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[Deal] 3D Workstation Build - Advice Please
03-21-2011, 08:57 PM,
#1
3D Workstation Build - Advice Please
Hi, this is my build that I plan to purchase but wanted some advice. This build is very similar to Mathieu's $2500 Workstation, except that I am upgrading to: Quadro 4000 graphics card, (2) Intel Xeon 5660 and (2) 1 TB Western Digital Caviar Black hard drives with a Raid 1 configuration. Total is $4604.87 at newegg.

I am a 3D student and this system will be used mainly for 3DS max, maya, Cinema4D, nuke and adobe's creative suite. The list does not include a soundcard and wireless card because they are out of stock (ASUS Xonar D2X Sound Card & Rosewill RNX-N250PC IEEE 802.11b/g).

ASUS Z8NA-D6C Dual LGA 1366 Intel 5500 ATX Dual Intel Xeon 5500 and 5600 Series Server/Workstation Motherboard

ASUS Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM

LIAN LI Lancool PC-K62 Black 0.8 mm SECC, Plastic + Mesh ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

CORSAIR Professional Series AX850 850W ATX12V v2.31 / EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply

(2) SUPERMICRO SNK-P0040AP4 CPU Heatsink & Cooling Fan for Xeon Processor 5500 Series

(2) Intel Xeon X5660 Westmere 2.8GHz 12MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 95W Six-Core Server Processor BX80614X5660

Patriot Viper II Sector 7 Edition 24GB (6 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model PV7324G1333ELHK

GELID Solutions TC-GS01 Thermal Compound

PNY VCQ4000-PB Quadro 4000 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Workstation Video Card

Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

Microsoft Windows 7 Professional Full
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03-21-2011, 09:51 PM,
#2
RE: 3D Workstation Build - Advice Please
Western Digital Caviar (Green, Blue and Black) drives are not recommended for RAID, due to a pretty specific issue that cause them to drop off your RAID array, which is not desirable of course. You can either go with some Samsung F3 drives or go with Western Digital RAID edition drives (which are very expensive).

On a related note, why not use a SSD as your boot drive and to host your main applications? A SSD would greatly reduce boot/shutdown/standby/hibernate time, as well as reduce applications loading time and finally, it will make your PC feel more responsive as well.

There are quite a few more 24GB RAM kits now than there were when I last updated the $2500 Workstation and I would now recommend this Kingston kit instead: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.as...6820104170

It's a bit more expensive, but Kingston is the leading RAM brand when it comes to reliability.

To consider: The ASUS Z8NA-D6C (MIO) version comes with a sound card, for only $20 more than the non MIO version.

Suggestion:
Downgrade your CPUs and upgrade your video card. Two X5660 cost $2480. Two E5645 (same CPU, only 400MHz slower) will cost $1200. You can then use that amount to upgrade from the Quadro 4000 ($780) to the Quadro 5000 ($1780).

Considering your workload, a more powerful video card will make more of a difference than more powerful CPUs.

Also to consider: Some sort of external backup. Hard drives fail and RAID 1 is not 100% reliable, drives can/do fail together at times. RAID 1 is a protection against drive failure, but it's not a backup.
Laptop: MSI GS30 Shadow-045 Dimensions: 12.6" x 8.9" x 0.8" 2.65lbs CPU: Intel Core i7-4870HQ Quad-Core + Hyper-Threading OC 2.5-3.9GHz RAM: 16GB DDR3 1600MHz Video Card: Intel Iris Pro 5200 Storage: 2x128GB SDD RAID0 Audio: ASUS Xonar U3 USB Sound Card + Audio-Technica ATH-M50 headphones Screen: 13.3" - 1920 x 1080 IPS + 27" Dell P2715Q IPS 3840 x 2160 Keyboard: Filco Majestouch MX Cherry Blue Mouse: Logitech MX518
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03-21-2011, 10:11 PM, (This post was last modified: 03-22-2011, 01:37 AM by frenchNewWave.)
#3
RE: 3D Workstation Build - Advice Please
Thanks Mathieu,

Thanks for the quick reply. Some quick questions:

(1) Just curious as to why a more powerful video card (Quadro 500) would be better than a faster CPU (2.8 GHz vs 2.4 GHz)? I apologize for my ignorance here.

(2) With an SSD, would this mean I would have 1 SSD plus 4 Samsung drives to make a RAID 1 + 0?
Would the SSD also need to be put into the RAID 1 + 0 configuration?
Would it be easier to back up files with an external drive than use a RAID 10?
If I add more drives, can I just add them to the existing RAID configuration?
Most important, is a RAID contoller required?
(btw, Thanks for the recommendation on the hard drive. I thought RAID 1 was a backup.)

(3) For the The ASUS Z8NA-D6C (MIO) that comes with the sound card, can that sound card be switched out later for something better? I wasn't sure what MIO was.

(4) Also, would you recommend going for an intel quad-core at a faster speed or stick with the hexacore?

I will add the Kingston RAM to my new configuration!
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03-22-2011, 08:06 AM,
#4
RE: 3D Workstation Build - Advice Please
http://forums.hardware-revolution.com/sh...hp?tid=569

Even i am building a workstation to run MAYA , XSI , ZBRUSH etc

and i was concerned too as too which processor is worth the money !!
E5645 or E5645 or X5650 ???

I am plannin to buy 1 proc to start with
and thn get the 2nd one !!

And now since mathieu has mentioned about the graphics card i am
wondering if i need to look into that as well ??


Please help Mathieu ... Smile
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03-22-2011, 03:59 PM, (This post was last modified: 03-22-2011, 04:59 PM by frenchNewWave.)
#5
RE: 3D Workstation Build - Advice Please
(03-22-2011, 08:06 AM)paptu Wrote: http://forums.hardware-revolution.com/sh...hp?tid=569

Even i am building a workstation to run MAYA , XSI , ZBRUSH etc

and i was concerned too as too which processor is worth the money !!
E5645 or E5645 or X5650 ???

I am plannin to buy 1 proc to start with
and thn get the 2nd one !!

And now since mathieu has mentioned about the graphics card i am
wondering if i need to look into that as well ??


Please help Mathieu ... Smile

I am leaning towards Mathieu's recommendation with the higher end graphics card. The dual intel xeon hexacore should be fairly fast and sometime next year, I can swap out the processor if I really want it to go faster. Also, the Nvidia Quadro 5000 is a fermi card with a lot of CUDA cores that can be used to speed up rendering time.
Hi Mathieu,

Is a 400 MHz much of a difference in terms of speed (2.4 GHz vs 2.8 GHz)? I'm liking your recommendation more and more to go with the Quadro 5000 and slower processor.
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03-23-2011, 10:02 AM,
#6
RE: 3D Workstation Build - Advice Please
I got to know from another forums that E5645 s are pretty good procs
So even i m plannin to go for quadro 4000 instead of quadro 2000
since i ll save some bucks from the procs Smile
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