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Workstation for Solidworks CAD & General File Server

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November 6, 2010 11:50:26 PM

Hi All,

I have the OK for a new workstation, and would appreciate your opinion on the components I've selected so far. Thanks!

Approximate Purchase Date: Beginning of next week.

Budget Range: $1,500 to $2,000

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Solidworks CAD, Accounting Program, MS office (esp. Outlook). Solidworks would include large 3-D assemblies with several hundred parts.

Parts Not Required: Will reuse my current Monitor, Keyboard, and Mouse

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences: Intel processor, no WD hard drives

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: No


Here's what I've been looking at, I'd like to know your thoughts:
Newegg wish list: https://secure.newegg.com/WishList/MySavedWishDetail.as...

Motherboard: ASUS P6X58D Premium LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
$309.00 (Open Box $199.99)

Processor: Intel Core i7-950 Bloomfield 3.06GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor BX80601950
$294.99

Memory: Patriot Viper II Sector 7 Edition 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model PV736G1600ELK
$129.99

Hard Drives: 2 Seagate Constellation ES SAS ST3500414SS 500GB 7200 RPM SAS 6Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -
$124.99/ea $249.98

1 OCZ Agility 2 OCZSSD3-2AGT120G 3.5" 120GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
$229.99

I had in mind to partition the SSD roughly 60GB/60GB, using half for the OS and half for our accounting database and confidential documents. The two Seagates would be configured with Raid 1 and would be a shared drive on the office network.

Case: GIGABYTE Triton 180 Black 0.7mm SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
$59.99

DVD Burner: ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk $18.99

Power Supply: CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V S
Item #: N82E16817139006
$109.99

Graphics Card: PNY VCQ4000-PB Quadro 4000 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Workstation Video Card
$779.9

Additional Comments: I don't really want to waste money on my selection, but OS speed and Solidworks speed are fairly important. This workstation is also used as a file server for 3 other computers in our small office. More on that under my hard drive selection.
November 7, 2010 1:33:10 AM

I think when you're messing around with this kind of money, avoid open box products. Like it says, you never know what's missing. There's a reason it was returned. You don't want to own that reason.
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November 8, 2010 10:15:29 AM

Dougie Fresh said:
I think when you're messing around with this kind of money, avoid open box products. Like it says, you never know what's missing. There's a reason it was returned. You don't want to own that reason.


Good point!
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November 27, 2010 3:35:05 PM

I need a new workstation for Solidworks and SolidCAM (CNC software add-on for SW), so this config is interesting for me. I've priced out a dozen different configurations on newegg and ended up with essentially this setup.

I have the GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD3R LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard at $209 instead, I'll have to go re-compare those.

I suspect that more memory would be better, I'll probably go with 12gb instead of 6. Some of the SolidCAM operations use a ton of memory.
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November 27, 2010 7:59:23 PM

I built this system last week; changed some of my components:

Corsair CMPSU-750TX 750W Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Intel Core i7-950 Bloomfield 3.06GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad Core Processor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASUS P6X58D Premium LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

(2) CORSAIR XMS3 6GB (3X2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 Triple Chanel Memory (Total of 12GB)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OCZ Agility 2 OCZ SSD3-2AGT120G 120GB SATAII SSD
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

(2) WD Cavier 500GB SATA Hard Drives
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The OS went on the SSD connected to one of the SATA6.0Gb/s ports on the motherboard, the two HDs are set up as a raid1 config. on two of the SATA 3.0Gb/s ports.

GIGABTE Triton 180 Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Quadro 2000 Graphics Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

After looking at the Solidworks benchmarks for the different Quadro Graphics cards, my conclusion was that the Quadro 4000 wasn't worth the extra 400 bucks. All told, including Win7Pro x64 and Office 2010 Pro, system cost was $2,422.25 delivered next day air.

BTW, Don't order the Constellation hard drives with the GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD3R motherboard, as they are SAS rather than SATA. Missed that on the specs and had to RMA two drives.

AFAIK, the only difference you'll find with the GA-X58A-UD3R motherboard compared to the GA-P6X58D is that the professional series has Intel TurboBoost enabled.

System works great so far, except the 2009 Solidworks doesn't support Win7. I'll have to wait until I buy a new subscription to try it out.
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November 28, 2010 2:57:08 AM

I would put together a seperate NAS for server purposes, for security reasons, power reasons, (No reason to keep a powerful machine on all the time to use it as a NAS), resource reasons (you don't want your server speed to depend on what you are soing on your computer. ) and failure reasons (If something goes bad you don't want to loose all that functionality because a MB fried or whatever.)

Just put together a cheap box with the server/secure stuff on it and plug it into your monitor, so you can switch between the two.
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