Going to be building a workstation. Please help!


hello all,

i’m going to be building a workstation soonish. hopefully by the end of next month.

the computer i have now isn’t powerful enough to run the programs i use (Maya 2010, Zbrush 3.5 R3, Photoshop CS4 Extended and Illustrator CS5), so i’ve decided to build my own.

i was wondering if anyone might be able to tell me if the equipment i’ve picked out to buy will be sufficient for what i use. if there’s anything that anyone feels should be replaced with something else, please let me know.

my budget for this is currently $2000-$2200.

this is what i have selected so far:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129087 (Purchased)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371052 (Purchased)

the case and power supply have already been purchased, since they were on sale last week.

if i’ve missed anything, please let me know so i can add it to the list.

thanks in advance for any help :slight_smile:


can’t do wrong with Intel, my older i7920 is still alive and kicking hard. They offer nice over lock options, except heard the latest 3rd Gen don’t of well. for example got my older chip running at 4ghz (3.97…) and added 24gb or ram.

As far as video goes for your apps I’d go and radeon if you don’t plan on procards. I have a 5850 and it runs Maya flawlessly.


you’re going to have a hard time trying to fit that socket 2011 3930k cpu into a socket 1155 motherboard. Might try looking into an Asus sabertooth x79 or similar

I’d personally choose a Noctua NH-D14 cooler over water cooling like the corsair H80 - less chance of a water pump failing and your system being out for the count - which can happen during extended unattended rendering sessions.

If you did decide to go with the noctua cooler, instead of going with the corsair vengeance memory, I’d go with corsair dominator. This way you can easily remove the heatfins without having to use a hair dryer to remove the vengeance heatsinks and then have to scrape off glue in order to have them clear the heatsink.


LMAO- I didn’t even bother going to all his links- I agree with sentry- either choose a closed circuit liquid coolant system or choose an air one!


i fully admit that i don’t know too much about pc hardware, but am more than willing to learn. i know how to build a computer, but i wouldn’t be able to tell anyone all the ins and outs of every individual piece.

one day i’ll know what to do without asking for assistance.

anyway, i switched out a few things, so here’s what i have added:


as for the video card i chose, i heard it was a fairly good one for maya and zbrush, and is within my budget. i might be able to get a quadro 4000, if i hold off building this till the end of next month, but if anyone has a suggestion on what card would be best for me, please post it :slight_smile:

if there’s anymore info anyone can give me, or anything else that i should replace, please let me know.

thanks again for the help.


Like I said- the ATI cards work good in all the apps you’ve mentioned=- cost a ton less than quadros and not to mention perform better playing videos and games- so it is the ALL-AROUND best choice if you ever plan to use this machine for more than CG stuff- I trialed Mari and have to say even that performs as it should on the unsupported ATI card.


groovy. any ATI card, or is there one in particular you would recommend?

i really appreciate the help :slight_smile:

would this card work well with the setup i’m working on?



That’s a Pro line card- Heard great things about them and Maya- although that is a little on the lower end of the spectrum= I’d get a higher end (same price range) consumer card before I got that.


lower end, huh? alright.

well then, in your opinion, what card would you recommend i get for my setup? :slight_smile:


I can’t speak for everyone, and know others had better luck, but I’ve been burned by AMD’s pro line of cards with maya - at least the entry level one I bought when I was testing the AMD waters. Wouldn’t draw things right or select things correctly regardless of driver or setting I used.

Ironically, i’ve had great luck with their consumer gamer cards like the Radeon 7950 working well with everything and having massive performance in maya’s viewport 2.0 and solid classic viewport performance.

I’m a little skeptical about nvidia’s consumer gamer cards after they started botching their drivers specifically to hinder maya performance. From what I hear, there are certain modern ones that do work well with maya, but you’d have to research that.


i also heard that amd doesn’t really play well with maya, which is why i decided to choose a geforce card, at least for the time being.

i’d still like to hear what others believe to be worthwhile cards to use with maya, but i’ll also be doing a bit more research as well, to find just the right one for me.


well things are different with Nvidia now that they’ve started hindering their drivers with maya performance. You can’t rely on everyone’s word unless they’ve specifically tried using the newer geforces. So you’re not better off with a geforce anymore unless maybe if you’re using viewport 2.0 with the newer versions of maya.

That’s something else to find out from people - some people don’t even use maya’s classic viewport anymore, so when they say new geforces are fantastic, you need to know if they’re talking viewport 2.0 or classic. From what little I know, they work great in viewport 2.0

I’m using an AMD radeon 7950 now and it’s been pretty fantastic - not perfect, but considering its price and how well-rounded it is, I do give it a recommendation. A new modern geforce, might only give you 1-2fps in maya’s classic viewport and that wouldn’t be usable for you with maya 2010


okay, after doing some searching around, i’ve found this card, which, after reading a dozen posts on several different websites, seems to be plenty compatible with the sabertooth motherboard.


still came across a ton of forums talking about how the amd cards don’t work too well with maya, but a lot of people were saying that you can downgrade to previous drivers to get things to run a little smoother.

so, in regards to that information, would this card be sufficient for my build?

i’m sorry for asking for so much help. i just really want to make sure that i don’t waste money getting things that aren’t compatible with other bits of hardware.


looks good to me



so the card, coupled with the new motherboard, heatsink, and memory, should give me everything i need to start building, yes?

i hope so, cause i can’t wait to get started :smiley:

thanks so much for all the help, guys. couldn’t have done it without you :slight_smile:

if you, or anyone else, have any further suggestions, please let me know :slight_smile:


along with the CPU and case, sure


That series of card should be great although I’m not sure about that specific manufacturer- GIGABYTE- I tend to lean towards Asus and Sappire in this realm. But like I said- just stuck to what’s worked for me.


awesome :smiley:

thanks a lot for all the help :slight_smile:

can’t wait to get everything, get it built, and see how it runs^^

i may take another look at video cards, to see what else is out there, but i’ve heard good things about gigabyte, so i’ll keep that one in my wishlist for the time being.


Sure it’ll be fine- just personally haven’t used one.


Just be sure to unscrew the hex screws and pull out the tab to remove the heatfins for the memory modules that don’t clear the heatsink/fans when installing the cpu cooler