View Full Version : Comments on new Workstation
09-01-2008, 05:27 PM
I'm upgrading my current workstation:
-Dual Opteron 285
-Tyan K8WE Thunder
Dual Intel Xeon E5410 Harpertown 2.33GHz
16 GB RAM
3Ware Hardware RAID
RAID 5/ 4 X Seagate Barracuda 250 GB
Components I'm keeping from current rig:
-Velociraptor 300 GB (for boot drive - Vista x64 and CentOS x64)
-Silencer 610W Power Supply
-CM Stacker case
-Audigy 2 Sound card
Do you guys think it's worth upgrading the Video Card? The Quadro 3700 looks to be a really great buy, very close to the Quadro 5600 but at a significant price cut.
I need a Quadro card, so gaming cards are out of the question.
I've always been an AMD fan, but I can't seem to find anything close to the performance of this XEON for the price. Any ideas on a better Motherboard-CPU combo?
My Power supply should be enough right?
I'm looking to buy this ASAP, so any comments are welcome :)
Thanks in advance everyone!
09-01-2008, 05:42 PM
My biggest concern is with the Power Supply, I'm not sure it's going to have enough juice when under load to be reliable.
09-01-2008, 05:54 PM
I was hoping that the power would compensate, because the CPU and Video Card consume less power than my current ones.
The only thing consuming more power would be the hard drives no? I could be totaly wrong though...
What power supply then?
09-03-2008, 05:44 AM
To answer your questions from your PM:
the harpertown xeon cpus are overclockable by putting a tiny piece of electrical tape over two pin pads that control the front side bus on the cpus. The mod changes the FSB from 1333 to 1600. It will only work if the mb supports a 1600mhz FSB, and it looks like the one you picked out doesn't support it. I ran it both ways for several weeks and there was very little difference in the core temps, ~4 or 5 degrees F. It has been extremely stable overclocked to 2.8ghz. I'm not an overclocking guru, but it's my understanding that changing the fsb will not affect the stability of a cpu like increasing the multiplier will, especially if the mb supports that fsb speed natively.
The board you picked out seems like a solid board to me. We've used quite a few different tyan boards at our studio, and they've performed well. The supermicro board that I'm running is about $100 more, and it looks like they have a similar feature set, so i would roll with the tyan, unless you think its worth the extra $ for the overclocking potential. I can say that the supermicro board has been excelent, and I've had no issues with it either.
The problems people were having with the fans is a case issue, it has nothing to do with the board, but is something you should be aware of. Basically the cpu fans need to be mounted to the case, so there needs to be holes that line up the the mb. The tyan board you picked out has a similar cpu fan screw mounting pattern as the supermicro, and will also requires a case with either the proper mounting holes, or special plates that you screw in to mount the cpus to. I'm not too sure about the case you picked out, if its the coolermaster stacker 810 E-ATX, then it looks like it does from the pics i've found but you should make absolutely sure. My chenbro SR10769 case had the proper holes already. The antec titan 550 and 650 cases we have at work came with the mounting plates, but will not fit the supermicro board. It fit our asus boards fine though. For the supermicro boards we had to drill holes into the plates and mount them in the proper position in the case ourselves. So to sum it up, make sure you get an E-ATX case with the proper mounting holes or adapter plates, I think they're called CEB plates.
I think that the power supply will be sufficient as long as it has the EPS12V 8 pin as well as a 24pin power and a 4pin AUX power connector. 610W should be enough for what your gonna run, the cpus and video card draw very little power compared to previous generations. The fbdimms draw around twice as much as a ddr2 dimm, but with four sticks it's about 40w total. At work were running the supermicro boards as well as other dual xeon 5410 systems on 650w power supplys with no issues at all.
The quadro 3700 is a really nice card for the money. I've never used the 4500 you have now, but compared to the 3450 and 3500s we have at work it is extremely fast. I would recommend www.compeve.com. They're usually $100 to $200 dollars cheaper that anywhere else I've seen. We've ordered close to 20 cards from them in the past several years and had no issues. I'm running vista64 at home as well as OpenSuse 10.3 64bit and I've had a few minor display glitches under vista, but nothing too severe. Mainly the UV editor doesn't show the buttons, and I have to restart maya. I honestly haven't used the card under vista64 in a production situation yet, so i can only speak about what i've seen under light usage. xp64 is another story, and is too in depth of an issue to cover here, but lets just say i wouldn't recommend the 3700 for xp64 until I hear back from autodesk and nvidia about the problem we've been having. It's a very severe production stopping issue thats killing us at work.
I'm gonna throw this out there cause it's caught my attention lately. I've read extremely good things about the ATI Firegl V7700 card. It appears to smoke the 3700 in the specviewperf maya tests and its around 80 dollars more on newegg. Heres a link to the spec page.
I know there sorta synthetic benchmarks, but its interesting considering the similar price. The only downside I can see would be historically ATI linux drivers suck big time, but thats supposed to have improved as of late.
I think what you've picked out is a good system and besides the board and twice the ram, identical to what i'm running and i'm extremely happy, coming from a dual core athlon64 4400, it's ridiculously fast. 6 times in rendering tests to be exact, so i don't think youre gonna be dissapointed.
09-03-2008, 03:03 PM
Scott, I really appreciate your post.
Good thing you warned me about the CPU mounting issues. I'm going to have double check my case to make sure it has the pieces necessary to mount those CPU's.
I was hoping the overclock you did was straight from the bios, I don't know about touching the chip itself...I'll probably get paranoid thinking any instability is being caused by the mod.
Are there any Boards out there which support fsb change without modding the Chip? or is it a limitation put on the Chip itself? (most likely the second one...) Although, getting a board with a 1600 FSB seems like a better choice for upgrades.
I'm happy I don't have to get a new power supply, I'm very satisfied with the one I have.
Is there a reason you're running OpenSuse over any other Linux Distro? I like CentOS myself, but other success stories are always nice to hear.
I'm still doubtfull about the video card. I've always been an Nvidia guy, mostly due to driver optimizations with the applications I use, but this new ATI card is really testing my fidelity after seeing the benchmarks...specially in Maya, it almost doubles the performance of the Quadro 3700...
09-24-2008, 09:40 PM
sorry, I've been super busy the past several weeks. How did your build go? edit: i see your sig changed, so hows it working out?
09-25-2008, 01:07 AM
It went well actually :)
Final system specs:
2 X Xeon E5420
16 GB ram (KVR800D2D8F5/2G)
WD Velociraptor (Main Windows Drive)
WD Raptor (CentOS 5.2)
3ware 9650SE - Hardware Raid Controller card
Raid 5 -750GB (ST3250410AS) (Projects)
1TB internal for Backups
1TB eSata external for more backups :)
Primary 610W Silencer PSU
Secondary 420W Silencer PSU to run in parallel for HD's and Video card.
I also bought several silent cooling solutions for the memory, case and CPU.
Everything is running really, really great. :buttrock:
Thanks a lot for helping out guys.
09-25-2008, 01:07 AM
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