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Dell T620 vs. Home Build for HPC

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November 6, 2012 1:48:26 AM

Hi Everyone,

I've been reading tom's hardware over the last few days and a lot of the post's and articles have helped me build a pretty nice computer. But now I have a question that I can't seem to find an answer to, so I figured I would ask you guys.

I need a computer that can do one thing very fast: simulate light interacting with matter. So I gathered up the parts that I would need for a decent computational computer on newegg and then submitted it for purchase. Well, all computer purchases pass through our IT department (I'm at a university) and one of the guys sent me back what seemed to be an equivalent build from Dell. He says that it is possible for me to just build my own, but he would prefer to get a Dell, mainly because that is what the school uses. I guess he likes there support and ease of HW replacement. I am generally willing to do what the IT department wants, but in this case I really just need the fastest computer that I can buy with $3000.

So I am basically wondering what you guys think is the better solution, dell or home build. I've included the basics of my home build below with links to newegg. For the purpose of this discussion just assume that the Dell has the same specs, but uses the motherboard in the PowerEdge T620. One of my main concerns is that Dell will install crap that I don't want or there will be features on there that might help if I was actually using it as a server, but may slow down my computations (will iDRAC affect anything?). The integrated video of the dell only goes to 1280x1024, which means I would want to get a video card (I wouldn't need one with the home build). I don't like the fact that Dell uses a proprietary power supply and their own special power connectors on their motherboard. Also, I am worried that after three years I won't be able to upgrade it and the Dell will be useless. Lastly, my IT guy says he wants to go with Dell because of the hardware replacement warranty; all of the parts I would get on newegg have at least a 3yr hardware warranty so does that even matter? Are these good enough reasons to not get the Dell? Is Dell actually the better option?

Motherboard: ASUS Z9PE-D16/2L
Processor: 2x Intel Xeon E5-2640
Memory: 2x (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM 1600 ECC Registered
Power Supply: Antec HCP-750
HDD: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache
Case: CHENBRO SR10569-CO
CPU Cooling: 2x ZALMAN CNPS11X Performa
DVD Drive: ASUS 24X DVD Burner

Thanks in advance!
November 6, 2012 2:40:02 AM

I hate dell, never buy anything from dell ever. Dell is the worst company I have ever dealt with. My pc broke while still under warranty. It took them a month and multiple visits to decide that it was dead. They then took 3 weeks to replace it. When I got it, surprise! A part was bad! This was before I knew much about pc's. I call them and I waste an entire day on customer service because of how disorganized they are. I was transferred three times, sometimes back to the department I was just transferred from (for some reason there is a new systems error department). They hung up on me multiple times, so I had to repeat the entire process(there is no communication between departments). Well after all that, and do things I had been doing for days before hand they decided they need to send a tech guy (SURPISE!). They thought the mobo was bad. So they come with a new board to fix my computer and the new techy figures out that it is in fact the ram. So a week later I get the new ram. Total time was about 4 months without a pc, and I didn't have enough money to get a new one because I am a high school student. Now one of my main objectives is to make sure no one buys from this awful company.
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January 4, 2013 6:51:58 PM

The dell T610 is a beast. 24 DIMM slots, Option for a 32 drive bay chassis, and an option for a GPU computing config. Depending on the discount it might be close to your build with killer warranty (from US call centers on servers) you will get parts or parts and a tech the day after you call a problem in.

The iDRAC enterprise does nothing to diminish performance and it lets you admin the box from anywhere. you can reboot and access the screen and BIOS from a web browser.

If it's not your own money you would be stupid to build your own.
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