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Cheap i7 workstation

Last response: in Systems
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April 22, 2009 1:01:02 AM

Just racked up enough cash to invest in a machine. Done my research but, as it's my first build, I just want to get some advice. I'll be using this machine mostly for physics+engineering simulations and media creation but I want to keep the gaming option open.

The two major concerns that I have are:

1-Does the mobo support SLI? Seems silly but the product website seems to say so, but there's a separate board with SLI designation. What should I get?

2-How's this PSU for my setup and will it accommodate expansion with a 2nd graphics card?

So here's the list

Case NZXT Tempest $105 http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
Mobo Gigabyte EX58-UD3R $210 http://www.bestdirect.ca/products/206754/Gigabyte/GA_EX...
CPU Intel Core i7 920 $356 http://www.bestdirect.ca/products/198010/Intel/BX806019...
Graphics Radeon HD 4850 $125 http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
HDD Seagate Barracuda 1TB $108 http://www.bestdirect.ca/products/116192/Seagate/ST3100...
Optical DVD Writer $25 http://bestdirect.ca/products/179751/GH22NS30%20BLACK/L...
RAM Crucial 6GB $89 http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...
PSU CORSAIR 650TX $94 http://www.bestdirect.ca/products/166445/CORSAIR/CMPSU_...
Total $1,112

I have some financial room to spare, but from where I'm standing, this system seems to be plenty for me.

Cheers,
JP

More about : cheap workstation

April 22, 2009 1:49:30 AM

There are two versions of the mother board the regular and the SLI because Nvidia charges a licensing fee. As such I don't think that board does. However you're using an ATI card which uses Xfire not SLI so it's not really an issue. Also that motherboard only has 4 slots for ram so really your maxing out at 6gb with little possibility of upgrade since its triple channel memory.

The WD Black 1TB drive might be worth the few extra dollars.

That power supply should be enough unless you plan to overclock your system (2 4850s need about 425 watts).
April 22, 2009 1:59:16 AM

You've done your homework very well. OK, except you didn't read the articles about Seagate's firmware bug :)  +1 for the switch to WD1001FALS. The rest is fine as is.

Two 4850s need 550W according to Sapphire. The 650TX is perfect for that since it leaves room for OCing and additional HDDs or PCI cards.

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April 22, 2009 2:17:18 AM

I have the tempest, even though it has 6 fans it's not loud, but it's not silent like a ninja.

The cable management took me a while like more then 3hours...

Overall nice parts

You can save more if you just order everything from ncix and do price matches, easier to get everything together.
April 22, 2009 2:37:27 AM

actually, that board DOES sli - get the F5 BIOS. Also, newegg has it for $185 AR
April 22, 2009 2:54:28 AM

Mind you, if you get an ATI card don't bother updating the BIOS since SLI won't be needed anyway. Do download that F5 revision, just in case, but don't install it. Just keep it. I never update the BIOS unless there's a specific bug bothering me and I know it's fixed in the new BIOS.
April 22, 2009 11:10:27 AM

Thanks to all for the quick replies!

The reason I ask for SLI even though I have an ATI card is that I was going to get an 8800GT before I saw the big price drop (with MIR, mind you) on the 4850.

jsrudd, I think I'll take your advice for the WD drive.

sassan, I'll check with NCIX. I would also rather deal with only one distributor. Plus, they're in BC, I'm in Ontario so I'd be saving some tax :-).

As for the rest, I'll keep as-is.

Thanks,
JP
April 22, 2009 2:59:09 PM

Check www.memoryexpress.com too. They may have better prices than NCIX. Then you could either buy from them or use price matching at NCIX. They are in Alberta, so I think you save the PST there too.
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