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Good workstation?

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March 25, 2011 3:51:51 PM

I'm an editor and need to build a new workstation for my freelance and personal work (and maybe some gaming too =])

Here is my build, feel free to suggest any changes.

1 -CPU: 2x Intel Xeon E5645 2.4Ghz HT 6 core, 12mb L3, 5.86 QPI, 32nm
2 - GPU: 2Gb Palit Nvidia GeForce GTX 560ti
3 - RAM: 24gb ECC Unbuffered DDR3 PC 1333 (6x 4Gb)
4 - HDD: 2x 2Tb WD Black SATA III 7200rpm drives in RAID0
5 - SSD: 60Gb OCZ Agility II SATA II drive.
6 - MOBO: HP Z800 ATX-EX Mobo - Supports dual Xeon, up to 196gb RAM (more details: http://bit.ly/fvTkWT)
Chassis: HP Z800 ATX-FULL tower
CPU cooling: HP Water cooling system (Z800)
7- Raid Controller: HighPoint RocketRAID 620 SATA III controller
8- Monitor: 2x 27" Asus LED Monitor w/webcam
9- Monitor: 23" NEC S-IPS Monitor
10- Keyboard: Logitech G510 keyboard
11- OS: Windows 7 Professional

1- $1199.98
2- $279.99
3- $389.94
4- $339.98
5- $124.99
6- $930.00
7- $59.99
8- $699.98
9- $264.99
10- $75.00
11- $139.99
Total - $4504.83 (before taxes, shipping)

The IPS monitor is for color correction. Raid controller for scalability. Potentially could buy 2x GTX 560Tis for GPU grid.

This workstation will be primary used for Adobe Premiere CS5, Adobe After Effects CS5, and Avid Media Composer 5.

Leave ya thoughts. =]


More about : good workstation

March 25, 2011 4:28:42 PM

Do you feel like spending that much?
I would drop the 2x processors and motherboards and go for a SB2600.
You would save ~$1500, and for the stuff you will be working on, you will probably not see a difference in performance (check out CUDA with NVIDIA).

Here is an example of a workstation that might work for you:
http://www.hardware-revolution.com/2500-workstation/

Also, you need power, which ~750 would do.
A better case might be useful if you are planning on adding HDs in the future. and you want it to be silent but with good airflow.

Definitely change that case.

Are you overclocking? If not, the cooling is not needed... way overkill

Oh, you want RAID 0? If your stuff is for work, I would suggest you stay away from 0, and go for either 1 or 1+0.



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March 25, 2011 4:29:51 PM

And the ram - depending on the motherboard, you might be better off with 4x cards if you really want to max it.
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March 25, 2011 5:25:43 PM

selas said:
Do you feel like spending that much?
I would drop the 2x processors and motherboards and go for a SB2600.
You would save ~$1500, and for the stuff you will be working on, you will probably not see a difference in performance (check out CUDA with NVIDIA).

Here is an example of a workstation that might work for you:
http://www.hardware-revolution.com/2500-workstation/

Also, you need power, which ~750 would do.
A better case might be useful if you are planning on adding HDs in the future. and you want it to be silent but with good airflow.

Definitely change that case.

Are you overclocking? If not, the cooling is not needed... way overkill

Oh, you want RAID 0? If your stuff is for work, I would suggest you stay away from 0, and go for either 1 or 1+0.


A single core set up would be ill suited for my work. Adobe Premiere Pro's Mercury System spreads tasks almost too quickly over multiple cores. That combined with me using a large amount of my workflow with Adobe DynamicLink (which actively pulls real time HD playback from the mercury engine over multiple programs) I would certainly need more than 6 cores.

Money is not a BIG issue. Trying to stay under $5k

Refer to the link under the motherboard/case.
The Z800 case is prob one of the most efficient air flow designs out there. I got hands on with one my IT dept built for an edit station. I should prob have linked entire package I'm getting: http://bit.ly/h564YF
Includes 1150W Power supply and cooling.
Water cooling is for noise reduction, water systems are immensely quieter than 8x fans.
As for the HD bit, you do realize that's a 6-bay case right? two of the front port bays have adapters for more HDDs or SDDs.

I can agree with you on getting a better card. I did contemplate getting a Quadro card but it would A - put me over the $5k limit I'm trying to meet, and B- Win7 benchmarks this 560Ti card @ 7.8/7.9. .1 isn't worth an extra $600 to me. That and the workstation at my office has a 460 card it in and handles rendering just fine. That and I am willing to upgrade to a second 560Ti card for a GPU grid which can take some of the pressure off the HD playback.

I agree with your suggestions with RAID. I will prob switch to a mirror swiping set up when I get more drives. That being said RAID0 is just for that extra read/write speed. I'll be using a backup app on all critical data at 3:00AM daily. Do you think I should just get more drives and do a RAID1 set up?
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March 25, 2011 8:49:31 PM

Well for 1K you get refurbished case, a motherboard, power supply with liquid cooling.

I would suggest get those items new (particularly the electronics).

These 3 cases have tons of space, you can setup swappable drives, and are perfect for liquid cooling, plus they are silent...

LIAN LI PC-A70F Black Computer Case
Corsair Obsidian Series 800D CC800DW Black Computer Case With Side Panel Window
Corsair Obsidian Series 700D CC700D Black Computer Case

I still think the 1150 PSU is overkill for your system and you probably want some energy efficient given that you might be running this device 24/7 and need top quality - do you know the brand being sold?

For 1K you can get the same items except better quality and new. :) 

Here is a review of a build I remember:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GCFEzFVHcDI

The GPU would work with CUDA, if I am not mistaken...
http://www.nvidia.com/object/cuda_home_new.html

2 drives work for both RAID 0 and RAID 1. If you want RAID 1+0, you need 4. However, if you are backing up data to an external drive and the files you use are huge, then you probably want to setup a RAID 1 with lots of space (2TB), and keep backing up / swapping drives as you fill up. or just go RAID 1+0...
But, RAID can also be a pain in the butt and the information stays within the same machine...
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March 27, 2011 6:11:21 PM

selas said:
Well for 1K you get refurbished case, a motherboard, power supply with liquid cooling.

I would suggest get those items new (particularly the electronics).

These 3 cases have tons of space, you can setup swappable drives, and are perfect for liquid cooling, plus they are silent...

LIAN LI PC-A70F Black Computer Case
Corsair Obsidian Series 800D CC800DW Black Computer Case With Side Panel Window
Corsair Obsidian Series 700D CC700D Black Computer Case

I still think the 1150 PSU is overkill for your system and you probably want some energy efficient given that you might be running this device 24/7 and need top quality - do you know the brand being sold?

For 1K you can get the same items except better quality and new. :) 

Here is a review of a build I remember:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GCFEzFVHcDI

The GPU would work with CUDA, if I am not mistaken...
http://www.nvidia.com/object/cuda_home_new.html

2 drives work for both RAID 0 and RAID 1. If you want RAID 1+0, you need 4. However, if you are backing up data to an external drive and the files you use are huge, then you probably want to setup a RAID 1 with lots of space (2TB), and keep backing up / swapping drives as you fill up. or just go RAID 1+0...
But, RAID can also be a pain in the butt and the information stays within the same machine...


I agree with your suggestion for my RAID setup. I prob will go with 1+0.

The company I am purchasing the refurbished case/mobo from are manufacture refurbished resellers. Under federal law in the United States any electronics that are offered for sale from company A (HP) and then are given to company B (eBay seller) for sale are required to be listed as "not new". Basically manufactured refurbished means the computer was offered to sold (probably to a large company) but for whatever reasons was never purchased, that's when HP sells overstocks to small vendors (like the eBay seller) even though they have never been opened or touched by human hands.

I understand your concerns with the 1150W PSU, but it's mostly for scalability. I recommended checking out Tekzilla episode 199. It features a hardware tester for PSU's. Anyways, on there he explains that having a higher wattage PSU isn't always bad. Because how high end PSU's work they only use the amount of wattage they need at all times. So if my computer idles at 750W and maxed out hits 1kW it will still never use 1150W. Like I said, the 1150W is for scalability. The only other option for the Z800 build is a 850W which doesn't have as much lateral direction.

As far as the cases you suggested, the only one I'd prob consider is the 800D which has great cable management, but even then I gotta say - It does not compare to the Z800's super directional airflow. If you look at an image of the Z800, those chassis covers are actually air conduits that direction the air in small 2x2" patterns that vent out in the back ports wonderfully.

I think we all know the SR-2 is a great motherboard. And I would strongly consider it over this current build. Just the biggest issue is again, scalability. There is a strong chance I may swap out my current RAM in a year or so for much higher capacities. SR-2 can do 48Gb while the Hp Z800 can do 192gb.

Finally, I am a little confused at what your saying as far as CUDA cards. The 560Ti card is CUDA compatible as far as I know. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I will definitely consider the SR-2/800D option though when it comes time to purchase.
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