Best i7 for Software Development/Testing

I am a software development hobbyist looking to build a new desktop from the group up. Money is no an issue, to a certain extent--I do not want to spend hundreds on something I will never use...but NEVER want to be disappointed that I didn't spend the extra couple hundred on something I'm trying to do in the future. I'm trying to keep the whole build under $2000 (not including displays or other peripherals), but that is flexible.

I've done a lot of research/comparing, but the huge number of different options can be overwhelming!! I'm am looking for opinions on what CPU/motherboard to go with.

I definitely plan to be running several virtual machines at the same time for testing, experimentation, educational purposes. I never play games, but I want to be able to do HD video editing/rendering. I would like have the capability to use multiple GPUs.

The computer will also be used as a media center for a large 52" HDMI monitor/surround sound system. I want to be able to watch an HD movie and run several applications on the computer with no hiccups.

The CPU I have been considering is the will this do with running several VMs?

Any advice/input is greatly appreciated! (Again, money is no issue as long as its justified) Thanks!!
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  1. alexoiu said:

    For a few hundred dollar price difference is it really not worth it to go with the 3930k that also supports VT-d?

    Also, what sort of trade offs would I be paying to go with server series hardware? Any reason that a dual Xeon build would be a better way to go?

    Thanks for your help!!
  2. I can't see the i7-3930k on the Compatible CPUs List, although it might work (
    And it includes VT-d support only on the C2 stepping.
    As for the servers, you can google for advantages (memory, reliability a.s.o.) regarding their use for specific tasks. I can't recommend though a certain server board.
  3. i would believe that the 3770K and the 3950K would both be great choices.

    though when you say, "I would like have the capability to use multiple GPUs. "

    i would suggest the sandy bridge-E platform (3950K) over the ivy set up because of more PCI 3.0 lanes; i think it is 24 lanes for ivy and 40 lanes for the sandy-E. now if you are "just" gaming the 24 lanes for a SLI or Xfire set up is fine running x8 x8. but throw a tri sli set up or the need/desire to have a multi card configuration for graphics accelerated computing then the 24 lanes will be lacking.

    so throwing that inot the mix, it might not just be what cpu is better but what platform would allow further expansion in your hobby.
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