HELP, need to decide fast! Alienware Area 51 TR vs Custom Built? - Page 3 - Overclock.net - An Overclocking Community

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HELP, need to decide fast! Alienware Area 51 TR vs Custom Built?

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post #21 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-21-2017, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by pser View Post

Doing some research, it seems alienware tr comes already overclocked.

I looked


32GB Quad Channel HyperX™ DDR4 XMP at 2933MHz; up to 64GB (additional memory sold separately)


overclocked a bit to 2933. You do want/need quad channel.
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post #22 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-21-2017, 06:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mumford View Post

I looked


32GB Quad Channel HyperX™ DDR4 XMP at 2933MHz; up to 64GB (additional memory sold separately)


overclocked a bit to 2933. You do want/need quad channel.

Too bad, I was reaching my budget limit, I bought the configuration above.
Well, if the 4 channel it's a drastic improvement, I can always upgrade later.
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post #23 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-22-2017, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Zer0CoolX View Post

"Cinema 4D + X-Particles + Arnold, Blender 3D, Adobe CC, Affinity Photo & Designer, Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve & Fusion, 3Ds Max"

Wouldnt these apps benefit from a workstation class GPU vs a gaming GPU?

Have you looked at any workstation PC's with similar specs? I did a quick search and it does appear most use Intel CPU's though you may be able to find AMD TR based ones if you search for them. You may consider a custom built one from any of the many vendors who make custom builds (I know you could do it yourself for less, but again the extra money is for warranty/support).

I mention this as workstation GPU's like quadro offer the added benefit of drivers tailored to give the best results using software like you are using. Thats why they are usually more expensive for what seems like (and is) often less hardware.

There are no special Quadro drivers for Cinema 4D that buy you anything. I can't speak for 3DS Max or the others, but he did list that last. Quadros cost a lot more and techs inside Maxon have said they're a waste of money.

And sure Xeons are supposed to be more reliable and they support ECC RAM. I guess it depends on what the OP is doing. Designing important parts of buildings? Me? In the end, I just make what amounts to pretty pictures. A flipped bit isn't going to cause a building to come crashing down, or screw up a spaceflight. I don't need ECC RAM. My 7 year old i7-980X has been so utterly reliable that there's no way to go up from there. Sure, I wouldn't notice if some bit secretly flipped and made 1 pixel slightly darker...lol. Nor would I care.

If you price Xeons vs Core i9 (sorry I didn't look at Threadrippers but they're even cheaper) you find that they're much more expensive for the same Cinebench score. If the OP works in a big office, with an expense account, and the company is buying the PC, then yeah, go for Xeons, Quadros, whatever. If they are a small freelance professional, like myself, it only makes sense to spend money on what gives you the most bang for the buck.

AMD fanbois can back off now because I'm not going to get into that seriously here, but after hearing a little here and a little there, with respect to the apps I use, it makes sense to be a little tiny bit conservative. Not Xeon conservative...LOL. But there are enough choices out there that I steer clear of AMD.

And I did look briefly at that Alienware... is everything upgradable normally... with that weird case? I'm usually all for weird, but that sorta bugged me for some reason. I'm really pleased with how my Puget build is going, but then I don't have all my eggs in one basket. I have 2 other usable machines if I have to order a replacement part for this one. Not that I've had to replace even a fan on my 4 leaf clover of a 980X...LOL. And I even bought spare fans just in case. I know, I lucked out. But it just goes to show... buy quality components - a good motherboard, a good power supply (not some no-name thing and go for 1000w), etc. and you have a chance at excellent reliability.

Just my 2 cents.
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post #24 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-22-2017, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by pser View Post

Oh yes, I'm well aware of that. For instance, with the difference I could already squeeze in a second 1080ti.
But what's holding me back is the fact that this time is for work, bad luck happens and it happened. When I built my current box, after a month the mother board failed. I had to unmount all the pieces, ship the Mobo to Asus (pay for the shipment), wait about a month for a replacement (which didn't look like a new Mobo but rather a refurbished) rebuild the machine and pray that everything would work. If that would happen today I would lose money on the job.
So, yes, I totally agree that the Alienware is over priced, but that price is something I have to take into account as time and piece of mind from a professional standpoint.

I hear ya. And I lucked out all around with my 7 year old build. I had one HD out of 4 DOA and replaced quickly. I threw everything else together in one day and it booted first time and has been an utter rock. But I have physical issues at the moment and time constraints, so I had to pay for someone else to build something for me. It just wasn't worth the hassle for me to try to deal with it. Sure, I'm paying more. In the end, ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

Though I'm not one to be initially inclined to send my whole box back to someone to fix. I honestly don't know how that works. Even when I bought Gateways when I had an office job, we never had one fail inside warranty that was anything other than something we could replace so much easier ourselves, but then maybe we were lucky. I also had a dozen boxes and minions. ;-> Right now, I'll buy a replacement for whatever ends up breaking and have it overnighted from Amazon so minimal down time. I try to keep spare fans around. I used to keep spare power supplies. But it does seem sometimes that I live a charmed life hardware-wise (nature makes up for it in wetware maladies tho...LOL)

Also... if your job relies on it... it makes sense to always have a capable backup machine. I'm guessing you'll still have your original Xeon box as a backup? And if it's rendering, you can use one of those cloud render services in a pinch. Might not always be the optimal solution, but better than losing a job.
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post #25 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-23-2017, 02:12 PM
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Hi;
I'd never personally buy another desktop
Pre-built only a laptop.

As long as one is talking about (in store warranties) I'd agree with pre-built pc might be best or at least the easiest to deal with
If one has a problem just take it back and swap it out for another
Never actually works like that though it's a wait to diagnose and repair at best.

Manufacture warranties aren't very owner friendly seeing there might be shipping involved and wait time between.
RMA is never fun in that respect on either on separate components or as a whole.

Why I just assemble my own now smile.gif

I might add now days it's even worse seeing it's always been all of the manufacture crapware that made machines near useless
Now we have MS cramming as much in them with win-10
So it's double dose of crapware to deal with biggrin.gif

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post #26 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-23-2017, 03:05 PM - Thread Starter
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@ Athena: thanks for your chiming in.
Agreed, Quadro is a choice I don't want to do anymore. Don't get me wrong, they are good video cards, stable. But that's it. I guess if you want performance you need to throw a lot of money going with the top of the line? Not sure. A the time, I spent around $800. It was about 4 years ago for a Quadro K4000 - for comparison, today with $700 I bought a GTX 1080ti turbo 11GB. There are some optimized drivers for 3ds Max and I tried them at some point. There was some little gain over the generic drivers, but not tremendous. At the same time, I was seeing my colleagues working with GTX cards and rendering faster than me. All the talk about precision and stability with the Quadro is something I personally don't think matters one bit with my job. Yes, I do motion graphics and 3d renders. All the things that we do in After Effects to cover the dirty, mistakes and whatnot make any little glitch secondary. Plus, not that I see glitches when I render with the so-called gaming PC smile.gif

And at the time I went with Xeons. Again, stable, I left the machine (a server-type custom built box) running for days (hot days during the summer), 24hr straight, rendering for a project. It didn't break a sweat. That said, I now face a problem of speed with plugins like X-Particles, where i9 are better (and supposedly, TR as well). So, again, yes stable solution but I don't care too much. I haven't seen an i9 being less stable yet. Faster? yes smile.gif So, no more Xeon for me. Unless, again, you spend a lot of money and go with the top, but I'm only mortal smile.gif

As for the AMD. It's funny that you mention your Puget computer. Their articles on the Threadripper has been one of those that convinced me to go with TR smile.gif
I checked C4D specific forum, asked people who already use TR, checked benchmark (although I give benchmark only relative importance) and everywhere it comes down to the Threadripper being an exceptional CPU. And this comes from a person like me who never liked AMD (well, especially their Radeon). I always bought Intel. But I also think there's always a chance for brands to catch up. So, I think the TR is a great CPU, but of course, I will only able to say after I receive the Alienware. The thing is, I don't think can be worse than a good i9 (and for comparison, the TR 1950x has a better score than the i9-7920x).
The Alienware weird case: yes, at first it looked strange to me as well, but then I looked at the job they did and I was like "this doesn't look bad at all".



It's actually cool! smile.gif
But the thing is, after all, it doesn't matter how the case looks. I use it for my work, once I start working I forget about the case (as long as is silent enough, of course).

@TrashZone: Believe me, Dell's support is a different story. That's what makes the extra $400 worth it. You call them, if it's a hardware problem, you get someone on-site the next business day. I used their support in the past. Now, unless something has changed (and theoretically hasn't, I have spoken with them and they confirmed it still works the same), their support is still unmatched.
But then I don't understand: if you say RMA is never fun (and I totally agree with that), how come you prefer to build your own pc now? If you a component needs to be repaired or changed, you still have to deal with manufacturer's warranty and RMA.
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post #27 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-23-2017, 04:21 PM
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Thanks for all the info. A lot of people have helped me over the years or at least listened to me babble, so I like to pay it forward. I like to keep up on real-world reports of things by people in similar situations. That's useful data to pass on. All my research pointed to the 1080 Ti being the most bang for the buck currently. I'll probably add one (or 2 if I can keep it all cool) to my old 980X and give Octane a try.

Thanks for the pics! I actually never saw inside one. It's roomier than I thought! Pretty sweet. I did look at that very machine but since I'd just then given up on building myself I was still too picky about individual parts. I checked my last home build against their price 7 years ago and I saved $4k. Today... nowhere near as much. So you paid more, but not horrifically more. I did used to like the old more "Alien" marketing back then, even though I don't see how I found that case attractive...LOL. But back then, in some screaming color, it rocked.

Yeah Puget has some great write-ups on... well just about everything. They're a great company that's luckily just 30 min south of me. I considered AMD for my older build, but the numbers didn't come up favorable. Ages ago I had an... what was it that really rocked, the Athlon? I just primarily despised their graphics cards and mostly due bad experiences with the drivers early on. And I was deep, deep down in things getting them to run on Unix, etc. It formed a deep-seated, and now probably unfounded hatred...lol. Gotta pick one, and if they're close, go with what you know. And with what a lot of your peers use, in case you have troubles. So I stick with Nvidia.

Yeah C4D being mostly single-threaded for modeling and plugins does kinda suck, and really ruled out some of those Xeon that had good render scores but crappy single core. And cost way more. The i9's (and probably the comparable TR) had such a nice balance of good single core and good multi. Sure it's not the beast my 7 yr old i7-980X was in it's day, but it'll last me for a while. I could've gone with a faster i9 but it starts to be too much $ for very little performance increase. And considering Octane, it was better to save $ for some more 1080 Ti's.

Interesting to hear about Dell support and glad to hear that sort of thing is still being done these days (not that I'll ever return to the corporate office world). I started back in the mainframe days and IBM would come out at 3am to fix things. Support was expensive, machines were expensive, but daaaaaay-um were they totally freaking bulletproof. Engineered like tanks. It sucked because as a curious 17 year old, things were the most fun when they broke...lol. Then I got to learn things. Not that I didn't take everything apart when working 3rd shift...LOL.

Hope you like your Alien! Run Cinebench on it yet?
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post #28 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-23-2017, 04:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey Athena,

I'll reply quickly as I'm a little in a rush, if I can, I'll be happy to expand later.
The alienware has not arrived yet, I ordered it only a couple of days ago.
It just caught my attention that you mentioned Octane. I used it quite a lot this year for the companies I worked for. It's a great solution for individuals but if you haven't bought it yet, my advice is to give a look at Redshift and possibly Arnold. I understand you use Lightwave (nice gallery by the way), I think they should both be available for your host. Also, the news for Lightwave seem exciting for January! ;-)
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post #29 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-23-2017, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by SavantStrike View Post

I just wouldn't trust them to put a quality unit in, so add 20 percent to what you need so it's not being thrashed during long work sessions.

The PSU is a Delta PSU and most if not all Delta PSU's are built like a tank. Op should be fine.

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post #30 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-23-2017, 04:43 PM - Thread Starter
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The PSU is a Delta PSU and most if not all Delta PSU's are built like a tank. Op should be fine.

That's a very interesting information, thanks for sharing!
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