CG Workstation – The “Pro” Q4 2014

Based on Intel i7-5820K – Q4 2014

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Over the last couple of years, the 3930K recommended built along with its 4390K update was easily the most popular post in this site. Better late than never, this post will try to bring the old fav. up to 2014 standards, being based on the new 6-core star from intel, the affordable yet formidable 5820K.

This built is an attempt to produce a well-rounded performer that will serve most CG artists, video and image editors looking for a machine that will set them back around $2,000 before OS & US Taxes. This setup assumes that the user will be utilizing lots of CPU threads, thus focusing more on multithreaded performance being based on a 6C/12T intel CPU and the s2011-3 platform – also known as Haswell-E.

If your focus is not to render locally, rather producing models on any 3D modeling package for CG or CAM, photo editing with PS, illustrating with AI or focusing on producing architectural models with software packages like Revit & ArchiCAD without worrying too much about producing elaborate 3D visualizations yourself, going the s2011-3 route instead of the s1150 with our cheaper $1000 & 1500 workstation options you are not getting the best bang for your investment. All of the above packages care little about having lots of threads, and focus on the absolute performance of one core.

Sorry for being repetitive, but my focus on most of my articles is to save my readers time but also money – and you can do so without cutting any corners in actual delivered performance. No, spending more money on your workstation built (either home-built, ordered or OEM) won’t get you necessarily better performance, and unfortunately most businesses out there, from the small corner shop to Dell and Apple have no incentive in letting you believe otherwise.

That said and out of the way, lets move to our suggested configuration in summary:

$2000 (or around there) CG Workstation – Q3 2014

Processor Intel i7-5820K Hex Core 3.3GHz
6 Cores, 12 Threads @ 3.6Hz Turboboost
Motherboard Asus X99-A
Cooling Corsair H110 CLC or Noctua NH-D15
GPU Asus STRIX GTX970 4GB
Memory 32GB Crucia DDR4 2400 (4x8GB)
System Drive Samsung 850 EVO-Series 500GB
Storage Drive WD Black 1 TB 7200rpm SATA
Case Fractal Design Define R4
Power Supply Cooler Master V750 80+ Gold
Operating System Windows 7 or 8.1 Pro 64-bit

 

44 thoughts on “CG Workstation – The “Pro” Q4 2014

  1. Hey, I bought this configuration and I want to thank you for finding this out. It gave me the oppertunity to work at home for an fair price. Thanks and have a nice holiday! Reinier

  2. Hi Dimitri, Just want you to say that as of the beginning of this year I am using a self-built workstation with your configuration, with a few changes! Using the pricesaving 750ti GTX a bit overclocked, Seagate 1TB drive and the noctua DH15 for cooling. The noctua is great, I overclocked the 5820k(3.3 Ghz btw) to a stable 4.5Ghz and temps never go beyond 70 degrees, when rendering. The processor really is a beast, with a CPU benchmark from Passmark score of 16150! I want you to thank you for this time-saving site and keep up the good work! Bests, Dave Vidi Visuals

  3. hello, I’m building this configuration but i couldn’t find the Corsair h110, i had to buy a COOLER MASTER Nepton 240M, is this ok? well they almost have the same price, i think this could be ok. but i want your opinion, i found your website and i recommended with my frinds, it is very helpful. Also i dont if anyone had notice that the 32GB CruciaDDR4 (4x8GB) link is wrong, it takes you to a Kingston HyperX FURY 16GB Kit (2x8GB) 1866MHz DDR3 link. speaking of ram memory…I bought Crucial Ballistix Sport 16GB Kit (8GBx2) DDR4 2400 MT/s KIT for starting, im planning to reach the 32 gb you recommend us in this configuration or more… well thank you for reading me and for everything you do with this website.

  4. Would there be much benefit to upgrading to the 5930K for the additional price? In your opinion, is the 5820K the “best bang for your buck” kind of thing? I love this setup though, sounds like a beast! I’m close the pulling the trigger on this. I’d go for the Noctua D15 though, mostly because I can’t find the Kelvin available anywhere in Canada.

    • The way I see it, there are very diminishing benefits going for the 5930K. Only differences are the base clocks & the less PCIe lanes you find in the 5820K, but there are no tests that prove that to be beneficial for the 5930K. For single and dual GPU configurations the PCIe is not even a limitation, for Tri-SLI etc configurations – again – real life tests show little to no differentiation. The PCIe bandwidth is not the bottleneck in pretty much any scenario, and gaming is perhaps the most demanding of those. For GPGPU compute, even 1x PCIe 3.0 lane is sufficient. Now, for base clocks, having a decent CPU cooler will allow you to overclock either CPU easily above the stock clocks, and the 5930K doesn’t appear to have any real advantage in clocking higher or with lower voltages over the 5820K, so – in my eyes and with the data currently out – I see almost zero pragmatical reasoning fro getting the 5930K: it is either all-out with the 5960X, or the great value offer of the 5820K.

  5. Hi Dimitri! Can you give your two cents on the difference between the ASUS x99 A, Pro and Deluxe? I was considering buying the Pro for the wifi and some ports.

    • Well, the boards appear to be identical in most stuff that count: same power delivery specs (so the X99-A is not gimped as far as OC potential goes), same number of USB 3.0, native SATA 3 etc. Pro & Deluxe add the WiFi, the fancier metal shields over the I/O ports & connect heatsinks with heatpipes (don’t know how better that makes them) and Sata Express (1x for Pro & 2x for Deluxe). The latter might appeal to some that already have such drives, but I would go for a new M.2 drive if I wanted all-out SSD performance.

  6. Thanks so much! I may go for the pro for the wifi alone, since I might be moving the PC around. Just one more doubt, would the M.2 require any specific SSD, or is it a standard thing?

  7. Hi Dimitris, First of all, thank you for your awesome site! Researching PC builds has been an absolute nightmare for me and your site has been one of the most comprehensive and useful for building a 3D design workstation. Anyway, I’m wondering of you could offer some friendly advice by recommending parts for a modest workstation say between $800 – $1000 please? I mainly want to use it for 3D modelling (and rendering) using 3ds Max 2014, Zbrush 4R6, Photoshop and Illustrator. I pretty much have the software covered (including the OS) but need help on deciding for parts as of Q1-Q2 2015. If you could offer your advice, I would really appreciate it! Many thanks…

    • I would suggest cutting down on the http://pcfoo.com/2014/11/1500-cg-workstation-q3-2014/ suggested $1500 workstation, to suit your needs. Mobo can be H97 chipset based, GPU could be a GTX 750Ti or R9 270, SSD swapped for a 1TB HDD. Last but not least, case doesn’t need to be fancy. The 4790K is a good value, so I would do my best to keep it on. Otherwise, just go for the $1000 workstation with the s1150 V3 Xeon. Nothing really changed since.

      • You’re a gentleman Demitri! Thank you for your prompt response and sound advice. I really appreciate it and trust your knowledge. Yeah, I didn’t think there would be that much change since Q3 2014, but thought I would ask just in case. I love the site and will keep tuned in. Thanks again and have a great weekend…

  8. hello Dimitris, thank you for all your great tips’ and your wonderful site, i am a cg artist, doing a lot of 3d visualization for architecture, using 3dsmax and vray, (not vray RT!), i built my workstation using your tips: cpu- i7 4930k, motherboard- gigabyte x79-up4, 32gb ram ddr3, ssd samsung pro 840 256gb, 2T seagate hard drive, fractal design r4, and graphic card- quadro k2000 2gb gddr5 , my problem is not the render time but with the viewport workflow, large exterior scenes and full interior scenes with all the detailed furnitures move real slow, i don’t like the open gl driver, and i’m using the nitrous direct3d in 3dsmax, is the quadro k2000 is the right choise for my kind of work? or maybe a gtx 970 4gd card ? or maybe both of them are not strong enough for my work? thank you, adi

    • There is no question that you can make a scene complicated enough to bring any GPU to its knees. In your case, the K2000 was not a very good choice, as 3DS Max makes no use of the OpenGL specialized acceleration instructions Quadro drivers bring in the table. Nitrous is the native viewport engine (Direct3D based really), and I doubt Autodesk bothered with the legacy OpenGL viewport mode for a long time. The 970 has lots and lots more raw performance than the K2000 under D3D, and Nitrous in extension. The issue is the after one point, the CPU becomes the bottleneck as it cannot feed enough data to the GPU, so having many thousands of objects – even if you are using proxies – will slow your system down regardless of how fast your GPU is. I do believe tho, that the 970 will notably raise the bar of performance over a K2000.

  9. i like buy this pc its all ok sir i7 5820k Asus x99 pro Corsair ddr4 16gb ram 2tb WD HDD Sad 120gb 850(evo)Samsung Corsair 400r cabinet Corsair RM 750 amps Logitech keyboard, mouse Ups 1 kV APC Asus gtx 970 4gb Corsair Hydro Series H100i

  10. i like buy this pc its all ok sir i7 5820k, Asus x99 pro, Corsair ddr4 16gb ram, 2tb WD HDD, SSd 120gb 850(evo)Samsung, Corsair 400r cabinet, Corsair RM 750 amps, Logitech keyboard, mouse, Ups 1 kV APC, Asus gtx 970 4gb, Corsair Hydro Series H100i,

    • Looks fine. Make sure you are not over-paying for Corsair RAM – they make good cases, source good PSUs, but they just re-badge their RAM sticks. Don’t pay much more than you would for Crucial, don’t get more than DDR4-2400 cause your CPU won’t care.

        • I think the Dominator Platinums are seriously overpriced and offer nothing more in real life performance but fancy heat-sinks too look at, but that is my personal opinion. Vengeance DDR4 2400 or Crucial DDR4 2400 kits would be living in my system. RAM is not the bottleneck in modern PCs, so if I wanted meaningful upgrades, I would go for a bigger/faster SSD, a better GPU or upgrading my cooling system if I was to overclock a s2011-3 CPU.

  11. Dimitris – thank you for you sage advice. I have been planning on building my PC since last Thanksgiving and finally pulled the trigger using what you outlined above. Its finally ordered now I can’t wait to put it all together.

      • Thanks. I am currently putting it together as I type this. Pretty excited. I am wondering how and where you mount the CPU COOLER. I tried mounting it to the top of the case with the two fans above the radiator but the case holes don’t match with the holes on the radiator. Any advice or something I am not considering? Has anyone installed this cooler in the fractal design case?? I could be overlooking something. The parts look amazing though

        • Well i finally got it all put together and now its up and running. the only issue i had with the build process was installing the H110 cooler. It doesn’t fit or mount properly in the fractal case. I could have done some more research on the compatibility of the case and the cooler. I might have considered another case or another cooler. I was able to make it ‘work’, just had to get creative on how things fit inside. I will give an update in a a few weeks or so on how this PC works out.

  12. Hi Dimitris, I’m wavering between this setup and the one with the i7-4790K. While I’m still trying to figure out if the GTX970 is an overkill for my needs if I can’t use it for Vray-RT as I intend to, the CPU part seems to be even more confusing. The i7-4790K has a higher stock speed per core, but the i7-5820K has 2 more cores (4 extra threads) so I don’t know in practice which one would give me faster renders to the extend that would make my budget raise worthwhile. The truth is that the 5820K doesn’t raise the total cost that much by itself, but along with a 100 euro more expensive motherboard and more expensive DDR4 RAM (which I’m still not convinced that it makes THAT much more difference) there is a total 200 euro increase that should be worth the trouble.. Another issue is the PSU. I’m thinking of keeping my current PSU to save money (it’s a Corsair HX520W), according to the CoolerMaster PSU calculator: http://www.coolermaster.outervision.com/ my recommented minimum power supply for the 4790K setup is 394W, while for the 5820K is 438W. But from what I’ve researched both CPUs can be quite easily overclocked (I already have a third market CPU cooler to handle the extra heat), both can give around 4,5GHz-4,8GHz making the frequency difference disappear. But in that case I would need more power and I’m not sure if my PSU could handle the load.. Above ALL that, I’m still not completely sure if I need 32GB of RAM or if I could get away with 16GB. As you can see I’m quite confused, any help would be more than helpful.. PS. In any case I probably won’t do anything till the releae of the new core-i5&i7 CPUs (i7-5775C & i5-5675C) that might change the prices to older CPUs, while there may also be a change in VAT in Greece that would lower the prices. Still, it would be nice to have a general idea as to what I’m going for..

    • Quick thoughts first: I don’t think you “need” the 970 if you won’t be computing stuff with it. A 750Ti -not even a 960 – could be enough for most of your needs. Many people over-estimate the complexity of their models, and/or the involvement of the GPU in case their viewport is slowing down.

      In most cases, past a certain GPU grade of performance, it is the CPU that cannot really push graphics any faster, so adding “more GPU”, won’t fix it.

      DDR4: DDR4 is over-hyped, as o is Quad Channel. RAM is not the bottleneck for most intel applications that don’t involve the IGP, and past DDR3 1866 dual channel, returns are diminishing rapidly. The s2011-3 CPUs are Haswell, just like the 4790K. I strongly believe that the 5820K would have the same performance advantages over the 4970K with DDR3, as it does with DDR4, while on single / light threaded stuff, neither DDR4 or the quad channel controller can make a difference vs. clock advantage of the 4970K. Ofc, overclocking both to similar levels will yield the same practical single thread performance, as both use very similar architecture. RAM quantity: again, you can always go for 2x8GB – even for the 5820K – and if you decide you need 32GB or you have to have quad channel, upgrade to 4×8. Again, most people over-estimate how much RAM they need. If you have to ask yourself, then probably you don’t.

      PSU: overclocking a 4970K is easy with a 500-550W PSU, even if you have a 970 in the mix. Trying to get more than 4.5GHz on a 5820K could easily mean that the CPU alone would be pushing more than 250W, with extreme overclocking easily pushing 300W, so I would recommend a bit more headroom in the PSU if you were to go this way. Not 1000W, but something in the 650-750W range – just to be safe. Most quality PSUs can run @ 90-100% load for a long time, but I would prefer mine to run @ 50-70% to stress its components less. Remember, all PSUs grow old and go bad, and the closer you are to its limits, the faster this will happen. Might be 5-6 years or more, but why push it? This is another reason I would prefer swapping to a new PSU if I was to upgrade my system after 4-5 years of intense use. If it was some casual web machine, wouldn’t bother, but if I was going for a high end enthusiast build again, and willing to overclock the new one, I would prefer the ease of mind of a fresh unit.

      Για τα ελληνικά δεδομένα – κουράγιο. Να είσαι χαρούμενος που έχεις τη δυνατότητα να αγοράζεις καινούρια “εργαλεία”.

      • GPU is quite a tricky issue. I don’t upgrade my configuration very often, so I don’t know how futureproof (to some extent, I no that there’s no such thing as completely futureproof) my system would be with a 2GB card. I’m trying to figure out through Chaos Group forums how useful would the GTX970 be to my needs. I may not be able to use it for full production renders most of the time, but even if I could use it for my activeshade viewport in low resolution and check my lighting setup or slight color changes at lightning speed it would still be a HUGE timesaver.. I’m a little bit confused with the several different variants of the GTX970. Right now the cheapest variant I can find is this from Gainward: http://www.visionstudio.gr/prodinfo.asp?id=40806&cat=5 , and apart from the differences in input ports I don’t know if there is any reason not to buy this instead of the Strix or Palit and save myself about 50 euros. There is also this: http://www.digital-master.gr/el-gr/Products.aspx?ElementID=fc336af7-1e7d-4b1b-8819-56392704d132 which seems quite smaller in size, but I’d prefer to buy the first one from a local store here in Thessaloniki. As for the PSU, the truth is that my Corsair is about 6 years old, it’s been working every day, but not rendering every day. So it’s kind of a risky business to use it for overclocking the i7-5820K. Which I don’t know if I really need. I mean, if the performance of the 5820K in stock frequency is better than the 4790K in stock frequency while rendering (as far as I understand rendering in 3DS Max takes advantage of all cores/threads, so 2 more cores (4 more threads) even in lower frequencies compared to the 4790K might result in faster renders) might mean that I don’t have to bother overclocking at all, at least at first.. Όσο για τα ελληνικά δεδομένα, η ζήτηση έχει πέσει αρκετά, οι τιμές στην αγορά επίσης, πολλοί ψευτοβολεύονται ακόμα και με κάτι τραγικά σχέδια ArchiCAD, ποιοτικά φωτορεαλιστικά θεωρούνται πολυτέλεια. Κι αυτή η επένδυση που σκέφτομαι να κάνω, είναι στην λογική του “αφου θα παίρνω που θα παίρνω πολύ λίγα, τουλάχιστον ας τα βγάζω γρηγορότερα, στοχεύοντας στην ποσότητα”. Υποθέτω πως τα πράγματα εκεί είναι εντελώς διαφορετικά.

  13. curious what you think of my build? rhino (very heavy), maxwell/vray, sketchup, autocad, illustrator (very heavy), photoshop, music listening, internets mostly shop drawings + cad drawings from rhino models with an emphasis to do more and more photoreal rendering for the right projects… I feel like I may be overdoing it a bit but I want this baby to last me at least the next 5 years like strong as hell… any thoughts are greatly appreciated. I’m skimming on the monitor cus I need to cut costs somehow this is my first ever real computer purchase and it’s been a long time coming…I feel I’m finally ready to make the leap. Component Selection Price CPU Intel Core i7-5930K 3.5GHz 6-Core Processor $551.99 Buy CPU Cooler Corsair H100i 77.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler $99.99 Buy Motherboard Asus X99-DELUXE ATX LGA2011-3 Motherboard $368.99 Buy Memory Crucial 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR4-2133 Memory $132.99 Buy Storage Samsung 850 EVO-Series 500GB 2.5″ Solid State Drive $177.89 Buy Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5″ 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $49.99 Buy Video Card EVGA GeForce GTX 970 4GB Superclocked ACX 2.0 Video Card $319.99 Buy Case Fractal Design Define R4 (Black Pearl) ATX Mid Tower Case $89.99 Buy Power Supply SeaSonic X Series 850W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply $140.99 Buy Operating System Microsoft Windows 8.1 OEM (64-bit) $87.98 Buy Monitor AOC e2752Vh 60Hz 27.0″ Monitor $179.99 Buy Keyboard Logitech K800 Wireless Slim Keyboard $69.99 Buy Mouse Logitech Performance Wireless Laser Mouse $60.99 Buy Total: $2331.76 SORRY TO POST TWICE, I HAD THE WRONG EMAIL ADDRESS! -DKZO THANK YOU D

    • It looks solid enough. I don’t know about the 5 years, but it should last you for some time. I would prefer a 5820K, as I don’t see the 5390K worthy of the price difference, but that’s me. I don’t really see the advantage of a X99-Deluxe over the X99-A for the most part to be honest, and I would pick the ROG version if it was about extreme overclocking anyways, or the WS if I wanted more slots & a better CPU VRM design. The rest of the X99’s from Asus are identical with the -A in this area, so why pay more? Fractal has a newer Define, the R5 if you are into the “latest”, and I would not get a 27″ 1080p in 2015…1440p is the only 27″ option for me. Rather lose some MHz from the 5930K downgrading to the 5820K, and spend the cash on a $500 1440p IPS.

  14. Dimitris! Thank you! 🙂 any final thoughts, suggestions anything I’m missing..? do you happen to have an article on putting it all together, I’m a 1st timer… 🙂 Thanks again! CPU $372.95 Intel Core i7-5820K CPU COOLER $99.99 Corsair H100i MOTHERBOARD $239.99 Asus X99-A MEMORY $132.99 Crucial 16GB STORAGE $177.89 Samsung 500GB SSD $49.99 Western Digital 1TB 7200RPM VIDEO CARD $334.99 * EVGA GeForce GTX 970 CASE $89.99 Fractal Design Define R4 (Black Pearl) POWER SUPPLY $140.99 SeaSonic 850W OPERATING SYSTEM $97.98 * Windows 8.1 OEM (64-bit) MONITOR $399.99 BenQ GW2765HT 27.0″ KEYBOARD $69.99 Logitech K800 MOUSE $61.50 Logitech Performance $2269.23 SUBTOTAL: $25.00 * MAIL-IN REBATES: $2244.23

    • Looks pretty solid, the BenQ GW2765HT will be much better than your original choice. Otherwise there are 1440p 27″ from Asus and Dell at around the same price point. All use the same LG 1440p sIPS, so little to pick between them other than price, aesthetics and perhaps USB hub / base preferences. If you won’t be overeclocking, the PSU is overkill, a 650W would be more than enough (even for mild O/Cing). Make sure you get Windows Professional if you wish to install more than 16GB of RAM in the future.

  15. actually… 🙂 do you mind describing this or where i can find… can’t seem to pick it out from all the rest: ” I would pick the ROG version if it was about extreme overclocking anyways, or the WS if I wanted more slots & a better CPU VRM design. “

  16. Hi Dimitri
    Thanks for all your valuable information.

    I’ve read through all the tiers of workstations you’ve written about, and it does seem the 4790k would be the best option by far for me – lower power bill, faster single-thread performance etc, but slower rendering.

    I do modeling, rigging, animating and rendering, using Maya, ZBrush, Photoshop etc. Most of the time is spent on non-rendering, with rendering done overnight anyway, so I doubt the time saved with a 5820k would make up for the slower overall performance elsewhere. BUT, I also use Ableton Live a lot with CPU-intensive plugins from u-he, which all utilise multicore, so this makes things even harder to decide. But, sound/music is more a hobby, with animation as a profession being my goal. I don’t game.

    I currently have:
    i7 920@ 2.6ghz

    6GB RAM

    1TB WD HD

    GTX295 (with one GPU not working)

    ASUS P6SE (i think)

    this current build is 6 years old now and the performance overall is horrible.
    I wanted to buy via PCSpecialist (custom UK online PC builder):
    4790k at stock speed

    ASUS Z79-P motherboard

    32GB RAM

    GTX 980 ti

    Samsung EVO 500GB SSD

    WD 1TB Caviar Black 7200rpm HD

    Corsair 650W modular 80plus gold PSU

    standard CPU cooler

    thermal paste

    =totaling around £1650

    but now I’m unsure.

    (1) is 4790k or 5820k more suited to my needs even though I halfway answered my own question? The latter along with DDR4 RAM is quite a bit more money as well

    (2) is 32GB RAM overkill? I see programs like After Effects would use all the RAM you throw at it for much increased rendering speeds, as an example.

    (3a) is the GTX 980ti overkill? As I understand it, the 4790k, as the rest, cannot supply enough info to the GPU (the CPU being the bottleneck here) past a certain point for viewport performance, with this point being reached with the GTX 970 already, which is why you recommend it.

    (3b) isn’t GPU rendering becoming more widely used now with programs like FurryBall, offering much faster speeds than CPU renderings, with all limitations GPU rendering had pretty much sorted out by now, and thus make a 980ti a good choice?

    (4)I expect a pretty massive overall performance boost from my current setup, correct?

    Sorry about the very long post! I’ve been doing research for 3 weeks now, and still cannot get to a conclusion. I just want a great PC without buying unnecessarily powerful components that will last me another 5 years or so.

    Thanks for your time

    • 1) For general computing, photo editing & modeling, the 4790K will be faster out of the box. The 5820K will be playing catch-up due to lower clocks and will only pull ahead in case of a highly parallel task, like rendering or video transcoding. Ofc overclocking can solve most of those issues, and after both CPUs are clocked past 4.5GHz or so, I would not be splitting hair – I would pick the hex any day.
      Yes, the 5820K requires more: more expensive mobo, more expensive RAM (although DDR4 is getting cheaper, and you should not care for ultra-expensive/ultra-fast dimms really) and better cooling to get to that kind of speeds.

      2) 32GB is not needed by most single applications other than super complicated / large renderings that few artists produce. But start multitasking with many apps simultaneously, and you could see a 16GB system being stressed RAM-wise. Most applications are CPU limited for tasks that take time to be completed, so I am not aware of real life performance gains by allocating “more” RAM to a specific app like AE. It will go for all it is meaningful for it anyways

      3a)The 980Ti is a bit overkill for viewport performance. You won’t see a difference over the 970 in pretty much any scenario.

      You will see differences in GPGPU, gaming etc.

      3b) Yes, GPGPU is becoming more popular, but whether this suits your workflow and whether the benefits of a 980Ti & 6GB VRam are tangible, is a diffrent story, which each user has to figure out for him/herself after one point.

      4) Between the much newer and faster CPU, the SSD etc, I would expect you being anywhere from happy to very impressed. Hold a small basket though, it is better to be positively surprised than not 🙂

      Keep in mind that Broadwell desktop chips are around the corner, so if you where to go 4790K regardless, maybe you should wait a tad for prices to drop. Otherwise wait for the “latest”. Most likely it won’t be much more expensive than current Z97, other than most likely requiring DDR4. The s2011-3 market will probably stay unchanged for some time, and other perhaps than some DDR4 price drops – as it becomes more mainstream – I would not expect much of a difference. I would personally rather go for 5820K + 970, than 4790K + 980Ti if it was for a workstation.

      Cheers

      • Cheers Dimitris, I appreciate your response! I think waiting is best, yes – I think Skylake is due August. I will probably end up with a 5820K overclocked (after considering electricity bill % increase) with water cooling and a 970.

    • There should be very little differece between mobos from respected manufacturers. Any Asus, MSI, Gigabyte or ASrock will probably satisfy easily.

  17. Hi Dimitris, Thank you for the time and effort you put to make things about PC configurations understandable. I am about to buy a new system and thankfully after hours and hours I run into your blog. I am an architect running (still) my own practice in Greece. As you understand long gone the days where we were submitting the renderings to professionals. In order to keep the bills running I have to do everything on my own from hand sketch to renderings to permit plans and construction drawings. I run applications such as AutoCAD, Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator and 3DSmax. It is crucial for me to have a scene rendering in 3DSmax (imported form AutoCAD) and at the same time producing drawings in AutoCAD or working in an ADOBE environment. Your configuration is about the max amount I am able to invest. Since I am not able to put the PC together myself, I will choose all the components from eshop.gr because they provide a building up service. Some of the components are not in stock anymore so I made a few changes and I came up with this configuration. 1) CASE FRACTAL DESIGN DEFINE R5 BLACKOUT EDITION 2) CPU INTEL CORE I7-5820K 3.30GHZ LGA2011-3 – BOX 3) NOCTUA NH-D15 4) ASUS SABERTOOTH X99 RETAIL 5) RAM CORSAIR CMK32GX4M4B2800C14 VENGEANCE LPX BLACK 32GB (4X8GB) DDR4 2800MHZ QUAD KIT 6) VGA ASUS GEFORCE GTX1060 STRIX-GTX1060-O6G-GAMING 6GB GDDR5 PCI-E RETAIL 7) SSD SAMSUNG MZ-75E500B/EU 850 EVO SERIES 500GB 2.5” SATA3 8) HDD WESTERN DIGITAL WD1003FZEX CAVIAR BLACK 1TB SATA3 Bearing in mind that I am not a professional renderer nor are my renderings I am looking for a system that would produce nice renderings quite quickly (very subjective) while I would be able to carry on working in other design orientated environments (AutoCAD, Photoshop, etc.). In your opinion is the above configuration up to the task? Thank you in advance, Χαιρετίσματα από Ελλάδα. Xaris

    • Haris, this looks like a solid configuration and should work fine for your needs. The cooler is a bit on the “overkill-if-not-overclocking” side of things, so you could downgrade that a tad if you don’t plan to O/C and money is an issue…Also, don’t go overkill on the PSU side of things – none is listed I think: a solid 650W PSU should keep you up and running. You can keep working on other tasks while rendering, given you keep the rendering threads at lower priority over your “other” application. This is accomplished either by setting it to be so in the rendering engine’s settings (e.g. Vray has that option) or lowering it after the process has started through the Task Manage manually: Ctrl-Alt-Del > Show Task Manager > Processes tab > Right click on your rendering engine’s executable (easy to find if you short by CPU and/or RAM usage!) > Set Priority > Below Normal. Never had issues with the renderer freezing or producing different results when done this way, dating back to single core CPUs and before there was an option in Vray itself to do it. Καλά να είσαι =)

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