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New high end workstation build

JeffreyLJeffreyL Posts: 4
Hi All:

Decided to build a new workstation.  Parts selection below.  Everything from ebay except raid cables which i went with amazon

Dell Poweredge R720 chassis (includes motherboards and cpu heat sinks)  USD $215.50
2x intel xeon e5 2667 v2 procs ($560)
Dell Poweredge platinum 750w psu ($70)
Dell Perc H330 raid controller ($119) - see notes below
Cables (SFF9643 to SFF 8087) ($32)
SSD - operating system ($130)
Memory - 16 gigs (4x4) ddr3 1600 ecc (all samsung) $60
Memory - 16 gigs (2x8) ddr3 1600 ecc (all samsung) $60
Graphics card - ASUS gtx 1080 (blower style) $477 - see below

Total so far $1,723

This gives me 16 cores, 32 threads running 32gigs of memory with turbo on the cpu's up to 4ghz.  Plan on spending at a minimum the following additional

16 gigs of ram 2x8 sticks of samsung ecc ddr3 1600 to get up to 2x per cpu for a total of 48 gigs.  I might also get another 4x8 samsung sticks and another 4x4 gig samsung sticks as the cpu's are cable of quad channel memory at 1600 speeds.

The issue with this build is (1) the hard drive blackplane was SAS.  Which presents interesting issues.  By upgrading from the Perc H310 to the Perc H330 i could then use SAS2 drives with a maximum throughput of 12 gbs.  While not nvme speeds, they are 2x sata III speeds.  The issue is cost.  Dell is finnicky to say the least in terms of using hardware that needs to be on its approved list.  Only a few oem's manufacture SAS ssd's and only a few of those are certified for Dell hardware.  If the H330 works (i don't have the cables yet, they are on the way so i have not tested yet, but the bios saw the controller card when i test booted) then i will purchase 2x 400gb SAS drives and put them in raid 0 for a scratch disk for video work.  i have a 6gbs SAS1 400gb drive that i hope will work with the H330 (it did not work with the H310).  We will see.  The 2x400gig drives will cost a total of between $500 and $600

The second issue is that going with a server that is 2u, i was limited in graphics card cooling.  Essentially only blower style coolers will work.  That did however, significantly reduce cost and allowed me to pick up an ASUS blower style GTX 1080 for only $477 on ebay.

Given that in a modern workstation, getting 16 physical cores would cost between $900 (threadripper) and $1700 (i0 7960x) at not much signifiacntly higher clocks, i think the build above will be phenomenal performance per $.

Let me know what you guys think.

Jeffrey

Comments

  • JeffreyLJeffreyL Posts: 4
    Bad news.  The Perc H330 raid controller will not work.  It would appear that i need to revert back to the Perc H310.  No 12gb sas unfortunately.
  • TiagoToonsTiagoToons Posts: 19
    Hi,

    Seems like an interesting build, and if what you need is a high number of cores, go for it.

    But, from what I've learned from TechYesCity and BadSeedTechs's videos (they both had dual Xeon machines), many applications despite liking cores, also appreciate high clocks, so in many cases even a R7 1700 would be better.

    Also, since you said this is a workstation, I imagine that the GTX 1080 is there for the cuda cores. If so, remember that the 980ti has more cores and it's cheaper.

    Don't forget to share some pictures of the build in the end.
  • JeffreyLJeffreyL Posts: 4
    The e5-2667 v2 runs at 3.3 ghz with turbo up to 4 ghz so the Ryzen first gen is only a small amount faster.  In addition, the GTX 1080 operates at much higher clocks and has the better performing pascal architecture than the Maxwell based GTX 980ti, not to mention that it operates at 70w less power for that better performance.
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