Building a desktop PC for touch - recommendations for components please

I want to build a desktop PC to run installations using a touch designer. I want to do projection mapping using maybe 3 projectors max (though it will be a while before I get there!) . Can you recommend for me :

  1. CPU
  2. Motherboard
  3. Graphics Card
  4. Power supply
  5. Harddrive
  6. RAM
  7. Quiet cooling if possible (I do a lot of audio stuff)

Obviously the compatibility of CPU, motherboard, RAM and Power supply is key so if you suggest one please suggest the components that are compatible with it. Graphics cards and hard drives will pretty much go in anything. I don’t want to discuss budget yet just see what recommendations people have but I would say it doesn’t have to be super expensive latest cutting edge stuff, but maybe something that’s up to 3 years old if it knocks a lot off the price.

There are a couple of good articles on the wiki to read when it comes to hardware:

@elburz has a good set of articles that might also be helpful:

1 Like

Hmmm - the graphics cards hes suggesting are around 800 euro at the cheapest. I want to spend less at the moment. Would a Nvidia Quadro K4200 be ok ? I know 3 years ago it was recomended on here and cost 1200 euro back then. If not can you suggest a similarily prived one ? I can see one on ebay right now for 200 euro…

Would be easier if you could state your budget and serisusnes regarding future work.
Quadro Cards a hella expensive and the features they offer might not even be needed for your projects. Its totaly fine to go with a gforce card.
The K4200 is nowere near top of the line and offers even less power then a gtx 960 which is already pretty old.

Just putting something together like a middle ground thing. I use every component (or something from the same family) myself.
Possible things to do: Upgrade Processor, Upgrade GPU, Switch NVME and Sata SSD (or remove one, Upgrade Motherboard for SLI Support (works only with Quadros anyway, thats another topic).

1 Like

Im dont mind being 2/3 years behind - so two years ago thenvidia quadro K4200 and k5200 were being recommended on this forum as good cards and cost around 800 dollars - now you can get one for 200 dollars - the 800 euro cards above will be 200 euros in 2/3 years etc etc. I look at it like cars - a new one will lose half its value in a year or two. So im not interested in being top of the line for right now. So for the graphics card I guess whats the best I could get for 200 euros. I am hoping to use 3 projectors fo rmapping at some point. There are according to what Ive been reading here a lot of advantages getting an Nvidia quadro card even if its a couple of year sold (support, edge blending etc?) as opposed to a newer geoforce card
For the CPU/motherboard etc Im going down the threadripper route.

Well, cars do not tend to increase in performance as much.
You can get a used 1070 for arround 250 Bucks.
The K4200 has less performance then my old gtx960 and 2gb less Ram. I rocked that card quite a while, but the moment you start using more intense features (pbr) or start to work with, for example glsl for particles systems, you will hit the ceiling very very fast. I had to upgrade to an 1080 for my last project.
If you are set on using a Quadro go for it, but in this price range there is just no need for that.

Cheers for the advice. Like I say looking at the work done on 2/3-year-old graphics cards with touch designer I’d be happy enough to produce work of that calibre for now as some of it is/was amazing , I realise software uses more and more resources as time goes on too… but I can always up the spec if I get a big job but the main use, for now, will be in the studio and maybe some smaller installations, I am using particle systems quite a lot already . By 1070 you mean the geforce? You reckon that would be a better buy for blending a couple of projectors together , for mapping etc mosaicing etc than the quadro k4200 ? Anyway - tx for the tips - much appreciated.

Well, the gtx 1070 was released 3 years ago so that plus point. Also it rocks solid 8gigs og video memory, thats always a nice to have.
You can do merging and stuff no problem without mosaic. The additional power is worth the loss of that features for a small event/studio environment. As you said, you can always upgrade and with the board I proposed you are also set for PCI-E 4. But with threadripper even more. Might be a good idea to look out for an sli enabled threadripper board.

1 Like

Thanls again - really useful and you steered me away from buying a sh!t graphics card :slight_smile: (or at least an old one) So do you think this would be a good choice of graphics card ? or would I be better off looking for an older 1070 or 1080 ?

Difficult to answer, the main difference are:
8 Go video memory for GTX 1070 and GTX 1080
6 Go video memory for RTX 1060
The speed difference is not so great, the main difference between GTX and RTX is the capacity of raytracing calculation for RTX but, for the moment very few software use it, mainly in game world (Unity, Unreal), but not TouchDesigner for the moment.
I think the most important is the price but, personally, I would opt for a GTX 1080 TI (11 Go)

hmmm - I can only find one of them £650… so twice the price (and thats used). I am also having trouble finding a 1080 or even a 1070 for less than £400. Looking at the GPU benchmarks , whilst I realise touch may have different criteria, the 2060 seems to rate significantly higher than the 1070 and slightly higher than the 1080 despite the memory difference (not the 1080 TI which rates much higher) - I was reading the VRAM in the RTX cards was faster than the GTX cards (14 gbps as opposed to 10 gbps) which might explain this. Bearing that in mind - do you think the brand new 2060 would “do” ? Or would it be worth spending £100 more for slightly cheaper second hand 1080 model (ie not the TI )

Honestly, the only way to decide would be to test with your day to day work. Benchmark are alway focused on a little part of the landscape. If the dilemma is 200 for 1660 vs 400 for 1070, go to it.

1 Like

right on Jaques - thanks again ! I think Im goint to go for a new 2060 as opposed the second hand 1070 simply because Ill have a warranty. If I max it out ill upgrade. Next… projectors …