Finally! It's new build time... sort of.

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DarkMellie
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Finally! It's new build time... sort of.

Post by DarkMellie » 28 Dec 2015, 17:45

GLORIOUS EXCITEMENT!

My wife, a professional graphic designer, is in need of a new rig. As part of that, I am going to give her one or both of my 580's and get a new graphics card. So I'm looking for some opinions on best builds for her PC, as well as a new graphics card (and mobo compatibility) for me.


Kelly's rig;

The design goal here is for shit to work when it's clicked, rather than waiting a few minutes for each module to load. Her work is image intensive which I imagine means CPU gruntwork backed by agile RAM. Needs an SSD for the OS and another HDD for files (or SSD if they're now stable enough). Also needs to be able to fit my 580/s. Needs to be an upright tower (to fit the holder in the desk she uses) and that's about all. She has an excellent monitor and peripherals are all sorted.


My card;

Depends on cost. For the entire build (Kel's rig + card) I don't want to go over $2,000 so if that means taking a card that's not slightly top tier then that's fine.. I don't want to pay too much extra for mere slivers of a performance boost. I currently use a Gigabyte GA-Z77X-D3H Mobo with a Core i5-3570k, 3600 MHz CPU, so I hope that's worthwhile running a better card on, and depending on the overall budget, maybe a new CPU might help me handle games like ArmA 3 a little better.


It is more important that Kelly's rig runs than it is for me to get a better graphics card. Any help or thoughts would be welcome. I'd like to send a list to our local PC place and have this all built asap.

Much love <3
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DarkMellie
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Re: Finally! It's new build time... sort of.

Post by DarkMellie » 29 Dec 2015, 12:26

I really need your help here!
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Makena
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Re: Finally! It's new build time... sort of.

Post by Makena » 29 Dec 2015, 14:03

I just recently upgraded, this is what I got and it would probably do the job fine

Intel Core i5 6600K - $360
Gigabyte GA-Z170-HD3 Z170 (or any equiv board, it's mid range ish) - $180
Corsair 16GB (2 x8GB) (I got CMK16GX4M2B3000C15) - $220 (can save $30-$40 here getting slower ram if overclocking will never come into the picture)
SSD, a Samsung 850 EVO, either 250GB (~$140), 500GB (~$250) or 1TB (~$500)

The above cpu doesn't come with a cooler, I recommend a Noctua NH-U12S - $90

Assuming a power supply is needed - Seasonic X-750 80Plus Gold - $230

$1220 - $1590 depending which SSD

Hard drive wise, add $100 - $300, really it's dependent on the size/speed you want
Case -$50 - $300, it's whatever you like the design of, browse PCCG or whatever, any full tower should have more than enough room.

Sub total $1370 - $2290

Video card wise, there's potentially big changes coming next year, so I'd recommend an AMD 390, or an Nvidia 970 GTX if buying now, both are about $500, any brand pissing match comes down to 5-10% (if that) performance difference for most cases. (And would go fine with your current gear)

Total cost $1870 - $2790
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Re: Finally! It's new build time... sort of.

Post by Nacimota » 29 Dec 2015, 17:33

Makena wrote:Assuming a power supply is needed - Seasonic X-750 80Plus Gold - $230
You could go 80 plus titanium for around the same price:

Corsair HX750i https://www.pccasegear.com/products/28764
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Re: Finally! It's new build time... sort of.

Post by Makena » 29 Dec 2015, 17:48

Nacimota wrote:You could go 80 plus titanium for around the same price:

Corsair HX750i https://www.pccasegear.com/products/28764
Verily!

Mostly, if he's ordering locally, brands/specifics might be limited, so mostly the above is a bit ballpark in terms of what to actually get
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DarkMellie
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Re: Finally! It's new build time... sort of.

Post by DarkMellie » 29 Dec 2015, 17:53

Mak, that's brilliant (and Nacimota), unless someone has any stronger ideas I might just run with that and try to whittle it down to under $2,000 for the lot.

With the changes coming, they wouldn't be significant enough that I wouldn't bother with the 970 I presume?
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Re: Finally! It's new build time... sort of.

Post by Makena » 29 Dec 2015, 18:02

DarkMellie wrote:Mak, that's brilliant (and Nacimota), unless someone has any stronger ideas I might just run with that and try to whittle it down to under $2,000 for the lot.

With the changes coming, they wouldn't be significant enough that I wouldn't bother with the 970 I presume?
It's a little unknown exactly how much faster they'll be, but they're moving to a smaller fabrication process next year (AMD is saying Q2 I believe, dunno about nvidia), so they'll be able to fit more logic transistors onto a wafer (so basically given the same size processor chip, it'll be substantially faster).

Now, this won't render a 970 junk, it'll still be a very capable card, and even if you then looked to upgrade in 2017 to a new GPU if you found that it starts lacking.

But, I think it'll take some time for developers to fully crank performance up in games so the 970 will be fine for some time yet.
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Re: Finally! It's new build time... sort of.

Post by Nekosan » 30 Dec 2015, 00:07

IMO just buy whatever tier card you want right now, if you spend all day saying "big changes are coming soon" then you never actually get a decent card.
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Re: Finally! It's new build time... sort of.

Post by Makena » 30 Dec 2015, 00:19

Nekosan wrote:IMO just buy whatever tier card you want right now, if you spend all day saying "big changes are coming soon" then you never actually get a decent card.
You're welcome to recommend people get something like a GTX 980, or a 980 ti then, I entirely disagree and think that would be a silly move. (Also rather challenging given the budget constraints here)

Also, If you don't think 970/390s are decent cards, you're also welcome to give some other options.
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Re: Finally! It's new build time... sort of.

Post by Aetherone » 30 Dec 2015, 11:48

DarkMellie wrote:I am going to give her one or both of my 580's
Nasty :lol:
By modern standards, 580's are hot, extremely power hungry and not terribly fast for the watts or heat. They also have less than stellar idle wattage too.
Be nice to her and jump forward a few generations.
DarkMellie wrote:or SSD if they're now stable enough
I'm not sure what you mean by this? Premium brands have always prioritised reliability over performance.
DarkMellie wrote:Her work is image intensive which I imagine means CPU gruntwork backed by agile RAM.
Can't beat an x99 based rig for raw performance and memory bandwidth. If her software is multithreaded, it will love a 5960x :crazy:
Makena wrote:It's a little unknown exactly how much faster they'll be, but they're moving to a smaller fabrication process next year (AMD is saying Q2 I believe, dunno about nvidia), so they'll be able to fit more logic transistors onto a wafer (so basically given the same size processor chip, it'll be substantially faster).
The other thing NVIDIA is fond of doing is a tick-tock strategy similar to Intel - one generation is faster, the next more efficient.
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Re: Finally! It's new build time... sort of.

Post by DarkMellie » 30 Dec 2015, 15:03

I bought in early to SSDs and had two of them die on me (taking all my game saves with them), so I'm a little uncertain around them.

No idea what x99 is nor how to tell if software is 'multithreaded'.
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Re: Finally! It's new build time... sort of.

Post by Nacimota » 30 Dec 2015, 16:43

x99 is an LGA 2011-3 chipset targeted at very high end workstations. It's true that they deliver excellent performance, but they are also much more expensive; prohibitively so, in my opinion (for the purposes of this discussion anyway).
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Re: Finally! It's new build time... sort of.

Post by DarkMellie » 30 Dec 2015, 17:27

Thanks, x99's disregarded :D
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Re: Finally! It's new build time... sort of.

Post by Matty » 30 Dec 2015, 18:02

Nacimota is correct in that workstation hardware isn't needed here. Workstation hardware is a whole different game, there is a time and a place for that type of hardware and this isn't it. Just to show you how expensive workstation stuff can get, here is an $8000 video card for CAD, and here is AMD's version at $6000 a card, or if Mr Krabs is really feeling it, a 24gb vram Tesla
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Re: Finally! It's new build time... sort of.

Post by DarkMellie » 30 Dec 2015, 18:20

Holy shit, I had no idea such creations existed. I'll remember that should I become rich or when my children leave home.
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Re: Finally! It's new build time... sort of.

Post by Matty » 30 Dec 2015, 18:24

Some guy on reddit was using his dads workstation to try and play GTA5, it had a Quadro M4000 which is $1,500 a card and it only got 20FPS no matter the graphics settings. At work we got bored once and priced up a Dell worksation and maxed it out at $20,000. Fwiw I do CAD work on an i7 930 and a GTX970.
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Aetherone
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Re: Finally! It's new build time... sort of.

Post by Aetherone » 30 Dec 2015, 18:44

Nacimota wrote:It's true that they deliver excellent performance, but they are also much more expensive; prohibitively so
I haven't looked at the pricing since the release of socket 1151 - at that time the x99 was marginally more expensive and far better value for the performance. Looks like the chips are still better $/performance but the AUD has caught up with the motherboards :crazy:
Nacimota wrote:x99 is an LGA 2011-3 chipset targeted at very high end workstations.
High end workstations use a better chipset than x99 which is the high end enthusiast platform. You can tell because x99 only supports one CPU socket :thumbdown:
DarkMellie wrote:I bought in early to SSDs and had two of them die on me
OCZ? (or other budget brand?)
DarkMellie wrote:No idea what x99 is
Alternative Intel product line - high end enthusiast platform with stonking great multithread performance (not to mention massive memory bandwidth and PCI/e - peripheral I/O bandwidth). Since you're looking around i5 gear the x99 options are likely out of budget.
DarkMellie wrote:nor how to tell if software is 'multithreaded'.
That's almost certainly worth knowing - multithreading is whether (and how well) software can use multiple CPUs and/or CPU cores.
Software that's not multithreaded benefits most from core clock speed & memory bandwidth.
Software that is (and properly) benefits extremely well from more cores - doubling the thread count can almost double performance. :dance:

No matter the kit underneath, I'd still drop the 580's to paperweight duties - they're now sitting in 950/960 performance territory and consuming 2-300% of the power to not quite keep up...
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Re: Finally! It's new build time... sort of.

Post by Matty » 30 Dec 2015, 18:58

But the 580's are free and 2 of them are almost overkill for the task of graphic design.
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Re: Finally! It's new build time... sort of.

Post by Nacimota » 30 Dec 2015, 19:00

Aetherone wrote:I haven't looked at the pricing since the release of socket 1151 - at that time the x99 was marginally more expensive and far better value for the performance. Looks like the chips are still better $/performance but the AUD has caught up with the motherboards :crazy:
But if you don't need all that extra performance then it isn't better value. End of story. I don't know the precise details of what the machine is going to be used for, but I would be astonished if an x99 system was in any way justifiable.
Aetherone wrote:
Nacimota wrote:x99 is an LGA 2011-3 chipset targeted at very high end workstations.
High end workstations use a better chipset than x99 which is the high end enthusiast platform. You can tell because x99 only supports one CPU socket :thumbdown:
You're right, I misspoke; workstation is not word I was looking for. Either way, the point still stands: for what DarkMellie wants, x99 is an absurd, over-the-top suggestion.
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Re: Finally! It's new build time... sort of.

Post by DarkMellie » 30 Dec 2015, 19:29

Previous SSDs were bought in the heady days of not having children when I could drop multiple thousands into a rig and not blink an eye.

I can't recall the brand but it was not long after they got to a size that was worth putting in your PC.


Anywho, as stated in the OP, this is a budget build aiming for a medium-high level of performance. The 580s are staying and I'm hoping to work the build such that I can get at least the 970GTX mentioned if not better.
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Re: Finally! It's new build time... sort of.

Post by Aetherone » 30 Dec 2015, 22:14

Matty wrote:But the 580's are free
That may be, is the heat (and thus cooling) and electricity to run them free too? Why waste 100w doing something that 5w can do just as well?
Matty wrote:and 2 of them are almost overkill for the task of graphic design.
Unless the application is actually doing 3D rendering in GPU (or Mrs DarkMellie plays games), they're wild overkill.
Nacimota wrote:But if you don't need all that extra performance then it isn't better value.
This is absolutely true. However, we have no idea what is actually required here. All we've been told is "professional graphic designer" which means fuck all in the grand scheme without actually knowing what software is being used for the graphic design work.

Building a system blind is an utter crapshoot and a runs the risk of wasting money on resources which go unused. Will it benefit from heavy GPU acceleration? Will it benefit from CPU threading? Would the best solution be a massively fast redundant storage array to feed data to the render engine? Is money better spent on high-flite ram or going up a grade in CPU?
Nacimota wrote:I don't know the precise details of what the machine is going to be used for
Precisely. None of us do.
Nacimota wrote:but I would be astonished if an x99 system was in any way justifiable.
Time is money.
$500 is chump change when an hour render drops to 20 minutes and you can start working on the next project while your machine eats the current one.
Nacimota wrote:for what DarkMellie wants, x99 is an absurd, over-the-top suggestion.
For games, sure. All those threads just sit there idle.
For doing real work that earns money, nope. Load that sucker up and generate some income.
DarkMellie wrote:this is a budget build aiming for a medium-high level of performance.
The devil is in the details. Find out the details of what is actually needed and employ a scalpel instead of shotgunning and hoping.
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Re: Finally! It's new build time... sort of.

Post by Makena » 30 Dec 2015, 22:31

Aetherone wrote:Time is money.
$500 is chump change when an hour render drops to 20 minutes and you can start working on the next project while your machine eats the current one
$500 is 25% of the total budget we've been given to work with

Feel free to actually spec up a system using whatever hardware you want and post it here if your think it's required.
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Re: Finally! It's new build time... sort of.

Post by Matty » 30 Dec 2015, 22:47

I feel that this advice has been given by someone who doesn't actually use computers for graphical or computational tasks, but from a PC enthusiast. I'll bite though, Aetherone let's see your suggestions for a computer.
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Re: Finally! It's new build time... sort of.

Post by DarkMellie » 30 Dec 2015, 22:58

No, let's not hear any more from Aetherone. Mak's first post was a perfect example of the kind of loose guidance I'm after... tell me what's current, what fits my budget and then I'll flesh out the details with a bit of research and send the parts list off to the supplier. If anyone wants to bear their wang about how fucking great their rig is, go for your life, I couldn't give a shit about your disposable income versus my own.

Wifey gets one or both 580s, end of discussion, fuck wattage and heat.

So, Kel uses Adobe: InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop. Those three pretty much exclusively. The only game she might ever run would be The Sims 4 or her old favourite, The Movies. The problem with her current rig is that changing any detail on an image is a nightmare of clunky, long response times. The work she does is posters, newspaper ads, theatre guides, etc. I just want her to be able to work on something without having to wait half the day for rendering or whatever the fuck the program is doing at the time.
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Re: Finally! It's new build time... sort of.

Post by Matty » 30 Dec 2015, 23:16

The 580s will be fine for that.

I run a 970 in my machine which still has a i7 930 in it. So far it is working excellent. My CPU is starting to bottleneck only just on some cpu heavy tasks like Ultra Grass in GTA 5, and by that I mean it starts to runs at 45ish FPS and not 60ish. The 390 would be the AMD equiv, you'd probably not notice much difference between the 2 at 1080. I just prefer Nvidia, even though they are pretty much the hitler of hardware.
Last edited by Matty on 30 Dec 2015, 23:47, edited 1 time in total.
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