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Help On New Mid-High End Workstation Build - $2500-$5000 Flexible

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June 10, 2012 4:24:30 PM

Hey guys,

Looking for some ideas for a new mid-high end workstation build. Used mainly for the Adobe Suite (Photoshop & After Effects CS6, CS6 when out), and 3D (Maya, Zbrush, Realflow) I work mainly in print illustrations so static large prints with lots of detail is what I usually need to create. I also need this machine to render fast and efficiently in 3D. No need for render farm here...I don't render 24/7...I just want it to shine when I do. Must be able to withstand 18+ hrs a day with no temp problems.

I will also game a bit on this, but I reckon any sort of mid-high end workstation will blow Diablo 3 out of the water anyway.

Quality is more important to me than cheaper parts, so feel free to splurge.

Approximate Purchase Date: Soon

Budget Range: $2500-$5000 (flexible)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Adobe Suite working with hi-res large files, 3D (everything from modeling, rendering, simulation), Gaming, Multimedia.

Parts Not Required: Just tower ideas, no need for peripherals, etc.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg / Amazon (Though I think Newegg is cheaper?)

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: I want the fastest hd for os, another 1(or 2) large hdd for storing lots of large files, maxed out quality ram (64gb) for simultaneous large files, great case (mid or full), water cooling or not, doesn't matteras long as I get cool temps and a quiet pc on 18+ hrs a day. Thinking about a Quadro 5000 or 6000 for best compatibility with Maya, but open to ideas.

Overclocking: Sure (if going single core build, gonna try to aim for 4.5ghz+ OC)

SLI or Crossfire: No (3D apps don't use SLI)

Monitor Resolution: Need gfx card capable of doing dual monitors @ 2560x1440 with power to spare. (Flexible but more is better for option to upgrade monitors in the future)

Additional comments: I am open to both single core and dual-xeon ideas, as long as it has all my requirements. Again, I need this to be about quality and performance..the budget is flexible. I want 1 pc! Please don't tell me to make 1 for gaming and 1 for working...

Thanks! Looking forward to hearing your ideas!
June 10, 2012 5:23:53 PM

This is where an X79 setup would come in very handy because the large amounts of RAM will make things easier to work with those large files.

Try something like this:

Case: lNZXT Switch 810 - $169.99
PSU: PC Power & Cooling Silencer MKII 950W - $149.99
Motherboard: Asus Sabertooth X79 - $319.99
CPU: 3.2GHz Intel Core i7-3930K - $589.99
Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 Socket LGA 2011 Edition - $84.99
RAM: 32GB (4 x 8GB) Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 1600MHz 1.5V - $239.99
SSD: 256GB OCZ Vertex 4 - $349.99
HD: 2TB Seagate Barracuda ST - $119.99
Optical: LG Blu Ray Burner - $79.99
Video Card: ATI Fire Pro V5800 - $589.99
OS: Windows 7 Pro - $139.99

Total: $2,462.89

The six cores and 32GB of RAM will allow you to breeze through even the largest files on After Effects and Photoshop, and the video card is professional grade which means that you'll be able to draw those fine lines easily. However if you want to play games you can swap the Fire Pro with a GTX 670 and then you're good as well.
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June 10, 2012 5:43:31 PM

Thanks G-unit!

Would like to get another few ideas so I can compare and decide!
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June 10, 2012 5:49:43 PM

For a workstation and with your budget range, toss in a second 2T hard drive and RAID 5 them. So if you have a drive fail your not totally hosed.
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June 10, 2012 6:22:37 PM

Gonna definitely getting a better card than that firepro though...it's much too little ram (1gb) and slow for what I need to do.
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June 10, 2012 7:22:19 PM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($349.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($38.98 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($134.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Kingston HyperX 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($114.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($217.27 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Mushkin Chronos 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($95.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($409.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master HAF X ATX Full Tower Case ($179.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: SeaSonic 620W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus BW-12B1ST/BLK/G/AS Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($74.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS90 DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 (64-bit) ($189.99 @ Newegg)
Keyboard: Microsoft SIDEWINDER X4 Wired Gaming Keyboard ($47.99 @ Newegg)
Mouse: Cooler Master SGM-2001-BLON1 Wired Optical Mouse ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1993.11
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-06-10 15:24 EDT-0400)
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June 10, 2012 7:33:05 PM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-2600K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($279.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 65.0 CFM CPU Cooler ($85.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($127.86 @ Newegg)
Memory: Kingston HyperX 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($114.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($217.27 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Crucial M4 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($229.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($409.99 @ Newegg)
Case: NZXT Phantom (Black) ATX Full Tower Case ($134.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair 750W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus BW-12B1ST/BLK/G/AS Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($74.98 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 (64-bit) ($189.99 @ Newegg)
Keyboard: Microsoft SIDEWINDER X4 Wired Gaming Keyboard ($47.99 @ Newegg)
Mouse: Cooler Master SGM-2001-BLON1 Wired Optical Mouse ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $2034.00
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-06-10 15:32 EDT-0400)
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June 10, 2012 8:17:43 PM

Thanks bigcyco, though I didn't need any input on keyboard/mouse.

Question - does the ivy bridge i7 perform better than a i7-3930k? I've heard otherwise...
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June 10, 2012 8:23:36 PM

realmisr said:
Thanks bigcyco, though I didn't need any input on keyboard/mouse.

Question - does the ivy bridge i7 perform better than a i7-3930k? I've heard otherwise...
no it doesn't preform better but it's good enough for your needs
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June 10, 2012 8:32:46 PM

I see.

Well I'd rather have great performance over good enough...so I'll take that into consideration. Thanks!
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June 10, 2012 8:37:17 PM

realmisr said:
I see.

Well I'd rather have great performance over good enough...so I'll take that into consideration. Thanks!
o.k. was trying to save you money without losing much performance but i will do better in a bit ;) 
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June 10, 2012 8:48:34 PM

Thanks man, appreciate it! Budget is flexible so give me your best shot. Don't worry about the saving.
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June 10, 2012 9:57:44 PM

The PSU i posted in last build is way over kill this would be better Corsair AX650
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June 10, 2012 10:29:34 PM

You are missing the point - g-unit got it right with the firepro - just go bigger. AMD FirePro™ V9800P Professional Graphics
-Bruce
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June 10, 2012 10:31:46 PM

Boot Drive:Crucial M4 256GB SSD
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004W2JL2A/ref=as_li_s...
MOBO:MSI X79A- GD65 (8D)
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0064LW8UY/ref=as_li_s...

CPU: Intel Core i7 3930K
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00603QXPM/ref=as_li_s...

RAM:Corsair Low Profile Vengeance 16GB Quad Channel
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0058J1QII/ref=as_li_s...

GPU:EVGA 02G-P4-2684-KR GeForce GTX 680 SC+ Video Card - 2048MB, GDDR5, PCI-Express 3.0 (x16), 1x Dual-Link DVI-I, 1x Dual-Link DVI-D, 1x HDMI, 1x DisplayPort, DirectX 11, Dual-Slot, SLI Ready, GPU Boost
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

HDD: Seagate Barracuda 2TB
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005T3GRN2/ref=as_li_s...

ODD: ASUS Black 12X BD-R 2X BD-RE 16X DVD+R 12X DVD-RAM 8X BD-ROM 8MB Cache SATA Blu-ray Burner BW-12B1ST/BLK/G/AS
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU:Corsair AX650
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00539M628/ref=as_li_s...

Case:NZXT SWITCH 810
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU Cooler: Phanteks PH-TC14PE (Blue)
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005OQJVP0/ref=as_li_s...

OS:Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit - OEM http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Comes out to around 2,520.00 not including tax
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June 11, 2012 12:48:31 AM

thanks guys, I have a better understanding now. More ideas are still welcomed!
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June 11, 2012 1:04:57 AM

realmisr said:
I see.

Well I'd rather have great performance over good enough...so I'll take that into consideration. Thanks!


For video editing and rendering the 3930K will make things a lot easier than the 3770K will, with the larger RAM capacities. Most LGA 2011 boards are capable of supporting up to 64GB RAM and a couple can support up to 96GB - if you're going to be working with large files for After Effects, CS5, etc, that will make things a lot easier. I could always configure something based around EVGA's Classified SRX but that will go *WAY* over the $5K mark. :lol: 
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June 11, 2012 3:12:25 AM

Thanks g-unit, that's great help.

I didn't know it can go up to 96gbs of ram support...what would need to be changed in the your build for me to get that much ram supported?

Honestly I'd love to see what you had in mind for the srx build, even if it's over the 5k mark. If it's worth it, I can always save up...I'm not in a super rush to get a new computer...but am willing to get it if everything falls into place.

Edit:

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

This one seems to support up to 128gbs of ram. Not sure if it's overkill, but from what I see, there can never be too much ram can it, especially working with huge files with loads of layers, and with multiple apps opened.
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Best solution

June 11, 2012 5:51:44 AM

realmisr said:
Thanks g-unit, that's great help.

I didn't know it can go up to 96gbs of ram support...what would need to be changed in the your build for me to get that much ram supported?

Honestly I'd love to see what you had in mind for the srx build, even if it's over the 5k mark. If it's worth it, I can always save up...I'm not in a super rush to get a new computer...but am willing to get it if everything falls into place.

Edit:

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

This one seems to support up to 128gbs of ram. Not sure if it's overkill, but from what I see, there can never be too much ram can it, especially working with huge files with loads of layers, and with multiple apps opened.


Here you go:

Case: Cooler Master Cosmos II - $349.99
PSU: Silverstone Strider ST1500 - $399.99
Motherboard: EVGA Classified SRX - $649.99
CPU: 2 x 2.0GHz Intel Xeon E5-2650 Six Core Processor - $1,099.99 each
Cooler: Swiftech Edge HD Triple Fan - $269.99
Mounting Bracket: Swiftech Apogee HD - $74.99
RAM: 2 x 32GB Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 1600MHz 1.5V - $509.98
SSD: 256GB OCZ Vertex 4 - $349.99
HD: 2TB Seagate Barracuda Green 5900 RPM - $119.99
Optical: LG Blu Ray Burner - $79.99
Video Card: PNY Quaddro 4000 - $749.99
OS: Windows 7 Pro - $139.99

Total: $5,894.86

The downside to this build is that you won't be able to play any games but a liquid cooled 2 x Xeon setup will be able to steamroll any CS5 or CS6 application you can think of.
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June 11, 2012 6:35:59 AM

Thanks man! That's what I'm talking about.

This may be a silly question, but does this setup also use a lot more electricity, meaning a more expensive electric bill?
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June 11, 2012 7:13:19 AM

g-unit1111 said:
Here you go:

Case: Cooler Master Cosmos II - $349.99
PSU: Silverstone Strider ST1500 - $399.99
Motherboard: EVGA Classified SRX - $649.99
CPU: 2 x 2.0GHz Intel Xeon E5-2650 Six Core Processor - $1,099.99 each
Cooler: Swiftech Edge HD Triple Fan - $269.99
Mounting Bracket: Swiftech Apogee HD - $74.99
RAM: 2 x 32GB Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 1600MHz 1.5V - $509.98
SSD: 256GB OCZ Vertex 4 - $349.99
HD: 2TB Seagate Barracuda Green 5900 RPM - $119.99
Optical: LG Blu Ray Burner - $79.99
Video Card: PNY Quaddro 4000 - $749.99
OS: Windows 7 Pro - $139.99

Total: $5,894.86

The downside to this build is that you won't be able to play any games but a liquid cooled 2 x Xeon setup will be able to steamroll any CS5 or CS6 application you can think of.
:o  holy crap OP forget my builds go with this build it's a beast! ;) 
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June 11, 2012 12:53:24 PM

Yea, it's beast for sure. I'm not really keen on the tower though, looks huge and bulky. I'll make adjustments accordingly but I think this is a great build!
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June 11, 2012 4:09:04 PM

realmisr said:
Yea, it's beast for sure. I'm not really keen on the tower though, looks huge and bulky. I'll make adjustments accordingly but I think this is a great build!


The thing about that tower though is that there's very few cases on the market that can house this motherboard. You'll need an XL-ATX case accordingly - and there's very few on the market that are. The most common are the Cosmos II, NZXT Switch 810, and Rosewill Thor. For this build you'll need a case that can house a three-fan liquid radiator and those will do the job.

Quote:

This may be a silly question, but does this setup also use a lot more electricity, meaning a more expensive electric bill?


Not really - the Classified SRX will use a lot more power than a standard ATX motherboard will due to the dual CPU design, but the system will only draw the power it needs when it needs it. The 1500W PSU gives you a lot more breathing room to add multiple video cards, array storage, or anything else you want to configure your system with.
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June 12, 2012 2:56:18 PM

Ah, yea that makes sense.

Thanks again for your help!
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June 22, 2012 3:13:24 AM

Best answer selected by realmisr.
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