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freyabriar
11-21-2009, 05:38 PM
(Maybe skip to the bottom where the questions and main points are highlighted. If background is needed read below :D )

Ok Guys, I need some help. I've been looking to buy a new computer for a while now.. especially for starting back university (3d computer animation + digital arts course, only have 1 and a half years left). I decided i would wait and see how demanding the course work would be for the computer i had and see if i could drag out its life span for a bit... failed. So i really need a new computer fast (currently running 3.00ghz P4, with 1650 radeon desktop and core 2 duo 1.5ghz laptop integrated graphics). Definetly for after christmas.

I read about the I7s and now about the I9s, i wondered if it would be worth it to wait until the new ones are released and possibly get a reduction in price of the I7.

I thought again and even though i am very hungry for the the most powerful on the market, i know it may be more cost effective if i just buy a 700.00 regular quad core build and replace in 4 years.

Given that, i've found i can buy:

AMD PHENOM II X4 965 SOCKET AM3 (3.40GHz/8MB CACHE)
8GB CORSAIR XMS3 DUAL-DDR3 1333MHz
896MB NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX260
No operating system (will use Win7)

700.00 GBP

or

IntelŪ Core™2 Quad Q9550 (2.83GHz) 1333MHz FSB/12MB Cache
8GB CORSAIR XMS2 DUAL-DDR2 800MHz
896MB NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX260
No operating system (will use Win7)

780.00 GBP

so my question is this:


Should i go for a regular Quad Core?
Should i go with AMD or Intel for my processor?
Should i go for an I7 build (if I7, should i bother waiting for the I9? we finish the year around April and i would need my computer for Feb)?
What would be the better graphics card for 3D work - ATI or Nvidia.
Is the 260 / ATI equivilent powerful enough?

Your help is appreciated.

Thank you.

meleseDESIGN
11-23-2009, 02:38 AM
so my question is this:



Should i go for a regular Quad Core?
Should i go with AMD or Intel for my processor?
Should i go for an I7 build (if I7, should i bother waiting for the I9? we finish the year around April and i would need my computer for Feb)?
What would be the better graphics card for 3D work - ATI or Nvidia.
Is the 260 / ATI equivilent powerful enough?
Your help is appreciated.

Thank you.




If I had to chose between this two systems, i would take the amd.
Why? Because it has higher cpu clock and newer ddr3 ram.
With newer ddr3 ram you donīt need to upgrade if you would like to switch later to a i5/i7/i9 system or newer dual socket 1366.


The gtx260 is a fine consumer graphics card, also newer ATi cards are good for windows 7 dx10 or dx11. Only the nvidia Cuda and phisX technologie i would miss in some apps when i had to chose for a ATi card.

biliousfrog
11-23-2009, 01:14 PM
If I had to chose between this two systems, i would take the amd.
Why? Because it has higher cpu clock and newer ddr3 ram.
With newer ddr3 ram you donīt need to upgrade if you would like to switch later to a i5/i7/i9 system or newer dual socket 1366.


The gtx260 is a fine consumer graphics card, also newer ATi cards are good for windows 7 dx10 or dx11. Only the nvidia Cuda and phisX technologie i would miss in some apps when i had to chose for a ATi card.

I'm not sure of actual speeds between the two but AMD clock speeds are not the same as Intel clock speeds so don't make a judgement just on the GHZ number. Even clock speeds between chips is irrelevent as a 2.66ghz i7 is much faster than the 2.83ghz Q9550.

Basing an upgrade path purely on the RAM is not neccessarily a good idea. Many of the newer 'i' based CPU's can use use dual channel memory just as efficiently as triple channel. With either option upgrading the processor would also require changing the motherboard, swapping RAM chips is relatively cheap in comparison.

meleseDESIGN
11-23-2009, 02:44 PM
I'm not sure of actual speeds between the two but AMD clock speeds are not the same as Intel clock speeds so don't make a judgement just on the GHZ number. Even clock speeds between chips is irrelevent as a 2.66ghz i7 is much faster than the 2.83ghz Q9550.

Basing an upgrade path purely on the RAM is not neccessarily a good idea. Many of the newer 'i' based CPU's can use use dual channel memory just as efficiently as triple channel. With either option upgrading the processor would also require changing the motherboard, swapping RAM chips is relatively cheap in comparison.

You are right.

But for me, i would give the amd system a try.
Actually it doesnīt matter what system he buy, all you get are some seconds for speed up the workflow. If he doesnīt make money with what he is going to do, then it really doesnīt matter what system he takes, both are ok for homework and study cg.

freyabriar
11-25-2009, 09:43 PM
Well i've priced out the I7s and i guess there is only around a 70.00/80.00 difference between the quad and the I7s (if i'm counting an Intel quad) and you get faster ram.

Now my problem would the be graphics cards. I've got a X1650 radeon in my current computer and it does just find with work. So i kinda think the ATI i should stick with an get another, but most people all say that Nvidia is the best for this line of work (modeling, animation etc). Would you agree?

Would a nvidia 260 really be better than an ATI 4890? (both are around the same price)

meleseDESIGN
11-26-2009, 06:03 AM
Both, the 260 and 4890 are technically good cards. You can model and animate with both cards, even a x1650 3dx max can handle.

freyabriar
11-26-2009, 09:31 PM
hey there,

If i am spending the same about of money on both of them, which do you think would be better/preferable? Which is the most used?

I think the ATI 4890 is one of the top on the 4x series while the 260 is only around middle in the Nvidia. i know both cards work very differently so a REAL comparison and equal comparision isn't really possible. What is the most popular?

Is there really that much of a difference between a 9800GT and 260?

thanks for your help.

meleseDESIGN
11-26-2009, 09:43 PM
Is there really that much of a difference between a 9800GT and 260?

For 3D there isnīt.
The 9800 GT will work fine.

Nvidia is most popular for cg workstations.

Bullit
11-26-2009, 11:09 PM
Beware of some 9xxx that like to get too hot. That has been a big problem in portables.

freyabriar
12-03-2009, 10:30 PM
How important is a good graphics card in the 3D world? What benefits are there to getting the 260, 275,285 etc over the 9800?

I'm looking for the computer to run smooth for the next 4 years with my work.

The computer i have at the moment is a 3.00 p4, 1gb ram, ati x1650. Display wise it seems alright, it's just rendering and sometimes if i have a poly heavy object it gets a bit sticky.

Would i see a big difference between the I7 and a 2.8ghz Quad Q9550?

I'm unsure of where to buy my computer also. I originally planned on buying from PC specialist although i've read a lot of bad reviews. but my lecturer and friend have both bought from them before and they are fine. Should i just go for it?

meleseDESIGN
12-03-2009, 10:44 PM
Why donīt you take a look at several manufacturer sides, like Boxx, HP, Apple aso to get a basic overview of whatīs a good workstation for 3D CG?

Do it and if you still have some questions come back to ask them.

freyabriar
12-03-2009, 10:58 PM
I have thought about going to other manufacturers. I'm sorely tempted by the new I7 27 inch Imac. The only issue there is the ATI graphics card. Boxx i think are a bit too expensive. Hp aren't too bad, but i'd be paying around 400 or 500 more for the desktop i could have if i bought it custom built. The only reason i would be more tempted by apple is because it's a sexy looking all-in-one computer and can run Windows. I suppose you could be better off with an established manufacturer. What's your opinion?

meleseDESIGN
12-03-2009, 11:00 PM
I have thought about going to other manufacturers. I'm sorely tempted by the new I7 27 inch Imac. Hp aren't too bad, but i'd be paying around 400 or 500 more for the desktop i could have if i bought it custom built.

Whatīs wrong with the 4850? Technically it is still a good card.
Sure you have to pay more for a pre-builded workstation, nobody who is in that business will build a workstation for you without to get payed. So built your own and safe money, if you have the know-how or canīt afford a pre-builded workstation.

freyabriar
12-03-2009, 11:20 PM
I've read a few posts about the ATI cards having difficulty with some applications and my partner had a bit of an issue with the ATI drivers previously also. A previous poster said that Nvidia is the preferred graphics card also. I would have preferred to stick to ATI myself as it is an ATI i have at the moment, but with people complaining about them i felt Nvidia would be the better way to go.

i would have liked a higher end graphics card in the Imac, maybe more like the 4890 or at least 1Gb in 4850. Again the fact its an all-on-one is a great bonus as well...

Stuff to think about eh.

My partner has a core 2 duo Imac, it makes me so jealous ha ha. Especially with me sitting next to him with my 6 year old single core.

meleseDESIGN
12-03-2009, 11:33 PM
My partner has a core 2 duo Imac, it makes me so jealous ha ha. Especially with me sitting next to him with my 6 year old single core.

I guess you guys doing some freelancing for little studios near you, am i right? Or do you guys work only on private projects?

About the 4850. You can run into issues with allmost every graphic card, also with a 4890 and even with a Quadro FX 5800. Most issues can be fixed in the graphic card settings.

InfernalDarkness
12-04-2009, 10:28 PM
I'm looking for the computer to run smooth for the next 4 years with my work.

I don't feel that 4 years is a realistic timeframe. You should be upgrading at least yearly, if not every six months. This is one reason I generally recommend AMD processors. You can generally upgrade without a new motherboard, especially with the Phenom line. With almost all the new Intel line-ups, you'd need a new motherboard too.

I recently upgraded from an Athlon X2 to a Phenom X4, which increased rendering speed in Maya threefold, for only $185.

From a financial perspective, making such an upgrade paid for itself almost instantly.

vlad
12-04-2009, 10:48 PM
I don't feel that 4 years is a realistic timeframe. You should be upgrading at least yearly, if not every six months...

:argh: You must be joking...right?

meleseDESIGN
12-04-2009, 10:52 PM
This is one reason I generally recommend AMD processors. You can generally upgrade without a new motherboard, especially with the Phenom line.

Yes. for AMD there is a long time periode for staying with the same socket. For axample socket F, this socket is out now for many years and even the newer server cpu like the Istanbul fits on it, without the need to switch for another motherboards.

I like the way how AMD treats their customers.

Wolvenmoon
12-05-2009, 03:32 AM
The difference between an intel system and an AMD system is this:

AMD's top of the line processor compares to Intel's Core 2 quad series. They're phenom X4 line parallels intel's year before last stuff.

LGA 1366 / Core i7 is going to support Core i9/gulftown/6 core CPUs. AMD's socket AM3 may or may not, and regardless they have lower performance and take more power.

LGA 1366 / Core i7 has a tri-channel memory controller, which means you optimally buy memory by the 3-pack. It also means that you can usually fit more RAM in a system. A typical maximum RAM amount for an AMD system is 8 gigs ( 16 gigs with high density memory that's ridiculously expensive ), for a core i7 system, 12 gigs is cheap.

LGA 1366 / Core i7 is newer technology and will be supported for longer.

With a base of once every 4 years, each 500 dollars after 800 dollars buys you another year before you upgrade. So if you spend 800 dollars on a system, it needs to be upgraded in a year. If you spend 1300, it needs to be upgraded in two years. If you spend 1800, it needs to be upgraded in 3 years, if you spend 2300 or more, 4 years. This is only for custom built systems.

So a cheap AMD system ( and budget is where AMD shines for CPUs ) you're going to want to replace entirely within a year, period. You really can't spend more than 500 dollars on an AMD CPU+motherboard if you TRIED to without getting into their server parts.


For a graphics card, a GTX 260 is a decent card. You could also wait for nVidia's new offering to come out - which will be much faster for GPGPU, which depending on the program could improve render times in the future. For AMD, any 48xx card will do you well. Any 58xx card will do even better. I'd stick with a GTX 260 or a 4850. The latter can be softmodded/unlocked to be a sort of fake firepro card, if you're willing to take the time. It's by no means a real firepro, but it does have better performance.

Hope that helps!

imashination
12-05-2009, 06:52 PM
I'm looking for the computer to run smooth for the next 4 years with my work.

Dont. Buy cheap and buy more often. A 4 year old computer will be outperformed by the cheapest $300 machines going. Look to upgrade every couple of years or less if you want to save money and have a faster machine.

Theres little point buying the fastest machine you can afford right now, when in 6 months that will be the considered a regular machine, and in 12 months itll be considered a budget machine. Youre currently holding onto a pentium 4, these things are absolutely ancient. A cheap low end 4 core machine will be roughly 8x faster than what you currently have.

Wolvenmoon
12-07-2009, 01:32 AM
Agreed. I typically buy around the $1300-1500 range. The best part about buying in a 1 to 2 year cycle is your old system is still moderately useful at that time, and will be useful as a secondary computer for several years. I draft my old computers to run as nodes in a farm. ( Note: I ALWAYS max out my RAM in my systems )

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