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Build Advice Motherboard advice please!

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by doggeh, 22 Aug 2009.

  1. doggeh

    doggeh New Member

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    Hi chaps (and chapettes),

    I'm looking to build a new system for my gf who will use it primarily for 3D modelling and rendering and as such it will need to be a powerful dual/quad core system.

    Size is also an issue as it might need to be semi-portable so micro-ATX is a maximum size and I'm happy picking out components and building a good system to this spec.

    However, my question is this: would a mini-ITX board with an LGA775 socket be powerful enough (with a suitable CPU) to handle complex 3D modelling using mainly Pro-Engineer and/or Solidworks, as well as Scene Rendering in various other software? I have this or similar in mind with 4Gb DDR2 and an E8400 or similar.

    I assume the micro-ATX system will be faster but how far behind would the mini-ITX system be (assuming exactly the same CPU and RAM)? Versatility and future expandability is not an issue, I'm asking purely from a speed point of view.

    Cheers,
    Doggeh
     
  2. Elton

    Elton Officially a Whisky Nerd

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    Hmmm....

    If it's primarily SolidWorks and such, perhaps getting a decent GPU + Q9550 would suffice. As to the motherboard, The DFI JR P45-T2RS seems to be the only P45 MATX mobo out there.

    You could always try using a G45/G41 mobo.
     
  3. Diosjenin

    Diosjenin Thinker, Tweaker, Et Cetera

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    Assuming you don't want to shell out for a Quadro or FirePro, I'm thinking a Phenom II X4 955/965 is your best bet. Of course, you could also wait a week or two and see how long it takes Gigabyte to release their P55M-UD4 (Micro-ATX board for Lynnfield) and shoot for a brand new Core i5/i7 system then.

    By the way, do you have a budget for this build?

    - Diosjenin -
     
  4. Elton

    Elton Officially a Whisky Nerd

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    He did ask for LGA775 you know... :D
     
  5. docodine

    docodine killed a guy once

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    How about a Shuttle P45?
     
  6. doggeh

    doggeh New Member

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    Is GPU actually important for modelling then? I was under the impression that the CPU did all the work?

    I'm thinking a Q9400 for the CPU now. The budget is around £250 for mobo and cpu but preferably less if i need to get a decent GPU as well.

    If I do need a better GPU than the onboard would a HD3450 be sufficient as its only £22?!?

    Also is a mini-ITX system (you can get ones with a pci-e x16 slot) definitely not powerful enough?

    Cheers,
    Doggeh
     
    Last edited: 23 Aug 2009
  7. Elton

    Elton Officially a Whisky Nerd

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    For modeling an HD3450 would be terribly insufficient. Sadly if you were to make a computer solely for modeling, you'd need to spend about 2x more on the GPU than anything else. Or you can try to BIOS mod a HD3850 to a FireGL V8600...

    Anyways, you're going to need a much beefier GPU. Other members should recommend as I'm not too into the Workstation cards and the only one I can think of is the Quadro FX3800 but that's not cheap.
     
  8. doggeh

    doggeh New Member

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    I've used Solidworks on my gf's laptop and it seems to run it okay... obviously its slow but it seems more cpu related than gfx? What does the gfx card actually do when in a program like Solidworks? I've always thought the CPU did all the calculations and the gfx card just output it to the screen the same way it does for desktop or other programs like office etc...
     

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