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Dual Xeon Modeling, Rendering & Audio Workstation

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August 6, 2010 11:50:39 AM

Hi all,

I'm interested in building a powerful, versatile system to serve as the centerpiece of my home studio. I'm relying on it for both my music/recording & architecture/digital artwork needs, which are equally important. It's my first legitimate build, albeit somewhat ambitious, but I'm hoping to bridge the gap between personal and professional.

I've put something together which I'm seeking approval on, particularly w/ respect to compatibility between components, balance and price/performance ratio (see questions @ bottom). Any insight will be greatly appreciated.


APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Probably later this month, maybe as late as October

BUDGET RANGE: ~3000-4000, not much more than what's here now, which is already north of the budget; plan to expand in the future

SYSTEM USAGE: CAD/3D Modeling w/ programs like Rhino, 3Ds Max, Revit, Sketchup; Rendering w/ V-Ray; Graphics & Animation w/ Adobe Creative Suite; Music Production & Recording w/ Pro Tools, Max MSP, SuperCollider, Fruity Loops; Basic Home Usage

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Need everything except for speakers and a storage drive; may use ext. sound card for now and hold off on pci card pending further research

PREFERRED WEBSITES FOR PARTS: newegg.com, sweetwater.com for sound

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA

PARTS PREFERENCES: None

OVERCLOCKING: I've no experience, I'm somewhat interested...however I don't think supermicro or other boards in this price range very easily support it, if at all...

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: Probably 1920 x 1080
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Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM

CPU: (2x) Intel Xeon E5630 Westmere 2.53GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 12MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 80W Quad-Core Server Processor BX80614E5630

Heatsink: (2x) Intel BXSTS100A Active heat sink with fixed fan

Mobo: SUPERMICRO MBD-X8DTi-F-O Dual LGA 1366 Intel 5520 Extended ATX Dual Intel Xeon 5500 and 5600 Series Server Motherboard

RAM: (2x) WINTEC 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM ECC Registered DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Server Memory Model 3SR33590K-13

GPU: PNY VCQFX3800-PCIE-PB Quadro FX 3800 1GB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 SLI Supported Workstation Video Card

Boot Drive: Kingston SSDNow V Series SNV425-S2BD/128GB 2.5" Desktop Bundle 128GB SATA II Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive I already own one, will move in from ext. enclosure

Case: LIAN LI PC-A71F Black Aluminum ATX Full Tower Computer Case

PSU: SeaSonic X750 Gold 750W ATX12V V2.3/EPS 12V V2.91 SLI Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply

Sound Card: M-Audio Delta 1010LT may hold off/ opt for better in the future

Wireless Adapter: EDIMAX EW-7128G IEEE 802.11b/g PCI Wireless Card Up to 54Mbps Wireless Data Rates 64/128-Bit WEP, 802.1x, WPA, AES

Optical: SAMSUNG 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 4X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 24x DVD Burner - Bulk LightScribe Support - OEM

Monitor: SAMSUNG P2770HD Rose Black 27" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 DC 50,000:1(1000:1) Built-in HDTV Tuner & Speakers

Keyboard: Logitech 920-000914 Black 106 Normal Keys USB Wired Ultra-thin Illuminated Keyboard

Mouse: Logitech Anywhere Mouse MX


Final Comment/Questions:

Silence is not imperative as most of the audio work would be midi/software-based or direct-in from an analog synth

If there's a way to do this for less money w/o a significant, noticeable drop in performance I would be curious to check it out

If anybody has any specific knowledge on the following:

Q1: Is it worth it to go w/ the 5630s over 5620s? (it seems there may be more mobo compatibility issues w/ the 5620s anyway)

Q2: Will the supermicro board have problems w/ mounting holes not lining up w/ the case/can cases other than supermicro cases accommodate their boards w/o drilling holes?

Q3: Is the BIOS vR1.1c current/will it update properly & if so, what will that entail?

Q4: Will the heatsinks fit the board and is the cooling in this build sufficient?

Forgive my long post, thanks in advance

- Eric
August 7, 2010 1:31:43 AM

If someone could just give me even a thumbs up/down on this I would be extremely grateful. I'm starting to feel like maybe it's overkill?
!