Page 1 of 2
1
2
LastLast
  1. #1

    Buying Computer system for Design Purposes: Need Advice

    Hi guys,

    My computer has recently suffered the terrible fate of suddenly getting very old.
    In an attempt to upgrade its withered motherboard, it became very apparent that I need a completely new computer.
    Currenlty my friend is helping me build a Windows PC capable of running Adobe Software very efficiently with a quick rendering speed.
    The programs I use mainly are After Effects, Photoshop, Premier Pro, Flash etc (Basically everything included in Production Premium)
    I'm looking to make the computer last me a fair while, perhaps capable of running the next editions of Creative Suite.
    Mainly I'm working in Illustration and Animation in both my college work and personal projects.

    So far we have a rough guide consisting of these components. The budget I'm working on is keeping roughly under £1500.


    Motherboard: Asus Sabertooth TUF X58 Motherboard, USB 3.0, SATA III
    SABERTOOTH X58 - Asus Sabertooth TUF X58, Intel X58, S1366, PCI-E 2.0 , DDR3 1866MHz, USB3/SATA 6Gb/s, SATA RAID, ATX

    RAM: Corsair Memory XMS3 12GB DDR3 2000 Mhz CAS 9 Triple Channel Desktop
    CMX12GX3M3A2000C9 - 12GB (3x4GB) Corsair DDR3 XMS3, PC3-16000 (2000), Non-ECC, Unbuffered, 9-10-9-27, 1.65V

    Casing: NZXT Hush Black Mid Tower Computer Case
    NZXT Hush HU-001B, Black Mid Tower Gaming Case, w/o PSU

    Processor: Intel Core i7 970 Six Core Processor - CPU
    BX80613I7970 - Intel i7 970, S1366, Gulftown Six Core, 3.2 GHz, QPI 4.8GT/s, 24x Core Ratio, Retail + Free Shogun 2

    Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB Hard Drive
    1TB Western Digital WD1002FAEX Caviar Black, SATA 6Gb/s, 7200rpm, 64MB Cache, 8 ms

    Power Supply: Corsair CMPSU-650HXUK HX 650W Modular Power Supply (PSU)
    CMPSU-650HXUK - 650W Corsair HX Series, Modular, 80 PLUS Bronze, 85% Eff', SLI/CrossFire, EPS 12V, 120mm Fan

    CD-ROM: Lite On BD-ROM, IHOS104-37, SATA, Black, OEM
    LiteOn IHOS104-37 4xBlu-Ray, 8x DVD Reader OEM inc Software

    Graphics Card: POV Point of View GeForce GTX 560 Ti 1GB NVIDIA Graphics Card
    VGA-560Ti-A1 - 1GB Point of View GTX 560 Ti, 40nm, 4000MHz GDDR5, GPU 822MHz, Shader 1644MHz, 384 Cores, DVI/ mHDMI


    Mainly the areas up for debate are:
    1. Whether a 6 core processor is really necesarry? Bearing in mind I would like the PC to last me a while, I basically need to know whether
    there's any use in having more cores in a processor for more efficient design software usage.

    2. The Graphics Card. My friend is more used to building gaming computers and knows little about what graphic cards are necessary to get the
    best out of your design software. Any advice as to where I should be looking in that regard would be appreciated.

    3. The possibility of investing in a Solid State Hard Drive? I've heard things about the issue with detoriation, but its all very unclear.
    Would it be worth using a solid state hard drive to store my Adobe programs on? Would it improve the speed in which I read information from the program?

    Any other comments about the other components in this PC rough design are also appreciated. I essentially just to clarify whether I'm steering down the right path here.
    This PC should come to around £1300. I wanna keep it under £1500 generally.

  2. #2
    TOTALLY NOT
    Banned
    tetrisGOAT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sweden
    Posts
    12,701
    Quote Originally Posted by Boy-Cry-Wolf View Post
    Mainly the areas up for debate are:
    1. Whether a 6 core processor is really necesarry? Bearing in mind I would like the PC to last me a while, I basically need to know whether
    there's any use in having more cores in a processor for more efficient design software usage.
    Actually, making it last longer, I'd go for an i7-2600K. Less cores, still hyperthreaded.
    Quote Originally Posted by Boy-Cry-Wolf View Post
    2. The Graphics Card. My friend is more used to building gaming computers and knows little about what graphic cards are necessary to get the
    best out of your design software. Any advice as to where I should be looking in that regard would be appreciated.
    As far as I understand, you'd want nVIDIA-cards for Photoshop. And you do have one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Boy-Cry-Wolf View Post
    3. The possibility of investing in a Solid State Hard Drive? I've heard things about the issue with detoriation, but its all very unclear.
    Would it be worth using a solid state hard drive to store my Adobe programs on? Would it improve the speed in which I read information from the program?
    The detoriation was more severe in the earlier generations. It should last for at least 4 years if you sit and continuously write to it. Unless you get a bad example, but that can happen with any storage-drive.

  3. #3
    Thanks pal,

    Quote Originally Posted by tetrisgoat View Post
    Actually, making it last longer, I'd go for an i7-2600K. Less cores, still hyperthreaded.
    Actually it's funny you mention that because me and my friend were orginally looking at that exact processor but were curious as to whether the 6 core processor would be worth the investment in terms of efficiency and longevity.

    As for the graphics card we realise nvidia will probably be the way to go, but as design programs are very cpu and RAM heavy, is there any point in spending any more/less money on the card I've chosen?

  4. #4

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by thepreacher View Post
    FWIW: going the Sandy Bridge route you'll be using Dual Channel RAM as opposed to Tri Channel.
    Yeah yeah I'm aware if I go for the i7 2600 I'm gonna have to go for a different motherboard and RAM specifications. Essentially I've got two plans drawn up, and me and my friend were curious as to whether the 6 core one was the way to go or not?

  6. #6
    Bloodsail Admiral WaitingforSWTOR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Barcelona, geek paradise
    Posts
    1,182
    You should consider invest the biggest chunk of your bucket into GPUs (render is more about GPU than CPU or RAM). I7 920 will be good enough

    I leave here a link to Nvidia Quadro solutions for 3D design

    http://www.nvidia.com/page/quadrofx_family.html

    Edit: deleted some wrong info
    Last edited by WaitingforSWTOR; 2011-03-29 at 09:03 PM.

  7. #7
    Titan Synthaxx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Rotherham, England/UK
    Posts
    13,091
    I'm quite like you Boy-Cry-Wolf. I design (Web, Video, Software), but i also game. When i was building my current rig, i had to consider everything. In the end, i was convinced enough that Hyperthreading was worth it that i went for the 2600K i7.

    As such, this meant triple channel was out the window for the rig. That didn't matter though, since i already had 16GB of Patriot Viper Sector 5 Series 2, that runs at 2Ghz (or 1866Mhz in the case of Sandybridge). It only cost me £200 GBP for all 16GB, and it's among the highest capacity:speed kits you'll find on the market. I'll go into this a little more later.

    The reason i too recommend an i7 2600K is because of the memory performance. As an example, i get almost 21GB/s Memory Read, 20.5GB/s Memory Write, and 24.5GB/s Memory Copy on this 2600K, while on my previous 1055T (at 4.3Ghz), i managed less than half those on every test (and the Memory Write on the 1055T was almost 3x lower than on the 2600K).

    When you're setting up multiprocessing in AECS5, you want to dedicate 13GB of RAM to it (the maximum allowed under this config), all 8 cores to it, and allocate 1GB of RAM to each background CPU process. This allows me to render 12-30 frames every second for RAM previews. Footage with lots of special effects will process faster on a Graphics card, but stock footage or footage with only a few effects is accelerated way beyond a GPU render. Not just that, but with 13GB to go at, it can often render close to 2-3 minutes of 1080p fraps footage at half size. This is purely CPU based with absolutely no OpenGL/GPU assistance.

    Essentially, i'm close to realtime rendering on footage with some effects. In short, a system like mine is the epitome of home rendering systems, so gaming doesn't even phase it.

    As for the HDD, don't go with SSD for footage. By all means, get one for Windows and games and Adobe apps, but go with a high capacity RAID0 setup with HDD's. You'll be very surprised at the performance you get.
    Last edited by Synthaxx; 2011-03-29 at 08:53 PM.
    Coder, Gamer - IOCube | #Error418MasterRace #ScottBrokeIt
    Knows: Node.js, JS + JQuery, HTML + CSS, Object Pascal, PHP, WQL/SQL

    PC: 750D / 16GB / 256GB + 750GB / GTX780 / 4670K / Z87X-UD4H | Laptop: 8GB / 120GB + 480GB / GTX765M / 4700MQ

  8. #8
    The Patient Unrully's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    218
    Something nobody else mentioned, I'd go for a full ATX case if you have the room for it, instead of a mid case. I just built a computer for myself, and I highly regret not buying a new case (Still using my old Antec 300). You get a lot more room, and your airflow is generally better.

    Something to remember when your building one is not just the parts - Remember your still going to have to buy fans. If you want to go pure air, make sure you load your case up with fans - I recommend Zalman Performance Fans and a Coolermaster v8 for your CPU. My case has 3 120mm Zalman fans with a 140mm on top and the v8 on my CPU, right now with WoW running in background, comp been running for ~3 hours temps are 27 on the cores, 35 on the CPU, 30 system temp and 51/52 on the video. I'm also running dual video cards which heats your case up quite a bit, so these fans keep my case pretty cool.

    PS: Get a CPU with Hyperthreading, it's worth it. I'm using the AMD 1090t myself - But the i7 is an excellent choice if you don't just do gaming on your computer. Plus, since your doing photoshop, you should go with a nVidia card anyway. I always recommend people to go AMD/ATI or Intel/nVidia just because of the driver similarities since AMD/ATi is the same company, and if I remember right Intel bought nVidia too yeah?

    As for running quad or hex core, I believe it's worth it to spend the little extra on the 6-core. It'll future proof your CPU, plus it does run a lot faster.

    Solid State HDDs - I *love* mine. I'm using 3x ADATA 64gb drives, and I have a 1tb 7,200RPM data drive installed. They are a little expensive, cost me about $108 a piece, but I don't regret it for a second. The read/write times are just insane.
    Last edited by Unrully; 2011-03-29 at 08:59 PM.

  9. #9
    Fluffy Kitten llDemonll's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Washington
    Posts
    6,581
    Pretty much listen to Synthaxx; the i7 is going to be the better route to go and will last much longer

    "I'm glad you play better than you read/post on forums." -Ninety
    BF3 Profile | Steam Profile | Assemble a Computer in 9.75 Steps! | Video Rendering Done Right

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Unrully View Post
    I recommend Zalman Performance Fans and a Coolermaster v8 for your CPU.
    The fan that comes with the i7-970, and generally any i7 CPU is excellent. Buying another CPU fan should not be necessary in the least.

  11. #11
    The Patient Unrully's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    218
    Quote Originally Posted by Cowt View Post
    The fan that comes with the i7-970, and generally any i7 CPU is excellent. Buying another CPU fan should not be necessary in the least.
    Good to know. I've never purchased an i7 myself, so wasn't sure how the fans usually are. Sadly, the stock fans that come with AMD CPU's always..well..suck. I love AMD, but they need to do something better with their fans. I love my v8 anyway - Case temp dropped almost 30 degrees when I installed it.

  12. #12
    TOTALLY NOT
    Banned
    tetrisGOAT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sweden
    Posts
    12,701
    Quote Originally Posted by Cowt View Post
    The fan that comes with the i7-970, and generally any i7 CPU is excellent. Buying another CPU fan should not be necessary in the least.
    Haha, good one ^^

    The hexacore stock-fans are a bit better than the standard intel-ones. But, no stock-fan is ever worth keeping.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Synthaxx View Post
    The reason i too recommend an i7 2600K is because of the memory performance. As an example, i get almost 21GB/s Memory Read, 20.5GB/s Memory Write, and 24.5GB/s Memory Copy on this 2600K, while on my previous 1055T (at 4.3Ghz), i managed less than half those on every test (and the Memory Write on the 1055T was almost 3x lower than on the 2600K).
    It was my understanding that both the quad and hex core processors are capable of hyperthreading and going to the hex core may be more benficial as it also enables me to use triple channelled memory (and more of it).

    Currently the hex core system spec that I have in mind is within my budget, but I'm wondering whether the extra 400 odd quid spent on it would be worth it.

    I definitely want to go for nvidia for my graphics card but from the model I posted orginally I'm not sure on whether I need to be looking at a slightly better card or if I can even save some money in this area?

    You should consider invest the biggest chunk of your bucket into GPUs (render is more about GPU than CPU or RAM). I7 920 will be good enough

    I leave here a link to Nvidia Quadro solutions for 3D design
    Would an entry or mid level Quadro graphics card be a better choice than a 500 series GTX card?

    Btw - Thanks for your responses so far, guys.

  14. #14
    Titan Synthaxx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Rotherham, England/UK
    Posts
    13,091
    Quote Originally Posted by tetrisgoat View Post
    Haha, good one ^^

    The hexacore stock-fans are a bit better than the standard intel-ones. But, no stock-fan is ever worth keeping.
    Indeed. I was suprised to see Intel didn't use their "stock heatpipe" for the SB chips, but rather stuck with the old and tired block design. I can personally vouch for the performance of the Zalman CNPS9900-MAX. It keeps my 2600K at a rather chilly 50C under full 4-core HT Enabled load. It's warm in the room at the moment, and all fans are on minimum, but it still keep the CPU at <40C (with core 3 staying around 25C).


    Quote Originally Posted by Boy-Cry-Wolf View Post
    It was my understanding that both the quad and hex core processors are capable of hyperthreading and going to the hex core may be more benficial as it also enables me to use triple channelled memory (and more of it).

    Currently the hex core system spec that I have in mind is within my budget, but I'm wondering whether the extra 400 odd quid spent on it would be worth it.

    I definitely want to go for nvidia for my graphics card but from the model I posted orginally I'm not sure on whether I need to be looking at a slightly better card or if I can even save some money in this area?

    Would an entry or mid level Quadro graphics card be a better choice than a 500 series GTX card?
    It's fine and dandy having loads of memory, but of little use if the R/W performance is crap. Triple channel truly is nothing when it comes to rendering. Hexcore is nothing. The extra 2 cores will have little effect when the memory bandwidth of my 2600K FAR outweighs it. To compare, in AIDA64, an i7 Extreme 965 has 13.8GB/s Mem Read (my 2600K: almost 21GB/s), 12GB/s Mem Write (my 2600K: 20.5GB/s), and 15GB/s Mem Copy (my 2600K: 24.5GB/s). Basically, even with Triple Channel, my own system still beats it to a pulp. If it truly is £400 more for your triple channel setup, then no, it's not worth it.

    I can't comment on Quadro, but i do know they're the enterprise rendering chips of choice. However, they won't be of any use for gaming. You're unlikely to see much difference in rendering if you use the CPU as well.
    Last edited by Synthaxx; 2011-03-29 at 09:25 PM.
    Coder, Gamer - IOCube | #Error418MasterRace #ScottBrokeIt
    Knows: Node.js, JS + JQuery, HTML + CSS, Object Pascal, PHP, WQL/SQL

    PC: 750D / 16GB / 256GB + 750GB / GTX780 / 4670K / Z87X-UD4H | Laptop: 8GB / 120GB + 480GB / GTX765M / 4700MQ

  15. #15
    Actually you guys would be pretty surprised. The fan my proc came with was good for ~4.9 air.


  16. #16
    Fluffy Kitten llDemonll's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Washington
    Posts
    6,581
    ^you got lucky getting that one, if you actually did

    That 400 quid would be much better spent on a video card than the hexa-core processor

    "I'm glad you play better than you read/post on forums." -Ninety
    BF3 Profile | Steam Profile | Assemble a Computer in 9.75 Steps! | Video Rendering Done Right

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Synthaxx View Post
    It's fine and dandy having loads of memory, but of little use if the R/W performance is crap. Triple channel truly is nothing when it comes to rendering. Hexcore is nothing. The extra 2 cores will have little effect when the memory bandwidth of my 2600K FAR outweighs it. To compare, in AIDA64, an i7 Extreme 965 has 13.8GB/s Mem Read (my 2600K: almost 21GB/s), 12GB/s Mem Write (my 2600K: 20.5GB/s), and 15GB/s Mem Copy (my 2600K: 24.5GB/s). Basically, even with Triple Channel, my own system still beats it to a pulp. If it truly is £400 more for your triple channel setup, then no, it's not worth it.
    Okay, but currently I'm not really computer savvy enough to overclock my processor with confidence. So if I was buying the Quad Processor I would more likely get the locked 2600K version as apposed to the unlocked version. Would this still be a wise investment or should I seriously look at buying the unlocked processor (although I'm very cautious about doing so)?

  18. #18
    TOTALLY NOT
    Banned
    tetrisGOAT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sweden
    Posts
    12,701
    Quote Originally Posted by ayako View Post
    Actually you guys would be pretty surprised. The fan my proc came with was good for ~4.9 air.

    <image>
    Yea, that's the hexa-core processor I was talking about. :P Comes with the i7-970 and the X-processors. Better than the other stock ones, yet not good enough.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by llDemonll View Post
    ^you got lucky getting that one, if you actually did

    That 400 quid would be much better spent on a video card than the hexa-core processor
    I got it a while ago, only reason was I already had the mobo and all. I already have a very very decent graphics card.

  20. #20
    If you are going to use your computer for design you will want a quatro card. You could even go to an i7 2600k and use some of the money you save on the card as it will blow any gaming series card out of the water. They also have very very good driver support for the quatro cards so they will always work and be optimized for creative programs.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •