PDA

View Full Version : I am planning to update my current rig, some advice would be helpful!


manuqc
09-06-2012, 01:37 PM
Hi Folks,

I am planning to upgrade my current rig in the coming 2 weeks and I am needing some word of advice here. Its been a while I ve been wanting to upgrade it.. but just got some extra bucks and I ll like to use them wisely :)

First off I should mention for what I am planning to use it I guess. I focus on environment work for film. Meaning set extensions, heavy 3D scenes, nuke compositing, lighting, lots of rendering.
And I ve been getting a bit into some simulation/particles to add elements for environments.

Also using/grading footage from canon 5D mark ii to be use in Comp/3D...

I do use xsi as my main app, also 3ds max currently with mental ray, nuke, photoshop, fumefx, ice particles, zbrush among other. so the bulk of rendering is done by the cpu currently using MR..

Although I am also wanting to leave MR for good and seeking for other alternatives. At work I use arnold for xsi which is sweet!!, but I cant really use it for freelance work... and this rig is planned for freelance stuff and also personal work. So after reading a lot on the subject I decided to go for vray. Now here is the deal...

As said, I use xsi as main app... although it sucks that vray for xsi does not offer an RT version just yet, and this looks awesome (vray rt...) from what I ve seen, I currently have a maya/xsi bundle, but I am a beginer with maya... and this might be "the" good opportunity to switch to maya and vray, and then maybe swap between xsi/maya once RT is implemented for both...

Now I wasnt considering RT at first, but from what I ve seen/know looks like its quality matches the production renderer... so that was a deal closer for me.

Finally, I a not planning to do any animation or character work other than camera movements... I focus on environments. Although I render pretty heavy scenes 2+ mil polys is usual.. (having lots of decimated meshes coming from zb, I prefer that rather than using disp maps), lots of lights, hdr...etc... So I want something that can handle this...

My current gig looks like this:
quadro fx1800, i7 930, 24G Ram 1600. It does not suck at all, in fact I can work pretty well on it. My problem comes mostly at render time, and now because of heavy scenes also scene navigation.

my budget is:2000$ ...could be stretched to 2500$... around

and I thought of the following:

-I7 3930K 3.2, (3.8turbo..) 584$ *I ve read the extreme version of this processor its not really worth it.
-seagate 2TB USB. 119$
-MOBO asus sabertooth X79 LGA 2011 346$ (I picked the one suggested on newegg paired with the 3930k...)
- EVGA gtx580, 3g vram. $639
(now this is the point where I am mostly having trouble!!!
I do know what to think anymore... I read something somewhere and the minute after I find something somewhere else saying other stuff... as a consensus, I found out that the gtx580, 3g vram is a hell of a card and can handle pretty much anything.... although I now seen the new kepler cards GTX 6xx... series.... with looks like they arent as "good" as fermi based cards like the 580... so please help me out on this! I dont mind investing a bit more here... even having 2 cards maybe... if its truly worth. I just wouldn t like to buy 2 gtx 580... to find out a couple months later that chaos group figure out a way to make the kepler based GTX 6xx to work ace.... therefor regreting my purchase... btw also some cards say 4G vram, but I read it actually means 2 times 2G which is not the same?)

Ok I ve wrote a long post!!! Please bare with me, I will really appreciate your comments/thoughts on this. Also want to get some extra cooling, but to be honest I dont even know what to look for :)

Thanks your time.
Cheers!

-Manu

olson
09-06-2012, 03:08 PM
Now I wasnt considering RT at first, but from what I ve seen/know looks like its quality matches the production renderer... so that was a deal closer for me.


Renderers that run on the GPU are great for a few things (architecture, product packaging, jewelry, etc.) but not ready for general production work in my opinion. Many lack basic features like displacements, motion blur, hair, and have drastically smaller memory limitations.


my budget is:2000$ ...could be stretched to 2500$... around


If you primary reason for upgrading is to get faster renders you might consider setting up a small farm. There are advantages for sticking with one machine so if you go that route the build you have outlined is decent.


even having 2 cards maybe... if its truly worth.


Probably not worth it unless you're heavily using renderers that run on the GPU (and live with their limitations).


btw also some cards say 4G vram, but I read it actually means 2 times 2G which is not the same?


A graphics card with two GPU with 2 GB each is not the same thing as one GPU with 4 GB of memory. There are cards with 4 GB of memory in the Quadro series though.


Also want to get some extra cooling, but to be honest I dont even know what to look for :)


The stock heatsinks with all modern processors are just fine. This is only necessary if you plan to overclock, in which case check out Zalman and Thermalright.

manuqc
09-06-2012, 04:06 PM
Hi Olson!

Thanks for taking the time.

I was not really aware of the limitations from gpu rendering. To be honest I am planning to do lots of personal work, but small stuff ("global rendering time wise") meaning shots of 1000-1500 frames max... but pushing in quality... so 1hr/2hr per frame... but again this is "personal work"...so no real deadline.. and in the future I ll probably push a lot more nuke 3d and try to get away with as much matte work and also some CG but not purely CG to reduce render times.

On the other hand client work (freelance) is mostly product rendering, asset building/matte work (this I can handle ace with my current setup). Hence why I thought about gpu rendering as well.

that thing you say about displacements and memory limits does not look good... hopefully gets fixed in the near future.

As for a render farm. I kinda thought about it, maybe I can take my current computer and dump it on a cheap case to create a render node, that might work just fine.

thanks again, maybe instead of getting 2 gtx 580 it might be a good idea to save some money for a decent monitor like an apple cinema 27 or smthing like that.

Any extra advice is welcome!

Regards

paintbox
09-06-2012, 08:00 PM
Just commenting on the monitor, the Apple displays are excellent, but also look at the LG IPS series, they got a few awards and they use the same IPS technology that powers iphones, apple displays etc. Without the price card attached. Apple products are still superior built quality though.

tswalk
09-06-2012, 10:59 PM
...maybe I can take my current computer and dump it on a cheap case to create a render node,...

for me, doing this seems counter-productive... I mean, if you are having issues with render times with your current system, why would you want to use that system for a render node? (other than off-loading the work), but I just don't think it will have the effect you would like. (unless that is your goal, to push that work off with the same productivity you currently have and then continue on with your main production workstation)

to me, you could possibly look at upgrading the processor? (i don't know what mainboard you have there) and then using it as a render node?


also, not sure if working in 10-bit color is important for you or not, but that video card does not have a display port.

olson
09-07-2012, 03:13 AM
...why would you want to use that system for a render node? (other than off-loading the work)...

That's kind of the point of a render node. :curious:

tswalk
09-07-2012, 01:03 PM
That's kind of the point of a render node. :curious:


right, so why would you use the same system for rendering if...

My problem comes mostly at render time, and now because of heavy scenes also scene navigation.

moving it to a render node is not going to magically boost performance.

olson
09-07-2012, 01:10 PM
right, so why would you use the same system for rendering if...

moving it to a render node is not going to magically boost performance.

The original poster said they want to render sequences 1000-1500 frames. The render node (old system) can render some of the frames and the workstation (new system) can render some of the frames. It should reduce the render time for the sequence by about 30%. :thumbsup:

tswalk
09-07-2012, 08:21 PM
ya i see that now in the followup... what is the mainboard you are currently using manuqc? I would almost bet that the processor could be updated too for low cost and help boost that even more.

manuqc
09-13-2012, 09:16 PM
hey guys!

I do apologize for the long delay. I do appreciate your help.

I actually just got the money I ve been looking for so I ll be doing purchases over the next week.

Ok, here it goes.

for me, doing this seems counter-productive... I mean, if you are having issues with render times with your current system, why would you want to use that system for a render node? (other than off-loading the work), but I just don't think it will have the effect you would like. (unless that is your goal, to push that work off with the same productivity you currently have and then continue on with your main production workstation)

Yes this is true, although I thought of that to maybe render some occlussion passes or even some test frames (stills). Besides what could I do sell the parts? Is there any value on 2 years old pieces?? hehe.

Hopefully I can share some render power. But let's say that my goal is to update my current rig, I can figure out about a render node in the coming weeks.

Unfortunately my scenes are really heavy and also trying to search for some render alternatives. Here is a project I am doing currently on my spare time, If you got a couple mins to take a look you ll see what I mean!
http://www.si-community.com/community/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=2717

this is what I currently have on my computer:

ram: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231359
ssd: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148442
windows 7 :) http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116992

more ram (I actually bought this one last year but my current board wont hold more ram sticks, I was actually thinking to put them on my new board, do you actually think this is possible/worth???? (I thought of that because both rams are DDR3 1600 although they are different brands... ) this is the one I am referring:
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145271

current card: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814133272
board: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131614
cpu non OC: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115225

So as stated before its not a crap system... I think so :) But I am now in the need of a "beast" machine if you can say so. And yes I know that means $$$. My budget can go up to 2500$ for now.

My main usage will be softimage/maya vray and vray RT, mental ray (my current project will be hopefully the last big project using MR) So I think cpu rendering would still be really important if not more important than GPU.
besides that I am digging a lot into nuke compositing using footage and also well 3D. But I guess ram wise I am covered no?

Also some particle rendering, which I ll probably push more if I ve had a better pc, although this wont be a priority. I work mostly in environments with no characters so matte paintings or a mix of 3d and live action.

You probably realized that I have cero cooling solution in my current pc! So I am using a house fan with an open case to "cool it" looking for a less roots solution...!

I am using as well keyshot 3 (which is both cpu/gpu and render time is really not an issue, is a beast of an app) and octane (although not priority)


Today I ve been reading a lot about quadro 4000 (2g) vs gtx 580 (3 g vram) ...the gtx580 still looks really tempting...although I keep reading some users reviews about gtx580 heating and other issues.

Finally I found this post on cgarchitects who speaks about the gtx670.
http://forums.cgarchitect.com/71422-would-quadro-2000-1gb-better-than-gtx-670-a.html#post364943 (second post)

Sorry if I look a bit lost on this. I kinda learning and simply want something that will work kickass most of the time. I am not crazy to have a farm at my house I am aware that for "big" work I can still rent an online farm. Although would still like something pro.

Thanks for your advice guys.

-Manuel

tswalk
09-13-2012, 09:50 PM
well.. it looks like you might be able to go up to the i7-980 with BIOS 1501

http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=Intel+Core+i7+980+%40+3.33GHz

and expands you to 6 versus 4 cores.. this will help some.

paintbox
09-14-2012, 08:04 AM
One more tip from me would be not to rush it, just keep comparing until you understand all the facets of your new computer and how they work together to give you the ultimate performance you are looking for. The worst thing that can happen while you hold on to your money is that computers get faster in the meantime. On the other hand of the spectrum, don't wait for the release of some hardware, that "One Magical Component" to rule them all, because otherwise you'll be waiting and waiting forever :-D

manuqc
09-14-2012, 04:28 PM
Thanks guys,

i7-980 with BIOS 1501 This looks actually pretty good considering I thought of changing my current MOBO. I went to look on ebay, there's some deals at 600 ish $

which is a bit less even than the 3930k... here (http://www.ebay.ca/sch/i.html?_trkparms=65%253A12%257C66%253A2%257C39%253A1%257C72%253A5521&rt=nc&_nkw=980x&_sticky=1&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_sop=16&_sc=1)

that ll leave me at about 600 for cpu + 650 gpu, 1250. Looking good I think..

@paintbox, yeah its a compromise anyhow... I ve been wanting to find a magic thread sayin something like.... mari, vray rt are now fully supported with kernel architecture... but looks like we are not there yet, therefor why I am still looking between gtx 580 and quadro 4K.

olson
09-14-2012, 06:48 PM
The Quadro 4000 is not a very fast card. Especially for CUDA and OpenCL accelerated software (like V-Ray RT). I would be reluctant to spend that much on an old platform. Even with a higher clock the older processors are slower.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IP8yzgl56YQ

If you build another system you'll have a render node to work with. If you upgrade your existing system then you'll have orphaned parts. It just doesn't make sense to me. :deal:

tswalk
09-14-2012, 10:18 PM
...I would be reluctant to spend that much on an old platform....

I completely agree with olson on this part.. especially with the Kepler Quadro soon to be available (december).

for now, IMHO.. upgrading that processor not just only double your processing capability, but provide you with two additional cores for rendering. to me, this is your lowest cost performance boost you can do right now... while waiting for other good deals and available products/solutions.

manuqc
09-20-2012, 01:16 AM
Hello Guys!

Sorry for the delay. Thanks for your input. After thinking a bit on this I ve decided to go for this:

http://www.memoryexpress.com/Products/BDL_3930K_X79PRO_180GB

it does look like a good bundle. and wait a couple months for the new quadros to arrive, I might be able to have a bit more money for that. So then I could replace my video card and also build a render node with the spare parts.

Thanks again!

paintbox
09-20-2012, 09:44 AM
To me that looks like a sweet combo of components... enjoy the new power :-D

CGTalk Moderation
09-20-2012, 09:44 AM
This thread has been automatically closed as it remained inactive for 12 months. If you wish to continue the discussion, please create a new thread in the appropriate forum.