So this is what I currently have:
6x2GB RAM 1333Mhz
1x Xeon W3530
2x1TB WD Black 1001FAELS in RAID0
NVIDIA Quadro FX 4600
I have a spare Xeon W3530 CPU and 120GB Intel 330 SSD, so I am thinking to buy Supermicro X8DTi motherboard which supports dual CPU, buy 48GB of RAM and add the spare SSD. That would cost me probably a little less than £400.
Another option I am thinking about is to sell current workstation on ebay (I expect about £600), add those £400 and buy a good desktop class PC with i7-3770K or better. I wouldn't buy any GPU, integrated in the CPU is enough.
The use of machine is low level system development, thus powerful CPU and RAM is the most important for heavy multitasking and virtualisation.
Another possible option could be to wait for haswell in april since I have a decent Mac in case I sell the workstation. What do you think?
Can u give more details about how you will use the system? What are it's primary tasks?
Build multi-million line projects every day, run 3+ operating systems at the same time. It's pure development workstation. The current throttles already once in a while, but that fairly cheap upgrade I am thinking about could boost it significantly.
But also a question stuck in my mind - how can I plug multiple screens without buying a graphic card? Is it possible to plug more than one using GPU in the CPU?
it is possible to utilize multiple screens without a gpu, but I don't reccomend it
there are some cheap usb adapters, but like I said, if you are running 3 screens, I think you want a gpu, it doesnt need to be high powered, but something, to offload the task
Although the new 13 macbook retina will do dual display on integrated graphics, so who knows, but it is a unix and windows based os
the X8DTi is a pretty expensive motherboard, plus you would add a second cpu, making it even more so
I think a 3770k based system is definitely the way to go
I have upgraded to an SSD in multiple systems over the past year, and that will change your experience so much it will blow you a way.
You will be surprised with how inexpensively you can build an awesome system, with a 3770k, an ssd, 16+ gb of ram, and a low end video card
this can easily be accomplished for less than $1000 US
I am thinking about dual CPU only because I have a spare Xeon W3530 which is collecting dust and I could get used X8DTi from ebay for about 200$. So extra expenses is just the motherboard and extra RAM.
But I just found out that W class Xeons do not support multiple CPU configurations. That's pity and the choice is clear now.
That Xeon chip is based on the same design as the i7-930. It's a couple generations old, but with two of them you will have 8 cores (16 thread with HT) and that should put you about on par (or slightly ahead) of a 3770K or new Xeon 1275 V2 for heavily multithreaded apps. Things that only use one or two cores are going to run possibly 1/2 as fast. So as long as you can get the board and ram for less than a new H77 board and a i7-3770, then it's probably a decent solution.
Keep in mind power consumption, especially if this is running high utilization for long periods of time and you pay for your own power. The new Ivy Bridge i7/Xeon use 77W and two of those older Xeons are going to suck up 260W together. That's almost 200W difference.