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3500$ Rendering/Gaming Rig build


torqueguru
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Hi folks,

 

I am kinda new in here, but have been a visitor of this awesome site for a long time. In fact my first overclocking project which was a long time ago, with an Athlon x2 4200+ cpu, which was possible only because of you guys. I have upgraded systems later on and was with a core 2 quad q6600 GO SLACKR overclocked to 3.8 GHz, but now I plan to take a new computer system after selling off my core 2 quad machine. By the way, I am a photographer/ Visual effects Artist/Programmer/ Designer. And I am looking to put together a workstation/Gaming Rig. I am looking at fast render times, smooth particle simulation work flow, HD Video editing and compositing and high resolution image editing. Also, I do not want to compromise on HD gaming as well.

 

I have put together a First build for this purpose as slated below. Now, my main concern here is, will the GTX 295 + Tesla C1060 co-exist?

FIRST BUILD:

 

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE:

in one month

Edited by torqueguru

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If you're serious about the $3500, I would research exactly how much of the tesla HPC your programs can use. If they're CUDA apps, great, if they're CPU SMP capable, and resource intensive, I'd look at a dual 1366 workstation board.

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The C1060 "only" has 240 stream processors, but a large 4GB onboard... depending on your apps, it might be better to get something like 2x GTX 295 cards... then you have 960 stream processors and ~3.6 GB total graphics memory... you could also get a single-slot card like a 8800GT/9800GT for the middle PCIe 16x slot for an additional 112 stream processors

 

So you could have 1072 stream processors and 4.6GB of graphics memory (2x GTX295 1792MB + 9800GT 1GB), instead of 720 stream processors and 5.8 GB (GTX295 1792MB + C1060 4GB)

 

Depends whether your apps have greater memory or processing needs :)

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If you're serious about the $3500, I would research exactly how much of the tesla HPC your programs can use. If they're CUDA apps, great, if they're CPU SMP capable, and resource intensive, I'd look at a dual 1366 workstation board.

Of course I am serious about the $3500. Else I would not be here! So yeah, I did some research on finding out if the applications i use are CUDA apps. Only Photoshop looks like it is, Maya and Houdini are mostly CPU intensive. So to get better render times I suppose I must go the dual cpu way as you suggested. In that case I might as well stick on to the GTX 295 as my GPU since I want to use this system to game as well.

 

The C1060 "only" has 240 stream processors, but a large 4GB onboard... depending on your apps, it might be better to get something like 2x GTX 295 cards... then you have 960 stream processors and ~3.6 GB total graphics memory... you could also get a single-slot card like a 8800GT/9800GT for the middle PCIe 16x slot for an additional 112 stream processors

 

So you could have 1072 stream processors and 4.6GB of graphics memory (2x GTX295 1792MB + 9800GT 1GB), instead of 720 stream processors and 5.8 GB (GTX295 1792MB + C1060 4GB)

 

Depends whether your apps have greater memory or processing needs :)

How will having more stream processors affect the performance of apps I use like Maya and Houdini? Especially since Maya and Houdini are not GPU intensive, well Mental Ray in Maya does have a few features related to particle systems that actually use the GPU but otherwise, not much. And also Maya will use only one gpu for its work. Majority of its work is distributed over the CPU, from what I understand. Please do correct me If I am wrong. And yeah, I am not looking to SLI cards since dual cpu NVIDIA cards reportedly have issues with SLI. But a GTX 295 is definitely a big magnet for me, since I intend to game as well on this system.

 

I reviewed the Cooler Master V10 and it worked really well with the 920 overclocked to 3.33GHz :D

 

You might want to check the v10 out if you are not too worried about spending 99.99$ on an air cooler. If you wanted to step into watercooling, that would be fun with the setup :)

Watercooling is what is really pulling me :)

 

What about a dual-six-core opteron setup?

 

You would then get only 150W power consumption from both CPUs, whereas a two 2.66GHz i7s would bring you to 190W. And you get 12 cores instead of eight simulating 16.

Sounds like a good Idea, could you throw some more light on this with a suitable well rated motherboard as well. I will research in this direction as well.

 

 

So taking my new findings into considerations, i am hearing one thing in my head - "Go dual cpu" .

 

 

Thanks guys, much appreciated, but hey ,I can feel my head bursting trying to make a decision! Phew!

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How will having more stream processors affect the performance of apps I use like Maya and Houdini?

Anything that uses CUDA will be a lot faster, as long as it has been programmed in a way to make full use of all the available SPs.

 

There are quite a few physics simulation plugins for Maya like RUINs, Bullet, APEX (PhysX, Clothing, Vegetation, Destruction)...

 

The reason I suggested a more powerful CUDA solution is that you initially chose the C1060, which is designed for CUDA/Tegra.

 

If you aren't going to be using physics plugins, or are going to be doing the majority of work on low-number bodies of animation and rendering, then more CPUs/cores makes a lot more sense.

 

You really need to be doing physics simulation on a scientific/engineering scale to warrant GPGPU processing power of that magnitude.

 

 

 

I don't know what you mean by problems with GTX295 Quad SLI... it's pretty damn powerful! I'm not sure what would be better...

 

http://www.overclockersclub.com/reviews/cr...re_vs_sli/6.htm

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Anything that uses CUDA will be a lot faster, as long as it has been programmed in a way to make full use of all the available SPs.

 

There are quite a few physics simulation plugins for Maya like RUINs, Bullet, APEX (PhysX, Clothing, Vegetation, Destruction)...

 

The reason I suggested a more powerful CUDA solution is that you initially chose the C1060, which is designed for CUDA/Tegra.

 

If you aren't going to be using physics plugins, or are going to be doing the majority of work on low-number bodies of animation and rendering, then more CPUs/cores makes a lot more sense.

 

You really need to be doing physics simulation on a scientific/engineering scale to warrant GPGPU processing power of that magnitude.

 

 

 

I don't know what you mean by problems with GTX295 Quad SLI... it's pretty damn powerful! I'm not sure what would be better...

 

http://www.overclockersclub.com/reviews/cr...re_vs_sli/6.htm

 

Well I am currently undergoing a masters degree program in visual effects and I plan to do a lot of work in the area of particle simulation. And for that, the software I use would be Houdini, primarily for particles and Maya for other basic work. Yes the plugins for physics simulation will come handy for me at some point for sure. Do these physics simulation plugins for Maya like RUINs, Bullet, APEXl etc use the CUDA model? Houdini for sure does not. I also use Nuke and Aftereffects for compositing, well on second thoughts after effects does use CUDA...since its part of the Adobe CS4 suite. I am not too sure if Nuke uses the CUDA architecture as well. Anyways, judging from the read up I did over the net so far, twin gtx 295s in SLI should not hurt my cause apart from minor viewport issues in Maya.

 

My decison to go TESLA is now in the dumps :)

 

Actually before posting the last post, I had randomly read in a few places while googling about GTX 295 SLI. Just google for "gtx 295 quad sli problems" and you will get what I mean. Now may be these are regular one off issues since hey, no set up is perfect!

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Would I be out of place in suggesting you consider a proper workstation video card if you're very serious about doing some high-end rendering?

 

Well i have used a Quadro FX 3600 before and while it did its job of being a workhorse perfectly, it could never do justice to my need for gaming. I work a lot but gaming is a welcome relief for me.! Since most of the rendering I do is mostly cpu intensive I dont really think that not going for a workstation graphics card will bite me in the a** real bad.

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http://www.asus.com/product.aspx?P_ID=Hbmb...&templete=3

 

http://www.buy.com/prod/asus-kfsn5-d-serve.../209888508.html

 

That is one of many. I never really looked into the server market so I can't help you much on that one... I was just giving you ideas. :)

 

I checked those, they not exactly what I have in mind. I think I might go the intel way. :) Thanks for the links dude.

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