I'm an engineer and I do a lot of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) work and it usually tends to use a lot of PC power. I used to have a laptop to run this, but I fear that my laptop is no longer capable of running the simulations efficiently and I'm forced to switch over to a desktop. I would really like to build a full-on work station, but I do not have the resources to pay for such a beast. I've put together a list of components that I think would be decent for my application and I wanted to get your opinions on whether or not the parts are the right choice for what I want to do and also on how I can optimize the parts by picking brands that are more compatible with one another.
The system is going to be run for the majority of the day and I definitely plan on overclocking the system, if possible. I will do a bit of gaming on it from time to time as well, but I assume that shouldn't be a problem. I will also most likely do SLI once I can afford a second video card. Here are the parts:
I didn't add a cooling system because I wasn't sure what to pick. I'm going to be overclocking this PC and running it for the majority of the day, so I would like a cooling system that can keep the computer at the lowest temperature possible. I would like to go with liquid cooling but I don't know much about it, so if you guys have any recommendations, please let me know.
Again, I'm trying to optimize my setup to get the most efficient desktop possible. If you guys have any suggestions as to a part that might be better for the system, please let me know. I would like to keep my budget around $4000, but I wouldn't be adverse to letting it go over slightly.
There is no truth to Nvidia graphics cards having greater compatibility with Intel CPUs. If Nvidia doesn't have a specific benefit to the work you do then I'd strongly suggest getting an ATI card as they are much cooler, quieter and less power hungry. If you did get a 5870 then you could probably do a good 750W PSU for your system without watercooling. I'm not exactly sure how much power a water cooling setup requires.
You don't have to make special considerations for brands based on compatibility.
Onboard sound these days is pretty good. A dedicated soundcard is only really useful or necessary for someone who works professionally with audio or has very high standards for their sound. I would guess that CFD doesn't require good audio, which is why I bought it up. You can of course buy the soundcard later if you find that the onboard isn't good enough.
I can't help you with watercooling, however you could probably do what you want with a decent aircooler and good airflow in your case. If you decided to stick with air cooling for CPU then you could get the 932's little brother HAF 922 as it is much cheaper for one less 3.5" bay. Have a look at the Prolimatech Megahalems for a good CPU heatsink if you're interested.
Thanks for the input. Yeah, there's really no need for a dedicated sound card in CFD. The only reason that I had selected it was for music listening purposes as I like really high-quality sounding music. I suspect you're right, however, I should probably leave the sound card for future purchase so that I can spend the extra money on more essential things.
As far as the video card, I was recently referred towards the nvidia Quadro series on a different forum because they are much better for openGL work. The only problem is that the Quadros are far more expensive than their desktop cards. Do you know how the workstation ATI compare to the workstation nvidia cards?
My computers tend to get really hot as I use them A LOT. I also live in Arizona and dust is EVERYWHERE. I was hoping that with the liquid cooling system, I could minimize the dust collection. Though, I'm sure the fans that come with the tower will circulate that dust regardless. Another reason for wanting to use liquid cooled system is that I hear that they're more efficient at keeping things at lower temperatures.
I haven't built a computer for about 5 years now and I'm still trying to catch up on any missed technologies. Any corrections and suggestions are welcomed and appreciated.
I would save some money, and buy the Asus P6X58D-E motherboard. The higher price of the Premium is not really worth it unless your water cooling, or need that 2nd on-board LAN port. I own the P6X58D-E and have owned the Premium, and the on-board sound is fantastic on both. So, I agree its a good idea to try it first, and then buy the sound card if it's not up to snuff.