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New Workstation - Advice Needed

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  • New Build
  • Workstations
  • Systems
Last response: in Systems
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May 24, 2012 5:34:51 PM

I'm looking for a new system, and have always appreciated the advice I've gotten here from guys who stay on top of the latest products and releases (Thanks). I'm hoping for some advice on a new system I'm looking to purchase.


Approximate Purchase Date: this month
Budget Range: up to about $2500 max...under $2000 would be nice.
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Work (VMWare, multiple applications, Outlook/Exchange)
Parts Not Required: Videocards (I currently have 2 Radeon HD 4800 Series cards which I'll move to the new system. I used to play games but just don't have the time anymore. I run 3 24" monitors). I already have a SB X-Fi card which I'll be moving to the new system as well.
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: NCIX
Country: Canada
Parts Preferences: I am loyal to Asus MB's, Intel CPU's and really like the Corsair Obsidian 650D tower (but am probably open to alternatives if you really like something).
Overclocking: I usually don't OC at first, but do later on when I notice the system slowing down a bit.
SLI or Crossfire: Two AMD cards mean I'll need Crossfire (right?).
Monitor Resolution: 3 Dell LCD's at 1920x1200 each
Additional Comments: I'm basically looking for a workhorse system that can keep up with my work requirements. Blu-Ray really isn't something I need. If you tell me that now isn't an optimal time to purchase a system, and that I'm better off to wait a few months, I could do that. But I think, from what I've ready, that now is a good time?

Thanks for your suggestions!

More about : workstation advice needed

May 24, 2012 6:55:45 PM

bigred072 said:
I'm looking for a new system, and have always appreciated the advice I've gotten here from guys who stay on top of the latest products and releases (Thanks). I'm hoping for some advice on a new system I'm looking to purchase.


Approximate Purchase Date: this month
Budget Range: up to about $2500 max...under $2000 would be nice.
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Work (VMWare, multiple applications, Outlook/Exchange)
Parts Not Required: Videocards (I currently have 2 Radeon HD 4800 Series cards which I'll move to the new system. I used to play games but just don't have the time anymore. I run 3 24" monitors). I already have a SB X-Fi card which I'll be moving to the new system as well.
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: NCIX
Country: Canada
Parts Preferences: I am loyal to Asus MB's, Intel CPU's and really like the Corsair Obsidian 650D tower (but am probably open to alternatives if you really like something).
Overclocking: I usually don't OC at first, but do later on when I notice the system slowing down a bit.
SLI or Crossfire: Two AMD cards mean I'll need Crossfire (right?).
Monitor Resolution: 3 Dell LCD's at 1920x1200 each
Additional Comments: I'm basically looking for a workhorse system that can keep up with my work requirements. Blu-Ray really isn't something I need. If you tell me that now isn't an optimal time to purchase a system, and that I'm better off to wait a few months, I could do that. But I think, from what I've ready, that now is a good time?

Thanks for your suggestions!


Do you do any rendering or video work? And do you use any applications that require many core processors?
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May 24, 2012 7:01:54 PM

No video work at the moment, and it doesn't happen often (once or twice a year). I'm not aware of specific software that I use that required multiple cores, but I just end up doing a lot of stuff at once, and that's when I push my machine to the limits of what it can do.

At any given time I might have a few RDP sessions open, be running a couple of VMWare machines, as well as Outlook (Exchange). I also work with 7Customizer a fair bit to customize OS installs, but I'm not sure if any of those are multi-core applications? I don't think so...but I might be wrong...
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May 24, 2012 7:12:24 PM

bigred072 said:
No video work at the moment, and it doesn't happen often (once or twice a year). I'm not aware of specific software that I use that required multiple cores, but I just end up doing a lot of stuff at once, and that's when I push my machine to the limits of what it can do.

At any given time I might have a few RDP sessions open, be running a couple of VMWare machines, as well as Outlook (Exchange). I also work with 7Customizer a fair bit to customize OS installs, but I'm not sure if any of those are multi-core applications? I don't think so...but I might be wrong...


Since using multiple programs at once..I recommend this build..

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/8Nl0
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May 24, 2012 7:42:52 PM

First of all, thanks for the quick response!

The price is sure good. I've got a few questions for you...

Is there any faster system that is worth me spending more? Would you consider this system very fast, or is this more of a "best bang for your buck" type of configuration?

I currently have an Asus Rampage Formula, Intel E8500 running at 3.8, 8gb Dominator DDR2 and am hoping this will be a good improvement on that. Do you think it would be?

Thanks!
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May 24, 2012 7:56:33 PM

For what you are looking for I don't think raw speed should be the target. multitasking is more of a focus, and the core i7 mentioned should be very good for that. Sure, you could get more speed, but I don't see that you need it. You are running multiple things at the same time. That requires more lanes of highway, not necessarily a faster speed limit for the cars.

I would up the memory to 32Gb depending on the configuration of your virtual machines. I run labs at times with up to 8 windows VMs on my laptop and memory is always my bottleneck, not CPU. I have a Core i7 2720QM @ 2.2Ghz w/ 16Gb of RAM. I run the same lab on my i7 desktop with 32Gb and never bottleneck.

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May 24, 2012 8:04:13 PM

Ok, that makes sense. As you've both mentioned, I need multiple things to run quickly...one program running quickly isn't really my goal. I do think I'll go with 32gb of memory...I'm not sure if GSkill has a 32gb set, but most likely they do (Mad?).

My current system has a Velociraptor for the OS and then a 2tb WD drive for data (though I have a server nearby for the bulk of my data). I'm guessing you would both recommend me going for a SSD drive? This is one area I've really ignored and have no idea about...any thoughts and/or suggestions on that?
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May 25, 2012 5:22:05 AM

Best answer selected by bigred072.
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