New Computer Decision- Paralysis by Analysis

Well, my 5-year old Dell is running out of room, will max at 16G RAM, and not enough power and physical room to put in anything larger than a GTX 1060.  So, I've been looking at upgrading to a new system, but have been waffling over several issues:

Video Cards- I've looked at a nice Dell system, but it only supports up to 225 Watt Video Cards.  It comes with 32GB of RAM and a GTX 1070 8GB GDDR5, but I can spend $150 more to upgrade to the GTX 1080 8GB GDDR5X.  With the 2060/70/80 RTX cards, does it make more sense to get the base 1070, and save the cash for a later upgrade to an RTX card, provided that it fits the case, and meets power requirements?

https://deals.dell.com/en-us/productdetail/29x0

I've also looked at the Alien-Ware gaming desktops, and although they come with an RTX 2070 card, the card has 8GB GDDR6 RAM, the box only has 16GB RAM, but I'd have to spend quite a bit more to upgrade RAM.  I also don't need the disco-lights.

https://deals.dell.com/en-us/productdetail/29we

 

I've had good luck with the computers I've had, and want to stick with Dell.  I'm leaning towards the first option, as it seems more bang for the buck.  Any thoughts on options or other upgrades?

Thanks,

-David

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Comments

  • kenshaw011267kenshaw011267 Posts: 1,532

    Alienware are just Dell's with a different name plate and sometimes a case that is "gamer." I'd avoid them. Dell is guilty of many things but what they've done to AW is pretty unforgivable.

    I'd get the rig with more upgrade options if I absolutely had to buy prebuilt. Of course if you can install a new graphics card and RAM sticks you are probably able to build the entire system yourself.

  • ebergerlyebergerly Posts: 2,842

    Delll is fne, as is Alienware. HP is also fine. There's a reason why they've been so popular for decades. Or you could build it yourself.  

    What a prebuilt like Dell/HP probably won't give you is future expandability. There's also a reason why those machines are inexpensive, and allowing for future expansion costs more. If you care a lot about future expansion then you could consider building it yourself. But as you're finding, most machines last for around 5 years and after that people tend to get a completely new machine, or decide they no longer are interested in computers and move on to something else. So while future expansion sounds good, in practice it might not be appropriate for everyone. It all depends on you.

    As to what you should buy, that totally depends on what you're willing to spend and exactly what you're going to use it for. Without that info you'll just get a lot of personal preference based on, well, personal preference. 

  • tj_1ca9500btj_1ca9500b Posts: 1,397
    edited April 21

    Unless something has changed recently, the largest amount of VRAM that's available in a laptop, at least as far as I'm aware of, is 8GB.  So, what might be more interesting is to make sure that your laptop choice has a Thunderbolt 3 port.  That will allow you to hook up a more powerful GPU to your laptop via an external box, but of course you'll need an AC power source for the box.

    So yeah, the 1070 graphics should have 8 GB of VRAM, the and the 1080's are faster when rendering.  The 1080 Ti is awesome, but last I checked there wasn't a mobile version of that chip being offered in a laptop.  Plus, we should have the new round of mobile chips coming soon from Nvidia.

    As for laptop ram, 32 GB of system ram should be doable fairly easily (2 x16 GB sticks). 

    I had an uber laptop with 64 GB of VRAM (4 ram slots), but it died.  And I won't recommend that particular laptop to anyone anymore at this point, due to how it died...

    Which brings up an interesting point.  When your laptop dies, there isn't much you can salvage from it as the GPU is integrated into the laptop.  Maybe your hard drives/SSDs and perhaps the memory, but that's about it.  Just be aware of that. 

    Rendering can be a bit hard on laptops, which is why many suggest using a desktop instead.  That's not to say that it can't be done, and indeed a number of people do render on laptops, but yeah rendering tends to push your laptop very hard, which generates a constant stream of heat while you are rendering.  Some laptops can handle this to a point, others not so much.  Also, rendering sucks battery life, but if you keep it plugged into AC power when rendering that's almost a non-issue. 

    If you end up using a GPU in an external enclosure via a Thunderbolt 3 port, this can help alleviate this issue, as the GPU rendering  heat isn't inside of the laptop anymore - unless you are using BOTH the internal and external GPU for a render to cut down on your render times for appropriately sized scenes GPU wise.  The GPU with the least ram dictates the size of your scene for Iray renders when combining GPUs.

    You did mention a Dell desktop system.  It might be worth checking the config to see how many ram slots the desktop has. If it has, say, four DDR 4 ram slots, you could arrange to have them populate two of them now (2 x 8 GB), and grab another 16 GB (also 2 x 8 GB) at a later date as your budget allows.

    Post edited by tj_1ca9500b on
  • JamesJABJamesJAB Posts: 1,543

    Unless something has changed recently, the largest amount of VRAM that's available in a laptop, at least as far as I'm aware of, is 8GB.  So, what might be more interesting is to make sure that your laptop choice has a Thunderbolt 3 port.  That will allow you to hook up a more powerful GPU to your laptop via an external box, but of course you'll need an AC power source for the box.

     

    I don't know when laptops came into this dicussion, but I need to correct you on statement quoted above.  The Nvidia Quadro P5000 and P5200 both come with 16GB of VRAM.
    Quadro P5000 = GTX 1070 GPU core with 16GB GDDR5 (100W)
    Quadro P5200 = GTX 1080 GPU core with 16GB GDDR5 (150W)
     

    Back on topic.
    So looking at both of those Dell systems you are looking at.  They both appear to be using the same tower frame but the alienware has a bunch of extra stuff on it to make it look more "impressive?".  That being said, not sure if I'm sold on the PSU being stacked directly on top of the CPU heatsink.  Also on Dell/Alienware systems, there are usualy bios imposed RAM limits on their boards.  Generaly the limit is the same as the maximum RAM that the webste will let you customize it with.

    Honestly, for me if I was to buy a new pre-built system it would have to be a Dell Precision workstation tower, becasue it will have a much longer lifecycle before it is effectively obsolete.
    Take the one in my signature for example (I purchased it used last year for about $500, added more RAM and faster CPUs for $300, and put in my existing HDDs and GTX 1080 ti)
    Dell Precision T7610 (Shipped July 2014):
    1300W Server PSU
    2x Xeon E5-26XX (V1 up to 8 core ,or V2 up to 12 core) CPUs (Max Total 24 cores, 48 threads)
    Up to 512GB REG ECC DDR3 (16x32GB DIMM, 8xDIMM per CPU)
    Up to 3 GPUs totaling  675W
    4x 3.5" HDDs expandable to add 4 more 2.5" HDDs (8 port SAS controller.  Compatible with SATA drives)
    Very good airflow and quiet machine even while rendering.

     

    If you want something with a warranty, I reccomend getting a Precision T7920 refurbished from the dell outlet site.  You can have one with a Xeon Silver (8 core) 32GB RAM and a Quadro P1000 4GB (Simmilar to Geforce GTX 1050 ti) for about $2000 with a 3 year onsite service warranty. (btw, the T7920 has a 1400W Server PSU, up to 3x GPUs totaling up to 750W, up to 2 x 28 core CPUs and up to 3TB RAM 12x128GB per CPU.)
    This machine would be a long haul sollution that you upgrade along the way and keep for a good 8-10 years.
    Components for "older" business class computers become very affordable in the used market (ebay) at about 3-4 years old.
     

  • Subtropic PixelSubtropic Pixel Posts: 1,785

    I have a new Alienware laptop, and although it was expensive, I would recommend it to anybody.  I haven't rendered anything on it yet, but so far it has been a wonderful machine.  I wouldn't eliminate Alienware at all.

  • nicsttnicstt Posts: 8,484

    I have a new Alienware laptop, and although it was expensive, I would recommend it to anybody.  I haven't rendered anything on it yet, but so far it has been a wonderful machine.  I wouldn't eliminate Alienware at all.

    I would; we have 4 at work and none have lasted long. Sure they get lots of use, but so is rendering.

  • nicsttnicstt Posts: 8,484

    Alienware are just Dell's with a different name plate and sometimes a case that is "gamer." I'd avoid them. Dell is guilty of many things but what they've done to AW is pretty unforgivable.

    I'd get the rig with more upgrade options if I absolutely had to buy prebuilt. Of course if you can install a new graphics card and RAM sticks you are probably able to build the entire system yourself.

    Agree; Alienware used to be good.

    Dell make great monitors, but have never been impressed with their computers. Alienware was a chance to change my perception: they haven't.

  • JamesJABJamesJAB Posts: 1,543
    nicstt said:

    Alienware are just Dell's with a different name plate and sometimes a case that is "gamer." I'd avoid them. Dell is guilty of many things but what they've done to AW is pretty unforgivable.

    I'd get the rig with more upgrade options if I absolutely had to buy prebuilt. Of course if you can install a new graphics card and RAM sticks you are probably able to build the entire system yourself.

    Agree; Alienware used to be good.

    Dell make great monitors, but have never been impressed with their computers. Alienware was a chance to change my perception: they haven't.

    If you want nice quality Dell laptops that will survive a heavy rendering workload, you need to look at the Dell Precision line.

  • nicsttnicstt Posts: 8,484
    JamesJAB said:
    nicstt said:

    Alienware are just Dell's with a different name plate and sometimes a case that is "gamer." I'd avoid them. Dell is guilty of many things but what they've done to AW is pretty unforgivable.

    I'd get the rig with more upgrade options if I absolutely had to buy prebuilt. Of course if you can install a new graphics card and RAM sticks you are probably able to build the entire system yourself.

    Agree; Alienware used to be good.

    Dell make great monitors, but have never been impressed with their computers. Alienware was a chance to change my perception: they haven't.

    If you want nice quality Dell laptops that will survive a heavy rendering workload, you need to look at the Dell Precision line.

    I don't use laptops for rendering. Unless space is at a premium or portability is essential, I consider them an expensive poor alternative to a desktop.

  • StarkdogStarkdog Posts: 48

    Hello all,

    Thank you for your advice.  I'm not 100% ready to push the button yet, and I'm looking into several of your suggestions.  I think in the interim, i'll get a larger backup external drive to move all my Poser/D|S purchases, downloads, libraries to, and sort everything before plugging up a new machine.  For those using D|S on Windows 10, how do you limit OneDrive from backing up the whole computer to Microsoft?  I want to keep my D|S items local on a external drive, and not in the cloud.

    Thanks, -David

  • I have a new Alienware laptop, and although it was expensive, I would recommend it to anybody.  I haven't rendered anything on it yet, but so far it has been a wonderful machine.  I wouldn't eliminate Alienware at all.

    I would, due to the simple fact that they install so much bloatware on them(or at least they were when I purchased mine), such as Support Assist, Alienware Respawn, etc., not to mention some of the unecessary garbage that runs in the background whenever it wants to. I can get an equally powerful system with more storage options and NO BLOATWARE from Digital Storm for less than what Dell offers, and I wouldn't have to pay an extra $100 for US-based tech support.

  • kenshaw011267kenshaw011267 Posts: 1,532
    Starkdog said:

    Hello all,

    Thank you for your advice.  I'm not 100% ready to push the button yet, and I'm looking into several of your suggestions.  I think in the interim, i'll get a larger backup external drive to move all my Poser/D|S purchases, downloads, libraries to, and sort everything before plugging up a new machine.  For those using D|S on Windows 10, how do you limit OneDrive from backing up the whole computer to Microsoft?  I want to keep my D|S items local on a external drive, and not in the cloud.

    Thanks, -David

    OneDrive doesn't do that automatically. If your install is trying to do that you need to check your settings. I have Tb's of data on my PC's and my OneDrive account has only a few Gb stored.

  • outrider42outrider42 Posts: 1,968
    You can always add more RAM yourself at a later date, so you don't need to buy it all up front if it is prohibitive. In fact, the price of RAM has dropped quite a bit and is predicted to keep dropping through 2019 to some pretty historic lows. You should be able to add in the extra 16gb for less than $100 easily, even right now.

    Its very hard to recommend a GPU because we just don't know what you are looking for. What do you have now, and how much faster do you want to be? The benchmark thread is in my sig. You can run the bench yourself, and then use other people's times to estimate how much faster you would be with that card. Maybe that will give you a baseline of what to go for.
  • IvyIvy Posts: 5,498
    edited April 26

    If any one wants to upgrade a 5 year old computer to a mining/or render gpu rig  I highly recommend Geek squd.

    They had my whole system for 5 days added 2 new gtx 1080ti 11gb cards in a external GPU cooling box  and they were able to get daz studio to recognize  both cards in the iray properties, they also were able to set my external gpu box as a render rig server accessing both gpus using the daz beta render server settings in a virtual desk top using 10zig software.   I turned my 5 year old i7 3.8Ghz computer into a heck of a nice 22.5 gb gpu rendering system for animation.

    we got the system back this afternoon , so i really have not had much time to play with it yet to see what t can do. but i was very please to see daz recognized both 1080ti's.. not sure if its going to use both cards but so far i can run the view put as I am building in real time which has been a helluva improvement over my 980ti's

    anyway I highly recommend geek squad for complicated PC upgrades worth the money spent.

    I posted couple of screen shots

    capture1.jpg
    477 x 841 - 66K
    capture2.jpg
    473 x 716 - 53K
    Capture.JPG
    731 x 547 - 99K
    Post edited by Ivy on
  • bytescapesbytescapes Posts: 969
    edited April 27

    I'd also welcome advice on buying/building a PC.

    I have an ASUS ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1070 Ti 8GB card that I bought, hoping to use it in a Sonnet breakout box attached to my MacBook Pro. Unfortunately, for me to use it with the current version of MacOS X, Nvidia will need to release new drivers -- and because Apple has no interest in supporting Nvidia, it looks like that isn't going to happen. So I'm thinking about putting it into a PC.

    One option would be to build my own system. However, I do software rather than hardware and my PC building experience is limited to doing salvage work on some ancient 386s (take a bunch of junk Pcs and try to make a few good ones out of the bits). I'm not up on the finer points of modern PC building -- putting a dozen custom components together and getting them to play nice together, much less on choosing the right components in the first place. If I go that route, I want a foolproof recipe that won't leave me cursing over a pile of bits for two weeks, wondering why it won't even POST.

    Dell also has some stupidly good prices on refurb T3610s currently, and I'm wondering if they might be a possible option.

    What would you do in my position, if you wanted the simplest and quickest route to a working machine that could run DAZ Studio effectively?

    Thanks in advance for any recommendations.

    UPDATE: I forgot to mention two more criteria. I'd ideally like to bring it in under $1000-1200, and I'd like something quiet. I'd rather not have a system that sounds like a 747 at takeoff every time I kick off a render.

    Post edited by bytescapes on
  • Starkdog said:

    Hello all,

    Thank you for your advice.  I'm not 100% ready to push the button yet, and I'm looking into several of your suggestions.  I think in the interim, i'll get a larger backup external drive to move all my Poser/D|S purchases, downloads, libraries to, and sort everything before plugging up a new machine.  For those using D|S on Windows 10, how do you limit OneDrive from backing up the whole computer to Microsoft?  I want to keep my D|S items local on a external drive, and not in the cloud.

    Thanks, -David

    Dell and HP make good reliable systems, but they have their drawbacks in that their hardware tends to be set up inside a window that doesn't lend itself well to future upgradeability.  If, however, you're not computer savvy, plan on keeping a system for a number of years, and don't have easy reliable access to IT help, that might not necessarily be a bad thing.

    You can set One Drive so that it doesn't automatically log in.  It will prompt you when you turn your computer on, but just close the interface and it stays offline.  Like someone else stated, when the computer is set up, you can easily opt out of backing up to One Drive.  That option can also be turned off later.  Microsoft only uses that pitch to promote using their online system.

    You should however, have a good backup plan if you have a lot of Daz content.  One Drive can provide that, but you could also do the same with an inexpensive external drive.

  • edited April 27

    I'd also welcome advice on buying/building a PC.

    I have an ASUS ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1070 Ti 8GB card that I bought, hoping to use it in a Sonnet breakout box attached to my MacBook Pro. Unfortunately, for me to use it with the current version of MacOS X, Nvidia will need to release new drivers -- and because Apple has no interest in supporting Nvidia, it looks like that isn't going to happen. So I'm thinking about putting it into a PC.

    One option would be to build my own system. However, I do software rather than hardware and my PC building experience is limited to doing salvage work on some ancient 386s (take a bunch of junk Pcs and try to make a few good ones out of the bits). I'm not up on the finer points of modern PC building -- putting a dozen custom components together and getting them to play nice together, much less on choosing the right components in the first place. If I go that route, I want a foolproof recipe that won't leave me cursing over a pile of bits for two weeks, wondering why it won't even POST.

    Dell also has some stupidly good prices on refurb T3610s currently, and I'm wondering if they might be a possible option.

    What would you do in my position, if you wanted the simplest and quickest route to a working machine that could run DAZ Studio effectively?

    Thanks in advance for any recommendations.

    I would do a bit of reading about components first, then start an online quote with a good reputation custom build company such as Cyberpower or IBuy power (or any of a number of others), tell them exactly what (this is very important) you want to do with your system, and see what they can offer.  Tell them your budget up front.  You need to be willing to say NO if you don't like their proposed upgrades (because they WILL try) cheeky.  They'll assign an agent to help you through it, and you can always say no, and start over somewhere else if you don't feel comfortable.

    Not glamorous or full of drama, and it might take a bit longer, but it most often works.

    Post edited by davidwski_16294691f0 on
  • outrider42outrider42 Posts: 1,968

    There are a variety of part picker sites that can help, they are capable of notifying you if some parts will not work. They are not 100% accurate, but you can get baseline of what the build will look like and then examine it more closely. Also, users can upload their personal machines for others to look at, giving you a look at some of what people are building today.

    https://pcpartpicker.com/

    Most evidence generally points to Iray not caring about most of your PC with exception of the GPU. So if you are really looking to save money, you can totally grab a dirt cheap workstation like that and make it into a GPU render powerhouse by simply adding a good GPU. There are some very extreme examples of this in the benchmark thread, where at least two different users added cards like the 1070 or better to computers that were built around 2007. These things were so old they were using DDR2 RAM and PCIe 2.0, and they had a Core 2 Duo or Quad (I cannot recall exactly right now, but it was one of those.) All of those are very outdated by today's standards. It didn't matter! The 1070 in that old junker rendered almost exactly as fast as a 1070 in a brand new system.

    What many people don't think about is that Daz Studio and Iray is not like a video game. You do not need to be super concerned about "balancing" the parts of your system...the GPU is the #1 priority. It is good to have some RAM, most people might say 32GB, but this all depends on how you use Daz. 16 might be fine for you. The great thing about RAM is you always add more super easy, as long as your motherboard can take more.

    Now running something with very low spec might make Daz Studio itself a bit less pleasant of an experience, but a workstation probably wont have that problem.

    It is all up to you. If all you want to do is strictly a render box, then such a machine isn't a bad idea as long as the price is right. If you want to do other things with this machine, then bumping up spec might matter a little more. It really does come down to how much you would really save.

    One very important note if anyone is serious about using a machine that old, you will very likely want a new power supply to make sure it has the overhead if you are looking to install large power hungry GPUs. Though the 1070ti isn't really super power hungry. A 500 Watt supply is more than enough, although if this is a workstation with dual CPUs, that requirement might increase a bit.

    For me, personally, I am holding out for the next generation of Ryzen which has long been rumored to be launching on July 7 (7-7, because AMD REALLY wants to advertise their 7 nanometer fab.) Many rumors point to them releasing a 16 core CPU for desktop, which is nuts.

    So it may not be a bad idea to wait just a while longer. Even if you do not buy the new Ryzen, the new chips will likely cause trickle down price drops across the board, meaning your buying power should increase. AMD is also expected to be finally launching Navi GPUs as well, which could cause price drops for GPUs, too. Keep in mind this is all speculation, but many of the people reporting these swear by their sources and have been correct in the past. I too expect AMD to launch a lot of new hardware in July. Of course Iray will not use AMD GPUs, but again, if these cards compete well on price, they could cause price drops for Nvidia cards. Good competition helps us all!

  • kenshaw011267kenshaw011267 Posts: 1,532

    I'd also welcome advice on buying/building a PC.

    I have an ASUS ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1070 Ti 8GB card that I bought, hoping to use it in a Sonnet breakout box attached to my MacBook Pro. Unfortunately, for me to use it with the current version of MacOS X, Nvidia will need to release new drivers -- and because Apple has no interest in supporting Nvidia, it looks like that isn't going to happen. So I'm thinking about putting it into a PC.

    One option would be to build my own system. However, I do software rather than hardware and my PC building experience is limited to doing salvage work on some ancient 386s (take a bunch of junk Pcs and try to make a few good ones out of the bits). I'm not up on the finer points of modern PC building -- putting a dozen custom components together and getting them to play nice together, much less on choosing the right components in the first place. If I go that route, I want a foolproof recipe that won't leave me cursing over a pile of bits for two weeks, wondering why it won't even POST.

    Dell also has some stupidly good prices on refurb T3610s currently, and I'm wondering if they might be a possible option.

    What would you do in my position, if you wanted the simplest and quickest route to a working machine that could run DAZ Studio effectively?

    Thanks in advance for any recommendations.

    UPDATE: I forgot to mention two more criteria. I'd ideally like to bring it in under $1000-1200, and I'd like something quiet. I'd rather not have a system that sounds like a 747 at takeoff every time I kick off a render.

    If you already have the 1070ti you can easily build a decent rendering rig for less than your budget.

    Ryxen 3 will be releasing at Computex but who knows which models, the last two times it was a staggered rollout. So you could conceivably wait till early June but you don't need the best CPU for rendering and there are really good bargains on CPU's and Mobo's right now.

    You can go witha refurb box but you need to get the exact specs and make sure they fit your needs. There is very little point in buying an old box and then finding you need a new PSU, a larger drive and extra RAM on top of that.

    Finally if you've ever built a PC you can do it now. PC building is easier than ever. The only real chore, assuming you get a decent case, is connecting the front panel controls to the Mobo. Every other part of the PC is based on one way plugs so its almost impossible to screwup but the front panel connectors remain individual wires that have to be plugged in one at a time, I wind up using tweezers to do it.

  • JamesJABJamesJAB Posts: 1,543

    I'd also welcome advice on buying/building a PC.

    I have an ASUS ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1070 Ti 8GB card that I bought, hoping to use it in a Sonnet breakout box attached to my MacBook Pro. Unfortunately, for me to use it with the current version of MacOS X, Nvidia will need to release new drivers -- and because Apple has no interest in supporting Nvidia, it looks like that isn't going to happen. So I'm thinking about putting it into a PC.

    One option would be to build my own system. However, I do software rather than hardware and my PC building experience is limited to doing salvage work on some ancient 386s (take a bunch of junk Pcs and try to make a few good ones out of the bits). I'm not up on the finer points of modern PC building -- putting a dozen custom components together and getting them to play nice together, much less on choosing the right components in the first place. If I go that route, I want a foolproof recipe that won't leave me cursing over a pile of bits for two weeks, wondering why it won't even POST.

    Dell also has some stupidly good prices on refurb T3610s currently, and I'm wondering if they might be a possible option.

    What would you do in my position, if you wanted the simplest and quickest route to a working machine that could run DAZ Studio effectively?

    Thanks in advance for any recommendations.

    UPDATE: I forgot to mention two more criteria. I'd ideally like to bring it in under $1000-1200, and I'd like something quiet. I'd rather not have a system that sounds like a 747 at takeoff every time I kick off a render.

    The only issue that I could see you running into has to do with the exact card that you purchased...  That thing is one of the largest graphics cards I have ever seen! 
    Take a look at the picture in this post.  Outlined in red is the GTX 1070 ti FE.  The stock clock speed FE card is rated to use up to 180W, unfortunately once companies like ASUS get their hands on them they try squeezing aevery bit of performance out of that chip with crazy cooling setups and custom PCBs, as a side effect that over clocked card your purchased may acutaly be using 300W (More power usage than the TITAN XP just for a couple of hundered extra MHz)
    All of the larger Dell Precision Towers like the one that you mentioned, T3610 (Not the 3620 that one is a smaller tower) have enough length inside for any modern GPU.  The problem is the height (how far out from the socket).  It will be a tight squeeze if it fits.  I can tell you for a fact that that it's too tall for the T7600, T7610, and T7910. (these models are the ones with the 1300W PSU and 2 extra PCI-e 16x slots that use the lanes from the second CPU)
    Also from an airflow standpoint, a GPU with the traditional blower style cooling (like the 10 series FE cards) will be better in the Precision towers because the airflow stup is designed to pull all of the air in the front and push it out the back.
    If the card is still inside the store return policy, I would seriously consider returning it and selecting one that's closer to the industry standard 4.4" (full height) card
     

    I own a Precision T7610 (specs are in my signature block) and even while rendering with both CPUs, the GTX 1080 ti and Quadro K4000 at 100% usage this computer is resonably quiet.
    At idle it's almost silent.

    GTX1070ti STRIX Compare.jpg
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  • outrider42outrider42 Posts: 1,968
    edited April 28

    Triple fan cards tend to be pretty big, so its not really so strange these days. High end GPUs can be between 11" and 12" in length. The thickness of the card can come into play if you ever plan on using multiple GPUs. My old case could only take GPUs up to 10.5", so I had to change it in order to make the upgrades to the 1080ti.

    My MSI 1080ti Gaming X is pretty beastly, too, and it has only two fans. I knew it would be large, but I was still stunned when opened the box. Holy cow, somebody could seriously use this GPU as a weapon! Its really heavy, too. The 1070ti shown is only a quarter inch longer than my 1080ti. The MSI totally dwarfs my EVGA 1080ti SC, though the EVGA is just about as long, the MSI is much wider and thicker. Both cards pretty much offer the same performance by themselves, however the fat butt MSI serves to choke my EVGA just a bit because of how wide it is. Its not too bad, I run an aggressive fan curve with MSI Afterburner to keep them cool. Otherwise the EVGA would get quite warm. I tried swapping the cards but found the results not really better. So I swapped back.

    The reason I got the MSI was because I found it for a great price. I bought each of my GPUs used at different times.

    As a further note, my i5-4690k dates back to 2014, which while not exactly outdated is kind of long in the tooth by some standards. But it hasn't caused me any trouble at all with rendering. My render times are right there with other users with similar hardware. In fact, my times are actually faster than several users who also have 1080ti's in their newer machines, which could be down to clockspeeds and temp throttling. I keep my case well vented and as I said I control the fan curves to help stay cool. That should further prove how little the CPU counts for GPU rendering Iray. Still, I want to upgrade to a new Ryzen because I do play video games, plus I have other interests that would benefit from quality CPU cores.

    Post edited by outrider42 on
  • namffuaknamffuak Posts: 2,955
     

    You should however, have a good backup plan if you have a lot of Daz content.  One Drive can provide that, but you could also do the same with an inexpensive external drive.

    This! And don't count on the "cloud" for use in recovering a failed drive. I have a 2 TB external USB drive that I download to at wifi hotspots. Wednesday evening it showed a number of hard read errors trying to copy my latest DIM downloads to my main system. So I broke out a spare drive and rebuilt from backups. It took 13 hours to copy over 1.64 TB of data using USB 3 on the same system for the source and target drive. And this is one of my small drives.At the end I had to re-download just the one day of DIM install files - everything else from Wednesday I recovered from the failing drive.

    Also - whatever you use for backup software, test the backup at least quarterly - monthly is better. The last thing you want is to find that your backups are corrupt and unusable when you try to recover with them. When you test -- do NOT clobber the original files - restore somewhere else and cross-compare to the original, I used to be the system recovery specialist at work, and it is amazing how many companies get this wrong.

  • ParadigmParadigm Posts: 305
    namffuak said:
     

    You should however, have a good backup plan if you have a lot of Daz content.  One Drive can provide that, but you could also do the same with an inexpensive external drive.

    This! And don't count on the "cloud" for use in recovering a failed drive. I have a 2 TB external USB drive that I download to at wifi hotspots. Wednesday evening it showed a number of hard read errors trying to copy my latest DIM downloads to my main system. So I broke out a spare drive and rebuilt from backups. It took 13 hours to copy over 1.64 TB of data using USB 3 on the same system for the source and target drive. And this is one of my small drives.At the end I had to re-download just the one day of DIM install files - everything else from Wednesday I recovered from the failing drive.

    Also - whatever you use for backup software, test the backup at least quarterly - monthly is better. The last thing you want is to find that your backups are corrupt and unusable when you try to recover with them. When you test -- do NOT clobber the original files - restore somewhere else and cross-compare to the original, I used to be the system recovery specialist at work, and it is amazing how many companies get this wrong.

    https://www.amazon.com/My-Passport-Ultra-Portable-External-Drive-USB-C/dp/B079V4L9BD?th=1
    2 TB external drive for $70. 4TB is $120. Crazy cheap and very useful. I have the old 2TB non USB-C one and I use it as my travelling content library all the time.

    As for backups, just use microsoft synctoy.

  • namffuaknamffuak Posts: 2,955
    Paradigm said:
    namffuak said:
     

    You should however, have a good backup plan if you have a lot of Daz content.  One Drive can provide that, but you could also do the same with an inexpensive external drive.

    This! And don't count on the "cloud" for use in recovering a failed drive. I have a 2 TB external USB drive that I download to at wifi hotspots. Wednesday evening it showed a number of hard read errors trying to copy my latest DIM downloads to my main system. So I broke out a spare drive and rebuilt from backups. It took 13 hours to copy over 1.64 TB of data using USB 3 on the same system for the source and target drive. And this is one of my small drives.At the end I had to re-download just the one day of DIM install files - everything else from Wednesday I recovered from the failing drive.

    Also - whatever you use for backup software, test the backup at least quarterly - monthly is better. The last thing you want is to find that your backups are corrupt and unusable when you try to recover with them. When you test -- do NOT clobber the original files - restore somewhere else and cross-compare to the original, I used to be the system recovery specialist at work, and it is amazing how many companies get this wrong.

    https://www.amazon.com/My-Passport-Ultra-Portable-External-Drive-USB-C/dp/B079V4L9BD?th=1
    2 TB external drive for $70. 4TB is $120. Crazy cheap and very useful. I have the old 2TB non USB-C one and I use it as my travelling content library all the time.

    As for backups, just use microsoft synctoy.

    I use SyncBackPro from 2brightsparks. It's a smart copy utility that saves files in original format which makes testing and validating the backup trivial.

    And I keep a spare or two of each (2 TB and 4 TB) size, just in case. I currently have 7 X 2 TB and 7 X 4 TB in use on 3 systems. For those on windows 7 or 8.1 - the "create system image" process will toss its cookies on a drive larger than 3 TB - so I have 2 of the 2 TB drives on each system for alternating weekly backups of the system image.

  • kenshaw011267kenshaw011267 Posts: 1,532

    Rather than having lots of dedicate dHDD I recommend getting an external enclosure like this one:

    https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA8N28VB6086&Description=external drive enclosure&cm_re=external_drive_enclosure-_-17-392-111-_-Product

    And then you can put in and take out standard SATA HDD/SSD's as you need it.

     

  • namffuaknamffuak Posts: 2,955

    Rather than having lots of dedicate dHDD I recommend getting an external enclosure like this one:

    https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA8N28VB6086&Description=external drive enclosure&cm_re=external_drive_enclosure-_-17-392-111-_-Product

    And then you can put in and take out standard SATA HDD/SSD's as you need it.

     

    I've got something similar in use on my DVR - but for my computers the external drives are near-line storage, not on-line storage and I explicitly do NOT want external power for them.With the exception of the one 2 TB for the laptop none of them get accessed for anything except backup and recovery.

  • SpitSpit Posts: 2,307
    Starkdog said:

    Well, my 5-year old Dell is running out of room, will max at 16G RAM, and not enough power and physical room to put in anything larger than a GTX 1060.  So, I've been looking at upgrading to a new system, but have been waffling over several issues:

    Video Cards- I've looked at a nice Dell system, but it only supports up to 225 Watt Video Cards.  It comes with 32GB of RAM and a GTX 1070 8GB GDDR5, but I can spend $150 more to upgrade to the GTX 1080 8GB GDDR5X.  With the 2060/70/80 RTX cards, does it make more sense to get the base 1070, and save the cash for a later upgrade to an RTX card, provided that it fits the case, and meets power requirements?

    https://deals.dell.com/en-us/productdetail/29x0

    I've also looked at the Alien-Ware gaming desktops, and although they come with an RTX 2070 card, the card has 8GB GDDR6 RAM, the box only has 16GB RAM, but I'd have to spend quite a bit more to upgrade RAM.  I also don't need the disco-lights.

    https://deals.dell.com/en-us/productdetail/29we

     

    I've had good luck with the computers I've had, and want to stick with Dell.  I'm leaning towards the first option, as it seems more bang for the buck.  Any thoughts on options or other upgrades?

    Thanks,

    -David

    I hear ya and agree re Dell. Been using them since '94 when I was forced kicking and screaming away from my Amigas. I just got a new one last Fall. The previous Dell (i5) lasted 7 years and, honestly, was still fine for everything I did except iRay.

    In the new Dell I have an i7 8700k and a GTX 1080 and 32 gigs of ram. I use intel for video which leaves my 1080 free for iray. On Win 10, however, ms reserves 1.4 gigs of my 1080 which I can't use. Bummer.I have 6.64 G for iray.

    Dell GTX 1080 uses less juice than some of the other names. In fact Dell uses the basic spec with no boost clocking as do more than half of the manufacturers. The supplied power supply can handle it easily. As for upgrading you can fill the connections available (ie, add an extra hd and utilize your usb) but ram might be a problem.

    If you're comfortable and experienced with Dell as you seem to be, don't be afraid to continue with them.

     

  • JamesJABJamesJAB Posts: 1,543
    Spit said:
    Starkdog said:

    Well, my 5-year old Dell is running out of room, will max at 16G RAM, and not enough power and physical room to put in anything larger than a GTX 1060.  So, I've been looking at upgrading to a new system, but have been waffling over several issues:

    Video Cards- I've looked at a nice Dell system, but it only supports up to 225 Watt Video Cards.  It comes with 32GB of RAM and a GTX 1070 8GB GDDR5, but I can spend $150 more to upgrade to the GTX 1080 8GB GDDR5X.  With the 2060/70/80 RTX cards, does it make more sense to get the base 1070, and save the cash for a later upgrade to an RTX card, provided that it fits the case, and meets power requirements?

    https://deals.dell.com/en-us/productdetail/29x0

    I've also looked at the Alien-Ware gaming desktops, and although they come with an RTX 2070 card, the card has 8GB GDDR6 RAM, the box only has 16GB RAM, but I'd have to spend quite a bit more to upgrade RAM.  I also don't need the disco-lights.

    https://deals.dell.com/en-us/productdetail/29we

     

    I've had good luck with the computers I've had, and want to stick with Dell.  I'm leaning towards the first option, as it seems more bang for the buck.  Any thoughts on options or other upgrades?

    Thanks,

    -David

    I hear ya and agree re Dell. Been using them since '94 when I was forced kicking and screaming away from my Amigas. I just got a new one last Fall. The previous Dell (i5) lasted 7 years and, honestly, was still fine for everything I did except iRay.

    In the new Dell I have an i7 8700k and a GTX 1080 and 32 gigs of ram. I use intel for video which leaves my 1080 free for iray. On Win 10, however, ms reserves 1.4 gigs of my 1080 which I can't use. Bummer.I have 6.64 G for iray.

    Dell GTX 1080 uses less juice than some of the other names. In fact Dell uses the basic spec with no boost clocking as do more than half of the manufacturers. The supplied power supply can handle it easily. As for upgrading you can fill the connections available (ie, add an extra hd and utilize your usb) but ram might be a problem.

    If you're comfortable and experienced with Dell as you seem to be, don't be afraid to continue with them.

     

    You might want to try this trick to free up vram since you are not using your GTX 1080 for a display.
    Go into your Nvidia Control Panel
    -3D Settings
    -Configure Surround, PhysX
    -PhysX Settings
    -Processor = GTX 1080
    -Check the box for dedicate to PhysX

    Now when you look at the card in the task manager you will see something like 16MB of VRAM in use and the GPU will sit at its minimum clock speed when not rendering.

  • Subtropic PixelSubtropic Pixel Posts: 1,785

    I have a new Alienware laptop, and although it was expensive, I would recommend it to anybody.  I haven't rendered anything on it yet, but so far it has been a wonderful machine.  I wouldn't eliminate Alienware at all.

    I would, due to the simple fact that they install so much bloatware on them(or at least they were when I purchased mine), such as Support Assist, Alienware Respawn, etc., not to mention some of the unecessary garbage that runs in the background whenever it wants to. I can get an equally powerful system with more storage options and NO BLOATWARE from Digital Storm for less than what Dell offers, and I wouldn't have to pay an extra $100 for US-based tech support.

    I was able to order mine without bloatware.  Can't speak for the longevity, but I guess we will all find out together, yes?

     

  • SpitSpit Posts: 2,307
    JamesJAB said:
    Spit said:
    Starkdog said:

    Well, my 5-year old Dell is running out of room, will max at 16G RAM, and not enough power and physical room to put in anything larger than a GTX 1060.  So, I've been looking at upgrading to a new system, but have been waffling over several issues:

    Video Cards- I've looked at a nice Dell system, but it only supports up to 225 Watt Video Cards.  It comes with 32GB of RAM and a GTX 1070 8GB GDDR5, but I can spend $150 more to upgrade to the GTX 1080 8GB GDDR5X.  With the 2060/70/80 RTX cards, does it make more sense to get the base 1070, and save the cash for a later upgrade to an RTX card, provided that it fits the case, and meets power requirements?

    https://deals.dell.com/en-us/productdetail/29x0

    I've also looked at the Alien-Ware gaming desktops, and although they come with an RTX 2070 card, the card has 8GB GDDR6 RAM, the box only has 16GB RAM, but I'd have to spend quite a bit more to upgrade RAM.  I also don't need the disco-lights.

    https://deals.dell.com/en-us/productdetail/29we

     

    I've had good luck with the computers I've had, and want to stick with Dell.  I'm leaning towards the first option, as it seems more bang for the buck.  Any thoughts on options or other upgrades?

    Thanks,

    -David

    I hear ya and agree re Dell. Been using them since '94 when I was forced kicking and screaming away from my Amigas. I just got a new one last Fall. The previous Dell (i5) lasted 7 years and, honestly, was still fine for everything I did except iRay.

    In the new Dell I have an i7 8700k and a GTX 1080 and 32 gigs of ram. I use intel for video which leaves my 1080 free for iray. On Win 10, however, ms reserves 1.4 gigs of my 1080 which I can't use. Bummer.I have 6.64 G for iray.

    Dell GTX 1080 uses less juice than some of the other names. In fact Dell uses the basic spec with no boost clocking as do more than half of the manufacturers. The supplied power supply can handle it easily. As for upgrading you can fill the connections available (ie, add an extra hd and utilize your usb) but ram might be a problem.

    If you're comfortable and experienced with Dell as you seem to be, don't be afraid to continue with them.

     

    You might want to try this trick to free up vram since you are not using your GTX 1080 for a display.
    Go into your Nvidia Control Panel
    -3D Settings
    -Configure Surround, PhysX
    -PhysX Settings
    -Processor = GTX 1080
    -Check the box for dedicate to PhysX

    Now when you look at the card in the task manager you will see something like 16MB of VRAM in use and the GPU will sit at its minimum clock speed when not rendering.

    Thanks for the info. But I can't access the nVidia Control panel because it's not attached to a display. (That's what the message says anyway when I select it from the context menu on the desktop)

    Spent some time researching and all I can say is 'It's always something' and I think Windows 10, though nice on the surface, is a maze of rabbit holes, tunnels, and mazes.

     

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