New build -- take 2

Intel Core i7 i7-920 quad core processor
December 28, 2009 at 17:58:59
Specs: Windows Vista Ultimate, 2.793 GHz / 2045 MB
First off, I appreciate Othehill sticking with me on this. If you are familiar with my earlier thread, you will recall that I was planning to build with the i5. At first I thought this was a brilliant idea because the mobo also supported the i7 and I could upgrade later. Ah but then I learned that the higher-end i7's require socket 1366, not the 1156 like the i5. So I thought, and my wife agreed, (and that is key!) that I should go ahead with a higher-end system that maybe won't be obsolete in six months. ;)

So, here's my wishlist so far:

ASUS P6T WS PRO
i7 920 Quad core 2.66 GHz with some other stuff I don't recognize (4.8GT/s QPI???)
2 ea. EVGA GeForce 9800 GT Vid - 1024MB DDR3 (Autodesk site tested and supports 9800GTX, I figure this is close enough.)
Crucial Ballistix 6GB (3 x 2GB) DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel
Corsair 650W Modular PSU

One thing I'm not clear on (actually, there may be many things I'm not clear on, but on this I'm not even fuzzy.) This mobo supports SAS hard drives. Googling tells this is Serial Attached SCSI. But is this something that would be useful to me? I work in AutoCAD, I play around with some 3D modeling stuff, (Maya, Bryce/DAZ Studios, Poser.) But mainly AutoCAD and CS4.

Othehill, I know I said earlier that I didn't see myself using two vid cards, but if the capability is built into the mobo it seems a waste to not take full advantage of it.

I am the Human!


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#1
December 29, 2009 at 04:30:31
The sas ports on p6t are sas/sata ports and can be used for both types of drives. There is no need to buy 2 video cards if u aren't going to take advantage of them u better stick with one card(single geforce 9800gtx

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#2
December 29, 2009 at 05:51:33
I do run two monitors but up to now have been doing so from a single vid card. I can see where two vid cards would be an advantage for rendering and animation.

I've got to find out what is the difference between "workstation" cards and "gaming" cards. Why is it that a 256MB "workstation" card costs as much as a 1GB "gaming" card?

I am the Human!


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#3
December 29, 2009 at 06:32:53
Let me ask you this...you're not building a gaming machine so why do you need two cards running in SLi? Twice the price, twice the heat, twice the noise, plus an even better power supply will be required. And of course, you'll have a higher electric bill due to the 2nd card.

But why stop at just 2 cards? The P6T6 WS Revolution supports 3-way SLi so why not go for it? You could install 3 GeForce 9800 GX2's & run 6 GPUs. Of course, you wouldn't wanna be bottlenecked by the CPU so the Core i7-975 Extreme would probably be a better choice than the i7-920. Add 24GB triple channel RAM, a couple of SAS drives in RAID-0, a 1/2 dozen 1.5TB SATA drives for storage & you'll be all set...lol!


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Related Solutions

#4
December 29, 2009 at 06:53:44
@jam

Mh! three cards plus core i7 975 xtreme, that will cost a fortune.


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#5
December 29, 2009 at 07:49:42
So let's see... I come here looking for advice. The reason I do so is because I don't really understand where some of the new tech will help me and what is just overkill. I thought it reasonable that the machine that models, renders and animates could benefit from the same technology utilized by the end user. Not that I "create" games, but I do play around with creating elements of them. Anyway, I suppose ridicule answers my question about video cards as well as a straight answer.

Thanks.

I am the Human!


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#6
December 29, 2009 at 08:42:32
Hmm, found the reply I was looking for, right here at Tom's hardware:

Depends on what you define as CAD. I'm defining it generally as computer aided design - which includes 3d visualization tools like 3dsMAX and MAYA.

In these apps, the GPU makes a huge difference with viewport redraws, even in wireframe only mode with complex meshes. And pro card drivers help alot in viewport refreshes that include textures and transparency.

When doing a final CPU-based render to an image file, the graphics card doesn't matter, at that point it's all CPU and RAM. The graphics card can absolutely speed up viewport renders, though.

So, a pro card will speed up my regens allowing me to work faster, but has absolutely no effect on the final product.

I am the Human!


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#7
December 29, 2009 at 08:43:19
Jude

What are you currently using for your AutoCad & CS4?

When got my first 3D CAD program I had to upgrade because it would take 30 seconds to refresh my screen every time I moved the mouse of used the KBoard.

These are the reasons to upgrade. Without knowing what type of files you actually work with it is hard to say if you would get enough extra benefit from a rig like you are now considering.

You mentioned workstation graphics. You can spend over $5,000 just on the graphics. If you actually need that kind of power then you spend the cash. I suspect your projects are of a much smaller scale and you can probably be productive with much less.

An analogy would be to buy a corvette to go to the grocery store a mile from home.

You may actually need triple channel RAM which is what you get with that MBoard.


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#8
December 29, 2009 at 08:48:09
Most modern video cards will support two monitors with no
problem. Workstation graphics cards have different drivers and
better technical support, that's what you're paying for.
Incidentally, don't know if it's been mentioned, but you'll need
64bit Windows to take advantage of your memory, so make sure
your Autocad etc. is also 64bit.

"I've always been mad, I know I've been mad, like the most of us..."


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#9
December 29, 2009 at 08:56:21
My current machine is about 4 years old:

Intel D865PERL
P4 2.8GHz
2GB RAM (I have cheap Kingston Value RAM, two sticks died)
nVidia GeForce 5600FX (if I remember correctly)

This computer was actually built by a guy that used to be on here called Jimi L, he operated Perfect Computer Solutions.

"No machine shall ever master me, for I am the human!"


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#10
December 29, 2009 at 09:53:01
"that will cost a fortune"

That was my point.

There is no such thing as "futureproof" & dumping loads of money into the latest bleeding edge technology is, IMO, just a waste of money. What you pay big bucks for today will usually cost significantly less 6 months from now. This is especially true of CPUs & GPUs. From a long term cost standpoint, it makes more sense to stay with a mainstream product that has already "suffered" it's 1st or 2nd price drop rather than the high end which *may* be teetering on a price drop a week or month down the road. And although there's tons of benchmark data available that shows one CPU being faster than another, you have to look at it from the real world, not the testing world. Is it worth spending 100's more to pick up 5-10 FPS in one app or drop 5-10 seconds in another?

Another thing to watch for is that nVidia likes to play the "name game". They simply remarket "older" cards under a different label & sell them as "new" cards. For instance, the 8800GT & 9800GT are essentially the same. And the GTS 240 is basically a slightly higher clocked version of the 8800GT/9800GT. The 9800GTX+ & GTS 250 are also the same card, while the 9800GTX is virtually the same card as the 9800GTX+/GTS 250 but with the GPU clocked slightly lower. Most of the GPU reference specs can be found here:

http://www.techpowerup.com/gpudb/


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#11
December 29, 2009 at 10:00:37
Just moving up into the i5 or phenom II arena with 4GB DDR3 and a newer graphics card will on paper double your power.

What is the problem with the current rig? Screen refresh time? what?


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#12
December 29, 2009 at 10:11:19
I agree. I think I'm far from the bleeding edge. I've just decided that I want to use the socket 1366 board so that when the higher end i7's come down in price I will be able to one. And I think about $400 is as much as would spend for a vid card.

Thanks for the tip about nVidia. I only chose the nVidia cards earlier because of the price and they looked to be the same as those recommended by AutoCAD, but I think I still prefer the ATI cards. Will have to settle for 512MB I guess.

"No machine shall ever master me, for I am the human!"


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#13
December 29, 2009 at 10:52:49
Yes, I really do think that the i5 would be a huge gain right now. I'm not having any real problems with this rig, other than the lack of RAM. But it's six years old now, (I recalculated, got in March of '04,) and the mobo is way out dated. I have no PCI Express so I feel I'm pretty much stagnant. I thought that as long as I was upgrading I would use the 1366 socket so as to have more options in the future. But now, haven't I read about something better and faster than pci-e?

"No machine shall ever master me, for I am the human!"


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