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Old 08-21-2013, 08:24 PM   #1
spacecat102
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Robin George
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Best hardware for a Maya animator???

Hey all,
I'm an animator who uses Maya, and I'm about to buy my own hardware. My number one concern is to get the greatest FPS response from character rigs. What does Maya uses to calculate rig changes? Where should I be putting in my money? In the CPU or GPU?

I'm trying to keep things around or under $1000. I will also be using After Effects and Premiere, so it needs to handle HD footage well.

Right now I'm thinking of getting:

A79-6100 ::AMD FD6100WMGUSBX FX-6100 Processor - Six Core, 8MB L3 Cache, 6MB L2 Cache, 3.30GHz (3.90GHz Max Turbo), Socket AM3+, 95W, Fan, Unlocked, Retail(1.55 lbs)

A177-5000 ::AMD FirePro W5000 100-505635 Video Card - 2GB, GDDR5, PCI-Express 3.0(x16), 1x Dual-link DVI-I, 2x DisplayPort, DirectX 11, AMD Eyefinity, Single-Slot(1.55 lbs)

M452-6253 ::MSI 970A-G46 AMD 9 Series Motherboard - ATX, Socket AM3+, AMD 970 Chipset, 2133MHz DDR3 (O.C.), SATA III (6Gb/s), RAID, 8-CH Audio, Gigabit LAN, USB 3.0, SLI/CrossFireX Ready (970A-G46)(1.75 lbs)

P33-7253 ::Patriot PGD316G1333ELK Gamer 2 Series Desktop Memory Kit - 16GB (2 x 8GB), PC3-10666, DDR3-1333MHz, 1.5V, 9-9-9-24 CAS Latency, XMP Ready(0.12 lbs)

TSD-1000FAEX ::WD Black 1TB Desktop Hard Drive - Designed for performance users - 3.5", SATA 6Gb/s, 7200RPM, 64MB Cache, 5-year warranty - WD1002FAEX(1.65 lbs)

M17-7306 ::Microsoft Windows 7 Professional FQC-04649 Operating System Software - 64bit, DVD(0.4 lbs)

fan, power supply, etc


Any advice is very much appreciated!
 
Old 08-21-2013, 09:36 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spacecat102
My number one concern is to get the greatest FPS response from character rigs. What does Maya uses to calculate rig changes? Where should I be putting in my money? In the CPU or GPU?


Maya uses the processor for calculating geometry and rigging, and only one processor core regardless of how many the processor has. This makes the performance per core an important factor if the primary purpose is animating and rigging.

Quote:
Originally Posted by spacecat102
A79-6100 ::AMD FD6100WMGUSBX FX-6100 Processor - Six Core, 8MB L3 Cache, 6MB L2 Cache, 3.30GHz (3.90GHz Max Turbo), Socket AM3+, 95W, Fan, Unlocked, Retail(1.55 lbs)


I like AMD processors for the builds I use at home because of the bang for the buck, you get a lot of cores for not a lot of money. However the performance per core is lower than the offerings from Intel. The i3-3250 is the same price and would be excellent for rigging and animation but would be rubbish for rendering and simulating. If you stick with AMD I'd suggest something with a higher clock speed like the FX-8350 or FX-4350.
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Old 08-21-2013, 10:28 PM   #3
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Thanks for the response! I'll go with a faster processor then.

I guess the graphics card I'm currently looking is kinda of an overkill then? I was mainly getting it based on this article:

http://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/ar...celeration-166/

But if the processor is what affects rig speed, then I don't want to spend a ton of money on a graphics card. Any advice on a cheaper graphics card? I want to make sure I can have dual displays, use After Effects and edit HD video as well.
 
Old 08-21-2013, 10:53 PM   #4
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Buy an overclockable intel (Ivy Bridge or Haswell) with absolute disregard for number of cores (you will be turning HT off even if you buy an i7 anyway), and drop the firepro in favor of a cheaper geforce, 580, 670, 680, 770 tend to be great bang for buck.

99% of rig and animation evaluation is down to single core and the pipes around it, and that's generally intel K (unlocked) territory.
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Old 08-22-2013, 06:24 PM   #5
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Thanks for the advice... I'll look into those intel options. But I was wondering about your suggestions on graphics cards. If you take a look at the link I provided

http://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/ar...celeration-166/

It looks like the Firepro 5000W trounced the geForce 770 in Maya performance, even though they both are around $400. What're your thoughts on that?
 
Old 08-22-2013, 09:24 PM   #6
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I haven't tried or benched or even followed much the cheap FirePros. I would be talking out of arse whatever I said.
I only had a glance at that page though, and I see a lot of so-so drivers picked, I don't see the 770 mentioned, and some of the stuff seems quadro vs firepro and rad vs gtx. Isn't that page somewhat old?
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Old 08-22-2013, 09:35 PM   #7
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Yeah they mention other GTXs but not the 770. But it according to that graph the FirePro blew the GTXs away. This is the conclusion in the article:

After our AutoDesk AutoCAD 2013 and Adobe Photoshop CS6 articles, our results for Maya 2013 surprise us a bit. Until now, we've seen the NVIDIA Geforce cards dominating our benchmarks, but this time the AMD FirePro cards were the clear winner. Also contrary to our other application benchmarks, both the AMD and NVIDIA workstation series beat their desktop equivalents.

The article is less than a year old.
 
Old 08-23-2013, 06:13 AM   #8
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Damn...I'm quite surprised at the Firepro and I'm a hardcore nVidia guy. Considering the W5000 is almost half the price of a Quadro 4000 and it has crossfire support, I'd just buy 2 W5000s and call it a day. Although I wish they would do a SLI/Crossfire comparison.
 
Old 08-23-2013, 11:01 AM   #9
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Crossfire, or SLI, will do absolutely nothing for most tasks. Maya in particular takes no advantage of it whatsoever in any situation.
Sadly I have no access to a wX000 to test, but I somehow have a bit of an itch about that article. Kinda sucky driver choices as well.
All that said, it is absolutely and perfectly plausible that with the right drivers a fire pro is a good performer. At the end of the day AMD isn't exactly a bunch of kids working out of a garage
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Old 08-23-2013, 11:01 AM   #10
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