BestConfigs Poll: High-End Workstation

Which build do you like best?

  • Nikoli's "WTH" workstations build

    Votes: 17 37.0%
  • Joseph's Workstation Build

    Votes: 29 63.0%

  • Total voters
    46

jpishgar

Splendid
Overlord Emeritus
Nikoli's "WTH" workstations build

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Xeon E5-2630 V2 2.6GHz 6-Core Processor ($606.98 @ SuperBiiz)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($30.98 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Asus Rampage IV Extreme EATX LGA2011 Motherboard ($425.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Memory: Crucial 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($169.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Crucial 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($169.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($120.00 @ Amazon)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($120.00 @ Amazon)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($120.00 @ Amazon)
Video Card: PNY Quadro 6000 6GB Video Card ($1904.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Corsair 750D ATX Full Tower Case ($129.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: SeaSonic 660W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply ($139.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus BW-12B1ST/BLK/G/AS Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $3988.89
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-05-19 01:21 EDT-0400)

Joseph's Workstation Build

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Xeon E5-2640 V2 2.0GHz 8-Core Processor ($919.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($30.98 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Asus Sabertooth X79 ATX LGA2011 Motherboard ($304.98 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Z Series 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($300.98 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 840 EVO 250GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($139.00 @ Amazon)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($144.00 @ Amazon)
Case: Cooler Master Storm Enforcer ATX Mid Tower Case ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Antec 750W 80+ Platinum Certified ATX Power Supply ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: LG BH14NS40 Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($107.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Other: NVIDIA® Quadro® K5000 ($1799.00)
Total: $3936.89
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-05-15 05:46 EDT-0400)
 

rhapdog

Honorable
Jan 14, 2014
164
0
10,760
32
Nikoli's build includes 2 separate 16GB kits to reach 32GB, which may or may not work together well, depending on lot number. Buying them at the same time doesn't guarantee they are in the same lot. Joseph's build wisely chose the 32GB kit, and the SSD,which is a MUST for a workstation. What in the world does the workstation need 6TB storage for? Toss out 2 of the 2TB drives and get a good SSD for crying out loud!
 

Shneiky

Distinguished
So, since I threw a render and I have nothing to do, I decided to throw away some time at TH. So back to the question.

These workstations are ... rather disappointing. I know these machines would have some value somewhere, like GPU scientific calculations for example. Or 3D GPU rendering (although that is more of a benchmark, than having actual production value). But not for any Adobe/Autodesk software, I am sorry to say, but these machines are not going to be far away from a 1000 bucks I7 4790K+GTX 660 configuration. Even in CAD - Quadros are the worst solution. AMD professional GPUs are doing a lot better. As far as content creation go - we are still living in a CPU world.

As far as GPU acceleration goes - as the nice people from pugetsystems did the benchmarking for us - anything more than a GTX 660 bring absolutely nothing as a performance increase in the Adobe Package. Even GTX 650 was only few minutes per hour slower than the 660.

As far as it goes for GPUs in the 3D world - believe me or not, GTX have the upper hand. Here at work we have 2650v2s paired with Quadro K4000. In the new Maya 2015, I am getting visual bugs, corrupted faces displayed and crashes when changing the viewport. Completely reinstalled the machine, running newes ODE drivers, still most of the issues persist. Same was with Maya 2014. Our Max guy has noone of this issues, but he does get quite slow Ambient Occlusion display. And believe me or not, my home GTX 650TI flies. Same scene - 10 mil polys - none of those issues. Not Maya, not Max, not 2014, not 2015.

Currently, we are running Maya, Max, NukeX, REDCINE-X, DaVinci Resolve, a bit of RealFlow (we keep mainly to Maya Byfrost) and for rendering we use Mental Ray for previs and VRay and Vray RT + the Adobe Master Collection. And all of the workers here "dream" that we put some simple GTXs or something and put all the other money towards more CPU power. Everything I posted above is almost entirely or CPU mainly calculated. Wasting money on a K5000 or Q6000 and running with 16 GBs of RAM or without an SSD - that is plain ludicrous for Content Creation.

Maybe it is just me, but 90% of the DIY High-End Workstation are for content creation. Or my impression is wrong. Anyway, 90% of the software runs better on more CPU power regardless of the GPU. The two Workstations above don't fit anywhere in the Major software used. Just my 2 cents.

And my dream baby:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel Xeon E5-2680 V2 2.8GHz 10-Core Processor ($1651.98 @ SuperBiiz)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.98 @ OutletPC)
Motherboard: Asus Sabertooth X79 ATX LGA2011 Motherboard ($303.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Kingston Beast 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($322.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Storage: Samsung 850 Pro Series 256GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($199.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Seagate Constellation CS 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($129.95 @ Mwave)
Storage: Seagate Constellation CS 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($129.95 @ Mwave)
Case: Corsair 600T Mesh (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($114.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: SeaSonic 520W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply ($139.99 @ Amazon)
Optical Drive: Asus BW-12B1ST/BLK/G/AS Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($50.98 @ Newegg)
Other: NVIDIA® Quadro® K4000 VCQK4000-PB 3GB GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 Workstation Video Card ( $779.00 @ Newegg)
Total: $3853.78
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available

(Included a K4000 so I won't get spanked, else I would have went with a GTX 660 or something and a 3 GHz, 10 cored Xeon E5-2690 V2)
 

Onus

Titan
Moderator
I did not judge this category, but suspect only those two were submitted. Had schneiky submitted his too, I'm sure it would have been included (assuming it didn't break the budget).
 

Shneiky

Distinguished
Well, I didn't even knew there was a submission for these type of things. :)

It does stand under the budget of 4000 (I think that was the budget), so I guess it is viable.

+I am not a US citizen so I don't really check most of the buy guides and etc, since availability and prices are rather different in Europe.
 


There were more than five submitted before the deadline.
 

i didnt know that there was a stated submission deadline :D
i revised most of my build using devil canyon CPU and updated the price. those didnt show up in the polling :(
 
jpishgar,

In my view, neither of the two systems represent the best workstation solutions possible within the budget. The principal reason is the selection in both systems of Xeon E5-2600 series of low clock speeds. There is a lot of cost in 2600-series Xeons to have the dual CPU capability yet the motherboards are gaming boards with one CPU socket. If a 2600-series Xeon is selected, it would only make sense on a dual-socket motherboard, on which the second CPU could be added as a future upgrade.

1. Nikoli's "WTH" workstations build > uses the 6-core E5-2630 V2 @ 2.6 / 3.1GHz which costs $607. While excellent in a pair for a server, a much better cost /performance choice would be to use a 6-core E5-1650 V2 @ 3.5/ 3.9GHz for $584- the same number of cores/ threads but noticeably faster. It's an odd solution too in that there are 3X 2TB mechanical HD's. I would change one of those to a ~250GB or ~500GB SSD or better yet, a PCIe SSD for the OS and applications and then use the two mechanical drives in RAID 1. The choice of a Quadro 6000 (6GB) is eccentric as well. This is a great card- especially for video editing and animation, of the previous generation, being clearance sold for half the original price. However, for current applications, the Quadro K5000 (now about $1,600) would be a better choice, having 3X the CUDA cores and higher clock speeds. With applications that benefit from OpenCL, an AMD W7000 (4GB) could be a good choice- and "only" costs $750.

2. Joseph's Workstation Build again uses a dual configuration Xeon of a slow clock speed on a gaming motherboard. On "Joseph's" system, the CPU choice is for an 8-core- not a bad idea, but at 2.0 / 2.5GHz and $920, using a dual-CPU capable CPU, seems to me again to be a poor cost / performance choice.

Neither system uses ECC RAM on a server motherboard and for a generic, does everything system, ECC that should be the recommended course.

No, sorry, in this round, neither of the workstations selected have my vote.

Cheers,

BambiBoom

______________________________________________________________

My solution:

BambiBoom PixelCannon Cadarendacalcugrapharific iWork TurboApocalypse 99000 ®$™®£™©_8.3.14

Processor: Processor: Intel Xeon Six-Core Processor E5-1650 v2 3.5 / 3.9GHz 0GT/s 12MB LGA 2011 CPU, OEM > $590 >

http://www.superbiiz.com/detail.php?p=E5-1650&c=fr&pid=2c44208f0b1dcd0cde99479f720367c6945473d18f8a0933a1a8bcd4ed5ec4f2&gclid=CKerxcX37bgCFY2Z4Aod2TEAzQ

Motherboard: ASUS Z9PA-U8 ATX Server Motherboard, C602 chipset, LGA 2011 > $290

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131915&Tpk=ASUS%20Z9PA-U8]

RAM: 32GB ( 2 X 16GB) SAMSUNG 16GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM ECC Registered DDR3 1600 Server Memory Model M393B2G70BH0-CK008 $380 > ($190 ea.)]

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Graphics Card: PNY VCQK5000-PB NVIDIA Quadro K5000 4GB256-bit PCI Express 2.0 x 16 HDCP Ready Workstation video card > $1,600

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814133468

[b Hard Drive 1:[/b] Plextor M6e PX-AG256M6e PCI-E 256GB PCI-Express 2.0 x2 Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) > $350

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820249043&cm_re=pcie_ssd-_-20-249-043-_-Product

Hard Drive 2: Western Digital 2 TB SATA III 7200 RPM 64 MB Cache Bulk/OEM Desktop Hard Drive, Black, WD2003FZEX(RAID 1) > $168 (Files, Backup, System Image)

Hard Drive 3: Western Digital 2 TB SATA III 7200 RPM 64 MB Cache Bulk/OEM Desktop Hard Drive, Black, WD2003FZEX(RAID 1) > $168 (Files, Backup, System Image)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811112387http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA2W00ZD1539]

Case: LIAN LI PC-A75 Black Aluminum ATX Full Tower Computer Case $170

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811112387http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811112387

Power Supply: SeaSonic G-750 SSR-750RM 750W ATX12V / EPS12V 80 PLUS GOLD Modular Active PFC Power Supply $120[

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817151132

Cooling: Cooler Master Seidon 120M – All-In-One CPU Liquid Water Cooling System with 120mm Radiator and Fan $70

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103179&cm_re=Cooler_Master_Seidon_120M-_-35-103-179-_-Product

Blu-Ray /DVD Burner: LG Black 16X BD-R 2X BD-RE 16X DVD+R 5X DVD-RAM 12X BD-ROM 4MB Cache SATA Blu-ray Burner WH16NS40 - OEM $65

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827136269

Total = $3610.

 


lp231,

There must have about 12-15 submissions- possibly 20. I submitted two, one of which was similar to the E5-1650 V2 idea mentioned above.

I think that the competition procedure is that the original submissions were culled by a group of moderators to the two and then forum votes choose the winner.

This site does seem to tend towards a focus on high performance gaming.

Cheers,

BambiBoom

HP z420 (2014) > Xeon E5-1620 quad core @ 3.6 / 3.8GHz > 24GB ECC 1600 RAM > Quadro 4000 (2GB)> Samsung 840 SSD 250GB /Western Digital Black WD1003FZEX 1TB> M-Audio 192 sound card > AE3000 USB WiFi > HP 2711X, 27" 1920 X 1080 > Windows 7 Ultimate 64 >[Passmark system rating = 3923, 2D= 839 / 3D=2048]

Dell Precision T5400 (2008) > 2X Xeon X5460 quad core @3.16GHz > 16GB ECC DDR2 667> Quadro FX 4800 (1.5GB) > WD RE4 500GB / Seagate Barracuda 500GB > M-Audio 2496 Sound Card / Linksys 600N WiFi > Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit >[Passmark system rating = 1859, CPU = 8528 / 2D= 512 / 3D=1097]

2D, 3D CAD, Image Processing, Rendering, Text > Architecture, industrial design, graphic design, written projects

 

constant1n

Reputable
Oct 11, 2014
1
0
4,510
0
hey guys, i am planning to buy the following configuration:


CPU: E5-2630 x 2
ECC RAM: Kingston ValueRam DDR3 Single Rank
GPU: GTX 780 6GB (allready have it)
Motherboard: Asus Z9PE-D8 WS
Case: Nanoxia DS6
SSD: samsung 840 pro
display: Dell U2412M 24
PSU: Sirtec 1600w (allready have it)

This is the first time i am buying workstation components and i really don't know if it they will work together.
Please give me your feedback/advice.

Thanks
 
constant1n,

I would be pleased to make specific suggestions, however, this thread - from July 2014- concerns a discussion /competition for workstation systems. You would have more and more detailed responses by re-posting on the "Systems" forums. To have useful replies, say something about the uses, file sizes, and software, plus the budget is important.

General comments:

1. From the system listing It's difficult to imagine the use- content creation system are quite different from content consumption systems and the components listed include parts from both categories. The E5-2630 has three versions, the v1 and v2 being 6-core and v3 being an 8-core, so there are a lot of threads at not very high speeds. This would be good for a rendering engine that can sit in the corner, a server, but not a sparkling fast system for 3D modeling or animation. Have a look at the various Xeon E-5 and different versions on this site:

http://ark.intel.com/search/products?q=Xeon%20E5

-and expand to show all 163 choices.

2. The GTX 780 is a very good card for high frame rates, but can not run specialized workstation applications' drivers- Solidworks would be very disappointing. Other programs can do quite well, but high anti-aliasing,10 or 12-bit (4K) color, and viewport support are in question.

3. The ASUS Z9PE-D8 WS has a very good reputation.

4. The Nanoxia DS6 appears to be very good- accommodating many, many drives, but you only list one drive. Consider what capacity of storage drives you will need and possible RAID configurations. I can see this case is designed for quiet, but I wonder if the solid front panel/door is good for air flow.

5. I have currently 8 Dell monitors and they have been very good- image and reliability, though in bright light, the anti-reflection coating can sometimes seem a bit milky/ pebbly. However, if you doing image-related work, consider a 27" or use the 24" with a second, smaller monitor to place menus.

6. A 1600W power supply is almost double your needs and may well contribute unwanted heat. I would use an 850-1000W PSU depending on the number of peripherals.

Anyway, some general comments, but it's difficult to say more without knowing the uses and your budget.

Cheers,

BambiBoom

HP z420 (2014) > Xeon E5-1620 quad core @ 3.6 / 3.8GHz > 24GB DDR3 ECC 1600 RAM > Quadro 4000 (2GB)> Samsung 840 SSD 250GB /Western Digital Black WD1003FZEX 1TB> M-Audio 192 sound card > AE3000 USB WiFi > HP 2711X, 27" 1920 X 1080 > Windows 7 Ultimate 64 >[Passmark system rating = 3923, CPU= 9223/ 2D= 839 / 3D=2048]

Dell Precision T5400 (2008) > 2X Xeon X5460 quad core @3.16GHz > 16GB DDR2 ECC 667> Quadro FX 4800 (1.5GB) > WD RE4 500GB / Seagate Barracuda 500GB > M-Audio 2496 Sound Card / Linksys 600N WiFi > Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit > [Passmark system rating = 1859, CPU = 8528 / 2D= 512 / 3D=1097]

Dell Precision 390 (2005) Xeon x3230 quad core @ 2.67GHz > 6 GB DDR2 ECC 667 > Firepro V4900 (1GB)> 2X WD 320GB > Windows 7 Profession 64-bit [Passmark system rating = 1431, CPU = 3642 / 2D= 433 / 3D=1346]

2D, 3D CAD, Image Processing, Rendering, Text > Architecture, industrial design, graphic design, written projects
 

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