Good Workstation?


I only spent about 2 min configuring this and digging around their website, but something more like this should be PLENTY of computer to produce good work on for around $2900:


now you scared me, are you really sure of that?
this looks more like a gaming computer.
why not a workstation computer instead of a gaming computer?
Why not one k6000 32 gb instead of 64 gb?
and maybe 1x xeon something…

My biggest fear is to get something like that and end up the same way a shitty computer.
can you take a moment at digitalstorm but with the workstation system?
and see some processors and graphic card you think.
doesn’t need to be a 10k or 17k but a little better.
i just want to be able to do a lot with less money.
Yeah and like the guy said later on when i finally graduate i can upgrade for something that i need.

I love games and i’m doing Game Art & Design but i really do love Visual Effects & Motion Graphics so i really want to be able to work with After Effects and Photoshop, Illustrator…
and maya,3ds max, zbrush…

I sell courses online too and i have a youtube channel so i need to keep up with all of this with a good machine.

And i have a team with a Game Project of mine, is for real i got a patent on the game so… i got to work on that.

Well thank you again.


There is no difference, you’re buying into a scam when you think there is.

Why not one k6000

because it’s bad bang for buck, get a single Titan if you need the video ram, or 780s ti if you odn’t. The ONLY selling points of a K6K are the hardware stereo and per buffer depth features and its ram size, not one of the tasks or software you listed makes any use of it.

32 gb instead of 64 gb?

because 32GB can be expanded to 64 in literally 10 minutes if needed? Why waste money early when you don’t even know if you need something?

My biggest fear is to get something like that and end up the same way a shitty computer.
can you take a moment at digitalstorm but with the workstation system?
and see some processors and graphic card you think.
doesn’t need to be a 10k or 17k but a little better.
i just want to be able to do a lot with less money.
Yeah and like the guy said later on when i finally graduate i can upgrade for something that i need.

Honestly, take people’s advice, not vendor hype.
Xeons aren’t faster than i7s. Quadros aren’t “more professional” than GTX cards, 64GB of RAM are hard to fill up and easy to expand to if you don’t delve in the simulation domain.

Honestly, get a top of the line i7, overclock it, dump a couple titan black or titan Z in there and put 32 or 64 GB of ram, done. Faster hands on workstation you can possibly get nowadays, end of story. If you need more power for rendering or sims buy separate nodes if and when needed.
Literally nothing you listed makes use of quadro specific features or scales particularly well with multiple CPUs outside of the rendering engines and the fluid sims, and again those are best served by separate nodes.

There is not one Xeon CPU out there that will beat an OCed i7 when you’re working in the viewport in Maya, that’s the end of the story, it’s not object of debate.
Some of the software you list (ZBrush) doesn’t even use more than 4GB of ram and doesn’t use the GPU at all other than to draw the final screen.


Hm what about that:
watch the video.

Wow i thought xeon was better then I7, because if you go to workstation mode you can’t choose any i7 CPU.


what about this config:

Chassis Model: Special Deal Hot Seller - Black OPS Aventum II
Exterior Finish: Onyx Black Matte Finish with Red Stand
Trim Accents: - Not Available
Processor: Intel Core i7 Extreme Edition 4960X 3.6GHz (Six-Core) (Extreme Performance)
Motherboard: ASUS Rampage IV Black Edition X79 (Intel X79 Chipset)
System Memory: 64GB DDR3 1600Mhz Digital Storm Certified Performance Series (Highly Recommended) (Hand Tested) 

Power Supply: 1200W Corsair Pro Platinum Series with Corsair Link (CP-9020008-NA) (Quad SLI Compatible) 
Expansion Bay: - No Thanks
Optical Drive: Blu-Ray Player/DVD Writer (Play Blu-Ray and Burn DVDs) (Slim Slot Loading Edition)
Storage Set 1: 2x SSD (750GB Samsung 840 EVO) 

Storage Set 2: 1x Storage (4TB Western Digital - Black Edition) 

Storage Set 3: - No Thanks
RAID Config: - No Thanks
RAID Card: - No Thanks
Internet Access: Wireless PCI-E ASUS PCE-N53 (Dual Band Performance) (Supports 802.11n/g/b) 

Graphics Card(s): 2x SLI Dual (NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN 6GB (Includes PhysX) 

Sound Card: Integrated Motherboard Audio
HPC Processor: - No Thanks
Extreme Cooling: H20: HydroLux Level 1: Digital Storm Exotic Custom Cooling System (CPU Only)
H20 Tube Color:Red Tubing with High-Performance Fluid (UV Lighting Reactive)
Chassis Fans: Upgrade Chassis With LED Performance Fans (Blue) (Up to 6 Fans) 

Internal Lighting: Digital Storm RGB LED Lighting System (Requires Thermal Management Control Board & Software)
Airflow Control: Digital Storm Thermal Management Control Board & Software
Chassis Mods: - No Thanks
Noise Reduction: Noise Suppression Package Stage 2 (Optimized Airflow & Fan Speeds with Noise Dampening Material) 

LaserMark: - No Thanks
Boost Processor: Stage 2: Overclock CPU 4.5GHz to 4.8GHz (Requires High-End Motherboard Selection)
Boost Graphics Card(s): Yes, Overclock the video card(s) as much as possible with complete stability 

Boost Memory: - No Thanks, Please do not overclock my memory
Boost OS: - No Thanks, Please do not tweak the services on the operating system
Windows OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional (64-Bit Edition) 

Would be better Windows 7 Professional 64 Bits for now or Windows 8.1 64 Bits?

Thanks again for your help and patience, i’m stubborn haha.


having multiple GPU’s is pissing money away. In 5 years it might be worthwhile once render engines start getting in the swing of migrating to make heavy use of GPU’s. Right now? Nope. Viewport performance won’t benefit with multiple cards though. I’d get either a 780 and get faster viewport performance than a titan since 3d and video apps will only see 1 video card anyway.

I wouldn’t get two 750 gig SSD’s. Get a 256 or 512 then get a larger/faster SSD later when you need it - maybe even a PCI SSD when the time comes that you REALLY need it. I comp 4k stereo footage with multiple projects/shots just fine with a single 512gig SSD. I have a hard time believing you remotely need two 750 gig SSD’s - especially at this point in your learning.

Win7 or 8 is up to you. I can’t stand win8 just because its UI is so fractured, but some people seem to get by ok with it. It’s supposed to perform better, but you never know if you’ll run into something weird with an OS until it’s been out for a couple years.

The 4960x CPU is silly. Go with the 4930k for 99% the speed and save yourself the $578 they’re overcharging for it when they’re going to overclock it to 4.8ghz regardless of what CPU it is. BTW the 4930k runs cooler and more stable at 4.8ghz than the 4960x. Trust me, you don’t need that extra L3 cache that the 4960x has for vfx work.

IMO don’t overclock your video card to it’s limit for pro work. A little bit maybe is fine, but going to the edge will yield little real benefit, and risk losing your work when the video freezes.

Going to be honest here, I’m always skeptical of any vendor who claims high ghz like 4.8 on the CPU and overclocked video and/or memory options. For gaming, not a problem. But for vfx work where you’re flooring your CPU with a background render, comping footage with heavy I/O, then manipulating a 3d file around in your viewport…you’re pushing your system harder than ANY game is and it will crash even though it might not crash with a single game or benchmark utility that these vendors likely use. I’m just saying, I doubt some of these claimed overclocks are as stable and bulletproof as they claim - especially if it’s in a different environment than their 65 degree office.

64 gigs ram, well that’s your call. If I were in your shoes, I’d go for 32 gigs. I guess if you plan on comping a lot of 4k footage while running multiple 3d apps at the same time, then go for it. Otherwise wasted money. 32 gigs is more than enough and then some for comping and rendering HD work. Even Pixar doesn’t need more than 20 gigs right now to render their heaviest frames.

Agh, I still can’t believe the system, even with all my edits is still over $5700. You could build it yourself for around $3800


What is certified and what is marketed differs from the reality of things. Titan cards, unlike all other GTX, are also built to PCB specs and have no crippled dual precision (not that you need it).

Wow i thought xeon was better then I7, because if you go to workstation mode you can’t choose any i7 CPU.

Xeons’ only exclusivity is their server platforming, and their ability to run in dual configurations, other than that they are not superior to i7s in any regards. There might be an argument for the number of PCI-E lanes, but the consumer line addresses that with the X models, which have an overabundance of lanes if you feel like wasting money on something like tri-SLI and dual fiber on the same mobo.


No. One of the most vital skills a 3D artist can learn, is how to be efficient and what tools and features are the slowest. If you fail to learn this, then you will fail at every 3D job available. A $17,000 machine is a massive waste for most professionals, an epic waste for a student, and a huge hindrance for someone trying to get a feel for what the tools do.

Would you start learning to drive in a porche 911?
Would you start learning to carve wood with a 10mwatt laser?
Would you start learning about electronics with a $50bn fab?

Ok, so we’ve now established that the guy selling it to you is doing his best to rip you off for every penny you have, lets take everything he’s suggested and throw it away.

Ok lets start at the basics

  1. There is no such thing as ‘gaming’ components and ‘workstation’ components when it comes to 3D machines. The manufacturers take the same product, stick a different label on, quadruple the price and then sell them to gullible idiots that have convinced themselves that they must somehow be magically better. It’s the computer version of thinking a car goes faster because you stuck a white race stripe down the middle and glued a ‘GT’ badge to the back.

  2. Xeons are slower than i7 for 90% of the tasks you will perform with them. The xeon will be faster at the final render, but that is only a small fraction of what you will do with the system, the xeon will actually be much slower for everything else. Buy for the 90% of your work, not the 10%

  3. Geforce cards are the same hardware as quadro cards

  4. Do not buy multiple gfx cards, almost everything you do is only capable of using a single gfx card at once. If you want to get the absolute crème de la crème of gfx cards, by all means, burn $1500 on a geforce Titan card, but dont think for a second that you would notice any difference between that and a 780 card, you’re deluding yourself.

Tell us the full spec of that $2k gaming rig you have. Unless it’s a few years old, you can probably just spend <$1,000 on a few parts to beef that up and have everything you need not just to get you through school but to do all your commercial work on. Now stop pissing your parents money up the wall and ditch the guy trying to sell you magic beans.


Many of the applications have different requirements. The adobe programs aren’t going to benefit much from the GPU or multicore CPU’s but will benefit from RAM and fast drive access.

I’m not a Zbrush expert but I work with several people who are and it’s really unstable even on a beefy desktop machine so throwing $17k at a computer isn’t going to solve that problem. Not to mention that Zbrush is still only 32bit and doesn’t use the GPU at all so you’d get no benefit from the Tesla or a Quadro card.

Are you programming software that will use the GPU… if the answer is no, then you won’t need the Tesla.

As long as your motherboard has room to expand get 32 and then buy the extra chips later… although ram is incredibly cheap these days.

Wow dude… yeah you should just buy two separate computers … one that is a workstation and one that is for gaming.

Okay you’ve got several different needs here.

2D applications like Photoshop and Illustrator aren’t really about rendering … pretty much any display card that supports the screen resolution that you want will do. But what everybody is trying to tell you is that even though you could buy the most extreme display card your practical use of it may not really be worth the added cost.

3D applications will have different needs to displaying polygons and textures on screen. 3D software rendering used to be completely dependent on the CPU however there are some newer renders that use the GPU but when it comes down to it the only way you can render really fast is with a renderfarm or at least one separate computer to render on so you can keep working on your main computer. Also Multithreading support is still spotty depending on what software you are using so again you might be paying alot for hardware that you won’t get the most use out of.


Hey Guys, thank you for all help and time.

I’ve come to a conclusion that the guy at that website pretty much just want to take all my money away…

So i was thinking about this config:

2 6-core Intel Xeon processors(@ 3.6 GHz),

Nvidia GTX TITAN 6 GB DDR3 maybe 32 gb ram idk yet.

Windows 7 64bit OS.

what you guys think about it?

Thank you so much.


That is more reasonable but the TITAN is probably still overkill… how much is that going for $2k?


Nah, Titans are 999$, and can be found for 880-950.
I have one, and I don’t regret the purchase because I have a use for both the abundance of VRAM and the non-crippled DP. I also bought it before the 780 was out because I wanted early access to compute capabilities 3.5.
With the 780ti out though, and with most people being unconcerned about DP issues, the amount of VRAM is the only deciding factor. If you do intensive GPU rendering, load up Mari with a crapton of High Res layers, or pick up entire lidar scans in the viewport as GPU caches, the 6GB are invaluable, for everybody else a 780ti is better performance, and better value for money.


Good to know, especially since Digital Storm appears to be quoting $2k for it… so yeah shop around or get ripped off.


I do a ton of GPU rendering and realtime work and haven’t had any problem with my 780gtx yet. It is a great card. You can probably find titans for super cheap now though especially with people selling theirs to get the latest cards.


Regarding your quote about a gaming machine versus a workstation, there are real differences but they are all a moot point for a student just getting started. Not saying any student needs this but you get the point, additional memory slots, additional disk bays, redundant power supplies so a failure doesn’t result in downtime, additional expansion slots for graphics cards, etc.

When I was studying I built myself a workstation with dual Opteron processors for something like $2,000. As a result my work was more polished than the work from my peers who were using $500 machines from Best Buy because I had the resources to enable things like global illumination and I was able to go through more iterations of a project in less time.

Though having a better machine doesn’t inherently mean your work will be better or that you’ll learn more. Looking back on my own experiences, I wouldn’t suggest that any student spend more than $2,000 on a computer for studying computer graphics and visual effects. It simply doesn’t pay off in the end. It’s an older thread but it was geared towards students and I suggested a machine less than $1,000 for this purpose. A similarly priced build today would be more than enough.

Get a decent machine in the $2,000 and under range then you’ll have $15,000 for something else more meaningful like tuition. That’s my two cents!


Well i’m a beginner student, so yeah i probably will not need all this expensive machine that in 3-4 years will be considered old… i think so.

My conclusion i think is to go with a

2 6-core Intel Xeon processors(@ 3.6 GHz)
Nvidia GTX TITAN (6 GB card) < I’m trying to find out wtf is the difference between the titan and the titan black.
32 GB of DDR3 ram < i think i don’t need 64gb now so maybe if i feel like i do need i can buy another one later on…
Windows 7 64bit OS

I know that is a expensive machine but is much less expensive instead of a k6000 12 GB.


You’re trying to find out, or waiting to be told what the difference is? Because every plain search on Google returns the exact difference in layman terms :wink:
The Black is to the Titan what the 780ti is to the 780. A handful more cores and an ever so slightly higher clock.


What I meant with that quote is that the black and white distinction that is painted by many vendors between workstation and not workstation is, these days, absolutely preposterous.
There used to be such a line a long time ago, but the way hardware and software are now, for many, many roles that line is blurry, or in a totally different place.

Just look at how many people think buying 12 core CPUs with a low clock will be best because hey, they are 2.3k when bought in trays, and yet the way Maya, or any other app really, works when you’re animating means that that hardware will be seriously smoked by an overclocked i5, to the tune of literally double the performance.

Same for videocards, people will buy a K4000 thinking “it’s professional”, yet the card should be made illegal for the price they charge, and in any plausible scenario gets absolutely devastated to the tune of 3:1 by gaming cards.

There are cases a quadruple xeon is worth it, there are cases a quadro is needed, most people don’t know when and where though, and will often be advised by vendors who know little of what they sell, and even less of how it’s used and exploited to its best extent.

That’s why I think it’s healthier to consider it hype, and configure based on real requirements and use case, and just ignore the whole “workstation” or “gaming” rig distinction, it’s just too oversimplified and aggregates too many malformed ideas which result in a completely dysfunctional (cognitive) result.


$17K for a single workstation is just insane. For less than the price of the two E5-2660v2 CPUs alone I could get ten 6-core Intel Xeon Westmere CPUs off of Ebay for 5 render nodes and a single 6-core Intel Core i7 CPU for my main workstation. With a good Geforce GPU instead of the Quadro GPU I could put the whole thing together for under $10K and it would still outperform the $17K machine listed.


So yeah i’m not looking for a 17K machine anymore.
I’m going to do what you guys recommended.
I need a little help with the CPU.
I’m going for a i7 i was thinking about go with one of those:


what you guys think will be the best? If you have any another i7 cpu that you think will be better let me know.

Thank you guys for all the help.