Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Building a Graphics Workstation: Advice anyone?

Last response: in Systems
Share
January 24, 2013 3:23:49 AM

I want to build a graphics workstation for running Revit and Solidworks, plus Photoshop, Premiere, and 3dsMax. I've built a number of fairly high performance machines over the last fifteen years, but my current machine is almost 6 years old, running WinXP64. The tech is so different now that I've really had to study hard to make sense of it. I'm reusing my case, PS and some drives. I am willing to spend up to $2500, but hope to spend less if I can. Here is roughly what I hope to build :

Good quality, stable board with some OC ability
Quaddro 4000 graphics card.
Core i7 processor
As much RAM as I can afford.
200 or 500 Gb SSD.
Windows 7 Pro

Questions:

How important is memory size and bandwidth for my applications? Is there a practical optimum limit to what's required
MB: Sandy Bridge or Ivy Bridge? Option 1:

For Example:
Asus P9X79 Pro LGA 2011 Motherboard ($300)
Core i7-3930K Sandy Bridge-E 3.2 gHz (3.8 Turbo) 6-core Processor ($570)
or
Core i7-3820 Sandy Bridge-E 3.6 GHz (3.8 turbo) Quad-core Processor ($300)
This would allow a max of 64GB, 4-channel RAM. Can I accomplish my goal with a cheaper board? Is a premium board going to be more reliable than a lower level board?

I imagine that the other option is to go with z77 LGA1155 solution. But which MB? Any suggestions? What features make a good Workstation board?

Processor: Core i7-3770K Ivy Bridge 3.5GHz (3.9GHz turbo) Quad-core Processor ($350)? This would limit me to 32 GB, 2-channel RAM.

I've read that the Sandy Bridge processors, run cooler with Over Clocking, but make more heat, suck more juice. I get the impression that too much RAM is never enough in a graphics WS. Would it be going overboard to use 64GB 4-channel RAM for these Apps? Or even 32 Gb?

I have lots of further questions, but they will depend on what I learn here first.


January 24, 2013 3:31:43 AM

My suggestion :

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-3930K 3.2GHz 6-Core Processor ($569.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 SE2011 CPU Cooler ($82.30 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock X79 Extreme6 ATX LGA2011 Motherboard ($228.49 @ Newegg)
Memory: Mushkin Blackline 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($165.59 @ NCIX US)
Memory: Mushkin Blackline 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($165.59 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($89.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Samsung 830 Series 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($199.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: PNY Quadro 4000 2GB Video Card ($699.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Rosewill Capstone 750W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($89.99 @ Amazon)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB DVD/CD Writer ($15.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($135.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $2423.89
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

You can ditch the psu if you have a good one, since you have a case i didn't include one.
There's also a good workstation card from amd : http://pcpartpicker.com/part/ati-video-card-100505647
m
0
l
January 31, 2013 3:09:02 PM

Wow. Thanks for your response.

Aside from the lower cost, what qualities recommend the ASRock Motherboard over the Gigabite? Is maximum memory valuable here, or could I make do just as well with less?
m
0
l
January 31, 2013 3:34:31 PM

not bad heres my take:

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/AFu0
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/AFu0/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/AFu0/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i7-3930K 3.2GHz 6-Core Processor ($499.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-L12 37.8 CFM CPU Cooler ($59.98 @ Outlet PC)
Motherboard: ASRock X79 Extreme6 ATX LGA2011 Motherboard ($219.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 64GB (8 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($399.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($89.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Samsung 840 Pro Series 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($226.99 @ Mac Mall)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($349.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Fractal Design Define R4 (Black Pearl) ATX Mid Tower Case ($109.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Rosewill Capstone 750W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($109.93 @ Amazon)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($19.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $2176.81
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-31 12:33 EST-0500)

Base Total: $2266.81
Combo Discounts: -$20.00
Mail-in Rebates: -$20.00
Shipping: $8.50
Total: $2235.31

m
0
l
!