HiEnd Rendering machine - what should I get?


Mar 14, 2010
Hello everyone,

New here as a forum member but a longtime reader of TomsHardware site. The best.

I am a graphic artist (digital) and looking to get an idea of what I should get for hi-end rendering using -Photoshop- -CorelDraw- -Vue packages_ etc. I am not a gamer so the fps of this machine I need really doesn't matter. I need this machine to fly with rendering power and not to lockup every time I am waiting for another graphic I am working on.

Please base your decision on the amounts for the components (CPU, motherboard, graphics card, memory)

$1500 to $2000
$1000 to $1500
under $1000

and best for the buck opinion.

Thank you very much for your input.

Thank you and God bless,


May 23, 2009
I am also looking into building a render system and will ask some questions for you that you should consider.
* Are you going to have just a workstation or will you need additional render nodes?
-- For example I have a decent last gen system Q9550 4GB Ram and GTX 260 and rendered a scene in Max 2010 in HD a 5 second clip. While the rendering went decent I uploaded the video in Premiere Pro the the video could not render and be edited in Premeire. My system simply did not have enough ram. I say this and will go back to the fact that the scene was not complex either. You may consider additional nodes to assist in rendering. From what I have learned from forums like these. Your workstation will needs lots of RAM Im thinking on a 1156 system all 16GB or if you go 1366 all 24GB. I plan on doing HD work. In fact I have to render in academy res 2K + movies and scale back down to HD 1080.

* Brings me to my next question will you be doing HD work?
-- If so I will suggest from what I have learned that you will need a good video card for any playbacks if you decide to do avi or movie formatted work "animation" ect. I have learned that Gaming grade graphics cards do a great job at rendering and are more cost effective than the high end "stereo" based graphic cards like the Quattro and Fire cards made for graphics workstations.

I said all that and I read your OP that you render Photoshop and Corel but if you are actually rendering something than maybe Vue is rendering your scenes ( I am not familiar with that package, I know its used in the film industry for background 3D art , good for green/blue scene artwork)

Either way this is what I have learned by reading up on the forums. In fact tomshardware had an article on here that showed how to make render nodes at a cheap cost.

I personally am going to build an i7 workstation on a 1366 platform with 24 GB ($$$$$) Ram and go SLI with some higher end graphics cards for playback.

But I put together a i7 1156 system for rendering on newegg for around $850 a peice that comes with a 4U case 550 watt psu Q2.8 i7 8GB Ram. Not a bad price for a render node and pretty much future proof. You may do additional research on your own. All this I simply read up. In fact thats how I found this forum. There hasnt been much in the way of a straight forward answer.

I chose i7 because from what I have read i5 does not have hyper threading. something that Render Boxx technology points out and the reading I have done suggests the same. so 4 i7 cores = 8 with HT for rendering. Go to Boxx tech and watch the video on that.

Sorry for the sporatic information but Im still learning on this myself.
I would like to know how to set all this up more myself but Im not here to hijack your thread.

Good Luck