Question Prebuilt Advice £1000 budget

Bonewolf

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Mar 20, 2017
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Hello! I'm a computer newb as it were , but im looking for a computer that's powerful enough to support my 3D animation career (Maya, heavy rendering, Z Brush etc) . Are there any 1k Prebuilts that would manage with such a task or should i look into learning how to make a custom one?
 
Hello! I'm a computer newb as it were , but im looking for a computer that's powerful enough to support my 3D animation career (Maya, heavy rendering, Z Brush etc) . Are there any 1k Prebuilts that would manage with such a task or should i look into learning how to make a custom one?
Hi!

You will get more for your money if you self build typically, although there are places that do good pre-built machines.

If you need someone to put a machine together for you in the UK I recommend this company:
https://www.pcspecialist.co.uk/

They allow you to custom spec both desktop and laptop machines (I have gotten 2 laptops from them which I use for CAD / rendering work). You should be able to play around with the specs on there and add in things needed for this type of work.

The only thing I would say is that £1000 is a pretty tight budget for doing heavy animation work. For the rendering side you need as much CPU power as you can get, however for the actual workflow you need a strong GPU as well. It's possible to get a machine to get you started for £1000 however you are going to be making compromises one way or another.

Reading up - Maya really recommends a workstation graphics card, however these add quite a bit of money to a build vs a standard graphics card. Having a quick play around on the site I can suggest the following as a starting point:
Go with an AMD build rather than Intel (current Ryzen 3000 series is the best choice for cpu rendering work).

The Ryzen 7 3700X is a good cpu with 8 cores / 16 threads which should handle rendering easily. There are more powerful options to upgrade to in the future as well if / when you have more money (there are both 12 and 16 core options for the same socket so a very simple upgrade for more rendering power in future). To save a bit of money you could drop down to the Ryzen 5 3600 (6 cores / 12 threads) which should perform about the same when using the software but will be quite a bit slower when doing the rendering.

Memory, you want at least 16gb of ram (2 x 8gb) for this type of work, more is probably a good idea but this can easily be upgraded in future.

Graphics card, I suggest a minimum of a Radeon Pro WX 3100 - this is an entry level workstation card that is supported by Maya and should handle smaller models fine but will struggle a bit with larger project. I use one of these for mechanical Cad and it holds up pretty well. There are faster options but all start to get pretty expensive so will be out of budget.

The above combo works out at just over £1000 but keep in mind that is without screens, keyboard / mouse (just the tower and a copy of Windows 10 home). This is why I say you are pretty budget limited for an animation / rendering PC.
 

Bonewolf

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The above combo works out at just over £1000 but keep in mind that is without screens, keyboard / mouse (just the tower and a copy of Windows 10 home). This is why I say you are pretty budget limited for an animation / rendering PC.

Thanks for the help! That site is very useful, thank you. I have all my peripherals already purchased so that wont count into my budget. If expanding my budget is necessary to be satisfied with my PC I am definitely willing to do that, don't want to be looking for another computer in only a few months time haha. What sort of budget would i be thinking of for a computer that will last?
 
Thanks for the help! That site is very useful, thank you. I have all my peripherals already purchased so that wont count into my budget. If expanding my budget is necessary to be satisfied with my PC I am definitely willing to do that, don't want to be looking for another computer in only a few months time haha. What sort of budget would i be thinking of for a computer that will last?
It depends really - you can spend a lot of money for an animation / rendering rig although there tends to be a point where diminishing returns kick in (which makes sense for a big animation studio where any time they can save increases profit but not so much if you are on a budget).

I do a bit of light animation, using V-Ray as my render software and I'm using a Ryzen 7 2700 for that which is fine for my needs - that takes ~ 12 hours to render a 300 frame clip on high details 1080p with some complex lighting. If you are looking at doing significantly larger renders though then you probably want so look at a faster CPU. The Ryzen 7 3700X is ~ 25% faster than my machine so I'd guess it would do the same task in 9 hours or so. If you need more than that though then you could up the cpu to something like the Ryzen 9 3900 X (12 cores) or 3950X (16 cores) which scale pretty well. The 3900X will add another ~150 to the budget whilst the 3950X is a £750 part on it's own.

Graphics card wise I found this review looking at workstation gpu performance:
https://www.gamersnexus.net/guides/3399-best-workstation-gpus-2018-for-adobe-premiere-autocad-vray-and-more

Looks like you are better off with a Quadro card for Maya as the Radeon Pro cards are comparatively slow in that software (looking at PC Specialist they offer the Quadro P2200 that doesn't put price up too massively). You can see in the charts you can get more performance as you go up to faster cards, however even going up to the Quadro P4000 adds another £250 and the jumps in price get bigger after that. It looks like the gaming RTX cards work well with Maya so you could possibly go with a Geforce card like an RTX 2060 Super to get better performance for your money (however you may not get much if any support from Autodesk as they don't fully test or support gaming cards).

Memory wise, I think 32gb is preferable as large animation models can get pretty memory intensive. I would suggest 2 x 16gb modules as that will leave you 2 slots free for future upgrades but should be plenty for now.

The other thing you will want is fast storage, make sure the software is loaded onto an SSD drive (a sata SSD will work, although you will get better loading times if using an NVME SSD though these cost more). You may also want to stick a large but cheap mechanical drive in there for bulk storage of finished animations.

Edit: Just priced it up with the following:
R9 3900X, 32gb DDR4 3000 ram, Quadro P2200, a 512gb Intel 660p NVME dive and a 2tb Segate baracuda Hard disk. That tallies up at £1326 + vat.
 

kevinburrow

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Mar 17, 2020
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The advice above is far more advanced than I could offer but when I was looking for a pre-built I found Pcspecialist to be quite expensive. I heard overclockers are good, and will allow you to pick all your own parts and quote you a price for building it. Whether that's still true or not I'm not sure. I would also look at https://www.ukgamingcomputers.co.uk/chaos-gaming-computer - this particular build isn't bad at all was the basis of my build below. Of course this build could probably be had for under £900 if you built yourself but not everyone wants that. Ideally I would have liked 3200mhz RAM at the least and a M.2 Drive but corners have to be cut somwhere.

Anyway, here's the best I could put together for £1034 at ukgamingcomputers:


CasePhanteks Eclipse P300A Mesh
Power SupplyCorsair CX550 550W
ProcessorAMD Ryzen 5 3600
MotherboardAsus TUF B450-Plus Gaming
RAM16GB Corsair Vengeance LPX 2400MHz DDR4 (free upgrade to 3000mhz)
Graphics CardAMD Radeon RX 580 8GB
Hard Drive1TB Samsung 860 Evo SSD
Sound Card7.1 Surround Sound Audio
NetworkingGigabit Ethernet
 
Last edited:

Bonewolf

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Mar 20, 2017
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Edit: Just priced it up with the following:
R9 3900X, 32gb DDR4 3000 ram, Quadro P2200, a 512gb Intel 660p NVME dive and a 2tb Segate baracuda Hard disk. That tallies up at £1326 + vat.
thanks so much for the suggestion! I've got that exact computer up on the site and am thinking of purchasing it soon or later. Are there any suggestions for other components? If I'm spending this much I worry even about things like what type of thermal paste haha.

Case
CIT DARK SOUL BLACK CASE
Processor (CPU)
AMD Ryzen 9 3900X 12 Core CPU (3.8GHz-4.6GHz/70MB CACHE/AM4)
Motherboard
ASUS® PRIME B450-PLUS (DDR4, USB 3.1, 6Gb/s) - RGB Ready!
Memory (RAM)
32GB Corsair VENGEANCE DDR4 3000MHz (2 x 16GB)
Graphics Card
PNY QUADRO P2200 - 5GB GDDR5, 1280 CUDA Cores - 4 x DP
1st Storage Drive
2TB SEAGATE BARRACUDA SATA-III 3.5" HDD, 6GB/s, 7200RPM, 256MB CACHE
1st M.2 SSD Drive
512GB INTEL® 660p M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD (upto 1500MB/sR | 1000MB/sW)
DVD/BLU-RAY Drive
NOT REQUIRED
Power Supply
CORSAIR 550W TXm SERIES™ SEMI-MODULAR 80 PLUS® GOLD, ULTRA QUIET
Power Cable
1 x 1 Metre UK Power Cable (Kettle Lead)
Processor Cooling
STANDARD AMD CPU COOLER
Thermal Paste
STANDARD THERMAL PASTE FOR SUFFICIENT COOLING
Sound Card
ONBOARD 8 CHANNEL (7.1) HIGH DEF AUDIO (AS STANDARD)
Wireless/Wired Networking
WIRELESS 802.11N 300Mbps/2.4GHz PCI-E CARD
USB/Thunderbolt Options
MIN. 2 x USB 3.0 & 6 x USB 2.0 PORTS @ BACK PANEL + MIN. 2 FRONT PORTS
Operating System
Windows 10 Home 64 Bit - inc. Single Licence [KUK-00001]
Operating System Language
United Kingdom - English Language
Windows Recovery Media
Windows 10 Multi-Language Recovery Image - Unlimited Downloads from Online Account
Office Software
FREE 30 Day Trial of Microsoft® Office® 365 (Operating System Required)
Anti-Virus
BullGuard™ Internet Security - Free 90 Day License inc. Gamer Mode
Browser
Google Chrome™
Warranty
3 Year Standard Warranty (1 Month Collect & Return, 1 Year Parts, 3 Year Labour)
Delivery
STANDARD INSURED DELIVERY TO UK MAINLAND (MON-FRI)
Build Time
Standard Build - Approximately 12 to 14 working days
Price: £1,603.00 including VAT and Delivery

Unique URL to re-configure: https://www.pcspecialist.co.uk/saved-configurations/amd-am4-workstation/g2nfCX!5Xu/
 
thanks so much for the suggestion! I've got that exact computer up on the site and am thinking of purchasing it soon or later. Are there any suggestions for other components? If I'm spending this much I worry even about things like what type of thermal paste haha.

Case
CIT DARK SOUL BLACK CASE
Processor (CPU)
AMD Ryzen 9 3900X 12 Core CPU (3.8GHz-4.6GHz/70MB CACHE/AM4)
Motherboard
ASUS® PRIME B450-PLUS (DDR4, USB 3.1, 6Gb/s) - RGB Ready!
Memory (RAM)
32GB Corsair VENGEANCE DDR4 3000MHz (2 x 16GB)
Graphics Card
PNY QUADRO P2200 - 5GB GDDR5, 1280 CUDA Cores - 4 x DP
1st Storage Drive
2TB SEAGATE BARRACUDA SATA-III 3.5" HDD, 6GB/s, 7200RPM, 256MB CACHE
1st M.2 SSD Drive
512GB INTEL® 660p M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD (upto 1500MB/sR | 1000MB/sW)
DVD/BLU-RAY Drive
NOT REQUIRED
Power Supply
CORSAIR 550W TXm SERIES™ SEMI-MODULAR 80 PLUS® GOLD, ULTRA QUIET
Power Cable
1 x 1 Metre UK Power Cable (Kettle Lead)
Processor Cooling
STANDARD AMD CPU COOLER
Thermal Paste
STANDARD THERMAL PASTE FOR SUFFICIENT COOLING
Sound Card
ONBOARD 8 CHANNEL (7.1) HIGH DEF AUDIO (AS STANDARD)
Wireless/Wired Networking
WIRELESS 802.11N 300Mbps/2.4GHz PCI-E CARD
USB/Thunderbolt Options
MIN. 2 x USB 3.0 & 6 x USB 2.0 PORTS @ BACK PANEL + MIN. 2 FRONT PORTS
Operating System
Windows 10 Home 64 Bit - inc. Single Licence [KUK-00001]
Operating System Language
United Kingdom - English Language
Windows Recovery Media
Windows 10 Multi-Language Recovery Image - Unlimited Downloads from Online Account
Office Software
FREE 30 Day Trial of Microsoft® Office® 365 (Operating System Required)
Anti-Virus
BullGuard™ Internet Security - Free 90 Day License inc. Gamer Mode
Browser
Google Chrome™
Warranty
3 Year Standard Warranty (1 Month Collect & Return, 1 Year Parts, 3 Year Labour)
Delivery
STANDARD INSURED DELIVERY TO UK MAINLAND (MON-FRI)
Build Time
Standard Build - Approximately 12 to 14 working days
Price: £1,603.00 including VAT and Delivery

Unique URL to re-configure: https://www.pcspecialist.co.uk/saved-configurations/amd-am4-workstation/g2nfCX!5Xu/
Looks good - you should be fine with the standard thermal paste, although the upgrade doesn't cost much extra so no harm adding that. To be honest though up rated thermal paste is only really needed if you plan on over clocking (which for the type of work you are doing I wouldn't recommend as stability is more important).

I think the only area you could consider paying a bit extra is on the motherboard - the B450 based board should be fine, although you will get stronger VRM (power delivery to the cpu) on the X570 models, although these cost a bit more.
 

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