View Full Version : New Computer - what hardware to get?

10 October 2004, 03:47 AM
Okay, so heres the deal. I have this super crazy old computer (from way back in the dark ages when emachines starting coming out…yes im serious), and I want to get into cg more (Ive just been doing some little stuff with non-expensive progs like Bryce 5 and wings 3d) and im starting to get annoyed with rendering times and all of that. Soooo I’ve been looking into building myself a new workstation pc. I’m going to be doing gaming too (and video editing), which kind of makes some decisions harder…Here a small list of specs on the hardware I’m considering so far…

939 pin ASUS motherboard and AMD ATHLON64 3500+ Processor (939 pin also)


2x250 Gb HD (7200 RPM)

nvidia GeForce6800 gt

DVD writer/reader, CD writer/reader

19" CRT monitor (1600x1200)

Im mostly torn on which graphics card to get…For rendering, animation and stuff I want the Quadro FX 3000 but I also want to do some hi–end gaming too because I want to do some modelling and such for games…Can workstation graphics cards play games well??? So anyway…that’s the scoop. I know the Hard drive might seem a bit steep, but when you find 250 gb HDs for only 120 a piece, you cant miss that. I’d like some feedback because I want to get this soon…. Thanks

10 October 2004, 08:04 AM
I have a thread about the socket 939 on this page, and whilst i was going to get it, I think I may just save some bucks and get the socket 754? cpu and motherboard. The 939 does have more powerful cpu's, but considering the price increase it's not for me - just something you may want to think about *shrugs*

It's pretty similar to what I was going to get actually, cept my harddrive will be a lot smaller :P If you have been using a very very old computer, you likely don't have that much diskspace available, so i think perhaps you're going a lil' overboard with 500gig, but if you think you'll use it, no worries.

Umm, you've got " DVD writer/reader, CD writer/reader" that written, err, my dvd burner does both dvd and cd's, i'm not sure if your listing two drives there or not. And you could consider a dual layer burning DVD drive, the discs arn't that readily available right now, but they'll come in.

Monitor, same size as i'll get - just check the refresh rate at the max resolution, some of the cheaper monitors will be about 60hz, which isn't all nice for your eyes i've heard.

Graphics Card: I'm terrible with these, and i'm actually not getting mine for another couple months really, whichs makes our choices quite a bit different. Anyways, there's plenty on this forum about graphics cards, and it's either Maya or Max that likes nvidea, so if your getting serious enough to buy one of those apps, you might take that into consideration - the program you use may have a preferecne too and you should look it up.

...yep, thatys about it..

- Colin Lynch

10 October 2004, 09:17 AM
I got a very similar config, also with the 3500+ cpu but with one of these motherboards instead:

I also thought about the asus motherboard since I heard great things about it but I went with this one since its based on the nvidia nforce chip while the asus would be based on the VIA chip, or at least thats the way it was when I looked at asus 939 boards.

For memory I got corsair. So far the pc has been very stable, been using it for XSI and also some quite heavy games, and no crash or anything so far (been using it for a few weeks only but still)

I think you will be happy with the config you got there, just make sure you read a lot of reviews and stuff to make sure you get the motherboard+ram combo right, some ram tend to make the pc unstable when used with some motherboards.

10 October 2004, 12:56 PM
yeah I was actually looking at the 754 pin or whatever but decided to go with the 3500+ anyway (its their cheapest 939 pin)...about the DVD and CD writers: Those are supposed to be seperate drives. I dont want to have just one drive because if i have 2 i can just copy a cd one to the other. I was looking at a dual layer actually. What did you mean about that? Do dual layer drives use different discs???

10 October 2004, 03:06 PM
For dual layer dvd writer, you can use DVD9 discs. That's a 9GB disc (2 x 4.5gb). You can write regular dvd's too. I've got the Nec DVD+/- RW ND3500 16x ( for that price it's a great writer, had no problems.
I also want to buy a new graphic card. I've got 2 cards in my wishlist, the GeForce 6800 Ultra or the Ati X800 XT. The Ati mostlys cores better than the GeForce, check some reviews
For the motherboard you should go for the MSI Neo2 Platium, Asus is ok but the MSI is more solid to me and it's got MSI CoreCell.


10 October 2004, 03:31 PM
If you want to burn a Dual layer disk you will need a DVD that was designed for dual layers. The dual layer drives are still capable of burning normal dvds and cds tho. Plus, all this dvd burning stuff (dual layer or not) has gotten pretty cheap in comparison to how it was about a year ago. So you've got plenty of choices. Personally I'd go with the Geforce 6800GT, its cheap in comparison to that quadro, and unless you do extremely high poly models you probably wont see any benifit from it. Also if you use something like Lightwave for your 3D stuff, a pro level card will not benifit you very much since LW doesnt take full advantage of the functionality offered by such cards.

AMD's dual core CPUs (for the desktop) are also planned for a launch towards the end of next year, on socket 939. I'm pretty sure they'll be 90nm (similar to the Opterons which will be launched in mid 05). This means that eventually, if its worth it, you could upgrade that single cored 3500+ into something with dual cores, which would be nice :) What another poster said about DDR2 support on AMD chips is right, it will be a while until we see that, mainly cuz the performance benifit offered by DDR2 (at its current speeds) doesnt help AMD's CPU architecture very much, and really there's not all that much gain in DDR2 right now. And until it is running much faster wont AMD switch.

10 October 2004, 08:18 PM
id not go for the fx 3000 quadro ur better off with the 6800.

i would spend that money on quicker render times

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