Building a new machine - looking for advice

Ok, I’m building a new workstation and would love advice. My last rig is 5 years old now and feeling a bit pressured. I have not kept up on the hardware race, so I don’t even really know where to start besides heading over to toms hardware and reading a month of articles.

I’m probably going to go crazy with RAM - 8 to 16gb or something and of course a 64 bit OS. Probably Ubuntu 12.04 as my primary OS since it will be coming out soon with either virtual machine windows 7 or dual boot windows 7.

Blender is my app of choice, though I do want zBrush in my workflow as well. I’ll be using Unity3d as well. Additionally, I am a gamer as well (though less and less time to delve into game playing as I get older and my time becomes more valuable).

I do want a video card that will play nicely with cycles. I would like something that will play nicely with all of the open movie assets (mango, sintel, bbb).

I also need to do screen capture at high resolution and high frame rate for video tutorials - I was surprised at how much cpu this takes! Lastly, and this is a tricky part, I need a machine that is quiet! I dub over my videos for tutorials and I can’t have a pc that sounds like a lawnmower in the background.


Ci7 either 4 or 6 cores, ideally Socket 2011 to be future proof and have a PCIe 3.0 mainboard.
Nvidia 560TI440C, 570 or 580 or wait for the new 600 series to be launched… well supposedly tomorrow.
16GB RAM for starters
A nice Hardware RAID, at least mirroring for data security for storage and a SSD for the system.
Other than that, thats quite the wrong forum section I’d say.

I agree with Arexma, go for socket 2011… Everything else can be easliy upgraded over time, but MB + CPU is the main parts to put money into from day one. Imo.

What’s your budget?
If you have a lot of money to spend get a Intel i7-3930K, a Nvidia GTX 680 (as soon it’s available), 16 GB Ram (cheap DDR3-1333), mainboard with a 2011 socket (I prefer Asus boards). Buy a Scythe Mugen 3 CPU cooler (or a Noctua if you cann afford it).

This was the high budget version ^^

Oops - I glanced through the the other forums but missed the tech support one.

On Budget: Probably between 1k and 2k depending on what wife agrees to. Think these suggestions will fall in that range?

This is really helpful guys, thank you.

Moved from “General Forums > Blender and CG Discussions” to “Support > Technical Support”

What is the budget? if you live near a Microcenter look at the AMD CPU/Mobo bundles.
save like $80 basically get the mobo for free…
they have 8-cores and 4-6core Phenoms available for bundles.

the 960t is a 4core but can be unlocked to 6 core.
(get some g.skill ram at newegg and you’re set)

I’d stay away from AMD. Since the Phenom era they haven’t achieved much anymore.
Phenom1 was a fail, the Phenom2 was remarkably good.
The PhenomX6 was a fail, it was 3 dualcore patched together with high power consumtion for average but brute performance.
And Bulldozer was a complete fail. Expensive and slow in everyday tasks, not bad though for a server machine.

You’re better off with an Intel CPU, and comparing the Ci7 with Bulldozer, even price to performancewise.

Yeah, I’d stick to Intel CPU, Intel chipset and Nvidia graphics, there’s just nothing as stabile. I dunno if the hardware is actually better, but the drivers are.

Also saw someone recommend Asus motherboard. I know Asus & Gigabyte has some problems with quality for the moment, MSI is what gets returned the least on warranties - for now anyway… In 6 months it might be the opposite… ;D