Computer specs for custom built Windows 8 machine used for Blender animation

I am building a custom computer, because that seems like a wise choice among 3D professionals. The bad part is I know nothing about certain areas and too much about others :confused:. I was wondering, can you put a list together of computer parts and a case with a $3k budget using > or = to 8 cores (Intel preferably but AMD will do), Nvidia graphics with 2GB, and a SSD. Thanks! (If there is a good pre-built one, please list it as well)

Looking up Microsoft signature systems and using them as a template for a build is a good way to go. The configurations are already optimized and that can save you some headaches. If you are going to use it for rendering and not gaming then you should use Leadtek Winfast Nvidia cards. The reason is they are designed for ray tracing rather than rasterization like gaming cards. That should get you a strong machine without bottlenecks.:wink:

Thanks, that was full of information and you answered my question completely in one post which is rare everywhere but these forums haha

Ok, what if I get an iMac and use a render farm since iā€™m tightly integrated into the apple eco-system. Do I need the graphics on both the iMac and render farm or just on the render farm?

Consider two or similar if you purely want a machine for rendering; it would cost less than an intel system and likely offer a similar performance for rendering. It would also not suffer from the hassles of memory issues to the same extent as a gfx card based system;

Install linux on it and it would be faster still. (The 5:21.55 mingw is in the wrong column.)

Consider the last three columns; those timings are on a intel i7 bloomfield 920. The performance advantages over MingW 64 builds are reasonable. I can be considered a linux-noob, and all I did was install the latest official release of blender 2.65a.