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Every Engineer's Dream (sort of)- New Workstation Build

Last response: in Systems
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May 12, 2011 3:02:33 PM

Hello everyone,
I have just been offered the opportunity I have been clamoring for for over a year now. I get to build my own workstation to do my 3D solidworks on. But I need some advice. This is different than a gaming computer, so anyone with experience using solidworks will be a great benefit to me.

For starters, my budget is 950 bucks, and that includes the OS, which they expect to be win7 pro, so 130 bucks off the top right there:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I was hoping to use an AMD black processor, AMD firepro 5800, simply based off of these reviews right here:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=14-195-...

And the fact that on the solidworks support website, it says that it fully supports all of the features:

http://www.solidworks.com/sw/support/videocardtesting.h...

I am not doing very much intensive computational analysis constantly, so processing power is not as vital, therefore my choice to go with the AMD, even though I am fully aware that the intel solutions are way more powerful. I also read on a thread on this website that SW is more concerned with cpu clock rather than cores, but I still would like to have a quad-core going because I usually have multiple applications running at once.

I am not sure exactly what RAM I should be looking at. SW recommends 6 GB, so I was going to aim for 8 (amd only accepts dual channel, so 4X2GB or 2X4GB).

Since I doubt upgrading in the future is any real long-term goal of this company, it is not essential to have more than one PCI-E slot for the Xfire capability. But I am not going to whine if it is 10 bucks more for a MOBO that does have one handy just in case. :-D

I am definitely looking to get a good quality power supply, and I have had a lot of success using Corsair's series for this purpose, if anyone else has good rec's for PS, please do not hesitate to let me know. Keep in mind that upgrading is not a priority, and I do not believe this video cards need a pci-e power cable.

ALSO, I am not LOCKED IN to getting AMD processor/Video card, I just am pretty sure it is the only way to keep this under 950-130(OS)=820 bucks. If anyone can come up with a good build for an INTEL/nVIDIA build, I will not bypass it due to fandom, I am pretty open-minded about this sort of thing.

Any help is appreciated. Thanks in advance!

May 12, 2011 4:01:04 PM

Ill keep it in mind, thanks brPeden
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May 12, 2011 4:20:48 PM

MB - $110 - ASUS H67 => http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU - $190 - I5-2400 => http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MEM - $105 - GSKILL DDR3-1333 CL7 => http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HD - $65 - Samsung F3 1TB => http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CASE - $60 - Antec 300 => http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU - $60 - Corsair 600w => http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OPTICAL - $23 - Samsung DVD Burner => http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

A little over $600 which is pretty tight to fit in the V5800 and OS license. Going with an AMD build would bring this down a little, but not all that much... Any way you can stretch another $100 for the budget?
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May 12, 2011 4:22:52 PM

On the memory front... Lower latency memory (CL7) will be better for Solidworks than higher latency modules (CL8 / CL9).
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May 12, 2011 6:33:36 PM

^ I second sadams build. The 2400 will give you significantly more performance then any current Phenom II x4's.
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May 12, 2011 7:20:23 PM

thanks man! I am trying, but my situation calls to try and be competitive with this assembling company's bid, and a very stubborn IT guy who knows little about this. If I can stretch out the budget after initial acceptance, then I will definitely let them know about the advantages of the 2400 build. Thanks again guys!
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May 12, 2011 7:20:37 PM

Best answer selected by jomofro39.
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May 12, 2011 7:30:58 PM

For comparison sake swap the MB + CPU above with the two below. The rest of the parts stay the same...

MB - GIGABYTE AM3+ - $95 => http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU - AMD Phenom X4 955 - $120 => http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

There is no reason to get anything past the X4 955 model as they are all the same chip with the exception of the multiplier leaving the factory. Get the 955, then manually set the multiplier to the Phenom X4 970 settings (or overclock higher). As you can see this gets you closer to the budget, but will still not touch the power of the I5-2400. The up side to the AM3+ motherboard is you are set for a Bulldozer CPU upgrade in the future if needed.
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