Help with sub $7,000 3D workstation build

ColeHarris

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Apr 17, 2012
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Hello everyone I'm obviously new here and was hoping you could provide me with some feedback/help with a build I'm trying to put together mainly for use in 3D graphics.

First off let me explain my situation, I work as a 3D generalist for a company in LA and until recently was perfectly content to use the workstation that they have provided me as it is a very well specced computer. More recently however I have begun to work on more personal/freelance projects and have realized that my personal computer is far from sufficient to handle the kind of work I need to do (i7 iMac quad). At first I was planning to get a Mac Pro as prefer OSX to Windows (I use a Windows at work) after doing I bit of research however I discovered that the current Mac Pro's are rather outdated hardware-wise and also significantly overpriced compared to many Windows based solutions. After lots of reading I came to the conclusion that my best option would probably be to build a Windows based machine as it will be the most bang for buck option as well as very functional for my specific needs. I've built computers before but not for some time and am therefore somewhat outdated interms of my knowledge of current hardware (although I still understand all the principles to building a machine). I've set aside a budget of $7,000 which I hope will be sufficient to make a very very fast machine! To give a better idea of what I will be using it for here is some of the software I use:

3D suite: Maya, 3DS Max, Cinema 4D
Renderer: Vray, Mental Ray, Octane
Sculpting: Zbrush, Mudbox
Texturing: Mari, Zbrush
Simulations: Realflow, Maya Sim
Game Dev: Unity

As I'm sure you can tell I use a very wide array of software as I tend to work many very different projects, I also do some video editing from time to time with the possibility of editing some 4k/5k in the future so a machine that could handle that as well would be a bonus! My main priority is rendering I need a machine that will spit out renders as fast as possible (mostly in Vray), second to that is graphics performance Zbrush and Mari are very intensive graphics-wise and I need a machine that can handle very very high resolution models as well as very large texture maps. I've done some research and put together what I think will be a decent machine and would like your feedback:

CPU: Dual Intel E5-2670

GRAPHICS: 1. 2x Nvidia Quadro 4000
2. 2x AMD Firepro V7900
3. 1x Nvidia Quadro 5000

HDD/SSD: 1TB Western Digital Caviar Black (File Storage) + 120GB Kingston Hyper X (Operating System+Applications)

DVD/Blueray: LG Black 12X Blueray R=RW

CASE/CHASSIS: Need some help on this as it appears there aren't many options for HPTX sized motherboards

MOTHERBOARD: 1. EVGA SR-X
2. ASUS Z9PE

CPU COOLER's: 1. Thermaltake Frio (Will 2 of these fit without covering the DIMM's?)
2. I was hoping to stay away from Liquid Cooling as it seems to be rather unnecessary unless you plan to significantly overclock (E5's are locked) but if you guys think that would a better option then I can go with that instead.

MEMORY: 64GB GSkill Ripjaws 2X(4x8)

PSU/POWER: Enermax 85+ 1020W

TOTAL: $5873-$6,921 (Roughly)

I think thats everything, I apologize for the rather long post and I appreciate any advice you can give me!
 

g-unit1111

Titan
Moderator
CPU COOLER's: 1. Thermaltake Frio (Will 2 of these fit without covering the DIMM's?)
2. I was hoping to stay away from Liquid Cooling as it seems to be rather unnecessary unless you plan to significantly overclock (E5's are locked) but if you guys think that would a better option then I can go with that instead.
Cooling on the SR-X is incredibly difficult - you almost have to have a liquid radiator on this thing. Before on its' predecessor - the SR-2, everything was spaced out accordingly. But the SR-X compacts it a bit more making your choices difficult. Two Frios will not fit as the Frio is a *HUGE* cooler.

I'd recommend something like this:

Case: Cooler Master Cosmos II - $349.99
PSU: Silverstone Strider ST1500 - $399.99
Motherboard: EVGA Classified SR-X - $689.99
CPU: 2 x Intel Xeon E5-2650 - $1099.99 each
RAM: GeIL EVO CORSA Series 64GB (8 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 - $494.99
SSD: 128GB Crucial M4 - $159.99
HD: 3TB Seagate Barracuda ST - $169.99
Optical: LG BD-R Burner - $79.99
Video Card: 2 x ATI Fire Pro V7800 - $699.99 each
OS: Windows 7 Pro - $249.99

Total: $6,164.89
 

ColeHarris

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Apr 17, 2012
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Will I really notice any difference using higher speed RAM? Also what should I do about CPU cooling since the Frio's wont fit on the SR-X?
 

g-unit1111

Titan
Moderator


I didn't include cooling because this is one of the rare instances where you'll most likely need a custom loop. Yeah I'd normally be against it but with the positioning of the CPUs on the SR-X being so close together there's no combination of air fans you can get that would serve as a viable option.

Nice, but 1600MHz isn't sufficient for rendering. Here's better RAM
You're not going to notice any difference between 1600 and 2133 even on a rendering build. Your motherboard usually defaults to the lowest speeds it can handle. And $800 for RAM is quite ridiculous. :ouch:
 

ColeHarris

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Darn! Well can you recommend a good Liquid system?

Yeah I thought that sounded a little crazy, thanks for confirming that for me! Also why did you recommend the AMD V7800 when its the same price as the V7900?
 

ColeHarris

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I wish that were possible but given the specs I need for my main workstation it would still be easily over $2,000 not leaving enough left over for the farm. Some day though.... some day...
 

Tavo_Nova

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Actually I'm against water cooling for your usage, a cooler master hyper 212 evo/plus shouldnot be that packed unless your ok with those cheaper smaller cooler.

go with 2133 ram speed. and how about a quadro 6000? I'm thinking of grabbing one too. or get a 5000 one.

I 2nd demotion the G.skill ram ripjaws Z it's an awesome ram, I used them on all my lga2011 system and some ripjaws x and sniper and corsair vengeance on others. I won't recommend a cosmos II for this one, how about tj11? if your going watercooling. but a cosmos II is nice as you can see my sig I use one.

128gb crucial m4 or any higher if you want
 

g-unit1111

Titan
Moderator
Actually I'm against water cooling for your usage, a cooler master hyper 212 evo/plus shouldnot be that packed unless your ok with those cheaper smaller cooler.
Look at the SR-X and then tell me that a pair of 212 Evos will work:



The CPUs are so close together that one 212 would block the other and then you'd risk overheating issues - and you don't want to risk a $1K CPU to that, do you?

go with 2133 ram speed. and how about a quadro 6000? I'm thinking of grabbing one too. or get a 5000 one.
A Quaddro 6000 will be like 1/2 the budget - you're looking at a $3K video card and I'd rather get a pair of Fire Pros and run 4 - 5 monitors than a single $3K Quaddro.
 

ColeHarris

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Apr 17, 2012
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Do you think I'll notice much difference between the 2650 and the 2670, now that I'm going to have to water cool this thing I'm going to need to make some cut backs.
 

mcopinger

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Liquid cooling that in a Cosmo II would be easy, You'd want to use Tygon I think... at least between the first CPU out and second CPU in as that bend looks a little sharp... also some clamps wouldn't hurt. to bad your not local or I'd help you out with it =)
 

g-unit1111

Titan
Moderator


Well not really - if you get a really crafty overclocker - you can clock the 2650 to the same speed as the 2670 and you'll save about $500 on each CPU. They're the exact same CPU but one has a higher clock than the other. The Xeons are a bit trickier to OC from what I've been reading but it can be done.
 

dalauder

Splendid
What about exhausting two single fan Hyper 212+'s upwards? You'd have to check the measurements on that, but it might work just fine.

Obviously, you can water cool as well. Two H80's would be the simplest thing, but not the best.
 

g-unit1111

Titan
Moderator


Can you mount 2 H80s in one case? I didn't think that was possible.
 

dalauder

Splendid
I know two H100's is pretty much impossible (obviously). I guess I was assuming an H80 would fit in a 140mm fan slot. That is, it uses 120mm fans, but the radiator is oversized. I don't know if you could fit two on the back (would pretty much need two 140mm slots), but plenty of cases would let you fit one on top and one in back.
 

serialkiller

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cosmos ii does not support HPTX motherboards i.e. sr-x wont fit in the case.

for that monstorious motherboard you will need a really big case like

corsair 800D or the lanli cases or those ufo ones.

my recommendation is to stick with corsair 800D or the lan li cases.



for the cooling it seems that hypers are gonna block each other or their will be a great air turbulance.

for that use 2 h80 to cool it . it is the best bet you have for the price or use custom wc or the pre configured one. :D



for the pc build gunit1111 always has an advantage while suggesting gaming pcs but not for workstation.

it seems like you are suggesting him a workstation just replacing mobo and cpu for workstation.

obviously not even 2 quadro 6000 would need more that 1000w even after oc.

and ati gpu always energy efficient . and by the ways pro gpus are always underclocked so consumes less power.



my suggestion

http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx?WishListNumber=16819331

EVGA SR-X motherboard

2 x intel E-5 2650
evga srx
2 x gskill ripjaws 4x8gb 1600mhz ddr3 ram
pny quadro 5000 2.5gb
seasonic x-1050 1050w 80+ gold psu
samsung 830 128gb ssd (for os and programs)
2 x wd carvier black 1 tb 7200rpm hdd in RAID0 (for work files and some important files)
seagate baracuda 3tb 7200rpm hdd(for storage)
lg 12x blue ray burner.

corsair h80 liquid cooler x 2


for cases its just personal preference.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811112327

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811112311

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811112324

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811112312

 

ColeHarris

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Apr 17, 2012
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I've begun to put together what I think will be a decent Liquid system, heres what I have so far:

2x EK-VGA Supreme HF Acetal (AMD V7900's)

EK-VGA Supreme HF Bridge Acetal

2x EK Supreme HF Acetal LGA 2011

TNK-501 5.25" Reservoir

Koolance 4x120mm Radiator (Bottom)

Switech 3x120mm MCR-320 Radiator (Top)

Danger Den DD-CPX 12v Pump

7x Aerocool 120mm Fans

Various tubing and compression fittings

Also I've found a couple of cases that look rather decent:

LD PC-V8
Xilence Interceptor Pro

Both seem to have plenty of room for the SR-X as well as a Liquid system so if you have any experience with either of these let me know.
 

g-unit1111

Titan
Moderator


If you want a case that can accommodate an XL-ATX motherboard and a good liquid setup go for the NZXT Switch 810: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811146088

It can house the Swiftech radiator with no problems whatsoever.
 

ColeHarris

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Apr 17, 2012
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So how exactly would I go about overclocking the 2650?
 

g-unit1111

Titan
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The problem with overclocking is that no two systems are alike. That's usually why the hardcore overclockers will not give system-specific information out - what's good for one system will have damaging consequences to the next. Once you get your system up and running there's plenty of guides and forums that can help you - there's one here and try overclockers.net as well - they usually have some good information.
 

Draven35

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If you're seriously worried about rendering, then drop it down to a single Quadro 4000 and build a render node. As I've said many times on this forum, I don't trust ATI's Pro drivers... the trouble I had with the HP z400 was just too much. Yes, I realize the render node article needs to be updated. For about $1k you can buiild a render node that will add half again to your render power, whereas unless you're doing architectural rendering using iray or VrayRT, the second Quadro 4000 will do *nothing* for your render times.

Also note that Mari does not support ATI cards...
 

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