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Thread: main PC + rendering config

  1. #1
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    Default main PC + rendering config

    Hi guys.

    After many delays my 8 years old PC (a Core 2 Duo 8400 with 4GB RAM) is starting to have random failures and I can't delay anymore buying a new machine. I'd appreciate if you can advise me regarding what's the best configuration for my needs and budget - 800 to 1000 euros. (BTW, I live in Europe, Portugal)

    Iím a long time Sketchup and Vray user, using them mostly to model and render small rooms - kitchens, or bedrooms, or living rooms - and usually my .SKP files are between 20MB and 50MB only, but this PC will also be my main machine, where I do all my daily activity, from browsing to writing and dictating. So, it needs to do all that, and simultaneously render as fast as possible using Vray (and/or eventually other renderers).

    -----------------
    CPU
    From what I've been reading it seems that at the moment the best bet is the Ryzen 1700 or 1700X?

    RAM
    Given my needs, should I go with 16 GB, or 32GB?

    MB

    SSD

    I already have several 3.5'' HDD's for storage, but I want a reliable SSD for the OS and my main software.

    Graphics card

    It seems that in the next few years most if not all the main renderers will take advantage of GPU, but at the moment Iím still using Vray 1.49, which only uses the CPU, and I want to upgrade to Vray 3.5, but since my budget is quite limited perhaps it's better to buy an entry-level graphics card for now, and upgrade in 2 or 3 years if or when I need the extra horsepower?
    ----------------

    Thanks for reading. I'd appreciate all comments and suggestions.

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: main PC + rendering config

    Thank you very much for your suggestion, Nikolaos. It seems a very balanced system, thank you.

    Quote Originally Posted by nikolaosm View Post
    Regarding the SSD, I don't need to install a lot of software, so perhaps an 240/250/275GB SSD is enough? Or is Windows these days a lot bigger?

    Is buying a single 16GB stick worth it, to eventually buy another in 3 or 4 years, if necessary? Or by that time I'd have a hard time finding the exact match for this single stick?
    (I'm assuming I'd need to buy the same exact type of memory)

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    Default Re: main PC + rendering config

    The prices of SSD are very low now, I would totally recommend getting at least around 500Gb, you will not even notice when you are running out of space with something smaller, those 250Gb or less are OK for render nodes or such, But as workstation, they get full very quickly.

    Maybe Nikolaos could confirm this, but from my understanding, you will be better to have RAM in pairs, instead of single DIM for these RYZEN CPU.

    Now it may be a good too, look for a little cheaper motherboard and put more money on more RAM. For today's standard 16Gb is cutting it very close. 32Gb will give you the necessary headroom for larger scenes for a couple years to come.
    "It is good to renew one's wonder"

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    Default Re: main PC + rendering config

    A single 16gb module wouldn't make a huge difference in CG apps. Afaik, dual channel in Ryzen systems would have an impact in some games only, but I'm not a gamer, so do a little research on that.

    If one wants to have the ability to upgrade to 64gb RAM in the future and the budget is tight, then yes, a single 16gb dimm would be a wise choice. RAM frequency is said to be much more important in Ryzen systems than dual channel. The downside in this is exactly the fact that these platforms tend to be picky in RAM and pairing a future module with the old one (even if it's exactly the same model sometimes but from a more recent batch) would be a challenge, especially for high frequency RAM. Lower frequency RAM would be easier to match with different kits, but from what I read in various threads, there is a noticeable difference in performance in most scenarios. Maybe a Ryzen user could say more on this issue. I haven't got experience with these new platforms yet.

    I agree with Francisco. A spacious ssd is a good investment.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: main PC + rendering config

    Thanks, Nikolaos and Francisco.

    In that case I'll get a 500GB, better safe than sorry.

    Regarding the RAM, I'm starting to get worried about these incompatibilities. The more I read, the more it seems the Ryzen platform isn't yet as good as Intel regarding this.

    A friend of mine today advised me to wait a few weeks and buy instead the new Intel i7 8700 CPU. I have to admit it didn't even cross my mind, since it's ''only' an hexa-core, but this afternoonI checked a few reviews of the 8700k and it seems quite attractive. My current PC is having some failures, but perhaps it's worth it to wait some time?

    If I understood correctly this CPU has integrated graphics, which perhaps could be enough for Sketchup. That would allow me to not have to buy a graphics card for now, and Ispend that money getting an additional 16GB, to have 32GB RAM right from the start.
    Last edited by fsuarez; October 8th, 2017 at 06:32 PM.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: main PC + rendering config

    Well, you should take everything that you read online with a full spool of salt. I am running two Ryzen machines at home with Zero problems, Just choose your motherboard, go to their manufacturer website and find the recommended RAM for that model that's all. Most of the 'complain' and 'horror stories' that you read online are from Gamers or people trying to Overclock their machines.

    If you are investing all this time and money I would totally recommend to tight your belt a little and just get the 32 G of RAM, it will save you time and headaches, I honestly don't think you will have to buy more RAM later.

    Regarding video card, do not use the one that comes with the CPU, that just a discrete video chip for basic need, no matter what Intell tell you it won't perform well for Sketchup or any advance 3D Software.
    Today you have so many choices of great video card for the decent price. just get 1050Ti as recommended and you'll be fine.
    This will be your workstation, you will be in a deadline with this machine do not be cheap with the tools that feed you
    "It is good to renew one's wonder"

  8. #8
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    Default Re: main PC + rendering config

    Thanks, Francisco.

    I think I'm pretty decided to get a Ryzen 1700, your advice makes all the sense.

    Yesterday I got a call from a rehabilitation center saying that a (extremely long awaited) spot for intensive physical therapy is available, tomorrow morning. It's very sudden, but I've been waiting for a long time, and I immediately accepted, which means that the new PC subject will have to wait until I'm back in 30 days time. I'll get back to this as soon as I'm back at home.

    Thanks again.

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    Default Re: main PC + rendering config

    Hi,

    I wish you luck and success with the therapy!

    The Ryzen is a good choice currently

    regards

  10. #10
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    Default Re: main PC + rendering config

    I'm running two machines on only 100+ GB SSD and still have plenty room to spare with windows, graphics apps and some other minor apps installed on it. All data is stored on an HDD. Of course, if you want to install games and other stuff on it, then you need to go much higher than that.

    Regarding RAM, if you only do simple interiors, 16 GB should be enough, but for bigger scenes I needed to upgrade from 32 to 64 on my machine and after that it could finally breathe again

    Good luck!

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