Coming from mac to PC - need advice!

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Coming from mac to PC - need advice!

Postby mooviemakers on 03/20/2017, 3:38 am

After about 10 years I’ve decided to make the switch back from mac to PC. Needless to say I’m finding the various combinations of components and configurations involved in a PC build a bit overwhelming and hopefully I can get a bit of a nudge in the right direction on here :-)

The machine is primarily for After Effects (2D animation, motion graphics, and Element 3D work), Illustrator and Cinema 4D, in that order of importance. Premiere and Photoshop also get used but to a much lesser extent. I don’t game at all so gaming performance isn’t a priority. I’m a full time motion designer so this will be my primary work computer.

I’ve budgeted about £3000/$3000 for the actual base unit which is about what I’d be spending on a new iMac, I’ve already got monitors and peripherals so don’t need them from the budget. Can stretch to more if needed or if I can save money anywhere let me know. I’ll list what I’ve roughly spec’d out myself and I’d love to hear any comments on whether or not this is a decent allocation of resources:

Ryzen 1800x, overclocked with water cooling
64GB DDR4 RAM
1 x 500GB PCIE SSD for applications, OS etc.
1 x 250GB Internal SATA SSD for cache
1 x 3TB HDD for media storage
1 x GTX 1080ti
650w power supply
Wireless network card

I’ve priced all this up and it’s roughly £3000 in the UK. Any thoughts on any of the components? The Ryzen CPU looks like a really good CPU for the money, but would an i7 or Xeon setup be better? I’ve also gone for a decent graphics card as I want to try out Octane for C4D and also get some improved Element 3D performance. Would I be better going for a duel card SLI setup instead?

I’m sure posts like this are very common so apologies if I’m repeating common questions, any help would be greatly appreciated though.

Thanks
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Re: Coming from mac to PC - need advice!

Postby Farmfield on 03/20/2017, 6:23 am

Looks great, the Ryzen runs fine at 4-4.1Ghz with a good cooler. I run a Corsair H110i and it's worth the extra €25 up from the H100i - and if you go for Corsair, you can as well go for a Corsair PSU, the Corsair Link software is pretty nifty for controlling fan speeds, easy to tweak to get to that low sound level sweet spot. And about the PSU, 650w is on the low side, imo, I'd go for 750w at the lowest, but preferably 850w, so you got that headroom.

As for Ryzen vs. Intel i7 vs. Xeon... Ryzen 1800x at 4 Ghz equals an i7-6900k at 4.2 Ghz, at half the cost. Add to that there's still a lot coming up in BIOS- and chipset driver updates and Windows and application Ryzen optimizations, so I wouldn't be surprised to get at least another 10% performance out of this thing, down the line.

And you can build a dual Xeon box for the same money, like I did a while back, and easily get better multi threaded performance but the single threaded- and GPU performance will suffer. My dual Xeon 10 core box got 100/2310/105 (*) in Cinebench compared to 110/1791/166 on Ryzen 1800x. So yeah, running a dual Xeon with lotsa cores is great for rendering & simulating, but there's just too much crap in the video and 3D applications are still single threaded, so
I came to a point where the single threaded performance annoyed me so much, I switched to get better balance between the both. (as well as giving me space for another GPU)

(* OpenGL/Multi Threaded/Single Threaded)

Edit: £3k sound like a lot, unless you got a monitor, mouse and keyboard in there..?
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Re: Coming from mac to PC - need advice!

Postby mooviemakers on 03/20/2017, 6:52 am

Thanks for taking the time to reply, you've been very helpful. Noted about the power supply, I'll get the 850w instead, the price difference is fairly negligible :-)

You're right in that I might be able to find this for cheaper than 3K, I think this configuration was around £2800 currently going off the SCAN website. I remember from back when I used to work with PC's (admittedly this was around 10 years ago) that those guys were around the cheapest in the UK but I've not shopped around massively yet. A lot of the cost is the GPU, I'd be paying a premium for the 1080ti but I figure I'd prefer get something fairly future proof now rather than a cheaper one and wanting to upgrade it in 12-18 months time. As I'm currently a full on mac guy I'm used to just buying something and turning it on so choosing parts isn't my strong point!

Thanks for the advice though, much appreciated :-)
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Re: Coming from mac to PC - need advice!

Postby Farmfield on 03/20/2017, 7:10 am

Oh, I forgot one thing, though - do NOT buy a founders edition 1080ti, wait for an Asus Strix or alike, the reference design coolers suck absolute @$$ and it's just friggin annoying with a GPU fan sounding like a F35 on takeoff as soon it gets under load... :? :D

I can highly recommend the Asus x370 (Prime) Pro motherboard and the Asus Strix GPUs, especially in combination, as you have a brilliant one click overclock solution at desktop level where you'll have the software run through the CPU and GPU settings step by step, until it crashes the computer, then reboots and sets everything up. You can even choose stability and power aims, etc, really useful compared to doing all that trial and error crap yourself, overclocking the system.
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Re: Coming from mac to PC - need advice!

Postby mooviemakers on 03/20/2017, 7:37 am

And there is me thinking they were all pretty much the same :-)

Does overclocking the GPU give any performance gains in production applications or is it mostly a gaming thing?
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Re: Coming from mac to PC - need advice!

Postby Farmfield on 03/20/2017, 7:42 am

I don't overclock my GPUs, I just optimize the fans - and I actually never checked what difference that would make... I use them for OpenCL & CUDA and no need to run them too hot anyway as I often leave them maxed out over night and such...

But as all this kinda hardware has software control apps nowadays, it's nice to keep to brands (like corsair PSU and cooler or Asus mainboard and GPUs) to minimize the amount of such apps to mess about with. Though I only run Corsair Link all the time (with a custom, optimized fan setup), I only run the Asus control center when I do the tuning, nothing I need running all the time - it's imo for set it and forget it use...
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Re: Coming from mac to PC - need advice!

Postby mooviemakers on 03/20/2017, 11:32 am

Makes sense to me. Hopefully this will do the job for me, will just need to get used to Windows again :shock: :shock: :shock:

:-)
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Re: Coming from mac to PC - need advice!

Postby Farmfield on 03/20/2017, 12:22 pm

Windows 10 is a great OS, though it of course spies so much on you on such a level, you could almost think it was a smart phone - so yeah, "Destroy Windows Spying" is a great first app to run... ;)

But aside from that, it's truly a good OS. Now, I'm like a half a second from dumping it, going back to Linux, but it's more for the added performance than some general idea of Linux as a "better" OS - at least from an end user perspective. :)
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Re: Coming from mac to PC - need advice!

Postby mooviemakers on 03/21/2017, 2:58 am

My memory of windows was drivers, updates, blue screen of death etc. so I'm hoping it's got better. I love OSX though, .ai, .eps, .psd thumbnails natively within the OS, quick look, expose, spotlight. All excellent features you just can't get in windows. Just a shame the hardware is so underpowered.
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Re: Coming from mac to PC - need advice!

Postby Farmfield on 03/21/2017, 3:07 am

I left Apple & OS X in 2009 - after 20 years - and never looked back. Though I used Linux more than Windows at that point, from 2011 onwards I've been mostly in Windows and I really had no issues at all.

And to be honest, today I would count OS X as the "worse" OS with Linux at the top and Windows in the middle - the reason being Apple really haven't put much love into it for years, they basically skipped desktop development & optimizations and focused on the iOS parts...

So yeah, jumping into Windows 10, I'm pretty sure you'll be fine. Just uninstall any pre installed bloat and run the DWS ('Destroy Windows Spying') app to disable, ads & the telemetry and it's a great OS. The biggest issue will likely be your preferences, not the OS in itself.

Oh, and it's GSOD now. Because Kermit, of course. :D

Edit: Using SageThumbs you at least have no problem getting the icon file previews for most formats, incl camera raw files, etc, but yeah, there's no good general file viewer - Adobe Bridge and XnView are both pretty horrible, imo...
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Re: Coming from mac to PC - need advice!

Postby Dorin on 03/21/2017, 12:52 pm

For Spotlight like searching just hit Windows key and type to search.
Utilities like Seer will bring spacebar like preview to Windows. http://1218.io/
Fore how to deactivate all spying "features" from W10 follow this tutorial https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1kGMCfb2xw
It is recommended to use RAM brands and models qualified / created especially for Ryzen CPUs.
If you are using AE for composing 3D renders from C4D buy as a very fast SSD as a scratch / working disk. A fast SSD is a lifesaver in composing 3D renderings. Do not use a traditional spinning disk as a working storage medium.
I'm Sorry for my English...
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Re: Coming from mac to PC - need advice!

Postby Farmfield on 03/21/2017, 1:19 pm

Aah, Spybot seems as a nice alternative to DWS - tnx for the tip.

And good point about the RAM, seems Corsair Vengeance LPX is a sure bet - and that's what I run. I've been using Corsair Vengeance memory for years, never had any issues. Now, it might be that Corsair and the other manufacturers will release Ryzen specific memory down the line, but if they haven't at purchase time, as I said, the LPX is a sure bet. :D

Also agreeing with splitting disks for system, caching, projects, resources, storage, all depending on your workflow and applications. I run one m.2 for system, one SSD for caching and one SSD for current projects and resources - and a 3Tb for storage coupled with a couple of backup disks I hot swap (*) in/out as well as backing up on a NAS. Pretty nice to have redundancy. :)

(* I got 4x hot swap bays for 2.5" SSD's (kinda like this one) and 2x for 3.5" HDD's (similar to these) - I can really recommend using them, so nice being able to shuffle disks in/out)
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Re: Coming from mac to PC - need advice!

Postby mooviemakers on 03/22/2017, 3:31 am

Thanks for all the help, I'll be taking the plunge any day now and get it bought before the end of the tax year.

One last thing I was wondering, can you recommend and backup software for windows? I use time machine on Mac and it is a great solution. Is there a similar piece of software for PC?

Thanks
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Re: Coming from mac to PC - need advice!

Postby Dorin on 03/22/2017, 12:23 pm

You can try Genie Timeline. It has also a free version.
https://www.genie9.com/Free_products/download.aspx

@Farmfield Nice toys you have there :)
I'm Sorry for my English...
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Re: Coming from mac to PC - need advice!

Postby Farmfield on 03/22/2017, 5:06 pm

I love Free File Sync - so friggin simple.

http://www.freefilesync.org/

Dorin wrote:@Farmfield Nice toys you have there :)

The Ryzen setup or are you talking about my Victorian era porcelain dildo collection? :D
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