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Best Configs - High-End Workstation

Last response: in Systems

Which High-End Workstation build do you like best?

Total: 96 votes (21 blank votes)

  • The-Frag-Machine Build
  • 18 %
  • The oh2bamonkey Build
  • 11 %
  • The MU_Engineer Build
  • 22 %
  • The kelemvor4 Build
  • 12 %
  • The gkay09 Build
  • 40 %
September 29, 2010 4:56:06 PM

Our editorial team has selected the top builds submitted by users for our Best Configs feature. Please vote on your favorite of the following builds:

Processor: AMD Opteron 6172 Magny-Cours 2.1GHz Socket G34 115W 12-Core Server Processor OS6172WKTCEGOWOF
Motherboard: ASUS KGPE-D16 Dual Socket G34 AMD SR5690 SSI EEB 3.61 Dual 8/12 Core AMD Opteron 6000 series Server Motherboard
RAM: Patriot Signature 12GB (3 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) ECC Registered Server Memory Model PS312G13ER3K-E
Graphics Card: PNY VCQ4000-PB Quadro 4000 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Workstation Video Card
Hard Drive: Applications - Intel X25-M Mainstream SSDSA2MH080G2R5 2.5" 80GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
Storage - 3ware 9650SE-4LPML KIT PCI Express Lanes: 4 SATA II Controller Card + Western Digital Caviar Blue WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive (4 Drives, Raid 5 Configuration)
Case: COOLER MASTER HAF 932 RC-932-KKN1-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case
Power Supply: Rosewill BRONZE series RBR1000-M 1000W Continuous@40°C, 80Plus Bronze Certified,Modular Cable Design,ATX12V v2.3/ EPS12V,SLI Ready,CrossFire Ready,Active PFC
DVD Burner: LG Black 10X Blu-ray Burner - SATA WH10LS30 LightScribe Support

Link to Build

CPU: 2 x Intel Xeon E5620 Westmere 2.4 GHz
ASUS PIKE 1078 8-port SAS HW RAID card
RAM: 2 x Crucial 12GB (3 x 4GB) DDR3 1333 ECC Registered CT3KIT51272BB1339
Graphics: PNY VCQ4000-PB Quadro 4000 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 Video Card
Storage: 2 x Western Digital VelociRaptor WD6000HLHX 600GB 10K RPM (use RAID 1) 3 x Western Digital RE4 WD1503FYYS 1.5TB 7.2K RPM (RAID 5)
Case: Silverstone RAVEN RV01-BW Black Steel / Plastic ATX Full Tower
PSU: Corsair HX Series CMPSU-850HX 850W ATX80 Plus SILVER Certified
DVD Burner: SAMSUNG CD/DVD Burner Black SATA Model SH-S223C

Link to Build

Processors: 4x Opteron 6168
Motherboard: Supermicro H8QG6-F
RAM: 16x KVR1333D3E9S/2GI (16x2 GB unbuffered ECC DDR3-1333)
Graphics card: Radeon HD 5770 or 5830
HDD: your choice of a 128 GB SSD as the OS drive, 8x2 TB WD Green in RAID10 or RAID50 (4x2) as the data drives
Case: Chenming ATX-801F
PSU: Seventeam ST-1200F
DVD burner: pick 'em.

CPU1: Intel Xeon 5620
CPU2: Intel Xeon 5620
RAM: 18Gb Kingston ECC Registered DDR3
GPU1: EVGA Gtx 480
GPU2 :EVGA Gtx 480
HDD: 4x Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 (4Tb of raid10)
PSU: Corsair AX1200
Case: Danger Den Black LDR Tower 29
Optical: Lite-ON 12x Blu-ray burner
CPU COOL: Danger Den MCP-CPU Block
CPU2 COOL: Danger Den MCP-CPU Block
Reservoir: Danger Den DD-RAD Resivoir
Radiator: Swiftech MCR320
Fans: 3x scythe kaze-jyuni 800rpm
Tubing: 20' Swiftech 1/2" ID clear tubing
mobo: EVGA SR-2
GPU1 Cool: DD-GTX480 All Copper Version
GPU2 Cool: DD-GTX480 All Copper Version
Misc: Misc hardware (thumb screws/clamps etc)
Pump: MCP655-B/Liang D5

Link to Build

CPU x2: Intel Xeon E5620 Westmere
Mobo: SUPERMICRO MBD-X8DAH+-O Extended ATX Server Motherboard
RAM: Definetly an ECC Registered -> 2x
Crucial 12GB (3 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM ECC Registered DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Server Memory Model CT3KIT51272BB1339
PSU: Seasonic X750 Gold
Workstation card: PNY VCQ4000-PB Quadro 4000 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Workstation Video Card or ATI 100-505604 FirePro V7800 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 CrossFire Supported Workstation Video Card
SSD: OCZ Agility 2 120GB
HDD: 2x in RAID 0 Western Digital VelociRaptor WD6000HLHX 600GB 10000 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
DATA Drive: Hitachi Deskstar 7K2000 HDS722020ALA330 (0F10311) 2TB
BD Burner: LG WH10LS30K 10X Blu-ray Burner - LightScribe Support

Link to Build

More about : configs high end workstation

September 29, 2010 9:03:04 PM

Impossible to vote on accurately without knowing the purpose of the workstation. Gkay gets my vote simply out of respect.
September 29, 2010 9:23:41 PM

^ Exactly. If it's a rig for number crunching (ie CFD) then one do not need a good graphics card. On the other hand, if it's a vid editing build or CAD/rendering build then a good workstation card should be added.
Related resources
September 30, 2010 1:54:52 AM

^Agreed, although I think I'll be different and assume purposes for which MU_Engineer's build would be better. Hard to choose between those two though...

(Anyway, I had thought there'd be more provision for CUDA processing in these builds)
September 30, 2010 2:14:43 AM

My current old Socket 939 desktop's motherboard died on me recently. I ended up getting the parts roughly corresponding to the #3 build on the original thread (not the quad-socket one listed here), but with a handful of changes:

CPUs: 2x Opteron 6128
Motherboard: ASUS KGPE-D16
RAM: 8x Kingston 2 GB DDR3-1333 ECC unbuffered
Graphics card: MSi Twin Frozr GTS250 (reused)
SSDs: 2x OCZ Vertex2 40 GB in RAID0
HDDs: 4x Samsung F4EG 2.0 TB in RAID10
Case: Chenming ATX-801F file server case (previously in another machine)
DVD Burner: ASUS SATA 24x DVD+/-R/RW

It's not a super high-end workstation config, but it should offer a lot of performance for what it costs. I'll let you all know how well it does here in a week or so :D 
September 30, 2010 3:12:49 AM

Shadow703793 said:
^ Benches please! Especially Cine Bench:

I run Linux exclusively and don't have any copies of Windows sitting around. I downloaded Cinebench and ran it on my laptop (C2D T7250) using WINE and it did run. I think the score under WINE might be somewhat in the ballpark to that of native Windows as my 1.00 score in Win32 mode compares to 1.07 for a 2.00 GHz C2D T5750 and 1.05 for a 2.20 GHz T7500. WINE can run in 64-bit mode as well but not if it's also set up to run in Win32 mode on the same user account, unless I am screwing something up. I'll run Cinebench on the new machine when it comes just for grins, but I'd take those results with a little bit of a grain of salt because of the emulation. I predict based on the scores I've seen that a dual 6128 should get in the upper 8s or lower 9s on that benchmark (going off of the score of 10.04 for a quad 8360SE.)

If you really want me to bench the Opterons on a level field, let's use something cross-platform like the Phoronix Test Suite.

Just curious, why that CWT OEM PSU instead of say, a Corsair/XFX/Antec?

It's a decent unit and that's what the local computer shops carry. It is branded as an nSpire, but apparently all they do is rebrand CWT PSUs. I still had the box in my closet and the picture of the PSU in the box graphics even has "Channel Well Tech" spec label clearly visible. I referred to it as a CWT unit since nSpire isn't a very well-known brand and I didn't want somebody to think I'd bought a really crappy no-name PSU.
September 30, 2010 2:00:38 PM

Yeah, it's pretty amazing that such fecal material is even available for sale. For being poopy, it probably doesn't even compost well.
September 30, 2010 3:06:29 PM


If you really want me to bench the Opterons on a level field, let's use something cross-platform like the Phoronix Test Suite.

Haven't heard about that suite before (as in, I haven't seen Anand,Toms,et al using it).

Can you run this:
You will need to grab Blender and the test render and any needed dependencies.
September 30, 2010 3:20:35 PM

I don't like any of those specs, I would put AT LEAST a Quadro 5600 card in there 2 is even better, 16GB ECC would be ABSOLUTE MINIMUM, Have not looked if there is a 4 socket 12 core g34 if it were at least at 3.0 ghz if not go with at least intel x5680 xeon, the more cores the better but they have to be a decent speed. 2X SSD raid 0, minimum 1200W PSU.

Anyway basing this info off of my current workstation and seeing what can be improved.
September 30, 2010 9:54:42 PM

^ You DO realize that we had a budget and virtually no guidelines (ie, rendering workstation vs programming workstation)? Also, for a development/programming workstation 12GB is MORE than enough. The Xeons can turbo, so clock speed really isn't an issue, esp. with multi threaded programs.

You DO NOT need a 1.2kW PSU at ALL. Unless running 4xTeslas or 4xGTX480s,etc.
October 9, 2010 2:35:19 PM

Shadow703793 said:
^ Benches please! Especially Cine Bench:

I'm still working on tweaking with the OS, but running Cinebench 11.5 32-bit under WINE from a Ubuntu live CD gave me a score of 8.49. I am sure that with a real running-from-a-disk OS, 64-bit WINE, and the ability to lock the CPUs at full speed my score would go up a bit.
October 9, 2010 11:20:57 PM

^ Thank you. 8.49 isn't bad at all considering it's via WINE.
October 12, 2010 12:24:05 PM

Shadow703793 said:
^ Thank you. 8.49 isn't bad at all considering it's via WINE.

64-bit WINE running the 64-bit version of the Cinebench 11.5 test with Cool 'n Quiet off gave me a score of 8.88.
December 6, 2010 2:59:19 PM

This topic has been desticky in top of the forum by Jpishgar