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More than gaming. Workstation

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October 25, 2012 10:54:18 PM

Looking for suggestions. Mostly in the mother board department. I trust Asus, and that is one of the only board that have that support the Xeon 1240 v2. I don't like that it doesn't have thunderbolt, and I would like a little more USB 3 connectivity. Also any opinions about this set up are welcome from a running virtual operating systems stand point. From a gaming stand point, only if there are major issues.

Also thoughts on RAM and SSD or some other kind of storage solution that is fairly quick but large is welcome. Playing with the idea of a mechanical raid, but I do not think that will be too good for running several guest OS's on. That is 2-3 different OS's and workgroups with 50+ in the group.



Approximate Purchase Date: when I feel I have found a set up I like. Can be anywhere from next month to 4 months from now.

Budget Range: $1500 would be nice unless there is a good reason to go higher

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Setting up virtual networks for learning different network configurations. Autodesk inventor, small assemblies and large assemblies. Photoshop, games like battlefield 3, Arma 3.

Are you buying a monitor: No



Parts to Upgrade:
Motherboard ASUS P8Z77 WS LGA 1155 Intel Z77 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel
CPU Intel Xeon E3-1240 V2 Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (going xeon for the virtual support feature)
Memory Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 32GB (this is where I need advice. Not too sure what a good RAM would be. Also planing on playing with RAM disks)
SSD OCZ Vertex 4 VTX4-25SAT3-256G 2.5" 256GB SATA III (Also need help here. Looking at this one cause it looks good on paper)
PowerSupply XFX ProSeries P1-1000-BELX 1000W (Just throw this one in the list cause it is 80 PLUS PLATINUM Certified. I Want something that will sorta help keep wasted energy on the low-er side of things)

Reusing my GPU that is a gtx 560 inVidia. Not making a gaming beast, so i am not putting too much money in the GPU unless I need to.
Note autodesk inventor uses direct x, so a workstation class gpu is not needed for that particular program.

Do you need to buy OS: Software is a different budget.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg, but will look else where

Location: Austin TX

Parts Preferences: I will pay more for quality

Overclocking: Yes and lightly.

SLI or Crossfire: Yes but in a year

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 dual, maybe three somewhere down the road

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: VMware is kicking my current build's butt. Since I feel my E6550 Dual core will be too slow as well, might as well upgrade everything to use ddr3 RAM and I would like a system that will be high end performance since I have the money and as my career progresses I will have more things that will have the need for that kind of performance.

More about : gaming workstation

October 25, 2012 11:01:16 PM

Check the QVL (qualified vendor list) to see if that CPU works with that motherboard but otherwise that all should be good.

1KW will be major overkill for that configuration - you can definitely get lesser wattage PSUs with higher certifications though.
October 25, 2012 11:19:48 PM

You are using virtual machines mainly correct? If you aren't doing anything graphically intensive, sell that Nvidia Geforce GTX 560 and buy like a GTX 600's card for Quad-Display support.

Check out completed listings for a used GTX 560:
GTX 560 Completed Listings

-The SSD is good. I have a Vertex 4 256GB and its a great drive. Its really fast and never gave me any problems thus far.

-You don't need a 1000watt powersupply. Try a 500watt. In addition, don't worry about platinum ratings. Your energy savings amount of just cents over years. You will never get a return on investment from buying a more expensive power supply with a higher energy efficiency rating. Get a quality power supply from a reputable brand and don't worry about anything else.

Quote:

(going xeon for the virtual support feature)


Just wondering, but what specific virtual support feature are you talking about?
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October 26, 2012 1:25:32 AM

Just to clarify, xeons don't have any other virtual features more than an appropriate i series, such as an i7-3770 (non k is important), but would still go with an e3 1230 v2 or 1240 v2 because of the price. The mobo on the other hand does not support vt-d and, I can't find for sure, amt. You will want to look at c206, c216 q67, q77, or asrock, msi and *some* gigabyte z77 for vt-d and amt support. But if you want sli/cf, you can take off q67 and q77 off that list. You are also not going to really find any c206 and c216 that can sli/cf other than the asus p8b or p8c . But because of the price I would suggest an asrock z77 extreme4.

The others are correct about the psu. But I'll add; because you are using only a fraction of the total capacity you will get less efficiency, around silver and gold. Even if you were to upgrade to something with more power, say 2x680, it would still take over 10 years to pay off that price premium over a lower wattage bronze psu.
October 31, 2012 5:19:14 PM

blackhawk1928 said:
You are using virtual machines mainly correct? If you aren't doing anything graphically intensive, sell that Nvidia Geforce GTX 560 and buy like a GTX 600's card for Quad-Display support.

Check out completed listings for a used GTX 560:
GTX 560 Completed Listings

-The SSD is good. I have a Vertex 4 256GB and its a great drive. Its really fast and never gave me any problems thus far.

-You don't need a 1000watt powersupply. Try a 500watt. In addition, don't worry about platinum ratings. Your energy savings amount of just cents over years. You will never get a return on investment from buying a more expensive power supply with a higher energy efficiency rating. Get a quality power supply from a reputable brand and don't worry about anything else.

Quote:

(going xeon for the virtual support feature)


Just wondering, but what specific virtual support feature are you talking about?


So in an attempt to answer my own questions I read about each CPU i could afford. Since clockspeeds don't carry the weight they did 6-7 years ago, it is about how the data is managed these day. On the xeons I found something called Intel® Virtualization Technology (VT-x) andIntel® Virtualization Technology for Directed I/O (VT-d) listed in the features. The part that caught my eye was the statement that it improves performance of I/O devices in virtualized environments. Honestly I do not have a good understanding of ether. That is my reasoning, and it might not be a good reasoning for my situation. In fact for all I know a i5 overclocked with an aircooler might be a wiser route for my situation.

To K1114

Looks like I will be weighing, possible dual gpu with vt-d and amt. Can you explain vt-d and amt or know of a good source to read about those features in the context of how much of a improvement they make in actual use?

The graphics card should stay of gamer medium or high quality. The reasons are, I game bf3, guildwars2 ect, 3d rendering for inventor (uses direct x, no need for workstation type gpu) and I do a very little bit of photo and video editing. Small stuff like 6 minute youtube clips. Although that may change as I do want to start making some how to videos for common questions I get when working as computer remote support.

About the power supply. Thanks for the advice and expanding on it. I just put that psu there to meet the request the sticky made for asking advice. My actual plan is once I have my hardware list locked down and solid, I'm going to add up the total power needed including all the case fans and usb devices I will have plugged in, and then make some over head round 50-100watt or something. Depends on how much more wattage dual gpu's take when I get around to that.
October 31, 2012 6:45:39 PM

Any decent intel cpu has vt-x, vt-d is another story. Simply put, it allows the guest direct use of peripheral devices which includes ethernet. You mentioned learning network configurations so it might be worth it to have. Amt is for remoting, I don't think you are doing that. I should've left that out like I did with vpro. This really only affects cpu choice. Either go with the xeon that can't oc and have vt-d or a k cpu to oc and no vt-d. The xeon 1230v2 is about equivalent to the i7 that costs more so is better bang per buck stock.
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