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I7 3D CAD workstation

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May 14, 2009 2:10:29 AM

Here is a list of components I've chosen for building a 3D workstation. I decided to go with an i7 chip because the dual-Xeon route was just too pricey. I wont be doing any gaming on this machine, and it will mostly be for Solidworks, 3DMax, Bunkspeed and Rhino apps. I'm thinking about a mid-tower case, with this and Vista64 (until i get a copy of Windows 7).

Any issues or problems with this list of components? I also need advice on sufficiently cooling the i7 chip. I want to make sure the vidoe card can handle almost anything, but is the 3800 overkill? Thanks all!

http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx...

More about : cad workstation

May 14, 2009 2:34:54 AM

Here's a link to a web site with lots of useful information about cpu heatsinks:

http://www.frostytech.com/top5heatsinks.cfm

WOW! $850.00 for a video card! How much power does the card draw at full load? Tom's Hardware did a technical review of a Nvidia high end work station graphics card. The card was also compared against some typical Nvidia high end gaming cards with similar architecture. Needless to say Nvidia made sure the gaming cards could not compete with the work station version. Here's a link to the article:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/quadro-fx-4800,2258...
May 14, 2009 2:39:42 AM

Add an Antec 300 and a Scythe Mugen 2 to the list. You can downsize the PSU to 650TX.

Edit: your list is fine, no incompatibilities. Maybe downsize the MB too, to GA-EX58-UD3R. It's $95 less.
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May 14, 2009 2:53:00 AM

wow, that Antec case is slick, thanks!

The reason I'm going with that board is that it allows 24gb of RAM max
May 14, 2009 3:08:57 AM

Careful there. It has 6 slots, and you're filling them all with six 2GB sticks. If you decide you want more than 12GB, you'd need to throw out the 2GB sticks and buy 4 GB sticks. Also, 4GB sticks tend to cost a fortune.

But excellent point, the GA-EX58-UD3R would only support 4 sticks of RAM i.e. 8 GB. Keep the P6T then... It's expensive but it is the best X58 board I can think of.

May 14, 2009 3:17:12 AM

JohnnyLucky said:

WOW! $850.00 for a video card! How much power does the card draw at full load? Tom's Hardware did a technical review of a Nvidia high end work station graphics card. The card was also compared against some typical Nvidia high end gaming cards with similar architecture. Needless to say Nvidia made sure the gaming cards could not compete with the work station version. Here's a link to the article:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/quadro-fx-4800,2258...



They used a 510W PSU in the review you linked.

Also, that card has 192 stream processors, just like this BFG GTX 260:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814143140
Since BFG recommends 525W/38A for their card, I'm guessing the Quadro FX3800 has pretty much the same requirements.

So, I'd say the 850TX is way overkill. The 650TX (650W/52A) should be plenty, even with an OCd CPU.

May 14, 2009 3:24:20 AM

ok, good to know, I'll scale back the PSU

its hard to decide between buying a "gaming card" or a true workstation card. I've read the reviews before saying that you're really paying for drivers and support with the workstation card. Is there a comparable card to the FX3800? What are the tradeoffs?
May 14, 2009 3:06:52 PM

If you go with a gaming card, you'll have to flash the BIOS to make it in to a CAD-ready card. Sure the architecture is the same, but with gaming drivers/BIOS you will be sad about the CAD performance IMO.
May 14, 2009 4:24:13 PM

well, after reading the article posted here, I think I'm going to stick with the FX3800. Looks like with the added cost, not only do I get better drivers for CAD, but also the performance will be much better.
!