Question Building workstation much different than building desktop?

Joe Doe

Commendable
Jan 18, 2017
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I’ve built several desktops. I’ve been asked to build a workstation with specs at bottom. Is building a workstation much different than building a desktop?

Building a desktop, you mount the board and components in the case, thermal compound the processor and install, put the ram, GPU, and cables in, load the OS and essentially that’s it (with a few things left out, overgeneralized, etc.).

Is there anything different with a workstation? Just install the two Xeons, other components as normal, and load the OS? Any special steps or things to know that aren't the same as building a PC?

It will be used for CAD / 3D design work, running Windows 10. Not a server or anything.



Processor
- 2 x Intel Xeon SILVER 4110 Processor (8 cores, 11MB Cache, 2.10GHz).

Memory
- 128GB DDR4 2666MHz ECC RDIMM

First Video Adapter
-NVIDIA Quadro P2000 5GB (4xDP) High Profile

1st HDD
512GB Solid State Drive, 2.5", SATA3, Opal
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
A Xeon Silver 4110 has a 6 channel memory controller. To maximize performance you want to have 6 DIMMs per socket. So for your dual socket system you want 12 DIMM for maximum memory bandwidth. The Intel ARK says 2400 is the maximum memory speed supported. 12 x 8GB would give you 96GB or 192GB if you are using 16GB DIMMs.
You will want to be sure what ever power supply you purchase has sufficient EPS12V plugs for the motherboard you purchase. That is only an 85W CPU so cooling won't be too difficult.
Dual socket motherboards REQUIRE Windows PRO (or better).
 

Joe Doe

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Jan 18, 2017
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Interesting... so if going with 16GB DIMMS, does it matter if 1Rx4 vs 2Rx4 vs 2Rx8?

I would think 64GB (4 x 16GB) DDR4 2400 (PC4 19200) 1Rx4 288-Pin 1.2V ECC RDIMM Registered Memory by NEMIX RAM & 128GB (8 x 16GB) DDR4 2400 (PC4 19200) 1Rx4 288-Pin 1.2V ECC RDIMM Registered Memory by NEMIX RAM on a ASUS WS C621E Sage EEB Server Motherboard Dual LGA 3647 Intel C621 might do the trick?
 

g-unit1111

Titan
Moderator
The thing I would question is how the cooling solution would work. I can't imagine a dual Xeon workstation is going to use Hyper 212 Evos. You're probably going to have to go with a full custom dual CPU block setup for this one, I can't really forsee any other scenario working in this case.
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
The thing I would question is how the cooling solution would work. I can't imagine a dual Xeon workstation is going to use Hyper 212 Evos. You're probably going to have to go with a full custom dual CPU block setup for this one, I can't really forsee any other scenario working in this case.
They are only 85W CPUs. Granted they are much larger size than desktop CPUs so air coolers specifically for the Xeon Scalable would be required. Not Hyper 212 but Noctua -- https://noctua.at/en/noctua-introduces-quiet-cpu-coolers-for-lga3647-intel-xeon-platforms
 

hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator
Only difference between a "workstation" and a "desktop" is price and quality of the components. How you put them together in a system is exactly the same. Follow the motherboard and other component instructions and nothing fancy or special needs to be done.
 
Any real workstation will have ECC Error correcting RAM for data integrity. The Video cards will be certified to work with various technical and industrial applications and have ECC RAM ,including the cache. Often the video drivers favor image accuracy over frame rate ( like medical imaging). They are usually accompanied by special tech support departments when purchased from Dell or HP by their industrial clients. The typical enthusiast doesn't need or can't afford any of this. But for someone who actually needs a workstation DIY won't cut it.
 

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