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Author Topic: Building a new computer  (Read 4860 times)

Tekniko

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Building a new computer
« on: Dec 17, 11, 11:22:19 PM »

Hey hey everyone!  For the past couple months I have been working with a 2D engine, limited to Directx7.  The limitations of this other engine is what forced me here.  Now, that I have my HeroCloud on the way, I am in need of a new PC.  For the requirements to run HE and Maya, what area of hardware should I specialize in?  Faster CPU, two video cards, extra RAM?  Price isn't really a factor.  Most decent hardware today is within my price range.
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HE-ANDY

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Re: Building a new computer
« Reply #1 on: Dec 18, 11, 07:26:13 AM »

This is last year's computer that I considered purchasing:

Quote
Motherboard: ASUS P6X58-E WS
CPU: Intel Core i7-970 Gulftown
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX570 (Fermi)
Memory: CORSAIR Vengeance 24 GB (6 x 4GB sticks)
DVD-ROM: LG Black Super Multi SATA WH12LS30 

Main HD: Crucial RealSSD C300 (256G)
Data HD: Western Digital Caviar Black WD2002FAEX (2TB)

Case: Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid-sized Tower
Power Supply: CORSAIR Professaional Series Gold AX850

UPS:  Cyber Power CP1350AVRLCD (1350VA 810 Watts)

I use dual 28-inch Hanns-G HG281D monitors at home, and a Microsoft Ergonomic Split-Keyboard T-square 2x3 keyboard. 
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HE-HERB

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Re: Building a new computer
« Reply #2 on: Dec 18, 11, 08:33:46 AM »

We are not experts in everything available and current, and recommend you check out web sites like techreport.com, tomshardware.com, and similar as they have system builder guides that help you select sets of hardware to maximize your performance at different costs

Cheers
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herb marselas
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WoE-Byron

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Re: Building a new computer
« Reply #3 on: Dec 18, 11, 03:12:50 PM »

Hey hey everyone!  For the past couple months I have been working with a 2D engine, limited to Directx7.  The limitations of this other engine is what forced me here.  Now, that I have my HeroCloud on the way, I am in need of a new PC.  For the requirements to run HE and Maya, what area of hardware should I specialize in?  Faster CPU, two video cards, extra RAM?  Price isn't really a factor.  Most decent hardware today is within my price range.

We are not experts in everything available and current, and recommend you check out web sites like techreport.com, tomshardware.com, and similar as they have system builder guides that help you select sets of hardware to maximize your performance at different costs

Cheers

I have been building computers for 17 years and am willing to help consult you a little if you like. My contact information is all on my recruiting post.
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HE-HERB

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Re: Building a new computer
« Reply #4 on: Dec 18, 11, 04:15:09 PM »

Byron,

Thanks for helping out Tekniko.

I meant in our case that as a company we can't recommend specific components, and that posts like Andy's, while incredibly helpful, represent personal preferences.

The more complex issues are cost and tradeoff - what any two people are willing to shell out for a workstation and display (and what they are willing to tradeoff) are usually complex and completely different.

We maintain very specific internal specifications for workstation and server components based on cost, reliability, maintainability, continuity, and coolness.  Workstation LED's and lighting tubes FTW :)

Cost aside, some people prefer the purer white colors of ATI over Nvidia.  On the other hand, some people can't tell, some people don't care, and for some it doesn't matter due to monitor quality.

Some people want a single really big monitor with very good color response, some people want two smaller monitors that cost less.

Some people don't care about the case and are fine with an unadorned aluminum box, and some people want cool lights and shapes.

For some 2.1 audio is enough, and others are willing to put down for 5.1 (or 7.1) with highend speakers.

This is why we recommend people go to reputable sites that do comparisons, because they usually have a buying guide based on various total costs, and recommendations for components that could be traded out.

Cheers
« Last Edit: Dec 18, 11, 04:17:09 PM by HE-Herb »
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herb marselas
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WoE-Byron

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Re: Building a new computer
« Reply #5 on: Dec 18, 11, 04:23:43 PM »

Byron,

Thanks for helping out Tekniko.

I meant in our case that as a company we can't recommend specific components, and that posts like Andy's, while incredibly helpful, represent personal preferences.

The more complex issues are cost and tradeoff - what any two people are willing to shell out for a workstation and display (and what they are willing to tradeoff) are usually complex and completely different.

We maintain very specific internal specifications for workstation and server components based on cost, reliability, maintainability, continuity, and coolness.  Workstation LED's and lighting tubes FTW :)

Cost aside, some people prefer the purer white colors of ATI over Nvidia.  On the other hand, some people can't tell, some people don't care, and for some it doesn't matter due to monitor quality.

Some people want a single really big monitor with very good color response, some people want two smaller monitors that cost less.

Some people don't care about the case and are fine with an unadorned aluminum box, and some people want cool lights and shapes.

For some 2.1 audio is enough, and others are willing to put down for 5.1 (or 7.1) with highend speakers.

This is why we recommend people go to reputable sites that do comparisons, because they usually have a buying guide based on various total costs, and recommendations for components that could be traded out.

Cheers


I have been a contributor for Tom's Hardware for almost a decade now so I do completely understand. I do computer consulting for huge corporations as one of my jobs and understand where you are coming from. Likewise, I am willing to do hardware consulting to help the user/developer make a proper decision and all I ask in return is the respect for my knowledge and experience. I charge a lot of money to do consulting in my expertise field so this is something that I can hopefully provide to the community at no charge. I understand completely where you stand Herb and I respect your position. As for Nvidia vs ATI, in my opinion Nvidia has a lot less issues with technology support (like physx) as well as more stable drivers then ATI even though ATI GPUs pack more punch for the value. My niche as a developer is knowledge of computer hardware as well as Game Design itself. I am not a programmer or an artist however I do have my talents that I bring to the board as a game developer.
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Tekniko

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Re: Building a new computer
« Reply #6 on: Dec 18, 11, 06:58:37 PM »

Hmm, after re-reading my post and the responses here, I think I need to reiterate my question.

I would like to know if there are any special requirements when running and editing high end textures, models, terrain, etc.  For example, will I need to look for a motherboard with a large L1/L2 Cache?  Should I focus on a gazillion-trillion triangles per second video card?  Should I focus on a higher end CPU, or just get the best bang for my dollar all around?

Aside from that, thank you for the suggestions.  I have been able to get a lot of information from Tom's Hardware and was actually led to www.Ncix.ca.  They have a store located in my city so I can save on shipping costs! :)


Some of the pieces I have picked out so far.  From the prices I have seen, I may be able to set up two machines in my home or send one to a co-worker for their use.
1 x Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 16MB Cache 7200RPM 3.5IN SATA Internal Hard Drive OEM
 1 x Kingston ValueRAM KVR1333D3N9K2/4G PC3-10666 4GB 2X2GB DDR3-1333 CL9 240PIN DIMM Memory Kit
 1 x ASUS M4A88T-M AM3 880G DDR3 mATX 1PCI-E16 2PCI-E1 1PCI Video Audio LAN Motherboard
 1 x AMD Athlon II X2 250 Dual Core Processor Socket AM3 3.0GHZ 2MB L2 Cache 65W Retail Box
« Last Edit: Dec 18, 11, 07:04:48 PM by Tekniko »
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WoE-Byron

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Re: Building a new computer
« Reply #7 on: Dec 18, 11, 07:10:26 PM »

My Laptop Specs:

Core I7 920XM 2.0 Ghz
16 GB DDR3
SLI 585M 1.5 GB GDDR3
1x 2 GB 6 GBPS SSD, 2x 2 GB 9600 RPM 3 GBPS Velociraptors
Windows 7 Ultimate 64 Bit

I can handle anything HeroEngine can throw.

As for your questions: (this is based on my own technical opinion)

I would have went with the Intel I7 over the AMD as the I7 has eliminated the FSB bottleneck.

As for working with graphics, it really depends. Working in maya/max, you are better off with a High End Quadro where as working in HeroEngine, a High End gamers card is best. I would personally use Nvidia based GPUs since HeroEngine uses PhysX and the fact that Nvidia has more stable drivers then ATI. I would stay away from boards that have integrated video as the circuitry causes bottlenecks. (even when the system is not being used)

No use trying to cram a square peg through a round hole. :)


AS PER THE MEMBERS AREA:

Recommended HeroEngine Development System Specifications

    Microsoft Windows 7 x32 or x64, Microsoft Vista, Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 3 or later
    Dual Core, 2.4 GHz CPU
    4 GB RAM
    100 GB free Hard Drive space
    Shader Model 2 or later graphics card, with 512 MB RAM
    Audio device
    2 button mouse with scroll wheel
    Keyboard
    Autodesk Max or Maya 2010 or later, x32 or x64
« Last Edit: Dec 18, 11, 07:29:56 PM by WoE-Byron »
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Stadi_Thompson

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Re: Building a new computer
« Reply #8 on: Dec 18, 11, 10:34:52 PM »

really depends on your budget, an i5 or better you will be ok, 8gb ram or more, nice 250 dollar video. anything after that you will just be spending more money for performance you won't see except in benchmarking apps.
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HE-Cooper

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Re: Building a new computer
« Reply #9 on: Dec 19, 11, 07:07:23 AM »

I suppose if you wanted to run 4 blades, bake out CG video, and help out the SETI project at the same time, that machine would be perfect.  :o Nice thing about our tech is how little power it actually requires, I do all development on a 17" boot camped MacBook pro.
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LastJudge

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Re: Building a new computer
« Reply #10 on: Dec 19, 11, 07:42:19 AM »

WoE-Byron, I'd like a bit of help if you have a few minutes.

I'm planning to buy a 27" iMac for development. Should be enough for all. My current development machine is 3 years old already (spec: i7, 12GB RAM, nVidia 286GTX, 4 HDDs - Velociraptor for system, rest is Black Caviar), however my screen is 26" and like 6 years old maybe, so I'd like a refresh. Since I know I'd buy a screen for around 1000 Euro (possibly apple thunderbolt display) and the rest of the machine would be around 1000 Euro at least, I thought I'd spend more money and buy an iMac. No cables behind the table and so ... and mainly because of Mac OS X system. My problem is I'm currently using headphones with 5.1 sound and iMac only has a port for normal headphones and a mic. So right now I'm looking for a 5.1 sound card I can plug in thunderbolt port. Do you happen to know some?
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WoE-Byron

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Re: Building a new computer
« Reply #11 on: Dec 19, 11, 02:22:42 PM »

Even the I3 and the I5 Intel has eliminated the FSB Bottleneck. I was not recommending anyone to get something like my laptop as I know that the laptop is overkill for anything I use it for. As for nvidia GPUs, I still stand my ground on the matter as every ATI I have had, had problems supporting many modern techs, does not support physx and is a driver nightmare. However techs the GPU did support and ran stable out performed any Nvidia card I had. If you want assured frame rate stability as well as support for current techs as well as PhysX hardware acceleration then I would go with a Geforce 2XX or better. Also for best performance I would recommend a high bit rate card, 256 BIT or better with 1 GB Video memory or better.

On my setup, I have one of my 2 GPUs setup as a Dedicated PhysX card since most games do not take advantage of SLI and especially do not take advantage of ATI's Crossfire.
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JoshHalls

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Re: Building a new computer
« Reply #12 on: Dec 19, 11, 08:12:42 PM »

Should learn to read better..... (me).....

If you are aiming at getting the best performance for the buck (while spending a few bucks) I would suggest the i5  or i7 line.  Stay away from anything over $350 or so in that area in the CPU side as you pretty much are throwing money away after that.  The i5 2500k is very popular and you can overclock it like a beast (if you go that route, otherwise lets say you buy a Dell Workstation then just the normal 2500 or 2600).  The i7 pretty much require 3 or 6 sticks of memory for the triple channel to get the most out of them.  They also have hyperthreading so it shows up as 8 CPUs.  In general they smoke AMD for the most part in this market, so I would look there as AMD really is stronger in the sub $200 market.

I really cannot say too much about the video cards rather to go workstation or desktop as I really don't have a ton to offer here, I don't know how much more Maya makes use of the workstation cards versus the desktop.

If you build it yourself, invest in a quality PSU.  80+ at least, gold standard ones are rather numerous now and use less power and produce less heat and noise plus I would think they would be more reliable because they are made a little better to reach that efficiency.  Also, I would spec it out to about 50% of expected power usage so don't go buy a 1000w power supply unless you plan on drawing 500w or more (sometimes they publish the sweet spot in efficiency, sometimes they don't).
« Last Edit: Dec 19, 11, 08:25:05 PM by joshhalls »
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WoE-Byron

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Re: Building a new computer
« Reply #13 on: Dec 19, 11, 10:04:26 PM »

Should learn to read better..... (me).....

If you are aiming at getting the best performance for the buck (while spending a few bucks) I would suggest the i5  or i7 line.  Stay away from anything over $350 or so in that area in the CPU side as you pretty much are throwing money away after that.  The i5 2500k is very popular and you can overclock it like a beast (if you go that route, otherwise lets say you buy a Dell Workstation then just the normal 2500 or 2600).  The i7 pretty much require 3 or 6 sticks of memory for the triple channel to get the most out of them.  They also have hyperthreading so it shows up as 8 CPUs.  In general they smoke AMD for the most part in this market, so I would look there as AMD really is stronger in the sub $200 market.

The reason the new Intel CPUs Smoke AMD is because AMD is restricted to 1600-2000 mhz FSB where as the Intel I3/I5/I7 all have a tech that makes the ram sync to the CPU speed under load. So this means even if you have a 4 Ghz AMD, its restricted to 1600-2000 Mhz on the ram.

I really cannot say too much about the video cards rather to go workstation or desktop as I really don't have a ton to offer here, I don't know how much more Maya makes use of the workstation cards versus the desktop.

The difference has to do with 3D acceleration. the gaming cards have strong shader techs as well as 3d acceleration where as the workstation cards have weaker shader techs but can pump out alot more TRIs.

If you build it yourself, invest in a quality PSU.  80+ at least, gold standard ones are rather numerous now and use less power and produce less heat and noise plus I would think they would be more reliable because they are made a little better to reach that efficiency.  Also, I would spec it out to about 50% of expected power usage so don't go buy a 1000w power supply unless you plan on drawing 500w or more (sometimes they publish the sweet spot in efficiency, sometimes they don't).

I personally like Antec Truepower Variable Speed PSUs (I often go 1000+ Watt for upgrade-ability.
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Tythin4

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Re: Building a new computer
« Reply #14 on: Dec 19, 11, 10:08:38 PM »

Should learn to read better..... (me).....

If you are aiming at getting the best performance for the buck (while spending a few bucks) I would suggest the i5  or i7 line.  Stay away from anything over $350 or so in that area in the CPU side as you pretty much are throwing money away after that.  The i5 2500k is very popular and you can overclock it like a beast (if you go that route, otherwise lets say you buy a Dell Workstation then just the normal 2500 or 2600).  The i7 pretty much require 3 or 6 sticks of memory for the triple channel to get the most out of them.  They also have hyperthreading so it shows up as 8 CPUs.  In general they smoke AMD for the most part in this market, so I would look there as AMD really is stronger in the sub $200 market.

The reason the new Intel CPUs Smoke AMD is because AMD is restricted to 1600-2000 mhz FSB where as the Intel I3/I5/I7 all have a tech that makes the ram sync to the CPU speed under load. So this means even if you have a 4 Ghz AMD, its restricted to 1600-2000 Mhz on the ram.

I really cannot say too much about the video cards rather to go workstation or desktop as I really don't have a ton to offer here, I don't know how much more Maya makes use of the workstation cards versus the desktop.

The difference has to do with 3D acceleration. the gaming cards have strong shader techs as well as 3d acceleration where as the workstation cards have weaker shader techs but can pump out alot more TRIs.

If you build it yourself, invest in a quality PSU.  80+ at least, gold standard ones are rather numerous now and use less power and produce less heat and noise plus I would think they would be more reliable because they are made a little better to reach that efficiency.  Also, I would spec it out to about 50% of expected power usage so don't go buy a 1000w power supply unless you plan on drawing 500w or more (sometimes they publish the sweet spot in efficiency, sometimes they don't).

I personally like Antec Truepower Variable Speed PSUs (I often go 1000+ Watt for upgrade-ability.
I say get something with an i7 core since they run very well.  I currently have a laptop with an i3 processor and a desktop with an i5 and they both run well.
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