Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question
Solved

First Workstation Build

Last response: in Memory
Share
June 2, 2014 3:54:42 AM

Hey everyone,

My dad is needing to build a workstation computer. I have experience with computers and building them but I come from a gaming background, so I'm needing some help with the whole workstation angle. Here are some requirements and usages of the potential workstation in order to help you guys make suggestions:

1) He will need run Oracle VM software on it. He's pretty much using it as a test lab, running all sorts of databases, applications etc on it.

2) What kind of chipset/mobo platform do you guys suggest? X79? z87 or z97?

3) CPU - i7-4770K? Feel free to suggest other Intel CPU's suitable. I will be overclocking this using a 212 evo (unless there is a substantial case for AIO). The other option would be to go Xeons, but I have no knowledge of the benefits of these over an i7. is it purely more cores?

3) RAM - Quad or dual channel? What's the difference? Off the top of my head I'm thinking 32GB at least.

4) Storage - At the moment we're looking at 2 x 4TB Hard Drives.
Suggestions on models? On the same note, it seems prices on 120GB SSD's have come down. What's the word on the street in terms of the best performing SSD in this category (128GB territory)? Still the Samsung 840 Evo/Pro? FYI my dad will be most probably using Linux or Windows as a base OS.

5) At this stage I'm thinking there is no need for a graphics card. Feel free to correct me.

Think that's as long as I would want to read and comment on so I'll leave it there!

And once again thanks in advance to the awesome people on this thread; it really is a wealth of information and I appreciate your responses.

Cheers,

Jsmooth.

UPDATE: Totally forgot to mention budget. It'll be around the $2000 AUD mark (I'm from Sydney). a little bit over isn't too much of an issue.

More about : workstation build

June 2, 2014 4:30:52 AM

Hi Jsmooth1992,

1)Ok, so we are probably talking about huge workloads, top notch cpu will signifacalntly reduce completion times...

2,3,3:)  , 5 ) Quad and dual channel, these numbers are just talking about how much channels the chipset uses to address cpu requests for data from the ram. So having more means faster data exchanges between the cpu and the ram. At the moment only x79 chipset supports quad channel addressing.... For the kind of work you want you dont really need a discreet gpu indeed. But x79 chipset and socket 2011 cpus dont support integrated graphics. So if you choose x79 you should get 4930(i dont think its worth upgrading to x79 and get aan i7 4820) and a cheap gpu . If not 4770k and a z97 mobo(there's no reason not to buy a last generation chipset) is your best choice, and then you wont have to buy a gpu. At the end of course it all comes down to your budget.

4)Yes samsung evo and pro are still amazing. Of course some new ssds have similar or even better performance such as the plextor m6 series. Now about your hdds western digital and seagate are usually suggested on this forum.
m
0
l

Best solution

a b à CPUs
a b } Memory
June 2, 2014 4:38:04 AM

Jsmooth1992,

I've never used Oracle VM, but my very general understanding suggests that a high memory bandwidth, reasonably high clock speed, high double precision capabilities, a high core count to simulate multi-threaded applications, fast RAM, and a substantial high performance and massive storage RAID configuration are desirable features. This suggests to me an LGA2011 for the memory bandwidth, using dual Xeon's possibly dual 6 or 8 core, ECC error correcting RAM - perhaps 64GB, for precision, and since Xeons do not have integrated graphics, a moderate workstation graphics card- Quadro or Firepro is necessary. Overclocking is not recommended because of stability issues on long slogs.

Of course, the ultimate machine for this use could have a substantial cost- $7,000-$10,000 (dual 8 core E5 Xeons), but a quite capably system might still be $4,000 or more.(single 6-core Xeon, 32GB RAM). If the budge t is quite restrictive a quad core system might be adequate and for that I'd suggest the Xeon E5-1620 v2 which runs at 3.7 / 3.9GHz and uses ECC 1866 RAM. The E5-1620 v2 at $300 (Superbiiz) is actually about $20 cheaper than the i7-4770K.

If you specify a budget for this system, it would be possible to make more specific suggestions.

For now, here's a kind of generic system idea worked out recently and revised>

BambiBoom PixelSnaffler Calcuworkasimurific Blazomatic iWorkarama TurboScream 9000 ™$#©™_5.6.14 rev. 6.2.14

1. CPU > Intel Xeon Quad-Core Processor E5-1620 v2 3.7 / 3.9GHz 0GT/s 10MB LGA 2011 CPU, OEM> $295 (Superbiiz) (Passmark CPU score= 9199, rank = No. 38)

2. CPU Cooler > Cooler Master Hyper T4 - CPU Cooler with 4 Direct Contact Heatpipes > $30

3. Motherboard> ASUS Z9PA-U8 ATX Server Motherboard, C602 chipset, LGA 2011 > $289.99

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

4. 32GB RAM > (4 X 8) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 ECC Registered Server Memory> $420

5. NVIDIA Quadro 400 by PNY 512MB DDR3 PCI Express Gen 2 x16 DVI-I DL and DisplayPort OpenGL, DirectX, and CUDA Profesional Graphics Board, VCQ400-PB> $80

6. HD 1 > SAMSUNG 840 EVO MZ-7TE250BW 2.5" 250GB SATA 6Gb/s MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) > $140

7. (2) Western Digital Black WD4001FAEX 4TB 7200RPM SATA3/SATA 6.0 GB/s 64MB Desktop Hard Drive (3.5 inch) > $500 ($250 ea) (RAID 1)

8. CORSAIR CXM series CX500M 500W ATX12V v2.3 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply > $60

9. Case > LIAN LI PC-7B plus II Black Aluminum ATX Mid Tower Computer Case $70

10. Optical Dr > SAMSUNG DVD Burner 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 24X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM SATA Model SH-224DB/BEBE - OEM > $20

11. Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro - 64-bit - OEM > $140
_____________________________________________________________________________
TOTAL = $2,038

Again, a bit generic and at the lower end in terms of cost for this kind of system.

Cheers,

BambiBoom


HP z420 (2014) > Xeon E5-1620 quad core @ 3.6 / 3.8GHz > 24GB ECC 1600 RAM > Quadro 4000 (2GB)> Samsung 840 SSD 250GB /Western Digital Black WD1003FZEX 1TB> M-Audio 192 sound card > AE3000 USB WiFi > HP 2711X, 27" 1920 X 1080 > Windows 7 Ultimate 64 >[Passmark system rating = 3923, 2D= 839 / 3D=2048]

Dell Precision T5400 (2008) > 2X Xeon X5460 quad core @3.16GHz > 16GB ECC 667> Quadro FX 4800 (1.5GB) > WD RE4 500GB / Seagate Barracuda 500GB > M-Audio 2496 Sound Card / Linksys 600N WiFi > Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit >[Passmark system rating = 1859, 2D= 512 / 3D=1097]

2D, 3D CAD, Image Processing, Rendering, Text > Architecture, industrial design, graphic design, written projects


Share
Related resources
June 5, 2014 4:37:27 PM

ksarex said:
Hi Jsmooth1992,

1)Ok, so we are probably talking about huge workloads, top notch cpu will signifacalntly reduce completion times...

2,3,3:)  , 5 ) Quad and dual channel, these numbers are just talking about how much channels the chipset uses to address cpu requests for data from the ram. So having more means faster data exchanges between the cpu and the ram. At the moment only x79 chipset supports quad channel addressing.... For the kind of work you want you dont really need a discreet gpu indeed. But x79 chipset and socket 2011 cpus dont support integrated graphics. So if you choose x79 you should get 4930(i dont think its worth upgrading to x79 and get aan i7 4820) and a cheap gpu . If not 4770k and a z97 mobo(there's no reason not to buy a last generation chipset) is your best choice, and then you wont have to buy a gpu. At the end of course it all comes down to your budget.

4)Yes samsung evo and pro are still amazing. Of course some new ssds have similar or even better performance such as the plextor m6 series. Now about your hdds western digital and seagate are usually suggested on this forum.


bambiboom said:
Jsmooth1992,

I've never used Oracle VM, but my very general understanding suggests that a high memory bandwidth, reasonably high clock speed, high double precision capabilities, a high core count to simulate multi-threaded applications, fast RAM, and a substantial high performance and massive storage RAID configuration are desirable features. This suggests to me an LGA2011 for the memory bandwidth, using dual Xeon's possibly dual 6 or 8 core, ECC error correcting RAM - perhaps 64GB, for precision, and since Xeons do not have integrated graphics, a moderate workstation graphics card- Quadro or Firepro is necessary. Overclocking is not recommended because of stability issues on long slogs.

Of course, the ultimate machine for this use could have a substantial cost- $7,000-$10,000 (dual 8 core E5 Xeons), but a quite capably system might still be $4,000 or more.(single 6-core Xeon, 32GB RAM). If the budge t is quite restrictive a quad core system might be adequate and for that I'd suggest the Xeon E5-1620 v2 which runs at 3.7 / 3.9GHz and uses ECC 1866 RAM. The E5-1620 v2 at $300 (Superbiiz) is actually about $20 cheaper than the i7-4770K.

If you specify a budget for this system, it would be possible to make more specific suggestions.

For now, here's a kind of generic system idea worked out recently and revised>

BambiBoom PixelSnaffler Calcuworkasimurific Blazomatic iWorkarama TurboScream 9000 ™$#©™_5.6.14 rev. 6.2.14

1. CPU > Intel Xeon Quad-Core Processor E5-1620 v2 3.7 / 3.9GHz 0GT/s 10MB LGA 2011 CPU, OEM> $295 (Superbiiz) (Passmark CPU score= 9199, rank = No. 38)

2. CPU Cooler > Cooler Master Hyper T4 - CPU Cooler with 4 Direct Contact Heatpipes > $30

3. Motherboard> ASUS Z9PA-U8 ATX Server Motherboard, C602 chipset, LGA 2011 > $289.99

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

4. 32GB RAM > (4 X 8) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 ECC Registered Server Memory> $420

5. NVIDIA Quadro 400 by PNY 512MB DDR3 PCI Express Gen 2 x16 DVI-I DL and DisplayPort OpenGL, DirectX, and CUDA Profesional Graphics Board, VCQ400-PB> $80

6. HD 1 > SAMSUNG 840 EVO MZ-7TE250BW 2.5" 250GB SATA 6Gb/s MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) > $140

7. (2) Western Digital Black WD4001FAEX 4TB 7200RPM SATA3/SATA 6.0 GB/s 64MB Desktop Hard Drive (3.5 inch) > $500 ($250 ea) (RAID 1)

8. CORSAIR CXM series CX500M 500W ATX12V v2.3 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply > $60

9. Case > LIAN LI PC-7B plus II Black Aluminum ATX Mid Tower Computer Case $70

10. Optical Dr > SAMSUNG DVD Burner 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 24X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM SATA Model SH-224DB/BEBE - OEM > $20

11. Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro - 64-bit - OEM > $140
_____________________________________________________________________________
TOTAL = $2,038

Again, a bit generic and at the lower end in terms of cost for this kind of system.

Cheers,

BambiBoom


HP z420 (2014) > Xeon E5-1620 quad core @ 3.6 / 3.8GHz > 24GB ECC 1600 RAM > Quadro 4000 (2GB)> Samsung 840 SSD 250GB /Western Digital Black WD1003FZEX 1TB> M-Audio 192 sound card > AE3000 USB WiFi > HP 2711X, 27" 1920 X 1080 > Windows 7 Ultimate 64 >[Passmark system rating = 3923, 2D= 839 / 3D=2048]

Dell Precision T5400 (2008) > 2X Xeon X5460 quad core @3.16GHz > 16GB ECC 667> Quadro FX 4800 (1.5GB) > WD RE4 500GB / Seagate Barracuda 500GB > M-Audio 2496 Sound Card / Linksys 600N WiFi > Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit >[Passmark system rating = 1859, 2D= 512 / 3D=1097]

2D, 3D CAD, Image Processing, Rendering, Text > Architecture, industrial design, graphic design, written projects




Hi ksarex and bambiboom,

Thank you both for your responses. Appreciate the effort into making such long posts.

Bambiboom, you actually hit the budget exactly. Good guess! It'll be around $2000AUD, so your suggestion may be around 2.2-2.3K AUD. I'll have to sit down with my dad and see if we're willing to go that high.

Can i just ask you why you suggested a server grade motherboard? Is that in order to support the ECC RAM?

And what's the benefit of a quad core Xeon over a quad core i7? You may wish to also comment on the upcoming i7-4970k (which is the successor to the 4770k I believe?
m
0
l
a b à CPUs
a b } Memory
June 6, 2014 3:40:50 AM

G'day Jsmooth1992,

Because Oracle VM is a bit mysterious to me, I have a quite superficial knowledge of the best hardware. However, reviewing "Best Practices and Guidelines for Deploying the Oracle VM Blade Cluster Reference Configuration"- which would make delightful holiday reading >

http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/articles/systems-hard...

> helps greatly as one can see (pg.3) that the reference configurations- ideal systems- resemble broadband, fast servers, the more, fast cores the better, and piles of storage. To me, servers have to handle very large files, quickly, with accuracy and reliability, therefore a Xeon / ECC RAM / moderate workstation graphics. The serve board is to support the ECC RAM. Earlier on, I''d seen that Oracle VM virtual machines are each 15 to 20 GB and developers of these may have 20 VM's on the system at once, plus other applications.

One alternative to building is to consider buying a suitable used system and upgrading it. For this, have a look at >

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Dell-Precision-T7500-Worksta...

> which is a Dell Precision T7500 with a quad core Xeon @2.93 / 3.33 GHz turbo GHz, 6GB ECC RAM, and a Quadro FX 1800 for AU $ 499 or offer. In the US, this would have cost $5,000 new perhaps three years ago. The x5570 CPU cost $1,400 on it's own. By adding a CPU /memory / fan riser, a second 2.93 CPU can be added, (there's one on ebay AU for $149.) increase the RAM to 64GB (=32GB per CPU), add a 512GB SSD and a pair of 4TB mech'l drives in RAID 1, and you would have 8 cores / 16 threads running at fairly good clip, all the VM's running on an SSD, lots of storage, and the Quadro FX 1800 is actually a very good graphics card. You might do the whole thing for something in the AU $1,200 region. I did this with a used T5400- paid $500 and added a 2nd CPU, RAM, and a Quadro FX 4800 for a total of about US $1,000 and had it running for four years nonstop without any problems. This also saves the researching, ordering, assembling, configuring, testing, and troubleshooting an entire new system. Of course, it's used, so no guarantees, but these Precisions are essentially servers, and beautifully made for long reliability. Just a thought.

No worries, too easy,

BambiBoom

m
0
l
!