Introduction to Maya - Rendering in Arnold
This course will look at the fundamentals of rendering in Arnold. We'll go through the different light types available, cameras, shaders, Arnold's render settings and finally how to split an image into render passes (AOV's), before we then reassemble it i
# 1 05-01-2016 , 02:17 PM
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Building a Workstation

Hi.
I'm just about to become a user of Maya and would like to build a workstation for my home use of the software. I've been looking at a company called Boxxtech who seem to have it going on when building these. Does anyone have any suggestions to other companies who do well in this area that I could research to see their configurations?

Thanks

# 2 05-01-2016 , 03:16 PM
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Boxx are great but in all honesty you can build a system with the equivalent components quite a bit cheaper. Maingear also let you custom build and not as costly as Boxx but again still cheaper to put it together yourself.




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# 3 05-01-2016 , 04:35 PM
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Workstation

100% vote for build it yourself. You get to choose your components and it WILL be cheaper than going with a company like Boxx.

There are many PC videos on youtube and other websites that can provide guidance. I've recenly finsihed building my own machine (simple hand made case as well) and have also built a Socket 2011 render machine for a friend recently.

Shout if you need some help. Where are you in the world? A few hints : Don't stint on a good power supply and good motherboard, these form the basis or foundation of your build.

# 4 11-01-2016 , 08:31 AM
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Hi,
and thank you to everyone for your input. My current location is England. I have been doing some research and I would like to go with a Linux machine, which according to the Maya website will require a Quadro processor, which are expensive for the top end ones I believe, nearly £3000 for a K600, which is out of my budget and probably over my requirements for a near beginner. If I go with a windows machine I can use the i7, which can be overclocked.

I took a look at the differences between the i7 and the Xeon and found the following article on their differences, below.

1. Clock-per-clock, Core i7-5XXX and Xeon E5 v3 CPUs have identical performance
2. Xeon E5 v3 CPUs have a much wider range of models than Core i7-5XXX CPUs allowing for higher (and lower) core counts and a wider range of operating frequencies
3. Xeon E5 v3 CPUs have much higher RAM capacity through the use of Registered ECC memory (768GB versus 64GB)
4. You do not need a server board to use a Xeon E5 v3 CPU. Most X99 motherboards work great even with Reg ECC memory (although Reg ECC memory is usually not officially supported)

https://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/ar...s-Core-i7-634/

So why would you ever buy a Core i7-5XXX CPU instead of a Xeon E5 v3? What it comes down to is that Core i7 CPUs are usually slightly cheaper than their Xeon E5 v3 counterparts and they allow for CPU overclocking. If you do not plan on overclocking, we highly recommend you consider using a Xeon instead of a Core i7 CPU. You get a much wider range of options - which allows you to get exactly the core count and frequency that is best for your application - and the capability to have huge amounts of system RAM. Even if you don't ever anticipate needing more than 64GB of RAM, having the option for future upgrades is almost never a bad thing.

I don’t really understand 2, but I think if it has higher frequencies wouldn't that mean faster operation but more heat? Not certain what core counts are either but I'm guessing that it means more multi-threading. I have a budget of about £1000 for this which means I can be in the K4000 Xeon range at about £560 for the K4200. I think the Quadro has more memory bandwidth which is a good reason to have it.
Which GPU would you guys go for? I think, once I decide this then it's easier to decide on the motherboard, right?

# 5 11-01-2016 , 04:44 PM
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No sure i understand your post since you seem to be confusing CPU with GPU.
I have an NVIDIA Quadro K4000 graphics card (GPU) currently $499 at Amazon.com and £710 on Amazon.uk which would take a large portion of your budget and to be honest not really feasible in a build of £1000. There are cheaper Quadro cards (K600, K1200 ect) and if you are going windows plenty of gaming cards would also suffice for a beginner, i'm sure Dave and a few other can tell you which work well.

I can't really advise on the CPU differences since i have always gone with the core i7 and don't know anyone that uses a Xeon.

It's a good idea to buy as much RAM as you can afford and in my opinion matters more than the GPU, so bare this in mind when choosing a Motherboard and CPU since you might limit your RAM capacity.




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# 6 11-01-2016 , 09:43 PM
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A Xeon processor would be overkill if you're just starting out. It's primarily a server processor, and you don't need error correcting ram.


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# 7 12-01-2016 , 08:28 AM
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Building a Workstation

Thanks guys, I think you have saved me an unnecessary expense. So, I may be getting confused from the info on the Maya page for Certified Graphics Hardware. At the bottom it lists for Linux only the Quadro or the FirePro. Does this not mean that I can't run Linux on a GeForce? That doesn't make sense as it's just an operating system, right?

NextDesign: To avoid using ECC RAM, I could convert my submarine into a studio to house the workstation, as I would then not have to worry about electrical or magnetic interference so much at sub-sea level, lol.

jsprogg: In terms of RAM, I guess I'm gonna need a motherboard which supports at least 64GB Ram? Is it DDR4 I should be looking at buying?

I guess I'm gonna look at an SSD hard drive too, though I think they may be expensive. Would it be a good option to have a small SSD for booting and small data transfer and a large SATA for main storage?

I have found a good website for benchmark comparisons of hardware
https://www.userbenchmark.com/

And this one gives some good deals on purchases
https://www.overclockers.co.uk/

# 8 12-01-2016 , 09:20 AM
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Hi, the Autodesk site sets out the certified hardware requirements and are more often adopted by larger corporations for support contracts.

With the i7 you can go 3 ways. 1) Newer Skylake series (z170 chipset), uses DDR4 ram - All slightly more expensive as the tech is relatively new. b) slightly older i7 series based on the h97/z97 chipset - processors to go for here would be the 4770k and the 4790k and you can use standard DDR3 ram 3) X99 chipset i7's which would be a 5820k, DDR 4 RAM I believe.

Option 3 would be the most expensive as it uses more expensive X99 chipset boards. The 5820K is also a 6 core (12 threads) chip, but it's great for rendering. It does require a rather beefy cooler though as a 1/2 render will push up the temps quite a bit. I run a little H80i water cooler and keeps temps to 55deg C max while my CPU is pegged out at 4.3GHZ on all cores.

In all honesty, you won't really notice the difference between the older z97 chipset i7's and the newer z170 chipset i7's. Also, DDR4 isn't much faster than DDR3 that you'd notice. However, the z170 chipset will give you slightly better future proofing.

I would suggest as a minimum a quad core (8 thread) CPU.

In terms of RAM, 8GB as an absolute minimum (just for light stuff), 16GB / 32GB suggested if you can afford it. You don't need 64GB unless you get into massive datasets / assets, but its nice to have a board that supports it, but it's not required.

Make sure you get a good power supply, I'd suggest a 750W Silver / Gold PSU. Spend your money once here!

64GB SSD for a startup / system disk, 2x SATA HD for data and backup. Size as required.

Motherboard, depending on the chipset you go for, I'd suggest a Gigabyte board, Asus board or MSI board. I have found Gigabyte and Asus have the best BIOS/ EFI systems and the boards are quite solidly built.

GFX card - You don't need a Quadro card. You can happily run a GTX 970 on Linux user added image The Quadro cards essentially run the same core GPU chip as the gaming cards, the only difference is the Quadro cards run ECC ram, run a little slower clocked but sometimes have more pilelines / shaders enabled. Also, the Quadro cards have a few more driver links but I assume you're not running scientific grade simulation grade CUDA simulations.

The top end GTX 970's go for about £230, if you want to spend more there is a 980 card or a Titan...but I wouldn't bother with the Titan...

Have a read here....

https://blog.digitaltutors.com/top-fi...me-dev-system/

I built a Gigabyte (z97 chipset) based 4Ghz 4790k i7 system a few months ago and it's really great! Can't fault it at all and it's really fast.

You'll save yourself the £120 odd for Windows 8.1 Professional as well by going Linux, but be prepared for a bit more prep work and fiddling with settings.

If you want to chat through things, cases etc. send me a pm and we can chat on the phone if you want user added image

Do you have a monitor? That also needs to come out of the budget....

Jacques

edit: I would refrain from ATI/AMD gfx cards for Linux, the drivers are terrible!!!


Last edited by halfloaf; 12-01-2016 at 09:23 AM.
# 9 12-01-2016 , 12:56 PM
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I have the Acer G276HLABID 27-inch Monitor 16:9 FHD 2 ms 100M:1 A 250 nits LED DVI HDMI Acer EcoDisplay. Will this do the job. I believe that frameRate is my friend, right? but can't see this in monitor description.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Acer-G276HLA.../dp/B007Z1AWT6

# 10 12-01-2016 , 04:11 PM
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That will do fine, it is nice to have two screens but you can add another anytime. Maya on one and photoshop, email etc in another.

# 11 12-01-2016 , 05:01 PM
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I would say definitely go for the SSD boot drive, they're fast and the prices are coming down. Go for at least 120GB I would say, if not 256 or more. Applications these days are huge, if you've got a few digital content creation suites to worry about.

# 12 12-01-2016 , 10:11 PM
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I would say definitely go for the SSD boot drive, they're fast and the prices are coming down. Go for at least 120GB I would say, if not 256 or more. Applications these days are huge, if you've got a few digital content creation suites to worry about.

Good point! 250GB is quite (relatively) cheap these days.

# 13 12-01-2016 , 11:15 PM
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Nah, 512GB or go home user added image. But seriously, building your own machine is rewarding on a few levels. One of them being not paying a premium price for mystery meat, like a power supply as Halfloaf mentioned, that component needs to be solid. As far as SATA storage drives go, 7200 rpm is pretty standard, below that is meh, if they list the seek times and data rates then even better .


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# 14 15-01-2016 , 01:23 PM
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SSHD


# 15 16-01-2016 , 09:08 AM
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It only has 8GB SSD Nand storage, not even enough for a decent OS install. The drive will only cache often accessed files to help speed up loads times of the OS. Your apps will still go on th eslower HDD portion.

Not worth it imho. user added image

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