A New Computer....(maybe)?

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A New Computer....(maybe)?

Post  zyzzy on Tue Apr 17, 2012 7:52 pm

I'm thinking I may try to build myself a desktop PC for my blendering, that seems to be the only way to go, and although I've never done it before, after some research, and watching some how-to vids at Newegg.com, I think i can do it.

I know that this has been discussed to death on every blender forum dating back to 1873, but has anybody got any advice?

The common advice seems to be "go with the most you can afford" and "bigger is always better", but any specifics anybody could give would be appreciated, either blender-specific, or PC building in General.

i'm seriously considering using Linux, quite probably the blender boot build optimized for blender.

Anyway, just in the research stage now, hopefully I can get started later this year.

Thanks
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Graphics Card

Post  BnBGobo99 on Tue Apr 17, 2012 8:12 pm

The only advice I can give is that if you are serious about Linux and sticking with Blender I would go with NVidia. The ATI vs. NVidia fanboy battle is just as old as Apple vs. Microsoft, but from personal experience with both I have had less problems with NVidia than ATI when it comes to Linux and Blender (both separately, not Linux AND Blender together, but both Linux and Blender individually).

I currently use NVidia GeForce GTX 260 1.25GB. It might be different now, but when I installed Ubuntu I chose to enable the free but proprietary driver to enable all the card's features. The driver might be open-source now, but it's hard to live a truly open-source life (especially from a codec standpoint).
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Re: A New Computer....(maybe)?

Post  zyzzy on Tue Apr 17, 2012 8:26 pm

Yeah, I think NVidia is the way to go...my cycles renders are painfully slow, when I bought my current computer, graphics card didn't matter much for blender, so i don't have much.

watching tutorials, blenderguru's for example, i see his machine rendering cycles about 149x faster than me.
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Re: A New Computer....(maybe)?

Post  Xraygunner on Thu Apr 19, 2012 2:31 am

Yeah, it seems that (for pc's anyway) Nvidia and Intel seem to go pretty well together. I'm running a Sandybridge and a couple of Nvidia's in SLI. I'm hoping that Blender will be soon taking advantage of that! One piece of advice I would give would be to get a couple of small SSD's in raid 0 for your operating system and a seperate drive/drives for storage. This way things are nice and fast on the data swapping end. Just make sure that if your interested in rendering out large files you want as much vram as you can get on your card. When I got these I was holding out for a 3gig version, but wound up giving in and going with a 2gig version. Not a big deal for me (at the moment anyway).

Have fun!!!
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Re: A New Computer....(maybe)?

Post  Dobi on Thu Apr 19, 2012 4:50 am

Xraygunner wrote:Yeah, it seems that (for pc's anyway) Nvidia and Intel seem to go pretty well together.
+1 on this one. I'm with the same brand combo, just a couple of years older...

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Re: A New Computer....(maybe)?

Post  zyzzy on Thu Apr 19, 2012 12:00 pm

i saw that newegg has an 8 core amd pretty reasonably priced, but do you all recommend going intel?

I was wondering how much difference there actually was...it seems intel is a bit more expensive than amd.
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Re: A New Computer....(maybe)?

Post  Xraygunner on Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:24 pm

Really, I'm sure that AMD would be just fine. All I can say is that in my experience lately (last 10yrs) I've been involved with Intel/Nvidia and things have worked pretty well. Most of the folks I've talked to in the graphics world that use PC's have been primarily Intel/Nvidia because most of the higher end goodies are geared that way. I truely believe that this will even out in the not too distant future though. It all comes down to how serious you are going to be with all of this. I think I could have gotten away just fine with an AMD setup with the exception of the Adobe products that I used for school (and am currently playing with). From what I've heard, but don't have any practical experience with is that Blender doesn't seem to work real well with ATI cards. This may have been worked out already.

So my bottom line would be that if you are using mostly open source stuff and don't really need the latest and greatest, I'd go AMD/ATI just to save some cash. With that saved cash you could get some nice SSD's and other niceties. Really, secretly I've been wanting to build one just to see how they've progressed since the time that I built one last. Man that was like 1999 I think.

Tell you what. Find someone with an ATI setup and give us both a scene or two to render and maybe that could help you decide. I'm thinking Radial is also running Nvidia hardwell as well. I'd be glad to give it a whirl, just let us know.
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Re: A New Computer....(maybe)?

Post  zyzzy on Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:54 pm

i remember reading a while back how nvidia was the only way to go for blender, but that may have changed some...

does nvidia/intel go together and amd/ati or can you mix 'em up and go nvidia/amd?

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Re: A New Computer....(maybe)?

Post  Xraygunner on Fri Apr 20, 2012 1:34 am

As far as I'm concerned they can be mixed, but one is made to specifically work with the other. I have mixed them before without any trouble.
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Re: A New Computer....(maybe)?

Post  grims on Fri Apr 20, 2012 5:20 am

Im not gonna get into a whole bunch about what you should buy thats just preference one piece of advise i will give you is try not to build it in a carpeted room ive shortened the life of many boards due to static elec.
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Re: A New Computer....(maybe)?

Post  Radialronnie on Fri Apr 20, 2012 12:14 pm

ive shortened the life of many boards due to static elec.
yes, yes, yes. Be completely obsessive about protecting your equipment before and during assembly, and after as well. Don't ever vacuum your PC case out with a normal vacuum cleaner.

About the nVidia/Ati questions ^ I have read, and have had personal experience with the problems that can arise with trying to install ATI drivers with variations of Linux. The problem for you is that most linux builds vary from each other, and driver availability between various cards can also be different. So in short, make sure you can find an appropriate driver Before buying the card.

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Re: A New Computer....(maybe)?

Post  Xraygunner on Fri Apr 20, 2012 7:25 pm

Good point... matter of fact, I did (long ago) try a version of linux and my video card that worked fine with windows suddenly didn't do so well with linux. The performance was "ok", but it made this VERY high pitched whine and within a week or two it died. Maybe coincidence, but just thought it is worth noting that drivers and their milage may vary!
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Re: A New Computer....(maybe)?

Post  Xraygunner on Wed Apr 25, 2012 6:10 pm

Sooooo, how's it going? scratch
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Re: A New Computer....(maybe)?

Post  zyzzy on Wed Apr 25, 2012 8:22 pm

Xraygunner wrote:Sooooo, how's it going? scratch

overwhelming.

i'm still pricing/spec-ing when i get the chance...it keeps adding up to too much.

it is overwhelming though, there are what, about 8 - 10 different components, and there are 1,542,618 different items of each component so that's like 1,542,618 ^ 1,542,618 of choices i have to make!!!
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Re: A New Computer....(maybe)?

Post  Xraygunner on Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:38 am

Ummm, yeah. It's like that! Bottom line is that it comes down to price vs performance and what your idea of performance is. To some it is rendering out a full 4k movie in a couple of weeks! To others they would really like to make a one frame one hour render into a couple of minute deal. The latter is very feasable and the former is too, just not on the ONE machine that you're wanting to build.

Keep it up... it'll be worth it. Twisted Evil
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Don't Forget the Memory!

Post  Strangebloke on Fri Apr 27, 2012 9:11 am

Z I'm a bit late in on this one but here's my contribution.

You're probably already aware but.... RAM. Lots of it.

Some of the nature scenes I've been doing recently have had to be reduced in detail, subsurf and otherwise, to get a single picture to render in 8Gb. Blender really doesn't like it if it goes into the swap file. Even if it doesn't crash you get weird unusable results.

Having been sat up till 1:30am last night finding out just how many plants on a forest floor my PC could manage without blowing all the RAM I thought I'd chip in Smile

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Re: A New Computer....(maybe)?

Post  Xraygunner on Sat Apr 28, 2012 3:23 pm

Lol!! Yet, another great point. Speed in that department is good, but more ram (in this case) is better...cheaper too!
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Re: A New Computer....(maybe)?

Post  zyzzy on Sat Apr 28, 2012 4:58 pm

I know, EVERYTHING is definitely "more is better"...then more goodies means a bigger PSU, more fans, etc.

it is kinda fun though trying to figure it out, even if it is a little intimidating.

I set aside part of my tax refund check for this, and I'm thinking i may save that and wait just a little while...usually in the summer months i am forced to work a lot of overtime, which results in a little extra cash

i've been looking a lot online, soon i'll make some decisions and maybe get some advice on what i've picked before i buy.
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Might Be Worth Waiting

Post  Strangebloke on Sun Apr 29, 2012 9:37 am

Intel just launched a new generation of CPUs. Will drop the price on the old ones in a little while

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Re: A New Computer....(maybe)?

Post  Xraygunner on Sun Apr 29, 2012 6:53 pm

Hey, if you haven't done it already it's been helpful for me to make an account at Newegg and then start making a wishlist. You can update it as often as you want. The best part is that you can compare hardware and get all the biased and non-biased reviews you can stomach. All in all it's a very nice tool. Not to mention their prices are some of the best out there.

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Re: A New Computer....(maybe)?

Post  zyzzy on Sun Apr 29, 2012 6:56 pm

Good idea.

i've been doing most of my shopping at Newegg with a little bit at tigerdirect. the funny thing is, last time i was on, i was wishing there was a way to save what i'd looked at in a way that could keep a running total, and i'd also be able to compare..

i never thought about a wishlist. i've ordered stuff before from newegg, but quite a while ago, i'll track it down and do that though...

thanks!
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Re: A New Computer....(maybe)?

Post  Xraygunner on Mon Jun 25, 2012 1:21 am

So, how's this project going? I'm guessing all the thrills of life took over for a while?
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Re: A New Computer....(maybe)?

Post  zyzzy on Mon Jun 25, 2012 11:11 am

yep. you guessed it.


here's the thing. i got everything added up and it was all around $900, which was cool because i had thought i'd like to keep it under $1000......so of course, i went back and changed up some stuff until it was around $1100....and then i get to thinking how i haven't even turned my current computer on in weeks, and how that's a lot of money for something that i never seem to get to use....and, i've been working on a lot of different projects around the house requiring lots of time and money, so yeah, life got in the way.

I still have my wishlist saved at newegg, and occasionally i'll take a look at it and make a few changes, but its kinda on hold for now.
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Re: A New Computer....(maybe)?

Post  Xraygunner on Tue Jun 26, 2012 12:58 am

Ahhh, been there! Maybe I need to import my thread "What's Holding You Back?". Lol!! Just kidding... I really know how that one goes! I've been going back and forth on the road to artistic redemtion for a few years now. Slow and steady wins the race!! cheers
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Re: A New Computer....(maybe)?

Post  zyzzy on Sat May 11, 2013 10:09 pm

okay, so i'm still thinking about this....more so every time i try to do any cycles renders, especially when i'm watching a tutorial and it takes the teachers computer 11 seconds to render something and takes my computer 19 hours (slight exaggeration for effect....very slight).

one of the reasons i've been putting it off is my new job. I actually took a pay cut to start, but i get a raise every 6 months for 4 years until i get to top pay, and each raise is bigger than the last, and I always think...if i wait a few months i'll have more to spend.... so....just a few more months.. ha.


but i do have a question for those in the know.......


Say i decide i want to spend $400 for a graphics card, would it be better to buy one card for $400, or to buy 2 $200 cards?

any ideas?
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Re: A New Computer....(maybe)?

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