Build Advice Build Advice for First-Time Build (VFX workstation)

Jun 30, 2020

I’m pretty fresh to this having not done a build before and trying to put a kit together seems fraught with possible compatibility issues etc., so any pointers that anyone might be able to give would be massively appreciated!

I’m looking to build a workstation for VFX, using Houdini for simulation work (which puts to use as many cores as you can afford to throw at it) and also for rendering (principally gpu). I currently have a mini-ITX system (Intel Kaby Lake i7 and gtx980ti ), which I bought in 2017 and proved a slightly naive choice as it doesn’t have space for upgrades and Intel was the wrong horse to back for multi-threaded tasks. I just don’t want to make that expensive mistake again this time, but this is the list I have put together:

CPU: Ryzen 3950x
(It sounds like there will be a release of the 4000 series within the next 3 months, so not sure if it’s worth waiting for that?)

Motherboard: ASUS ROG Strix X470-F
I gather this has slightly older chipset. Don’t know whether it’s worth going for something like the ASUS Prime X570-P - for future compatibility?

GPU: Rtx 3080ti
Was thinking of getting 2 x Rtx 2070, but think I will now wait for the to rtx3080ti to couple with my existing gtx980ti, as this seems worth the wait given the rumours of its performance gains.

CPU cooler: BeQuiet DarkRock 4.
I don’t fully understand all the variables of what advantages some have over others, but the noise on my current cpu is driving me nuts so want to make sure I get something that does the job properly!

Case: Fractal Design Define Xl R2
Would quite like a standard size mid-tower, but not sure it’s worth it in the long run, as I understand you get better cooling (especially it might eventually house 3 gpu) and easier to get in and install components.

RAM: Crucial Ballistix 64GB Kit (2 x 32GB) DDR4-3200
It seems it’s cheaper getting 4 x 16gb, but I guess it’s then harder to upgrade in future if all the slots are used?

PSU: EVGA SuperNOVA G2 1300W
I think this will accommodate for the CPU plus up to 3 higher wattage GPUs, as far as I can make out.

Monitors: Benq pd2500q x 2
These seem to be excellently reviewed for colour fidelity and price.

A few other things it mentioned on the How to Ask for New Build Advice Page. I’m UK based, hope to buy over the next few months, but might do this in a modular fashion if components are worth holding out a bit for.

If there are any glaring errors in terms of compatibility or for any other reason, or anything I’ve overlooked that I’d need for a build like this (I think I should be able to harvest my current one for the hard drives), then it would be great to know! In terms of price, I’m resigned to the cost being fairly expensive overall but if there’s any suggestions of comparable components that would make a lot more sense within the same sort of performance level that would be good to know too. Sorry this is a long post!

Many thanks,

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