View Full Version : Looking for Suggestions for a Computer

12-08-2009, 07:52 AM
Hello - I need advice on a computer for rendering my room scenes. A medium quality rendering is taking 12 hours and my employer asks to bring that down to 6 hours. My employer has given me a $3000 limit to purchase a new computer - hoping that it will be faster in rendering then the one I have. No monitor will be needed, using my old one. I have listed my computers specs below. I just don't know enough about computer hardware to know what the most important thing to look for is. Any help would be great!

Dell PWS670 Intel Xeon CPU 3.20 GHz
3.19 GHz, 3 GB of Ram.
NIVIDIA Quadro FX 3450/4000 SDI

Thank you!

12-08-2009, 08:01 AM
Buy a dual Quad Xeon (or a quad Quad Xeon if your budget will allow that) MAC pro and put windows x64 and snow leopard on it. And install at least 16GB ram. Than you're ready to rock! :D

12-08-2009, 11:01 AM
Thank you so much for your suggestion! Are there any suggestions for a PC? I love Macs, but might need to go PC because of all the other software I have.


12-08-2009, 11:48 AM
For rendering, the most important factor will be processing speed followed by memory.

The previous generation Mac Pro's were a good deal, marginally cheaper than a similar spec professional workstation, but they are currently extremely expensive in comparison.

The Intel i7 processors offer the best bang per buck currently with the 920 (2.66ghz) model running at approximately the same speed as a dual-quad Xeon system @ 2ghz when rendering and much faster in single threaded operations (almost anything else). The 920 offers the best value as the faster processors rapidly increase in price for marginal speed gains. The 920 can also be overclocked very easily...3.4ghz can be obtained with the stock cooler and minimal tweaking, I'm running at 4.2ghz with a decent after-market cooler (50).

The i7 processors are designed to run triple channel memory so expect to find kits of 3, 6, 9, 12gb etc. It is possible to buy 4gb RAM modules but they are currently very expensive so don't expect to run more than 12gb. When overclocking a system more strain is put on all of the components so it is recommended ( and expected) to reduce the overclock as you increase RAM unless you have some very good cooling. 12gb on a 920 system overclocked to 3.4-3.8ghz should be fine, any higher and expect to run only 6gb RAM.

There are Xeon equivilent chips of the i7's which can be doubled up for a dual-quadcore system. The advantage is that the motherboards generally have more RAM slots allowing 24gb in 2gb sticks, the downside is that they cannot be overclocked and are more expensive (and so are the other components).

There are other 'i' processors available, they are cut-down versions of the i7 processors with lower power consumption for mobile use, fewer cores and no hyper-threading.

My recommendation would be a 920 based system with 6-12gb RAM and Vista/windows 7 64bit. If you're not very computer savvy just stick with the stock speeds and leave any overclocking alone, it will be blazingly fast compared to your current rig anyway. You should be able to pick up a nice computer with those specs for well under $3k...if you can find someone to build it for you, you should be able to get 2!

12-08-2009, 02:01 PM
As Biliousfrog said.

Run this benchmark to see how far you are off. Its a pretty good representation. http://3dspeedmachine.com/?page=3&scene=39

If your time is still too slow get some W5590s, but get a local computer shop to put it together, you will save a lot.

12-09-2009, 06:02 PM
Thank you Biliousfrog... that is really a great help. Much appreciated. I will try those links out too Jon ... cheers.

12-09-2009, 08:29 PM
Wait some more months for the I9 to arrive. 6 cores instead of 4 in the I7. The price will be higher though.

Or do like me, build yourself a very good I7-920 based computer and make sure all components can handle an I9 later :)