Help Building a new Terragen 2 Computer

Started by rkphelps, September 06, 2009, 11:23:36 am

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rkphelps: some new processors have just been released, the new i5 but also some new i7: the 860 and 870. The I7-870 is not an interesting buy because its very expensive for the performance it has but the I7-860 may be a real good alternative to the I7-920, because it is very similar. The only thing is that it's on a different socket, the 1156 which is supposed to be the "mid-level" processors socket from Intel while I7-920's socket is 1366 "high end" product.

The I7-860 might be interesting because the mother boards are a bit cheaper but it is very unsure if future better processors will be released for this socket... I am still hestitating myself as to what processor i should buy. I still think i'll go with I7-920, because it is supposed to be the "high end" product of Intel and thus is going to get the new I9 or other big performance processors next year (let's hope they don't change their mind)... Intel's offer is a bit confusing so it's easy to be lost with all these releases...

Cyber-angel: ok i allow 1 minute of my life to bother answering you. First of all im not a techno fanboy, i don't know much about this stuff, i am a motion graphics designer so i am more into programs and trying to do cool stuff. As i am also going to buy a new machine i already looked for a good new setup so that's why i wanted to share with him the little knowledge i could get to be useful.  Anyway, it's funny you said im a techno fanboy :)

I said english is not my native language and on top of that its very difficult sometimes to clearly understand the tone of something written. So i wasn't really attacking you or provoking you in any way. I said i am sorry if im mistaken. I wasn't offended by your post, just thought it was not really constructive. There's no debate and i don't have the time to argue... especially if i don't give a damn. You can talk about your rig but i thought the tone was weird. I just thought that MAYBE you were coming here like the "know-it-all-and-got-everything-you-don't" and i wasn't sure if you were one of those kind of douche . But now I know, I was right. So please feel free to provoke me but there's a strong chance that i wont reply because i have other things to do in my free time. I only took my time and posted here to help someone asking for advice. Im not trying to prove that im right and that i got the best setup ever. Just calm down, take your pill and try to relax.
And I would have loved to grab the mic but i stopped smoking wannabees since im on nicorette.


I'd like to Thank everyone for their help, I've ordered everything and plan on building my new system this weekend. I've listed the components below including the cost in U.S. Dollars.

New Computer Build:

1. Cooler master ATCS 840 Full Tower Case - $185.00
2. PC Power & Cooling Silencer 910 watt PSU - $177.00
3. Asus P6T WS LGA 1366 Core I-7 Motherboard - $275.00
4. Intel Core i7-920 2.66GHz quad core processor - $212.00***
5. Crucial Ballistix Tracer Memory 6GB (2gbx3 kit) DDR-1333 - $157.00***
6. Plextor PX-880SA SATA 24x CD/DVD Writer - $50.00
7. Adaptec 29320ALP-R 320 SCSI Raid Controller - $99.00***

The total equals $1155.00, I feel good about building this good a computer that will give me a little expandability in the future for under $1200.

I plan on upgrading to a Intel i9 Core 6 core processor early next year (it's been promised by Intel to work in existing X58 LGA 1366 motherboards  ::))

I plan on adding an additional 6GB of Crucial Ballistix Tracer Memory giving me 12GB total memory after I get the computer up and running and verifying everything works.

The SCSI Controller is so I can continue to use my Seagate 15k Cheetah Hard Drives. I plan on switching to an Intel SSD Drive when I go to Windows 7 64 bit.


i7 is definitely the way to go for now. TG2 actually doesn't scale well beyond 8 threads, and in most cases you see significant drop-off even after 4. The i7 actually seems to do quite well with 8 though. So with a 16 core system the best way to take advantage of all the power would actually be to run 2 instances of TG2. If you have no way to actually make that useful in a given situation, then it will be slower than the i7, which I would suspect is most of the time.

The other consideration is that each new thread needs its own cache space, so the more threads you have, the more memory you use, and since TG2 is not yet 64 bit, the more memory you use for non-scene elements (various caches basically), the less you have for the actual scene bits like objects, textures, terrains, etc.

Of course all this should change in the future. TG2 will be more optimized for multiple threads and 16 threads will work great. It will become 64 bit and this able to access as much memory as you can give it, and the cache size issue will no longer be a concern. But for now, i7 is definitely king of the heap for TG2.

I actually picked up a rather nice i7 system at a bargain from MicroCenter, a local Bay Area hardware retailer. It's usually in-store only, but you can get a complete i7 system with 6GB of RAM, decent graphics card, 640GB HD, etc for only about $800, which is something of a steal.

- Oshyan

Henry Blewer

Dell has a Studio XPS i7 with 6 gigs, 640 gig harddrive, and a 20" monitor for $1099.
Forget Tuesday; It's just Monday spelled with a T


what you're all missing in your shopping cart is a very effective and very silent cooler. The stock cooler of the i7 sounds like a hair dryer. You need to find a way to vent the hot air from 130W out of your case, and you better do that as silently as possible. If you're running TG2 on 8 threats, the heat will be quite significant.

I have a good expereince with the thing from Noctua for the i7, but you need a spacey case.... which would be another thing on the shopping list that helps overall.

I mean, unless the server is parked in your cellar.... ;D



Which is another reason the Dell is surprisingly nice. It's not silent when it's cranking on all cylinders, but it's decently quiet to be sure. And it throttles down quite well, to nearly silent, when you're not working it hard. I didn't think I'd find myself recommending a Dell again after all the crap they put out there, but this is a solid machine at a great price.

- Oshyan

Zairyn Arsyn

i bought my last computer from this website:

they offer several different setups, you can customize your own, and they will either ship you the parts or build it for you (and test it too,)
I probadly won't be buying a new computer until some time into next year... 


i7 2600k 3.4GHZ|G.skill 16GB 1600MHZ|Asus P8P67 EVO|Evga 770GTX 4GB|SB X-FI|Antec 750W