Priorities for a workstation and the other things.


For a month or so, I’ve tried to understand what sort of system I should get, now that I’ve decided to buy a new computer. Hardwear is a real jungle to me. I hope someone can point me in the right direction:). I’ve tried to talk to the sales people from various companys. Maybe it’s me maybe it’s them. But I still don’t get it.

I work as a 3d generalist and a compositing artist. Doing just about everything. I use Maya, Nuke and After Effects on WindowsXP. So I know that I need a pair of XEON processors to render. Then I understand that I need lots of memory since I always run out both when comping and doing 3d (I have 2GB right now). I now that I need a bunch of hard disk space. And I know that I need a graphics card wich is ggod. So far so good.

Now to what I don’t know. When it comes to graphics card. I have used both highend gaming cards and low end Professional cards. I don’t notice any difference. What is the difference. When would it be a good idea to get a Quadro FX 3700 instead of a Geforce GTX 285?

The speed of the Front Side Bus 1300 or 1600 and how does that connect with memmory speed and CPU speed?

Then there is the hard disk configuration. I was thinking 1 300GB Veloci Raptor and 3 to 4 1TB disks with raid 5. I have understood that a raid is what I need for playing HD and bigger (4k). Is there any difference between a raid in the computer and an extrenal besides that you can hook up more computers to an external. The external ones are a whole lot more expensive. I have seen that raids are mesured in mb/s. How fast a raid do I need for full HD and how fast do I need for 4k? I have tried to figure out the difference between SATA, SAS and SCSI. Would a raid with 4 SCSI drives be as fast as a raid with 8 SATA drives? What is the best cable to transfer the data, USB, FireWire 800, eSATA or fibre? Do I need a raid card either way I go with the raid in the computer or with the external one? And what’s the difference between different raid cards besides the huge price difference?

I now that I’ve asked alot of questions. But if you can answer one of them I will be a bit better prepared atleast:). And since I’m not the first one to have these wonderings (I think), others might find the thread interesting.


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