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Stable fast workstation

I'm looking to build a new multipurpose computer, with a price max of ~$1500. I want the computer to be great at multitasking, analyzing large datasets with the R statistical package, and multitasking.

1. Is something like the i7-950 a good choice, or should I be looking at server/workstation processors?

2. I've heard that memory speed doesn't matter as much as quantity, and I will be looking at between 12 and 24GB. Is something like DDR1333 an appropriate speed?

3. I was thinking SATA (III) 6gb/s with 2 small SSDs (in RAID0) then a large SATA drive for movies/music/general drive. Is this worth the cost, or will two SATA II 3gb/s (or even the 6gb/s) 7200rpm drives in RAID0 be approximately the same performance?

Any suggestions would be great, thanks in advance for helping!
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More about stable fast workstation
  1. Best answer
    You may wish to fill out the build advice form in my signature, but here's a start

    CPU: Intel Core i7 950 -$295-
    MOBO: Asus Sabertooth X58 -$190-
    RAM: G.Skill Pi Series 6GB -$155-
    Do you know whether these programs can utilize GPUs?
    I'd just stick with one SSD+one HDD. If you are asking whether RAID HDDs will compete with SSDs, no they will not.
    SSD: OCZ Vertex 2 60GB -$145-
    HDD: Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 1TB -$70-
    PSU: SeaSonic S12II 520W -$75-
    +Case

    See what you think.
  2. Some R packages can utilize GPUs, but the majority of things I will be doing (99.9%) would not.

    Basically, any programs that I want to boot quickly will be loaded on the SSD, and then everything else would be on the HDD?

    Thanks!
  3. I also forgot an optical drive...also, should I be considering a $30 heatsink or anything?
  4. Best answer selected by ntlaxboy.
  5. Sorry for the delay. If you plan on doing much overclocking a nice HSF wouldn't hurt - maybe a Hyper 212+. Also if it's not too late, sub that 465 out for a GTX 460 1GB.
  6. You can also checkout the Fastest Workstation on the market http://www.compucold.com Dual Xeon Workstation 12 cores 24 threads at 4.5Ghz (they are using Intel 5680 Dual Xeon).
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