NEED AN ADVICE - building a 3d computer for 3d students.

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  08 August 2013
Talking NEED AN ADVICE - building a 3d computer for 3d students.

Hay everyone,
I have posted a thread a few days ago regarding "building a compatible and strong computer for 3d animation students.
Just a quick reminder, my name is liad, I am starting this year my 3d animation degree. In my Last thread, I asked for some directions and advices about building a strong 3d computer for my education in the academy. So, as an answer for what you wrote to me and as a start for people who haven't seen the last thread I will say the following:
First of all, regarding what Is being taught in the academy (software and pipeline wise) – almost everything: thru overall 3d animation pipeline that includes - modeling, rig, character animating, shade, texture, render, compositing, special effects (vfx) also etc....and software such as - Maya, zbrush, nuke, after effect rendering and vfx softwares and more…
The student is being taught to do everything but he chooses what to do and which path to take in his way to graduation (assignments and final projects).
I find character animation very appealing but I would also like to make a cgi live action integrate with real film (Maya, nuke) but not only. Also, I would really like to make a complex scenes/environment (modeling wise) with cool character animation such as Pixar style during the years assignments or if I'll decide my final projects. (I have several directions I would like to explore and try…).
Now, let's not forget, that one of the important variables for me in my assignments and projects is the visual result (render). I would like to make it as quality as I can regarding render wise. (All is being said to hardware consideration, render = more cores and more ram as I being told….).
After taking your hardware suggestion from last thread I made a tiny research and therefore I want to ask you about every one of the components I found and choose, with consideration of my budget of course. Tell me if it's good enough for my requires. So let's start:
1) PROCESSOR: CPU – INTEL I 7 3930K 12M – six cores
2) MOTHERBOARD: first of all I would like to ask if there is something specific a student need to know when looking for a motherboard for 3d animation? (That will help fasten the performance?) when I looked for a motherboard I looked at the memory channel (quad/dual), memory speed (1066,1333, etc…) and type (ddr1,2,3….), socket type (1155, 2011…), dimm number (*4,*8…),at least 3,4 usb 3. Also, I want my computer to work as fast as it can! Without overpowering it when when "thinking" so I bought a 120 GB SSD for all my installations (as my c: driver) and another hard disk as for my other drivers. Now, because my SSD and hard drive will fill 2 SAT 6GB SLOTS I made sure the motherboard has at least 3 SAT 6GB or more! In case I would like to extend the memory capacity with another hard drives (which is not portable and outside the computer). Now, one last thing is that I have a professional MIAMIDI audio card and I would like to integrate it inside the computer but it needs one PCI (NOT EXPRESS - the old ones) slot. Therefore these are my options (that I think):
a) ASUS – P9X79 PRO/DELUXE (without pci slot, which means that, I will not be able to put my audio card inside the computer and use it, which is ok in case this motherboard is the best in your opinion but I do prefer to have it for recording uses).
b) ASUS SABERTOOTH X79 (with pci) – this motherboard looks really good but, what I am afraid of is the two coolers it has on it. I am afraid that after 2 years or so if something will happen to them which can happen like any cooler, I cannot just replace them because they are attached to the motherboard not like in other motherboards. Right? But it does look like and optimal motherboard.
c) GIGABYTE GA-X79-UP4 – it looks really good but I never heard about gigabyte company, so if you think gigabyte is better and more trustable then asus just tell me!
4) COOLER: NOCTUA NH-D14 SE2011 – I found out more coolers as well but, it looked pretty good and strong. If you know of another one from another company that can do better job/performance by protecting my computer of getting heat regardless the price just tell me. There are things I can compromise at this stage like the graphic card or monitor but, there are things I cannot like the cooler! But still let's not get crazy…ha-ha
6) GRAPHIC CARD: QUADRO/FIREPRO – so after a lot of research I found out that in order to get a full quality compatible performance I have to buy a workstation graphic card and not a game one. Now this is a little tricky. What I've found out from my research is that firepro is really good for Maya users especially and in general it's a really strong workstation card. (Forget the module right now). Quadro on the other hand also known as a strong graphic workstation card and but contains CUDA also which is very important for nuke and softwares that require CUDA, softwares that most of the chances that I will use also. Now, while the quadro can be suitable for me because I am going to do not only modeling/animation/rendering also compositing (maya, zbrush, nuke, aftereffect ,rendering software and etc….) the quadro is only pci-express 2 which I think sais something about it no? firepro for example is pci-express 3. There are forums that said that firepro is doing a lot of problems and other places the opposite, as well as for the quadro.
Now, my budget for graphic cards is more or less around the prices for QUADRO K2000D (dual monitors) or FIREPRO W5000.
What do you recommended in general and for my purposes? Do you recommend one of the above for me? or maybe you have another module of firepro/quadro that you recommend me to buy and use around my budget more or less? maybe if this is my budget does it worth to buy gtx 600/700 series and up and when i'll upgrade then i'll by the more expensive quadro/firepro?
7) MONITOR – I haven't decided yet, and I want you to help me decide. My budget for a monitor is more or less around the 23" – 24" inches include monitors. I don’t know what should I look at when searching for a good monitor for all 3d/cgi purposes. I'll be glad for a strong 23"-24" include monitor recommendation. Also, I guess it should be hdmi and not only DVI? Well I don’t know, you tell me.
8) About power supply and computer cases I will ask later because I haven't checked it out yet.

Thank you all, sorry for the digging,

Last edited by liad144 : 08 August 2013 at 12:00 PM.
  08 August 2013
For the motherboard, just get whatever has what you need. Im not sure i'd worry about using an old pci soundcard, good quality pcie sooundcards can be very cheap, it seems silly to pick a motherboard based on a very old and outdated sooundcard you have laying around.

All motherboards tend to have 6 SATA connectors as a minimum, regular harddrives can be connected to the 3G connectors, 6G only benefit SSDs to a significant degree

Gigabyte is a decent brand

16 gigs is fine

Only buy the cooler if you are overclocking, otherwise its a waste of money...

... Like the quadro / FireGL cards you seem intent on buying. Dont waste your money on workstation cards, they will be very slow for what your budget allows for and they wont really be any different. Everyone told you to buy a GeForce 6xx / 7xx in the other thread for a good reason.

DVI / HDMI makes no difference for a monitor. HDMI will be a bit more future proof but if you can find a good DVI one, dont ignore it because of the shape of the plug.
Matthew O'Neill
  08 August 2013
Originally Posted by imashination: DVI / HDMI makes no difference for a monitor. HDMI will be a bit more future proof but if you can find a good DVI one, dont ignore it because of the shape of the plug.

Just one note, HDMI does not support display resolutions as high as DVI-D or Display Port do.
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The views expressed on this post are my personal opinions and do not represent the views of my employer.
  08 August 2013

but what about the motherboards? whice one of them do you recommend? i really like the saber one of asus but i am scared of those 2 big coolers on top of it. i'm afraid that after a while something will happen to them and then it won't be easy to replace them just like that...
  08 August 2013
Asus makes the gaming spec mobos for enthusiasts going to lan parties.
It's very, very unlikely that they would put any gunk on top of one that would just eventually fall off, they have a reputation for build quality.
Whether it's of any use is a different matter altogether though
Come, Join the Cult - Rigging from First Principles
  08 August 2013
gigabyte, evga, Asus, msi, theyre the decent brands, any of them will work fine, just select based on features and price.
Matthew O'Neill
  08 August 2013
Originally Posted by liad144: but what about the motherboards? whice one of them do you recommend? i really like the saber one of asus but i am scared of those 2 big coolers on top of it. i'm afraid that after a while something will happen to them and then it won't be easy to replace them just like that...

I recently upgraded my system too and I had the same sort of questions that went through my mind too. I'm by no means an expert but I have researched a lot with my build.

The Asus Sabertooth X79 Board has a 5 year warranty from Asus. All boards have a warranty just check out their descriptions and register your board with them.

In terms of cases, a Full case should fit everything in and have extra space for it to breathe. If you want to add more components like hard drives, you can and there'll be places for you to put case fans on too.

The noctua heatsinks can be very big, so look up if the heatsink can clear the Ram, what I mean is that the heatsink isn't blocking any of the Ram slots(big heatsinks can block one or more Ram slots). From my research the best cooling out there is the Corsair h100i but quite expensive though.

You might want to wait on the CPU/Processor as it's suggested online that intel is planning to release the ivy bridge-e soon, maybe next month(however these are rumours from various computer related articles but won't be a bad idea to wait a month).
  08 August 2013
The Corsair H50 will take a Haswell CPU comfortably to the limits where it can architecturally and opportunistically go.

There is no need for an H100 unless you overclock for the fun of it. There's hardly much of an edge to the H50 compared to a decent air cooler, but the difference in price and its low noise and simple setup make it worth considering.

The H100 isn't good bang for buck though, it's meant to have fun if you're into that kind of fun, and the thickness/size of the radiator will rule out a lot of mid-end cases that would otherwise be perfectly fine.

Most Haswell CPUs will struggle to hit 4.7 regardless of cooling (ignoring preposterously tuned and expensive setups), only about a third and spare change stand a chance to make it there. Chances are you will actually get one that struggles past 4.5 for now.

Don't waste money on an H100 or on turbine air coolers.
Come, Join the Cult - Rigging from First Principles
  08 August 2013
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