Workstation build

Approximate Purchase Date: Two months. Yes, this will be my Christmas present :-)

Budget Range: I am aiming at $1200 before taxes/shipping/rebates (other than instant rebates). Less is better, but I am not very price sensitive. Given a good reason, I can go higher.

System Usage from Most to Least Important:

- Altium (CAD)
- SolidWorks (CAD)
- Xilinx ISE (CAD)
- Photoshop
- WRF (weather forecasting tool, MAJOR number cruncher)
- VMWare
- browsing, email, etc.
- Lightworks (video)
- light gaming, if any.

(ordering is approximate at best)

Are you buying a monitor: No

Parts to Upgrade: CPU, RAM, case, power supply, HDDs, CPU cooler, OS.

Do you need to buy OS: Yes

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg

Location: California

Parts Preferences: Intel CPU

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe. Not sure if I need it... probably not.

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments:

I would like the PC to be quiet. Not "home theater" quiet, but quieter than a typical desktop/workstation.

RAID1 has saved my backside in the past and I intend to continue using it. Two different HDDs from different manufacturers - bad batches do happen.

Stability and reliability are pretty important to me. I am not planning to overclock anything. ECC RAM. Oversized CPU cooler. Did I mention RAID?

For now, I am planning to stick to the onboard (or rather on-CPU) video. If this proves inadequate, I can always add a decent video card later.

Here is the setup I have in mind. All prices are from Newegg, except the power supply.
- CPU: Intel Xeon E3-1245 V2 ($294.99)
- Motherboard: ASUS P8C WS ($239.99)
- RAM: 2 x Kingston 4GB Model KVR16E11/4 ($55.98)
- HDDs:
- Western Digital WD AV-GP WD10EURX 1TB IntelliPower SATA 6.0Gb/s ($99.99)
- Seagate Barracuda ST31000524AS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s ($79.99)
- CPU cooler: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 ($29.99)
- Case: Antec Performance One Series P183 V3 ($139.99)
- Power supply: Antec CP-850 850W ($149.95)
- OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit ($99.99)

I think I would prefer Supermicro X9SAE-V motherboard instead of the ASUS one - if I could only find it in stock anywhere...

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: Old PC is six years old.

Comments? Opinions? Advice?

2 answers Last reply
More about workstation build
  1. Get this for your cpu:

    No point in spending $50 extra for .1 ghz.

    If you don't want failing of the HDD's, get 2 Western Digital. They are really the best brand of HDD's you can get.

    Didn't see you put any GPU in, but you said you would use onboard, so I'm not going to recommend one. But if you do get $500.
  2. Thanks! I did consider the Xeon E3-1230 V2. The problem is, it does not have integrated graphics. That's probably what accounts for most of the $50, rather than the difference in max frequency.

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