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Graphics Workstation New Build Advice

Last response: in Systems
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October 15, 2012 10:34:52 PM

Already started ordering the parts today, want to make sure that:

1) there are no issues with compatibility
2) advice on build/bios setup
3) experience/advice or wisdom on setting up a dual-boot with this mobo; that can use seperate Nvidia cards/drivers I might throw some GeForce SLI gaming hardware in there for "break time"?

Thanks!

Approximate Purchase Date: e.g.: today
Budget Range: $4,000USD
System Usage from Most to Least Important: 3D Animation and Visual Effects Entertainment Industry
Are you buying a monitor: Maybe
Parts to Upgrade: all
Do you need to buy OS: Yes
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: partpicker
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Parts Preferences: Intel, Nvidia
Overclocking: Maybe
SLI or Crossfire: No
Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1200, 2048×1080, 4096×2160
Additional Comments: 3D Animation and Visual Effects Freelance Professional Desktop Workstation

PCPartPicker part list

CPU/MOBO:
CPU: Intel Core i7-3930K 3.2GHz 6-Core Processor ($499.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 SE2011 CPU Cooler ($82.74 @ Mwave)
Motherboard: Asus P9X79 PRO ATX LGA2011 Motherboard ($297.00 @ B&H)

MEMORY:
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LP 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($159.99 @ Newegg)

STORAGE:
SATA-II (Intel): Data [Raid 0]
Storage: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($88.98 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($88.98 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($88.98 @ Newegg)
SATA-III (Intel): BootDisk
Storage: Samsung 830 Series 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($159.99 @ Newegg)
SATA-III (Intel): Applications/Programs
Storage: Samsung 830 Series 512GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($508.96 @ B&H)

GRAPHICS:
Video Card: PNY Quadro 4000 2GB Video Card ($649.99 @ Newegg)

CASE:
Case: Antec P280 ATX Mid Tower Case ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Kingwin Lazer Platinum 1000W 80 PLUS Platinum Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($204.99 @ Newegg)

PERIPHERALS:
Optical Drive: Asus BC-12B1ST/BLK/B/AS Blu-Ray Reader, DVD/CD Writer ($54.99 @ Amazon)
Keyboard: Logitech K800 Wireless Slim Keyboard ($84.99 @ Adorama)
Mouse: Logitech M510 Wireless Laser Mouse ($32.99 @ Adorama)

OS:
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional Full (32/64-bit) ($264.22 @ Amazon)

TOTAL BUILD:
Total: $3347.77
October 16, 2012 2:08:32 AM

id suggest this instead. you can always add another hard drive for storage. RAID 0 isnt worth it on hard drives. the speed increase isnt noticable in daily tasks

that keyboard is a rip off. i can get a mech keyboard that will alllow you to type at least 10% faster and it would last longer (much longer since switches are rated at 50 million keystrokes rather than the standard 2 million or less

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007VDOOBU/?tag=pcpapi-20

for the mouse, id suggest something like a razer deathadder. wireless mice and keyboard arent really the way to go
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October 16, 2012 2:09:49 AM

the 1000w is overkill and will never be used properly

you could do a boot disk and a app disk but one drive can easily fit it all
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October 16, 2012 2:14:51 AM

i dont see the hype behind WD. i never did
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October 16, 2012 2:23:55 AM

5 years later and it fails, its like the manufacturer would give you back the exact same product. they would most likely give you something that wont even be compatable or something sub par to your caviar black (like how most companies run)
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October 17, 2012 6:12:39 AM

Thanks, all great points that I agree with.

I debated heavily on Raid 0 vs Raid 1. Settled on Raid 0 because I have an external backup solution that can run over the ASMedia 6Gbs eSata so i'm not that concerned about mirror as much as I need space. My work (particle and fluid dynamics in Autodesk Maya and Max) can really eat up disk space quickly, and doing a JBOD with all the different drive letters to manage would just hurt too much.

My plan is to plug the 3xHD's into the SATA-II 3Gbs Intel controller, which is why I wanted to stick with a compatible HD.

Does using a SATA-III 6Gbs HD in a SATA-II 3Gbs interface work? And if so, are there any pros or cons that you're aware of (appart from speed obviously) regarding drive lifespan and heat generated?

I do want to do a dual boot eventually (with a separate discrete graphics card/drivers) which is why I though to go big on the boot drive SSD. Plus I wanted to try out the Asus SSD-Caching (unlimited capacity) to see if the speedup is real, so I thought I would just allocate the extra capacity on the boot drive to it.

Has anyone tried the Asus SSD-Caching? If so, how much space do you recommend allocating to it for the best performance gain?

I'll take a look at a better keyboard/mouse combo though, you're right I can do better than those!
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October 17, 2012 7:03:54 AM

Okay, answered my own question about SATA-II/SATA-III compatibility. I'll upgrade the drives to something faster then.
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October 17, 2012 8:53:31 AM

Update Build:

SATA-II (Intel): Data [Raid 0]
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ NCIX US)
SATA-II (Intel): Data [Raid 0]
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ NCIX US)

SATA-III (Intel): BootDisk
Storage: Samsung 830 Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($116.93 @ NCIX US)

SATA-III (Intel): Applications/Programs
Storage: Samsung 830 Series 512GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($508.96 @ B&H)

After reading here ASUS Win7 Install Guide and finding out I would have to move my BootDisk and Apps/Prog SSD's to the Marvell controller i've decided to abandon ASUS SSD-Caching for now. So that let's me drop the size of the BootDisk in half. I'll try and put the BD optical drive on the Marvell SATA-III controller after Win7 install is complete and i've verified the Marvell drivers are working.

Took your advice on the 4xHD for more storage and putting faster SATA-III drives in the SATA-II Intel interfaces. But i'm going to stick with Raid 0 and just break up the drive designation to minimize drive failure data loss risk. I have an external backup solution in mind using the eSATA-III's (or USB-3.0) that should help too.
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October 17, 2012 10:39:56 AM

if you are doing more than 2 drives on RAID, getting a RAID controller is a good idea.

i suggest not using RAID 0 as well. not much of a noticable gain in performance
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October 18, 2012 12:20:00 AM

What Raid configuration do you suggest?
And which is worse, either having all 4xHD's on the Intel on-board raid controller OR not having disk failure protection in your storage array?

I'm open, but my options are either:

(a) Raid 0: lose 0% capacity, (2) 2xHD/raid array, fail 0 HD per array
(b) Raid 1: lose 50% capacity, (2) 2xHD/raid array, fail 1 HD per array (no performance hit)
(c) Raid 5: lose 33% capacity, 4xHD/raid array, fail any 1 HD (performance hit until rebuild)
(d) Raid 10: lose 50% capacity, 4xHD/raid array, fail any 2 HD (no performance hit)

For this build, affordable storage space capacity is a priority because I think I can use an external backup/security solution (eSata-III or USB-3.0) should I lose an entire Raid array and need to recover quickly.

Between the Intel, Marvell, and ASMedia a fourth SATA controller card and drivers to manage is not preferred. According to Intel they support two separate raid configurations using their on-board raid controller. I don't want to go with any mechanical drives larger than 1TB because I have not committed to UEFI-MBR or UEFI-GPT yet based on the Linux dual boot option, plus SSD's are the future anyway.

Option (a) keeps the full storage capacity available, which is good. But not ideal because I still have multiple drive letters and multiple Raid arrays to manage and absolutely no HD failure security. But with the two separate array's i'm minimizing the risk somewhat in that a single HD failure only kills half of my storage data.

Option (b) is secure and I could fail 2xHD's (but not from the same array) and still see no performance hit, that's good. But I lose half my capacity and it still forces me to accept multiple drive letters and multiple Raid arrays to manage.

Option (c) keeps me with a single drive letter and Raid array to manage plus give me some security in that I can fail 1xHD which is good. I lose one third of my storage capacity, and I will see a performance hit while I rebuild a failed drive. Also, like you said 4xHD's on a singe on board raid controller seems a task better suited for a dedicated Raid controller card.

Option (d) is the most secure because the data can survive failing 2xHD's and still see no performance hit, plus I only have one drive letter and Raid array to manage so that's great. But I lose half of my storage capacity, and again this leaves me with 4xHD's on a single on board Raid controller.

I think i'm leaning toward (a) or (d) right now, but (c) is still a viable option of compromise.

Thanks for all your help!
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October 18, 2012 12:32:30 AM

you are better off with a raid controller. the one onboard isnt quite good enough for your usage.
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!