Workstation (Ideas?)

Building a new system? Need help choosing between parts? Then step in and let our trained gerbils assist you.

Moderator: JustAnEngineer

Workstation (Ideas?)

Postposted on Tue Sep 17, 2013 10:50 am

ok, I am building a workstation for work (how novel an idea)

I have a copious budget, and free reign to build it myself. I plan on using Arch Linux (possibly a windows 8 VM (via KVM) for those times you just can't seem to avoid windows). the thing is I spend most of my hobby time and effort within budget constraints so I am not as familiar with the world of high budget workstation hardware. I have built the odd server for work, but those tend to be more application specific and easier to provision. I want a beast of a station that can handle everything. I do some video editing and some print-ready workflow. I also write and distribute applications in Java and C++. I tend to be a heavy multi tasker and frequently run out of memory on my current workstation that is equipt with 24GB. I have a general feel for what hardware I want to use, but could use some guidance/resources to help with hardware compatibility/driver support (for linux), as well as some input about things to watch out for. Now even though I may have a large budget, and will probably go overboard on particular components, I want to keep the discussion on the hardware choices, and not on if something seems overkill, because it generally is not. Last thing to keep in mind when reading through, I get new workstations frequently (about every 20-24 months) so I feel little need to drastically over pay for "server class" when workstation/consumer class should last me just fine.

also, we tend to purchase through tigerdirect/compusa b2b, so they need to offer the hardware when possible (They can special order things from time to time though)

so with that all said, I look forward to the input of the people I trust on these forums, here we go.

Hardware I am considering:

Intel Xeon E5-2687W v2 (8 cores @ 3.4GHz, Socket 2011)
ECC 1833MHz DDR3 memory 64Gb in eight sticks (8x8Gb)
Motherboards are tough (I need help here) I like Supermicro although they can be a touch pricey, I wouldn't be opposed to an X79 based board if it supported the above Proc/memory. otherwise I feel I am stuck with C602 platform. (I would love input on this hardware)
GPU (another sticking point) the company tend to favor the red team, I am more agnostic. for me the Linux driver support it the first issue (from my experience Nvidia's proprietary Blobs are pretty good, and I am not opposed to using them Stability is a good trait.) but something powerful with a good chuck of on board memory Leaning to the GTX 780 or anything comparable, 7970 or whatever the AMD competitor is would work. Titan @ $1000 might be Overkill, but I am open to arguments.
I will probably run RAID 0 SSDs if I can get some kind of garbage collection to work with it (advice here is welcome) I was thinking Samsung 840 Pro either 4x 256GB or 2x512GB
the motherboard will probably lead to the determination of whether I will need a dedicated RAID card, We have great experiences with LSI, but if I skip the RAID and just run the drives in parallel with some clever mount points that might be just as good for me.
maybe a pair of 2TB or 4TB mechanical drives in a mirror for some bulk local storage.
PSU just so long as it fits in the chassis and provides enough power (and proper cables) {modular and quiet prefered} I will be happy. (side note I don't feel the need for redundant supplies here.)
chassis, again this will depend somewhat on the motherboard, supermicro tends to favor a proprietary form (bastards) which can make for a long day finding chassis that aren't crazy expensive (read all of supermicros workstation chassis (also tiger doesn't really carry much from them.)
no need for a disc drive, unless someone has a real argument for one.

so I figure this should come in under $6,000. I can land the E5 listed above for $2,000 which is well below market, so keep that in mind) we also occasionally are able to hit better price points for a lot of things (though not all) so there is that. I figure the use of some consumer parts here or there, I hope to get the entire thing as low as possible, so I can ask for a new laptop too, so let's see what you have to say.

Thanks!
Mathematics is not a language, it’s an adventure. Most mathematics is done with a friend over a cup of coffee, with a
diagram scribbled on a napkin. As Gauss once remarked, “What we need are notions, not notations.”
mthguy
Gerbil
 
Posts: 84
Joined: Thu Nov 06, 2008 3:45 pm
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

Current Build Config (will update throughout discussion)

Postposted on Tue Sep 17, 2013 10:53 am

Specs as they stand now:

  • Motherboard: 1x - Supermicro - X9SRE - $350 link
    • Socket 2011
    • C-602-A Platform
    • 8 DIMM slots
    • ATX
    [Secondary option] Asus - Z9PA-U8 - $300 link
    • Socket 2011
    • C-602-A Platform
    • 8 DIMM slots
    • ATX
  • CPU: 1x - Intel - E5-2687W v2 - $2,100 link
    • 16 Cores (8 physical, 8 Virtual (hyper-threaded) )
    • 3.4 GHz turbo to 3.8 GHz
  • CPU Heatsink: 1x - Corsair - H100i Water cooler - $100 link
    • Closed loop
    • dual 120MM Fans on 240mmx120mm radiator
  • Memory: 8x - Kingston ValueRAM - CL11 1.5V ECC registered 1600MHz 16GB - (2x $700) $1400 link
    • 128GB total Memory
    • dual rank DIMMS 2/Channel

  • GPU: 1x - Asus - GeForce GTX 780 (3GB) - $650 link
    AMD - w7000 - $660 link
    • 4GB GDDR5 Memory
    • 4 Display ports
  • Chassis: 1x - Fractal Design - Define R2 XL - $130 link
    [Note: I love Lian Li cases, but Tiger doesn't seem to have a supplier]

  • PSU: 1x - Cosair - AX1200i 1200W ATX - $330 link
    1x - NZXT - HALE82N 550W Modular - $60 link

  • SSD: 2x - Samsung - 840 Pro 512GB - (2x $500) $1,000
    2x - Samsung - 840 EVO 500GB - (2x$360) $720 link


Estimated Total : $5,520

Edit: duh, learned how to use BBcode url tags... cleaned this up.
Last edited by mthguy on Thu Sep 19, 2013 10:50 am, edited 9 times in total.
Mathematics is not a language, it’s an adventure. Most mathematics is done with a friend over a cup of coffee, with a
diagram scribbled on a napkin. As Gauss once remarked, “What we need are notions, not notations.”
mthguy
Gerbil
 
Posts: 84
Joined: Thu Nov 06, 2008 3:45 pm
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

Re: Workstation (Ideas?)

Postposted on Tue Sep 17, 2013 11:31 am

Why do you need RAID 0 SSDs and a heavy-duty GPU in a dev box?

What are you doing that eats up 24 GB of RAM?
Z68XP-UD4 | 2700K @ 4.4 GHz | 16 GB | 770 | PCP&C Silencer 950 | XSPC RX360 | Heatkiller R3 | D5 + RP-452X2 | HAF 932 | 1 TB WD Black w/ SRT
Waco
Gerbil Elite
 
Posts: 746
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2009 4:14 pm

Re: Workstation (Ideas?)

Postposted on Tue Sep 17, 2013 11:35 am

Just wait for the new MacPro.
Deanjo
Gerbil XP
 
Posts: 397
Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2009 11:31 am

Re: Workstation (Ideas?)

Postposted on Tue Sep 17, 2013 11:48 am

Waco wrote:Why do you need RAID 0 SSDs and a heavy-duty GPU in a dev box?

He says he also does video editing; that covers the high-bandwidth disk requirement. Not sure about the GPU.

Waco wrote:What are you doing that eats up 24 GB of RAM?

VMs can chew up an awful lot of RAM in a hurry.

As an aside, Arch seems a somewhat odd choice for a production Linux system. Debian Stable, Ubuntu LTS, or RHEL/CentOS would seem to be more sensible in that you've got a stable base that isn't going to change drastically over the expected useful lifetime of this workstation.
(this space intentionally left blank)
just brew it!
Administrator
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 37705
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2002 10:51 pm
Location: Somewhere, having a beer

Re: Workstation (Ideas?)

Postposted on Tue Sep 17, 2013 11:49 am

well I typically have several memory hog applications in use (layout tools like Indesign, raster processors (photoshop and Gimp), We process large Variable data projects that can have to be ripped through massive buffers, each instance can easily eat 4GB, etc.) I tend to browse the internet, and stream video and music during the day which can also just eat up the memory. I like to have my scratch disk and/or source on a RAMDisk when possible also. so I can easily eat up the RAM, also when I provision a local Windows VM I would like to be able to give it 8gb of RAM and not have it kill my other tasks.

The mac pro isn't an entirely terrible suggestion, but
    A.) I don't want to wait
    B.) Linux tends to have fits when Apple customizes their hardware
    C.) I don't want to be teased at work
    D.) I really enjoy spec'ing, building, and setting up new computers.
Last edited by mthguy on Tue Sep 17, 2013 1:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Mathematics is not a language, it’s an adventure. Most mathematics is done with a friend over a cup of coffee, with a
diagram scribbled on a napkin. As Gauss once remarked, “What we need are notions, not notations.”
mthguy
Gerbil
 
Posts: 84
Joined: Thu Nov 06, 2008 3:45 pm
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

Re: Workstation (Ideas?)

Postposted on Tue Sep 17, 2013 11:52 am

with the current config listed above, I would probably just run the SSDs as individual disks rather than a RAID 0. my only real concern with the RAID 0 is the TRIM (or similar garbage collection {set all empty bits to 0}) compatibility

Honestly, CentOS probably is a more sensible choice, but I really would miss pacman.
Mathematics is not a language, it’s an adventure. Most mathematics is done with a friend over a cup of coffee, with a
diagram scribbled on a napkin. As Gauss once remarked, “What we need are notions, not notations.”
mthguy
Gerbil
 
Posts: 84
Joined: Thu Nov 06, 2008 3:45 pm
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

Re: Workstation (Ideas?)

Postposted on Tue Sep 17, 2013 11:55 am

mthguy wrote:miss pacman.


lol. just re-read that post.
Mathematics is not a language, it’s an adventure. Most mathematics is done with a friend over a cup of coffee, with a
diagram scribbled on a napkin. As Gauss once remarked, “What we need are notions, not notations.”
mthguy
Gerbil
 
Posts: 84
Joined: Thu Nov 06, 2008 3:45 pm
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

Re: Workstation (Ideas?)

Postposted on Tue Sep 17, 2013 11:57 am

Intel as released trim support on the 7 series motherboard and up, but I can't tell if your setup has support on this.
Intel i5 3570K - Corsair A50 - Asus P8Z77-V - Corsair 2x4Gb - Asus 280X Direct CU2 - 2x Corsair F90 - Samsung Spinpoint F3 1Tb - Antec One Hundred - Corsair CS750M - ASUS MX239H AH-IPS - Logitech LS21 - Logitech K520 Combo - Win 8.1
Nokia Lumia 920
Jon1984
Gerbil XP
Silver subscriber
 
 
Posts: 314
Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2011 3:07 pm
Location: Portugal

Re: Workstation (Ideas?)

Postposted on Tue Sep 17, 2013 12:00 pm

mthguy wrote:Honestly, CentOS probably is a more sensible choice, but I really would miss pacman.

Yeah, I hear you... the frustration of dealing with yum/rpm is one of the reasons I abandoned the Redhat-based distros for Debian/Ubuntu. But again, this is a production box; you're probably not going to be doing a lot of crazy stuff with the package manager once you've got it set up.
(this space intentionally left blank)
just brew it!
Administrator
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 37705
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2002 10:51 pm
Location: Somewhere, having a beer

Re: Workstation (Ideas?)

Postposted on Tue Sep 17, 2013 12:04 pm

yea, I typically run debian based distros, I started on fedora years ago, and slowly migrated to ubuntu for their great repos and I prefer apt to yum/rpm. I fell in love with Arch though, and I have trouble going back. That said I am sure I will end up on something like Ubuntu LTS or something, but I like to think I can get Arch nice and stable for that time period.

Does anyone know if the ivy based E5's are drop in compatible with some of the x79 boards out there?
Mathematics is not a language, it’s an adventure. Most mathematics is done with a friend over a cup of coffee, with a
diagram scribbled on a napkin. As Gauss once remarked, “What we need are notions, not notations.”
mthguy
Gerbil
 
Posts: 84
Joined: Thu Nov 06, 2008 3:45 pm
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

Re: Workstation (Ideas?)

Postposted on Tue Sep 17, 2013 12:10 pm

If this is a workstation and you are concerned about good Linux video drivers, are you sure you wouldn't be better served by a professional-grade card? I don't piece out workstations myself, but it might be worth checking out.
Damage wrote:Don't try to game the requirements by posting everywhere, guys, or I'll nuke you from space.

-Probably the best Damage quote ever.
superjawes
Graphmaster Gerbil
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 1085
Joined: Thu May 28, 2009 9:49 am

Re: Workstation (Ideas?)

Postposted on Tue Sep 17, 2013 12:29 pm

Everyone here runs FirePro AMD cards ( with windows) and that is what I have in my current workstation, but I find that the prices shoot through the roof if you start adding much power. for example the FirePro w7000 is comparable in price to the 780 @ ~$650 while something more in line performance wise ( although perhaps a bit less so) is the w8000 with I can get for ~$1,350. Is the driver support for linux any better for the workstation cards from either Nvidia or AMD?

Probably a good time to mention that I have 4 monitors on my desktop, so making sure they all work is a nice bonus...
Mathematics is not a language, it’s an adventure. Most mathematics is done with a friend over a cup of coffee, with a
diagram scribbled on a napkin. As Gauss once remarked, “What we need are notions, not notations.”
mthguy
Gerbil
 
Posts: 84
Joined: Thu Nov 06, 2008 3:45 pm
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

Re: Workstation (Ideas?)

Postposted on Tue Sep 17, 2013 12:30 pm

Also, Anyone have a reference when it comes to REgistered/buffered ram and what each means for me? I have never truly understood the differences there.
Mathematics is not a language, it’s an adventure. Most mathematics is done with a friend over a cup of coffee, with a
diagram scribbled on a napkin. As Gauss once remarked, “What we need are notions, not notations.”
mthguy
Gerbil
 
Posts: 84
Joined: Thu Nov 06, 2008 3:45 pm
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

Re: Workstation (Ideas?)

Postposted on Tue Sep 17, 2013 12:50 pm

Z9PE-D8 WS and dual E5-2620 v2

I'd go with a 1TB SSD over two 512GB in RAID 0.
i7-3770K@4.7 | H100 | P8Z77-V PREMIUM | 16GB | 2 GTX 770 4GB SLI | M500 960GB | EVO 840 250GB | AX850 | Obsidian 550D | R.A.T. 9 | U2713H | U2711
End User
Gerbil Elite
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 951
Joined: Fri Apr 16, 2004 6:47 pm
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: Workstation (Ideas?)

Postposted on Tue Sep 17, 2013 1:02 pm

Z9PE-D8 WS and dual E5-2620 v2


I am not opposed to a 2P setup...

but something with a higher clock speed is in order, like the E5-2637V2 would work, with 4 cores each, but then I am trading one die for two with roughly the same price, 2x$1000 one 1x $2000 I have heard there are some performance issues moving from one chip to the other, but I don't know what workflows that tend to effect the most.
Mathematics is not a language, it’s an adventure. Most mathematics is done with a friend over a cup of coffee, with a
diagram scribbled on a napkin. As Gauss once remarked, “What we need are notions, not notations.”
mthguy
Gerbil
 
Posts: 84
Joined: Thu Nov 06, 2008 3:45 pm
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

Re: Workstation (Ideas?)

Postposted on Tue Sep 17, 2013 1:06 pm

End User wrote:I'd go with a 1TB SSD over two 512GB in RAID 0.


the price doesn't scale linearly, neither does the bandwidth.
Mathematics is not a language, it’s an adventure. Most mathematics is done with a friend over a cup of coffee, with a
diagram scribbled on a napkin. As Gauss once remarked, “What we need are notions, not notations.”
mthguy
Gerbil
 
Posts: 84
Joined: Thu Nov 06, 2008 3:45 pm
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

Re: Workstation (Ideas?)

Postposted on Tue Sep 17, 2013 1:40 pm

mthguy wrote:Everyone here runs FirePro AMD cards ( with windows) and that is what I have in my current workstation, but I find that the prices shoot through the roof if you start adding much power. for example the FirePro w7000 is comparable in price to the 780 @ ~$650 while something more in line performance wise ( although perhaps a bit less so) is the w8000 with I can get for ~$1,350. Is the driver support for linux any better for the workstation cards from either Nvidia or AMD?

Probably a good time to mention that I have 4 monitors on my desktop, so making sure they all work is a nice bonus...

I'm no expert in consumer cards, and I know even less about workstation cards. I just wanted to make sure that idea was out there in case there is a significant benefit.
Damage wrote:Don't try to game the requirements by posting everywhere, guys, or I'll nuke you from space.

-Probably the best Damage quote ever.
superjawes
Graphmaster Gerbil
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 1085
Joined: Thu May 28, 2009 9:49 am

Re: Workstation (Ideas?)

Postposted on Tue Sep 17, 2013 1:51 pm

mthguy wrote:Also, Anyone have a reference when it comes to REgistered/buffered ram and what each means for me? I have never truly understood the differences there.

Registered DIMMs improve data integrity by adding extra buffer chips on the DIMMs for the control signals. Registered DIMMs are often required by motherboards that allow more than 2 DIMMs per memory channel, even if you are not populating all of the DIMM sockets. The downsides are cost (the additional buffer chips cost money) and performance (the additional buffering increases the latency of the memory subsystem).

Fully-buffered DIMMs (FBDIMMs) buffer the data lines as well. Fully-buffered DIMMs seem to have fallen out of favor after the DDR2 generation of DRAM. I do not believe anyone makes DDR3 FBDIMMs.

Bottom line for the system builder: Use whichever type (unbuffered or registered) your motherboard's specifications call for. They're generally not cross-compatible (i.e. if the motherboard calls for unbuffered you can't use registered, and vice-versa), though I have seen occasional exceptions to this is the past.
(this space intentionally left blank)
just brew it!
Administrator
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 37705
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2002 10:51 pm
Location: Somewhere, having a beer

Re: Workstation (Ideas?)

Postposted on Tue Sep 17, 2013 1:51 pm

mthguy wrote:
Z9PE-D8 WS and dual E5-2620 v2


I am not opposed to a 2P setup...

but something with a higher clock speed is in order, like the E5-2637V2 would work, with 4 cores each, but then I am trading one die for two with roughly the same price, 2x$1000 one 1x $2000 I have heard there are some performance issues moving from one chip to the other, but I don't know what workflows that tend to effect the most.


mthguy wrote:
Z9PE-D8 WS and dual E5-2620 v2


I am not opposed to a 2P setup...

but something with a higher clock speed is in order, like the E5-2637V2 would work, with 4 cores each, but then I am trading one die for two with roughly the same price, 2x$1000 one 1x $2000 I have heard there are some performance issues moving from one chip to the other, but I don't know what workflows that tend to effect the most.


Best value to me seems to be either
E5-1680 v2 or
E5-2650 v2 (2p)

For SSDs, I'm waiting for the Samsung XS1715. No idea what the release date is, but I'm waiting for Haswell-EP anyways. (Currently running 2p X5660's for scientific computing at work).
Yugiyurigyu
Gerbil
 
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2011 7:59 am

Re: Workstation (Ideas?)

Postposted on Tue Sep 17, 2013 2:19 pm

Yugiyurigyu wrote:I'm waiting for the Samsung XS1715


those certainly look intriguing but no price or availability date makes it hard to wait. if I knew it would be a few weeks, ok. but indefinite, can be months.

Yugiyurigyu wrote:E5-1680 v2


I don't see this on Intels ARK, and the 2650 could be compelling but In some single threaded programs (of which I deal with from time to time) I am sure I would notice the 900MHz bump the 2687W v2 provides over the 2650.

just brew it! wrote: Use whichever type (unbuffered or registered) your motherboard's specifications call for.


the terminology used on the Asus site for the Z9PA-U8 isn't familiar to me.
    RDIMM (I assume mean Registered)
    UDIMM (unbuffered?)
    LRDIMM (????)

the DIMM slots appear to take up to 8gb each for UDIMM, would this still work with ECC unbuffered/not registered dimms like the ValueRAM above?

From ASUS's website:

Total Slots : 8 (4-channel per CPU, 8 DIMM per CPU)
Capacity : Maximum up to 256GB LRDIMM
Memory Type :
DDR3 1866/1600/1333/1066 RDIMM*
DDR3 1866/1600/1333/1066 UDIMM*
DDR3 1866/1600/1333/1066 LRDIMM*
Memory Size :
32GB, 16GB, 8GB, 4GB, 2GB RDIMM
8GB, 4GB, 2GB UDIMM
32GB, 16GB, 8GB LRDIMM
Mathematics is not a language, it’s an adventure. Most mathematics is done with a friend over a cup of coffee, with a
diagram scribbled on a napkin. As Gauss once remarked, “What we need are notions, not notations.”
mthguy
Gerbil
 
Posts: 84
Joined: Thu Nov 06, 2008 3:45 pm
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

Re: Workstation (Ideas?)

Postposted on Tue Sep 17, 2013 2:27 pm

An argument could probably be made for the i7-4930K (or 4960X) OC'd to 4+GHz really, but I am always weary of lots of DIMMs without ECC... thoughts?
Mathematics is not a language, it’s an adventure. Most mathematics is done with a friend over a cup of coffee, with a
diagram scribbled on a napkin. As Gauss once remarked, “What we need are notions, not notations.”
mthguy
Gerbil
 
Posts: 84
Joined: Thu Nov 06, 2008 3:45 pm
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

Re: Workstation (Ideas?)

Postposted on Tue Sep 17, 2013 2:28 pm

mthguy wrote:
Yugiyurigyu wrote:E5-1680 v2


I don't see this on Intels ARK, and the 2650 could be compelling but In some single threaded programs (of which I deal with from time to time) I am sure I would notice the 900MHz bump the 2687W v2 provides over the 2650.


Oh, I was looking at the specs on wiki (which does link to the intel ARKs):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_In ... ased_Xeons

E5-1680 v2,
3Ghz, base freq
3.4Ghz, turbo all cores
3.9Ghz, turbo 1 core
(http://ark.intel.com/products/77912)

E5-2650 v2,
2.6Ghz, base
3.1Ghz, turbo all cores
3.4Ghz, turbo 1 core

With turbo, the differences aren't quite as big. I'm assuming you can get those turbo frequencies if you invest into decent CPU cooling.
Yugiyurigyu
Gerbil
 
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2011 7:59 am

Re: Workstation (Ideas?)

Postposted on Tue Sep 17, 2013 2:47 pm

the link on wikipedia got me there, I must have missed it. the 1680V2 at 3GHz vs the 2687WV2 @ 3.4GHz for only $400 more. not sure which is better for me really, it might be nice to get a 2P mainboard with a single E5-2687W v2 then be able to drop another in there in 6 months and get a nice boost.
Mathematics is not a language, it’s an adventure. Most mathematics is done with a friend over a cup of coffee, with a
diagram scribbled on a napkin. As Gauss once remarked, “What we need are notions, not notations.”
mthguy
Gerbil
 
Posts: 84
Joined: Thu Nov 06, 2008 3:45 pm
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

Re: Workstation (Ideas?)

Postposted on Tue Sep 17, 2013 2:53 pm

is there a more reasonable PSU I should be looking at, with the w7000 and a Single E5-2687W v2 on the Asus Z9PA-U8 with a pair of SSDs and a single 4TB drive, I doubt I need 1200W. I always have trouble figuring how much power I should have (including safe amount of headroom)
Mathematics is not a language, it’s an adventure. Most mathematics is done with a friend over a cup of coffee, with a
diagram scribbled on a napkin. As Gauss once remarked, “What we need are notions, not notations.”
mthguy
Gerbil
 
Posts: 84
Joined: Thu Nov 06, 2008 3:45 pm
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

Re: Workstation (Ideas?)

Postposted on Tue Sep 17, 2013 3:01 pm

I think I'd personally go for the 2687W on a 2P workstation. 2P also gives you a lot of headroom for more memory.

Oh, wow, 16GB dimms don't seem that expensive to me (on Newegg). I guess the consumer stuff went up in price this year while the server stuff likely stayed the same? You could run a 100+GB ramdisk at somepoint in the future! (I guess that could be useful if you got into 4k video editing or something?)
Yugiyurigyu
Gerbil
 
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2011 7:59 am

Re: Workstation (Ideas?)

Postposted on Tue Sep 17, 2013 3:06 pm

mthguy wrote:Everyone here runs FirePro AMD cards


In instances where you need double precision (FP64) you'll benefit 2.5x to 5x depending on the application by taking Firepro/Quadro over the silicon-equivalent Radeon/Geforce.

single precision FP32 runs fine on the consumer cards. Aside from a few driver niceties you'll find that popular applications (Autodesk, Adobe, McNeel, Bentley) run pretty well on consumer hardware.

Since a $500 Geforce will beat a $500 Quadro at *most* things, it makes sense to take the Geforce, even if it's still slower than the silicon-equivalent Quadro K5000 (and you would hope so if you'd paid $2500 for one). The Titan is interesting as a workstation GPU since Titan's DP isn't artificially crippled. It doesn't benefit from the driver support and certified profiles, but it will accomplish most of what the Quadro K5000 does for much less than half the price.

A Titan is still $1000 and a 7950 is $200 though, and the difference between those two is probably negligible if you're doing OpenCL and/or FP32 compute - it's only going to be FP64 that allows the Titan to shine. You know your application workload better than any of us. Hunt for benchmarks per application - they're as rare as rocking-horse poo but they do exist if your Google-Fu is strong.
<insert large, flashing, epileptic-fit-inducing signature (based on the latest internet-meme) here>
Chrispy_
Gerbil Jedi
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 1878
Joined: Fri Apr 09, 2004 3:49 pm

Re: Workstation (Ideas?)

Postposted on Tue Sep 17, 2013 3:41 pm

mthguy wrote:Motherboards are tough (I need help here) I like Supermicro although they can be a touch pricey, I wouldn't be opposed to an X79 based board if it supported the above Proc/memory. otherwise I feel I am stuck with C602 platform. (I would love input on this hardware)


I like Tyan boards. I have one in my desktop at home, and the servers at work have Tyan boards. Tyan has excellent Linux support. My desktop runs Linux along with several of the servers, so I have some experience with them.

For RAID cards, I like running Areca cards. The biggest draw, for me, is the built in network port, so I can access them remotely without having to install software on the box. Plus, some models have 4GB of RAM installed on them.

mthguy wrote:Linux driver support it the first issue (from my experience Nvidia's proprietary Blobs are pretty good, and I am not opposed to using them Stability is a good trait.)


Yeah, Nvidia cards are the best performers with the binary blob, and Intel graphics are best with the FOSS driver. AMD's drivers aren't where they need to be, so it's better to go with another vendor.

Yugiyurigyu wrote:I think I'd personally go for the 2687W on a 2P workstation. 2P also gives you a lot of headroom for more memory.


Check the power supply, and make sure it's not going to do anything funky when connected to a dual socket board. I have an Enermax that kept detecting the second proc was a open circuit and refuse to work when I had it installed in my dualie. It would work at first, but eventually, it would refuse to run with the second CPU installed.

Debian and Ubuntu/Linux Mint are the distros that I recommend if the Nvidia binary blob is required. The package manager manages them, so the user doesn't have to do much. Korora, a distro based on Fedora, has integrated Ubuntu's proprietary driver model, so that shows some promise. I haven't tried installing the binary blob on RHEL/CentOS/Scientific Linux, but it can be done.

mthguy wrote:Honestly, CentOS probably is a more sensible choice, but I really would miss pacman.

just brew it! wrote: the frustration of dealing with yum/rpm is one of the reasons I abandoned the Redhat-based distros for Debian/Ubuntu.


The pacman option syntax follows the Unix convention closer then others, but I can't really tell that it works better then other package managers.

I spend a lot of time with yum and rpm supporting Fedora and RHEL/CentOS boxes, and it works fine. Yum has had a lot of work done to it, and it's much better then it used to be. It's fast and it works well. With the presto plugin it will download delta packages, of they exist. The ps plugin will show which services need to be restarted after applying updates. The fastest-mirror plugin will pick the fastest mirror when it starts up.
Flatland_Spider
Gerbil Elite
 
Posts: 850
Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2004 8:33 pm
Location: The 918/539

Re: Workstation (Ideas?)

Postposted on Tue Sep 17, 2013 5:06 pm

Flatland_Spider wrote:I spend a lot of time with yum and rpm supporting Fedora and RHEL/CentOS boxes, and it works fine. Yum has had a lot of work done to it, and it's much better then it used to be. It's fast and it works well. With the presto plugin it will download delta packages, of they exist. The ps plugin will show which services need to be restarted after applying updates. The fastest-mirror plugin will pick the fastest mirror when it starts up.

Good to know; maybe I'll give it another chance sometime. But for now, I'm sticking with Debian/Ubuntu since that's what I'm more familiar with these days. (IIRC my last serious attempt at doing anything real with a Redhat-based distro was with Fedora 8.)

Edit: SuperMicro is definitely the "gold standard". Tyan is solid, but their selection is somewhat limited; they're worth considering if they have a board with specs that meet your needs. We've built a couple of servers at work with Asus motherboards, and they've served us well. I see that ASRock has also entered the workstation/server motherboard market now; I'd still be a little leery of them at this point since they don't have much of a track record in that market segment, but they seem to have been doing reasonably well in the consumer desktop market.
(this space intentionally left blank)
just brew it!
Administrator
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 37705
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2002 10:51 pm
Location: Somewhere, having a beer

Re: Workstation (Ideas?)

Postposted on Wed Sep 18, 2013 6:27 am

Flatland_Spider wrote:I like Tyan boards.


I do like Tyan as well, we have a couple 4P AMD systems running on them. but I have to agree with JBI, Supermicro is a gold standard.

Flatland_Spider wrote:For RAID cards, I like running Areca cards. The biggest draw, for me, is the built in network port, so I can access them remotely without having to install software on the box. Plus, some models have 4GB of RAM installed on them.


Areca's look nice, I have only really ever used LSI. for me, if it meets the needs and the price I am fine either way. I currently am leaning towards just using the C-602 onboard... but if I do RAID-0 I would probably grab a PCI-e RAID card.

just brew it! wrote:I see that ASRock has also entered the workstation/server motherboard market now; I'd still be a little leery of them at this point since they don't have much of a track record in that market segment, but they seem to have been doing reasonably well in the consumer desktop market.


I tend to stay away from these sort of companies for servers, but for a short life workstation, it might not be out of the question.

Still hoping I can get some suggestions on the Power Supply, this 1200W supply seems overkill, if I only have the single CPU, on a single socket board, I should be able to get away with something closer to 700W right?
Mathematics is not a language, it’s an adventure. Most mathematics is done with a friend over a cup of coffee, with a
diagram scribbled on a napkin. As Gauss once remarked, “What we need are notions, not notations.”
mthguy
Gerbil
 
Posts: 84
Joined: Thu Nov 06, 2008 3:45 pm
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

Next

Return to System Builders Anonymous

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests