Building a system for 3D rendering


Jul 23, 2011

I'm looking to build a desktop system primarily for 3d rendering (solidworks, alias, vray) and Adobe software. I have never built a computer before, but this is what I have so far. My budget is about 1200-1500

Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost)
4 x 256KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor

ASUS P8P67-M (REV 3.0) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory

Western Digital Caviar Green WD20EARS 2TB 64MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

I am very new to this, so bear with me. Will these components work together? I know I will also need to buy a case and cd/dvd drive.. Am I missing anything? Any suggestions/ advice would be great. Thanks!!


You need 8 components in a basic system:

Video card
Hard Disk
DVD drive
Power Supply

Aftermarket Heatsink & Fan and thermal past which may or may not come with the heatsink for overclocking the CPU

And you will need an operating system such as Windows or Linux or similar.

Then obviously the peripherials: Monitor, Keyboard and Mouse.

Then some advice:
CPU: decide if you want to overclock or not, no point in paying for the option if you never intend to do it.

Motherboard: Get a motherboard that has the features you want or intend to use in the future

Ram: It's cheap at the moment, but no point in going overboard either, nowadays 2x2GB works for gaming, 2x4GB is enough for multitasking and most applications.
Only go for more than 8GB if your program specifically needs it such as Maya or similar.

Video card: determine your needs and/or budget. There are good options at virtually all price ranges. Some applications benefit from CUDA cores, others from OpenGL performance. Good choices can be found from both AMD and Nvidia.

HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB would be the default drive for performance, reliability and price. Sata II is the way to go, as no mechanical hard drives can really push the limits of the connection, so having Sata III for hard drives is pointless. For SSD's yes it would be helpful, HDD's no.

DVD: Pretty much any DVD writer connecting to the SATA port will do Asus, Lite-On and Sony have been good.

Check for size of your components that they fit.
- Motherboard type support mATX, ATX, EATX etc
- Video card length
- HSF height and size
Define a price range and look for something that fills the above criteria, most price ranges will have such a case available.
Otherwise good airflow is crucial for keeping your components cool, as heat is your worst enemy.

This is one the most important components of your machine, since if this breaks or is not good enough your whole computer won't run and if one dies on you it can take pretty much every other component with it
Generally go with a quality PSU from Antec, Corsair, Seasonic, Silverstone or XFX.

80+ rating tells you the efficiency of the unit, don't buy one that isn't at least 80+ rated. The better the efficiency, the more expensive the unit is.

Units come with 3 ranges of modularity: All fixed cables, semi modular with some cables fixed some optional, and fully modular when you attach all cables separately.
The more modular the unit is the more expensive the unit generally is. Modular cables reduce clutter in the case and improve airflow as the extra cables are not in the case.

Low end need would be about 450W-500W. PSU's of that size will let you run a mid range graphics card and the rest of your system just fine.
You want something that will run your system using between 50-75% of it's capacity which is pretty much the sweet spot for efficiency.

If you have a high end graphics card then up to 650W PSU is in order especially if you intend to overclock the CPU.

Higher wattage than that is only needed if you intend to run multiple graphics cards.

I hope that clarifies things a bit. Please fill the following: How to ask advice.
It will help us help you, even if your post does give most of that information already