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  • New System; Any Input?

    Hi, hope you guys will welcome my first post as a new thread. I am in the process of buying a new gaming computer and thought I'd come here for a little advice. Note that the computer is used, so it's not like I have the option of switching out components before buying.

    Desired Use:
    - Upper tier performance on current games
    - "Pretty good" performance on games 5 years from now
    - Intense 3d Modeling (Solidworks, ProE)
    - Smooth Win7 Home 64 Bit operation


    Asking for:
    - What I want/need to change
    - What I want/need to add
    - Immediate issues to address (cooling, PSU, etc.)


    Current Specs:
    - Intel Core 2 Quad 2.8 12mb cache Processor
    - Basic air-only cooling
    - 4 GB of Ballistix PC6400 Memory (DDR2 1333) (Plus 2 GB uninstalled)
    - BFG Nvidia GTX 280 over clocked Edition 1GB DDR3
    - EVGA i790 FTW SLI Motherboard
    - 100 GB SATA Western Digital 7200RPM HD
    - 650 Watt Corsair TXW PSU (Black)
    - Windows VISTA Home Premium


    Ideas so far:
    - Windows 7 64Bit in a month
    - MAYBE dedicated 10-15K RPM HDD for Win7 and other essential programs
    - Current 100GB HD for most other programs
    - 500GB external for data
    - DDR3 8GB 2000MHz in maybe a year or so


    I don't yet have info on the case/fans, so we'll see what cooling has to offer. It seems the MoBo is the strongest point of the system, which is good news. I believe it has 3x PCI X16 2.0 slots.

    A sincere thanks in advance for your replies.

  • #2
    Re: New System; Any Input?

    I haven't used ProE or Solidworks before, but if they're anything like Maya (or 3DS MAX), 8 GBs of RAM is probably the minimum I would go for (along with a quad-core which you have). Depending on what you're doing in those 3D modeling programs, you'd might want to invest in a workstation system instead. Especially one with a "professional" graphics card rather than one built for gaming.

    Honestly, the small increase in read/write rates with the 10k/15k RPM HDDs aren't really worth the extra hike in cost.

    Without know the resolution you play at (or other settings), it's hard to tell you what will run "good" in 5 years on your current hardware. Though from experience and knowing the game industry, you'd pretty much need a new system in 5 years anyways if you're already at the "upper tier performance" level for today's games. Really hard to future-proof a rig for 5 years down the line unless you're dealing with something with minimal requirements.
    |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
    TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
    Former 9th & 13th

    Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
    Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





    SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

    TG Primer and Rules

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    • #3
      Re: New System; Any Input?

      I'm not familiar with Maya or 3DS MAX, but for reference, I can run Solidworks a little choppy on my current system (Dual Core 3.0Ghz, 2x NVidia 8500GTs, 2GB RAM), so it's not too demanding. I would think the gaming would put a MUCH greater demand on the requirements. That being said, what does a "professional" card do (better) that a gaming card doesn't?

      I have been running my computer at max resolution (2560x1600) for a couple years now, and would like to be playing at that resolution, as well. I would think the 3 PCI slots will help me with my long-term goals of "keeping up," though I know it's hard to make a solid call on that sort of thing.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: New System; Any Input?

        well the base system is solid not much you can really do to take performance much higher without changing the processor motherboard and memory. GTX280 is still top class performance although newer cards are starting to come out, the 5870 beats it in most if not all of the benchmarks I've seen so far. The GPU is more than likely the only thing that is going to hold you back in gaming but in 5 years I'm not sure how well a GTX280 will do, I would say that 2 years is a good estimate for most higher end GPUs since the hardware and software demands can change a lot. You could always SLI it but it won't offer any real benefits only marginal gains in a few games. At 2560x1600 you need some serious GPU power to play well so you might be looking there in you next upgrade. Storage size is really up to your needs, my WD 640GB is plenty of storage for me and very fast, maybe look into SSDs as they become cheaper in a year or so. Win7 looks great and 64 bit is the way to go for sure. If your current RAM is DDR2 then your motherboard is more than like not DDR3 compatible so that upgrade is a no go but the performance difference is not that big so nothing to really worry about. The biggest thing is how much 3D rendering are you going to be doing? While a Q9550 is a great processor the new Lynnfield chips, or anything based on the Nahlem architecture, will far out pace it in any rendering program, or program that is CPU intensive and multi-threaded. It will be great for games but I'm just saying that is by no means a top of the line CPU. This article shows some 3D rendering benchmarks and the Q9650 (roughly equivalent to your Q9550) gets washed out despite showing up most of the field of CPUs. If you can I would look into getting a Lynnfield based system if you plan on doing a lot 3D rendering, the cost is going to be similar when comparing new parts and you get way better performance. That is of course dependent on how much you want to spend and how much this used system costs. Cost vs performance is always the hardest choice to make. Building your own system is a good way to reduce cost but depends on user willingness to deal with possible issues. The other thing you can do is check out the cooling system in the case and see if the CPU has an after market cooler so you can over clock the CPU and get some free performance out of it.

        Welcome and if you have more questions please ask.
        Reapator, overlord of ponies

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: New System; Any Input?

          Probably worth mentioning the cost. The system, as it sits, is going to be $900. I usually like to stay around 1000 (give or take 100) with my systems, whether it be built or bought. This also means I'd like to stick to less than $200 in immediate expenses if there were anything I couldn't really wait to upgrade.

          The hard drive matter is the first issue to address. To date, I haven't occupied more than maybe 250GB at the MOST in total computer memory at once, but I definitely feel 100GB isn't going to be enough for even Win7 and a handful of key programs. Is the HDD rpm rating really a marginal effect on performance? I've read it's one of the most overlooked criteria, and can make a drastic improviement in general system operation, but after all, I'm here to learn, not stick to my guns.

          I've built a couple systems from scratch, and wouldn't mind doing it again, unfortunately it just doesn't fit into my present schedule, as the systems I've put together before did require some tinkering to get things right. This system has been used at the professional gaming level, and the "tried-and-tested" appeal is just greater than the "I did it myself" thrill at this point.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: New System; Any Input?

            Originally posted by Troux View Post
            I'm not familiar with Maya or 3DS MAX, but for reference, I can run Solidworks a little choppy on my current system (Dual Core 3.0Ghz, 2x NVidia 8500GTs, 2GB RAM), so it's not too demanding. I would think the gaming would put a MUCH greater demand on the requirements. That being said, what does a "professional" card do (better) that a gaming card doesn't?

            I have been running my computer at max resolution (2560x1600) for a couple years now, and would like to be playing at that resolution, as well. I would think the 3 PCI slots will help me with my long-term goals of "keeping up," though I know it's hard to make a solid call on that sort of thing.
            I don't feel gaming puts a higher demand on your systems resources compared with the tools one uses to make games (or movies or whatnot). Compiling and rendering complex 3D model usually eats all of your CPU and quite a bit of RAM. You basically won't be able to do much of anything while it's compiling/rendering. Ideally the quad-core and extra RAM should reduce the time it takes for your model to be fully rendered/compiled, hence my suggestions.

            To give you a example:

            The most demanding game I have currently is GTA IV. At the most demanding of moments core1 would be at full speed and core2 would be jumping radically up and down to compensate for the load. I'd be using close to 90% of my RAM.

            Now the last time I had to render a animation using After Effects CS3, both my cores were at 100% and all of my RAM was being used and all of my virtual RAM as well. I couldn't even move my mouse while it was rendering. At which point I realized a quad-core and 8 GBs of RAM would have been more fitting and had never realized the work I'd be doing for my major (CS and Game Dev) would be more demanding than any game in my collection.

            Also take a look at the system requirements for 3DS MAX 2010. You'll note a quad-core and at least 8 GBs of RAM is needed.

            As for professional graphics card, they're usually for animators, modelers, and CAD designers. Lots more memory, higher bandwidth usually, and the better models have multi-core GPUs or multiple-on-die GPUs to allow for real-time rendering, etc. It's something even high-end gaming graphics cards simply can't do well or can't handle.

            You'd have to wait a while for tech to surpass game requirements if you want to get great fps at 2560 x 1600 resolution. Take a look at the Tom's Hardware VGA charts and you'll quickly see not even the high-end cards give "nice" framerates in demanding games like Crysis at the high resolutions.

            From the sounds of it Solidworks might not be as demanding for resources as Maya or 3DS Max. Again I have never seen your work so it's hard for anyone to say how well the new rig can handle what you do 5 years from now. You'll just have to test it out on the new rig and see how it performs.
            |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
            TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
            Former 9th & 13th

            Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
            Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





            SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

            TG Primer and Rules

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: New System; Any Input?

              games are (generally) more intensive on the GPU especially at higher resolutions

              Rendering programs are intensive on CPU and RAM

              the software in use will determine what part of your system gets used
              Reapator, overlord of ponies

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              • #8
                Re: New System; Any Input?

                From talking to that Windows developer again, it seems RAM is going to be my frist goal, and an SSD should be considered instead of a high RPM HDD for the OS.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: New System; Any Input?

                  Troux, if your looking for a workstation for that, I may have what you are looking for. I have a Dell precision workstation T3400 that Im trying to sell. It has an Nvidia Quadro FX1700 512MB, quad core 2.4 Q6600, 4GB of ram 4x1GB (supports up to 16GB) and a 250GB 7200 rpm drive. I can get you more details if you want just PM me. Im trying to let it go cheap. Ill take parts out to cut the price if you want. Not to hijack the thread or anything, just seeing if I can help. It sounds like just what your looking for.

                  On another note, I think everyone is right about the software thing. Games are gonna be more graphics card intensive vs 3dsmax will be more cpu and ram intensive. The gaming card will be better at games, but the quadro will be better in things like autocad and whatnot. Hope this helps.

                  Shawn

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: New System; Any Input?

                    It does help, thanks. I guess that's the primary difference between graphical 3d modeling (for games, etc.) and just structural modeling like I am doing.

                    As it turns out, the MoBo is aa 750i FTW, not 790i.
                    The primary differences from what I can tell are:
                    2x PCIx, not 3x PCIx 2.0
                    Up to 1600MHz RAM, not 2000 MHz
                    DDR2, not DDR3

                    How much is this going to affect me? :(

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: New System; Any Input?

                      Do you already have the motherboard? If not, do yourself a HUGE favor and switch to an Intel chipsed (P45, X48). Nvidia hasn't made a good chipset since the Nforce 4 series.
                      sigpic

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                      • #12
                        Re: New System; Any Input?

                        you should also check out dells outlet site. outlet.dell.com you can find alot of good workstations on the cheap. for $1200 a T5400 with dual xeons would rip through that stuff! The T3400's run X38 chipsets BTW.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: New System; Any Input?

                          Everything youve listed sounds awesome the only thing that i would do is the case Check out a CoolerMaster case i have one and runsthe CPU 25degrees C. cooler which at video sounds great speed great not much you can really do to it that you havent done already maybe a SS harddrive?? expensive but responsive maybe i7 would be agreat step for you too other than that more power if gaming and audio are something of interest
                          "Aww.. Who Put That Hole There??" ~ThatGuy

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                          • #14
                            Re: New System; Any Input?

                            As an aside:

                            Gaming cards are more than adequate if you're doing anything relatively moderate in AutoCAD. The professional workstation cards start to come into play when you are working in files with many many many objects. A gaming card can still keep up with what you are displaying, it just won't be very accurate. For instance, a lot of the drawings I work with have multiple lines that display differently in many ways. I will zoom into an area, and have to regen to get the lines to display correctly. With a workstation card, I'd be willing to bet that you would not have the need to regen to display things correctly.

                            I'm not sure what you're doing in proe or solidworks, so a professional card may be required to be productive.

                            And I'm not 100% sure, but I believe workstation cards are not too great for gaming.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: New System; Any Input?

                              ^Interesting. I'm beginning to get curious to see where this card hits its wall in different applications.


                              Reminder here: I already have a system, and am looking for minor upgrades to optimize it. Replacing the case and motherboard, or buying a Dell computer aren't exactly feasible in this scope.

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