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~$1000 XenClient Desktop for Programming

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April 26, 2014 12:59:53 PM

I'm a computer programmer that is building a work from home computer. I plan on using XenClient in a standalone mode (no synchronizer) to host multiple OS's simultaneously. Thus I want alot of RAM. I'd also like to get an SSD for bootup but need a main Hard Drive for programs, data and databases, I'm not sure if I can do the SSD/HD split with standalone XenClient. I may get NAS for LAN, but I really don't want to get a separate server too. I've already got laptops on wireless and don't plan on making them XenClient as they are for more family use. I plan on 1 Windows 8 OS and multiple Linux (Ubuntu, Fedora, CentOS) OSes. The Windows 8 OS will be the primary one most of the time.

Approximate Purchase Date: Within 1 month

Budget Range: The cheaper the better, but I expect around $1000 not including monitors. Don't think I need to spend money on fancy graphics card (not planning on CUDA programming). I'd rather spend the money on best CPU (many cores), motherboard and RAM that support XenClient virtualization and fast compilation/program execution.

System Usage from Most to Least Important:
1. Programming (Windows - C#, Linux - C++ & Python)
2. Everyday tasks (Internet, Productivity) My wife will be using this desktop as well
3. I'm going to get around to playing Portal 2 at some point...no fancier games than that, unless Orc's Must Die 2 counts.

Are you buying a monitor: Yes - 3 Large High Resolution Monitors, 2 to start. This is the main reason we are going with a desktop over a laptop. I plan on having Eclipse/Visual Studio in 1 screen and a Browser Window or 2 on another. I will probably add the 3rd monitor later if I find that the 2 hi-res ones are not enough.

Parts to Upgrade: None

Do you need to buy OS: Yes

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Websites only, I don't have access to any good stores locally (like Microcenter) but I'm in the US.

Parts Preferences: by brand or type: Not really, but I want the computer to be as energy efficient as possible while idle and preferably not raise the temperature of my house, it will be in a well ventilated area of my home office.

Overclocking: Maybe, but I'd rather not if it will reduce the lifespan of the CPU/RAM. I want this computer to last at least 3 to 5 years.

SLI or Crossfire: No, I don't think I'll be doing anything that extreme to warrant it.

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080, 2560x1440 or better. Should be the same across all 3 potential monitors.
a b L Programming
April 26, 2014 1:21:18 PM

Think I'd look at a 4770K, Asus Z87-A, 32GB of Ripjaws X F3-1600C9Q-32GXM, which is about $685 right there, from the Egg as your basis
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April 26, 2014 3:52:23 PM

How does this sound:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-4770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($309.99 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($35.98 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Asus Z87-C ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($113.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($74.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($126.00 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 840 EVO 250GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($149.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($56.98 @ OutletPC)
Case: Corsair 300R ATX Mid Tower Case ($64.99 @ Micro Center)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8.1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.99 @ NCIX US)
Total: $1024.89
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-04-26 18:51 EDT-0400)

Dan
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April 27, 2014 1:28:06 PM

targetdan said:
How does this sound:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-4770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($309.99 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($35.98 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Asus Z87-C ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($113.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($74.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($126.00 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 840 EVO 250GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($149.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($56.98 @ OutletPC)
Case: Corsair 300R ATX Mid Tower Case ($64.99 @ Micro Center)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8.1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.99 @ NCIX US)
Total: $1024.89
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-04-26 18:51 EDT-0400)

Dan


Dan, (and Tradesman),

Thanks for the quick response. Researching what you put I found out that the 4770K does not support VT-d. I'm not sure if the ASUS board does either, Z87 chipsets tend not to support it (except ASRock?), the Q87 ones do. I'll spring for the full 32GB even if it costs a little more. There are so many motherboard options out there....
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Best solution

April 27, 2014 2:22:43 PM

Ah yes...hmm ok this should work better (although the $1000 budget is shot, sorry!)

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-4770S 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor ($302.98 @ SuperBiiz)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.98 @ OutletPC)
Motherboard: Supermicro C7Z87-OCE ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($249.99 @ Micro Center)
Memory: G.Skill Trident X Series 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($329.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 840 EVO 250GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($149.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($56.98 @ OutletPC)
Case: Corsair 300R ATX Mid Tower Case ($74.99 @ Micro Center)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8.1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.99 @ NCIX US)
Total: $1301.88
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-04-27 17:20 EDT-0400)

The cpu definitely has vt-d technology and iirc the mobo does too, seemed to be the only one that people were sure of but I would do some reading as some forums were saying you can make an ASUS X79 work. Put in the 32GB RAM too :) 

Pricier but a beast of a machine!

Dan
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April 27, 2014 8:11:12 PM

targetdan said:
Ah yes...hmm ok this should work better (although the $1000 budget is shot, sorry!)

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-4770S 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor ($302.98 @ SuperBiiz)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.98 @ OutletPC)
Motherboard: Supermicro C7Z87-OCE ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($249.99 @ Micro Center)
Memory: G.Skill Trident X Series 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($329.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 840 EVO 250GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($149.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($56.98 @ OutletPC)
Case: Corsair 300R ATX Mid Tower Case ($74.99 @ Micro Center)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8.1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.99 @ NCIX US)
Total: $1301.88
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-04-27 17:20 EDT-0400)

The cpu definitely has vt-d technology and iirc the mobo does too, seemed to be the only one that people were sure of but I would do some reading as some forums were saying you can make an ASUS X79 work. Put in the 32GB RAM too :) 

Pricier but a beast of a machine!

Dan


Awsome. I ran across the C7Z87 ($189.99 - newegg) after you found the C7Z87-OCE and both manuals said they support VT-d. Intel's website also listed 4 of their mobo's that support VT-d 2: 2x H87s, 1Q87, and 1Z87. So it looks like I have a few options that claim official support. Supermicro X10SQL also has support in uATX! Never would have found those without your input. Still wondering if I should go Xeon based.. some have the Intel Graphics and are reasonably priced...

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April 28, 2014 2:55:13 AM

Yeah I was looking at xeon for you too. You would have to think about overclocking in that case and unless you want to shell out loads the clock speed might be a bit lower. But there are lots of vt-d compatible chips from what i can see.

Although if you do want to do a bit of gaming in the future I would make sure the onboard graphics can handle it.

Another thing to think about is your comment about power consumption - the 4770s is rated 65W TDP which is pretty good for a high end chip :) 
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April 29, 2014 5:25:42 PM

targetdan said:
Yeah I was looking at xeon for you too. You would have to think about overclocking in that case and unless you want to shell out loads the clock speed might be a bit lower. But there are lots of vt-d compatible chips from what i can see.

Although if you do want to do a bit of gaming in the future I would make sure the onboard graphics can handle it.

Another thing to think about is your comment about power consumption - the 4770s is rated 65W TDP which is pretty good for a high end chip :) 


Within the next few weeks I'll start buying the parts and putting this thing together. I'll post here for people looking into VT-d or the motherboard I get that doesn't show up on PCPartPicker how it goes. Given a full time job and family I'm looking forward to this but it'll take some time to do it in my spare time. Thanks for the help!
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April 30, 2014 3:58:06 AM

no problem, good luck with it!

Dan
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May 8, 2014 5:50:00 PM

So after researching the monitors it looks like the 2560x1440/1600 and the 4k monitors in the 30" and above range are all at least $1k a piece. 1080p monitors are under $200. So I'll probably just get 3 1080p monitors instead of 2 2560x1440/1600 monitors. I'll be getting 2 Samsung T24C550ND for $169.99 at Costco for now and hooking them to the laptop to start, see what the wife thinks. If that is plenty for her, then I'll probably wait until prices drop a little for the major cost items until I can get this build under $1k.
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