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Repurpose current setup and upgrading to i7 980X or?

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April 12, 2010 1:29:27 AM

Hi,

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Within a few weeks Id hope
BUDGET RANGE: 3000

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Professional 3d and 2d work, photoshop, compositing. No gaming..

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Ill probably keep the case. I got a GTX280 right now and i got a Raptor harddrive. Ill probably move that to be data only and a SSD for the OS.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com

PARTS PREFERENCES: i7 980X? Xeon dual-cpu?

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe, if I knew how...
SLI OR CROSSFIRE:Maybe, more likely a workstation card in the near future

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920 (single screen at the moment)

...long time lurker but first time post. My gaming habits are minimal (as in less than 50 hours a year) but I use my workstation for serious 3d work (3ds max, assorted helper program, photoshop and so forth). Im starting to feel that its time to upgrade my current workstation for a new one and seen that these i7 980X's have come out. Im curious what would give me most bang for the buck, but keep in mind that the software I do use is very good at multicore setups.

What I want to do is take the old internals (motherboard, cpu, memory) and move that over to a rackmountable case (any good suggestions by the way? I assume I should I get a different cooler and use this cooler for the i980X if I get one? This Noctua should be good enough for a 980x?) and put new ones into the workstation. Ill keep the GTX280 graphics card I got now.

Current specs:
Antec P182 Gun Metal Black 0.8mm cold rolled steel ATX Mid Tower
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASUS P5Q Pro LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 Yorkfield 2.83GHz 12MB L2 Cache LGA 775 95W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL 8GB (4 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR CMPSU-620HX 620W ATX12V
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Noctua NH-U12P Dual Copper Heatpipe Cooler w/Premium Fan
http://www.noctua.at/main.php?lng=en&products_id=14&sho...

.. Im currently looking at benchmarks and such and I guess Im a bit curious as how much better the 980X really is. How about Xeon dual-cpu setups, are those cheaper than a 980X setup nowdays or whats the state of the union on such setups? Can one run the 980X in a dual-cpu configuration? Im not really much for overclocking and tweaking hardware in such a level. More the fact that I havnt really tried and if you dont really know what youre doing it seem to be opening a can of worms. Are a cpu such as the 980X only really good if one overclock it?

In terms of memory Id really want as much as I can get. At work we got 32gb setups but are those only possible with dual-cpu? I only seen a few 12gb motherboards and a few 24gb I think. Would I have to upgrade the PSU?

I saw these motherboards, I usually like Asus but these both say 24gb max memory..:
GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD3R LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASUS P6T LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Am I rambling? Any suggestions?

Thanks beforehand :) 
April 13, 2010 12:11:09 AM


*I* would (most definately) get a QuadroFX1800 (or higher) and try that out BEFORE I DID ANYTHING ELSE !

You are going to need one (at this point) anyway. If you feel the difference (significantly) then, just max out your current system ram and coast until this FALL.
... or next SPRING.

If it does not help enough, on it's own, THEN go for a new compute core and put the Quadro in that new build.

= Alvin =
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April 13, 2010 12:14:05 AM

Also ... I see you have a really nice cooler there .... Any chance you can pull faster than 2.8GHz with that CPU ?

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April 13, 2010 3:20:11 PM

Alvin Smith said:
Also ... I see you have a really nice cooler there .... Any chance you can pull faster than 2.8GHz with that CPU ?


I havnt had much of a problem with interactivity so far but I was looking at the FirePro just as its cheaper than the nnvidia's and seemed pretty good in benchmarks. None of the things I use are GPU accelerated though so I do feel a cpu boost would help.

Ive actually never tried ooverclocking the cpu, just dont really know how to do it safely, got any pointers?

You got any opinion on a i7 cpu vs dual Xeons? In terms of price/performance?
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April 13, 2010 7:03:54 PM

There is an Overclocker's forum, here, at Tom's ...

It is very difficult to help you decide just exactly how much proc power you need, for what you are doing. More is always better. But the cost to you, versus any tangible gains is where YOU cut the mustard.

So .. I guess, you should just pick a number ($3000?) and go for all the CPU compute core you can (since any old GPU will do).

If you will list the exact toolsets you are using, most to last, I will look up system requirements, for those most used tools. (or YOU can).

Without knowing how many threads and how much RAM your tools need, you could be wasting money, or not acheiving your processing goals.

I am guessing that the main things we have to nail down is if you are going to run the 980X or go for a 930(OC) ... How much ram ... and if an SSD would be any help.

= Alvin =
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April 13, 2010 7:12:36 PM

Seems like you already know what you want, tho ...

... Both those mobos are good but I like the Gigabyte better. That ASUS WOULD be my 2nd choice, tho.

I just don't want to go off "half-cocked" ... doing a build before we are certain what requirements (preferences) your toolset "wants".

= Alvin =
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!