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Dual Opteron System

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April 26, 2004 4:43:00 PM

hey everyone...i'm thinking of building a new system. this is what i've come up with for a workstating, used primarily for 3D animation and design. all components and prices are from newegg.com

CASE: Thermaltake Black Xaser III Skull Series $135.00
CPU: 2 X AMD Opteron Model 144 $231 ea.
MOTHERBOARD: MSI VIA K8T800 Chipset Motherboard $206
GRAPHICS: ASUS ATI RADEON 9800XT $429
MEMORY: 4 X Corsair Value Select 184 Pin 512MB DDR $96 ea.
SOUND: Creative Labs Sound Blaster Audigy2 ZS $164
MEDIA: Lite-On Black 8X DVD+/-RW Drive $103

cost of all compontents(some not listed here): $ 1 979

any comments or suggestions? know any hardward conflicts? know someone who can build it for roughly the same price (i want something like an alienware warranty...but without the alienware price)

More about : dual opteron system

April 26, 2004 8:07:12 PM

>CASE: Thermaltake Black Xaser III Skull Series $135.00

Dead ugly IMHO, but to each its own :) 

>CPU: 2 X AMD Opteron Model 144 $231 ea.

<font color=red> No go. Opteron 1xx is a single cpu processor, you need an Opteron <b>2</b>xx. 244 is ~$400 on pricewatch, thats gonna mess up your budget. You could consider a pair of 242's instead ($267)...</font color=red>

>MOTHERBOARD: MSI VIA K8T800 Chipset Motherboard $206

I'd spend a tiny bit more here, and get a <A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?descripti..." target="_new">Tyan Tiger 8KW </A> for $232 (newegg). I'm not sure I'd trust VIA with a SMP board.

>GRAPHICS: ASUS ATI RADEON 9800XT $429

Wouldnt spend that much on a 9800. Get a PRO instead, the difference between the PRO and the XT is neglectable, the price difference is not.

>MEMORY: 4 X Corsair Value Select 184 Pin 512MB DDR $96 ea

You do realize you need registered RAM for opteron, don't you ? Pick a brand & type Tyan (or whatever MB you chose) has qualified.

>SOUND: Creative Labs Sound Blaster Audigy2 ZS $164

Creative is notorious for making drivers that don't work properly with SMP. Get something else, anything but creative.

>MEDIA: Lite-On Black 8X DVD+/-RW Drive $103

Good choice. Could pick a 4x just as well though, its a bit cheaper, and there is no 8x DVDR media to be found anyway.

Also, you forgot a decent PSU. I'm not sure the Xaser comes with one, but you'll want a fairly good one for a dual cpu setup. Again, check with Tyan, find one that is recommended/qualified by them.

<font color=red>edited</font color=red>

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
April 27, 2004 3:28:29 PM

I have just recently decided on a 244 dual-opt from Monarch Computer for primarily 3-d modeling but it will serve also as my general use machine. I am now poor, but happy.
While Tyan has the better reputation for workstation MB's, the tiger (from what I've read) isn't up to snuff. The only advantage it has over the MSI Master-2 is firewire and the Tyan name. This site did a review of the Tyan thunder, tiger and Msi master-2. check it out:
http://tech-report.com/reviews/2004q2/dually-opterons/i... or go to google and search, "DUAL OPTERON MOTHERBOARDS" tech-report should be towards the top of the list. and unless you do alot of gaming or downloading music, just use the on-board sound (only if you get the MSI) and put the extra $164 towards a Quadro Fx1100 Video card. THG rated it a great value for the $600 price tag. It will help dramatically for viewing your models when polygon counts get up there.
Also, I agree with P4Man, that case is, hmmmm interesting.
Lastly, as long as your getting a dual, go all out, get RAID.
Whatever you decide, I wish you luck.
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April 27, 2004 3:46:35 PM

Another thought,
If your primary concern is rendering preformance, consider perhaps the older Xeons. They tend to have better rendering preformance over equally priced opterons despite poorer preformance in general. I went opteron with the hope that the prospect of 64-bit OS's and applications will pan out in the next few years. Also I like the underdog (amd vs. intel)
Let us know what you decide.
And that case.....

<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by depleted_funds on 04/27/04 11:54 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
April 27, 2004 4:41:21 PM

Quote:
Good choice. Could pick a 4x just as well though, its a bit cheaper, and there is no 8x DVDR media to be found anyway.


True, but when it comes to burners... being ahead of the curve isn't a bad idea. Besides, both the Lite-On and the Plextor 8x DVD will burn 4x media at a higher speed with no problems. (They check the media to see if it will be burnable at a higher speed).

<font color=red> If you design software that is fool-proof, only a fool will want to use it. </font color=red>
!