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Workstation for Motion Design, first PC build

dondragon

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Hello everyone! I just finished building my first PC and hope my (newbie) experience can help someone else as newbie as me.

Coming from using Macs for many years, I found myself quite occupied (and entertained) reading about hardware that I could finally use when building a PC. I got overwhelmed a few times, but in a couple of weeks I finally digested the info I needed in order for me to feel confident about the decision and started buying hardware. I'm a motion designer and use a lot of the Adobe software (lots of After Effects, Photoshop and Illustrator, and occasionally Premiere and Animate), but also work some 3D in C4D, but I had found myself so many times desperate to have more cores to push my technical levels in 3D a lot higher. Render times with Octane and Redshift blew my mind, but I was stuck with my AMD GPU in my Mac, unable to try those render engines. I kept saving and waiting for many years for the next Mac Pro but with no Nvidia support and premium prices for premium hardware that I don't need and wont take advantage of... the solution was building a PC. And that decision was made many years ago, I just haven't realized yet 😁.

I wanted a powerful After Effects machine, with stability and upgradeability for the near future (adding a second GPU... maybe a third! 😜). I also wanted a great cooler system and a big case for the airflow, because I don't turn on the air conditioning all day. I used cgdirector.com custom builder tool, as well as lots of articles of tests and benchmarks in this page and others. Puget Systems has a lot of valuable info, as well as Anandtech.

My first hardware list included the Intel Core i9 10900K 3.7 GHZ (5.3 TURBO) 10 Core because it is the best for After Effects, but I felt that for 3D it was going to fall a bit short for my needs. I also found that a RTX 2080 GPU was good enough for me, the Super was better and the Ti even better, but way more expensive where I live in comparison to the Super for the % gains it offers in real world tests.

Then I decided to change the CPU for the AMD Ryzen 9 3950X 3.5 GHZ 16 Core, it is not the best for After Effects, but offered a considerable amount of more threads for 3D work. But at the very end, I got excited with the higher scores of the Threadripper 3960X in After Effects (even higher in some tests than the i9 10900K!), and with 24 cores I decided to pull the trigger even though it costs almost 3 times as the Intel. I wanted to rise my 3D level, so I wont have excuses now.

Another thing I decided to change in the last minute was the CPU Cooler. At first I was sure of getting an AIO liquid cooler, but decided to go for an air system mainly because the stability I was looking for and the consequences of possible hardware failure in a liquid cooler system.

The final list ended up being like this:
CPU: AMD 3960X 24 core
CPU Cooler: Be Quiet! Dark Rock Pro TR4.
Motherboard: ROG Strix TRX-40 E Gaming.
GPU: EVGA GeForce RTX 2080 Super XC Ultra Gaming OC.
RAM: G.Skill Trident Z Neo 3200 MHZ Quad channel kit, 128 GB (4 X 32GB).
SSD NVMe: Samsung 970 EVO Plus NVMe, 500GB M.2 / For OS and Software.
SSD: Samsung970 EVO Plus NVMe, 1TB M.2 / For project files and disk cache.
PSU: Asus ROG THOR 1200W, 80 Plus Platinum Full Modular
Case: Thermaltake View 51 TG ARGB

The building part was pretty straightforward for me, as I have been watching YouTube videos for about a month of every single part of hardware I've got. I would recommend doing that, too.

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Photos of the boxes after I had installed almost everything.

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I used to make fun of all the lights that now live in some computers... the roomiest case I found included 3 RGB fans, so that's it.

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Up and running. Now I want more RGB lights.
 

Alex Glawion

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Awesome!! Did you have any trouble with the high density (32GB) RAM modules? Or did they work out of the box. And are they running at 3200mhz?
 

dondragon

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Awesome!! Did you have any trouble with the high density (32GB) RAM modules? Or did they work out of the box. And are they running at 3200mhz?
Everything has been running quite smooth! The 32GB RAM modules worked just fine out of the box, no issues whatsoever. Well... the only thing is that they have the RGB stuff, and one of them goes out of sync when they change colors, but that's it. 😅

I installed Windows and the Adobe CC with the 2666MHZ that the BIOS put in automatic. I got all excited and copied an AE project that I was about to finish in my old Mac so I could get the final details and render in the PC, but I preferred playing it safe and didn't change the frequency until a few hours ago. The only thing I've done @3200MHZ is the PugetBench test and got a better score than when I ran it @2666MHZ. I'm about to start another project, let's see how things turn out. 🧐
 

Jerry James

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Everything has been running quite smooth! The 32GB RAM modules worked just fine out of the box, no issues whatsoever. Well... the only thing is that they have the RGB stuff, and one of them goes out of sync when they change colors, but that's it. 😅
OCD Nightmare, eh? :D

 
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