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1st time workstation build, need help!

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November 1, 2010 12:56:26 PM

I'm a 3D Animator student building my 1st workstation and need some help deciding on a final build for my workstation. Anyone have any suggestions or can guide me which might be the best from the options I have given, or if you have any better suggestions which I should swap things with.

CPU: X5680 or X5650 just one of either to start with. Note the X5650 when overclocked, performs better than an overclocked X5670. PassMark Overclock CPU Database Graph
Heatsink: Noctua NH-U12DX 1366 + another NF-P12 fan for a push/pull set up.
Motherboard: EVGA Classified SR-2 270-WS-W555-A1 or ASUS Z8PE-D18 I really can't decide which is better, is there a better board than these?
Memory: 2 x Crucial CT3KIT25672BB1339 or 2 x Kingston KVR1333D3D8R9SK3/6G or 2 x Mushkin 998735 or 2 x Patriot PSD36G1333ERK I'm lost with this type of memory so any suggestions on which I should go with or if I may have missed any that I should consider.
Power Supply: Corsair Professional Series Gold AX1200
Graphics Card: Quadro 5000 or 2 x GeForce GTX 480 in SLI I keep reading the GTX 480 doesn't do well with 3D Studio Max 2011, which is what I will be using.
SDD: Crucial C300-CTFDDAC256MAG-1G1CCA for OS. Hard Drive Benchmark Charts
HDD: 2 x Seagate Cheetah 15k 600GB or 2 x WD VelociRaptor 10k 600GB Leaning towards the WD. What do other people think?
Case: Lian Li V2120 for the the EVGA's HPTX form factor, and don't know what to go with for ASUS's SSI EEB 3.61 form factor.
Cooling Fans: 5 x Noctua NF-S12B FLX and 3 x NF-P14 FLX these are dependant on the case I get.
Disk Drive: LG BH12LS30
Operating System: Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit

Much appreciated :-)

Cheers Wiseman


EDIT: All links are now fixed, I wish forums used the same code :sleep: 
November 1, 2010 3:43:55 PM

First, what is your budget? Also, do you already have monitors (recommend at least 2)? Your resources are going to drive your decisions. If it were me, I would go over to newegg.com with your choices in mind and "build" a shopping cart built on which of your components had the highest ratings in each category. I would then look at my budget and see where I needed to make compromises (if any).

For professional work, definitely go with the Quadro (or the ATI FireXXX series) over a "gaming" GPU. Your apps will perform better.

Please clarify and you'll get better feedback from the forum. Good luck!
November 1, 2010 4:02:21 PM

I already know it will be up around $7000 if I choose the best of everything with the options I have given. Of course if it can be cheaper then that would be great. I was leaning towards the Quadro 5000.

I'm starting off with the 1 monitor I have and will add another one later when I can afford it. I'm only a new student so when I have the need I will add the extras.
Related resources
November 1, 2010 10:38:29 PM

1. What software?

2. Pro level work or not?

3. Do you need this ASAP?

4. Where are you buying from? Newegg?

5. Fix your links. All are broken.
November 1, 2010 11:45:02 PM

1. What software?

3D Studio Max 2011, Adobe Photoshop CS5 Extended, Corel VideoStudio Pro X3, Audacity Sound Editor. I'm not yet sure what software I will need for Uni, but will try to get everything they have onsite to use at home. The Bachelor of Information Technology link should give you an idea. I am also looking at learning Maya down the track, so will get Maya 2011.

2. Pro level work or not?

I'm a student now, and doing a Certificate III in Media - Specialising in 3D Animation and will be doing a Bachelor of Information Technology and will Major in 2 out of these 3 options Business Information, Communication and Technology (ICT), Digital Media and Entertainment, Software Development and Applications one will definitely be Digital Media and Entertainment but haven't decided on the other one. I plan to be working in either special effects in Movie and TV or 3D Animation in gaming.

3. Do you need this ASAP?

Yes needed it weeks ago!

4. Where are you buying from? Newegg?

No, I will be using Certegy ezi-pay, so I'm limited to who I can use.

5. Fix your links. All are broken.

All links are now fixed.
November 2, 2010 12:23:39 AM

Quote:
No, I will be using Certegy ezi-pay, so I'm limited to who I can use.

Explain. Because if you can't use Newegg you need to tell us where we can put together a build from.

Quote:

3D Studio Max 2011, Adobe Photoshop CS5 Extended, Corel VideoStudio Pro X3, Audacity Sound Editor. I'm not yet sure what software I will need for Uni, but will try to get everything they have onsite to use at home. The Bachelor of Information Technology link should give you an idea. I am also looking at learning Maya down the track, so will get Maya 2011.

Fair enough. Yes, Maya will benefit quite a lot from a 2P set up.
November 2, 2010 1:18:04 AM

Shadow703793 said:
Quote:
No, I will be using Certegy ezi-pay, so I'm limited to who I can use.

Explain. Because if you can't use Newegg you need to tell us where we can put together a build from.


This is Certegy ezi-pay. The only company I can use with this form of payment is Best Deal For You, as you can see on the site the only way to get a price on a Workstation build is to email them what you want. This is why I spent weeks narrowing down my options to the list above, as per what I will be using it for, and what software I will be using, also taking into account upgrade options at a later date. This is a base system to get me through my studies and is extremely expandable to become a very powerful machine in the future.

I'm a little confused about RAID set ups and am guessing I will need another SSD or HDD to do what I want. I want both the OS and Applications to run quickly, but need parity for what I'll be doing. Do I run the OS and apps off the SSD and get a 3rd HDD and set them up in a RAID5? So so confusing LOL
November 2, 2010 11:06:55 PM

^ No. Don't do RAID 5. The boards $uck at implementing RAID5. You need a true hardware RIAD card for RAID5. If you want reliability, go RAID1, if you want speed and reliability go RAID10. However, RAID10 requires 4x HDDs and you will loose 1/2 the storage of all the HDDs combined.

I say do RAID1 on the data/storage and just put the OS + programs on the SSD. You can also store the files you are working on the SSD until the work is done, then just move them to the HDD. This is what I do.

As far as the set up goes, it should be fine. However, I strongly recommend against OCing a workstation type build. I would also recommend you get ECC RAM.
November 3, 2010 12:56:59 PM

Shadow703793 said:
^ No. Don't do RAID 5. The boards $uck at implementing RAID5. You need a true hardware RIAD card for RAID5. If you want reliability, go RAID1, if you want speed and reliability go RAID10. However, RAID10 requires 4x HDDs and you will loose 1/2 the storage of all the HDDs combined.

I say do RAID1 on the data/storage and just put the OS + programs on the SSD. You can also store the files you are working on the SSD until the work is done, then just move them to the HDD. This is what I do.

As far as the set up goes, it should be fine. However, I strongly recommend against OCing a workstation type build. I would also recommend you get ECC RAM.



Thank you very much for all of your help. Especially about the RAID stuff. I thought I may need to get more HDD's to RAID. I was on the right track then with having the OS and programs run on the SSD, but wasn't sure which RAID to do for the data and storage, so that helps heaps. From what I've read RAID 1 is Mirroring without parity or striping, using a minimum of 2 disks. RAID 5 is Block-level striping with distributed parity, using a minimum of 3 drives and RAID 10 or 1+0 creates a striped set from a series of mirrored drives, using either 2 or 4 drives increasing in multiples of 2. I would prefer to have parity, which RAID 1 and RAID 10 don't have although RAID 10 provides fault tolerance. From my understanding RAID 5 gives you a faster write speed and RAID 10 gives you a faster read speed. So if I was to go 3 x HDD's in RAID 5 what true hardware RAID card would you suggest? Would I need a true hardware RAID card for RAID 10? Both motherboards I listed support RAID 0, 1, 5 and 10 on the motherboard, and the ASUS is PIKE supported, which would mean I would have to get the Seagate Cheetahs as they are SAS not SATA or can SATA also be plugged into a SAS PIKE card?. On that note both boards support only SATA II, would I have any problems using the SATA III HDD's? From what I have read it would be fine, only running at 3Gb/s instead of 6Gb/s, but taking advantage of new SATA III features. Can't seem to find a Workstation board that supports SATA III.

Just a couple of questions about the SSD and HDDs. The guy I spoke too to have it built, suggested an A-RAM SSD ULTRA II series 240GB 2.5" MLC SSD as it has ECC (which is a feature that appeals to me) over the Crucial C300-CTFDDAC256MAG-1G1CCA which doesn't have ECC (do I need it), although is the fastest SSD in the high end benchmark results. I have never heard of A-RAM and couldn't find any reviews or test results for it. As for the HDD's I had Seagate Cheetah 15k 600GB or WD VelociRaptor 10k 600GB, and he told me the WD has a high failure rate and is unreliable, which is the 1st of this type of negative feed back about this drive I have ever heard, and he said the 2 x Seagate 600GB was too small and to go for 3 x Seagate Constellation ES ST31000524NS 1TB, 7200rpm, SATA, 3.5" 32MB in a RAID 5 Config. The fact the only information I could find on it was in the Knowledge Base section tells me it's an old model and a newer version has been released. I'm not sure I need 3TB at this stage and by the time I do I'm sure there are better options, or am I wrong? I just thought 1.8TB or 2.4TB would have been enough for me.

Looks like I'm going to have to buy the components and build it myself to save money, as they charge $2500AUD more than it costs to have one built in USA. So I will order the parts from the USA and build it myself and take it to a Computer store to help me if I get stuck. So with buying online from the US, where do you recommend I buy from? I keep hearing newegg being mentioned, is there any others I should look at?

Oh and all 4 Memory options were registered ECC 6 x 2G kits for 12G total.
!