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Building a new computer for the office, and refreshing the old computer for working at home.



Tech Intern
Mar 11, 2024
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I'm an artist working mostly with creating artwork and "good enough" visualizations for public art competitions for myself and clients.
I got good advice here on my last build from Jerry James, and now I'm on the verge of turning my current computer into the "old" computer for work at home and building the "new" computer for the office. Sorry for the long post.

Tasks on the computer in order of importance:
Main workload:
1. Modelling in Rhino 3d, where I also import huge 3d models of buildings for visualizations.
2. Screenshots of animated 4K viewport in Rhino 3d with Nvidia GeForce experience. (As it is now, I always have to compromise on the amount of lights and material detail, unfortunately.)
Secondary workload:
3. Adobe Photoshop. It seems as if all Adobe products benefit from the Intel CPU?
4. Adobe After Effects.
5. Adobe InDesign, and Adobe Illustrator.
6. Lots of other random applications that as far as I know are not important to consider for the choice of system.

No gaming at all. No "real" rendering because of impatient clients and self.
My workflow demands having many applications open at the same time. (Not while screen shooting though, then I only have Rhino 3d running).

The budget for the new computer is roughly 1500$ for only MB, CPU and RAM.
But if this build is "future proof"... I can postpone my upgrade cycle a couple of years, and expand the budget a bit. I usually upgrade every 2-5 years, depending on the need.
I buy parts in Sweden which is not super cheap, but can deduct the VAT.
Some degree of energy efficiency is also considered a plus.

The parts for the new computer that I already have are:
GPU: GeForce RTX 4070 Ti TUF Gaming OC 12GB.
Case: Corsair Obsidian 800D
PSU: Corsair 1200 W
I'm really happy with my current Noctua NH-U12A, so I probably buy a fitting Noctua for this system as well even though they are a bit pricy.

After reading up on the state of affairs for 2024, my conclusion is that for points 1-5 the new computer should (maybe?) be an Intel system this time. Is that right? (It's really confusing because my main odd duck software is not mentioned at all, and the choice of using Cinema 4D as a reference for the viewport benchmark seems odd, or at least confusing to me because the different versions are all over the place.)
If Intel, what version of i7 or i9 should I choose? The Core i7 14700K has been mentioned by Jerry James as the middle ground between energy efficiency and speed.
The speed seems to come at a price in cooling challenges and energy bills though.
I'm working long hours, and I do not have the need for speed all of the time.
Do the Intel CPUs have a clever way of detecting and adjusting for that?
Or do I have to choose MSI MB to make the CPU clever? (I'm not totally clear on what the article below says...) https://www.msi.com/news/detail/Sta...Function-for-Intel-14th-Gen-Processors-143359
Then I need advice on the Motherboard and RAM. Lanes and stuff on the motherboard, and maybe only 2 sticks of RAM for using said lanes best?

The old computer:
AMD Ryzen 9 3900X (not overclocked)
Noctua NH-U12A
Asus Pro WS X570-Ace
Asus GeForce RTX 2060 Super ROG Strix Gaming OC 2xHDMI 2xDP 8GB
GeForce RTX 4070 Ti TUF Gaming OC 12GB
RAM G.Skill TridentZ Neo DDR4-3600 C16 QC - 64GB (using 4 sticks, was maybe not the greatest idea for performance utilizing lanes?)
PSU Corsair 1000 w
As I understand, the only part worth upgrading for the old computer is the CPU, and maybe then to a Ryzen (are 7, or 9 possible? 7 7800x?) Or something like the 5950X? As Alex Glawion replied to someone who was using Blender. Apples and pears, I know.
If that's a sound idea performance/economical-wise, what version would be best for my needs? Or should I just leave it as it is, or maybe try overclocking? The only real problem I had with this build was the screen shooting part, which is always too slow, even after upgrading to the 4070 Ti.

Sorry again for the rant, but my head is almost exploding with updates. Building a computer in the end of 2019 was so much easier.

Best regards Jan

Tim D

Tech Assistant
Nov 23, 2023
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I built my last box almost exclusively to run Rhino (I've used it since it was a Beta prior to release) and went AM5 route because Blender and the Cycles render engine is faster and more suited. I don't use much if any Adobe stuff which is up to 25% faster on Intel (see Puget Systems analysis). The Intel route will allow more RAM 128 maybe 192Gb, at least as currently. The AM5 boards support 64gb running 6000mhz on EXPO - I have 2 sticks of Kingston Fury (36CL latency). You will find some of the DDR5 RAM is both EXPO and XMP which might be useful to have if you wish to swap. It is possible that BIOS updates on AM5 boards will support more RAM in the future. Some Intel boards support DDR4 RAM and 13900K and 14900k etc.

I think your 1200w PSU is fine, the U12A is good ( I went for it over the 15 but the 7950x and 3D variant run cooler than Intel) but you might want to clock the Intel 14900 or 13900 down a tiny bit to get better temperatures and run less power in terms of watts without losing much speed. The Intels run really hot at full chat over 100 deg C. You can research this and find a good compromise. Even the 14700 will run pretty hot. You will need a good airflow case - I ended up with one of the Fractal Meshify variants though ideally I would have liked an internal optical drive.

There have been a number of changes in computer hardware in a relatively short space of time over the last two or so years so can understand the exploding head syndrome!. Ironic that my old Win 7 box has in excess of all the hardware requirements for Win 11 but cannot run it - UEFI and TPM problems. Built a couple of other machines for other people in the interim including a decent AM4 box not so long ago.

Of the useful newer items I think the ATX 3 PSU standard is a good idea and the newer graphics card power connector as well. DDR5 RAM is faster despite the higher latency clocking. Would be good to have a more workstation orientation of some of these high end cnsumer machines ie quad or octo channel memory but the Zen 4 TRX boards etc and gear are out of my price range!.

Might have been nuts but I went all out with RTX 4090 with studio driver, because of render speed, and specifically Gigabyte Windforce V2 because of power connector. So far no problems wit it but updating the drivers have resulted in it cutting it's temperatures from 60 to 30 degrees C. Not sure if that was Nvidia or Rhino 7 and 8. Now reliably at 30-32 deg max in Rhino 8 WIP. I also suspect that Gigabyte built their 4090 in Taiwan with local connectors which may be a better alloy and better wire drawn than the Chinese ones some other manufaturers have used - see burnt out connector problem and great article (linked) Alex put on the Thread about it (in German). As soon as I raytrace render the fans on the card start and definitely keep it cool, but also it is quite impressive in rotating quite complex stuff in non ray traced but rendered modes.

I'm sure Jerry and Alex will point you in the right direction. There's still a bit of life in the X570 board if you up the Ryzen AM4 processor though.