I just wanted to ask about building a machine for rendering. I plan to get the parts in january Well 1st off I've been on the fence about building a machine or just cruising along with what I have. I want to go into lighting thats for sure. I also do Camera Tracking and Effects in houdini. Just now learning Nuke. Rendering has been slow though on my laptop and I'm just wondering how much I have to sink. I know for sure I'm going to be using CPU based renderer (mantra, Mental ray.) For the effects stuff probably gonna need a lot of RAM and lastly for camera tracking and compositing hard drive space. Software workflow - photoshop/gimp > matchmover > Maya > Nuke/Composite > Houdini if I need to do effects > lightworks for video editing. The renders I want to do are 1080P I know 2K and 4K renders aren't gonna happen not that I would need to do that anyways. So if I can get full 1080P renders done that would be great. Houdini is only exception to the rule. The monitor should be 24/25 inches or 27 if its a possibility. but I can drop to 23.6 if necessary. I plan to buy my parts off newegg. I've built 3 pc's from there. Buying out of california so yea there will be sales tax. No overclocking OS I plan to use is linux As far as budget I plan to go cheap on everything else except RAM: $75 - this should net me 16gb/32gb PROC: $130 Mobo: $90 HDD: $250 that should get 1 SSD and 1 HDD Vid card: $70 - I'm not sure if I want a mid/low-mid card - I'm lowballing this so looking at $605 just for base parts I'm just focusing on this stuff. I know I can drop about 1400$ if I need to, but I'd like to sit at 1000. I know that is low ball and should probably just grab a new lappy but I'm just not convinced to go with a new laptop. Right now I run an AMD A6 quad core 8gb RAM 128gb SSD 2-500gb external drives for backup/project folder/vids on a USB3 enclosure. and if I went with a new laptop I'd be very inclined to get a higher gb SSD. Sorry for long post just had a lot on my mind. Thanks also these are other things I noticed while I was researching. if I'm going AMD its gonna be about how many cores are dropped in right? I saw the FM1 and FM2 chips and saw they seem to lag behind intel on single thread but on multithread they close the gap a little. on the intel side. It seems very clear cut I need to go sandy bridge/ivy bridge either i5/i7...especially since I'd be opting for quad cores. it seems like I have to go z77 I've done a little reading I saw comparison charts for Z77 Z75 H77 Z68 P67 H67 and the specs seemed similar as they had USB3 and PCI express 3.0 With intel I still feel like i7 is way out of range...I do builds and I hit the 800-700 range. I feel like the i5 might be the best decision.