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Old 01-19-2010, 06:06 PM   #1
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Default Workstation cards

So I am going to help a friend build a computer. He said he is going to use for his graphics design major, so he will be using programs like 3DS Max, Maya, etc (not sure which one his school will teach him).

Now, the problem is that I have no idea what is good, bad, or best band for the buck when it comes to workstation cards. I am more game oriented, and IIRC, game oriented cards would not perform as good when paid the same price. Any information on how to tell whats good, bad, or best bang for the buck would be helpful.

Thanks in advance.

EDIT -

Parts -
SAMSUNG SYNCMASTER 2333SW - $199
Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade 64-bit - $30 (The one I got with the student email)
CORSAIR CMPSU-550VX 550W - $79.99
CORSAIR XMS3 4GB (2 x 2GB) - $104.99
Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB X2 - $111.98
LG Black 22X DVD+R - $25.99
COOLER MASTER RC-690 - $79.99

Total so far - $632.93 Not including shipping.
Still need CPU, Motherboard, and GPU, and maybe a couple of extra fans as the CM690 only offers like 3 fans, and could have 7 fans total.

I was thinking of getting either the AMD Phenom II X4 955 instead of the Intel i5 750 because it only has about 2.1 difference on the benchmark (not sure if that is a huge or small difference, but it's about $40 difference in price).
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Old 01-19-2010, 06:14 PM   #2
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Default Re: Workstation cards

You'll definitely want a lot of memory for this build (remember that anything over 4GB will require the use of a 64 bit OS in order to utilize it properly) and a fast (and large capacity) hard drive(s).
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Old 01-19-2010, 06:17 PM   #3
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Default Re: Workstation cards

He told me his budget is about $1000, not sure if that includes shipping/tax or not. I thought that would be a pretty decent budget to build, but then he said he also needs an monitor. So it's really about $750 to build.
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Old 01-19-2010, 06:24 PM   #4
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Default Re: Workstation cards

For what your friend wants to do with the PC, I would put more resources into CPU, RAM and hard drive(s) than a video card as what he will be doing is more CPU/RAM intensive than anything else. I would still get a decent video card, but i wouldn't make it the focus of the build. Do you have any components in mind yet?
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Old 01-19-2010, 06:31 PM   #5
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Default Re: Workstation cards

Not yet. Currently, I am searching on them now to see which ones would perform better on programs like 3DS max while keeping in mind of the budget.
Currently, I am thinking of an i5 750, 4GB of ram (8GB seems over his budget), and 2 500GB (one of them would be for back up in case one drive fails). Might change some stuff later on though if it starts to go over the budget.
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Old 01-19-2010, 06:35 PM   #6
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Default Re: Workstation cards

Cool, let us know what you come up with.
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Old 01-19-2010, 07:12 PM   #7
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Default Re: Workstation cards

Well, I got stuck, so I posted what I have found so far. I need you guys help to add, remove, and make any changes that would be good for 3D programs, and be about $1000.
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Old 01-19-2010, 07:25 PM   #8
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Default Re: Workstation cards

Quote:
Originally Posted by cboucher View Post
For what your friend wants to do with the PC, I would put more resources into CPU, RAM and hard drive(s) than a video card as what he will be doing is more CPU/RAM intensive than anything else. I would still get a decent video card, but i wouldn't make it the focus of the build. Do you have any components in mind yet?
I would have to disagree with this. My dad works with this stuff and he's really focused on CPU/RAM/Video card. I recommend an i5, 8GB, and an nVidia Quadro FX card. He could probably get away with a 3xxx series, but a 4xxx would be nicer.

edit: Scratch that, I re-read the program names. Nothing like CATIA (3D Modeling) nor VR (EON Reality)? He could probably use an nVidia Quadro FX1800. However, he won't get very far with that in his major. $1k is EXTREMELY limited. You're looking at at least $3k for a decent build.
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Old 01-19-2010, 07:25 PM   #9
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Default Re: Workstation cards

I'd go with the 955, especially if he can OC. This thing is insanely fast for 3d applications, and apparently it beats a 920. As far as mobo, I think newegg still has an open box M4A79T deluxe for $135.
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Old 01-19-2010, 07:26 PM   #10
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Default Re: Workstation cards

Quote:
Originally Posted by JogaBonito1502 View Post
I recommend an i5, 8GB, and an nVidia Quadro FX card.
Problem with that is that's about $600 already, and he still needs a monitor, motherboard, case, PSU, etc.
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