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First workstation build. What do you think?

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September 28, 2009 1:14:20 AM

after many hours of research, I have finally reached a conclusion for my next build.

Because of how CPU intensive my programs are, specifically REALFLOW, I have decided to go with the dual Xeon E5530 processor setup. This will not only help in the areas of fluid simulation and rendering, but also High definition editing as well.

This is what I have planned.
Chassis:
COOLER MASTER COSMOS 1000
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard:
SUPERMICRO MBD-X8DAL-3-O Dual 1366
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU(s):
Intel Xeon E5530 Nehalem 2.4GHz x2
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MEMORY:
Patriot Signature 12GB DDR3 1066 ECC
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU:
Corsair HX1000
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... HX1000W

Storage Hard-drive:
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Main Hard-drive:
HITACHI Deskstar 7K1000.B 250GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CD/DVD/B-R Burner
LG BH08LS20
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Im trying to decide on which Quadro card to go with. I am thinking about going with Quadro 3700. but I am not quite sure yet.

Also, what would be a good heatsink for the Xeons?

Please let me know what you guys think about the build. I have already bought the chassis, and I cant wait to see it!

I am going to wait and buy all the other parts before I drop cash on the mother board and cpu. Waiting for those price drops. ;) 





More about : workstation build

September 28, 2009 12:11:41 PM

damn you bought the case?!!!!!!! the cosmos 1000 looks gorgeous however its air flow is bad!!!!!!,shame on you you bought it before asking
September 28, 2009 12:54:07 PM

This is a gamer's forum. If you plan on spending that much on a professional machine, you should probably check with an engineering forum.

For these reasons, we bestow the Nvidia Quadro FX 4800 with our Editor's Choice designation. These cost about $1,600.00 each.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/quadro-fx-4800,2258...
Related resources
September 28, 2009 4:46:09 PM

computersss said:
damn you bought the case?!!!!!!! the cosmos 1000 looks gorgeous however its air flow is bad!!!!!!,shame on you you bought it before asking


I heard the air flow was pretty good except for the hard-drive areas. I read several reviews before deciding and I havnt heard anything bad about airflow except that the vga and hard drive doesn't get as much cooling. But its a beautiful case so i had to take it.


So this is a gamer's forum eh? I have seen several posts about workstation builds on this site so I had assumed I could get some opinions on my setup. anyway, thanks.


Caleb
September 28, 2009 5:23:22 PM

gclambert said:
I heard the air flow was pretty good except for the hard-drive areas. I read several reviews before deciding and I havnt heard anything bad about airflow except that the vga and hard drive doesn't get as much cooling. But its a beautiful case so i had to take it.


So this is a gamer's forum eh? I have seen several posts about workstation builds on this site so I had assumed I could get some opinions on my setup. anyway, thanks.


Caleb


it isn't bad but not that good,actually it is Excellent for watercooling not for air and there is nothing called gaming forum you are in the right place anyway i don't have experience in server's systems but there are many of people who have :)  so i won't give you any recommendations
September 28, 2009 9:02:21 PM

Your choice of storage drive doesn't suit this system. Since SuperMicro X8DAL-3 has SAS 1 [Serial Attached SCSI] controller, it makes sence to get 15000 rpm SAS Hard drive.

Or you could spend abit more and go for SAS 2 Hard drive (6Gb/s interface). Later on,when prices comes down you can buy a SAS 2 controler to make full use of this 6Gb/s interface.

SAS 2 Hard drives review:
http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/sas-6gb-s-hdd,review-3168...
.............................................................................................................

SAS/SAS2 15k rpm HDs

sas1 3Gb
http://www.cdw.com/shop/search/results.aspx?wclss=T74&B...

sas2 6Gb
http://www.cdw.com/shop/search/results.aspx?wclss=T74&B...

http://www.seagate.com/www/en-gb/products/servers/

http://www.fujitsu.com/global/services/computing/storag...

https://www.serversupply.com/HARD%20DRIVES/

http://www.allhdd.com/hard-drives/server-drives/hot-swa...


------------------------------------------------------------------------------
As for graphics read the following review:

Professional Graphics Accelerators Roundup ,
Nvidia Quadro FX vs. ATI FirePro

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/video/display/quadrofx...
September 28, 2009 9:57:39 PM

ibnsina said:
Your choice of storage drive doesn't suit this system. Since SuperMicro X8DAL-3 has SAS 1 [Serial Attached SCSI] controller, it makes sence to get 15000 rpm SAS Hard drive.

Or you could spend abit more and go for SAS 2 Hard drive (6Gb/s interface). Later on,when prices comes down you can buy a SAS 2 controler to make full use of this 6Gb/s interface.

SAS 2 Hard drives review:
http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/sas-6gb-s-hdd,review-3168...
.............................................................................................................
SAS 3Gb or SAS2 6Gb 15k rpm HDs
http://www.seagate.com/www/en-gb/products/servers/

http://www.fujitsu.com/global/services/computing/storag...

https://www.serversupply.com/HARD%20DRIVES/

http://www.allhdd.com/hard-drives/server-drives/hot-swa...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
For graphics review read the following:

Professional Graphics Accelerators Roundup reviews,
Nvidia Quadro FX vs. ATI FirePro

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/video/display/quadrofx...




Great recommendation! Thanks for the advice man! Ill check in to that. About the cooling in the chassis, i am thinking about switching out the bottom fan for a much stronger one. Im also thinking about repositioning it so that it cools the hard drives better. I might even install coolers for the hard drive and graphics card. Any ideas for the CPU heatsink?
September 28, 2009 10:22:46 PM

I will try to search for a good cooling solutions tomorrow. Note I have edited my post slightly, check out the cdw.com links. (remove/edit your dublicate post, thanks)
September 28, 2009 10:25:26 PM

1. I HIGHLY recommend you get a good RAID card and do RAID 01 (NEVER RAID 0).

2. Consider getting a SSD for the boot drive. Specifically, the X25-M G2 (Don't get this off Newegg).

3. Get these HDDs if going RAID: http://www.wdc.com/en/products/products.asp?driveid=335

4. 1kW PSU is way overkill. A good PSU like the 750TX will be more than enough. Just make sure you get a Molex to 8 pin CPU converter if getting a 750TX,etc.

5. What OS?

6. Max budget?

7. As for cooling, Core Contact Freezer + LGA1366 bracket. Or CoolerMaster 212.
September 29, 2009 4:36:31 AM

Sorry about the accidental double post ibnsina.

Shadow, I am trying not to think about budget. If i add everything up and realize how much it all cost, im going to blow up and quit. haha. not really, but i rather not look at the cost. Im buying everything piece by piece, saving the memory, motherboard, and cpus for last. The only gamble about doing this is that if i where to buy everything together and hook it up, i can see what is DOA and what is not. However, I do have the benefit of price drops. And, if by any chance anything is DOA, ill work it out with the dealer I bought it from or go through the manufacturer warrenty, which im sure almost every piece has a warrenty.

Anyway, let me be honest with you guys. I do not have a clue what RAID is. I have only built two computers in my life. My first computer that I built was a C2D e6400 with 2 gigs and a quadro fx 1400 which I used for photoshop, after effects, 3d modeling and animation applications, etc etc.

It was a big step up from the comp i was using before that. (Pentium 4 Sony Vaio 512 megs of ram with a really poor ATI card) I put that computer through hell and back.

I recently built a computer for my family (my dad really) which was a Q6600 computer with a gigabyte mobo and 4 gigs of ram, and a decent Nvidia 9600gtx graphics card. That was a fun build.

But now I am building a major workstation computer and I know how to put everything together. The only thing I am truly unfamiliar with is RAID, and I do not fully understand all the benefits of SAS hard drive.

The operating system will be either XP 64 bit (due to reliability reasons) or Windows 7 64 bit.


Thanks for tossing out advice about cooling, Ill check those out.


Caleb
September 29, 2009 11:46:37 AM

Forgot to ask, are you going to overclock the cpu :na:  ?
................................................................................................................

No doubt SSD is is Fast, however it comes at very high cost, for example Intel’s X25-M SSD 160GB S costs $589.00, that’s lot of money for a 160GB drive.


................................................................................................................


Not sure What RAID is? Read on
Beginners Guides
http://www.pcstats.com/articleview.cfm?articleid=830&pa...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAID
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_RAID_levels

................................................................................................................
SAS Infos;
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serial_attached_SCSI
http://www.serialstoragewire.net/Articles/2009_08/xyrat...
http://www.dell.com/content/topics/topic.aspx/global/pr...
http://www.bestpricecomputers.co.uk/glossary/serial-att...

September 29, 2009 8:07:55 PM

gclambert said:
The operating system will be either XP 64 bit (due to reliability reasons) or Windows 7 64 bit.

I certainly wouldn't call 64-bit XP more reliable than 64-bit Windows 7. Driver and software support for 64-bit XP is poor at best. Windows 7 is a very stable and reliable OS. I wouldn't even consider 64-bit XP for your intended use. You can either get 64-bit Vista with an upgrade coupon for Windows 7 for $90 or pre-order Windows 7 for $10 more.

Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders w/ Tech Guarantee - OEM $89.99

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1PK DSP English Full - OEM $99.99
September 29, 2009 8:47:32 PM

^True that. If you don't have XP x64 drivers (esp for printers,etc) you are screwed. +1 for ibnsina for the RAID links. However, I think SAS is overkill.

As for the SSDs. Newegg has one of the Highest prices for the G2 160GB. Believe it or not Toshiba has it cheaper: http://www.toshibadirect.com/td/b2c/adet.to?poid=450026...
September 29, 2009 9:24:48 PM

Toshiba's price comes to around $520 with tax, thats nearly $60 cheaper than newegg :o  . Thanks for that Shadow.

You could get not 1, not 2, but 3 147GB 15k rpm sas drive for the price of one Intel G2 160GB SSD.
September 30, 2009 12:05:48 AM

Quote:
ou could get not 1, not 2, but 3 147GB 15k rpm sas drive for the price of one Intel G2 160GB SSD.

True that. But imo, SAS is still over kill for this build.
September 30, 2009 6:32:07 AM

I have a 3D studio rig a do a lot a large scene renderings. To improve overall performance; boot times, large files load times etc I'm considering adding a X-25 G2 160 GB as a boot/work drive. If I were you, I would read up on some of the reviews here on Tomshardware on Quadro cards, a Quadro 3700 is very expensive a doesn't give you that much improvment over a cheaper card like FX 1800 or even a 580 and use the money left over to get a SSD drive. But of course, if you are going to use dual monitors with very high resolution, a high end Quadro might be the way to go. I'm going to use a Quadro 580 since I only use one 32" monitor.

Good luck! :) 
September 30, 2009 6:36:25 PM

Thanks everyone for all of the wonderful info. After educating myself a bit about what raid is, I have decided to implement it into my workstation. As for OS, I have decided to go with Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit. Hopefully everything should run smoothly on it.

As for overclocking...No, i rather not overclock. If I built a gaming comp, most definitely. However, this is going to be a very expensive build, plus I need it to be completely and utterly stable, so over clocking is completely out of the question.

SSD would be nice to use for boot drive, but I think i will hold off until prices drop and it becomes a standard, which im sure it will in the near future.

As far as graphics cards go. I have decided on the FX3700 due to the high number of CUDA PPCs, which aids significantly in fluid dynamic simulations. Also, I am going to be using a duel monitor set up.



As for the cpu coolers, I look like I am SOL. I dont believe two contact freezer or coolermaster 212 heatsinks will fit on the motherboard. The cpu sockets are two close together. However, if i go with the TYAN S7012GM4NR http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168..., I should have plenty of room along with a hell of a lot of ram slots.
September 30, 2009 9:15:26 PM

^That's a nice board. Don't bother with "Ultimate" Home Premium or Business would be fine.

If going RAID, seriously consider getting a quality RAID card. The on board (RAID) is fine, but you can't easily move the array to another PC when needed unless you have a similar board.
September 30, 2009 9:19:08 PM

Just received my chassis today and it is gorgeous! Its one thing seeing photos of it on newegg, its another seeing it in person! Its constructed pretty well, and its very sturdy! It has that great 'straight from the manufacturing' type smell all over it. Its HEAVY but not as heavy as i had thought it would be. Anyway. Just wanted to let you guys know. Im going to be purchasing the bluray/dvd rom drive shortly.

Caleb
September 30, 2009 9:22:40 PM

Cool, ill just grab the Home Premium.

Yea it is a nice board, better be for $450. haha. But its a Tyan, and from what I heard they manufacture pretty solid motherboards.

I was just looking at some raid cards earlier, but I do not know what to look for particularly. Im going to read up more about how to set up raid and what to look for with raid cards. Then i will make my decision regarding that.

Caleb
October 1, 2009 12:57:16 AM

Yup. I'd trust my server/workstation build with Tyan any day. They make top quality boards, along with SuperMicro. As for RAID cards, there were a few reviews a few months back on Toms.
October 1, 2009 9:46:10 PM

Consider Adaptec they make good controlers. LSI is Also good. 4 ports should suit your needs.

If you are going for SAS Drives/RAID then consider 6Gbps controllers.

http://www.adaptec.com/en-US/products/Controllers/Hardw...

http://www.lsi.com/storage_home/products_home/internal_...

http://www.infostor.com/index/articles/display/25621055...

....................................................................................................
Reviews

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/storage/

http://www.infostor.com/index/articles/display/30008772...

(16 ports!)
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/16-port-sas-control...

.....................................................................................................
Once you made up your mind on M/B then w'll look for a good cpu cooler.

Graphics wise, I wonder when ATI's new workstation series is coming out? :o 
October 1, 2009 10:50:33 PM

so I was reading a bit more about raid, and I read somewhere that for Workstations, raid 10 would be superior due to its redundancy. What do you guys think? Should I go with a 4 disk array utilizing raid 10, or a two disk raid 1?


Well Ibmsina, Im set on the Tyan dual socket board
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Its a beautiful board, I cant wait to put this baby inside my case.

As for case cooling, im going to go with this.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Its a monster, people say that with this fan, your computer will fly away. lmao. I am planning on installing 3 of these as exhaust fans for my case (2 at the top, 1 in the back) and another for the intake fan at the bottom. Ive heard these fans sound like roaring jet engines, so I am going to seriously put the Coolermaster Cosmos two the test when it comes to sound proofing.

Im also going to install a fan at the top of the hard drive cage, it allows for a 120 mm fan. Im going to go with a scyth ultra kaze fan for that.

October 2, 2009 6:16:19 AM

well, after looking at some youtube vids of the Delta PFB1212UHE fan, I have decided to go with something else a little bit more quiet. The fan is f'ing noisy! Plus, the extreme air flow might be over kill! way over kill!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dheYccfQWo
!