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New 3d workstation, round 2! Now up to 15k!

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September 18, 2013 6:16:06 PM

Hello again!
Over a year ago I posted a similar thread asking for ideal specs on a high end Workstation build for VFX, Graphics, and Animation. After many awesome posts and great ideas, the project that was supposed to pay for such a killer system stalled, but I was just informed it's back on, and I will need this system in the next month or two - no later than December 2013.

Budget Range: $10,000 (+/- $5000) (Just to give extra leeway for newer components) If the system is right, I'd spend 15k on it. (Trolling thru the BOXX site my dream machine is well over 40 grand! Who needs a car or two?)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: 3d animation with local rendering (unless there's a cool article on how to build a renderfarm), VFX Compositing. Note, I am not working on sound editing whatsoever, so this aspect can be sacrificed. While I would prefer a quieter system, so long as I can hear internet radio playing softly, I'm good. Sound cards are not required.

Parts Not Required: OS (currently on Win 7 Pro x64, unless there's a compelling case made for Win 8), Mouse (currently using Logitech Performance MX)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Canada Computers, PC Canada, Tiger Direct, Amazon

Country: Ontario, Canada

Parts Preferences: Always been with ASUS mobos but I have read on various threads here that I would benefit from dual Xeons, and therefore, Asus Z9PE D8 WS was mentioned as well as the Intel C602. I'm not stuck on Asus, just always used them.

Overclocking: No.

SLI or Crossfire: Only if there's a performance boost for wireframe refresh rates. I don't need a wall of monitors, but if SLI makes 3ds Max move faster, lets examine that. HOWEVER, I am leaning more towards a single Quadro 6000 so that even though this is a standalone station, it would be able to handle intense renderings during the night while I worked on wireframes through the day.

Additional Comments: I may be able to salvage my Silverstone TJ07 case and an 800w PSU. Worthwhile? I don't mind starting from total scratch and keeping my current system as a porr man's networked renderfarm.

Thanks in advance!

dreamwyzard

More about : workstation round 15k

September 18, 2013 6:56:31 PM

can you wait ivy brige e is just around the corner
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September 18, 2013 6:57:53 PM

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681... X2
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
http://ca.pcpartpicker.com/part/cooler-master-cpu-coole... X2


PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

Memory: Corsair Vengeance 64GB (8 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($544.99 @ Amazon Canada)
Storage: Samsung 840 EVO 250GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($186.63 @ DirectCanada)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($119.79 @ DirectCanada)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($119.79 @ DirectCanada)
Video Card: PNY Quadro 6000 6GB Video Card ($3608.56 @ Amazon Canada)
Case: Cooler Master Cosmos II (Black) ATX Full Tower Case ($316.20 @ DirectCanada)
Power Supply: Corsair 860W 80 PLUS Platinum Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($164.99 @ Memory Express)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224DB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer ($14.79 @ DirectCanada)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($147.99 @ NCIX)
Total: $5223.73
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-09-18 21:56 EDT-0400)

Of course you can reuse the case and PSU if you want.
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Related resources
September 18, 2013 7:19:23 PM

legokill101 said:
can you wait ivy brige e is just around the corner


I could wait a few months if it meant a significant performance boost = price difference. Tell me more about Ivy bridge E?
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September 18, 2013 7:28:47 PM

mastrom101 said:
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681... X2
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
http://ca.pcpartpicker.com/part/cooler-master-cpu-coole... X2


PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

Memory: Corsair Vengeance 64GB (8 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($544.99 @ Amazon Canada)
Storage: Samsung 840 EVO 250GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($186.63 @ DirectCanada)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($119.79 @ DirectCanada)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($119.79 @ DirectCanada)
Video Card: PNY Quadro 6000 6GB Video Card ($3608.56 @ Amazon Canada)
Case: Cooler Master Cosmos II (Black) ATX Full Tower Case ($316.20 @ DirectCanada)
Power Supply: Corsair 860W 80 PLUS Platinum Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($164.99 @ Memory Express)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224DB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer ($14.79 @ DirectCanada)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($147.99 @ NCIX)
Total: $5223.73
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-09-18 21:56 EDT-0400)

Of course you can reuse the case and PSU if you want.


This is a sweet setup! Nice picks!
I am totally on board with the Asus Z9 PE D8, that looks like an awesome mobo (although I wish the 2.0 USBs would just die already), but was there a significant difference between the Xeon E5-2680 you picked vs the E5-2687w that I've heard so much about? (Other than about $100)
...wow, sorry, didn't realize you had picked the d16 motherboard...nice!
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September 19, 2013 5:49:37 AM

dreamwyzard,

The following configuration was done in consideration of the best cost /performance basis suitable for high calculation density requirements > Mathematical, Astrophysical, vector analysis, particle, fluid, gas flow, and thermal simulation, statistical analysis, molecular biology, static and dynamic structural, 2D/ 3D CAD modeling, video editing, sound processing, graphic design, rendering, architecture, industrial design, financial analysis. >

BambiBoom CalcuCannon Simumrendanimacadamathica Supermodeler 9000 ™?™©®©$_ REV 9.19.13

1. CPU > (2) Intel Xeon E5-2687W Sandy Bridge-EP 3.1GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) 20MB L3 Cache LGA 2011 150W 8-Core Server Processor. (This presents 16 cores / 32 threads available for rendering. On the Passmark CPU benchmark chart, in dual configuration, the E5-2687W is rated No.2 , score = 21491. In the top 100 systems on Passmark Performance Test 8, this CPU is used in the 6th highest performing system- which also uses a Quadro 6000, the highest rated system using Xeon / Quadro. > $3,868. ($1,934 each)

2. CPU Cooling > (2) Thermaltake Water 3.0 Extreme (CLW0224) Water Cooler CPU Cooler > $220 ($110 each) (This is an area for further study. Intel specifies liquid cooling for the Xeon E5-2687W, but the case configuration, noise levels, and custom options will present refinement)

3. MOTHERBOARD > ASUS Z9PE-D16 SSI EEB C602 Server Motherboard Dual LGA 2011 DDR3 1600 > $480 (16RAM slots up to 512GB. I'm convinced C602 is the current best chipset)

4. RAM> 128GB ECC 1600 (8 X 16GB) SAMSUNG M393B2G70BH0-CK0 1X 16GB for ASUS Z9PE-D16 > 128GB= $1,160 ($145 each, Server Direct) (With 16 slots, using 16GB modules will allow a future upgrade to 256GB without replacement of the originals)

5. GPU > NVIDIA Quadro 6000 by PNY 6GB GDDR5 PCI Express Gen 2 x16 DVI-I DL Dual DisplayPort and Stereo OpenGL, DirectX, CUDA, and OpenCL Professional Graphics Board, VCQ6000-PB > $2,300. (Note> The Quadro 6000 has dropped about $1,200 recently in anticipation of the K6000 availability)

____5A. GPU OPT'L > NVIDIA Quadro K6000 VCQK6000-PB Workstation Video Card 12GB> > $5,000 (The usefulness / premium of the K6000 will depend on the complexity and file size of 3D models and animations. The performance of this card on very large and complex models is astounding, but may or may not be necessary)

____ 5B. GPU OPT'L 2X SLI) PNY VCQK5000-PB NVIDIA Quadro K5000 4GB256-bit PCI Express 2.0 x 16 HDCP Ready Workstation video card > $3,400 ($1,700 each) (The K5000 is an amazing performer and a pair in SLI offering 2X GPU's, 8GB, and 3,070 CUDA cores may be as useful a solution as the K6000 for $1,600 less, with the advantage of being able to add the second one later.)

6. OS/APPL.N DRIVE > SAMSUNG 840 Pro Series MZ-7PD512BW 2.5" 512GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) > $520

7. STORAGE DRIVES > (3) Western Digital WD Black WD2002FAEX 2TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM $480 ($160 each) (RAID 1+0) (Active files, backup, system image)

8. PSU> SeaSonic X-1250 1250W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Full Modular Active PFC Power Supply > $254.99

9. CASE> Case Labs Mercury S5 Case Aluminum E-ATX Full Tower Computer Case about $500 (These are modular and price varies according to options. The base price is $260 and the $500 budget includes a generous amount for drive bays ("Flex Bay"), fan/ radiators, various ventilated panels, cables, wheels, USB, Firewire ports, and misc. supplies)

10. OPTICAL DRIVE> ASUS Black 16X BD-R 2X BD-RE 16X DVD+R 5X DVD-RAM 12X BD-ROM SATA Blu-ray Burner BW-16D1HT > $110.

11. FAN CONTROL> NZXT Sentry-2 5.25" Touch Screen Fan Controller > $28.

_______________________________

TOTAL = $9,676 with Quadro 6000, $10,776 with 2X Quadro K5000, or $12,376 with Quadro K6000

Refinements >

1. As noted, the CPU and Case cooling should be more carefully considered and configured to suit the case. Also, the cooling-related noise is important.

2. The Case Labs case has many, many possibilities and details of the Case should be considered in consideration of features, ventilation, and noise potential. This case is sort of double sided and there is a compartment perfect for a custom liquid cooling system. There are other Case Labs series even more suited for this. See >

http://www.caselabs-store.com/

3. This specification does not address a special solution for sound, which may or may or be important in your use. A very good basic 2-channel (non-surround) duplex card with 24-bit / 192 recording, MIDI, SP/DIF is the M-Audio US41750 Audiophile 192 , recently lowered in price from $200 to about $95. This could be coupled to a Logitech Z-2300 THX-Certified 2.1 Speaker System (w/ Subwoofer) , about $600. I've had 3X M-Audio 2496 cards (the model below the 192), have on order a US41750 Audiophile 192 and have used a Z-2300 system for four years- excellent!

Cheers,

BambiBoom

[ Dell Precision T5400 > 2X Xeon X5460 quad core @3.16GHz > 16 GB ECC 667> Quadro FX 4800 (1.5GB) > WD RE4 / Segt Brcda 500GB > M-Audio 2496 Sound Card > Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit > HP 2711x 27" 1920 x 1080 > AutoCad, Revit, Solidworks, Sketchup Pro, Corel Technical Designer, Adobe CS MC, WordP Office, MS Office > architecture, industrial design, graphic design, rendering, writing ]

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September 19, 2013 6:50:30 AM

bambiboom said:
dreamwyzard,

The following configuration was done in consideration of the best cost /performance basis suitable for high calculation density requirements > Mathematical, Astrophysical, vector analysis, particle, fluid, gas flow, and thermal simulation, statistical analysis, molecular biology, static and dynamic structural, 2D/ 3D CAD modeling, video editing, sound processing, graphic design, rendering, architecture, industrial design, financial analysis. >

BambiBoom CalcuCannon Simumrendanimacadamathica Supermodeler 9000 ™?™©®©$_ REV 9.19.13

1. CPU > (2) Intel Xeon E5-2687W Sandy Bridge-EP 3.1GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) 20MB L3 Cache LGA 2011 150W 8-Core Server Processor On the Passmark CPU benchmark chart, this processor is the No.2 rated, score = 21491. In the top 100 systems on Passmark Performance test, this CPU is used in the 6th highest performing system. > $3,868. ($1,934 each)

2. CPU Cooling > (2) Thermaltake Water 3.0 Extreme (CLW0224) Water Cooler CPU Cooler > $220 ($110 each) (This is an area for further study. Intel specifies liquid cooling for the Xeon E5-2687W, but the case configuration, noise levels, and custom options will present refinement)

3. MOTHERBOARD > ASUS Z9PE-D16 SSI EEB C602 Server Motherboard Dual LGA 2011 DDR3 1600 > $480 (16RAM slots up to 512GB. I'm convinced C602 is the current best chipset)

4. RAM> 128GB (8 X 16GB) SAMSUNG M393B2G70BH0-CK0 1X 16GB for ASUS Z9PE-D16 > 128GB= $1,160 ($145 each, Server Direct)

5. GPU > NVIDIA Quadro 6000 by PNY 6GB GDDR5 PCI Express Gen 2 x16 DVI-I DL Dual DisplayPort and Stereo OpenGL, DirectX, CUDA, and OpenCL Professional Graphics Board, VCQ6000-PB > $2,300.

____5A. GPU OPT'L > NVIDIA Quadro K6000 VCQK6000-PB Workstation Video Card 12GB> > $5,000 (The usefulness of the K6000 will depend on the complexity and file size of 3D models and animations)

6. OS/APPL.N DRIVE > SAMSUNG 840 Pro Series MZ-7PD512BW 2.5" 512GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) > $520

7. STORAGE DRIVES > (3) Western Digital WD Black WD2002FAEX 2TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM $480 ($160 each) (RAID 1+0) (Active files, backup, system image)

8. PSU> SeaSonic X-1250 1250W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Full Modular Active PFC Power Supply > $254.99

9. CASE> Case Labs Mercury S5 Case Aluminum ATX Full Tower Computer Case about $500 (these are modular and price varies according to options)

10. OPTICAL DRIVE> ASUS Black 16X BD-R 2X BD-RE 16X DVD+R 5X DVD-RAM 12X BD-ROM SATA Blu-ray Burner BW-16D1HT > $110.

11. FAN CONTROL> NZXT Sentry-2 5.25" Touch Screen Fan Controller > $28.

_______________________________

TOTAL = $9,676 or $12,376 with Quadro K6000

Cheers,

BambiBoom

[ Dell Precision T5400 > 2X Xeon X5460 quad core @3.16GHz > 16 GB ECC 667> Quadro FX 4800 (1.5GB) > WD RE4 / Segt Brcda 500GB > Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit > HP 2711x 27" 1920 x 1080 > AutoCad, Revit, Solidworks, Sketchup Pro, Corel Technical Designer, Adobe CS MC, WordP Office, MS Office > architecture, industrial design, graphic design, rendering, writing ]



Spectacular! Thanks so much! I enjoyed your conversation in the "High End Workstation" thread.
I'll go over these specs!
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September 19, 2013 8:31:25 AM

dreamwyzard,

I'm very glad to make this kind of suggestion as it's a good exercise / education in the current state of workstation components. I feel the suggestion is a realistic and despite the cost, a good cost /performance solution- actually careful to put the cost where it's useful. -Very close to the ideal system for my use.

I tried a custom configuration*** of an HP z820 done to be as close to the suggested one (2X E5-2687W, 128GB, Quadro 6000), and the price is quoted as $18,212, so build yourself and save, save, save !

*** http://h71016.www7.hp.com/dstore/dcart/cart.asp?HeaderA...

I've made a couple of corrections and additional comments in the previous post. The dual Quadro K5000 in place of the 6000 is intriguing, although the 6000 has dropped in price substantially recently.

Let us know how you progress.

Cheers,

BambiBoom

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September 19, 2013 2:10:45 PM

dreamwyzard said:
mastrom101 said:
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681... X2
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
http://ca.pcpartpicker.com/part/cooler-master-cpu-coole... X2


PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

Memory: Corsair Vengeance 64GB (8 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($544.99 @ Amazon Canada)
Storage: Samsung 840 EVO 250GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($186.63 @ DirectCanada)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($119.79 @ DirectCanada)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($119.79 @ DirectCanada)
Video Card: PNY Quadro 6000 6GB Video Card ($3608.56 @ Amazon Canada)
Case: Cooler Master Cosmos II (Black) ATX Full Tower Case ($316.20 @ DirectCanada)
Power Supply: Corsair 860W 80 PLUS Platinum Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($164.99 @ Memory Express)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224DB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer ($14.79 @ DirectCanada)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($147.99 @ NCIX)
Total: $5223.73
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-09-18 21:56 EDT-0400)

Of course you can reuse the case and PSU if you want.


This is a sweet setup! Nice picks!
I am totally on board with the Asus Z9 PE D8, that looks like an awesome mobo (although I wish the 2.0 USBs would just die already), but was there a significant difference between the Xeon E5-2680 you picked vs the E5-2687w that I've heard so much about? (Other than about $100)
...wow, sorry, didn't realize you had picked the d16 motherboard...nice!


The 2687 is clocked higher. If you can find it for a similar price I would definitely recommend it.

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September 20, 2013 8:16:36 AM

The suggestions have been so helpful - thank you bambiboom and legokill101 for your invaluable input!
So, I've tried to narrow down the field a bit and I have decided on the following list of components so far:
1. CPU > (2) Intel Xeon E5-2687W Sandy Bridge-EP 3.1GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) 20MB L3 Cache LGA 2011 150W 8-Core Server Processor.
3. MOTHERBOARD > ASUS Z9PE-D16 SSI EEB C602 Server Motherboard Dual LGA 2011 DDR3 1600
4. RAM> 128GB ECC 1600 (8 X 16GB) SAMSUNG M393B2G70BH0-CK0 1X 16GB for ASUS Z9PE-D16
6. OS/APPL.N DRIVE > SAMSUNG 840 Pro Series MZ-7PD512BW 2.5" 512GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
8. PSU > SeaSonic X-1250 1250W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Full Modular Active PFC Power Supply
10. OPTICAL DRIVE > ASUS Black 16X BD-R 2X BD-RE 16X DVD+R 5X DVD-RAM 12X BD-ROM SATA Blu-ray Burner BW-16D1HT
11. FAN CONTROL > NZXT Sentry-2 5.25" Touch Screen Fan Controller (Sexy!) :pt1cable: 

Which means, as bambiboom predicted, I need to investigate further into the Case / Cooling situation. Legokill101 mentions fans, I personally always went with fans, and I just intrinsically don't trust anything that has even a 1% chance of leakage and ruining such an expensive system - however, are fans quieter? Times two? Research suggests the decibels are nearly the same.
I don't do any sound editing, so sound cards and speakers are not mission critical, but noise levels are always a concern.

The case is a toss up. The Case Labs Mercury S5 is interesting, and probably the better buy since I can adjust and readjust at will, but the Cooler Master Cosmos II case is just damned sexy.

Which leaves the GPU. Out of the three options, despite the cost I'm leaning towards the k5000 new model - thoughts? I'm not sure when I'll have the funds to get such a high end card, and better to be more prepared than ill-equipped.

Thoughts, gentlemen?

Thanks so much!
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September 20, 2013 11:08:00 AM


dreamwyzard,

1 > Case > I like the Cooler Master Cosmos II quite a lot- it has that look of being able to use a pair as panier bags on a BMW motorcycle - fast standing still. The Case Labs designs are very utilitarian -looking, but in this kind of system, that's a big advantage- open, roomy, airy, and you have any kind of parts you want. The doors hinge and open the sides completely. You can also have them delivered as a kit which allows modifications and colour changes as well as building in a kind of open platform configuration- just a bare frame, perfect when doing custom liquid cooling and testing.

Their Magnum series are kind of double-sided and you can put the PSU, cooling system, and drives in one compartment and the CPU/ MB in the other. There are a number of YouTube videos of builds with these and the flexibility and quality is very convincing. If I were building a high-end workstation, generic features were fine, needed it fast, I would use >

LIAN LI PC-D8000 Black Aluminum ATX Full Tower Computer Case >$360

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

> but that is because the Lian Li reminds me of the spaciousness and flexibility of the Case Labs but with fewer decisions and work- just plug all the stuff in and get back to work.

I might mention too that as a designer, my prejudice is for very neutral surroundings when working- very designed, objects especially with a lot of detail and lights on them I find distracting.

3> Cooling > I hope the cooling situation was not made to seem extreme. Intel does recommend liquid cooling for the E5-2687W because of the 8 cores and 150W is no as easy to dissipate even in a large die like the LGA2011, but I believe that a good quality compact liquid cooler would be just fine. Like Quadros, Xeons are made to be on all the time at full bore, and are slightly under-stressed to do it. I read recently that all Intel LGA 2011 CPU's are made with 8 cores and the ability to use in 2CPU configurations- the 8 cores, ECC RAM, clock speed, and dual Processor features are simply a matter of bin selection and feature enabling.

2 > GPU > I'm quite convinced that the Quadro K5000 is the one to have these days- the 3D performance is simply outstanding, plenty of CUDa cores (1536) and 4GB is a good RAM quantity. I was all set to buy a Quadro K4000 ($750), but I recently decided that I would wait and buy a used K5000 when they were sold used for $1,000 or under- Which I expect will be in about eight months to a year.

One other alternative would be to consider a used Quadro 6000 (6GB) as these are quite amazing for animation, video editing, and son on. The prices are dropping rapidly - I've seen new for $2,300 and used for $1,300 as the K6000 (12GB, $5,000) is about to appear. I've had very good luck with used Quadros as they're made for long, constant use and run at a reduced stress level for that reliability. I use a Quadro FX 4800 (1.5GB) that was $1,200 new, purchased for $150 when 18 months old and has been perfect for two years of almost 24/7 running. My 2008 Quadro FX 580 (512MB), now in a 2006 Dell Optiplex, likewise runs great and that card is still on the recommended list for AutoCad and Inventor 2014!

It would be worth looking into the ability of you particular applications to see if they support multiple GPU's or if the LSI will only contribute the multiplied memory, because the K5000 (and 6000) can be used in SLI. That situation is changing as is the ability of applications for multi-core function. My thought, mentioned earlier, was that if SLI was useful, you could start with one K5000 and add a second later is needed.

No guarantees, but, given the quality of the K5000, you might consider a recent used one with a known history. I see these on eBay as "new other" - barely if at all used in the $1,300 range sometimes.

> An ambitious project, but the potential is a system with 5-6 years reliable, high performance use.

Cheers,

BambiBoom

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September 20, 2013 8:07:48 PM

Gentlemen,
I have picked through the lists both of you have graciously provided, examined as much as I could each component, and tried to weight the various factors of which component to get and compiled a new list:
1. CPU > (2) Intel Xeon E5-2687W Sandy Bridge-EP 3.1GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) 20MB L3 Cache LGA 2011 150W 8-Core Server Processor. $3,868. ($1,934 each)

2. CPU Cooling > (2) Thermaltake Water 3.0 Extreme (CLW0224) Water Cooler CPU Cooler > $220 ($110 each)

3. MOTHERBOARD > ASUS Z9PE-D16 SSI EEB C602 Server Motherboard Dual LGA 2011 DDR3 1600 > $480

4. RAM > 128GB ECC 1600 (8 X 16GB) SAMSUNG M393B2G70BH0-CK0 1X 16GB for ASUS Z9PE-D16 > 128GB= $1,160

5. GPU 2X SLI > PNY VCQK5000-PB NVIDIA Quadro K5000 4GB256-bit PCI Express 2.0 x 16 HDCP Ready Workstation video card > $3,400 ($1,700 each)

6.1 OS DRIVE > OCZ Vector Series VTR1-25SAT3 SSD - 256GB $250

6.2 APP DRIVE > SAMSUNG 840 EVO MZ-7TE500BW 2.5” - 500GB $369

7. STORAGE DRIVES > I’ll salvage the several drives I have here.

8. PSU > SeaSonic X-1250 1250W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Full Modular Active PFC Power Supply > $255

9. CASE > LIAN LI PC-D8000 Black Aluminum ATX Full Tower Computer Case > $360

10. OPT DRIVE > ASUS Black 16X BD-R 2X BD-RE 16X DVD+R 5X DVD-RAM 12X BD-ROM SATA Blu-ray Burner BW-16D1HT > $110

11. FAN CONTROL > NZXT Sentry-2 5.25" Touch Screen Fan Controller > $28

12. Monitors > Primary: ASUS PA279Q 27” Widescreen IPS LED Monitor, 2560x1440, 6ms(GtG), 100000000:1 (ASCR), HDMI, DisplayPort, DVI-D, Speaker, USB 3.0 Hub $849
> Secondary: ASUS PB278Q, 27” Widescreen PLS Professional Monitor, 2560x1440, 5ms(GtG), 80000000:1(ASCR), VGA, DVI-D, HDMI and DisplayPort $599
___________________________

TOTAL = $11,948 with 2X Quadro K5000 and 2 monitors (which was a bit of an after-thought. I do need one more, but the get a "set" of dual monitors would be a sweet setup. I saw these and they appears very crisp to my eyes. Might as well take advantage of the money while it's here!)
I may even see if I can hunt down a 3D Connexion SpacePilot mouse as well, just for fun, but otherwise, how does this list measure up? Are all the components even compatible? BambiBoom, I took into consideration your case example and I agree, I thought the LIAN LI PC-D8000 was the best answer. While the Case Labs would certainly be more modifiable, I'm not looking to mod the system. Like you, I want to put it together, have a beer while it's settling in, and just get straight to work. That case seemed like the best choice.
The cooling choice was obvious for the nearly -10 db drop beneath the Corsair H100i.

Thoughts?
Thanks for all your input!
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Best solution

September 20, 2013 11:00:34 PM

dreamwyzard,

I believe your proposed system as listed has fantastic potential. A couple of further thoughts >

1. The Various Drives > The one subsystem that could benefit from further thought is the Disk system. After reviewing some benchmarks baselines in Passmark for E5-2687W and other high performance systems, the highest performing consistently seem to use a RAID controller with the OS and Application drives in RAID 0. Consider this idea >

LSI Internal SATA/SAS 9211-8i 6Gb/s PCI-Express 2.0 RAID Controller Card, Single > $225

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

> and connecting to the LSI controller a pair of the c. 500GB SSD's containing both OS and Applications of your choice in RAID 0. With drives of that size, current projects could be loaded onto those drives and backup and archive onto the storage drives. The access and loading time would be unbeatable- nearly as fast as ramdisks. Of course, RAID 0 is a bit risky in case of drive failure, but you can keep a pristine system image on a storage drive and with a recovery disk and file backup on the storage drives, be up and running on the remaining OS /APP drive in seconds. I recently bought an LSI 3080X 4-port controller and pair of Samsung 840 250GB SSD for my Dell Precision and intend to set up a similar scheme, with a pair of 500GB mech'l drives (WD RE4) in RAID 1 mirroring for storage.

2. Cooling > Yes, the Thermaltake 3/0 extreme was selected for being quieter than the Corsairs- which have high marks for cooling, but for this system, as mentioned, the CPU's are not overclocked monsters at the limit and those big dual fan radiators should be able to run lazily -and quietly- along.

3. Case > The more I thought about it, the more the big Lian Li case made sense- it fits every form factor of MB and probably at least 10 drives and many fans and without the complexity of configuration of the Case Labs. Pleasantly plain but with a hint of military purposeful-looking with the touch screen fan controller on the front panel.

4. RAM > I'm reasonably sure I checked the listed Samsung RAM compatibility on the ASUS site, but at the time of ordering, I would suggest rechecking the ASUS approved vendor site for the Z9PE-D16 just to be absolutely certain. Remember that with the two CPU's the RAM is divided equally (=64GB for each CPU) and the slots have to be populated symmetrically and in a certain order. I apologize if this is elementary stuff.

5. Monitors > I was pleased to see your choices for monitors. By coincidence, I was going to bring up monitors as a subject that seems to be skipped over to a degree on the Systems forum. I also have a new monitor in mind. As much as I like the HP 2711x, the text display is a bit grainy at 1920 X 1080 and I decided that when upgrading the graphics card, I would also definitely have a 2560 X 1440, and which is currently between the Samsung, Viewsonic, and ASUS. I never buy a monitor without seeing them and will take my time, but so far the ASUS PB278Q is the current favorite. You mentioned liking ASUS products and I also have that preference- everything I've ever had from ASUS has always just worked immediately and kept going. I've long thought of dual monitors, as I often run so many applications (5 or 6) simultaneously.

Anyway, send us updates and photogs as you progress- that'll be a hot rod!

Cheers,

BambiBoom

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October 1, 2013 6:17:44 PM

BambiBoom,
Thank you for your recommendations on the parts - I've been informed I need to order everything starting in the next week, following our Thanksgiving here in Canada. So excited!
A few last thoughts:
I like your RAID 0 idea, and I agree: despite the risk of such a setup, with an system imaged elsewhere as backup, the RAID 0 would all but eliminate any hesitation that hardware may have. I can't wait to see benchmarks of such a set up in real world conditions.
Cooling > My only investigation I still need to do is whether the Case will accomodate 2 Thermaltake Coolers with adequate room and ventilation. I'll look into that and I want to take a lot of pictures of the build in progress to share any problems and/or workarounds I may encounter with such a high end system. Hopefully, someone will find this info useful when I post it.
Ram > I did a double check of the RAM you suggested and it is indeed listed on the QVL, so no worries there. I'm not familiar with Samsung RAM, so I'll be looking for benchmarks of that somewhere. And no need to apologize for the elementary reminders...it's been since Quad Core days that I last built a home system (although I did build two whoop-ass Core i7s for work and they both have been humming along nicely for over two years now.
Monitors > I'm glad you liked my choices. I happened to be in a Staples one day when I saw the monitor in use and I literally did a double-take. The colours were vibrant, no bleeds, no dead pixels, text was sharp and crisp - everything I could want. I've steadfastedly maintained that there are only two critical pieces to every computer system: The Monitor and the Chair you sit in. Everything else is replaceable, fixable, upgradeable, but your posture and your eyes are not. I was so pleased that Asus built an award-winning monitor that are reasonably priced and well made.
So, with hand-wringing mad cackling glee I'm setting forth to get quotes and search for the best price possible.
The icing on this particular cake is that I'm a status First Nation - which means a goodly portion of the tax comes off. Last calculation I'll save over $600!
Updates and Photos to come!
Thanks for your help!
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October 2, 2013 5:20:35 AM

dreamwyzard,

I'm very pleased that your project is moving ahead, and it's always a pleasure to contemplate the top end. In the sense of ingenuity required, it's the extremes of performance tailored to use and cheaposity that are the most demanding.

RAID > You may find it useful to have Passmark Performance Test. This is useful as a test of your current system, and of course testing during refinements in the new one. Passmark PT also has very good search features "Advanced" in which you can virtually model a system by inputing any combination of components. In the Top 100 systems, the No. 10 system is an HP z820 with 2X Xeon E5-2687W / Quadro 6000 / OCZ Agility 3 / 196GB RAM, rating 7671, with 2D /3D scores of 1545 / 3977. It's impossible to know the exact drive layout, but as the Disk score is 26481 I would say it must have a RAID 0. That system, while No. 10 is in effect No. 3 as 7 of the Top 10 are the same system with different GPU's- and that No. 1-4, 6-8 system uses an LSI MR9265-8i RAID controller. Also, if you look at the Top 100 list, there is a noticeable presence of RAID 0's- and LSI Controllers in the drive model list.

Cooling > Yes, I'm always surprised how large CPU's coolers can be. One technique is to read user comments
on coolers on both the motherboard and case to check on conflicts. The big Lian Li case should have a lot of room. I didn't think of it earlier, but a RAM cooler might be order as well.

Monitor > I like your characterization of the monitor and chair being the most important components. One of the best computer components I've ever purchased was the 27" HP monitor - replacing a 22" CRT, and the other was a pair of Steelcase Leap chairs. I cetainly spend far more hours in those chairs than the bed!

It sounds as though you're forging ahead- wisely, and I would be very interested to have news of progress and results. Well done!

Cheers,

BambiBoom

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October 4, 2013 3:21:52 PM

Hi, I looked through this thread and noticed that so far nobody considered to use PCIe SSD memory for the OS drive. These drives read and write at insane speeds, around 2GB/s. If you go for a build where you still have a PCIe x8 slot available I would strongly recommend to put this in your build as it will boot your system in mere seconds. ;) 
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