Dual 6-core Xeon Editing Workstation (Advice/Critique)



SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: HD Video editing w/ fast turn around (~12 hr), 2D animation, graphic design

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, speakers,



OVERCLOCKING: Possibility in the future (I'm not paying for the rig)



(2) Intel Xeon X5650 Westmere 2.66GHz 12MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 95W Six-Core Server Processor $ 2039.98

SUPERMICRO MBD-X8DAH+-F-O Dual LGA 1366 Intel 5520 Extended ATX Dual Intel Xeon Motherboard $ 499.99

COOLER MASTER COSMOS 1000 RC-1000-KSN1-GP Black/ Silver Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case $ 169.99

Western Digital VelociRaptor WD1500HLFS 150GB 10000 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Bare HDD $ 149.99

(3) Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Bare HDD $ 224.97

SILVERSTONE ST85F-P 850W ATX 12V v2.3 / EPS 12V 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Active PFC Pwr Sply $ 149.99

(2) SUPERMICRO SNK-P0040AP4 CPU Heatsink & Cooling Fan for Xeon Processor 5500 Series $ 59.98

EVGA 015-P3-1482-AR GeForce GTX 480 (Fermi) SuperClocked 1536MB 384-bit GDDR5 $ 522.99

ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM $ 21.99

LG Black 10X Blu-ray Burner - Bulk SATA Model WH10LS30 LightScribe Support - OEM $ 139.99

SYBA PCI-Express 1394 FireWire Card Model SD-PEX-FWB $ 42.99

OCZ Platinum Tri Channel 12GB PC10666 DDR3 Memory - 1333MHz, 12288MB (6 x 2048MB), CL7 $ 346.99

(2) NEC EA231WMI-BK 23 inch Ws LCD 1920X1080 1000:1 VGA Black 14MS Monitor $ 679.98

Sub-Total $ 5049.82

I am building this computer for my work. The primary function will be capturing 40 minute to 1 hour worth of programming feed from a 3 camera/switched HD video studio; "sweetening" it (color correction, audio tweaks, etc.); bundling in pre-built graphic content; then rending out a final product in multiple formats....all in less than 12 hours.

I'm a bit worried about heat sink/mobo/processor/case compatibility. Also looking for ways to trim w/o compromising the timetable mentioned above. I've spent a bit of time researching these parts. I'm looking to those more knowledgeable to point out any conflicts. Alternate component suggestions are also welcome but vague "their better" reasoning won't carry any weight.

Thank you all in advance.

Blackmagic Multibridge Pro (for interfacing with studio) PCI-E 4x break out box
16TB (max, currently 2TB mirrored) NAS for archiving video assets (connected via dual 10/100/1000 ethernet)
Multiple Calibrated NTSC CRT Monitors and large format LCDs for review
14 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about dual core xeon editing workstation advice critique
  1. Can the SUPERMICRO MBD-X8DAH+ use non-ECC memory like the OCZ Platinum Tri Channel 12GB kit?

    And the motherboard needs 2 EPS-8pin power connectors - 1 for each CPU. Is there an adapter for that?
  2. WR2 said:
    Can the SUPERMICRO MBD-X8DAH+ use non-ECC memory like the OCZ Platinum Tri Channel 12GB kit?

    Hi, thanks for the response.

    According to the user manual I downloaded from their website:

    "The X8DAH+/X8DAH+-F supports up to 192 GB Registered ECC or up to 48GB Unbuffered ECC/Non-ECC DDR3 1333 MHz/1066 MHz/800 MHz in 18 DIMMs."

    Thanks again,

  3. WR2 said:

    The problem with going 3x4GB (other than the price premium) is that I have to populate two separate channel groups (one for each processor). So the 6x2GB would go 0-1a, 0-2a, 0-3a and 1-1a, 2-1a, 3-1a. With the 3x4GB I would have to choose which proc got two dimms and I'm not sure that would work.

  4. The manual covers the non-ECC memory usage so the OCZ Platinum kit should work. That non-ECC option wasn't mentioned in the NewEgg spec section.
  5. It's only a small niggle - but the motherboard mounted in the case has the 24pin power and dual 8pin CPU power connectors at the top of the case while the power supply is on the bottom. You can route the power cables behind the MB and through the cable management cutouts to get around that I should think.
    Can't see any other MB/HSF/CPU/Case issues. Thats a great case with plenty of room and cooling. Pretty quiet as well.
  6. Thanks for pointing that out. I had seen some issues in the comments section of other components on newegg that talked about cable reach, etc. and I know that that particular board is tricky to install in most cases. The Mobo manual doesn't give detailed dimensions or clearances so it's good to here positive things about the case.

    With the GPU on-board fan, the two fan/heatsink combos and the 4 case mounted fans I hope to have adequate cooling even during high-demand rendering sessions. Any thoughts/opinions?
  7. The cooling should be fine, the CPUs, if not overclocked and with aftermarket coolers, will stay pretty cool. Those components are designed for servers so heat is a big consideration, you can see that in the 95W design. The biggest heat source in there is the GPU. The new fermi chips are notorious for running very hot, but in a big, well ventilated case like the Cosmos, it should be alright.

    One thing I would like to point out is hard drive selection. Have you thought about SSD? For an OS/Apps/Scratch drive, you would see noticeable performance increases. Additionally, those Caviar Black drives are a bit outdated, and newer models like the Samsung Spinpoint F3 and Seagate 7200.12, are faster and quieter, due to the single 500GB platter design. Food for thought.
  8. Best answer
    The 126mm height of the two HSFs is far shorter than the huge 162mm heatsinks that are known to fit inside the Cosmos.
    I eye-balled the height above board and reach past socket of the CPU HSF looking for possible issue with clearing the RAM socket. It doesnt seem as it will be a problem with the low profile OCZ RAM modules. And if you reversed the heatsink & fan (or attached the fan to the opposite side) there would be no issue, except possibly at the top socket vs the PSU->MB power connectors.

    Case cooling should be top notch, and still quite unlike a lot of server cases.
  9. I couldnt find out if the HSFs have any thermal compound pre-applied.
    Just to be safe you might want to order some ARCTIC COOLING MX-2 Thermal Compound
  10. Best answer selected by Jim Greene.
  11. WR2 and Transmaniacon,

    Thank you both for your helpful responses.


    I went ahead and selected one of your answers as "best response." Thanks for taking the time to look into this issue that was a real concern for me. Nothing undermines credibility at my work like spending money on a solution that doesn't work (I know, we are talking a pair of $60 components but it is the down time they would cause).


    I looked at SSDs and got sticker shock. I have never seen latency in the response of my applications that I couldn't attribute to something other than the system trying to access application data. I will look at the hard drive situation again though. It honestly received little attention from me this time out as I was relying on prior research.

    Thanks again.
  12. Motherboard and CPU power connectors lengths. Twin EPS 8pin connectors. Length looks OK too.
    1 x 24 / 20-Pin motherboard connector(550mm) 21"
    1 x 8 / 4-Pin EPS / ATX 12V connector(750mm)
    1 x 8 / 4-Pin EPS / ATX 12V connector(550mm)
  13. You're welcome. Be sure to let us know how it all works out.
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