New build for student work

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  02 February 2013
New build for student work

If I have to run Maya or Photoshop on my ancient MacBook one more time I'm going to throw it out the window, so I'm building a new system. (First I searched the forums for best laptop, then best custom system, and decided building a desktop was my best bet. Yay search button!)

Here's my current setup. I chose the Radeon HD 7870 because it has consistently solid benchmarks across all the programs I use--it's not always the best, but it delivers and it's within my price range. I'd be interested in any arguments for the HD 7970 or Firepro instead.

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/DGDu

Suggestions for a different case, PSU, heatsink fan, or really any part would be good to hear. I'm strictly a student, doing a lot of digital painting in Photoshop and basic modeling and animation in Mudbox and Maya, so I just need a workable system, nothing professional. Let me know what you think.
 
  02 February 2013
Originally Posted by madsid: If I have to run Maya or Photoshop on my ancient MacBook one more time I'm going to throw it out the window, so I'm building a new system. (First I searched the forums for best laptop, then best custom system, and decided building a desktop was my best bet. Yay search button!)

Here's my current setup. I chose the Radeon HD 7870 because it has consistently solid benchmarks across all the programs I use--it's not always the best, but it delivers and it's within my price range. I'd be interested in any arguments for the HD 7970 or Firepro instead.

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/DGDu

Suggestions for a different case, PSU, heatsink fan, or really any part would be good to hear. I'm strictly a student, doing a lot of digital painting in Photoshop and basic modeling and animation in Mudbox and Maya, so I just need a workable system, nothing professional. Let me know what you think.


If you're not deadset on intel, check out the amd fx 8350 for $189. Multi-threaded its nearly neck and neck with the 3770k but it's slower in single-threaded applications. Since you're a student I think the saving are worth it. The 1155 socket type is also dead, so 3770k is end of life whereas am3+ will be use for 1-2 years more. If you're not going to use CUDA the 7870 is more powerful, dont bother with firepro or any workstation graphics. Make sure you have a backup solution, you might want dual monitors (it makes everything faster and easier), and you'll want another hdd to use as scratch or as output (dont read and write to the same drive). Check out the fractal refine r4, it's freaking awesome and I plan on upgrading to it shortly.
Check out reddit.com/r/buildapc, they'll make sure you're set.
Cheers and have fun!
 
  02 February 2013
Originally Posted by cdenny: The 1155 socket type is also dead, so 3770k is end of life whereas am3+ will be use for 1-2 years more.


Well at the $120 dollar price range, this isn't that big of an issue. If your Oak Ridge, and you need to keep 28K nodes up to date, then yes. There should be some 22nm 6-8 core chips from Intel coming out later this year, but no word on what socket they might be on.

Your build looks ok though. If your done with your MacBook, I would recommend that you donate it to someone who could make use of it. I live in a poor area in Indiana, and I've donated several of my old computers. Kids pretty much have to have access to a computer for school nowadays, but not everyone can afford one.

-AJ
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  02 February 2013
http://www.neowin.net/news/intel-ne...0k-the-flagship
The hexacore and eight core processors are on the lga2011 platform. You can get an i73820 which is like the 3770k and a mobo and be set for 2 years because you could upgrade to the ivy-bridge-e cpu, which would be the fastest out there. Lga2011 mobo are 200+ though. All depends on if you want to have upgrade room for when you're not just a student. What is oak Ridge?


Originally Posted by AJ1: Well at the $120 dollar price range, this isn't that big of an issue. If your Oak Ridge, and you need to keep 28K nodes up to date, then yes. There should be some 22nm 6-8 core chips from Intel coming out later this year, but no word on what socket they might be on.

Your build looks ok though. If your done with your MacBook, I would recommend that you donate it to someone who could make use of it. I live in a poor area in Indiana, and I've donated several of my old computers. Kids pretty much have to have access to a computer for school nowadays, but not everyone can afford one.

-AJ
 
  02 February 2013
Very cool! I hadn't seen that leaked release yet. Thanks for sharing.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory is a federal lab in Tennesee that got its start with the Manhattan project in the 40's. They've got a big supercomputer there. The whole thing runs on tens of thousands of dual socket AMD rigs, and they go though and upgrade the chips every few years.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oak_Ri...onal_Laboratory

-AJ
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Last edited by AJ1 : 02 February 2013 at 03:52 AM.
 
  02 February 2013
Thank you, everyone. I've updated my build slightly--I found a cheaper case (that apparently has fewer problems with dust) and changed my monitor to a low-end IPS one for the better color quality. I'll definitely be picking up a second monitor soon, and thanks for the advice about the scratch drive.

I'm not dead set on Intel, and I had looked at the AMD 8350. The future proof aspect does worry me a bit, since I would like to upgrade as I become more advanced. I looked at the i7 3930k on the 2011 socket for the same reason. I just kept coming back to the i7 3770k because it seemed like such a good balance of price and performance, and honestly, future proofing sounds a bit futile anyway. Feel free to talk me out of this, though

I'll have to take another look at the Fractal Designs R4. It keeps getting recommended to me, often over the Corsair 200R I currently have planned.

AJ, thanks for the donation suggestion. The Macbook has a dead trackpad, dead battery, and dying keyboard, though, so any kid I give it to is likely to hate my guts. By the end of the month I expect it to be an overpriced paperweight, which is why I'm rushing this build a bit.

Thank you all for the advice! Updated part list here: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/E4UX

I really appreciate the help--and I'm glad all the searches I did on this forum talked me out of a laptop. This is much better, in every way.
 
  02 February 2013
I posted a reply yesterday, but it seems to have been swallowed by the void.

Thanks for the advice! I have looked at the AMD 8350 a few times, but since the i7 3770k has such consistently good ratings and is within my budget, I'm still leaning towards it. I may end up deciding to go with the AMD so I can put the money towards a better monitor--it's a bit tough to choose.

I would love to have dual monitors, but for now I settled for upgrading mine to IPS. Thanks for the advice about the scratch drive; it's definitely something I hadn't heard anywhere else, and as soon as possible (probably by the end of the month) I'll add another HDD.

The Fractal Refine R4 keeps getting recommended to me and it looks great, but isn't 27 lbs a little heavy? I change apartments about once a year, so this is relevant. I'd also love to find a case under the $100 mark, although it's not a problem if I don't.

Here's the current build, where a bit of tweaking has taken place. http://pcpartpicker.com/p/EbG4

Thanks again for the help! I really appreciate hearing from you all, since you have a MUCH better idea of what I need than the guy at Best Buy who keeps trying to sell me a GTX 680.
 
  02 February 2013
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