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Home Xeon build: RAM and motherboard confusion

Last response: in Systems
January 22, 2010 7:12:27 PM


I've finally decided that for the type of work I'm interested in on my computer, a Xeon W3520 would be the best processor choice. I was considering the i7 920 and hoping to get a D0, but a high level i7 920 system and a high level Xeon W3520 system do not cost considerably different and the Xeon fits my needs more (doing 24/7, overclocked CPU computation).

I am, however, uncertain about choosing a motherboard and RAM for this server processor. Here are the parts I am considering with their Newegg links:

CPU: Intel Xeon W3520 Bloomfield 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Server Processor ( $309.99
RAM: WINTEC 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM ECC Registered DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Server Memory ( $239.99 - $15 for combo
Cooler: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7 compatible RR-B10-212P-G1 120mm "heatpipe direct contact" Long life sleeve CPU Cooler ( $29.99
PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V (][/url]) $79.99 after rebate
Case: Antec 300 Illusion ( Already purchased
Hard drive: Samsung F3 Spinpoint 500 GB ( Already purchased
Graphics card: MSI N285GTX OC GTX 285 1 GB ( $379.99
Motherboard: ASUS P6T WS PRO LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Core i7 / Xeon Intel Motherboard ( $289.99

Total cost for the components I have not yet bought (CPU, motherboard, cooler, RAM, PSU and graphics card): $1306.82

I already have the case and hard drive. I am confident about the CPU. However, I am not confident about the motherboard or RAM (or graphics card, but that's not as important right now).

Regarding RAM: I only have the RAM I selected because it was a combo deal with the W3520. 6 GB of RAM is the amount I want, but I have no clue honestly if I need to get $240 server RAM.

Regarding the motherboard: The ASUS P6T WS PRO does not have USB 3.0, but it is a sub-$300 1366 motherboard that seems to offer good OC potential and that could handle the W3520. However, if there is a better option out there, I want to hear about it.

I am not planning on having a dual CPU computer and I am not planning on ever doing SLI. I do not need a large number of USB ports or other things like that; the one 500 GB Samsung drive is enough for me. I will use this computer for compiling, running scientific applications 24/7 (BOINC, WCG, F@Home, GAMESS, TeraChem) and - beyond this - the usual desktop stuff: office work, internet, etc.

I have built a few Intel and AMD desktops but I have never built a computer using a server processor, so I don't know if there's any subtleties I need to be aware of. So, thank you for helping me.
a c 217 V Motherboard
January 23, 2010 12:58:47 PM

The RAM is not compatible with an ASUS P6T WS PRO motherboard. To use ECC Registered memory, you need a motherboard that supports it, e.g., ASUS P7F-E or SUPERMICRO MBD-X8SI6-F-O, etc.

Best solution

January 23, 2010 10:11:07 PM

I don't see the point of getting a server CPU since you say "I am not planning on having a dual CPU computer". Generally speaking the main point of a server class CPU is to have support for more than one CPU per motherboard and the use of buffered RAM.

Server motherboards generally do not support overclocking as well. Overclocking buffered RAM actually defeats the meaning of getting buffered RAM.

Seriously, it'd be better to just go with an i7 920. If you really need some computing power it'd be smarter to build a headless computer in a small 1U case. A few $100 AMD quads with 2GB RAM each clustered together would work nicely.
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March 5, 2010 2:44:44 PM

calinkula, Did you end up going with the Asus P6T WS pro & Intel Xeon W3520? If so, what ECC memory did you ened up using?

March 16, 2010 12:14:04 AM

drmattstevens said:
calinkula, Did you end up going with the Asus P6T WS pro & Intel Xeon W3520? If so, what ECC memory did you ened up using?


I didn't purchase anything, but the original poster's question falls into my line of work. So I was just offering some objective advice.
a b V Motherboard
March 22, 2010 3:03:56 AM

Best answer selected by r_manic.
a b V Motherboard
July 31, 2010 8:03:38 PM

just get a cheep pc they go out of date every year aney way ath x2 with gigabye mb and kingston memory segate hard disk contact me fo this system running ddr3 2 or 2 x 2 gig memory
system $440 deleved with post insurance 1 year w std 500 gb stata 2 2 gig ddr3
gygabyte mb 550 watt power,