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Gaming, Rendering, animation - I want it all

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  • Gaming, Rendering, animation - I want it all

    Up until now I have always used relatively low-end computers and graphic card for my Renders and gaming and had to suffer through lagy performance and LONG render times. I know little about higher-end equipment and am hoping to get some advice here.

    I would like to get a good combination laptop (yes it has to be a laptop unfortunately) that is good for both gaming, rendering, animations, movie creation (I used 3D Max, Vray or iRay, Daz Studio, LuxRender, Abobe suite, After Effects, Premiere AND a lot of Low-end and high-end PC games).

    Poking around the internet... it seems that equipment configurations either very good at gaming or production... but not both. Please make suggestions on laptops and configurtions that are at least reasonably good at both.

    I do know I want
    4th Gen i7 processor
    32 GB RAM
    Fast graphic card - min 4-6GB - possibly X2 with SLI (I think)
    Laptop Brand - unimportant (though I am drawn to the gaming Bells and whistles of MSI)
    Budget: Approx $3K

    1) Does the Super Raid or Super Raid 3 (MSI) (4X on-board SSD) buy me much int the way of performance or is it more about boot time and application load time?

    2) Is there any significant advantage for my above stated needs to using a Super Raid 3 opposed to just using a single 1 TB SSD?



    3) SLI for multiple graphic cards. I have seen numerous conflicting account as to is if does any or much good in rendering and animations - particularly 3D Max - some say 3D Max does not support it or it actually decreases performance. Can someone please clear up this mystery for me.

    4) Graphic card/s. Here is where the information on the net gets confusing and contradictory. Some say that you should only use specific cards for rendering (and they don't do well in gaming), some say that's not true. Some say you can use newer gaming cards for rendering. Some say yes, but unsuccessfully. Some say gaming graphic cards are purposely nerfed not to do production work by nVidia (I guess to facilitate the sale of higher cost production cards??

    Any input by those with experience in these matters would be greatly appreciated.

    EDIT:

    1) What is your budget?

    Approx $3,000.00

    2) What size notebook would you prefer?
    17" - 15" min
    3) What country (and state) are you buying this in?

    USA - florida

    4) Are there any brands that you prefer or any you really don't like?

    I like the bells and whistles of MSI... but don't know enough to really have a preference

    5) What tasks will you be performing with the notebook?

    gaming, rendering, animations, movie creation I use 3D Max, Vray or iRay, Daz Studio, LuxRender, Abobe suite, After Effects, Premiere AND a lot of Low-end and high-end PC games.


    6) Will you be taking the notebook with you to different places or leaving it on your desk?

    Travel yes... 95% of the time will be used on a desk an plugged in.

    7) Will you be playing games on it; if so, which games?

    Oh Yeah. Civ 5, WOW, Far Cry, Skyrim, Diablo 3, witcher 3... I am a RPG and MMORPG Junkie - I try one about once a month

    8) How many hours of battery life do you need?

    Not so important. 95% of the time I am plugged in.

    9) Do you mind buying online without seeing the notebook in person?

    Nope - not if it has the specs and reccomondations

    10) Which OS do you prefer?

    Windows 8.1

    Screen Specifics

    11) From the choices below, what screen resolutions would you prefer? (more details below)
    Widescreen
    Not as importnt to me as performance
    12) Do you want a glossy/reflective screen or a matte/non glossy screen?

    no preference

    Build Quality and Design

    13) Are the notebook's looks and stylishness important to you?

    Not at all.

    14) When are you buying this laptop and how long do you want this laptop to last?

    3 years

    Notebook Components

    15) How much hard drive space do you want; 250GB, 320GB, 500GB, 750GB, 1TB, or 1.5TB?

    1TB+

    16) Would you prefer a SSD Hard Drive? How much space do you want?

    Not sure... see the top of post for my questions.

    17) Do you need an optical drive? If yes, a CDRW/DVD-ROM, CD/DVD Burner or Blu-Ray drive?

    It would be nice to have all the bells and whitles of a blue-ray and below RW... but I can live without it if it bumps up the budget too much

    18) What speed CPU/Processor would you like? Dual core or Quad Core CPU?

    Quad - i7 4th Gen

    19) Do you use wireless, or do you plan on using it? Do you use Bluetooth, or do you plan on using it?

    Almost always on wireless. Bluetooth... not so much
    Last edited by RickMerriman; 03-08-2015, 03:41 PM. Reason: Additional information

  • #2
    There you go the Msi gt80 Titan-071 comes with SLI NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 970M,I7 4720hq.,32 gb of ram,1tb hdd,1x128gb msata for your os,1x256gb msata for your important programme and it comes with a 18.4 inch screen:
    MSI GT80 Titan-071 (2 x 970M in SLI)
    - FREE!!! – U.S. UPS GROUND SHIPPING (Use Coupon Code "FREESHIP" in Checkout) [U.S. Lower 48 ONLY / Restrictions Apply]
    - 18.4" (60Hz) WideFHD WLED (1920x1080) Matte-Type Screen
    - Standard No Dead Pixel Policy
    - NO Professional Monitor Color Calibration
    - 4th Generation Intel® Haswell Core™ i7-4720HQ (2.6GHz - 3.6GHz, 6MB Intel® Smart Cache)
    - Stock OEM Thermal Compound ( IC Diamond Thermal Compound - CPU + GPU Provided FREE with Processor Upgrade!)
    - SLI (2x) - NVIDIA® GeForce™ GTX 970M (12.0GB total) GDDR5 PCI-Express DX11 (SKU – GPU02X)
    - No Copper Cooling Upgrade
    - No Video Adapter
    - No External Mobile Display
    - 32GB DDR3 1600MHz [SKU-828CP] (Dual Channel Memory (4x8GB SODIMMS))
    - Standard Laptop Finish
    - No Laptop Laser-Sketch™
    - No Custom Laptop Painting
    - MSI Logo [White] - Stock
    - mSATA Option: Operating System Installed [Default] w/ mSATA(s) selected below
    - 128GB Micron M600 Solid State Drive [M.2] mSATA (Read 560MB/s - Write 510MB/s)
    - 256GB Solid State Drive [M.2] mSATA - Limited Availability
    - No mSATA SSD
    - No mSATA SSD
    - 1TB 7200RPM (SATA III - 6GB/s) - Default (SKU - HDD025)
    - HDD Raid Settings - OFF
    - Slim - Blu-Ray Reader + DVDRW/CDRW Super Multi Combo Drive (SKU - ODD710)
    - No Extra Optical Bay Hard Drive Caddy
    - No Back Up Hard Drive
    - NO External USB Optical Drive
    - Bluetooth Included *With select wireless cards only* (See “Wireless Network” Section Below)
    - Bigfoot Networks Killer™ Dual Band Wireless-AC N1525 - 802.11 AC/A/B/G/N Wireless LAN Module + Bluetooth 4.0 | (2x2) - Default (SKU - WIFI74)
    - No Network Accessory
    - Internal 2-in-1 Card Reader (XC/HC)
    - Integrated FHD Digital Video Camera (30fps@1080p)
    - No TV Tuner
    - Sound Blaster Compatible 3D Audio - Included
    - No Carrying Case
    - No Car Adapter
    - No Spare AC Adapter
    - Standard US Power Cord
    - No Dock/Hub/Adapter
    - No Fingerprint Reader
    - No Headset
    - No External Keyboard
    - Stock MSI SteelSeries™ Red back lit Keyboard /w Mechanical Cherry MX Brown Switch
    - No External Mouse
    - No Notebook Cooler
    - No Operating System Redline Boost
    - WINDOWS 8.1 - 64-Bit (Pre-Installed)
    - Keep factory installed operating system
    - No thanks, do not create backup recovery DVD's
    - None
    - No Antivirus Essentials Software Bundle
    - No Back Up Software
    - No Unlimited GB Cloud Backup
    - No Office Software
    - No Software Bundle
    - No Global Anti-Theft Protection (Options below require an operating system)
    - 2 Year MSI US/Canada Parts & Labor 1 Year Global Warranty w/ Lifetime Tech Support
    + 1 Year Accidental Damage Warranty (Requires Registration within 30 Days from Ship Date) (SKU - WTY007)

    - No Certificate & Binder
    - * 24/7 LIFETIME U.S. based technical support
    * Extreme QA testing by dedicated technicians
    * 24-72 Hour stress testing and benchmarking to ensure top performance and stability

    - Standard Production Time
    - No Outside of US Shipping Coverage
    - No thanks, standard double boxed packaging is okay with my order
    - No XOTIC PC Gear
    - No XOTIC PC / LOOT CRATE
    $3,116.00
    Sub-Total: $3,116.00
    3059 after cashebrate

    Comment


    • #3
      Thank you Xotic PC Master.

      What an awesome gaming machine. I take it that this would also be suitable for rendering and animations too? Man that is a big laptop! (but Sweet!)

      Can you or someone else address my questions at the top of my post? I am going to try to get work spring for this as over 50% of its use (rendering and animations, etc.) will be used for work related projects. I want to be well armed with information as to why I am suggesting a rig that appears to be primarily a game machine.

      Comment


      • #4
        Super raid (raid 0 configuration) will help with loading times and boot times for the OS. Typically a single SSD will be in the neighborhood of ~500MB/s read and write speeds max (depending on the brand). Where a raid 0 drive will be ~1000MB/s for two drives, 1500 for three, and like 1700 for four drives, just to ballpark the numbers. So it will allow faster read and write speeds than a single drive. But, if one drive ever fails, then all of the data is lost since the info is written across the drives, so you just want to make sure you back things up.

        Graphics cards, SLI, and performance kind of varies by program. Some programs don't really use the GPU, and only use the CPU for rendering. Some will use both. And not all programs that can use the GPU will use the SLI and use both. I would check the programs you use most and see if they utilize both CPU and GPU to render, and if they are SLI compatible. I couldn't speak from experience on 3d max, but if SLI does affect performance, you can turn off SLI in the Nvidia control panel. But it might be worth going for a single graphics card instead of multiple ones, just depending on how many programs you use will work with SLI.

        There are some differences between the quadro cards and gtx cards. The quadro cards are the ones that have the better manufacturing quality to them. I believe when they are manufacturing the parts for them, they take the best quality ones and turn those to the quadro ones, and the standard ones are used for the gtx series. So I don't think that the gtx cards are cut short, but just the quadro ones have better quality control. They are geared to be more accurate in what they are displaying and are designed to have error correction as well. But the gtx series are powerful enough that they can be used for work station purposes. As there have been more updates to the gtx series in past years, the advantages of the quadro cards for work uses has decreased. I would think a powerful 970 or 980 card would be good for what you are using too.

        The GT80 is a good choice, but if you don't need the SLI option or want the 18 inch screen, the 17 inch GT72 models from SLI would also work well too. So the GT72 211 is a good one to look at, and you could add in SSDs and 32gb of ram.

        http://www.xoticpc.com/msi-gt72-domi...11-p-7593.html
        Pat J
        Sales & Customer Service
        pat@xoticpc.com
        402-316-5544
        www.xoticpc.com

        Comment


        • #5
          In my eyes, the GT80 Titan is more of an AIO than a notebook...
          Eh, I like pretty much anything MSi releases, but that Titan just doesn't work.
          I'd also look at some of the Sager models with the better processors (Most models at this point have the i7-4710HQ).

          Comment


          • #6
            Hi Rick,

            Your message has a lot of questions and I won't try to respond to all of them. But I can help with a few.

            Originally posted by RickMerriman View Post
            1) Does the Super Raid or Super Raid 3 (MSI) (4X on-board SSD) buy me much int the way of performance or is it more about boot time and application load time?
            I believe your impression is correct. According to the specs, Super RAID 3 with four M.2 mSATA SSDs is about 3x faster than one SSD by itself. But it will primarily affect boot and load times. The most cost-effective performance boost will probably result from the maximum memory possible. I'd recommend 32 GB of system RAM because of the applications you're running.

            I have a MSI GT80 Titan-001 (980M SLI) on order right now. It offers the following possibilities for drives:
            • 4 x M.2 (2280) mSATA slots for SSDs -- MSI's "Super RAID 3" is accomplished with the M.2 slots. Normally, a RAID-0 array won't do much for a fast SSD because most RAID-0 controllers aren't fast enough and become the bottleneck to the system. In this case, MSI has provided a custom controller that is much faster than most. The maximum size M.2 (2280) mSATA SSD available is 512 GB. With four of them in Super RAID 3, you'd have a 2 TB drive!!! But you'll spend about $300 for each SSD!!!

            • 1 x SATA III -- This is for a conventional 2.5" SSD or HD and, if memory serves me correctly, the GT80 can accommodate nothing thicker than 9.5 mm. Most of the GT80 models include a 1 TB 7200 rpm HD in this slot. You can get a 2 TB HD if you're willing to drop to 5400 rpm. Or you could upgrade to a 1 TB SSD.

            • 1 x Optical -- The GT80 includes a Blu-ray burner which can read and write blu-ray, DVD and CD discs. However, you can remove this and add another HD or SSD here also.

            2) Is there any significant advantage for my above stated needs to using a Super Raid 3 opposed to just using a single 1 TB SSD?
            Yes, Super RAID 3 is up to 3x faster than a single SSD. It should speed the Adobe programs a tiny bit when they need a cache disc. But Super RAID 3 is a striped RAID-0 array and it will have a higher risk of data loss since it depends on all drives in the array to work. Besides, a single SSD is already pretty fast compared to a traditional HD. Personally, I'd use SSDs in the M.2 mSATA slots first because it would leave the SATA III port for a conventional HD. But I'm not planning to use the Super RAID 3 feature (you can configure the M.2 SSDs as stand-alone drives or smaller 2- or 3-drive RAID arrays. By using the M.2 mSATA ports for your primary SSDs, you'll have more storage capacity and you can upgrade the SATA III HD that comes with the GT80 to an SSD in the future when your budget allows. That's what I plan to do.

            3) SLI for multiple graphic cards. I have seen numerous conflicting account as to is if does any or much good in rendering and animations - particularly 3D Max - some say 3D Max does not support it or it actually decreases performance. Can someone please clear up this mystery for me.

            4) Graphic card/s. Here is where the information on the net gets confusing and contradictory. Some say that you should only use specific cards for rendering (and they don't do well in gaming), some say that's not true. Some say you can use newer gaming cards for rendering. Some say yes, but unsuccessfully. Some say gaming graphic cards are purposely nerfed not to do production work by nVidia (I guess to facilitate the sale of higher cost production cards??
            These are very important questions considering the applications you are using. The first thing you need to do is ask these questions to the manufacturers of your applications. I'm not familiar with 3D Max, Vray, iRay, Daz Studio or LuxRender. But I'm VERY familiar with Adobe programs and was a beta tester for the Windows version of Illustrator and Photoshop (many years ago). I'm using the CS6 Master Collection now. The Adobe programs use CUDA for accelleration. CUDA is an NVidia graphics language so this rules out an AMD GPU. But you don't need a Quadro---all of NVidia's GTX 900-series GPUs also support CUDA and will accellerate relevant Adobe programs.

            The stumbling block will be SLI. If you purchase a GT80 with two 980M/970M/965M GPUs in SLI, you may run into trouble with some CS6 applications like Premiere Pro CS6. With SLI, you'll often get a blank (black) preview screen in Premiere Pro CS6 with no video preview. In some cases, you can correct this problem from the NVidia driver by manually setting the 2nd GPU for CUDA processing. Other users have reported great results with very fast renders after this simple fix. Others have not. So you take your chances.

            But there is a fall-back with the GT80. It has a "GPU" button which toggles the system between the NVidia GPUs and the GPU in the Intel i7 CPU so you can play older games that don't like SLI. You have to reboot the notebook whenever you make this change but it will switch you over to using the Intel GPU and you should be fine---you just won't have CUDA accelleration.

            If you're using the cloud version, Premiere Pro CC, then I believe it has support for multiple GPUs in SLI. But again, you have to do your homework and doublecheck this stuff, yourself. The nice thing about the GT80 is that MSI gives you this choice of switching between the Intel and NVidia GPUs.

            MSI also offers one GT80 model (the Titan-047) with just one 980M GPU (no SLI). But I was given conflicting information from MSI and Xotic PC. Some sources claimed the 047 model uses a different motherboard and doesn't have four M.2 mSATA ports nor Super RAID 3 like its SLI siblings. I ordered an SLI model to be on the safe side. And althought the GT80 is easy to upgrade, the GPUs are an exception---they must be upgraded only by an authorized MSI distributor or you void the warranty. If you think you might ever want SLI in your notebook, you'll save $$$ if you get it with your original purchase. The memory, SSDs and HD are all user-upgradable so you can do them, yourself, as your budget permits.

            -----------------------------------------

            I hope my comments are helpful. Based on the kinds of applications you are running, it sounds like you need a powerful machine. The GT80 is a beast---the most powerful available (for now). But it is also heavy (almost 10 lbs). So it isn't for everyone. And it will definitely stretch your budget. I plan to be using mine for longer than 3 years so my thinking was to purchase one with the best components possible so the notebook will be reasonably future proof. But I didn't go for the i7-4980HQ CPU because I don't render much video and don't need the small increase in performance. And the i7-4980HQ is hotter, draws more power and does almost nothing to improve game performance. So I chose the i7-4720HQ.

            Kind regards, FirstLight

            Comment

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