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Need help to build WORKSTATION PC for Solidworks

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January 6, 2009 1:11:07 PM

Hi all,
I was reading forums, and can't find answer. So, I decided that this place is the best of the best to ask such a question.

I'm working on Solidworks software, and need a good system (budget is about 1500 - 1800 USD).

I picked these parts:

1. Hard Drive: ST373455SS - HDD Server SEAGATE Cheetah 15K.5 (73.4GB 15000rpm 16MB cache Serial Attached SCSI)

2. Graphic card: VCQFX570-PCIE-PB - PNY QUADRO FX 570 PCIE 256M 2X DL DVI-I

3. Processor: Intel® Core™2 Quad Processor Q9550

4. RAM: 4GB 1066MHZ DDR2 NON-ECC CL7 DIMM KITX2 (not sure, maybe I need a better ram ? )


So, that's it. Now I please to help me.

a. What MotherBoard I should pick ?

b. What PSU I should pick ?

c. What CASE I should pick ?


That'ss it for now.

MANY THANX FOR ANY HELP !!!
January 6, 2009 1:36:26 PM

if your going to get a server drive, you will need a card that can support the sas interface, otherwise you will limit the drive. i would suggest skipping straight for the core i7 platform.

core i7 920 (defacto standard i7 cpu)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD3R
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ram
if 32 bit os
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
64 bit os
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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

and a case would just be a mid to full tower ATX case of your choosing. but a couple of solid but cheap ones with decent air flow

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
January 6, 2009 1:40:48 PM

daft - thanx for reply,

but the cpu is so pricey :)  will I fit to my budget with i7 platform ?
p.s. what HDD you recommend (if not to pick server drive) ?

Thanx !
Related resources
January 6, 2009 1:51:57 PM

i have priced all the parts that i listed, and they all together add up to $1122 USD, that even includes your FX 570 GPU.

take a look at this build and see if it suites
https://secure.newegg.com/WishList/MySavedWishDetail.as...

the mobo is the cheapest x58 mobo at newegg (according to list anyway) and the ram falls bellow the 1.65v mark and has CLS of 7. of course its going to be a little more expensive
January 6, 2009 1:53:45 PM

Oh, i just posted before daft was finished his post. :)  sorry about that.

Well, I was looking for CPU charts here (tomshardware), and for the price I saw that Q9550 are very good.
January 6, 2009 1:56:15 PM

granted, but it looks to be more expensive than the i7 920 at the moment
January 6, 2009 2:02:15 PM

OH YES, I will go with i7 920.

But what about mobo ? Is the gigabyte good ? I was thinking about intel mobo :?
January 6, 2009 2:06:02 PM

gigabyte almost always has a good board. thats why i chose them despite it being the cheapest x58 mobo. i don't have any direct experience with their support. but i hear that its good
January 6, 2009 2:24:19 PM

Mhm, what difference between GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD3R and more expensive mobo ? Do I need better mobo ? What about HDD, maybe you have to recommend one (I need speeeeed :)  )?
January 6, 2009 2:27:17 PM

Intel Mobos are not really better.

In fact, In early x58 Testing on AnandTech, the Intel Board was one of the least stable. (Likely now fixed, but Intel does not really focus on Mobos as much as CPUs and Chipsets. Gigabyte is a good brand.)

I would consider spending a little more on the Mobo and get one with 6 instead of 4 DIMM Slotts and getting the 3x2GB Memory modules.
You can get them for less than twice the money and I suspect a workstation could use the extra RAM.

This would then leave room to easily expand to 12GB later if you need it.





January 6, 2009 2:41:21 PM

what about this mobo: MB X58/ICH10R S1366 ATX/GA-EX58-DS4 GIGA-BYTE

p.s. what card do I need to run Hard Drive: ST373455SS - HDD Server SEAGATE Cheetah 15K.5 (73.4GB 15000rpm 16MB cache Serial Attached SCSI)

January 6, 2009 2:46:26 PM

that mobo will work as well. but the great thing about the x58 chipset is that it has serial attached scsi (SAS) built right in. you won't need any pci card to run them properly.
January 6, 2009 2:49:59 PM

I run autocad and just received a custom built workstation that I spec'd after reading on this website quite a bit recently.

Case: Antec 300
PS: (he supplied an Antec 500W)
CPU: E8500
Mobo: Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3R
CPU cooler: ZALMAN CNPS9700
Memory: Corsair TWIN2X4096-6400C5
Hard drive 0: WD Velociraptor 300Gb
Hard drive 1: 1Tb WD
Video: ATI FireGL V3600
DVD RW drive: whatever (he supplied a Pioneer DVD RW)
OS: WinXP

This was ordered by my company. They wouldn't let me order the parts and build it myself so our normal supplier built it. With tax and delivery it cost $1670. Building it yourself you could save quite a bit.

I picked the mobo after reading here that it was good for overclocking, and similarly the CPU cooler, and once I received the machine I upped it to 3.8GHz.

For your system-
1. Will it run on multiple cores? If so then a quad core would be worthwhile, and pick the i7 if you can squeeze it into the budget. If the app won't make use of multiple cores then get a fast dual core.
2. Find out the best video for that app. This board is dominated by gamers and what is good for games may not be good for CAD apps. In the case of Autocad and Revit I did the research and found that the ATI FireGL was the best card and spec'd it.
January 6, 2009 3:18:26 PM

Hi cadder,
thanx for reply,

This vga - FX 570 quadro is best for solidworks for the price (and this vga is not for gamers). And I will not OC :) 
January 6, 2009 3:45:02 PM

it doesn't accually say sas. it will list it as sata. always does unless its a server board. but if you look at the pictures

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

you can see on the top view (best angle) that there are only 2 sata ports facing the top. the other 6 "sata" are facing the side. those ports act as either sata or sas pending on what kind of drive you have pluged into them. while on the other hand. the 2 slots facing the top can only do sata
January 6, 2009 4:40:30 PM

Well, the whole system will look like this:

Mobo: GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD5
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

VGA: PNY VCQFX570-PCIE-PB Quadro FX570 256MB 128-bit GDDR2 PCI Express x16 Workstation Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD: ST373455SS - HDD Server SEAGATE Cheetah 15K.5 (73.4GB 15000rpm 16MB cache Serial Attached SCSI)

CPU: Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: CORSAIR XMS3 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case: Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: Antec NeoPower 650 Blue 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready Modular Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ODD: LG Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 22X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache IDE 22X DVD±R DVD Burner - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Thats it. What you think ? THANX
January 6, 2009 4:43:53 PM

p.s. what about ram? I want to use VISTA ULTIMATE 32 BIT ;) 
January 6, 2009 4:57:47 PM

For more than 3.5(ish) GB of RAM, you will want 64 bit. 32 bit memory addressing limits the amount of total system memory the OS can allocate...including your Quadro card. You have 6GB of RAM on your list, but only about 1/2 of it would actually be seen/used by the system...the remainder would sit there...hidden, so to speak. Probably better off going the 64bit route...look into Vista 64bit system OEM/system builder discs...I set one up for a guy a few months ago...worked great. The system builder simply states that you (or someone else) assumes responsibility for OS support. For a little more, you can get the retail copy if you plan to install the OS later on down the line if needed... (anyone have info about imaging system builder OS installs...i.e. does it work OK or does M$ figure this out and lock up the image?)
January 6, 2009 5:01:35 PM

then all you need is 3GB. as in the kit that i gave earlier or another. your choice. but thats a nice build. i didn't give the antec 900 case because it is a little expensive. but as i said, i would also consider a second hdd for general storage
January 6, 2009 5:07:22 PM

daft said:
then all you need is 3GB. as in the kit that i gave earlier or another. your choice. but thats a nice build. i didn't give the antec 900 case because it is a little expensive. but as i said, i would also consider a second hdd for general storage



I will add other hdd later (if I will need it, I have external 1TB HDD).

Thanx ! I will use 3GB of ram instead of 6GB. or I will go with 64 BIT system. Thanx for help guys ! I hope this machine will be worth money :)  .
January 6, 2009 5:49:02 PM

hey, what about cooler ? :)  will the original cpu cooler will be good ? Maybe I must get new one ?
January 6, 2009 5:56:51 PM

I'd stick with the 6GB and pick up this OS:

Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $99.99

I'm not sure why anybody would want less than 4GB of RAM in a new computer, especially a workstation. I have 4GB of RAM in my video editing computer with 64-bit Vista and have been very happy. 6GB of RAM and 64-bit Vista would be a great combination.
January 6, 2009 7:23:26 PM

well, i have yet to even see the new cooler on the i7. but i would figure if your just going to keep stock speeds, then stock cooler will be fine.
January 6, 2009 8:57:46 PM

For ram- go to the main page and read the update on the $1250 systembuilder marathon. IIRC they used an i7 for this go around and used a 3GB ram kit.
January 6, 2009 10:01:38 PM

cadder said:
For ram- go to the main page and read the update on the $1250 systembuilder marathon. IIRC they used an i7 for this go around and used a 3GB ram kit.

That doesn't mean that 3GB will be enough for the intended use of this computer.
January 9, 2009 5:56:14 AM

p.s. Here is Mobo spec's:

GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD5

January 14, 2009 9:39:46 AM

Hi, what cable I need to connect my hard drive ? I want to order cable :) 

I cant find any SATA to SAS cable in my country :(  . PLS help.

Thanx. !
January 14, 2009 11:56:27 AM

@OP: You really do not need a SAS drive. If you want a fast drive grab a Raptor or a VeociRaptor. The HDD makes VERY little difference in CAD (makes a bit of a difference in DVD ripping,etc). Imo, you are better off putting 640GB drives in RAID. Also +1 for Vista x64/XP x64 (i use XP x64 with Solid Works 2007). +1 for a Quad core (i7 920). +1 for at least 4GB RAM( Note: Unless getting x64 no point in getting more than 4GB). 8GB (or more is recommended if you are really pushing it, with x64). Again, unless you are really pushing it you don't need a high end workstation card.
January 14, 2009 12:07:44 PM

Shadow703793 said:
@OP: You really do not need a SAS drive. If you want a fast drive grab a Raptor or a VeociRaptor. The HDD makes VERY little difference in CAD (makes a bit of a difference in DVD ripping,etc). Imo, you are better off putting 640GB drives in RAID. Also +1 for Vista x64/XP x64 (i use XP x64 with Solid Works 2007). +1 for a Quad core (i7 920). +1 for at least 4GB RAM( Note: Unless getting x64 no point in getting more than 4GB). 8GB (or more is recommended if you are really pushing it, with x64). Again, unless you are really pushing it you don't need a high end workstation card.



Thnax for reply, I was looking for HDD charts, and decided to put 4 x HDD 320GB seagate (with RAID 0). - at low price they do great performance. In future (if I will need), will put more 4 drives and do RAID 0+1.

p.s. What better - 6 x 1Gb ram or 3 x 2 GB ram ? thanx ! (I decided to use vista business 64bit system).
!