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What CPU and GPU for Workstation?

Last response: in CPUs
April 27, 2009 6:21:49 PM

I want to replace a socket 939/opteron 180/ 3 gb mem and Quadro FX3450 256mb graphics card to a new processor, mb, mem, and graphics card.

I run large Sketchup models (20-30mb), autocad mostly 2d, some 3d, Alibre Design 3d (like Solidworks) and photo (no video) editing and raw development processing, frequent auto backups to NAS (Dlink) over gigiabit network, and MS office apps. Run 24" monitor at 1920x1200, and may add another.

I have a two year old HP mobile workstation with Intel T7600, 4gb memory, and Quadro FX 1600M video. Performance is much better than old desktop unit above, and satisfactory right now.

I want to at least equal, and probably exceed laptop performance by a few steps, but I don't want to go too high. I like to stay at a good price/performance level with some room to upgrade. Have favored AMD for price/perf but open to suggestions. Feel that FX 580 with 512mb (new) board ($180) will give me comparable to my laptop, vs FX 1800 ($450). Would like to stay in the $350 -400 (or even less if possible) range for mb, processor, and memory. Have plenty of power (600+watts) and will run Raid 1.

Can anyone give me some options to solve above issue?

Thank you!


More about : cpu gpu workstation

May 6, 2009 5:24:06 PM

Wisecracker said:
PhII 940BE / Gigabyte 790x: $275

4Gb DDR2 1066 = $50
8Gb DDR2 1066 = $100
(depending upon your OS)

If you want AM3/DDR3: PhII 720BE/Gigabyte 790x: $245 AR

Thanks for your suggestion. I have decided to definelty go with AM3/DDR3 for upgrade path, and am considering the PHII 810 -- is it worth the extra $30? Lower cache, lower clock, but 4 core vs 3. Reviews on Newegg seem to be very positive on the 810. Will it make a difference for my applications?

OS is XP Pro, so 4gb memory is max right now all I need.

Also, reading the gigabyte mb reviews, seems the installation is little different because posts don't line up with typical cases-- are you aware of this or can you recommend an alternative brand mb -- right now have MSI in current case I will be using.


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May 6, 2009 7:20:12 PM

2d line drawing (like AutoCAD) does not really require quad core processors - I'm not sure if your 3d software will run multiple parallel threads across a quad so I don't really have a good answer for you on L3 cache/cores/clockspeed.

Going AM3 is a great idea. As typical ( :)  ) you have a choice of combos between the 810 and 720BE with an Asus 790gx AM3.

Not sure if the IGP on the 790gx is of interest to you. You should be able to push 2 monitors with the Quadro - if you need to run 4 monitors the IGP will be available - lol

As far as the Gigabyte motherboard is concerned it's not really a problem - For 2 bucks you may purchase a half dozen plastic motherboard standoffs that work great (especially if you snip the little plastic foot off of them). You may also find little rubber bumpers that have a bit of adhesive on them.

Who knows what in the world Gigabyte was thinking with that ... if overall the Gigabyte tweaks your interest I wouldn't let their brief moment of stoopidity stand in your way (though it might now cost a bit more than the Asus combo with the 810 ...)
June 20, 2009 4:20:06 PM

Ok, I am ready to pull the trigger. Just got alert of price reductions: [...] 6813131366 $115 [...] 6819103650 $139

From reading, seems like DDR3 at 1333 is the way to go for price/performance. Can you help me pick one out? It is overwhelming how many to choose from. It is unlikely I will overclock, if that matters.

And to answer your previous question, my primary CAD software, Sketchup, does not use multiple cores. Some rendering software I use/will use in the future, may, however.

Thanks for all your help!