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Stephen Moroz

Advice for building a computer for FX

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Hello,

Over the summer, I'm planning to build a new PC for doing FX work (and also just general purpose). My brother put together this spec on pc part picker, (since he's more knowledgeable than me when it comes to hardware) but I thought I'd ask for advice as to where I should spend my money.

Here's what I'm currently looking at:

deleteMe.thumb.PNG.1bf87ecb6cde39bffdd5507d13a8b26a.PNG

 

I've never built my own PC before so any advice you could give would be really helpful!

 

 

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14 hours ago, Stephen Moroz said:

Hello,

Over the summer, I'm planning to build a new PC for doing FX work (and also just general purpose). My brother put together this spec on pc part picker, (since he's more knowledgeable than me when it comes to hardware) but I thought I'd ask for advice as to where I should spend my money.

Here's what I'm currently looking at:

deleteMe.thumb.PNG.1bf87ecb6cde39bffdd5507d13a8b26a.PNG

 

I've never built my own PC before so any advice you could give would be really helpful!

 

 

Everything depend on your budget and way to work, as FX requires lots of things : for speed of simulation you want a fast chip (clock in GHz), you also wants lots of RAM (simulations of fluids, heavy RBD sims, all requires to have sufficient RAM : I have 64 Gb and sometimes that’s limited), a lots of storage space on HDD (simulations of fluids are particularly heavy + usually, because RAM is insufficient, you have to split simulations, and store a lots of cache to reimport in later sims... I personnaly have a 1 Tb SSD drive for OS and softwares, and 1 HDD of 6 Tb for sims, and 2 HDD of 2 Tb for general purpose).

Then if you have jobs that run with multithreading (like rendering), and if you can afford it, you can opt for a bi-processor workstation, with 2 Xeons.

Same way, for graphic card, if you use cuda a lot (rendering, simulation), you can buy very expensive graphic cards... All depends on what are your softwares and way to work.

And don’t forget : fast processor (sometimes overclocked) and/or heavy graphic card = great heat emmitters, so for long lasting life of your PC, don’t neglect the cooling system (large casing, full of fans, watercooling etc.).

Here are links to documents made by Allan McKay about what workstation to choose : 

http://www.allanmckay.com/fumefx-workstation-render-node-hardware-shopping-list/

http://allanmckay.acemlna.com/lt.php?s=3b570cfe94e9f99d57cdc61df7431418&i=226A279A2A781

Last but not least, I you are going to be a Houdini user, mainly, you can think of having a less powerful machine, less expensive, and use renderfarms instead (gridmarkets and so on). Once again, think of your workflow first, and then see what you need, and what you can afford to buy... But clearly, FX can be very expensive depending on the projects you work on.

Edited by StepbyStepVFX
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Choose a better motherboard. That one maxes out at 32GB which means when you out-grow that memory limit you will be forced to build another computer. Think ahead now and grab a motherboard that supports at least 64gb maximum. When you buy ram, buy in 16Gb single chips, not 8Gb.

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Forget the Amd FX, chose a Amd Ryzen, and a Motherboard that suport 64Gb of memory.

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If you want a 2Tb HHD....buy two of 1Tb and make it Raid-0..this will create a single partition of 2Tb and with 2x faster, to sinulate, a great part of time is copying caches on HD.

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Thanks for all the advice guys, that's all really helpful stuff!

I've now gone and done my research, and put together a new build on pcpartpicker: (I decided to not go with raid-0 in the end since it's less reliable for storage, and I think I can use the SSD for faster speeds where I need it)

https://pcpartpicker.com/list/tD2jHh

I'd be really grateful for any advice you can give on this new one!

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