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Help Me Build A Workstation That Outperforms The New Mac Pro

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November 9, 2013 1:16:48 PM

Hello genius's and n00bs,

I need to build a new system and have a budget of around $3,500 which must include a high end single monitor. The primary use is for 3D modelling but not so render intensive as the games are not on the level of the newest titles. It's for game character creation so kind of a gaming rig but not so much actual gaming but the secondary use may also be gaming from time to time but ultimately this is for real company work. Apps used are 3Ds Max, Blender, PS, Gimp, Mari and maybe Maya etc. At least 1-2 game platforms and virtual reality simulations will also always be running in the background 24/7 hogging resources so multi-tasking having multiple apps open 24/7 without breaking a sweat is critical to productivity.

I really wish I could wait for Haswell-E or Broadwell and Maxwell for GPU's or at least for a Titan 2 / Ultra but it's getting down to the line on the piece of crap Dell machine being used and end of year sales are right around the corner.

This upcoming black friday / cyber monday will be when the components are bought; initially a 4770k with either a VI Formula or Z87-GD65 and a Titan x1 with the option to go 2 to 4 down the line was considered. The case I am looking at for my partner is an Asus M70AD. Despite weeks of research i'm in a tough spot as not only do I have to build something that is future proof but also outperforms the new Mac Pro's being released next month as my partner does not want to be out-bragged shortly after the purchase.

The other option was an i7-4960x due to the X79's quad channel support and high bandwidth in case quad-sli is used down the line while expanding. I was told for a mere sacrifice of 3MB Cache (and maybe a couple other minor dents in performance) that an i7-4930k can be had for half the price and be overclocked easily to surpass the 4960 while keeping more funds available for other components. Dual or temporarily single xeon setups were considered but were determined to be far more power than needed for our application.

It is my understanding that the new Mac Pro's will be utilizing Ivy Bridge-E and we are big fans of ECC memory which will also debut in the new Mac Pro's. Even though imo it isn't really critical to have, my partner wants that feature due to the belief that there will be a lot less errors and BSOD's and overall better reliability and performance due to the 24/7 always on use requirements. They also want a water cooled dust proof system that she will be proud to work on for the next year or so without regretting springing for the Mac.

I would r e a l l y appreciate some expert opinion on a budget conscience but overall aggressive build that can be done now to pre-empt Mac's release or I will be forced to deal with turning that trash can into a hackintosh or dual booting and driver nightmares as I am allergic to Apple and their Form > Function pay more for bragging rights ..philosophies. Their 6-Core starts at $4k and god knows how much with upgrades as their ECC memory build defaults are kind of low. I can stay around this price but am hoping to build something that can compete with their 12 core 64gb ram top of the line maxxed out option while still considering the overall value and future value since I'm sure haswell-e and broadwell will render this build a waste a couple years from now in terms of amount invested vs effective use/value of the build so please think long-term!

The baseline CPU is an i7-4770k and up.

The baseline GPU is a Titan and up. (Due to the value of its workstation performance).

ECC Quad Channel Memory is desired with a minimum memory capability of 32 and a max of 64.

If this build seems a little unreal at all then please offer base/core recommendations for the CPU and Mobo alone that will allow us to overclock and upgrade it down the line to this level as more funds for upgrades will come later. Please keep in mind the release of new technologies down the line. I'd like to know that if a new Titan came out or the Maxwell cards that we'd have no problem upgrading to them to compete with Apple's dual FirePro's down the line.

Finally, the other hard part i've hard is choosing the GPU! Finding a middle ground between workstation and gaming cards is a headache and I'm not sure what game developers use in their systems to be able to fully render yet test/benchmark their work at the same time?

What should I do! I'm really running out of time and we are losing money daily.
November 9, 2013 1:42:12 PM

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1ZOuX
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1ZOuX/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1ZOuX/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i7-4930K 3.4GHz 6-Core Processor ($549.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Corsair H60 54.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($59.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: Asus P9X79 WS SSI CEB LGA2011 Motherboard ($359.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Storage: Samsung 840 Pro Series 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($209.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Western Digital WD Black 4TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($249.00 @ B&H)
Video Card: ATI FirePro V7900 2GB Video Card (2-Way CrossFire) ($627.27 @ TigerDirect)
Video Card: ATI FirePro V7900 2GB Video Card (2-Way CrossFire) ($627.27 @ TigerDirect)
Case: Rosewill ARMOR-EVO ATX Full Tower Case ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: EVGA SuperNOVA 750W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($89.99 @ Microcenter)
Other: Kingston RAM 16GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM ECC Registered DDR3 1600 Server Memory (Intel Validated ) Model KVR16R11D4/16I ($189.99)
Other: Kingston RAM 16GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM ECC Registered DDR3 1600 Server Memory (Intel Validated ) Model KVR16R11D4/16I ($189.99)
Other: Kingston RAM 16GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM ECC Registered DDR3 1600 Server Memory (Intel Validated ) Model KVR16R11D4/16I ($189.99)
Other: Kingston RAM 16GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM ECC Registered DDR3 1600 Server Memory (Intel Validated ) Model KVR16R11D4/16I ($189.99)
Total: $3593.44
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-11-09 16:39 EST-0500)

I would go with this... You could change out the firepro's for a titan but you would get better performance with the firepro cards. You could also not get all four sticks of the kingston ram 64gb is a lot of ram and the psu, case, and cpu cooler is really your preference but that's what I would get.
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November 9, 2013 2:07:15 PM

I actually prefer nvidia to some degree because of the native CUDA support but I am curious how this dual card setup holds up for both modelling, rendering and gaming at any given time. With 2 Titans i'd have 12gb of VRam compared to 4 with the V7900's, would I miss that?

Because of low dual-gpu utilization these days i'd much rather prefer to have a powerful single card initially but with the option to go SLI with it later:

"Dual GPU support is still in its infancy for most professional applications, Adobe’s Premiere Pro has added it (provided you pay the monthly extortion fee), but as this graph from the Windows Blog shows, dual-GPU utilization is very low; with the first card tapped for 10% or so while the second is pushed to 40-50%." - ExtremeTech

I'll definitely consider more powerful cards like the K20's and K5000 or the new FirePro's being release. Anything along those lines that is within affordable reach. I always get components at the best possible price around which allows me to consider better builds.

1/4th the memory is a lot.. what criteria determines the need for a lot of vram?

* * * I forgot to mention that the motherboard MUST have PCIe SSD support even in a quad-sli config for future expandability. * * *

The original build draft did include a Samsung Pro 480Gb or a 1TB Evo with 2 3TB HDD in RAID 10 but currently we are interested in this:

http://www.xpcgear.com/mushkin-mknp44sc960gb-dx.html

We are willing to sacrifice temporarily the 2 3TB's to justify the cost as that can always be added later but this is one of the reasons why PCIe SSD support is important.

We are totally content with 32GB (8x4) of ECC RAM and do not need 32+ up front, only the option to expand to it would be nice but this is not as important as a CPU + GPU combo that is perfect for our use while still being relevant years from now and excels at workstation+gaming performance.

P.S. High memory bandwidth up to 60gb/s is preferred. (I'm assuming this is mobo dependent?)
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November 9, 2013 2:40:44 PM

I also think 2 FirePro W7000's would be much smarter! :

http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/high_end_gpus.html

It turns out the new Mac Pro's will utilize FirePro D300's which is most likely a pair of W5000's.

For CPU's they look to be using Xeon E5's Version 2 (E5-2***) but I believe single socket only. Also the new Mac Pro's don't have internal drive bays and has no optical drive.
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November 9, 2013 3:35:45 PM

You may also want to consider Samsung's 1tb ssd, it costs half the price of the pci based one that you linked. There is no such motherboard that will have room for cuad sli plus another PCIe slot card unless you have single slot video cards, the max PCI slots on a board are 7. The only need for the massive amount of vram is if you are going to be using extremely large resolutions (4k). For this build you may want a Xeon if your budget allows, the "E" series cards from intel are meant for the max performance in games and are not optimized for workstation based programs, they will still preform very well, but they may not be what you need.
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November 9, 2013 6:08:22 PM

I think you mean the 1TB Evo? I have considered it but the PCIe one offers 4x the performance at least and would be all we would need for a long while. It may be overkill though.

We won't be doing any 4k work but down the line a single 4k monitor may be in use. What Xeon Processor do you recommend? It's my belief a board with 2 sockets and the utilization of only one socket for the time being would overall beat Mac Pro's single socket systems coming out.

I am a bit confused about the PCI slots, it makes sense that there are only 4 so a quad sli wouldn't be feasible and I assume the cards I am looking at are not single slot? Could you elaborate a bit more on single slot GPU's?

If the max is 7 wouldn't that leave 3 slots?

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November 9, 2013 9:58:03 PM

You can get boards with 7 PCIe slots and they all have single spacing, most gaming based gpu's are dual slot, like the titan and 780 and 290X. With 7 PCIe slots and dual spacing gpu's it means you can only have quad sli with no other cards. The firepro I recommended is a single slot card meaning, with 2 you still have 5 PCIe slots for other various cards like a better nic or a xeon-phi, a later upgrade possibility. The xeon I would recommend is the E5-2630. I would believe that the pci based ssd would be overkill
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November 10, 2013 9:44:02 AM

Makes sense now. I figured single slots were rare and am surprised workstation gpu's have them but either way.. am I seeing this correctly?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Intel-Xeon-E5-2687W-ES-3-1Ghz-2...

It's currently the 2nd fastest CPU according to cpubenchmark.. I keep finding crazy hong kong deals for these xeons but some have weird additional wording like "stepped" so I will steer clear from that. I know ES means Engineering Sample but I don't know enough about ES's to know if it's something I can or should use?

I just went with my gut and settled on a board! Pre-ordered the new Asus Rampage IV Black Edition due to be released on the 19th and scored it for only $450 from newegg! It's not dual socket and i'm glad because having 2 of these older generation cpu's are anti-future proof to me and while it lacks ECC support we are willing to delay that luxury until next year and enjoy the benefits of the features that come with this board; if you have an overall better board recommendation let me know! I was disappointed by the selection of dual-socket boards overall.

As far as the CPU i'm considering the i7-4930k and 4960X but leaning toward the 4930k because of the half price and overclocking potential. The E5-2687W looks great especially at that price above if it's legit but the older Sandy Bridge technology worries me so i'd prefer the new Ivy Bridge EP's if anything. I like the 2680v2 and I can get the E5-2650v2 for only $1,100.

It's weird that a lot of these cpu's aren't even benchmarked.

Ultimately I think the Xeon's may be overkill and would agree that the PCIe SSD is as well but I feel as though a year from now PCIe will quickly be the new format adoption. While performance is important it is not life threatening critical for us because this system will be such a significant improvement over the last, by the time it lives out a majority of its usefulness all the new tech will finally be around so saving money and settling somewhere past the middle is best. Mind you the main workstation we are migrating from is a decked out Dell XPS 17 from about 4-5 years ago.
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November 10, 2013 11:27:43 AM

Yeah you have quite a few good points, once PCI based ssd's are more mainstream the prices on them should go way down... you could then upgrade to one in a year or so... It is quite odd that some xeons aren't benchmarked but most have such good performance it doesn't matter too much. The motherboard you ordered looks good and this should be an excellent upgrade from your older machine. If you ever order merchandise from china or japan make sure the site is trustworthy and be prepared to wait a few weeks for shipping. Have you decided on your gpu or gpu's? The xeon you are looking at is correct, once workplaces upgrade their servers or computers they often sell the hardware and that looks like a good deal, the difference between that and a 6 core part of the newer generation is going to be negligible.
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November 10, 2013 11:39:32 PM

hey ikes, the gpu will probably be a W8000 which I can score for a ridiculous price of about $550. It's not my top pic but at that price and considering it's fair benchmarks and compute performance I can't really go wrong. It may be wise to sell it to trade "up" to a Titan considering the benchmarks for it (it's the top card over at videocardbenchmarks.net) but i'm not so sure if I should. What do you think?

I am drooling over the new Quadro K6000 but it is the price of my whole system at about $4,300 ($6,500 MSRP) and I don't think what we need it for justifies that purchase at all. At the same time Maxwell on the horizon would put a nice dent into its value pretty soon if thinking long-term.

I ordered that ES chip and decided to take a gamble on it. I mean it's the 2nd to 4th fastest CPU in the world (benchmarks) and it's at a $1,000 savings with eBay buyer protection. I am prepared to wait the time which is why I pulled the trigger on it as it will arrive around the time the mobo is released and arrives thanks to expedited shipping (4-7 days). I'm glad you recommended a Xeon or else I wouldn't have found that deal so kudos to you.

I did notice the chip I have coming isn't the v2 version, what are your thoughts on that performance difference? The price difference speaks for itself as we would need about $2k more on top of what was already spent.

I decided to settle on the Evo 1TB and pass on getting 2 mechanical 3TB drives in raid 10 for the time being. Running on a 500gb hard drive the Evo won't only be double the capacity but 10x the speed and plenty of expansion room so no need to get more than required at the moment. Boot drive was the main choice needed to be made and that's done now. New Egg business also has a promo right now for any companies with an EIN to receive $50 off their first order to grab one at $550 shipped but because a new one can be had on eBay for $560 I will save that offer for something else.

Ram is the next choice that I have to make. I have a lot of tabs currently open but ultimately all I know for sure is I want to get a single quad channel kit all at once at 4x8GB and down the line I'd get another if we ever needed 64gb of ram (I doubt it but you never know). A clock rate average of 2400 mhz whether stock or from overclocking as this seems to be the sweet spot from my research. Recommendations here will be much appreciated.

I will be relying on pcpartpicker to help determine the wattage for our PS and find a sweet spot for both a Titan or W8000 for flexibility.

Any recommendations on heatsinks, fans or the use of water cooling would be appreciated as well! The machine will be used at a Texas office so hot summers are a factor in addition to room for future overclocking. [I wonder if there is a way to stress test a used CPU similar to how you can see the cycle count on a laptop battery to see if this CPU we get was abused or overclocked to oblivion. I only have 30 days to figure out its reliability before losing my return window.]

I am excited to see the build coming together thanks to posting here for some 3rd party input.
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November 10, 2013 11:42:53 PM

By the way, I noticed that mobo is eATX and the case I wanted (which unfortunately isn't even out yet despite being announced 2 months ago) is the M70AD which is ATX. I wonder if I can make it fit or if I will have to pick out another case. My partner really wants it but who knows how long the wait will be. Can an eATX fit in an ATX case? If so, will it be troublesome? If not, is it impossible?
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November 11, 2013 1:35:57 AM

The White Knight said:
I actually prefer nvidia to some degree because of the native CUDA support but I am curious how this dual card setup holds up for both modelling, rendering and gaming at any given time. With 2 Titans i'd have 12gb of VRam compared to 4 with the V7900's, would I miss that?

Because of low dual-gpu utilization these days i'd much rather prefer to have a powerful single card initially but with the option to go SLI with it later:

"Dual GPU support is still in its infancy for most professional applications, Adobe’s Premiere Pro has added it (provided you pay the monthly extortion fee), but as this graph from the Windows Blog shows, dual-GPU utilization is very low; with the first card tapped for 10% or so while the second is pushed to 40-50%." - ExtremeTech

I'll definitely consider more powerful cards like the K20's and K5000 or the new FirePro's being release. Anything along those lines that is within affordable reach. I always get components at the best possible price around which allows me to consider better builds.

1/4th the memory is a lot.. what criteria determines the need for a lot of vram?

* * * I forgot to mention that the motherboard MUST have PCIe SSD support even in a quad-sli config for future expandability. * * *

The original build draft did include a Samsung Pro 480Gb or a 1TB Evo with 2 3TB HDD in RAID 10 but currently we are interested in this:

http://www.xpcgear.com/mushkin-mknp44sc960gb-dx.html

We are willing to sacrifice temporarily the 2 3TB's to justify the cost as that can always be added later but this is one of the reasons why PCIe SSD support is important.

We are totally content with 32GB (8x4) of ECC RAM and do not need 32+ up front, only the option to expand to it would be nice but this is not as important as a CPU + GPU combo that is perfect for our use while still being relevant years from now and excels at workstation+gaming performance.

P.S. High memory bandwidth up to 60gb/s is preferred. (I'm assuming this is mobo dependent?)





High Vram means you can render 8k maps without a problem, but 12gb vram is overkill a single titan would be better.

if your using mudbox / mari / maya / zbrush, you'd want a high end CPU + Motherboard to support atleast 32-128gb ram.


Heres the thing with quadro, it was the thing of the past.
if your not going with quadro 6000 dont even bother, because
gaming cards are up to par or even better than lower end quadro.

FYI Sli / Crossfire doesn't affect maya at all im pretty sure same thing for other 3d apps.

250gb ssd
1T hdd is enough pretty much for anything unless your doing music video thats 3min long.

Dual xeons will be better, but at price point its better to go with 4930 extreme.



I'm also a 3d modelling student, and my rig is i7 4770k / sabertooth z87 / gtx 780 and I'm pretty happy with it, its not the fastest thing in world but I've never had any choke points or anything.
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November 11, 2013 10:11:24 AM

Sigh my whole post just got wiped.

@tricuspid

I never knew that sli/cf was useless for those apps but good to know. I was drooling over the K6000 as I said but it's overkill even though it's for our actual company. The only thing about cards like the 780 is that the drivers aren't built for real modelling/rendering but I was going to have a setup like yours initially and it's good to know it would have been sufficient. I scored a FirePro W8000 for $550 so if it's not sufficient i'll sell/trade up to a single Titan as it's worth at least $1,200 new. Should I keep it or trade up right away?

* * * Ram has been chosen! * * *

http://www.memory4less.com/m4l_itemdetail.aspx?itemid=1...

Scored the last one at this price for only $539.73 in what seemed like the last stock in the whole world! It's about $150 more than most quad channel kits but it's the best 8Gb ram stick available and only needs to be oc'd 400mhz to reach the boards max. Hope I made a good choice here, kinda went with my gut.
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November 13, 2013 9:29:54 AM

The White Knight said:
Sigh my whole post just got wiped.

@tricuspid

I never knew that sli/cf was useless for those apps but good to know. I was drooling over the K6000 as I said but it's overkill even though it's for our actual company. The only thing about cards like the 780 is that the drivers aren't built for real modelling/rendering but I was going to have a setup like yours initially and it's good to know it would have been sufficient. I scored a FirePro W8000 for $550 so if it's not sufficient i'll sell/trade up to a single Titan as it's worth at least $1,200 new. Should I keep it or trade up right away?

* * * Ram has been chosen! * * *

http://www.memory4less.com/m4l_itemdetail.aspx?itemid=1...

Scored the last one at this price for only $539.73 in what seemed like the last stock in the whole world! It's about $150 more than most quad channel kits but it's the best 8Gb ram stick available and only needs to be oc'd 400mhz to reach the boards max. Hope I made a good choice here, kinda went with my gut.




I've never used a firepro card before because I tend to stay with nvidia because of good driver and cuda cores, because i've seen alot of people with amd card doing 3d work having problems when viewing model in wireframe mode / etc,. but I've also seen good things about firepro, seems like the only amd card with problem was the consumer cards.

Quadro/Firepro = smooth like butter when zooming in/out of model, viewing in wireframe, and etc.
GTX = VRAY! FTW! 7xx is awesome in vray and viewport 2.0.

Don't ever get AMD consumer card. They don't have cuda cores, loud, heat problems.
I'm assuming your gonna work 5-8hours a day on computer and render overnight.

Also theres a setup if your interested http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PhkJLF3oyI8
using quadro / gtx 780 without sli/crossfire. I seriously suggest you got for Asus p9x79-E WS board.

1150 socket is dead (4770k) while 2011(4930k 6core 12 hyper thread) will continue on because Intel makes money of Xeon more than consumer.


you lucky man! save your 500$!!! firepro w8000 4gb!? for 500$!? the hell... wish I can get a pro card like that, though AMD cards tend to need a good cooling.


did you order the ram already? thats friggin expensive. you wont see much difference in 2133 vs 2400 mhz. and its cas latency is 10, you should get 7 or 9.

2133 cost around 400$ 32gb
2400 your paying 400$ more for 3-5% increase not noticeable.

is your link right? because 32gb 4x8 pack cost less than 500$ depending on speed timing but its always below 500$



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November 13, 2013 9:58:34 AM

Quote:
Heres the thing with quadro, it was the thing of the past.
if your not going with quadro 6000 dont even bother, because
gaming cards are up to par or even better than lower end quadro.

FYI Sli / Crossfire doesn't affect maya at all im pretty sure same thing for other 3d apps
.

Don't bother with the SLI/Crossfire configs as half your applications will require you to disable that in order to work.

As tests done recently by Chris and Igor have shown, even the lowly Quadro 2000 (a previous generation card that is what is in our baseline test workstation) whips the pants off even the high-end gaming cards for OpenGL applications... and Mari is an openGL application. Looking at those tests, you can see that workstation cards turn out better opengl performance in professional applications than game cards.


Also, Mari doesn't support game cards and will complain endlessly if you try to use it on one.
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November 14, 2013 8:56:12 AM

Great info guys!

@tricuspid

That ram is kinda rare and the latency is only higher because the mhz is so it balances out. It was kind of hard to find a 2400mhz at 9 latency unless I dropped the mhz. I did it so it would be easier to overclock it to my boards max of 2800o.c. and keep it stable. That was my only splurge considering the deals and money I saved on most of the other components. My gut said do it and it was literally like the last one available around the world so maybe the scarcity had an effect on me haha.

Stay in contact because I might be selling the W8000 to get a titan soon, I'd probably only ask for around 900$ depending on how soon I sell it after receiving it. I do love nvidia but how could I say no to $550?

@draven

I really appreciate that sli/crossfire info and especially the mari info! I didn't know it was opengl so im gonna do some more research on that.

I'm glad I didn't go for a game/consumer card but how would the Titan hold up in OGL etc?

I just finished choosing a keyboard. Out of the K800 and the wired more square version and das keyboard I actually went with a Luxeed U9 lol. She'll be shocked to say the least. I really wish the U9 was out so until then I'll have to have her settle with a separate numpad. I'm gonna need some power supply and fan help soon but it looks like I may go with Noctua for their superior quality in the market.
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November 14, 2013 1:22:32 PM

Wow I didn't really realize how good of deals you got on the Xeon and Firepro. Those two will take you a long way in performance. I agree with tricuspid for getting the Asus p9x79-E WS. That is a great board that I was looking toward in the first place, I would go with the firepro because the price is incredible compared to the titan, yet with comparable performance for workstation applications. I admit the memory choice is kinda weird but your build has great potential.
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November 14, 2013 2:47:29 PM

Good points. Just got my RAM in today early and it's the first component to arrive second only to an anti-static wrist strap I scored on a NewEgg flash deal. It looks great! I'm a bit worried about the height of the sticks causing problems after hearing other people running into the issue.

As far as the mobo, is the Asus P9X79-E WS really better than the http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... I pre-ordered?

It's not dual socket and seems to have not so great reviews. What am I losing out on? I could see if it was dual-socket then I'd really have to consider it but not sure what tradeoffs there are there.

One thing that sucks about both boards is that they are eATX. Is it at all possible to use eATX in an ATX case?
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November 14, 2013 6:59:18 PM

mobo question: looks like the workstation board vs high end gamer board.

case: look closely, some will and some won't.
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November 20, 2013 4:17:19 PM

Any chance I made a mistake with my choice of processor and memory? Does E5-2600 series require the use of ECC ram? A couple asian sites I saw said that "the use of ECC Reg ram is a MUST".

I don't think my Asus Rampage IV Black Edition supports ECC even though I would love to have that option and memory in my system.
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November 20, 2013 4:42:08 PM

No, the processor doesn't require ECC just supports it.

You will probably never notice the difference, if you had ECC. It isn't 'faster' or 'better' it just contributes to stability and you may never notice if you do have an error that ECC will correct.


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Best solution

November 20, 2013 7:26:12 PM

I do understand what ECC Ram does, and spent a chunk of time talking with various workstation vendors about being able to *test* the difference between ECC RAM and non-ECC At the time, there was no way to detect when ECC was correcting for those errors... now there is. A 96% chance of a single bit error in 4 GB of ram often means very little when you are doing digital content creation, but quite a bit if you're doing finite element analysis or other types of mission-critical simulation.
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December 8, 2013 10:17:23 AM

Did you buy that chip from China? Any reviews on it? It's a killer deal which I was thinking about buying, it's not that much more than the 6 core Intel

The White Knight said:
Makes sense now. I figured single slots were rare and am surprised workstation gpu's have them but either way.. am I seeing this correctly?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Intel-Xeon-E5-2687W-ES-3-1Ghz-2...

It's currently the 2nd fastest CPU according to cpubenchmark.. I keep finding crazy hong kong deals for these xeons but some have weird additional wording like "stepped" so I will steer clear from that. I know ES means Engineering Sample but I don't know enough about ES's to know if it's something I can or should use?

I just went with my gut and settled on a board! Pre-ordered the new Asus Rampage IV Black Edition due to be released on the 19th and scored it for only $450 from newegg! It's not dual socket and i'm glad because having 2 of these older generation cpu's are anti-future proof to me and while it lacks ECC support we are willing to delay that luxury until next year and enjoy the benefits of the features that come with this board; if you have an overall better board recommendation let me know! I was disappointed by the selection of dual-socket boards overall.

As far as the CPU i'm considering the i7-4930k and 4960X but leaning toward the 4930k because of the half price and overclocking potential. The E5-2687W looks great especially at that price above if it's legit but the older Sandy Bridge technology worries me so i'd prefer the new Ivy Bridge EP's if anything. I like the 2680v2 and I can get the E5-2650v2 for only $1,100.

It's weird that a lot of these cpu's aren't even benchmarked.

Ultimately I think the Xeon's may be overkill and would agree that the PCIe SSD is as well but I feel as though a year from now PCIe will quickly be the new format adoption. While performance is important it is not life threatening critical for us because this system will be such a significant improvement over the last, by the time it lives out a majority of its usefulness all the new tech will finally be around so saving money and settling somewhere past the middle is best. Mind you the main workstation we are migrating from is a decked out Dell XPS 17 from about 4-5 years ago.


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December 8, 2013 4:17:44 PM

I did yes, bought it from hong kong. I'm putting the build together this week and will report back on the success! If you have any tests, benchmarks and settings you want me to test let me know because I too want to know if it's fully legit. From what I know, the only real risk that is run is if the CPU has been overclocked to hell which I doubt but you never know and as long as it turns out and maybe using CPU-z I wouldn't really be able to tell the difference or know if something is wrong and/or what cool things may have be open for me.

These oem chips usually have a lot of cool settings unlocked as well that you can't get with the retail chips so I may even be able to overclock it. It's pretty cool to know i'm running an intel confidential chip with special unlocked features for a price less than the 4960x! Let me know what I should do and check and i'll post ss's for you!
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December 8, 2013 5:07:30 PM

I am building a workstation for video production, so anything that has to do with that would be cool to know about. I was looking at the 4930 6 core, but this one would probably smoke that I'm assuming... and it's so discounted it's ridiculous

The White Knight said:
I did yes, bought it from hong kong. I'm putting the build together this week and will report back on the success! If you have any tests, benchmarks and settings you want me to test let me know because I too want to know if it's fully legit. From what I know, the only real risk that is run is if the CPU has been overclocked to hell which I doubt but you never know and as long as it turns out and maybe using CPU-z I wouldn't really be able to tell the difference or know if something is wrong and/or what cool things may have be open for me.

These oem chips usually have a lot of cool settings unlocked as well that you can't get with the retail chips so I may even be able to overclock it. It's pretty cool to know i'm running an intel confidential chip with special unlocked features for a price less than the 4960x! Let me know what I should do and check and i'll post ss's for you!

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December 8, 2013 5:31:02 PM

Th e video production workstation is more going to be about drive and GPU speed than CPU these days, unless you're talking about doing compositing and motion graphics, not video editing.
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December 8, 2013 6:53:08 PM

Unless of course he's running many other apps simultaneously right?
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December 8, 2013 7:05:05 PM

Depends on what the other apps are...
Also depends on the format of the video he is using. IF its DNG sequences from something like the BMD cameras, then its going to be very much hinged on drive speed and capacity before anything else.
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