7 Replies Latest reply on Apr 7, 2014 1:06 AM by Roger Maus

    Need opinion about these components for new PC, please!

    Roger Maus

      Hi there!

       

       

      I am building a Desktop PC for a friend of mine who is an animator. He's doing traditional animation, no 3D.

      This computer is primarily for After Effects, but also for every day use. Animations are put out in 2K only, and 2K is the majority of the footage (TIF). However, some elements or textures could be 4K or more. There will be some 2,5D with little usage of light & shadow. Effects are just a few, mainly DOF (Frischluft).

      It's all ease of use over fast render times. It should be possible to work in After Effects, Photoshop and Indesign simultaneously - not quite smoothly, but possible. Importing 400+ Images in AE should be quick.

       

       

      The whole system is all about value for money, USD 1300.- maximum. I did quite some research, I did read the hints at Adobe.com, I read Harm's hints at ppbm7.com and I saw the builds at videoguys.com. For the CPU I analysed the stats at THG thoroughly. This is what I got so far:

       

       

      CPU: Intel Core i5-4570 (Intel Core i7-4770K - would be nice, but too expensive)

      Cooler: how about the default boxed one? Otherwise: EKL Alpenföhn Sella

      RAM: G.Skill RipJawsX DIMM Kit 16GB, DDR3-1600, CL10

      SSD: Samsung SSD 840 EVO 250GB

      HDD: Seagate Barracuda 7200.14 2TB

      GPU: Some Nvidia GeForce GTX 650 - 1 or 2 GB VRAM?

      Board: ASRock Fatal1ty H87 Performance - which Chipset do you recommend and why?

      PSU: Corsair Builder Series CX500 500W - sufficient? How much Watt will I need? (yes, I know these calculators, but they tend to overestimate)

       

       

      +2 Full HD TFT

      +Win 7 Pro

      +no OC intended

       

       

      What do you think about this setup?

        • 1. Re: Need opinion about these components for new PC, please!
          Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

          At this point I wouldn't bother with any of the 6xx series nVidia cards. They are just energy hungry monsters with sub-par performance due to how nVidia never got a handle on their Kepler architecture and the drivers. Get a 7xx series one. The 750 e.g. consumes 30% less energy, produces less heat and delivers similar performance, which, if your friend really only works with AE and other 2D animation tools, will still be plenty. The price is nearly the same, anyway. The rest shouldn't matter. If you get a boxed processor, the default cooler will be just fine. I've never bothered much with getting anything else, but then again I'm quite conservative in these matters and don't overclock or any of that. Same for the motherboard - as long as it can feed all the components, there is no need to go to extremes and the default intel chipset will do just fine without any fancy extras. You may want to max out the memory if affordabel/ possible, though. AE thrives on that and if you keep multiple programs open with large files, even 16 GB can quickly not be enough.

           

          Mylenium

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Need opinion about these components for new PC, please!
            Roger Maus Level 1

            Thanks for your response. I'll replace the GTX 650 for a 750. No need for 2GB VRAM, right?

            Nice to hear the boxed cooler will be enough!

             

            I am thinking about changing the disk setup: no EVO 250, but cheaper SSDs, but more of them!

            120GB Crucial M500 - for OS, programs, media cache

            480GB Crucial M500 - for media/footage, project files (I doubt the GB are sufficient!)

            2TB Seagate - for export, archive, backups

             

            Or should I distribute this excess on other components, such as the CPU? 4770 (no k)? Do I *need* hyper-threading?

             

            Will a 400 Watt PSU be enough? I know that big PSUs don't use all their "Watts" all the time, but smaller PSUs are normally cheaper....

             

            You are certainly right about the lack of RAM, but this is a thing that can easily be fixed when prices for RAM get back to "normal".

            • 3. Re: Need opinion about these components for new PC, please!
              Roger Maus Level 1

              I am thinking about adding a further big SSD and further 16GB of RAM later. Instead I'd take a i7-4770K. (The CPU will be oversized - but all the other components can be replaced way easier than th CPU!)

               

              With this scenario, some more questions arise:

              1. Is "Turbo Boost" as easy as overclocking my i5-2500K by setting OC to "auto"?

              2. Does it sometimes really make sense to run 2 Cores @3.9 instead of 4 @3.7 GHz?

              3. Will the boxed cooler still be enough and will I need a Z87 board?

              • 4. Re: Need opinion about these components for new PC, please!
                Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

                Boxed coolers are designed to spec and you can be certain that intel don't sell you crap. They are basically just Coolermaster products without the branding, anyway, or whatever OEM partner they have currently. TurboBooost hasn't realyl amuch to do with physical vs. virtual cores and HyperThreading, it's more about managing specific registers and memory blocks on the chip itself to avoid wait cycles. For the most part this means that areas otherwise used for HT will be set to a sleep state and their resources assigned to other uses. none of this would require to actually turn off HT, it's all handled by the processor itself. Which method will be more efficient will need to be determined from experience, but generally speaking this works so well, you wouldn't notice much of a difference. The same applies to potential overclocking. This is simply a soft setting in the BIOS/ EFI and the rest is handled by the specific processor/ motherboard driver and an associated control app, if you use it. The days of manualyl figuring out frequency multipliers are long gone - either you allow it or you don't and the chip and motherboard will monitor the thermal and voltage specs and adjust the clock speed within the specified ranges.

                 

                Mylenium

                • 5. Re: Need opinion about these components for new PC, please!
                  Roger Maus Level 1

                  Thanks again! I did not mix up HT and Turbo, I just wanted to know how easy it is. However, I think I made up my mind: just now I realized that a i7-4770_ and a Xeon E3-1245v3 is practically the same. So I'll take the latter one, since it is quite cheaper!

                   

                  Do you think an extra GTX 750 is worth the money? How about using the built-in GPU of the processor and spending the money on some extra SSD or extra RAM instead?

                  • 6. Re: Need opinion about these components for new PC, please!
                    Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

                    I realized that a i7-4770_ and a Xeon E3-1245v3 is practically the same.

                     

                    No, they are not. Xeon processors use a different internal cache model and thus are much less efficient with TurboBoost. You'd do yourself a disservice with an app as poorly optimized for parallel processing as AE.

                     

                    Do you think an extra GTX 750 is worth the money? How about using the built-in GPU of the processor and spending the money on some extra SSD or extra RAM instead?

                     

                    And there's the rub: If you were to use a Xeon, the built-in intel graphics would either not exist or be one or two revisions behind in what's avialable in a coreXi. Still, even if they were the latest, they only provide a fraction of the performance of an nVidia card (even lower-end models) plus naturalyl you don't get things like CUDA with intel graphics, so this idea has no merit. If you research the forums, you will also find that intel graphics don't work well e.g. with Photoshop's acceleration featuresliek some filters or the 3D stuff as well. Sorry, you need to take a wholesome approach here. Maxing out just one aspect and then playing cheap in another area does nothing for a balanced overall performance. Your super fast SSD setup would sit on its hands if the otehr features can't sustain the file I/O and feed it data.

                     

                    Mylenium

                    1 person found this helpful
                    • 7. Re: Need opinion about these components for new PC, please!
                      Roger Maus Level 1

                      That makes sense! So I am back to i7-4770_!

                       

                      So the only thing I am still wondering about is how to set up my disks.

                      SSD 250GB Samsung 840 EVO

                      optional: further 2nd SSD 120GB OCZ Vertex2 (re-used)

                      optional: further 3rd SSD 120GB Samsung 840 (re-used) if necessary

                       

                      Media cache, Disk Cache, export - all on EVO because it's the fastest drive and to keep it simple? or distribute?

                       

                      2TB Seagate Barracuda - for project files & footage.

                       

                      Regarding file distribution, you find different approaches here:

                      http://provideocoalition.com/cmg_keyframes/story/cmg_hidden_gems_chapter_45_whats_your_pre ference

                      http://ppbm7.com/index.php/tweakers-page/84-disk-setup/95-disk-setup

                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ftl33M9rOjY&feature=youtu.be&t=5m10s