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Anybody into building dependable workstations?

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November 21, 2009 6:07:41 PM

With long lasting dependable performance in mind. I am wanting to build a new Windows 7 PC for AutoCAD, Rhino, CS4 Suite at home.

On somewhat of a budget, I'm thinking at this point that an i5 system might be best bang for my bucks and way better than what we have at work at this point. And I'd like to get it up and running with upgrading intended over time. Starting off with 1 monitor but definitely using 2 maybe 3 eventually.

I do have an AXT full tower Antec case I can start with. I also have a PC Power and Cooling 400 ATX power supply that I have from my last build 6yrs ago, not sure if this would be enough for starters though or would have the right power connectors. Other than that I'd have to get most everything else except for a temporary monitor and keyboard/mouse.

What would be the most dependable i5 motherboard? I know it is felt that Asus and Gigabyte are considered best quality. I have only built with Asus in the past and am partial to Asus only because of past experience.

But It is looking like Asus and Gigabyte are not really endorsing workstation boards for the newer socket just yet on their websites.
November 22, 2009 2:57:28 PM

There are few compelling reasons to build a socket 1156 workstation motherboard, but the ASUS P7P55 WS SuperComputer should meet your requirements. I'd suggest an i7 over an i5 and your old PSU definitely should be replaced.
November 22, 2009 3:12:17 PM

GhislainG said:
There are few compelling reasons to build a socket 1156 workstation motherboard, but the ASUS P7P55 WS SuperComputer should meet your requirements. I'd suggest an i7 over an i5 and your old PSU definitely should be replaced.


I've read up on that one and it seems the reviews are all over the place. I find that a bit worrisome. I just want dependable performance without hassle.
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November 22, 2009 3:58:40 PM

I haven't found dependable reviews for it, but you should focus on reviews where people are using it as a workstation, not as some overclocked gaming system.

Have you looked at non workstation motherboards like the MSI P55-GD80?
November 24, 2009 12:40:01 AM

No I have not but will now. Thanks!
November 24, 2009 1:28:00 AM

If you want true "Workstation" hardware then look at the 1156 Xeons (2.53GHz for $240 @newegg) which are equivalent to the i7. Supermicro makes the best boards and even ASUS has some 1156 boards. I recently looked into building a small render farm for Cinema 4D and the Supermicro boards + Xeon were the best for speed and reliability. Plus, you can use Registered ECC ram which is highly recommended for long renders.

For upgrades down the road: the 1156 limits you on new chips as Intel has stated that the hexa-core will only be 1366. And the 1156 limits you to 8GB of affordable ram (16GB runs $600) vs 12GB for 1366.
November 24, 2009 3:21:45 AM

GhislainG said:
Have you looked at non workstation motherboards like the MSI P55-GD80?



MSI P55-GD80

Have been reading reviews of this board since I saw your post. Very good reviews all around. Not a whole lot of negative. Solid capacitors, sounds like a quality build.

I'm like this one. Thanks for the heads up.
!