Also, if you are going to be focusing on using the CPU to render, I would get an i7 processor at the least. You might want to also wait on the upgrade in general since we’re now seeing machines with DDR4 RAM (which is a lot faster and has a much higher bandwidth than the DDR3 variant).
However, the price you are looking for will get you a well-rounded mid-range machine at best which is what we see here (expect to pay at least a thousand if you also want that i7 CPU with a current generation GPU).
I missed that i5 part. I have i7 950 quad core and it takes me 1 hr 10 minutes to render a detailed frame with 1000 samples and 12 bounces. It has taken me over 700 hours to do a complete test renders and final render of a 288 frame scene with CPU.
i5 is going to be way too slow. Get a better processor.
If you have limited funds then you should choose one or the other (CPU or GPU) to render with and put more of your money there. On average you get more bang for your buck with GPU rendering so that is where I would tend to go. It depends on what your goals are though?
He is talking about RAM speed and not rendering speed. RAM doesn’t really help in rendering fast. It is the CPU threads, more the number of core and threads the faster it will render. Better RAM will help handling the polygons in view port.
That is why GPU is recommended but even GPU has its limitations, like no clouds fire rendering. AMD GPU is further restricted.
So get a good CPU/GPU both, if you plan to use smoke, fire and other special effects.
@wickedsunny RAM access time does though. Anandtech comparison does not show much improvements and this was the reason me asking Ace Dragon. He might have come over different facts.
CPU cores alone wont help much if the bottleneck is access to the RAM holding render data.
“Good CPU” - you could get some latest n-core beast with hyper or subsonic threading however limitation here will be that most simulations in Blender are calculated in one thread only. Beast wont sweat so you could aim to lower price range and still be happy. Drop in more RAM based on the price difference - Blender loves that. Depends on what you aim to do, really. Sculpting, simulations, animation vs rendering.
Look at the latest available Solid State stuff - there are motherboards you could get your gigabytes read, write and swap in times quite fantastic compared to what was available on hard drives some (short) time back.
PS I believe you loose on OEM vs regular Windows OS price by DIY build. It’s worth the pleasure if the build does what you were intended it to imho.