 

 you may want to consider the Corsair TX series Power supplies instead of the CX, for a few bucks more it is a great deal.

 

Water coolers are a necessity for your CPU  if your case isn't properly ventilated i.e. multiple 120mm intake fans as well as a top exhaust fan.

 

anyway, looking at everything, the 660 with GDDR5 Memory would be a better fit pricewise if this build is financed by an individual rather than a corporate entity.  the Workstation Benchmarks await discovery . keep those Firepros and Quadros in the narrative


Edited by synergy513, 05 September 2013 - 04:26 AM.

Moore's Law : 4d Graph in Progress


#3 GreenGiant117

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 12:38 PM

For RAM whatever you go with get 4 sticks of 4GB, not just 2 sticks of 8, better performance that way.

 

A 120 SSD will hold your OS and maybe one or two large programs, the Samsung 840 128GB will run you about $100



#4 chrisd87

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 09:20 AM

Processor
Intel Core i7-4770K -> Keep because you'll need the hyperthreading capabilities if you're doing architect
Motherboard
ASUS Z87-A
-> Keep

RAM

16 GB 1600MHz DDR3 (I haven't decided on brand yet) You only need 2 sticks. Personally go for 2 x8gb sticks. Brand would be Corsair,Crucial,Kingston,G-Skill,Mushkin. Stay away from the rest. 2 sticks is easier on your memory controller. Plus you'll be able to benefit from dual-channel mode
Video Card
NVIDIA GTX 660 1020MHz -Bump up to what Synergy suggested as the 660 is made for gaming, not for architectual related stuff.
Power Supply
Corsair CX600W- Bump up to the 750TX-Preferably 80 gold certified to be more energy efficient. Modular would be nice as well to help with cable management.
SSD
120gb (something that would cost me no more than $150) I would only use  for the OS. Do not put important files/programs on the SSD as it has less read/write life span compared to traditional HDD's. Samsungs 840 series are very reliable and cheap.
HD

1 terabyte -> What brand? WD is who I would go with and make sure its 7200 RPM or higher with Sata 6.0Gb/s

 

I am not sure I will need a water cooler either. Is it necessary?- Don't go messing with Water Cooling unless absolutely neccessary.

 

You haven't mentioned a case. *You going to be using your existing one?*

 

I would also go for an aftermarket cpu cooler.


Edited by chrisd87, 06 September 2013 - 09:21 AM.

"Like car accidents, most hardware problems are due to driver ɹoɹɹǝ."

 


#5 DJBPace07

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 09:56 AM

To clarify what has been said with workstation GPU's.  Comsumer grade GPU's and workstation GPU's are largely the same thing hardware-wise, where they differ is with the firmware and support.  Consumer GPU's are meant for performance at the cost of precision, workstation cards are the opposite.


3939.png

 


#6 diggi

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 09:52 PM

Take a look at this build its 98 cents over your limit and comes with OS and Case and CD/DVD if you don't need those items get more ram and gpu or even upgrade your CPU (intel lga 2011)

 

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1AOIM

 

Based on an Intel X79 mobo chipset which allows you to expand your memory up to 64gb to speed up rendering

 



#7 rotor123

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 12:40 PM

Snipped

SSD
120gb (something that would cost me no more than $150) I would only use  for the OS. Do not put important files/programs on the SSD as it has less read/write life span compared to traditional HDD's. Samsungs 840 series are very reliable and cheap.

Snipped

I for example put everything on a SSD. I do not consider them as having less life. If wear worries You Go for a 256Gb and make sure to never get past 1/2 full. The more free space a SSD has the more room the wear leveling has to work with and the longer the life.

 

I believe that the Intel SSDs I use have a decent amount of unused space by design for that reason. The 120Gb Intel SSD has 128Gb of memory on it as I remember it. They also have a 5 Year warranty.

 

Bottom line I believe that a SSD should last as long as a regular hard drive. One way to shorten a SSD drives life is to keep it full.

Why bother with a SSD unless You are going to get the full benefit of it by loading windows, programs, swap files etc with it?

 

I do not bother trying to keep things off of my System drive SSDs.

 

If it goes bad It gets replaced. No moving parts = less heat and noise.

 

Roger


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#8 chrisd87

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 07:51 PM

We can give you our opinions, but ultimately you will make the choice. The flash memory that it utilizes only has a limited read/write life span so to speak, and why risk it with important data? Keep the games,os and all of that on the ssd, and put your important files on a traditional hdd. The speed increase that you'll notice will not be that significant to risk the loss of data.

 

Every user will give you their opinion. You can take it like a grain of salt if you wish.

 

 


If it goes bad It gets replaced. No moving parts = less heat and noise.

 

If it goes bad it can get replaced but the data can't. It's not as easy to retrieve data off of flash memory as it is with traditional hdds.


Edited by chrisd87, 07 September 2013 - 08:29 PM.

"Like car accidents, most hardware problems are due to driver ɹoɹɹǝ."

 


#9 rotor123

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 10:13 PM

Hello chrisd87

 

I will say that putting everything, including Windows and the data back from the backup drive(s) is easy. This computer has its' system drive backed up on a USB3 external and a NAS with mirrored drives.

 

These days with all the Ransomeware out there, anything important needs to be backed up. Not to mention that the backup must be disconnected when not in use, Otherwise a Ransomeware infection will just encrypt the backup too.

Important data goes to one of several small, 2TB, NAS with mirrored NAS qualified drives that is shut down except when moving data to it in my case as well as BluRay media. Less important data goes to USB3 externals that are put on the shelf when not needed.

 

Since my Data is mostly HD Video to be edited and Rendered and authored before burning it does go to several 2Tb hard drives.

I prefer to backup the Raw unedited Video. And from there to USB3 Externals and onto the shelf.

 

Also as I understand it when a SSD wears out it just becomes read only.

I monitor my drives SSD and Spinning for health.I use the Intel SSD Toolbox on the SSDs and so far they all after a couple of years of use are showing 100% for Drive Health and 100% for Life left.

 

When I was working up until last fall I was always replacing failed Hard Drives. It is a fact of life that something with moving parts will fail. Periodically I see messages asking for help with data recovery from failed hard drives here.

 

I have come to the belief that a Quality SSD will outlast the typical consumer hard Drive. I'm excluding the older 10K and 15K SCSI workstation and server drives as they were much better built. I also exclude SAS drives for the same reason. However the typical consumer does not buy them due to their cost and a perceived lack of value.

 

I disagree BTW, Quality pays for itself. I set up several servers a year using SAS drives in the past and never had a failure or DOA. They were not cheap or huge capacity. They were just reliable.

 

Interesting discussion chrisd87, I feel that both our positions are true and valid. Thus it becomes a matter of what the user feels comfortable with.

 

Best Regards

Roger


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#10 chrisd87

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 09:30 AM

Good morning Rotor,

 

Yes I have all of my information backed up in 4 different sources. *Maybe a bit overkill, but data reduntacy is never to take lightly.*  I compare computers to cars. You can drive a car off the lot and it breaks down as soon as you pull out of the driveway. Whereas, you can drive a car for 6-7 years or even longer, and not have to do any mechanical repairs to it. Same goes for a PC, you can have a PC last for 6-7 years and never do anything to it, but maybe the occasional upgrade to play the latest games or whatever. Or you can get a PC that you're having to replace every single part in it.

 

If he/she chooses to put information on the SSD that he/she feels is important, then he/she must take the appropriate backup measures to keep that data safe. For me I use Acronis True Image to backup to external hard drive, another computer, some goes on a usb thumb drive, and others are backed up on another hard drive in my case. I've never had any problems with my 840 series that I have, but not to say that someone else could have a disaster with theirs.

 

Backups and drive reliability is a long and can be in-depth review based on 2 different sides, and we could talk about it till one of us stops. Anywho, let's see what route the user takes.


Edited by chrisd87, 08 September 2013 - 10:01 AM.

"Like car accidents, most hardware problems are due to driver ɹoɹɹǝ."

 


#11 emka

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 02:09 PM

Thank you all so much for all this information! I've been a bit overwhelmed…and was trying to put everything together based on your advices and prices that are available to me in Canada (which are so much higher then in US as I discovered!). With respect to storage, I think I will stick to 120gb and will keep my OS and a few programs on it while using Hdd for the rest of my software and files. Thank you for mentioning all the different ways of backing up and storing data that you guys use..I will have to consider that as well. Previously, I never took any extra precautions. 

Also, I will have to purchase OS, the case and CD/DVD writer, and as I'm trying to keep within the budget, I think the best I can do with the graphic card is get  EVGA GeForce GTX 760 or the Asus equivalent (which I still do not know if there is any difference between the two brands...if you guys can suggest one over the other, please do).

 

Another thing that I am considering to save on is the motherboard. If I went for the Gigabyte GA-Z87MX-D3H Micro ATX LGA1150 for example, would it make a difference to me? As opposed to getting ASRock Z87 Extreme4 ATX LGA1150 or the ASUS Z87-A. 

 

Here is what I ended up with (from Canadian newegg, ncix and amazon) ..What do you think? Based on this now…if I could save on something, what parts would it be OK to sacrifice or save on? Or perhaps, I should upgrade some of this still (which is ok if it makes a big difference since I am planning to keep this computer for at least 5 years if not more)

 

CPU
Intel Core i7-4770K 3.5GHz ($340 NCIX )

Cooler
NZXT HAVIK 120 75.8 CFM  ($50 NCIX)

Motherboard
Gigabyte GA-Z87MX-D3H Micro ATX LGA1150  ($135 NCIX) 

Memory
Kingston  HyperX 16 GB Kit, 4 x 4 GB, KHX1600C9D3K4 ($118 amazon)

SSD
Samsung 840 Series 120GB 2.5in SATA3 MDX ($103 NCIX)

HD
Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($72 NCIX) 

Video Card
EVGA GeForce GTX 760  ($270 NEWEGG )

Case
Zalman Z9 ATX Mid Tower Case ($65 NCIX )

Power Supply
XFX 550W PRO550W Core Edition Single Rail ATX 12V 44A  ($60 NCIX) 

Optical Drive
LG GH24NS95 DVD/CD Write OR Samsung SH-224DB ($20 CANADA COMPUTERS)
 

TOTAL: $1233 Canadian dollars (not counting OS)


Edited by emka, 08 September 2013 - 02:14 PM.


#12 chrisd87

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 06:30 PM

The only thing that worries me is the PSU. 550 watts will be pushing the system your video card requires atleast 500 watts. Also even though it says 550 watts, you will not get 550 watts of full power. Most psu's you buy, you will get less than 100 watts of what it actually says, so in reality you'll only get 450 watts. I would bump it up to the 750TX by Corsair and call it a day. Also are you getting the 2gb video card or the 4 gb, they make 2 models? Also the memory is not needed in 4 sticks. I would buy 2 sticks of 8gb. It will give you more room in the end to upgrade to 32gb if you see fit. Also you will be able to utilize dual channel mode with 2 sticks which increases performance. The motherboard has no pci slots so any legacy device you may have such as sound card or network card will not be able to work. Might be something to consider, but if you're not going to be needing the use for the pci slots, then it's not a big deal.

 

Besides all of that, everything looks good.


Edited by chrisd87, 08 September 2013 - 06:43 PM.

"Like car accidents, most hardware problems are due to driver ɹoɹɹǝ."

 


#13 emka

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 11:03 PM

Hi, thanks for the reply again. I am very close to completing my build however. This is the video card that I got: http://ncix.com/products/?sku=85651&promoid=1307 but I am considering getting Intel core i7-4770, 3.4ghz instead of the 4770K since I believe I won't be needing the overclocked feature on it. Would it be alright to just go with the 3.4? (I am asking this because I am totally unsure about how the compatibility varies when you get one hardware that is superclocked or overclocked and the other that is not...Is it fine that I have a superclocked graphics card and the regular 4770?)
 
 
 


#14 emka

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 11:21 PM

And also i am deciding between G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) and Kingston HyperX Black 16GB DDR3 1600MHz Desktop Memory ...does it matter which one I go with?






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