Building a PC for video, graphic and 3D design

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by sjc107, Jun 12, 2010.

  1. sjc107

    sjc107 New Member

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    Hi,

    I asked a friend to help me build a custom PC for some graphic design, 3D work, video and image editing, etc, that sort of stuff. He only has experience when it comes to building gaming and digital audio PCs, so this is relatively new for him. He recommended the following components to start out my build:

    AMD Phenom II X6 CPU (definitely going to get at this point)
    4GB of DDR3 RAM
    WD Black 500GB Hard Drive
    AMD 890FX Chipset based motherboard
    Corsair 750W PSU

    Now I have a couple questions relating to how much money to dedicate to each aspect, since I'll being using things like Adobe CS5 Suite (Photoshop, After Effects, etc), 3Ds Max and Maya. Do these programs rely more on the GPU, RAM or CPU.

    So I suppose the questions should boil down to something like this:
    1. Is a workstation-level card such as a Nvidia Quadro or AMD FireGL entirely necessary for me to get the maximum performance benefit, or can I settle for something cheaper like the Radeon HD 5000 series or an equivalent gaming card?
    2. Should more money (and how much more, relatively) be applied to acquiring a more powerful CPU, more and faster RAM, or a faster GPU/a GPU with more memory. Basically, what do these types of programs rely on most, in order or priority.

    Any sort of recommendation on specific hardware models would be very much appreciated, especially if you recommend a workstation Graphics card, since reviews on sites like Newegg are somewhat scarce compared to gaming GPUs. Also feel free to comment on the rest of the setup he proposed.

    Thank you,
    Sean
     
  2. Reddoguk

    Reddoguk Ancient Guru

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    More memory. I would suggest atleast 8 gigs for that type of work.

    Is a Quadro necessary? No not really, but you want something with large amount of gfx memory, theres a few limited versions of some cards that have more memory than normal.

    Examples: Sapphire ATI Radeon HD 5870 Toxic 2048MB or Asus Matrix ATI Radeon HD 5870 "Platinum Edition" 2048MB

    I used to play about with 3Ds Max and Maya, they hammer the GPU more than anything, but a modern Gpu can handle it easy enough.

    So basically a good highend Gaming system with a bit extra ram will do you fine.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2010
  3. superweapons

    superweapons Master Guru

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    A basic skeleton for you:

    AMD Phenom II X6 or Core i7 930 if you have a Microcenter nearby
    6-8GB DDR3 preferably
    Samsung HD502HJ 500GB
    890 board for the Phenom II or a GA-X58A-UD3R
    Corsair 650TX
    HD5850
    Windows 7 x64 (64-bit is required for AE CS5)

    There's some GPU acceleration in AE and Photoshop, but it doesn't play nearly as big of a job as in CAD applications where they draw the viewports. A workstation card will bring some noticeable improvements, but IMO, a gaming card is good enough, especially considering how a decent workstation card will cost more than your CPU, motherboard, and RAM combined.

    More money should be allocated towards the CPU and RAM rather than GPU. An affordable HD5850 should be enough as far as GPU goes.

    For monitors, you'll definitely want at least HD (1920x1080) or better. ATM, the Dell U2311H looks amazing: it uses an IPS panel (preferable for professional image editing) and is nearly as affordable as TN monitors when applying the 20% off Dell SMB coupon code.
     
  4. Professor78

    Professor78 Member Guru

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    The phenom is a great choice for non gaming apps, although you do miss out on the tri-channel memory of an i7 and a socket 1366 intel board. 6gb or 12gb would suit you well. But the cost would rocket.

    As already said, definately go for alot of video ram as its finally being used not just for gaming. from what I have read, higher clock speeds don't make huge difference as it would be bottlenecked anyway. The gap is closing between the workstation graphics cards and normal GPUs.

    A 2gb 5850 would be good.

    Somebody can correct me if im wrong but would a SSD benefit massively over a standard HDD for the main system/app drive? and also, trust me 500gb is not enough for a video editing PC.
     

  5. superweapons

    superweapons Master Guru

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    IMO SSDs need to drop to $1 per GB. The Samsung SpinPoint F3 drives are on par with slower MLC SSDs and aren't very far behind in sustained write when compared to performance drives.

    Depending on how much footage and the video compression used, 500GB may or may not be enough. And with After Effects, lossless pre-rendered files will eat up a lot of disk space even when compressed.
     
  6. deltatux

    deltatux Ancient Guru

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    I'd take a hexacore + the SAMSUNG F3 1TB if I were you.

    deltatux
     

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