New (First Time) Workstation/"Light Server" Build - AMD FX-8350 vs Intel Xeon E3 12xx

Hi everyone,

Please recommend a build for me! I've been lurking here for a while and learned a lot, but I'm still way over my head when it comes to coming up with a new build. I'm currently running a macbook 2008 core 2 duo and I thought about upgrading to an ssd, but that turned into wanting to build an entirely new computer. I'm running simulations that can take hours, days, or weeks to complete. I also sometime handle anywhere from 10k-100k files, or large ~100GB files. Currently, the code is not parallelized, but that's something I may play around with or need in the future. I'd also like to explore CUDA/OpenCL coding, so I'd like a basic workstation GPU. I'm thinking of going with either Vishera or Xeon for the ECC capabilities, but I'd like some input on that.

I probably won't use every core at 100% 24/7. What's more likely is to have 1-4 processes running at 100% for anywhere from a few hrs to days. I would also use it as an everyday computer to stream movies, surf the internet, listen to music, edit a few photos every now and then.

Here are my questions:

1. Vishera or Xeon? Do I need ECC? This is for graduate research, but I don't know if I would say that it's "mission critical". If something screws up, I can run it again. I'll be using this at home, so I will have to pay for power.

2. What is a good motherboard for the Xeon? I don't really know where to start with that.

3. A good choice for ECC RAM?

4. Bluray drive?

Approximate Purchase Date: this month but willing to wait

Budget Range: 1000 - 1200

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Scientific Computing

Are you buying a monitor: No

Parts to Upgrade: All (First time build)

Do you need to buy OS: Yes. Windows or Linux.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg

Location: Austin, TX

Parts Preferences: none

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1200

Additional Comments: I'd like a quiet case but maybe cool looking, too.

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: see above
15 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about time workstation light server build amd 8350 intel xeon 12xx
  1. actually xeon E3 1230 V2 is ivy bridge CPU that is way better than vishera :) and it requires normal 1155 mobo
  2. ok, thanks. That makes sense; I think I read that the E3's were just ECC-capable I5' how about a video card? What's the best entry level workstation GPU?

    And if anyone has any recommended builds, that would be great. Thanks again.
  3. Best answer

    i hope it will help. ^ the mobo above is one of few mobo that supports ECC ram
    btw i dont know what is the best workstation GPU for that budget. afaik, u can use regular GTX 650 ti to use CUDA
  4. you can use any intel 1155 board with that e3 1230v2. really doesnt matter if you use a workstation board or not since the CPU itself doesnt support dual socket anyways and that memory errors dont occur often enough to require ecc ram (unless you absolutely need 100% reliability)
  5. Thanks AMD Radeon, that looks like a good build.
  6. Thanks BigTroll. I'm kind of torn on the whole ECC thing. I get that it's rare, but I don't really understand what might happen. Will there always be a crash, or is it possible that a digit in a large data file will silently change? From

    An example of a single-bit error that would be ignored by a system with no error-checking, would halt a machine with parity checking, or would be invisibly corrected by ECC: a single bit is stuck at 1 due to a faulty chip, or becomes changed to 1 due to background or cosmic radiation; a spreadsheet storing numbers in ASCII format is loaded, and the digit "8" is stored in the byte which contains the stuck bit as its eighth bit; then a change is made to the spreadsheet and it is saved. However, the "8" (00111000 binary) has silently become a "9" (00111001).

    I'm ok with taking the risk of a crash, since it's so rare....I've crunched numbers on my core2duo for about 5 days straight without a crash. I'm more worried about a digit flipping here or there. This could affect the outcome of the simulation without my knowledge. But from above, would such a digit flip cause a crash?

    Also BigTroll, are you saying that motherboard won't support ECC with the xeon 12xx? I don't understand the reference to dual socket.

  7. there is no point of a server board when all it offers more is the ecc support. the other reason people get a server grade boards is so that they can buy a dual socket board so that they can upgrade to 2 CPUs which you cant.

    i highly doubt the ram will have an error that will cause a digit to flip or something along those lines. if you done simulations with a core2 duo with regular ram and found no problems, you shouldnt expect any problems likewise
  8. Thanks, BT. And do you also recommend intel over amd for this kind of usage? It seems like maybe I could get more bang for my buck with amd, but maybe it's not worth it in the long term?
  9. they cost about the same when you add them up. amd you can overclock but then you might not want to since you are aiming for total stability
  10. I talked to one of the computing people in my department.....if I'm going to run things for a few days or a week, they say ECC, just in case. Can someone recommend an AMD build with ECC? Or any tweaks to the xeon build above? Thanks for your help!
  11. amd chips dont support ecc unless you get the opteron series, which i have no idea for where to start off
  12. I've seen some things that say FX and Opteron (maybe even most AMD chips) support ECC. Here's the specs, says ECC for FX series and Opteron both, I think?

    So now I'm back to the drawing board. Been looking at a Dell Precision T1650 (on sale) with a xeon vs something like the above xeon build vs an FX-8350 build. It looks like the GTX 560 ti is one of the better values among GPGPU cards with double precision? I spent a lot of time tracking down the fp64 (double precision) capabilities of a few cards. Guess I need to go with NVIDIA for CUDA since it seems like some packages don't support OpenCL, but it sucks because it seems like AMD's cards have more fp64 flops for less.
  13. Here's an FX-8350 build with ECC. Any thoughts? I kind of just threw it together. I think with the discounts on the T1650, this build is only about $100 less. But I heard they're coming out with the T1700 soon.

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: AMD FX-8350 4.0GHz 8-Core Processor ($179.99 @ Amazon)
    Motherboard: Asus SABERTOOTH 990FX R2.0 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($179.98 @ Outlet PC)
    Memory: Kingston 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($119.98 @ NCIX US)
    Storage: Samsung 840 Pro Series 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($214.99 @ NCIX US)
    Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($64.99 @ NCIX US)
    Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 560 Ti 1GB Video Card ($177.55 @ Newegg)
    Case: Cooler Master HAF 932 Blue ATX Full Tower Case ($118.00 @ Newegg)
    Power Supply: SeaSonic 650W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($116.98 @ Newegg)
    Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($19.96 @ Outlet PC)
    Total: $1192.42
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-05-14 19:37 EDT-0400)
  14. The Dell Precision T1650 has this for $1009. It's $540 off. But notice, no ssd.

    Four Core, XEON E3-1225 v2 (3.2GHz, 8M, 2GT)
    Windows 7 Professional, No Media, 64-bit, English
    320W Power Supply, 90 Percent Efficiency
    8GB, DDR3 UDIMM Memory, 1600MHz, ECC (2 x 4GB DIMMs)
    1.0GB NVIDIA® Quadro® 600, Dual Monitor, 1 DP & 1 DVI edit
    2TB, 7200 RPM 3.5" SATA 6Gb/s Hard Drive edit
    6X Slimline Blu-ray Disc (BD) Burner, with Cyberlink PowerDVD, and 19-in-1 Media Card Reader
    Integrated PCIE 10/100/1000
    Dell USB Entry Business Keyboard, English edit
    Dell MS111 USB Optical Mouse edit
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