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CLASSIFIED-TOP SECRET: Operation "ART BEAST"

post #1 of 7
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Here's the scoop, my little sister is an amazing artist. Check out her work here: http://gunnergurl.deviantart.com/

Why am I posting? BECAUSE IT'S TIME TO BUILD HER A NEW MACHINE!

CLASSIFIED-TOP SECRET: Operation "ART BEAST"

She is about to graduate from the Art Institute this spring. She is Majoring in Video Game Design and has dreams of working for Square Enix in the Final Fantasy Franchise or with Nintendo on Zelda, and I know she has the skill and talent to do either, or both.

A couple of months ago I took her dinner at school and she took me to the computer lab to show me an Unreal Tournament level that she had designed. At one point she loaded up the level with the design program so she could run through it with a character just like you would in game. On the school computer this process took about 15 seconds. Later that night when we got back to her apartment I watched as she tried to do the same work in her laptop. When she tried to load up the level the same way she did back at school, the process took over 30 minutes!!!! It was at this point that I told her to let me build her a new computer.

Long story short, her husband was not interested in spending the money on her computer until today. About a month ago Disney posted a flier on the schools job opportunity board. My sister and many of her friends drooled at it and then walked away thinking that they didn't have a snowballs chance in hell. But we convinced her to give it a shot. Well today she was in the 5th and final step to getting a internship with Disney. She needed to submit an assignment, which she had 48 hours to complete. Unfortunately the computer lab at school was closed today, so she had to attempt to complete the project from home, on her Laptop. She was struggling the entire day, the computer kept freezing up and crashing. She lost much of her work, so most of her time was spent re-doing things she had already done 2 or 3 times. She was broken down, in tears but made the deadline and got hew work submitted. That, unfortunately is what it took to get her husband on board.

Lets build this beast!

She will be using the following programs pretty much daily:

Photoshop CS4
Maya 2011
Unreal Engine 3 with UDK editor (Unreal Engine 4 soon)
Zbrush
Xnormal
Unity Marmoset

I'm not super familiar with all these programs myself, but I know that several of them are pretty resource intensive. I want to build her a machine that will run everything she needs right now flawlessly and as newer versions come out down the road, be able to handle them too. I want it pretty future proof, so she can upgrade things down the road, not have to build a whole new computer. And, of course we need to do this on a budget. biggrin.gif

So here's the preliminary build:

CASE:
AZZA Solano 1000R
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811517006 $109.99

CPU:
Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115072 $219.99

COOLER MASTER V6 GT
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103089 $49.99

MOTHERBOARD:
ASUS P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131790 $199.99

VIDEO:
EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 2GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130683 $279.99

POWER:
SeaSonic M12II 620
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817151095 $89.99

RAM:
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231568 $139.99

STORAGE:
Crucial M4 128mb SSD (x2)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148442 $159.99 (x2)

Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB (x2)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136284 $139.99 (x2)


+Windows7 and a few miscellaneous Items: GRAND TOTAL (APPROX) $1,897.87




Totally open to any and all suggestions, especially ways to save money. Thanks in advance for all your help!
Witchdoctor
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Witchdoctor
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post #2 of 7
That looks good but maybe upgrade processor to a 2600k because hyper threading might be better if she's running 3-4 of those programs at once biggrin.gif
post #3 of 7
I concur; a 2600K isn’t an option if you stick on SB. Especially with Maya and Zbrush.
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post #4 of 7
An extra Benny for what 10-15% increase in performance if even that? Stick with the i5. When she needs the extra power just overclock it.

Drop one of those ssds and get a 256 size one as well as one of those Caviar blacks. Install her normal progs on the ssd and keep everything else on the caviar. What are cheap (considering) are those external passport drives. She can get one of those when she needs the extra space.

Here is a different case.. Rosewell will keep it nice and cool.

A different board too.. $50 less Asorck

Ram, i would say go here G.Skill it's $90

How's that so far? thumb.gifbiggrin.gif
Edited by cenpuppie - 4/9/12 at 12:16pm
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post #5 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by cenpuppie View Post

An extra Benny for what 10-15% increase in performance if even that? Stick with the i5. When she needs the extra power just overclock it.

Depending on the software being run, you could easily be talking about better than 15% in performance. She's not gaming, chances are she will be using things that will benefit very much so from the hyper threading. IMO, it would be very wise to go with a 2600K over a 2500K. Besides, the OP asked for future proof and the 2600K falls into that category more so than a 2500K does.
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Missing Sue
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post #6 of 7
Wow she is good. Got me wondering if she can make a Battlefield 3 soldier biggrin.gif
post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by cenpuppie View Post

An extra Benny for what 10-15% increase in performance if even that? Stick with the i5. When she needs the extra power just overclock it.
Drop one of those ssds and get a 256 size one as well as one of those Caviar blacks. Install her normal progs on the ssd and keep everything else on the caviar. What are cheap (considering) are those external passport drives. She can get one of those when she needs the extra space.
Here is a different case.. Rosewell will keep it nice and cool.
A different board too.. $50 less Asorck
Ram, i would say go here G.Skill it's $90
How's that so far? thumb.gifbiggrin.gif

I disagree a bit, especially since we're talking about a workstation build.
Quote:
An extra Benny for what 10-15% increase in performance if even that? Stick with the i5. When she needs the extra power just overclock it.

Extra threads on the 2600k (or 2600, minus overclockability) are huge for a workstation build, that's going to be the best money spent in this build.
Quote:
Drop one of those ssds and get a 256 size one as well as one of those Caviar blacks. Install her normal progs on the ssd and keep everything else on the caviar.

If OP wants to run RAID0, the cost is very similar for double transfer rates. 256GB is a good size for an OS drive + work programs. Troubleshooting issues with a RAID array on someone else's computer can be tedious though.


As for recommendations:
OP, have you considered doing a Micro ATX build? Since you only need 1 PCI slot, you could shave quite a bit off of the case and Mobo prices.

Mobo: ASUS P8P67-M PRO mAtx (The MicroATX version of the Mobo you chose)
RAM: Samsung MV-3V4G3D/US 4x2GB DDR3 Check out the reviews, and every other post on the Intel RAM forum, you can't get better for the money spent.
PSU: Good choice, Seasonic is always solid. I have the same PSU in my HTPC
CPU: 2600k, or 2600--definitely grab the extra threads.
CPU Cooler: The V8 is good, but unless you're looking at a 5.0GHz overclock, the stock heatsink is more than capable of its job, just replace the stock TIM with something good.
HDDs: Can't recommend here, you're the only one who knows her specific storage needs. Go Caviar Green over Black if you're looking to save a bit of cash.
CASE: Get something small (mAtx) with lots of HDD bays. I love my Lian Li A05. Again, you know what she likes, you have creative license here.
Edited by itskerby - 4/9/12 at 4:30pm
     
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