Description

This machine was built specifically to do 3D renders in Lux Render, using 3D images exported from Daz Studio 3 Advanced via the Reality 2.2 plug-in.

I had some initial problems with the motherboard, and had to completely disassemble and reassemble the computer before I could even get it to POST. I have no idea what gremlin caused this.

I still haven't been able to get the BIOS to recognize the HDD, which is a Seagate 1TB Barracuda drive, as opposed to the WD drive I initially planned on. ($20 cheaper, and I had to build the machine before I'd planned because my laptop died.)

In any event, my only comment is that the built-in sound on the Gigabyte motherboard does not have good separation from the rest of the noise on the motherboard. There are constant pops and other little noises that are a function of the activities on the motherboard.

Gigabyte's support is, in a word, terrible. Today is the 3rd of January, 2013. As near as I can tell, they have been around exactly one day since December 19, 2012. Rather than trying to give me an answer that might have been useful, they gave me a useless boilerplate reply which pointed fingers everywhere but at themselves. I'm still awaiting an answer from them about the HD problem, and their suggestions.

The Antec cooler seems to work well. I'm waiting for a shipment of Arctic Silver compound to replace the stock coupling compound, because I'm getting occasional temperature spikes that have no reason for happening.

The Samsung drive came right up, however, I was unable to do a BIOS update because their website doesn't recognize that drive. (???) Their website is not terribly helpful, in general, btw.

The Gigabyte graphics card worked immediately after I got the motherboard problem resolved. I've updated to the latest AMD drivers, but can't really do an effective test of the board yet. I bought a high end graphics board so it would speed up Lux Render, but Lux Render seems incapable of using it. I'm not sure where that problem lives yet, whether it's the board or Lux Render. (My guess is Lux Render.)

The Corsair R-400 case has worked out quite well. It gives me room to work without being terribly obnoxious.

The Raidmax 730 power supply, so far, has been rock steady.

I opted for a Pioneer BDR-208 Blue Ray writer instead of the Lite-on unit, which got a lot of bad comments over on Amazon. I expect this Pioneer to be like every other device I've ever purchased from Pioneer. It will work long after it should have retired. (I have a 1970 SX-300 amplifier that is still running!)

Overall, this has gone pretty well, with the exception of the lack of support from Gigabyte. Maybe after I get the HD and cooling issues completely put to rest, I'll run some hard-core tests. Right now, the machine is earning it's keep. It can do in about an hour what my last computer took 7-12 hours to accomplish.

If you are curious, drop by my page at Capn-Gary.DeviantArt.com and take a look at what I use the machine for!

Comments

  • 84 months ago
  • 5 points

It's a rather good build, but that Raidmax power supply really bothers me. I can't find any professional reviews for it at all, and they are not known to make reliable PSUs. Not only that, but from what I can tell that 730W unit is only capable of 576W at max load, and has no 80 Plus certifications (signaling it either is horribly inefficient, or lacks basic safety mechanisms in case something goes wrong). I certainly hope that it remains rock solid, because if not, it'll likely damage or ruin those expensive components.

  • 84 months ago
  • 4 points

Sound reasoning on the PSU!! This may be a useful guide to some:

http://www.eggxpert.com/forums/thread/323050.aspx

  • 84 months ago
  • 2 points

Great parts though like mousseng stated I definitely wouldn't trust that PSU. I was under the impression that 3D rendering utilized CUDA cores which benefits Nvidia cards, I could be wrong, and or it could be software specific.

  • 84 months ago
  • 2 points

That sort of thing is entirely software dependent. Some programs do utilize CUDA, but lately OpenCL has been gaining a lot of traction as an alternative. OpenCL leverages a video card's compute power, which puts AMD's 7000-series at the head of the pack, with Nvidia's 500-series a little bit behind. The 600-series is kind of turd-like in this regard. Anyway, LuxRender uses OpenCL over CUDA.

Edit: GPGPU benchmarks

  • 84 months ago
  • 1 point

Wonderful, I'm always happy to add to my knowledge base, thank you for sharing the information!!

  • 84 months ago
  • 1 point

Good build with the exception of the Raidmax psu.

  • 84 months ago
  • 1 point

you've got some nice equipment except for that PSU. i know someone who went through three Raidmax PSUs in two years - all of them fried upon startup suddenly. i would keep a close eye on it and plan an alternative like Corsair or Seasonic.

also, to be a bit on the safe side, i'd get an external drive and do regular backups in case that PSU does more damage than simply giving out.

  • 83 months ago
  • 1 point

This is really similar to my build: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/BgzV