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Building a Desktop for Graphics/Animation


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#1 pleurebleu

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Posted 04 July 2014 - 04:49 AM

Hello everyone,

 

I am wanting to build a new desktop that's main use would be for graphics and animation work.

 

I am not the novice I was when I first started posting on this forum 5 years ago but I have my doubts as to what exactly makes a computer good for graphics/animation compared to what makes a computer good for Gaming.

 

The budget is loosely defined to be $1,500.

 

Any help coming up with a build would as usual be very much appreciated!



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#2 jonuk76

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Posted 04 July 2014 - 06:02 AM

What software do you use for graphics and animation?  Is your budget to include monitor(s) etc. or is it just the PC tower you are looking to build?

 

It's important to consider this because a lot of graphics software doesn't actually use a lot of 3D graphics horsepower (GPU) and just needs a fair amount of RAM and a fast processor.  In that case it would be a waste to recommend a high end GPU if it's not actually utilised by any of the software you use.


Edited by jonuk76, 04 July 2014 - 06:55 AM.

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#3 pleurebleu

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Posted 04 July 2014 - 08:38 AM

The budget is for the PC tower alone. Unfortunately I don't know what software will be used as it is for my brother who's going off to a computer graphics school in hopes of getting a job at a big studio like pixar/dreamworks/disney...

 

I assume he's going to have to learn to use softwares like the Adobe suite and 3dmax?

 

Sorry I can't be more precise.



#4 jonuk76

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Posted 04 July 2014 - 10:51 AM

That's something anyway :)  It looks like 3DS Max does need a decent GPU (and the preferred, certified options are upmarket professional AMD Fire Pro or Nvidia Quadro cards) although it will work with consumer level hardware.  These professional cards are quite expensive, and I don't have a great deal of familiarity with all the options available. From a quick look, something like the Firepro W5000 is somewhat OK priced (it's classed as a 'mid range' card, can be had for around $440) and is certified for use with 3DS Max Entertainment Creation Suite (which I've assumed is the kind of thing he might be using).

 

Perhaps a reasonable approach would be to leave the GPU for the time being (and say reserve $500 or so budget to allow for one) until more is known until the software he's using?  There is a supported hardware checker on the Autodesk 3DS Max site.  If you go for something like a Xeon E3-12xx v3 processor, the integrated graphics on that (Intel HD P4600) is also certified for the 3DS Max software although it of course won't offer the same performance as a dedicated card.

 

With that in mind perhaps something like this as a base? - http://pcpartpicker.com/p/qGhn8d

 

To be honest you might want to seek advice from those more familiar with computers for professional graphics applications though.


Edited by jonuk76, 04 July 2014 - 10:55 AM.

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#5 pleurebleu

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Posted 05 July 2014 - 08:17 AM

I found (newegg did) a newer version of the CPU that costs the same:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819117318

 

What do you think of this choice for a video card?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814133483

 

Lastly, I am unsure as to whether the PSU's wattage will be sufficient now that I've added the video card.

 

Everything else looks absolutely great, I am baffled by how cheap the SSD and the CPU cooler are.

 

Thanks for your help  :thumbup2:



#6 jonuk76

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Posted 05 July 2014 - 01:19 PM

Good spot on the CPU :)

 

Like I said, I'm not that familiar with the range of options in professional graphics cards. The Quadro K2000 is from what I can see, essentially a pro version of the GTX 650 card.  In the consumer range, that has been replaced and outclassed by the newer GTX 750 range (which you can get for as little as $100).  I don't think that change has carried over into the Quadro range yet, but perhaps something is in the pipeline.  This kind of illustrates how much more expensive these cards are.  It looks like a solid mid range professional GPU choice at the moment though.

 

There's some reviews of the workstation cards here for further reading:

 

http://www.cgchannel.com/2013/11/group-test-amd-and-nvidia-professional-gpus-2013/

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/graphics/display/nvidia-quadro-amd-frirepro_17.html

 

SSD's have come down significantly in price, and there's quite a lot of competition between brands.  Prices of the high end enterprise SSD's are still high, but I think the Samsung Evo's offer a good price to performance  ratio.  The Cooler Master liquid cooler is remarkably cheap at around the same cost as a large air cooler, but it seems to be well reviewed - http://www.frostytech.com/articleview.cfm?articleid=2744&page=1

 

The 550w power supply would be easily enough for a single AMD Fire Pro W5000 or Nvidia Quadro K2000 GPU in a PC like that.  These aren't especially power hungry cards (easily under 100w maximum power consumption in both cases).  The really powerful cards in the workstation class, like the Nvidia Quadro K6000, are uber expensive.  If you want to have extra capacity for possible expansion then that's fine of course.


Edited by jonuk76, 06 July 2014 - 06:02 AM.

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#7 pleurebleu

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 12:21 PM

Since this thread has fully satisfied my research I'd like to thank you once more for your awesome help. It's nice to have people around willing to help out by sharing their knowledge or know-how. I hope you know that I and others (I hope!) truly appreciate all of it.

 

Thanks!



#8 jonuk76

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 06:26 PM

No problem.  Thanks for the feedback :)  Good luck with the build :thumbup2:


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