In May 2011 I replaced “Hydra” (my 6 year old Boxx workstation) with much more powerful machine. Hundreds of folks donated nearly half the cost of the machine so thank you so much to everyone who has signed uprenewed, or otherwise helped me upgrade my system!

Rather than purchase a pre-built machine I assembled all the parts myself. My friends at “The Computer Deli” put it all together so I didn’t have to worry about shorting out my motherboard (this actually happened to me the last time I built a computer).

From what I gather the machine drew a bit of a crowd…Here’s a look under the hood of my workstation. I have named it “Bucephalus” (after Alexander the Great‘s famously huge steed).

When Bucephalus is busy rendering I shift my work over to my mobile workstation which I have dubbed Asfaloth.


  • Two Xeon X5690 3.46 GHz Proc
  • 128 GB of RAM (donated by Justin the Ram Fairy for the cost of a Lifetime Membership + a 1 year Membership for a Vet March 2015)
  • EVGA GTX590
  • SSD boot drive (Intel 510) 2X in RAID config
  • Boatload of fans!

Turns out the system is about 3 times faster than my old workstation. Here are some SiSoft Sandra Benchmarks for Bucephalus (with numbers for my old box in parenthesis):

  • Aggregate Arithmetic Performance: 266.31 GOPS (93.69)
  • Dhrystone ALU: 317 GIPS (126.28)
  • Whetstone iSSE3: 223.67 GFLOPS (69.5) 62.13 MFLOPS/MHz (23.22)
  • Aggregate Memory Bandwidth: 32.36 GBs (5.73)
  • Windows Experience Index 7.8 (7.7)

You will notice that I am running a PC. Don’t all artists use Macs? Well, besides the fact that I learned to do art on a PC, it has been my experience that Macs are wonderful for 2D art (Photoshop, etc) but PCs are superior for 3D. My 3D apps are almost always written natively for Windows and it is easy to access and upgrade the hardware.

Update 5/1/15

Since I upgraded to Shadowfax Bucephalus has been moved downstairs into my basement storeroom to work on long multiscreen renders.


All of the component parts.
Inside Bucephalus.
Inside Bucephalus II.
Bucephalus next to my old workstation (Hydra).
In its new home.