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Le_Murphant

Best type of video card for animation?

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A friend of mine wants to build a new rig and is going to use it mainly for 3D animation (she wants to study in that field). She asked me (and thus I am sending the question back to you guys) what kind of hardware she should get. I'm pretty sure that the most essential part in there is a big hard drive and a good video card, but about the video card, I'm not too sure what I should recommend. I know that real workstation cards (such as the FireGL and Quattro series) go for $500 and up, but that's kind of expensive. I was wondering if a mid-range gamer card (such as the 7600 GT) would do, and if it would be worth it to put it in SLI mode, or if it was really recommended to pay the big buck and go for the professional card. Also, about the hard drive, would it be worth it to go for a RAID 0 or 0+1 configuration? I'l ask her exactly what programs she plans on using and post them when I know.

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im a 3D artist and i use 3D studio max and you really don't really need a super beefie computer unless your rendering images at full 24P like i do. even at 1920x1080 it doesnt take that much.

Getting the fastest processor you can afford is the best thing for it. The video card doesnt make that much of a difference, it will do the final render maybe 20% faster. You dont need that much hard drive unless your doing massive video. a 250 would be fine. You don't need raid it will not make rendering faster just your wallet lighter. You don't need SLI.

If she wants it to be real straight forward and easy to lean get a Mac, and get Apple Motion, maybe Apple shake depending on what she wants to do, and there are a few others that are really good. 3D apps are far better on the mac then windows.

I should have started on a mac, its much harder on a PC.

EDIT: if she does go with a PC get a xeon processor they are alittle bit faster when rendering.

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"In simple terms, gaming cards are optimized for DirectX whereas 3D cards are optimized for OpenGL."

http://forums.techguy.org/hardware/506375-what-kind-video-card-should.html

http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,1697,2034536,00.asp

Workstation video cards really dont make much of a difference when rendering over a consumer video card often the consumer card is faster because they are updated more frequently.

The do however do real good when displaying 1080p or higher video when rendering live because of the large amount of ram.

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Go with ATI !!!!

Screw nVidia, personally on my desktop computer I have a Radeon x1950 pro and I've tried to max it out and havn't been able to (unless I use a benchmarking program, games and applications haven't been able to max it out yet).  And if that's not enough for you then you can use crossfire to tie two of them together (ATI's version of SLI) but of course you'd need a motherboard that supports that.

Here is the one that I own... I highly reccommend it, and for only $220 if you ask me it's a steal, especially since it's name brand ;-) >> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814195029

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here's an ASUS one that's pretty pimp, I like the heatsink.  But I can personally vouche for the ATI one... and the heatsink that's on that one does the job and is very quiet.

>> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121049 (ASUS's version of the x1950 pro)

-D

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im a 3D artist and i use 3D studio max and you really don't really need a super beefie computer unless your rendering images at full 24P like i do. even at 1920x1080 it doesnt take that much.

Getting the fastest processor you can afford is the best thing for it. The video card doesnt make that much of a difference, it will do the final render maybe 20% faster. You dont need that much hard drive unless your doing massive video. a 250 would be fine. You don't need raid it will not make rendering faster just your wallet lighter. You don't need SLI.

If she wants it to be real straight forward and easy to lean get a Mac, and get Apple Motion, maybe Apple shake depending on what she wants to do, and there are a few others that are really good. 3D apps are far better on the mac then windows.

I should have started on a mac, its much harder on a PC.

EDIT: if she does go with a PC get a xeon processor they are alittle bit faster when rendering.

Raid is cool if you want piece of mind knowing if one drive fails the other drive will kick in  :grin2:

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Raid is cool if you want piece of mind knowing if one drive fails the other drive will kick in  :grin2:

  Raid can be good in certain applications, but in the long run, to get redundancy it gets rather complicated. for instance. In RAID Level 0, the data is striped across drives without any parity bits for error checking. This does not provide any capability for recovery but does yield maximum transfer rates.

RAID Level 1 is disk mirroring. Data is written to multiple disks simultaneously. This provides complete redundancy, but the trade-off is the loss of disk space for the complete second copy.

RAID Level 3 stripes data one byte at a time across multiple drives, with parity stored on an extra drive. The speed is good; but for large files, a small data stripe size slows the transfer.

RAID Level 5 stripes sectors of data across the multiple drives with the parity interleaved. The flexibility of RAID 5 is the key to optimizing for a specific application.

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Go with ATI !!!!

Screw nVidia, personally on my desktop computer I have a Radeon x1950 pro and I've tried to max it out and havn't been able to (unless I use a benchmarking program, games and applications haven't been able to max it out yet).  And if that's not enough for you then you can use crossfire to tie two of them together (ATI's version of SLI) but of course you'd need a motherboard that supports that.

Here is the one that I own... I highly reccommend it, and for only $220 if you ask me it's a steal, especially since it's name brand ;-) >> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814195029

When rendering high res images nvidia is much faster. When i turn on parallel rendering (means uses the processor and graphics card together) in 3d max a nvida box is twice as fast.

My 2 7900GTx's render faster then the other guy's 2 x1950's that work here.

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Alright, so Raid is out, and personally, I'm an nvidia fan (although I feel like I got ripped off with a card that seems defective now, but whatever). About a mac, I think that she would want dual-screens, Is that option available on a mac? Ive never seen any, but I guess it exists if macs are good for that. I havent had a chance to see her in a few days, but I'l make sure I ask her what programs she will use next time I see her, to see if its worth it to go for a cheap workstation card.

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Alright, so Raid is out, and personally, I'm an nvidia fan (although I feel like I got ripped off with a card that seems defective now, but whatever). About a mac, I think that she would want dual-screens, Is that option available on a mac? Ive never seen any, but I guess it exists if macs are good for that. I havent had a chance to see her in a few days, but I'l make sure I ask her what programs she will use next time I see her, to see if its worth it to go for a cheap workstation card.

yes a mac can do dual-screens, the imac and laptops have a mini DVI out so you can do dual-screens.

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oh i wasnt stating faster for rendering times i  was merely stating that Raid is cool because of all the different types of Raid that a person can have. to me its not just a waist of money if you want performance or if you want to use Raid for Redundancy.

consumer raid is only good for redundancy, it does not offer a noticeable speed difference. You have to get into a business class raid box to see a real difference in speed.

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consumer raid is only good for redundancy, it does not offer a noticeable speed difference. You have to get into a business class raid box to see a real difference in speed.

Oh well yeah you have a point but why are computer manufactures deploying there systems with raid 0,  on there top notch systems.

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You can make a RAID 0 with two or more hard drives. RAID 0 writes to and reads from each drive at the same time, splitting data among them. This division of data, called striping, can mean about 50% more speed over a system with a single hard disk or multiple unRAIDed drives. Because hard drive speed is a major factor in how fast a computer "feels"

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You can make a RAID 0 with two or more hard drives. RAID 0 writes to and reads from each drive at the same time, splitting data among them. This division of data, called striping, can mean about 50% more speed over a system with a single hard disk or multiple unRAIDed drives. Because hard drive speed is a major factor in how fast a computer "feels"

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Yeah, was thinking of getting raid 0 on my next box, just for everyday use (but I'm still a speed freak),causeI don't really need to back up lots of stuff so its not the end of the world if one disk fails.

Yeah im in the process of ordering 2 Raptor Drives and going to setup Raid 0 I do backups on all my systems every week.

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Yeah im in the process of ordering 2 Raptor Drives and going to setup Raid 0 I do backups on all my systems every week.

Raptors are sweet, but I wouldn't put them in raid if I were you, for the performance boost doesn't seem huge. Well at least that's what this article says

http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/03/12/cheap_raid_ravages_wd_raptor/

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