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Graphic workstation build

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January 2, 2012 10:59:52 PM

Hello,
Interesting stuff here, learned loads. Want to replace an ageing machine with a new desktop. Thinking i5 but must run two monitors and would like to do this with one graphic card. Want to go 64bit, need raid, and thinking an ssd, maybe? Have £500 possibly more to spend, the system will need to be slightly future proof for the next 18 months 2 years. What should I be looking at? Your advice is appreciated.
a c 92 B Homebuilt system
January 3, 2012 4:58:06 PM

Quote:
Thinking i5 but must run two monitors and would like to do this with one graphic card. Want to go 64bit, need raid, and thinking an ssd, maybe? Have £500


What you're proposing will cost way more than £500 ($783.36 US at current exchange rate), especially with HD prices the way they are now, and workstation hardware is significantly more expensive than the comparable gaming hardware is. What are the primary uses for this build - design (CS5, etc)? Video/Photoshop editing? Something else?
January 3, 2012 9:37:18 PM

OK, should have said £1500 not £500 - posted in haste!

Primary usage will be;
CS4 - PhotoShop and Illustrator - heavy use with several multi layer files open at once.
Excel, Word etc
PowerPoint
Some simple video editing/video capture/format changes (MP4-Avi etc)
Skype
Running SEO software and multiple instances of different browsers
Whilst also streaming video/audio/skyping

All output to two monitors.

My thoughts were thus;
3.3 Ghz Core i5 2500K or 2400
Compatible motherboard - although not quite sure what one
DDR3 8gb of Ram (poss 16gb)
2 X 1tb Raid drives configured as mirrored
1 X 80gb SSD for OS - not sure? Thoughts?
DVD drive +/- R formats but not particularly fussed by Blu Ray.
Radeon 6850/70 or 6950 - but would like to run two montiors maybe off the one card initally and upgrade to a second card unless somneone can offer an insight into the best combo? It's this I am most stick on - I want good grpahic reproduction but will not need it for gaming at all.

Power supply - Suggestions?
Case - quieter the better - suggestions?
WiFi card - suggestions? is it possible to have an external aerial that would extend/boost the reception range? My office is seperated from the transmitter in the house by about 90ft - I do have a uni direction aerial/booster firing up the garden at the office and the laptop I currently uses does get good-ish speeds but would like to take the opportunity for best possible speeds. Running a cable is not really an option at the moment.

Any help insights gratefully recieved, the forum is providng some great insights so thanks for your reply g-unit1111.

Related resources
January 3, 2012 9:40:57 PM

PS - Sorry the £1500 will include the two monitors 2 X 22" or 24" so realistically 1000 - 1200 on the "box". Is that enough?
a c 92 B Homebuilt system
January 3, 2012 10:47:44 PM

Quote:
OK, should have said £1500 not £500 - posted in haste!


It happens. :lol: 

Quote:

Power supply - Suggestions?
Case - quieter the better - suggestions?
WiFi card - suggestions? is it possible to have an external aerial that would extend/boost the reception range? My office is seperated from the transmitter in the house by about 90ft - I do have a uni direction aerial/booster firing up the garden at the office and the laptop I currently uses does get good-ish speeds but would like to take the opportunity for best possible speeds. Running a cable is not really an option at the moment.


Power Supply: Go for this one: http://www.ebuyer.com/279547-corsair-txm-650w-modular-p...
Case: Here's a couple to choose from:
http://www.ebuyer.com/276069-corsair-carbide-400r-case-...
http://www.ebuyer.com/270598-fractal-design-core-3000-c...
http://www.ebuyer.com/164961-coolermaster-haf-922-mid-t...

Quote:
1 X 80gb SSD for OS - not sure? Thoughts?


If you're only using the SSD for the OS - you really only need a 64GB. But if you're using a RAID 0 configuration, having the OS on a boot drive would be the way to go. These would probably be your best options for that:

http://www.ebuyer.com/261751-intel-80gb-320-series-ssd-...
http://www.ebuyer.com/264770-crucial-64gb-m4-ssd-ct064m...

Quote:
3.3 Ghz Core i5 2500K or 2400


Go with the 2500K easily - even if you don't plan to OC it's still the best CPU you can buy on the market right now.

Quote:
Compatible motherboard - although not quite sure what one


That depends - do you want a workstation board for this build or a standard consumer board? The workstation boards will be more powerful for what you're planning to do but they will lack a lot of features like 3TB HD support, built in LAN and audio, and UEFI BIOS.

Quote:

Radeon 6850/70 or 6950 - but would like to run two montiors maybe off the one card initally and upgrade to a second card unless somneone can offer an insight into the best combo? It's this I am most stick on - I want good grpahic reproduction but will not need it for gaming at all.


You definitely want to go Eyefinity if you're planning on running multiple displays. Both the 6850 and 6950 will be cheaper in the long run. You might want to consider a mid-line Fire Pro, though. The V7700 will cost a bit more but it will handle up to four displays without breaking a sweat.

Quote:

DVD drive +/- R formats but not particularly fussed by Blu Ray.


If you're backing up massive amounts of data, a BD-R drive isn't a bad way to go. You can hold up to 50GB on one dual-layer disc as opposed to the nearly 10 you'd use with DVD-DL (8GB per disc).
January 4, 2012 9:03:00 AM

Motherboard I was looking at these; http://www.ebuyer.com/267772-asus-p8z68-v-pro-z68-socke... as they covered all the bases and seemed compatible with the i5 chip. 3Tb HD support not so importnant as we have NAS and this MB has LAN connector. (even though we'll go WiFi). UEFI Bios - not critical but not sure what the advatnages over normal BIOS, apart from security wise. I know it's not such a comemrcial-grade solution but TBH I think that might be overkill for this upgrade - considering I am going from a Centrino Core2Duo 17" 3GB ram with Win7 32bit laptop. Anything is going to seem much better.

Graphic Card - http://www.ebuyer.com/248746-powercolor-hd-6850-1gb-gdd... - seems to cover all the bases right now.

To be honest I've not burnt a disk in over a year; but BD-R drive seems a good way to store and backup thanks for the tip. I assume it can only be read by Dual Layer BluRay drves unless you burn for a different format? This caught my eye; http://www.ebuyer.com/256289-pioneer-bdr-206dbk-12x-bd-...

Just thought - cooling any recommendations?
a c 92 B Homebuilt system
January 5, 2012 4:22:55 AM

Quote:
-Motherboard I was looking at these; http://www.ebuyer.com/267772-asus- [...] 8z68-v-pro as they covered all the bases and seemed compatible with the i5 chip. 3Tb HD support not so importnant as we have NAS and this MB has LAN connector. (even though we'll go WiFi). UEFI Bios - not critical but not sure what the advatnages over normal BIOS, apart from security wise. I know it's not such a comemrcial-grade solution but TBH I think that might be overkill for this upgrade - considering I am going from a Centrino Core2Duo 17" 3GB ram with Win7 32bit laptop. Anything is going to seem much better.

Graphic Card - http://www.ebuyer.com/248746-power [...] 0-1gbd5-dh - seems to cover all the bases right now.


That should be a really solid board, I almost bought that one for my system but opted for the Gigabyte instead.

As for the graphics card I'm not too familiar with Powercolor but I really like Sapphire for Radeon - their products are on par with EVGA in my opinion. Try this one: http://www.ebuyer.com/271292-sapphire-hd-6870-1gb-gddr5...

Quote:
To be honest I've not burnt a disk in over a year; but BD-R drive seems a good way to store and backup thanks for the tip. I assume it can only be read by Dual Layer BluRay drves unless you burn for a different format? This caught my eye; http://www.ebuyer.com/256289-pione [...] bdr-206dbk


It's not like when DVD-R was first available with like 100 different formats - BD-R single and dual layer discs can be read in any BD-R drive. Pioneer makes excellent drives - I have their older 203 model which has held up pretty well over the last year - year and a half.

Quote:
Just thought - cooling any recommendations?


Stick with air cooling, if you go liquid I'd suggest a closed block loop or nothing else really. For air there's lots of good PWM fan setups to choose from - Noctua, EVGA, and Cooler Master all make pretty excellent products for not a lot of money. For a liquid block the Corsair H80 and H100 can't be beat.

For air try these:
http://www.ebuyer.com/297389-coolermaster-hyper-212-evo...
http://www.ebuyer.com/239842-noctua-nh-u9b-se2-socket-7...
http://www.ebuyer.com/239821-scythe-scnj-3000-ninja-3-s...
http://www.ebuyer.com/291417-exdisplay-zalman-cnps9900-...

For liquid try these:
http://www.ebuyer.com/275971-corsair-cwch80-hydro-serie...
http://www.ebuyer.com/277523-corsair-hydro-series-h100-...
January 5, 2012 4:27:21 PM

Awesome much thanks g-unit1111 will let you know how it goes and what I decide upon.
!