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Workstation configuration for Digital Content Creation

Last response: in Systems
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June 7, 2010 4:53:00 PM

Hi,

I have 2 workstations from Lenovo that I am trying to configure for using Adobe Photoshop, Premiere, etc.

The systems are Thinkstation D20, so they have dual xeon processor capabilities, although I got each one with a single W5580 processor, which I love versus my older Q9400 Quad Core.

Here is a summary of the specs:

Workstation 1:
- Xeon W5580
- 2GB DD3 RAM
- 4 x 300GB Velociraptor SATA HDD
- ATI FirePro V7750

Workstation 2:
- Xeon W5580
- 20GB DDR3 RAM
- 3 x 300 SAS Cheetah 15.5k
- nVIDIA Quadro FX 4800

So, these systems are obviously a dream, I won't put all the other nice features, but I am looking at a couple of options:

1- Should I "strip" workstation 1 and put a second processor on workstation 2 and then sell the other components? (maybe this is overkill)
2- Keep both systems (increase memory on workstation 1)

If I go with the second option, my question is performance gains.

I am convinced that SAS is by al means faster, but I lean more towards the larger capacity that the 4 Velociraptors would give me ...

Now the big question is ... to RAID or not to RAID?

Performance is what I want, so RAID 0 is making me very interested, I will have a separate drive for weekly / daily backups ...

So what would you recommend?

2 RAID 0 arrays? one for OS and programs, the other for documents?

what about scratch disks? how much space would that require?

or RAID 0 doesn't offer much considering the speed of the Velociraptors?

Thanks!
June 7, 2010 5:28:02 PM

Since you are talking Adobe, really what the big factor is is what OS, PS is a resource hog, you need lots of memory, 32bit OS's are limited to about 3Gigs of mem, 64bit OS's- well theoretically 284Gigs- but, being real, either system as it stands is pretty good, but a 64bit OS and memory in either/both machine is a VERY good idea, RAID ok if you want, ARCHIVING, big drives, don't worry about speed, but don't get green drives either, if your moving large amounts of data, even SATA 3.0Gbs slows down to 30Mbs, the physical limitations of HDD cache and write time, so what are your plans now?
June 9, 2010 1:22:38 PM

number13 said:
Since you are talking Adobe, really what the big factor is is what OS, PS is a resource hog, you need lots of memory, 32bit OS's are limited to about 3Gigs of mem, 64bit OS's- well theoretically 284Gigs- but, being real, either system as it stands is pretty good, but a 64bit OS and memory in either/both machine is a VERY good idea, RAID ok if you want, ARCHIVING, big drives, don't worry about speed, but don't get green drives either, if your moving large amounts of data, even SATA 3.0Gbs slows down to 30Mbs, the physical limitations of HDD cache and write time, so what are your plans now?


Ok, so my decision is to have "Workstation 2" as my main system, both are loaded with Windows 7 Professional 64 bits, and with the 20GB RAM I'm sure I won't have any issues. Last night I tested a X18-M 160GB from Intel and was utterly impressed with the results so I'm seriously considering keeping that drive as OS drive (and programs) and then go with the WD Velociraptors in a RAID config (which I'm still not very convinced about).

Now .. the thing is ... should I take advantage of the dual Xeon W5580 processor capabilities of my systems (I would have to remove one from the other machine), or would you say that I won't see any REAL difference in terms of performance and/or stability.
June 9, 2010 1:31:42 PM

in your case dual processors wouldn't give you that much of a performance increase, at least dual cores and the rest in acedemic, dual velo's in raid, VERY impressive, you'll like that
the INTEL was a SSD, IMPRESSIVE
!