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$2500 Animation + CAD Workstation Build

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Building a CPU heavy machine now with expandability for GPU-based CUDA Rendering and animation support down the road. Working off the Build your own Tesla Supercomputer template (avail at Nvidia's website). I'm looking for people to shoot holes in this setup as far as component compatibility and flexibility for the occasional gaming (fully aware there's no SLI on the mobo).


Purchase Date: This Week (hopefully with some Black Friday deals)

Budget: 2500+

Usage: Animation rendering and CAD (Vray, Solidworks, Alias, 3ds Max, Adobe)

Parts not req'd: Monitor, KeyB, Mouse, speakers, Hard Disk

Overclocking: hopefully

Monitors: at least a dual setup, looking at options for third monitor



____The Build____

Mobo: Tyan s7025

CPUs: 2x Xeon E5520

Video: Gigabyte GTX 260 Super Overclocked

Memory: 6x2GB DDR3 1066mhz ECC Registered Kingston Memory (two for each channel)

Case: HEC 98 Series (need 8+ slots with EATX/SSI EEB)

CPU Fans: 2x Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 (couldn't find anything else that's compatible)

Power Supply: Coolermaster 1250w


SSD: Crucial CT64M225 64GB


est. Total: $2609


Had everything hyperlinked but CGarchitect deemed it necessary to waste 20 minutes of my time. (everything is avail on Newegg, for reference)

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I would buy a cheaper gfx card like the 9800gt until the fermis come out. Also, I don't get why people are buying 1066mhz DDR3. Get at least 1600mhz ram...that is where you actually see the difference in performance for DDR3.


I always use Corsair PSUs. You may look at there 1000hx.

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I reason the video card will have to last at least a year before upgrading to fermi makes sense (and CUDA is supported) and I will have to run some pretty complex geometry in Solidworks and Rhino/alias until then. Plus I kinda want to be able to run a game or two if the whim strikes me.


Ram speed is driven by CPU limits, 5500 series only goes to 1333 and thats for the super high end cpus. the e5520 is stuck at 1066mhz. As for the PSU, I might need more juice than 1000w down the road and I would have to have to scrap a PSU for a measely additional 200 watts.

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A 9800gt will game as well if you get the itch.


Ram speed is not driven by the cpu. Just like the gfx card. All the speeds are independent of one another. The fastest your ram the quicker the data will read/write, etc. I could get completely technical and start talking about what happens when you overclock your ram and how the write/read speeds increase but the fact is, cpu and ram speeds are not tied together. Manufactures of OEMS simply do this for who knows why.


Corsair has some of the best PSus on the market. Most PSU companies wattages are for max. Corsair always specs continuous. Go look around on the internet and go look at the Corsair forums. You may be surprised what you find out.

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