Building computer for 3D and video work

I’m in the process of building a computer for 3D rendering/modelling and video editing. I mainly use Blender for 3D work and have been experimenting a bit with water simulation etc that puts a heavy strain on the rendering power of my 2010 macbook pro. I’ve also just started experimenting a bit with Vue and Zbrush. I also use Photoshop and After Effects which is particularly RAM hungry it seems…
So basically I want to build a computer that is good for both modelling, but still with main emphasize on GPU rendering (therefore I want to put money in a GeForce card instead of a Quadro one…)

I’ve come up with this build that I hope is the right one for me:

CASE: Cooler Master Cosmos 2
MB: Asus P9x79 (standard version)
CPU: Intel i7 3930K 3,2 GHz 6-core
CPU COOLER: Coolermaster Hyper 212 EVO
RAM: 64GB (8x8GB) Corsair Dominator DDR3 1600MHz
HDD: Corsair 240GB SSD (will add more drives when I can afford it…)
GPU: Asus GeForce GTX 690 4GB PhysX CUDA
PSU: CoolerMaster Silent Pro Hybrid 80 Plus Gold 1050W
OPTICAL: Asus BW-14D1XT Blu-ray writer
OS: Windows 7 Professional 64-bit (OEM)

So far I’ve bought the CoolerMaster Cosmos 2 tower (it’s huge!! :eek:) and a Corsair 240GB SSD.

So what do you guys think of this build? Does it make any sense? Is there anything I’ve forgotten to think of?
One of my main worries is that the GeForce card will not be that well suited for modelling (versus “professional” cards).
Also, one thing in particular that worries me is wether I will need dedicated RAM cooler fans because of all that RAM I plan to install or, if I cool the case itself properly, I won’t need it…
I don’t plan on OC’ing anything btw.

Leadtek Winfast has Geforce cards that are pro quality and geared toward ray tracing, but it may not be the best choice if you’re going to be using it for gaming too. I don’t think they have a GTX 690, but they do have a GTX 680 and a GTX 660 TI.

Don’t jump on the 690 just yet. W8 for the GTX 780 ( GK110 Titan ) it’s supposed to have 6 GB Vram for around 1000 $.

Thanks for the advice. I’ll look into it. :slight_smile:

Thanks for the tip. I might wait a bit, but it depends on the release date of the 780 though. I really don’t want to wait more than a couple of months tops (I could make do with a cheaper card in the meantime I though…) .

One other interesting thing that I’ve discovered is this thread: http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/354804-15-7970-gtx680-maya-zbrush-effects
discussing which non-professional video card is best suited for 3D work. They claim the 600 series lacks ‘‘DP compute power’’ (??). Apparantly a GTX580 has three times more compute power than a GTX680. And a 7970 has about six times the compute power of the GTX680.
I’m guessing they mean realtime viewport rendering power when working with millions of polygons? It just seems hard for me to understand how a card with 1536 CUDA cores like the 680 gets beaten by a 512 CUDA card like the 580??
They didn’t mention the 690, but being that the 690 is basically like two 680s (right?) that still means the 580 card has about 1,5 times the compute power of a 690 (or have I got this totally wrong?).

I see that Adobe lists the 570 and 580 cards on their list of mercury supported cards yet they list no 600 series cards…
Also e-on software lists only the 500 series as qualified cards for 3D software VUE. No mention of the 600 series.
Hmm… I guess I’ll need to look further into this before making a decision… http://www.pcguide.com/ubb/confused.gif

580 card has about 1,5 times the compute power of a 690

Don´t believe hardware forums, believe blender forums. :slight_smile:

What is the meaning of compute power, the GTX 600 cards are optimized for games and are about 15% slower as GTX 500 for rendering with Cycles/Cuda. The view port performance is the same.
AMD cards are better for view port performance but even my GTX 550Ti is good for 10-15 Million Polys in Blender.
The Geforce Titan is announced for mid/end February and reach 60-70% of a GTX 690!
I read rumors about 18 February launch time. :slight_smile:

Cheers, mib.

Intel’s Haswell is just around the corner (June). I’d wait if you can.

They are releasing an 8 core consumer chip, as well as releasing 15 core server processors; who knows what else.

They are also supposed to be releasing an e version of ivy-bridge - an upgrade to sandybridge e (2011) chips.

So I’d wait; I am finally upgrading and when I find out what and when I’ll be marking my calendar. :slight_smile:

I’d certainly consider the new nvidia titan, and also see if the xeon phi will be a viable alternative.

Check out Toms Hardware, for some decent info.

So the 500 cards are actually better than the 600 cards even when it comes to cuda rendering? I thought the more cores the merrier? Is a 580 card with 512 cores really better at gpu rendering than a 690 card with 3072 cores??! :confused:

Is a 580 card with 512 cores really better at gpu rendering than a 690 card with 3072 cores??!

No, it is 10-15% better than a GTX 680 and a GTX 590 is better than a GTX 690.
The core design is different, you can´t compare only core quantity.
Don´t forget the GTX 5/690 use shared VRam so GTX 690 4GB is 2GB usable for Cycles or Octane.

Cheers, mib.

Waiting for 2011 Ivy Bridge processors are definitety tempting, but it’s not due for release until second quarter this year if I’ve got it right and I really don’t wanna wait that much longer considering I’ve already put this build off by almost six months due to financial reasons. But thanks for the tip anyway :slight_smile:

Okay, I think I finally understand it now (I hope). So I guess, keeping it within budget, my best options now really are: (if I’ve got this right…)

- 2x GTX 580 SLI - Will be the best option for GPU rendering in Blender as well as Vue. Bad performance with Adobe software.
- 2x 7970 Crossfire - Bad for Adobe, bad for GPU rendering in Blender and Vue. Not really good for anything?
- 1x Quadro 4000 - Will be good for Adobe as well as viewport/modelling performance in Vue and Blender. Bad at pure GPU rendering.
- 1x Firepro W7000 - Won’t be very good for GPU rendering with Blender or Vue, but will be the best option for Adobe.

Please correct me if I’m wrong. :slight_smile:
I guess I’ll wait until the end of this month to see what the Titan card has to offer though…

I started saving over 18 months ago, nearly 2 years now, and I’ve had the cash for at least a year; I held off for ivy bridge, but didn’t like the performance gains so carried on saving. The bloomfield i7 I have is great for everything but rendering, but is getting a little long in the tooth.

Also, one last thing…
Does anyone know if I will gain anything significant performance by choosing the more expensive Gainward Geforce GTX 580 Phantom 1.5GB than the regular one?
The phantom version runs with the same 783MHz GPU clockspeed and 1566MHz shader clock as the regular version, but has 4020MHz memory clock vs the original’s 2010MHz.
Will this improve GPU rendering with Blender in any way or is this really more of an advantage with games and thus will only make for a noisier and hotter card with no significant advantage for me??

On a side note, the Gainward GTX 580 Phantom with 3072 MB really seems like the best option, but it’s basically sold out everywhere. The only place that I could find that still has it doesn’t ship internationally unfortunately… :frowning: