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$2000 Software Development Workstation

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January 20, 2013 7:31:36 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: Next few weeks.

Budget Range: I would prefer to stay under $2000, but am willing to spend more if the added performance can justify the money.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: software development, scientific computing, no gaming

Are you buying a monitor: No

Do you need to buy OS: Will be installing Fedora 18

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: No preference.

Location: Central Maryland, USA

Overclocking: No. Computational errors, no matter how rare, are unacceptable in scientific computing.

SLI or Crossfire: No

Your Monitor Resolution: Dual 2560x1440 monitors with only DL-DVI input.

Additional Comments:
I need help with the case, cooling, and the PSU. I would prefer my computer to look professional — not like a Christmas tree.

I would prefer to use hardware that is supported by Fedora 18 out of the box. In particular, I would prefer to avoid hardware that requires proprietary drivers.

I would prefer use air cooling instead of liquid cooling.

I would prefer to use consumer grade equipment instead of expensive workstation grade equipment.

Why Are You Upgrading:
I do a lot of heavy duty software development related to scientific computing. I need a powerful machine that can quickly compile and execute code.

PCPartPicker part list

CPU: Intel Core i7-3930K 3.2GHz 6-Core Processor ($499.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: Intel DX79TO ATX LGA2011 Motherboard ($199.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Z Series 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($139.99 @ NCIX US)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Z Series 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($139.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($127.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Crucial M4 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($191.99 @ Adorama)
Video Card: Asus Radeon HD 6450 1GB Video Card ($32.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $1332.92
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-20 15:51 EST-0500)
January 20, 2013 8:53:39 PM

"Computational errors, no matter how rare, are unacceptable", but no ECC RAM? I think halve of the memory, but a XEON with bigger cache would be the better choice here.
And Chenbro has some nice cases, like the SR20968.
January 20, 2013 9:12:07 PM

id suggest this
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/yEK1

-i put in a much more powerful video card given a 6450 from what i know wont drive 2 1440p panels very well. the gtx 660 can be used for CUDA applications if need be
-no guarantees this stuff will work with fedora. id be safe and go windows
-chose a silent case. should be pretty easy to build in
Related resources
January 20, 2013 10:48:01 PM

Is a Xeon CPU worth the extra money? I'm willing to spend the money if needed, but would prefer not to pay over $1000 for an incremental performance gain.
January 20, 2013 10:57:54 PM

if you make money on this machine, you would want the most performance you can get as time does = money.

you can check out this review where they show the newer 3970x (3930k can be overclocked to same levels) against the 8 core e5 2687w (basically a e5 2650 thats overclocked 1ghz faster). the difference between the 2 are 5-10 sec. the differences are noticeable if you do a lot of work.

you should overclock the 3930k if you are going to get one. 4ghz is perfectly stable and achieveable
January 21, 2013 9:57:09 PM

Quote:
-i put in a much more powerful video card given a 6450 from what i know wont drive 2 1440p panels very well. the gtx 660 can be used for CUDA applications if need be


Do I really need a more powerful graphics card? I'm just using the xfce desktop environment with no special effects.
January 21, 2013 11:03:39 PM

if you really dont require graphics, at least get a 7770.
!