Help for building new custom PC (for 3D art and Video Production)

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  03 March 2018
Help for building new custom PC (for 3D art and Video Production)

Hi peeps
I was wondering if I could pick your brains concerning a newPC build.
About my needs...
I am a freelance 3D artist with intense workloads (I alsofrequently dabble in Motion Graphics / Video Editing too). My main pieces of
software are Cinema 4D, After Effects, Premiere Pro and Photoshop. Fast render
times and fast real time graphic displays are my ultimate goals. My old custom
PC lasted 10 years, I'd like something which is good enough to launch me into
the next 10 years
Budget = Around 3k (ish)
Although I do have SOME 'technical' know-how about PCbuilding, just assume I'm a total tech newb...
So here's a list of components I've kind of loosely'spit-balled' together. I would be fantastic if y'all might take the time to
take a look and provide any comments / pointers / words of wisdom with this (as
I am very much in the dark with this whole process! I've already done a lot of
''Googling'' but nothing beats a good ole forum posting )

I'm aware that GPU rendering is supposedly the 'future' of 3Drendering, but a LOT of my workflow is still tied up in traditional CPU
rendering. My current processor is a ''Core i7 x980'', I'd like to have
something markedly more powerful, so this processor caught my eye...
''Intel Core 19-7940x''

I heard through the grapevine that apparently the NVIDIA GTX1080 is the top dog on the block? As a 3D artist I want to be well equipped to
deal with the demands of GPU rendering, VR etc ... I see there are two
versions... A 'GTX 1080' and a 'GTX 1080 Ti'. What's the deal with the 'Ti'?
They're roughly 300 more expensive. Is the boost in quality worth it?
Otherwise, here's a standard 1080 I found...

So this is where my newbishness starts to show... Firstly,I'm not interested in ''pretty'' designs (L.E.D's / flashy 'pro gamer'
aesthetics etc) if it means the price is upped because of it. Is 'having
multiple graphics cards in a motherboard' a thing? If so, then I'd definitely
like a motherboard which has the ability for me to put more GFX cards in it, in
the future. I also believe that mobos with ' X299' in the title are compatible
with the Core i9 processors?
I also require a maximum RAM capacity of 128GB, and theability to have M.2 storage, as well as SSD storage (possibly TWO SSD's).
Otherwise, I've just kinda blindly picked these threeoptions out.

So my current PC has 24GB of RAM, and it's not uncommon formy SUPER INTENSIVE 3D scenes to cause bottlenecks (and I'm making a LOT of
intensive scene files these days). So ultimately, I want to gun for BIG ram
capacity. That's why I want to make sure to choose mobo options with 128 GB ram
stick potential.
I understand that mobos with 128GB ram capacity, would needEIGHT 16gb sticks to max out. I would probably purchase just TWO 16gb sticks
for now (totalling 32GB). I just want the freedom to increase my RAM in the
future if needs be. So here's some RAM sticks I've found...

Again, I'm really newbish in this department. Am I right inthinking that M.2 is the 'best' type of storage? In my mind I'm thinking it
would be nice to have one 1TB M.2 (for the OS and all the main stuff) and an
extra 1TB SSD (with the freedom on the mobo to add in more internal storage
devices at a later date). For an M.2 device I found this...
As to fans, PCU's, optical drives and Tower Units, Ihonestly have no idea. I guess I'll need to figure out everything above before
I build a picture of what these things should be.

In any case, that's what I've come up with so far! Like Isaid, although I do have some knowledge about custom PC building, a lot of what
I've chosen here are somewhat 'shots in the dark', so I'd REALLY appreciate any
guidance on this! Back in 2009 I did the same thing on this forum, and you guys
were INCREDIBLY helpful in helping me formulate a list of components to buy. So
I am very much looking forward to any words of wisdom y'all can throw my way!
Thanks for taking the time to read

Last edited by legmog : 03 March 2018 at 01:38 PM.
  03 March 2018
Ps: I just found this processor here...

Am I missing something, or is this AMD Ryzen CLEARLY the superior option to ANYTHING the Inel Core i9 series has to offer?
  03 March 2018
If you want to do some light reading on the current state of things the blog has bench marking articles and other info that could get you up to speed. They want you to buy their systems but nothing is stopping you from using those articles to spec out your own. Have you checked out the Cinebench results and to compare your current CPU to whatever you're thinking of buying?
That i9 is going to eat a lot of your budget. The 1950x Threadripper will save you a few bucks for similar performance. 1950x needs an sTR4 socket mobo. Non Threadripper Ryzens use a different socket so keep that in mind if you're considering AMD.
Not a quality boost but a quantity boost. 1080 Ti has more CUDA cores, wider memory bus and more memory vs non Ti. New Nvidia Volta architecture GPUs are coming out around the middle of the year (maybe) so if you can wait a few months...
Depends upon what CPU you go with. It is probably going to look like a Transfomer that fell into some Xmas lights though.
Unless you're running out of ram on your current 24GB workstation then 128GB is probably going to be overkill, even in the future. If you only have HDDs in your current system this is probably the biggest bottleneck on your ancient workstation. Aside from it just being older than dirt. kidding\not kidding
M.2 is the form factor\connector. NVMe is the faster spec. Also more expensive than "regular" SSDs. If you're booting from a HDD now then even an ordinary SSD is going to seem like magic. Boot from an M.2 NVMe SSD and get regular 2.5" SSDs for storage. They are going to plug into the SATA ports just like SATA HDDs so you can probably have 6 or 8.
Optical drives what are those?
  03 March 2018
Hi gfh
Thanks a LOT for getting back to me! I really appreciate it.
A lot of what you are saying is lining up with the further research I have done

CPU - I've decided that it is indeed a better option to ditch the 'Intel i9 7940' in favour of the 'AMD Threadripper 1950x'. This DOES mean I'll need a different Motherboard (but more on that later )

GPU - I'm happy to go for the standard GTX 1080 then. I WOULD ultimately like to have a Motherboard that gives me the freedom to attach ANOTHER graphics card to it later on down the line (so I'd have two GFX cards slotted in).

RAM - Yes, I probably wouldn't fully utilise the 128 RAM limit of a Motherboard. It's more a case of wanting PLENTY of elbow room to instal more RAM should I still suffer from bottlenecks. I'm currently working on a film that (the way things are going) is going to be requiring some incredibly beefy power to run. I've already created an entire 3D city which bottlenecks within seconds when I hit render (hell even just being OPEN is close to it).
Was thinking of going for these kind of cards (Maybe buy just two or three)

SSD - Ahh, thanks for giving me the heads up for NVMe! Never heard of it before. That certainly seems the better choice. I'm happy to swap out my previous M.2 choice for a NVMe card at a similar price. I found this one here which looks like a good candidate.
Then for a more regular SSD, I saw this one...
What do you think?

MOBO - So here's where we (from my noobish point of view anyway!) hit the wild card of this list...
I've gone ahead and picked out this one.
Ultimately, might you please be able to verify the following...
A - Can this Mobo work with the AMD Threadripper CPU?
B - Is it able to have a maximum RAM limit of 128GB, and will the card I linked to fit in it?
C - Can it have multiple Graphics Cards installed on it?
D - Will the NVMe card AND the SSD card I linked to work with this?

I guess if the answer to any of these questions is NO... Then might you be able to point out a Mobo which would be suitable?
  04 April 2018
Apologies in advance for too much info.
GPU - As long as you have free slots and enough capacity in your PSU you can add in extra cards. Check the manual since the max number of cards might be less than the total number of available PCIe slots. Before everything gets too far along the big caveat for multiple GPU rendering is that VRAM is not shared across cards. Maximum scene size is limited to the lowest spec card. A system with an 11GB and an 8GB card is going to be limited to scene sizes that fit into 8GB if you want to render on both GPUs. Or you can just render on the 11GB and use the 8GB for viewports. The exceptions are the Quadros and Teslas with HBM2 memory and NVlink that can be chained together to behave as a single unit. Then you're talking $600 for the NVLink bridge and $6000-9000 per card. VRAY supports this, don't know about others. Probably iRay?

RAM - There are better choices. Quad channel will perform better with 4 sticks. Also ASUS usually has pretty good lists of supported ram and configurations. Always get a full part number to compare to the mobo QVL. Not saying that RAM won't work but buying from the QVL list can minimize headaches. has a good TR write up if you haven't seen it already

SSD - Are you using SSDs or HDDs in your old workstation? That is going to be a drag on loading if it is HDD. Not sure if your bottlenecks are I/O related (HDD, network) or age related.
Spend the same on the boot drive and get some more speed: Samsung 960 Evo NVMe 500GB.
For 1TB capacity you're ok since any performance increase is going to come with a big increase in cost.

A - Good thing about this is the socket name, TR4, matches the CPU ThreadRipper. Chip maker goes for less confusing naming for a change.
B - Dependent upon ram spec. Also will be expensive. Check the vendor lists for supported ram and configs. 1, 2, 4, 6 and 8 sticks are usually the way you populate ram on quad channels.
C - Yes, but I'm not sure if the multiple GPUs are going to work how you think they will. As per boring GPU stuff at top. Are you thinking SLI? Don't need that for rendering.
D - Yes, haven't had a drive compatibility problem in ages but NVMe RAID boot isn't supported.
  04 April 2018
If you want to have more gpus in the future, any standard motherboard will be able to handle 3/4 cards, the thing to watch out for is power. Each gfx card will need roughly 250 watts of power. A simple guide would be to budget 250 watts of power for each cpu and gpu in the system, then throw on another 100watts of headroom. So a 1 cpu, 1 gpu system would run nicely with a 600watt unit, 2 gpus and 1 cpu = 850 etc.

The new ryzen cpus are indeed a good choice, theyre a little slower than intel at single threaded tasks and they dont overclock so well, but the prices are good.

m.2 is a good choice for ssd, just make sure to get a pcie card, not a sata-based card. The speed difference is significant. Optane drives are faster yet, but quite new.

The 1080ti is around 30% faster than the standard 1080
Matthew O'Neill
  05 May 2018
I don't know about other specifications but i am sure that if you are looking to build a PC for 3D art and video productions then it must have a high-end graphics card. However, to be frank, i am also looking to build PC that is suitable for 3D modeling and i had just read some reviews on this graphics card many are suggesting that it will be best for this kind of activities. The name of graphics card is XFX Radeon RX 580 GTS XXX Edition and it has 8GB of RAM which feels good. I came across this site and it is also suggested as the best for the money graphics card you can check here:
And i have also checked the Amazon's page customers review and rating then i found it a very good and customers are really satisfied by this card here
BTW there are few more other graphics cards which you can look for building pc like:
EVGA GeForce GTX 1050 4GB
ASUS GeForce GTX 1060 6GB Dual-fan OC Edition
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