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Old 01-14-2012, 07:27 PM
 
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OK. I need to purchase a workstation for my 3D digital sculpting degree but have no idea where to start other than I know that I want to build it instead of being overcharged for an already made DELL or other brand. I know a little about desktops, but a lot of the more advanced terminology that goes with knowing a dang thing about workstations is over my head at the moment.
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Old 01-15-2012, 09:20 PM
 
Location: Central Texas
13,720 posts, read 25,904,706 times
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I suggest you start with the recommendations from the vendor of the software you use. But in general, 3D graphics software benefits from multiple cores, plenty of memory, and fast hard drives. You don't need as much graphics power as you need for gaming.

I would start with an i7 processor, 8-16 Gb, and an SSD for boot and software. Use a good 7200 rpm drive for data.
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Old 01-16-2012, 12:46 AM
 
Location: God's Gift to Mankind for flying anything
5,374 posts, read 11,278,666 times
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WorkStation ?

You mean there are computers you can not work on or with ???
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Old 01-16-2012, 01:32 AM
 
Location: North Carolina
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Intel's 2600K processor offers a lot of bang for the buck. If I was building a budget rig that would be the processor I would go with.
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Old 01-16-2012, 09:16 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
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"3D Workstation PC" for a lot of people means something with a NVidia Quadro or ATI Fire graphics card instead of the more common GeForce or Radeon. The graphics cards and drivers that have been "certified" by the CAD software vendors favor rendering accuracy over frame rate. They also cost several times more than the GeForce/Radeon cards that are offer comparable performance.

The standard PC developer workstations we get at work have Quadro or Fire graphics cards, though the reality is that absolutely none of the applications we run can benefit from them, so we're just wasting money. But I don't even think you can order a Dell PWS with a GeForce or Radeon graphics card.

It's usually tough to beat the price of a Dell Inspiron desktop. If you don't have to pay for the OS, or have some parts you can reuse, or want to build the system with specific parts, you can build a system for less than Dell will sell you one. But if you're not picky about components, you can usually buy one cheaper than you can build one.

The other thing that the workstation I use at work has that my home system does not have is RAID.
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Old 01-17-2012, 07:41 AM
 
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Phenom II x6. Great chip for video editing and such. Cheaper than intel as well. Runs cool, can be overlocked like a mofo
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Old 01-17-2012, 11:51 AM
 
Location: USA
701 posts, read 993,994 times
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I've used this site as a guide to help my son build his own gaming rig. While it's not fool-proof, this site does take a lot of the guesswork out.

They have a section for building workstations: $2500 Workstation | Hardware Revolution

Read through it and see if it helps you any.
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Old 01-17-2012, 12:42 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fastninja500 View Post
They have a section for building workstations: $2500 Workstation | Hardware Revolution
Tom's Hardware has also had "System Builder Marathon" articles, where they build systems at various price points. The article you referenced does a much better job for someone who needs a true workstation PC though. Their $2500 build uses a Quadro rather than GeForce card, and they briefly mention the differences between workstation and general purpose/gaming video cards. The Tom's Hardware articles are geared towards gamers and general home use.
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Old 01-17-2012, 03:10 PM
 
2,182 posts, read 4,706,348 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irman View Post
WorkStation ?

You mean there are computers you can not work on or with ???
Workstation implies a higher end, work-centric (i.e. not just for surfing the web) machine, built specifically to do a task, like 3D rendering or heavy photo and video editing, etc.
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Old 01-17-2012, 07:16 PM
 
Location: London, U.K.
3,035 posts, read 3,376,864 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InkandNotes View Post
OK. I need to purchase a workstation for my 3D digital sculpting degree but have no idea where to start other than I know that I want to build it instead of being overcharged for an already made DELL or other brand. I know a little about desktops, but a lot of the more advanced terminology that goes with knowing a dang thing about workstations is over my head at the moment.
I'm an architect, we have two workstations in our practice dedicated to high end 3d visualisation (Mac pros with nvida quadro 4000's). I would seriously advise against a build if you plan on turning pro after you graduate as you will need the warranty and service from the company. Trust me you don't want to waste time messing with computer issues, you will only loose commissions.

For most graphics work a mid level desktop/laptop will be fine - for now as a student just get the best machine you can afford as you only need the power of a workstation for really high end work. 95% of our stuff is done on imacs or macbook pros.
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