Xeon Editing/Rendering Workstation

Hey everyone,

I am after some advice on a new workstation build.

Firstly, What I do.
I am self-employed. I do a lot of video editing, motion graphics and 3d studio max work. I am currently running Adobe Creative Suite CS4 which I plan to upgrade to CS5.5 as I am sure that there is a major bottleneck with After Effects CS4 not being 64-bit capable even on my current system.

My current system, and systems I have used while employed in the past have never run workstation grade graphics cards. so I am curious as to whether anyone thinks it's worth the money to run a Quadro? Price isn't a huge consideration, but if I could keep it under $10k aud that would be nice. My current system is an i7 920 with 12gb of RAM and a GTX 295, just to give you an idea of what I am comparing with.

I currently have 3 monitors and plan to run a fourth shortly down the track, so I have assumed I would run a Quadro, then a lesser card for more ports.

I'm quite experienced with building pcs and most recently have been building i5 and i7 based systems. Is there anything crucial I should know about speccing/building a Xeon based system?
While I could see the benefits in purchasing a pre-built system from an 'Adobe Certified' reseller (HP, Boxx, Dell, etc.), from what I have seen, they generally appear over priced with less power/quality.

I will do even more research prior to purchasing, but I'd like to use this thread to pick some experienced brains.

The Proposed Spec Questions.
Mobo- so I have read horror stories about people not using proper Intel based motherboards with Xeon processors. However, the board I have looked at, while it seems solid, it was released back in 2009, which means it's not sporting USB3, SATA III and other more modern mobo features. Does anyone know of something newer and as reliable?

CPUs- are there any others I should be looking at? Any need for after market coolers? Not going to over clock.

RAM- would 24gb (6x4) be enough for the build in question? Would it be a bottleneck? What would be an optimum amount? ECC without a doubt?

HDDs- intel SSD to boot off, 3 x 1tb drives in RAID5 hanging off the Highpoint Technologies controller. My current system has a RAID5 and in the past has proven it's worth and gotten me back on track when a drive degraded. However my current system has an Adaptec controller, thoughts? Is it worth getting enterprise grade drives to RAID? I plan to edit/work off the RAID5.

Graphics- as I mentioned above, is it worth it? Forget about gaming, I can use my current system for that. I just need pure After Effects, Premiere and 3D Studio Max rendering power.

Case and PSU- any recommendations?

The Parts.
I have priced all of these from www.scorptec.com.au . I have no idea where I will purchase the parts from yet, I am just using them as a gauge of price as they list pretty much anything I need.

1 X Lian-Li - PC-X2000B
Lian-Li Black TYR PC-X2000, Black, ATX/eATX/MATX , No PSU, 2 x USB2.0, 1x IEEE 1394, Aluminium Case
$679.00  Total $679.00 

1 X Leadtek - Quadro 290NVS
Leadteak Quadro 290 NVS, 256mb, PCI Express x16, Dual Head DVI/VGA, Low Profile
$209.00  Total $209.00 

3 X Samsung - HD103SJ
Samsung 1TB Spinpoint F3, SATAII, 7200rpm, 32MB
$59.00  Total $177.00 

2 X Intel - BX80614X5680
Intel Xeon X5680 3.33Ghz, 12MB Cache, 6.4GTs, 6 Core
$1,849.00  Total $3,698.00 

6 X Kingston - KVR1333D3D4R9S/4GI
Kingston 4GB 1333MHz DDR3 ECC Reg w/Parity CL9 DIMM Dual Rank X4 TS
$99.00  Total $594.00 

1 X Antec - TPQ-1200OC
Antec TPQ-1200OC 1200W TruePower Quattro, 80 PLUS Silver Certified, 80mm cooling fan, Advanced Cable Management
$319.00  Total $319.00 

1 X Intel - S5520SCR
Intel S5520SCR I5520/ICH10R, 12x DDR3 1333, 2x PCI-E x16, 2x GB LAN, SATAII, RAID 0/1/10
$689.00  Total $689.00 

1 X Highpoint Technologies - RR2720
HighPoint RocketRAID 2720 - 8-ch SAS/SATA 6GB/s, PCI-E 2.0 x 8, Internal 8 Ports, Internal Mini-SAS, Support Raid 0,1,5,10,50, JBOD, Low Profile
$395.00  Total $395.00 

1 X Leadtek - FX4000
Leadtek PCIe Quadro 4000 2048MB, 2 x Display Port / DVI-DL
$1,359.00  Total $1,359.00
1 X Microsoft - FQC-04725
Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64bit with Service Pack 1 DVD OEM
$159.00  Total $159.00

1 X Intel - SSDSC2MH250A2K5
Intel 250GB SSD, 2.5", 510 Series, SATAIII, Read 500MB/s, Write 315MB/s
$689.00  Total $689.00 

TOTAL $8967

I apologize in advance for this monstrous post, I am just looking for some real world feedback before I jump in to it. Ideally I'd like to get 2 years life out of the system, maybe more, before having to upgrade again.

Thank you,
1 answer Last reply
More about xeon editing rendering workstation
  1. Xeons are better binned, but boards supporting them are bland.
    Since there are desktop version of Xeon which has the same pin count as the desktop CPU, some are willing to take the plunge and hope it will work. For some it does while others don't. The error most will encounter is the micro code, but a bios update may fix it.

    Currently the only newer Xeons available are based on Sandy Bridge (Xeon E3), the problem with them is, it's only for single socket setup. Higher-end will have to wait until Sandy Bridge-E.
    Another Xeon called Xeon E7 is the for MP setup and their highest model is the
    E7-8870. Specs for this sucker are

    2.4GHz/2.8GHz turbo 10c/20t 30MB L3, runs on socket 1567
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