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workstation build *quick help required!!!*

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February 2, 2007 5:30:47 PM

A friend of mine is currently choosing parts for a workstation. He needs a lot of memory bandwidth and quantity, but he really doesn't have a lot of money to spend, and I've suggested the following system:

Core 2 Duo E6700 (2.67Ghz)
2x Corsair Dominator DDR2-800 @ 4-4-4-12 2GB Kit (4GB Total)
Asus P5B Deluxe
2x Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 250GB, 16MB cache in RAID 0
OCZ PowerStream 520W
Asus 7300GS PCIe Video card
Cooler Master Centurion 5 Case

What do you guys think? Am I way off or not?...

Bear in mind that this guy uses a LOT of memory, and this system has accordingly good memory, without being completely over-the-top. Also, I'm having a hard time finding the OCZ GameXStream 600W PSU. Which one is better, Power or GameX -Stream?...

About the video card, he won't really use graphics, but he will use linux, so I'm thinking I wouldn't want to get a TurboCache or Hypermemory-enabled video card. I've heard these don't really work well with linux. (better safe than sorry...)

Any input will be greatly appreciated. :lol: 
February 2, 2007 5:57:41 PM

Quote:
A friend of mine is currently choosing parts for a workstation. He needs a lot of memory bandwidth and quantity, but he really doesn't have a lot of money to spend, and I've suggested the following system:

Core 2 Duo E6700 (2.67Ghz)
2x Corsair Dominator DDR2-800 @ 4-4-4-12 2GB Kit (4GB Total)
Asus P5B Deluxe
2x Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 250GB, 16MB cache in RAID 0
OCZ PowerStream 520W
Asus 7300GS PCIe Video card
Cooler Master Centurion 5 Case

What do you guys think? Am I way off or not?...

Bear in mind that this guy uses a LOT of memory, and this system has accordingly good memory, without being completely over-the-top. Also, I'm having a hard time finding the OCZ GameXStream 600W PSU. Which one is better, Power or GameX -Stream?...

About the video card, he won't really use graphics, but he will use linux, so I'm thinking I wouldn't want to get a TurboCache or Hypermemory-enabled video card. I've heard these don't really work well with linux. (better safe than sorry...)

Any input will be greatly appreciated. :lol: 


Sounds like a winner for Linux or X64/Windows Server. WHat is his main application?
February 5, 2007 12:27:20 PM

My friend runs his own code, and this should be a development workstation, so many more programs will be created. In the end, while his average use requires a lot of memory bandwidth, it would be best if this workstation was a good all-rounder...

I think he might not have the money to do RAID though. Which is sad, but this will still be one mean workstation.

Also, I'm thinking about switching from the CM Centurion 5 to a more robust SilverStone Tenjim TJ04 case with 120mm front intake and exhaust. A little more expensive, but worth it... I think.

And I'm having trouble choosing the PSU. For about the same money, I can get a modular SilverStone Strider 600W PSU or an OCZ PowerStream 520W PSU. Which one is better? I'm leaning towards the Strider, but I've used PowerStreams in the past... :?

(I know both PSUs are overkill from an electrical point of view, but given the 100% CPU usage and possible HD upgrades in the future, it's a good choice)
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February 5, 2007 3:07:46 PM

If budget is an issue, did you consider cutting back from the E6700 to the E6600 and saving $200 - which maybe could go to one of the other needs your considering?
Are the acitivities he does that processor intensive that he really benefits from moving above the sweet spot on processor pricing?
February 5, 2007 4:06:42 PM

Ya the difference between the 6600 and the 6700 is minimal. Do you really need 4 gb of dominator ram?

I would also add another drive to the raid and make it a raid5 instead of a potentially dangerous raid0. I don't think a raid0 has any reason to be in a production environment.
February 5, 2007 7:05:32 PM

Well, I think the RAID idea won't really work. He doesn't really have the money to spend on the drives. And he's not really that interested in RAID. So what I'm thinking is:

C2D E6700
Asus P5B Deluxe
4GB Corsair Dominator DDR2-800 @ 4-4-4-12
Western Digital 320GB 16MB cache hard drive
SilverStone Strider 600W Modular PSU (for possible upgrades)
eVGA 7300GT
Samsung WriteMaster CD/DVD Reader/Recorder
SilverStone TJ04 Case (also good for possible upgrades)

I think that's a good system for him: he has the money to pay for this.

About the E6700 and Dominator RAM: his code depends a lot on memory, and it's very, very CPU-intensive. I found a place where I can get the E6700 cheaper than usual! This makes it a good idea to go E6700 instead of an E6600! :twisted:

And he can afford both E6700 and 4GB Dominator RAM (it's a workstation, that's why he wants a lot of memory...), and he has more interest in that than in a RAID setup. He doesn't need it as badly... So I figure the setup I described in this post should be perfect...
February 5, 2007 7:55:33 PM

If its that cpu intensive look at the Intel xeon 30xx series that are based off the core2 architecture. These use a L3 cache instead of a L2 cache and are priced very similarly to the core2 duos.


He could probably get 8 gigs of ram if decided to use ram that doesn't require a heat sink. But if the speed of the ram is that important I guess that its not that outrageous.

Also I would look at a more reliable company for the psu than Silverstone like Forton/FSP group or Seasonic.
February 5, 2007 8:54:46 PM

your friends needs lot of memory, not lots of FAST memory. In fact, I think any one would agree with me that the performance benefit of PC2-4200 (which is all conroes need) vs PC2-8000 is less than 5% in most of the cases.

I would just get 4GB of PC4200/5300 RAM and run a RAID-1 setup for data redundency.
February 5, 2007 10:35:28 PM

Quote:
your friends needs lot of memory, not lots of FAST memory.


No! They need fast memory! Their code is very bandwidth intensive. This is even more important than having lots of it, but they also wanted lots of it for this particular workstation...
February 5, 2007 10:40:13 PM

Quote:
Also I would look at a more reliable company for the psu than Silverstone like Forton/FSP group or Seasonic.


Really? I thought that that Strider was a good idea...

Well... a few other choices are:

OCZ PowerStream 520W (about the same price)
Enermax Liberty 500W ELT500AWT (about the same price)
Cooler Master iGreen Power 500W RS-500-ASAA (slightly cheaper)

The Liberty looks pretty good, as does the Powerstream... Help! What do you guys think?...
February 5, 2007 10:56:27 PM

Quote:
Their code is very bandwidth intensive.


Ok :?

Fortron is probably the most reliable (and under-rated) PSU maker in the world.
February 6, 2007 12:00:30 AM

Silverstone is not a bad company but he could do better. There have been a couple of articles on the average voltage/amperage. From what I remember Forton and Seasonic consistently scored the best for having consistent output and average liftime. OCZ scored the worst, Enermax and Antec didn't do that that bad.
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February 6, 2007 1:30:48 AM

Quote:
Silverstone is not a bad company but he could do better. There have been a couple of articles on the average voltage/amperage. From what I remember Forton and Seasonic consistently scored the best for having consistent output and average liftime. OCZ scored the worst, Enermax and Antec didn't do that that bad.


OCZ Gamestream and another brand are ranked tier two on the "standard list", while Silverstone has models in tier one and two and Enermax and Antec are mostly tier 3. I suggest reviewing the list"

http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?t=10...
February 6, 2007 1:38:25 AM

I was refering to the testing done on this site.
February 6, 2007 10:16:04 AM

I think I'll take the Enermax Liberty 500W model. It has a lot of power to it, it's modular, costs the same as the PowerStream 520W, it's a tad less expensive than the SilverStone 600W and it looks good.

Quick question: if given the choice, is the Asus P5W DH Deluxe better for this workstation than the P5B Deluxe? The P5B is a little less expensive, mind you! But I kind of need a good memory controller to get those 4GBs working...

I think the P5B will do fine... What do you think?

Oh, and what about the GA-965P-DQ6?... I've seen a few stories on the net that weren't encouraging... Also, if I had access to the Asus Striker Extreme... from what I've seen, its memory controller is pretty good. But I can't find it anywhere... :cry: 
February 6, 2007 12:10:42 PM

If im not mistaken the P5W DH is based off of the 975x chipset which only supports up to ddr667 ram. The P5B I think is based off of the P965 chipset which can handle up to ddr800 ram. Now in my opinion I think you should have gone with more ram that is a little less gamer/overclocking oriented, ie slower ram. Since you wont see a big performance difference between 667 ram and 800 (~5-10%) I would go with 8 gigs (much larger performance increase than 800 vs. 667) of ram and fill up the P5W DH to its limit of 8 gigs. The 975x is slightly more efficient per clock than the P965 chipset .
February 6, 2007 12:17:32 PM

Quote:
If its that cpu intensive look at the Intel xeon 30xx series that are based off the core2 architecture. These use a L3 cache instead of a L2 cache and are priced very similarly to the core2 duos.


Xeon 3000 is a minimal change from Core 2 Duo/Quad.
February 6, 2007 12:29:51 PM

Actually, I'd tend to agree over going 8GB instead of 4GB of highest DDR2-800 RAM, but I have absolutely zero access to 2GB memory modules right now... And it's not looking like it'll change soon.

From where I am, the only way to get 8+GB of memory would be going registered RAM and 2+ socket motherboards, but that's another price league altogether...

So that's why I chose the Dominator RAM. Bear in mind that I'm using the cheapest of all Dominator RAMs, which is actually priced only a very little higher than good XMS2 kits from Corsair. It's not like I'm choosing 1Ghz speed grades which are truly designed for OCers: this is still DDR2-800...
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February 6, 2007 12:38:11 PM

About the PSU you could read this EvoStream Review. In general Jonny Guru review are really good!

I also like my Corsair PSU very much ultra silent, cool and works like a charm!

Also if there ain't any OCing involved I like the suggestion to look at 975 boards, they offer better clock for clock performance so it might be worth it! Also I might be wrong but the added Aync bandwith of DDR533 Vs 667/800 shouldn't be that noticeable in compiling but I could be wrong.
February 6, 2007 1:08:03 PM

Where did you find Corsair 2GB sticks? The 2GB stick selection on Newegg.com is very limited (I only see 1GB sticks for Corsair).

I'm also in the market for this type of Ram configuration... not a big overclocker, but would like the option in the future to do some modest OC'ing.
February 6, 2007 2:37:02 PM

I didn't find the EvoStream around here. It looks great though. That cable shielding is very stylish, and it actually works... a bit.

About the 2GB sticks: I did not find 2GB sticks anywhere, and I'm outside the US, and new things only get here slowly. I don't have any access whatsoever to 2GB sticks. This 4GB configuration is built with 4 1GB sticks.

Which brings me to my next question:

The Asus P5B Deluxe defaults DDR2-800 rated for 4-4-4 to 5-5-5 timings "due to chipset limitations"! Will this work? Should I be worried? Should I get the more expensive P5W DH? *panic*
February 6, 2007 3:30:26 PM

Quote:
The Asus P5B Deluxe defaults DDR2-800 rated for 4-4-4 to 5-5-5 timings "due to chipset limitations"! Will this work? Should I be worried? Should I get the more expensive P5W DH? *panic*
No because the P5W DH would do the exact same thing. Those 5-5-5 timings it defaults to are timings set by the SPD in the memory itself, it's not a chipset limitation but rather a RAM limitation. The RAM has to have it's SPD chip programmed to 5-5-5-18 and 1.8v so that it should work in any motherboard. Tighter timings and a higher voltage simply require the user to go in and set them in the bios.
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