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Workstation for Development/Testing

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June 1, 2009 8:46:59 PM

Hello,
I have made the configuration below for an "office workstation" dedicated to developers / testers.
Requirements:
- possibility to upgrade to 16 gigs of ram, now will have only 4 gigs, possibly will have a quad processor in the future
- intensively use of the CPU
- HDD as fast as possible as frequent acces to the drive will be made
- many parallel applications
- Maximum quietness, as silent as possible, you can not have in an office 10-15 of such machines if they are not silent
- Wireless network
- 2 monitors


Find below the configuration, any opinion will be appreciated:

Case with Power Supply Antec SONATA III 500 EC, 500W
Intel Core2 Duo E7400 2.8GHz, socket 775, box
Cooler - Akasa AK 965
Motherboard DFI LP-DK-P45-T3RSB-Plus, socket 775
Dual Channel Memory Kit Corsair 4GB (2 x 2 GB) DDR3, 1333MHz
Video Leadtek WinFast PX9500 GT 512MB GDDR3 128bit, Dual Dual-Link DVI, HDTV-Out, PCI-E
HDD Western Digital VelociRaptor 300GB, 16MB, SATA2
Linksys WMP54G Wireless Adapter, PCI, 802.11g
DVD-RW Asus 20B1LT 20x, LightScribe, Black + Silver, Retail
Vista Business 64, OEM
Wired Keyboard, Optical Mouse - Microsoft kit

LCD Monitor x 2 pcs Samsung 2243NW 22''

Doubts:
- Does the video card supports 2 dvi monitors and passive cooling (for quietness)
- Is the Motherboard enough in the "business" category? I think is a motherboard for gamers, however I would like something similar in terms of 4 slots, 16 Gigs, DDR3, 775 soket
- Is it silent enough, you can suggest something more silent (cooler, case, power suppy) ...
- any general improvements?

Thank you very much for your opinions or suggestions for improvements.
June 1, 2009 9:21:48 PM

Where are you? Somewhere in Europe? You have an Akasa cooler selected, and those aren't available in the US as far as I know.

For what you have specified you can certainly do better.

Gigabyte 770 DDR3 AM3 MB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

AMD Phenom II X4 945
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Kingston low voltage DDR3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HIS dual DVI 4650 passively cooled
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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June 2, 2009 7:28:50 AM

thanks, but I would go for an Intel platform.
So an intel compatible motherboard will fit my needs....

And yes, I am not from USA, I am from Romania, Eastern Europe and here the Akasa cooler is appreciated, at least for the mid level .
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June 2, 2009 9:22:30 AM

Ah well you don't exactly have the same prices over there anyway.

A P45 DDR3 board is probably what you want then. Probably not that one though.

I think this would be great and has a good price:
GIGABYTE GA-EP45T-UD3LR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


This UD3R would cost a bit more but is probably a bit higher quality:
http://www.komplett.ie/k/ki.aspx?sku=404481

Look for low voltage on the DDR3. Corsair makes more than one model of DDR3 1333, but both are CAS 9.

If you are fine with the slower RAM, get some that operates at 1.5V at least. Kingston and Mushkin both make affordable 4GB kits with those specs.

Or, get faster CAS 7 RAM for around the same price at 1.7V or so.

A quick look at a few EU sites didn't get me much. I found this OCZ CAS 7, but it's pretty heavily volted:
http://www.komplett.ie/k/ki.aspx?sku=345767

The Akasa does look like a good affordable cooler. Similar to Arctic Cooling.

From what I can see, the video card I linked will pull a lot less power than the 9500GT, although they are priced about the same here and both will work.

The Sonata is a pretty good choice for a quiet case, and the EA500 PSU that comes with it is high quality. A Corsair 450VX might be a bit quieter, but then you would still need a case.

450VX:
http://www.komplett.ie/k/ki.aspx?sku=338686

The Velociraptor is of course faster, but are you sure you want to spend that much? A 640GB Caviar Black would cost less and be almost as fast. Or, if it's really that vital, a newer SSD drive perhaps for your data:
http://www.komplett.ie/k/ki.aspx?sku=425735

Then some smaller WD drive for your OS and whatever.

That's about all I have for you. There was nothing terribly wrong with any of the parts you listed, these are all small improvements.








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June 2, 2009 10:27:32 AM

Thank you !
One more question:
there are a lot of people who said that does not make any sense to use DDR3 on Socket 775 and just have to continue to use DDR2 memory and motherboard. I do not agree and anyway I can not afford yet an 1366 based motherboard and all the stuff. what do you think ?

Thank you again !
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June 2, 2009 5:42:17 PM

Depends on how far in the future you want to be able to upgrade memory and if you want to go up to larger capacity memory sticks when you do. If you just anticipate getting more of the same capacity memory, I'd just go with the cheaper of the two. For longer term, DDR3.

Also, if your devs are running a lot of processes, especially heavy ones like active local databases, working with virtual machines a lot, or use compilers that can take advantage of all the cores, I'd think about getting a quad core. Keep your devs productive, when they are coding, by not making them wait for the computer, if possible. Testers usually won't need a quad core.
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June 2, 2009 5:46:02 PM

Oh, and if you the machines are going to run Windows 7 and you anticipate needing to use the virtual XP, make sure the processor supports virtualization. The processor you spec'd does not.
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June 2, 2009 10:43:12 PM

nullObject said:
Depends on how far in the future you want to be able to upgrade memory and if you want to go up to larger capacity memory sticks when you do. If you just anticipate getting more of the same capacity memory, I'd just go with the cheaper of the two. For longer term, DDR3.

Also, if your devs are running a lot of processes, especially heavy ones like active local databases, working with virtual machines a lot, or use compilers that can take advantage of all the cores, I'd think about getting a quad core. Keep your devs productive, when they are coding, by not making them wait for the computer, if possible. Testers usually won't need a quad core.



+1 :) 

I do think the DDR3 versions of the P45 boards play better with 16GB than the DDR2 versions also. You would have to do a lot of research and work to get, for instance, my P5Q-E running 16GB of DDR2.
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June 3, 2009 7:40:54 AM

thank you all, i think i would stay on the 775 socket at least till the end of the year.
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!