Help building a system

By nixer_nixer
May 28, 2008
  1. Hello all, I need help selecting some hardware components for my first build.

    I am an industrial designer and very hands on, I run a small design/build furniture and interiors studio in san juan PR and we do some very cool stuff but could use better 3D tools as the old 8200 (nobody laugh) Dells I bought many years ago are at the end of their lifespan and we are running rhino and maxwell render but with some difficulty and very long render times.

    Basically, I need a powerful machine to run graphics programs, Autocad, Photoshop as well (and more importantly) Rhino/Maxwell render. We do still image 3ds of furniture and interiors.

    Ive done some research and have come up with some main components but am not sure if all is compatible. Im guessing the most important will be the combination of CPU/Mobo/Videocard so here it goes . Tips on other components also appreciated.

    This is what Im thinking: Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 Wolfdale 3.16GHz on an Asus Rampage Formula LGA 775 X48 ATX Intel Motherboard. EVGA 512-P3-N862-AR GeForce 9600GT

    Im pretty sure im just guessing at this so i will really appreciate a push in the right direction.
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    You have an excellent start. But be sure you buy a case with adequate room, and extra space for cooling fans. Most important device is the power supply. Do as well with your power supply as you have with the CPU. Then you will want better than average optical drive... might consider the new and expensive Blues... A Seagate or Western Digital 500 Gb to 700 GB to 1 TB of hard drive space with a backup drive as well... SATA of course. The Seagate has a five-year warranty whereas the Western Digital and others have a three year at best. Then be sure you have a top CPU fan and heat sink. I like the high end Zalman, but there are many. Memory is very important. Get as least 4 GB of a known brand such a Crucial, Kingston, OCZ, Corsair, etc. Be sure to check the ASUS website. They have restrictions of memory that will work for some of their boards. In fact, I would get an Intel or Gigabyte board over the ASUS gaming board.
    Good luck. You will likely get a lot of advice on this one on this forum. So wait for all the thinkers to post.
  3. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,481   +44

    Well for bandwidth performance as far as memory Asus is on top and Abit right after. Obviously you're looking to get ddr3, that should help out some, not a huge difference over ddr2 unless you're getting 1800+ on the megahertz with the ram.

    Btw, which OS will you be using?
  4. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    Bandwidth will not make any real difference for Autocad, Photoshop, and Rhino/Maxwell render. You just want to make sure the memory you buy will work on the ASUS board.
  5. nixer_nixer

    nixer_nixer TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Actually I was thinking ddr2,and getting up to 8 gigs. is that a bad choice. I guess I could start at the asus site to see which cpu/ and vidoe cards will fit the board right.

    As for OS, Im weary of VIsta, Up to now all Ive used is 2000-then for the las few yrs XP. I dont thing I would be feasible staying with XP, would it. What OS would u recommend.
    Also, what would be the most important factors for the mache to produce good quality renders in a faster period. Sometimes my asistant (the one who really knows a little 3D ...will leave it rendering overnight but pic still look grainy.
  6. nixer_nixer

    nixer_nixer TS Rookie Topic Starter

    For case i was looking at the Coolermaster Cosmos with a 750w P supply.
  7. matt1522

    matt1522 TS Rookie Posts: 81

    In the past I have had trouble with coolmaster, but I only delt with the once after my coolmaster crapped out I moved on to corsair and it has not failed me. but like I said I only had one coolmaster psu.

    As for Os I would stay with Xp if possible because Vista while it looks good is going to use more resources if they are there to use(but I also think that Xp has a limit on ram it supports) .
  8. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    There is no significant difference, yet, between motherboards using DDR2 and DDR3.
    The CoolerMaster is not among the top tiers of power supplies, but the Cosmos appears to be am excellent unit that will work fine. for anyone not involved in intensive, high-end gaming. I would consider Seasonic, the FSP Group, Corsair, PC Power and Cooling, Zalman, OCZ and others that are listed in the PSU thread on this forum.
    VISTA is not significant now. But I see that Adobe Photoshop is soon coming out with CSV 4 which is designed for VISTA ... so the trend for upgrades in design software is moving that way.
  9. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,689   +395

    I think you will be fine with Vista, that machine is plenty capable of running it well. XP and Vista 32 bit versions have RAM limits of 4GB and somewhere around 2.8-3.2 of that are usable. So if you are considering 4 or more you definately need to get a 64bit OS, either 64bit Vista or XP.

    I like the 9600GT. Generally for heavy CAD work you don't want a gaming card, and instead a card specifically designed for rendering. Problem is with that, to get a card that will perform better than a gaming card in CAD you have to spend an incredible amount of money. I guess they figure companies that design stuff for others will just pass the card cost onto consumers so it doesn't matter how much they charge.

    You don't need a 700W PSU to run that either. I'd feel confident with a PC Power&Cooling, Enermax above 475W or to a lesser extent an Antec or a Corsair. Apparently Corsair has a good 650W for less than $100.
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