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Old September 28, 2008, 06:28 AM
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Talking Almost Killer Rigs (attemped murder?) for Autodesk Max

Hello everyone, I'm glad I found you!

Backstory

I used to be a computer guru among my friends, then found my true calling as as an animator/artist. For the last 4 years I've sat in front of a computer, and have lost touch with what's inside a computer.
Now, ready to start my own company, I find myself lost in an ocean of components and manufactures. After a few week of swimming in endless circles, reading thousands of posts and reviews from all over the world, I find myself a nice Canadian site to sit down, relax, and try to figure this out.

Requirements (Hardware)
3 functionally identical computers <= 11k ~3.5k/System

Requirements (Software)
WindowsXP Pro 64bit
Autodesk Max 2009 64bit
Autodesk Combustion
Adobe Photoshop CS1

Special Notes
- Cooling is of utmost imprtance - it will not be uncommon for these systems to run 100% for extended periods of time (read: days), and ambient conditions are out of my control (read: AC gets lowered at night) Not a problem with our lovely winters but summer could hurt. Air cooling solutions only.

- At this time Max only uses a single core for modeling and most other functions. Rendering uses all available cores (including networked as well). This has me leaning to C2D rather then C2Q(X) but that's not set in stone.

- The systems will likely never see an OC - but I'm a tweaker at heart, and deadlines can come fast, so if the systems are "safe"(I know that's relative) to OC a little, I would consider it.

- Acer 24" Widescreen LCD Monitor's (1920 x 1200 max)


Current State (My attempt)
Case: CoolerMaster Cosmos 1000 ATX Full-Tower Case (really like this one)
MB: EVGA nForce 790i Ultra SLI Motherboard (seeing more and more negitive threads)
Video: EVGA GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 Video Card (dual monitor support nice, but not needed)
CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 (almost positive I won't go with it)
Memory:
2 x Corsair Dual Channel 4096MB PC12800 DDR3 1600MHz Memory (8GB, 4 sticks total)
PSU: Corsair CMPSU-1000HX 1000-Watt Power Supply

Total with Tax at TigerDirect = $2,871.88 / System
---!Cooling and some storage still not taken into account...

I believe that covers most of geokilla's list of things you need to know:)... parts will be bought here (Canada), with any luck, driving distance from Toronto, suggestions on stores are welcome also - all peripherals are taken care of... I'd prefer Intel over AMD and the jury is still out over ATI/nVidia - though Autodesk seems to be favoring nVidia (or nVidia is favoring Autodesk with optimized drivers)

I know this is a lot to ask, and let me say thank-you ahead of time for any and all input. If there is anything else you need to know, just ask. Again, thanks for taking the time to read this (at the very least )

Beer is on me,
Scott

Current State
MB:
Asus P5Q Deluxe
CPU: Q9550
Video: EVGA GeForce GTX 260
PSU: Thermaltake ToughPower 750W

Last edited by MeltingPoint; September 28, 2008 at 12:58 PM.
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Old September 28, 2008, 06:58 AM
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First thing that stands out in my mind is the choice of the original Cosmos 1000 for a task which could have HDDs putting in heavy duty cycles. The HDD setup on that case looks "cool" but in practice is far from it.

Not everybody will agree, but most will suggest that an intel chipset will provide a more stable platform for intel procs.

I'm also curious on your choice of consumer grade graphics for these builds. Wouldn't a workstation video card offer better performance in this situation?
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Old September 28, 2008, 07:32 AM
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Rendering (and modeling for that matter) are not hard drive intensive (for my purposes anyways). I went for the Cosmos 1000 for it's noise insulation qualities which I believe the newer model forgoes.

An intel chipset probably is the way to go.

The video card (as of now) is not a major component in rendering times. Price/Speed is way to high. OpenGL is not something I use. Trying to guess Autodesks direction is a crap shot, but I'll stick with consumer grade cards for now. That's not to say they don't have their place - but I can forgo the support for the card (a major reason for the price) and get the same results.

Thanks for your input - any suggestions on the MB?

Last edited by MeltingPoint; September 28, 2008 at 07:49 AM.
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Old September 28, 2008, 08:07 AM
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I'd say go for the ASUS P5Q-E or P5Q Deluxe and go with DDR2 RAM.

IMO you don't need a 1KW PSU, a 650W or 750W Corsair would be fine.

Case wise, maybe the Antec P180/182? More compact and better hard drive cooling I'd think. Still has noise dampening panels and what not.

With the money saved on getting the above, you could up the graphics card to a GTX280 if you wanted or you could run 16GB RAM: OCZ Technology | Products | Memory | OCZ DDR2 PC2-6400 "P45 Special" Platinum 8GB Edition

As per places to buy it in Toronto, check out Canada Computers. You could even setup a business account with them and probably save more money. TigerDirect is way overpriced IMO.

Storage wise, I think 3x Western Digital 640GB drives in RAID5 would do nicely. Might want to consider using some Scythe S-FLEX fans for all the case fans and perhaps a HDT-type heatsink for the CPU.
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Old September 28, 2008, 09:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdrom17 View Post
I'd say go for the ASUS P5Q-E or P5Q Deluxe and go with DDR2 RAM.

IMO you don't need a 1KW PSU, a 650W or 750W Corsair would be fine.

QFT, either of those boards are more than capable and will do you just fine. I find the 790i chipset to be a nightmare as I have had numerous bad experiences with those boards. Also, DDR3 will not net you the price/performance ratio of DDR2.

A Corsair 620 or PCP&C 750 would do you just fine for a power supply. No reason for 1kw.
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Old September 28, 2008, 09:06 AM
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First, thanks for the info - I don't know why I kept ignoring the P5Q board in my searches - but it looks like a winner.
And thanks for pointing out Canada Computers - There's one about 10 minutes away from me :)
PSU is looking like overkill and I'd definitely prefer the extra ram.
Case seems like a good choice, I'll do some research.(still prefer full size though)
Definitely upgrade the fans and heatsink - some good reviews here.

Last edited by MeltingPoint; September 28, 2008 at 09:22 AM.
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Old September 28, 2008, 09:23 AM
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You'll like the Antec P182 for quiet and cool. I would dido the rest of Jd's recommendations as well. You might also consider an aftermarket GPU cooler like the Accelero (in my case it dropped overall temps by 8-10 degrees). Good luck and welcome to HWC!

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Old September 28, 2008, 09:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sswilson View Post

Not everybody will agree, but most will suggest that an intel chipset will provide a more stable platform for intel procs.
QFT

anybody that doesnt agree can have my striker extreme for free

seriously though , for a workstation , don't go near an Nvidia chipset.
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Old September 28, 2008, 09:30 AM
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If silence is that important you many want to consider this case:
NCIX.com - Buy Nexus Caterpillar Silent PC Case ATX 3X5.25 1X3.5 4X3.5INT 2X120MM No PSU - CATERPILLAR In Canada.
IMHO, Nexus products are some the highest-quality, most silent ones I've ever used (And I've used alot). This case is want I've always suggested to my friends for HTPC/silent office use since it is well ventilated (2x 120mm Nexus real silent fans) and has sound dampening everywhere. Take a look!

PS: Hope we could get a review of it someday since I haven't had the chance to play with it up close & personal yet.
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Old September 28, 2008, 09:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrainEater View Post
QFT

anybody that doesnt agree can have my striker extreme for free

seriously though , for a workstation , don't go near an Nvidia chipset.
Your Striker Extreme is a little too "dusty" to be good for anyone


Just say no to Nvidia chipsets! For someone willing to mess around alot maybe, but not for a serious work/production rig. Downtime is bad.
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