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Thread: Need advice on budget PC for rendering

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    Default Need advice on budget PC for rendering

    Hello, I have been looking around for a couple of weeks to buy a good PC for rendering, I work with 3d Max and Photoshop. This is my first attempt to build a PC. My budget is around 800 Euros. I am currently living in Germany and I have found here a web page ( http://www.csl-computer.com/shop/index.php?pl=logo ) where the computers are relatively cheap, but I have some problems regarding the graphic card.

    The selected parts are:

    CPU: Intel ® Core ™ i7-2600, 4x 3400 MHz, including Intel ® HD graphics core, Intel ® Hyper-Threading and Turbo Boost Technology 2.0 (TBT 2.0) with up to 3800 MHz

    CPU cooler: Silent cooler for socket 1155/1156

    Hard Drive: 2000 GB SATA Seagate ® / Western Digital ®

    Memory: 16384 MB (16 GB) DDR3 RAM, Samsung ® / Elixir ®

    Graphics: NVIDIA ® GeForce ® GTX 550 Ti, 4096 , VGA, DVI, HDMI

    Mainboard: ASUS P8H67-M Pro, Socket 1155, Intel ® P67 Express Chipset, 4 x SATA, 2 x SATA III (6 Gb / s) , 2 x USB 3.0 , 4 x USB 2.0 2 x front USB, 1 x PCIe X16 , 1 x PCIe x16 @ x4, 2 x PCI, 1 x PS / 2 (Combo Port) 7.1 audio

    opt. Drive: 24 × multi-format DVD burner (CD-R, CD-RW, DVD ± R, DVD ± RW, DVD R9 (DL))

    Sound: 7.1 controller integrated onboard ALC892 HD-Audio

    Network: 10/100/1000 Ethernet LAN, DSL capable

    Card Reader: 8.89 cm (3.5 " ) 10in1 Card Reader

    Housing: Cooler Master Elite 333, black / silver front bezel in the mesh design

    Power Supply: 450W LC Power PSU

    This is the page for the computer: https://www.csl-computer.com/shop/pr...2t6326i9u0oc03 the price that you will see on the web page includes Microsoft Windows 7 Home premium 64 bit and Microsoft office starter 2010, but I will not buy these two, so the price will be a bit cheaper.

    The problem is that I found another PC, around the same price, but with a NVIDIA® Quadro® FX 580. Which one is better for rendering with 3d max and vray? Or should I buy instead of these two the GeForce GTX 600, 3072 MB?

    I would like to order the computer next week, so it would mean a lot if you guys can look over the configuration and tell me if it`s a good rendering PC.
    Thank you in advance.

  2. #2
    Moderator AJLynn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need advice on budget PC for rendering

    I wouldn't bother with a low end Quadro card. The Geforce 550TI is a midrane card, but the Quadro FX580 is three generations older and is much less powerful. Which 600 series are you talking about? The 640? That's too new for me to comment on. The comparables I'd consider are the Radeon 6790 and 7750. The 6790 is a bit faster than the 550TI, and the 7750 a bit slower, but the advantage of the 7750 is that is uses much mess power. It doesn't even need a dedicated power cord.

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    Veteran Member RyderSK's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need advice on budget PC for rendering

    I would switch the motherboard to Z77 and buy the new ivy bridge 3770k for the same price as 2600k. And I wouldn't buy graphic card at all, and use the intel HD, it's more than powerful now.

    With the money you will save, buy a nice 120GB SSD.
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    Default Re: Need advice on budget PC for rendering

    Hello, and thank you both for you helpful reply`s.

    @ Andrew, I made a mistake in my previous post, I am considering to buy the GTX 560, 3072. The price difference from the GTX 550 Ti is not so great, but I am wondering about the performance, since the 550 Ti runs in DDR 3.

    @ Juraj, to which Z77 did you refer to? Also, is the 3770 K powerful enough to render complex exterior scenes?

    Thank you again for your help.

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    Default Re: Need advice on budget PC for rendering

    Quote Originally Posted by raryko View Post
    Also, is the 3770 K powerful enough to render complex exterior scenes?.
    3770K is one of the fastest, if not the fastest Quad core CPU on the market today (at least @ stock speeds) so its more than capable to render anything. CPU speed limits rendering times only, so in theory you can pretty much render anything within your OSs and renderer's RAM utilization capabilities regardless of CPU speed...

    Z77 is the new Intel chipset that was launched along the new 3rd gen "Intel Core" cpus (3xxx designation), like the i7 3770K.
    An asus mobo with similar features to the one you've posted above will be some 20-30 euros more expensive - due to it being newer, blah blah.
    The 3770K is priced within 10-15 euros of the 2600K (or less, depending on region).


    Keep in mind that the 550ti series of nvidia Fermi GPUs (192 cuda cores / 192-bit mem) is also way slower than the GTX 560ti (384 cores / 256-bit mem) / GTX 570 (480 cores / 320-bit mem) and GTX 580 (512 cores / 320-bit mem). Including different clock speeds, its about 1/2-1/3 slower, thus the price difference and wattage requirements.

    Speaking of watts, the 450W "no-name" PSU that is mentioned in the above specs, is probably not a good idea...
    A quality 550W PSU will be more than enough, but focus on the "quality" portion.

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    Default Re: Need advice on budget PC for rendering

    Dimitros is right, never save on good PSU ;- ) It doesn't bring measureable performance like cpu and gpu, so people often try to save money here, but that is recipe for disaster. Good PSU will keep your computer stable, quite and also help with electricity bills, saving you money in the long run.
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    Default Re: Need advice on budget PC for rendering

    Thank you both for you responses, I will change my PSU to 550W, also I will keep the 3770K and the Z77.
    About the graphic cards, the one that I can afford is GTX 560, but not the Ti, I`m thinking not to buy one, like Juraj said earlier, but can I render complex scenes only using the 3770K? Will buying the GtX 560 increase the performance?
    Thank you for your help

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    Veteran Member dtolios's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need advice on budget PC for rendering

    I still do not understand if you are custom building / ordering your tower, or getting one ready made from this vendor.

    The GPU is irrelevant with rendering speed in most scenarios, unless you are using a GPU accelerated Renderer: most likely Octane / IRay / Vray RT GPU.

    If you are using a regular version of Mental Ray or Vray etc, the graphics card is used only while you are modelling and positioning your cameras etc, for what is called "viewport acceleration". Obviously a faster card is better in complex scenes and will allow you to orbit around your scenes smoothly and fast, preview large textures etc, but that's all before you press the "render" button.

    GPU accelerated renderers do require massive ammounts of VRAM to load your whole scene and textures in the card in order for it to render it, but for viewport acceleration etc, that is not as important. Getting card with a massive buffer like the 550 with 4GB ram is pretty much useless, as these cards use slower ram chips and memory bus, being actually a lot slower than the top of the line GTX cards which rely on 1-1.5GB of way faster DDR5 for pretty much anything. Just like with the PSU where "label watts" don't say much about their quality, the same goes for GPU RAM buffer...more is not always better.

    So, just like with your card, I would try to get the best bang for my money in a stable PSU too. If you are not bying one of the hi-end GTX cards, you want need more than 500-550W of a quality PSU. Quality = Seasonic / Enermax / Antec / Corsair / OCZ / Coolermaster / Thermaltake etc. There are many generic PSUs that will fail after you stress them past 50-60% of their rated output, simply because the manufacturers of such devices cut a lot of corners and use poor quality components. A PSU that fails, on a good day will cost you downtime till you replace it, on a bad day it might kill your motherboard and/or GPU...on a really bad day it might even get your CPU and HDDs with it...
    And guess what: people do not get punished for getting cheap PSUs, simply because they don't stress their PCs enough to figure out their limits...but rendering complex scenes as those you are aspired to, are guaranteed punishment, stressing all your cores, perhaps for many hours etc...it's worse than any game and office program, thus if the PSU is inadequate, you will probably regret it pretty fast, either with you system being unstable and crashing, or (knock-knock) something burning out. Get a quality one, 80plus certified and rated ~500-550W if you are in a budget. Do not go above 600-650W unless you are planning on getting a GTX 570/580 or more than one graphic cards.

    And yes, you will be able to render pretty complex scenes with 16GB of RAM and render them quite fast with the 3770K.
    If a complex scene will render, is a matter arranging it in order to fit in your memory (setting up proxies etc if needed - read this fast tut on basic proxies).
    If it fits, it will render. The CPU defines how fast it will render.
    If you want room for a future upgrade, get 2x8GB sticks instead of 4x4GB to leave some slots free on your mobo, yet keep in mind the crazy renderings people have been doing over the years with 1/2 that...I hardly use more than 4-5GB total when rendering, and most of my simple scenes use like 1-2GBs (the renderer alone).

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    Default Re: Need advice on budget PC for rendering

    Thank you again for your detailed response. I am custom building from this shop, found it to be cheaper than the others here in Germany.
    I will be careful choosing my PSU, thanks to your list, hopefully everything will be ok at first, I will try to work without a graphics card, and if that does not go well I will later buy one. Also thank you for the suggestion regarding the 2x8GB sticks.

    I have been working until now with 4GB using proxies, but I want to make an improvement and to jump from my laptop to a good PC.
    Thank you all very much for your advices, you cleared my head I am really glad I posted my questions here.

  10. #10
    Moderator AJLynn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need advice on budget PC for rendering

    Is this for a render node or a workstation? (A workstation has a monitor, keyboard and mouse and you do work on it, a render node is just for sharing the workload after you hit the render button.) If it's a workstation, don't use Intel onboard graphics. It's slow, and it eats system memory. Don't skip out on a real video card to afford an SSD.

    A video card does a lot of the work to run the on-screen 3D display as you are working on your project in Autocad, Max, etc. - that's shared between the CPU and the video card. When you hit render, the video card idles and the CPU takes over, unless you are running a rendered that's specifically designed to run on the GPU (the video card) instead (like iray, Octane, Vray RT-GPU but not regular Vray).

    A 550ti is fine for most purposes in Max, Autocad, etc. It's faster than what I use, and it's a reasonable price point, so I'd say it's a good choice if this is for a workstation. You don't even need the 4GB version if you don't run one of those GPU renderers. If it's a render node, go cheap on the video card.

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