Workstation/game machine CHF 5000 budget

I am putting a machine together which will primarily be used for image/video processing (lots of multi-threading), software development and gaming (in that order). I am particularly interested in the reliability and speed of the disk sub-system. Please let me know what you think of this selection of parts. Note that 1 Swiss Frank (CHF) is about $1.1 at the moment. CHF prices quoted include all taxes and delivery.

I've spent a lot of time thinking about the storage system. Redundancy is a must (thus the HD RAID 10), and performance is highly desired (thus the SSD cache). I didn't want to place a number of SSD's in a RAID 1 because TRIM would not be supported, and the capacity would not be enough.

Approximate Purchase Date: now
Budget Range: CHF 5000
System Usage from Most to Least Important: image/video processing, software development, gaming
Parts Not Required: Monitor, keyboard, mouse
Preferred Website(s) for Parts:
Country: Switzerland
Parts Preferences: Intel CPU
Overclocking: Maybe a little, just to get the experience of it
SLI or Crossfire: Maybe if I need it to drive two 30" monitors (each 2560 x 1600)
Monitor Resolution: 2 of 2560 x 1600

---- The Parts ----

Corsair Obsidian Series 550D (CHF 155)
I've been drooling over this case for a while now!
I'd like to quiet my system as much as possible, but If I need the extra cooling, this case seems adaptable.

Power Supply:
Corsair AX Series AX1200W (CHF 295)

Mother Board:
Asus P9X79 DELUXE (CHF 349)
Quad channel memory, lots of features.

Intel Core i7-3930K (CHF 600)
6 cores are useful for me.

MEM 8Gx4 CORSAIR CMP32GX3M4X1600C10 ($300 USD)
While 32 gig seems overkill, it's just not that much more expensive

CPU Cooler:
Noctua NH-D14 SE2011 (CHF 84)
I considered water cooling (like the H100 or H80), but I am worried about leaks and maintenance.

Graphics Card (Maybe 2 of these):
Sapphire Radeon HD7950 OC Edition - 3 GB (CHF 489)
This card was reviewed as being one of the quietest, while a strong performer.

RAID Card:
LSI 9265-8i KIT with CacheCade (2.0 when it becomes available)
LSI Battery Backup Module 09 (CHF 204)
This card does RAID 10 really well, and has software which can use SSD's as caching,
very much like a hybrid disk drive.

Primary RAID 10 Drives:
5 x WD VelociRaptor VR200M SATA 6 Gb/s - 600 GB (CHF 259 x 5)
I'm a bit worried these will be whiny and rather loud, but reviews suggest that there not as loud
as their predecessors. The 5th drive will be in standby.

Caching SSD's (perhaps 4 of these instead of 2):
2 x OCZ Vertex 3 MAX IOPS Series SATA 6Gb/s 2.5'' SSD - 120 GB (CHF 248 x 2)
These should act like a RAID 0 in front of the hard drives

SSD Enclosure:
Sharkoon SATA QuickPort Internal (6-Bay) (CHF 72)
The 550D has 6 drive bays, this will install in an optical drive slot and add a 6 SSD capability.

RAID Card Fan:
Titan TTC-SC03TZ and Noctua NF-R8 PWM (CHF 9 and 22)
I read that the LSI gets very hot.

Total - about CHF 5000 (depending on the currency exchange rate) - Some parts are not easily available in Switzerland and are coming from the US.
12 answers Last reply
More about workstation game machine 5000 budget
  1. you cant do an odd amount of drives in raid 10...

    case: corsair 550d
    mobo: asus p9x79 deluxe
    cpu: intel i7 3930k
    cpu cooler: noctua nh-d14
    video card: x2 amd radeon hd 7950
    ram: g.skill ripjaws x series 32gb 4 x 8 ddr3-1600
    raid 10 ssd: x5 600gb velociraptor hybrid
    cache ssd: x2 ocz vertex 120gb 3
    psu:corsair ax1200
    optical drive: lg black 12x bd-rom
    (sony 24x multi if you dont care bout blu-ray)
  2. The odd amount of drives reflects the fact that one of them will be a hot standby. The actual RAID 10 will consist of 4 drives.
  3. While the basic parts are there, there are a number of doubts in my mind. Your disk setup with costly Velociraptors that are no faster than simple Samsung Spinpoint F3 disks and you need an even number of disks for raid10. You can use a single Velociraptor as your boot disk.

    Why the two SSD's in raid0 for cache? What editor will you be using? If Premiere Pro, forget about the AMD Radeon and get a nVidia GTX 570+.

  4. Thanks for your response, Harm. The Velociraptors seem to perform better than the Spinpoint. Please see:

    4 of the drives will be used in a RAID 10, while the 5th drive will be a hot spare.

    One of my primary goals with this machine is in the storage redundancy, so using a single drive for a boot disk does not meet this desire.

    Strictly speaking, the SSD's are not really in a RAID 0, they will be present to cache reads (and in the future writes) to speed up access.

    While I will use Adobe Premier, much of the processing will be batch video conversion, placing demands on the throughput of the storage system.
  5. On access time, I agree, but also look at sequential read and writes, since that is the bulk of the work with video editing. It seems you are utterly devoted to redundancy. A raid10 already gives you ample redundancy, so why an additional hot-spare? I can understand that on a parity raid, but with a mirrored raid? Do you have a NAS for backups?
  6. The spinpoint does edge out the velociraptor in a number of the tests! However, the Spinpoint is not on the hardware compatibility list for the LSI, while the velociraptor is. The raid 10 only guarantees for a single drive failure. I assume that the chance for a drive failure over time is non trivial, and I like having a replacement ready to go. I perform local and remote backups of non-replaceable data, as well.
  7. A raid10 is a multilevel raid consisting of a mirror and a stripe. Hence the 1 (mirror) + 0 (stripe). The minimum number of disks in a raid10 is 4 and in that case offers protection against two failures out of four. It is not possible to protect against three out of four failure, not even with a hot spare.
  8. hey op i am a bit nooaish when it comes to raid arrays.

    But u should also check out some workstation cards it can fit in ur budget

    i was checking the site u posted and the quadro 2000 was around 450

    u get a performance boost

    even 1 7950 would suffix ur gaming needs
    u can plug ur 4 monitor to quadro graphic simultaneously:O
    i heared that one guy doing

    ur system should look this

    intel i7 3930k
    noctua nh d14
    gskill ripjaws x 4x4gb 1600mhz
    asus p8x79ws mobo
    pny quadro 2000
    sapphire oc edition 7950
    seasonic x 1050w 80+ platinum or x 1200w 80+ gold
    corsair obsadian 650
    and ur raid array


    intel i7 2600k
    asus maximus iv extreme
    corsair h100
    corsair vengence 4x8gb 1600mhz
    PNY Quadro 4000, nVidia
    Quadro 4000, 2.0GB GDDR5,
    2 x sapphire hd 7950 oc edition
    seasonic x 1200 w 80+ gold
    corsair 600t white edition or
    cm storm trooper
    intel 520 180 gb ssd
    5x velociRaptor 600gb 10k
    2x noctua fans
    raid card

    the below machine is like a dream machine features like quadro 4000 and 2x 7950.:O

    good luck :D
  9. The Quadro range of video cards are way overpriced and under performing in comparison to the GTX cards. The 'Dream machine' you indicate has several drawbacks with those three video cards and a raid controller, because the platform has only 40 PCIe lanes available. That means the video cards can only run in PCIe-8x mode and that brings a 10-15% performance penalty when using an editor like Premiere Pro, that only uses one video card for CUDA acceleration.
  10. only 2-5 percent and not 10-15 percent :D
  11. How do you consider a performance penalty when encoding to MPEG2-DVD in a standard benchmark when the results on the same machine go up from 60 seconds to 69 seconds with the only difference is PCIe-16x versus PCIe-8x. That is 15% IMO.
  12. oc so he can buy a 6990 or a 590

    but the mobo will cofig into
    1 quadro x16
    2 gpu x8
    3 gpu x8

    and remains a x16 and 2 x1
    where he can put a gpu or a raid card and a sound card and a nic if slots provided:D
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