Dual Xeon or i7 - Full Workstation or overclocking for rendering mainly

Hello everyone, I am new here., first post.

I have a hard time deciding which route to go. I have been out of building for a while and have tried to catch up somewhat, not that I ever could. I come from a gaming background and built my own gaming rigs, but BF3 being developed for counsel and ported to PC made me throw in the hat on gaming.

I have been dabbling in 3D modeling and video. I expect to become a severely addicted hobbyist. As a hobbyist though I use free programs such as Blender, Gimp and Nuke (noncommercial) for now. My old gaming rig is taxed by these programs and am looking for a far superior system to better my learning curve and time management.

So basically my budget is 10K (Canadian) on the highest end for immediate build. I picked up 4x GTX 980 Ti for a decent price so could not justify waiting for the GTX 1080 Ti. I know quad sli does not scale well for gaming, but how about rendering? The programs I use support sli, but currently only have two GPUs. So basically that cut 2.5K out of the budget now so am looking at 7.5K max. And I wouldn't mind shaving the cost down.

In that budget will also be a complete water cooling loop with the GPUs and CPU(s) on separate loops. My original build is designed to overclock, so 3x 480 rads.

Here is my original PCPartPicker link: https://ca.pcpartpicker.com/list/TW6B4C

What brought me here was Wendell' s tech news and Korean monitors. I am considering getting a Korean 4K monitor. If I can handle the real estate adding two more or staying with 2x 32" Omens. I definitely need a multi-monitor set up. But can use existing monitors for the time being.

As you can see I am more used to overclocking. And I am interested in returning to some mild gaming.

Am I on the right track?

Any suggestions?

Would a dual Xeon WS build be better?

I am only looking at the tower and monitors. I do not need any other peripherals at this time.

Thanks in advance.

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If you're doing adobe workflow, they only scale to quad core. for blender CG, GPU will always be better. Unless you need a ton of parallel render jobs at once, go for basic i7 with hella PCIe lanes and as much GPGPU muscle as you can get your hands on.

Yeah, I'd go 5820 or something. I was under the impression Adobe scaled well to 6 cores. Additionally, having the extra cores will be nice in anything except adobe.

Dual Xeon is only good if you need like 64 PCIe lanes or more or are doing Linux or Virtualization.

Thanks. So I am going the right direction.

Problem with 5820 is the lanes. For quad sli I need a 40 lane cpu.

Shit, I knew there was something I was missing. Sorry.

Technically, you really only need 8 PCIe lanes per GPU though. GPUs aren't capable of saturating a 16x or even (in most cases) an 8x link when using PCIe gen 3.

To answer the question about the quad GPU when for video rendering, really depends on what the software is capable of. For this sort of thing, if the software is capable of handling multiple GPU, it's going to scale extremely well. 4 GPUs is going to net you nearly 400% the performance of 1 GPU.

As far as korean monitors go, make sure you get one that gets excellent picture quality reviews. I've got an a409u and while it's a good monitor for every day use, it doesn't have the best color reproduction and its subpixel alignment is BGR which is annoying on Linux. Not to say they're all bad, just be aware of what you're buying.

Thanks for the 4K advice. I will be checking out the info here on the Wasabi Mango 40".

I agree with the 8x PCIe. But I will be maxing as I will also have a U.2 SSD which takes 4 lanes on shared resources. So that cuts 4 way SLI to x8x8x8x8 on a 40 lane cpu.

Glad to help. Let me know how the search goes. I'm in the market for another 4k.

Ah, that would do it. I must have missed that in the post. Any other PCIe devices while we're on the topic?

I wish... lol

I have a link to PCPartPicker in my post, it has what I am considering all listed there.

All looks good on my end. The 750 series SSD, keep in mind that it's only rated for 70GB of writes daily for 5 years endurance. I doubt you'll hit this, but I had to get a p3700 because of that limitation.

Also, super jealous of your build and budget. I wanna see a build log when you pull the trigger.

I am ok with 5 years. They are cheap enough now.

Well I am old enough I splurge once in a while. It is like my wife and her camera equipment, software and ROG lap top because she refuses to have a tower... I never bitch about what she spends because she uses it. I use my PC a lot.

Never done a build log. Have to check a few out to see what it is. But sure....

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if you are doing 4k video editing with 4 way sli the bottle neck will be the storage. might want to run ramdisk or raid 0 with a second ssd.

That is forward thinking. Thanks.

I will be ok for now as free Nuke limits me to 1080p. I will have to consider that when I am ready to jump to 4K and paid software.

lightworks and natron, nigga.

Thanks. Love free software...

I may have to look at that raid 0 thingy sooner than I thought.

having an nvme scratch disk is gr8

Lightworks is not 4K for free version. Natron seems to but no sound? Natron seems to be very Foundry (Nuke) influenced.

raid 0 gets very expensive as it kills the drives very quickly. if you only need a small amount of fast storage for the editing program + the file currently being edited ram disk will be faster/cheaper, unless you are dealing with massive files that requires you to double your ram.

You do the majority of the workflow in natron, then do the audio/mastering pass in something like premeire or flowblade.

Awesome project, let me jump in:

For hardware I immediately wanted to shout: "Wait for Ryzen but then realized that you need wayyy more pcie lanes...
I agree with most others here that a Raid-0 scratch disc is becomming redundant and is way to big a headache to justify it.
I mean you can easily get 1-2 gb/s reads from one m.2/u.2 drive which should be plenty even for 4k video editing. Not to mention the fact that he really doesn't have the spate cpu lanes to benefit from more fast storage (Wendel mentions this in every recent motherboard review)

Now for Software:

I see that noone has suggested Davinci Resolve Its been the Industry standard for Colour Grading since forever and lots of professionals rate the newly added NLE to be on par with Adobe Premiere and even the sound options are pretty extensive.
It eats up GPU horsepower like crazy (not that you care/worry with your op quad-gpu setup) but also scales very well. And it's FREE

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