Building architecture computer

Hi folks, looking to build a nice computer for rendering and design programmes. my budget is between 1000-1500NZD which is about 1000USD.


I went to a computer store in NZ and they gave me this quote on things. Can anyone suggest any improvements to lower the price, and potentially websites which would be cheaper to buy off??

Any help would be much appreciated.

Intel Haswell Core i5-4440 3.1GHz 6MB LGA1150 (H81,B85, H87,Z87 Motherboard Required)

- Crucial 8GB DESKTOP DDR3 1600Mhz DIMM 240pin Non ECC PC3-12800 Desktop RAM

- ASUS B85M-E Intel B85 mATX Haswell Socket 1150 4x DDR3-1600 PCI-E3.0 CrossFireX USB3.0 SATA3 Onboard VGA/DVI/HDMI/DisplayPort

- Seagate 1TB Barracuda 7200.12 SATA3 HDD 64M CACHE 7200RPM NCQ ( 2 years warranty )

- LG GH24NSB0 24X SATA INTERNAL SATA DVD WRITER Black colour , OEM package
Zalman ZM-T1 mATX Mini Tower PC Case (NO PSU) - Luxurious interior with black coating finishing touch ZALMAN ZM500-GV 500W ATX PSU with MEPS Ready - NZ Version

- Microsoft Windows 7 Home Prem 64bit OEM
Philips 236V4LAB 23" LED Monitor - 5 ms - Adjustable Display Angle - 1920 x 1080 - Build in Speakers - DVI+VGA - VESA Mount Compatible , 3 years warranty

- LOGITECH MK270 Wireless Desktop, Keyboard and mouse, Unifying Dongle, Advance 2.4GHz, 24-month Battery life 8 Hot keys Spill-resistanct Durable UV-coated keys

- Leadtek NVIDIA Quadro K600 1GB GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 Workstatino Video card , Dual-Link DVI + DisplayPort , Low Profile 


at the moment this adds up to just over 1600 nz. Any improvements to make it cheaper??

thanks a stack!

Feb 3, 14 10:44 pm
Non Sequitur

Get a different graphics card. Quadro K600 is low-end.

Feb 4, 14 11:53 am

I would recommend looking at the hardware requirements for the software that you will be using and figure out the "worst case scenario" Work your way backwards from there to determine what you need. Your computer should not have any bottlenecks. This means that your CPU, GPU, and RAM need to "balanced". 

This is how I look at it: rendering is CPU heavy, modelling is GPU heavy, and both processes use their fair share of RAM. This is where you should invest your money. If you can afford it, I would also recommend a SSD for you OS and software. They have come down in price quite a bit recently.

All the other equipment is secondary (monitor, speakers, keyboard, mouse, etc.)

Feb 4, 14 12:33 pm

Here's a helpful site for picking out parts:

Feb 4, 14 1:29 pm

DO NOT waste your money on the Quadro. Get a Geforce or AMD Radeon card, they work just fine. However you really need a core i7 processor and at least 16GB of Ram.


My 2 cents

Feb 4, 14 1:38 pm

Feb 4, 14 2:57 pm

I work IT for starchitects, and this has been my observation:

Any workstation class GPU (K600 and up) is fine unless you're planning on using GPU rendering programs such as Octane.  Otherwise, like ark1t3kt said, most rendering software will rely only on the CPU.

To that end, I would recommend the highest end Xeon you can afford, as much RAM (16GB min) as you can afford, and any current GPU (workstation grade or not) should be able to run all of your modeling needs.  I would not recommend Leadtek--I've had bad previous experience with their quality of product.

If you're using something like Octane, then get at least a GeForce 580 level card, and spend money on a multiple (i.e. SLI or Crossfire) card setup.  They work best when scaled. Get any quad-core processor to meet your other computing needs.  RAM recommendation stays the same.

BOXX rigs are good examples.

Feb 4, 14 4:41 pm

Thunderclap -

Side question: Is Octane a popular renderer among higher-end firms? What kind of rendering software is preferred in so called "starchitect" firms? I always imagined that Maya, Max, Rhino Vray etc are still the go-to renderers.

Feb 4, 14 5:21 pm


I read the interview of one of the partners of this firm and 

he said 80% of the works are done on Photoshop !

Feb 5, 14 8:24 am
Non Sequitur

Siamese Dream, Photoshop is not a rendering software, it's primarily used to touch-up/embelish renderings which are produced from others. The images on the site you link look close to what I can crank out using Rhino and Vray.

Perhaps the interview suggested than most of their work is using photoshop to touch up renderings, I can see that being a thing because it is often easier to fix a bad render than wait 8hrs (or more) for a new one to generate.

Feb 5, 14 8:47 am

Non Sequitur ,
Rhino and Vray is 20 % ... that was what i think he (the partner)meant from the article.
What i'm trying to say is, Photoshop is ( thier) magic wand. It's faster and easier to control.

Btw , i used Rhino and Vray extensively in the past 6-7 yrs.

Feb 5, 14 10:12 am
Non Sequitur

Siamese, point taken, it was not clear from your original post what you intended. I tend to be the go-to guy in my office for any photoshop work... which is fine although it's not the best use of my time when the licensed architect needs to fix the tech's renderings. At least I can control the final image, which is important.

I miss Rhino, it is not very common in my sketch-up saturated market. At least I convinced my office to purchase some Vray licenses so that I can still output decent renderings when needed.

Feb 5, 14 10:29 am
Marina CM


Try to get a i7 core and a NVIDIA Geforce, at least GT 740. With 1000USD you should be able to do that!! Check the msi brand.

Feb 5, 14 6:31 pm

thanks so much guys. really helpful! Your all top people.

If anyone has any further recommendations feel free to post them!! 

Feb 6, 14 3:44 am

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