Theoretical System specs... with a few gaps.

The Internal

Limp Gawd
Joined
Nov 14, 2004
Messages
130
Greetings,

I hope to be building my first dual processor system in the next month. Unless I'm mistaken, dual Opterons would probably be the better bang for the buck for 3ds max, Adobe Creative Suite, and the occasional game. Here's what I'm thinking about getting, with a focus on bang for the buck do anything system, as well as the upgrades I'd like to do once I get the money and parts I need help with:

Motherboard:
Tyan Thunder K8WE

Processors:
Dual Opteron 246 (should I get the 248s instead, or is the price jump not worth it? What sort of price drops will we see in February?)

RAM:
1 GB OCZ Registered ECC RAM with 2-2-3-6 CAS timings (would upgrade to 2GB soon)

Hard Drive:
1 Western Digital 74 GB Raptor (would eventually RAID 0 or 0+1 once I got some money)

Optical Drive:
NEC 16x DVD-RW dual layer

Video Card:
ATI FireGL V7100 (eventually throw in a second card if I needed too...)

Case:
I need suggestions (I want a tower, not a rackmount)

Powersupply:
I need suggestions (something powerful and QUIET. Do I need a redundant power supply or/and one with "split planes"... I dunno PSUs all that well...I do know it needs to be EPS12V/SSI 3.51 compliant)

I really appreciate any and all comments. It's not a must, but I'd really really like to make this system run QUIET. Thanks!
 

defakto

2[H]4U
Joined
Jun 10, 2004
Messages
2,323
Personally, if you want a big tower, get a cooler master stacker, good air flow runs quiet.

Power supply, I run SPARKLE FSP550-60PLG2 from newegg.com and i've tried to hit the limits of it. Two 74Gig raptors, 1x200gig drive, geforce 6800 gt oc, several large slow moving case fans, dvdrw cdrw, scsi raid card, 4x10krpm scsi drives, dual opteron 246, 2 gigs of ram and a sound card, and it still hasn't given up on me. Good supply for only about $99 or so.
 
Joined
Oct 19, 2004
Messages
836
reiterating what the guy above said, get a 2gb ram.
Also, for future upgrade options (cheap)
get the tyan thunder kwe s2895 sli mobi, and a pcie quadro fx 3400.

then, in two years/1 year, get another fx3400 for v.cheap, and maybe some more ram.
also, for power supply which is v.good performance (look at driver heaven's burn test with this, it is huge) and 26db, the ocz powerstream 600w.

f
 

The Internal

Limp Gawd
Joined
Nov 14, 2004
Messages
130
are those PSUs 12v capable and split plane? One of the reasons I'm strongly leaning towards the FireGL is because it's about half the price of NVIDIA's best offering with like 75% of it's performance.
 

defakto

2[H]4U
Joined
Jun 10, 2004
Messages
2,323
the sparkle i listed is not a redundant supply, but it is eps12v compatible, wonderful powersupply for teh price, good solid and heavy, signs of reliable powersupply.
 

BossNoodleKaboodle

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Dec 6, 2004
Messages
1,818
I'd go for a Quadro as well.

I'd also get an Intel server chassis instead of a normal PC case, or if you don't like boring boxes that have lots of server/workstation use only features, then a Lian-Li. The CM stacker doesn't really come close to the build quality of the old ATCs CM cases.
 

The Internal

Limp Gawd
Joined
Nov 14, 2004
Messages
130
why get the quadro? It's way overpriced according to the benchmarks I've seen on tom's hardware guide. Also, I really don't need some super huge case. If someone made an aluminum mid tower that I could fit the mobo, three 5.25" extrenal bays, and up to 4 hard drives in, I'd be cool.
 

BossNoodleKaboodle

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Dec 6, 2004
Messages
1,818
Well if you want to stuff a server's worth of components and dual processors in a standard case, you won't be able to add much to it, it will be cramped and cooling will be difficult. Real server and workstation cases are a lot different internally than standard metal boxes with lights and windows that most people use.

Quadro's are expensive, but very good for workstation and actual design use. If you play games a Geforce is a much better deal. I read some benchmarks that showed the FireGL's as pretty weak in a lot of cases compared to Quadro's. How much can you spend?
 

The Internal

Limp Gawd
Joined
Nov 14, 2004
Messages
130
for the processors, motherboard, RAM, OS (Windows XP Pro OEM), and graphics card I could go up to $3000. I'd LIKE to stay under $3500 for the full system though.

Here's a not-to-old article that benches the ATI against the NVIDA and indicates that the Fire GL lineup is very competative and alot cheaper.

http://graphics.tomshardware.com/graphic/20040816/opengl-pcie-20.html

If someone can justify to me that spending over $700 more for a card that only performs 5 to 10 percent better, please do so. No one has given any real reason why I should throw down for the top of the line NVIDIA... I'd like to understand the reasoning for such suggestions.

Thanks.
 

novadude

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jul 8, 2004
Messages
1,108
The reason for nVidia cards in CG work is better drivers, especially for Max. ATI still has problems with some features of various apps.
 
Joined
Aug 2, 2004
Messages
60
The Internal said:
... the better bang for the buck for 3ds max, Adobe Creative Suite, and the occasional game.

Is this for a lot of 3D work and the occasional game, or a moderate amout of games and some 3D work?

If the latter, then use SLI in that board instead of a high end rendering card.
 

BossNoodleKaboodle

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Dec 6, 2004
Messages
1,818
SLi isn't going to render anything. Its just the interface for two graphics cards to work together. The OP could get one Quadro that supports SLi now and get another one later though.
 

The Internal

Limp Gawd
Joined
Nov 14, 2004
Messages
130
I guess I'm still having difficulty justifying the expendature for a quadro that has a much greater cost than it's performance gain (ratiowise). ATI is gaining a larger share of the workstation market and actually performs better in the actual 3ds max workspace than the quadro. The quadro renders alot faster though...
I guess I'm just trying to get a logical justification for the significant price difference of the quadro vs the FireGL when the performance gain is minor to moderate.
 
Joined
Aug 2, 2004
Messages
60
BossNoodleKaboodle said:
SLi isn't going to render anything. Its just the interface for two graphics cards to work together. The OP could get one Quadro that supports SLi now and get another one later though.

My point was this: while many people say they will be rendering a lot, they end up playing around with it, and using the workstation as a regular computer. If that is the case, the user might as well purchase regular consumer video cards, which will render just fine whether SLI is utilized or not.
 

cheeta05r

Gawd
Joined
Oct 7, 2001
Messages
973
The Internal said:
RAM:
1 GB OCZ Registered ECC RAM with 2-2-3-6 CAS timings (would upgrade to 2GB soon)
I never really learned all about CAS timings, so is this CL2 or CL3? I am looking for 1BG or 2GB ECC Registered Dimms to run in a dual Opteron setup. Each CPU with 2 dimms. I would really like low latency ram.
 

mikeblas

[H]ard|DCer of the Month - May 2006
Joined
Jun 26, 2004
Messages
12,776
The Internal said:
Motherboard:
Tyan Thunder K8WE

Is this board shipping yet? I was looking around for pricing on it a couple of weeks ago and I couldn't find anyone who had 'em listed.

.B ekiM
 

The Internal

Limp Gawd
Joined
Nov 14, 2004
Messages
130
Also, I'm not trying to offend anyone by saying this, but NVIDIA is really starting to slip on their driver support according to a number I've reviews and posts in forums that I read. Being a computer tech (like I'm guessing half of you guys are), my chums at work agree with me that ATI USED to suck ass at driver support, but are now debatably better than NVIDIA. In articles I've read, I haven't heard of newer ATI products having any problems with Max. I do know that the Quadro has a larger market share than ATI, so that alone could justify comments about NVIDIA having better application support... but still... I'm a bargain hunter... I'm really really straining to justify spending most of my budget on a $1800 top of the line Quadro...
 
Joined
Jun 11, 2000
Messages
693
Echoing what others have said already, you really should take a look at Quadros.

Keeping things along the nVidia theme, you'd do well to take a look at Iwill's DK8N which uses the nForce3 250 chip rather than just AMD's 8xxx set... nForce just has so much more up-to-date features that the older AMD set doesn't have. ;)
 
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