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$4800 budget with dual 4K monitors for Linux and must be silent (non-gaming rig)

FitEyes
  • 53 months ago

Below are some of the things I plan to do with this build, but I'm sure I'll find more purposes for it and extract every ounce of capabilities the rig has.

  • NFS file server on a small LAN (currently 3 people total, including me, but it could grow)

  • MariaDB (mysql) database server on the same small LAN

  • 3-D CAD work and rendering

  • Working with very large spreadsheets (where single core clock speed has a large impact on performance than multiple cores)

  • Working simultaneously with many open applications (often dozens of CPU and RAM hungry apps) and many hundreds of browser tabs (necessary research work) where multiple CPU cores and lots of RAM will be very helpful. This is often the most demanding use-case based on past experience.

  • Extensive Photo/Video editing (Gimp, Inkscape, etc.)

  • Very extensive audio editing with Ardour. USB Audio interface is a Native Instruments Komplete Audio 6 (for now).

  • Power consumption is not a big issue.

  • My budget is flexible.

  • I do not plan to overclock.

  • No gaming. None.

  • I do not want a watercooled rig. I want my rig (hardware) to be relatively maintenance-free.

  • It absolutely must be silent!

  • It must be compatible with current Linux kernels (e.g., 4.2 or 4.3.3). In fact, I would like to run Kubuntu 14.04 LTS, kernel 3.19, until April when I'll switch to 16.04.

I want to drive two of these monitors: Amazon.com: Philips BDM4065UC 40" Class 4K Monitor UHD 3840 x2160 Resolution DisplayPort, Mini DisplayPort, HDMI, MHL-HDMI http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00SCX78JS/

The monitor choice is driven by the use-case of very large spreadsheets. Clear text rendering and lots of screen real estate is most important.

The monitors take away $1454 from my budget, leaving me $3346 to $3500 for everything else. EDIT: I can go up to around $4000 for everything else, and maybe even a hundred or so above that.

I believe that the video cards must be GTX 970 (minimum) or probably the GTX 980's. I'm going to use the Nvidia proprietary drivers under Linux. I prefer the GPU cards to have multiple DisplayPort connectors. (DP 1.3 and HDMI 2.0 would be nice, but I'm probably dreaming. Even if such cards exist, I probably would have driver issues under current versions of Linux, especially kernel 3.19 in Kubuntu 14.04. I think the 980 is the max card I should consider, but correct me if I'm wrong.)

I'm leaning toward a Samsung 1 TB 850 Pro SSD, but open to suggestions. I prefer a 2TB SSD if I can afford it (or even enterprise level solid state storage if it doesn't break my budget, which I think it will).

For quiet HDD's I'm leaning toward 2 or 3 WD Red at 4TB or 6TB each. (I'll also still have my 5 current 5TB external HDD's that I use mostly for backups and for storing stuff I don't have to access every day.)

I want at least 64 GB of RAM (due to running a large number of different applications at the same time while also keeping hundreds of tabs open in Firefox too).

I want the build to continue to serve me well for 4 years (at least).

My current rig has 32 GB of RAM -- and it is not enough. I have a 500 GB SSD and several 2 TB HDDs -- again, not enough. All are filled up to well above 90% of capacity, making it dangerously low on storage. I have 3 monitors connected. I want to switch to 2 monitors and move up from 30" (2560 x 1600) to 40" at UDH (4K).

I'll consider 128 GB of RAM and a bigger budget before I'll consider less RAM. Same for storage.

My company is paying for the PC, but I do have to have approval for the budget. My current PC is hindering productivity in a big way. That costs my company more and it makes work more frustrating for me, especially when I'm trying to meet a deadline and my PC is hesitating or causing other problems. I had to spend hours the other day finding large files I could move to external storage. (And when I do that, there is a future time cost when someone on the LAN needs that file.) It's smarter for my company to just pay for more internal storage on this PC.

EDIT: based on feedback in the comments, I have decided to build a Xeon system with ECC RAM. However, I really need suggestions for a motherboard and quiet case that will work together. I'm leaning toward a dual socket motherboard.

For the motherboard, it would be ideal if it is useable with one CPU. I can start with one and add a second later. Several mainstream dual socket boards will not work correctly with just one CPU. Other's won't fit my preferred Define R5 case. Therefore, motherboard and case suggestions are especially needed!

Comments

  • 53 months ago
  • 2 points

Start off with THIS:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

Type Item Price
CPU Intel Xeon E5-2680 V3 2.5GHz 12-Core OEM/Tray Processor $1639.99 @ SuperBiiz
CPU Cooler Noctua NH-U12DXi4 55.0 CFM CPU Cooler $63.99 @ Amazon
Motherboard SUPERMICRO MBD-X10DAC-O $460.00
Memory Samsung 32GB (1 x 32GB) Registered DDR4-2133 Memory $249.99 @ Newegg
Memory Samsung 32GB (1 x 32GB) Registered DDR4-2133 Memory $249.99 @ Newegg
System/Application Sandisk X210 250GB 2.5" Solid State Drive $94.00 @ Amazon
Project Mushkin Reactor 1TB 2.5" Solid State Drive $299.99 @ Newegg
Storage Seagate Archive 8TB 3.5" 5900RPM Internal Hard Drive $228.98 @ PCM
Video Card Gigabyte GeForce GTX 980 Ti 6GB WINDFORCE 3X Video Card $599.99 @ Amazon
Case Nanoxia NXDS6B ATX Full Tower Case $269.99 @ Amazon
Power Supply EVGA 1000W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply $189.99 @ Amazon
Other LSI LSI00411 1m Internal Cable SFF8643 to x4 SATA $26.00
Other LSI LSI00411 1m Internal Cable SFF8643 to x4 SATA $26.00
Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts
Total $4398.90
Generated by PCPartPicker 2016-01-02 22:10 EST-0500

Add another CPU, lots more RAM, more drives, and if you're using CUDA or openCL accelerated export rendering that scales to multiple GPU's well, another GPU:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

Type Item Price
CPU Intel Xeon E5-2680 V3 2.5GHz 12-Core OEM/Tray Processor $1639.99 @ SuperBiiz
CPU Intel Xeon E5-2680 V3 2.5GHz 12-Core OEM/Tray Processor $1639.99 @ SuperBiiz
CPU Cooler Noctua NH-U12DXi4 55.0 CFM CPU Cooler $63.99 @ Amazon
CPU Cooler Noctua NH-U12DXi4 55.0 CFM CPU Cooler $63.99 @ Amazon
Motherboard SUPERMICRO MBD-X10DAC-O $460.00
Memory Samsung 32GB (1 x 32GB) Registered DDR4-2133 Memory $249.99 @ Newegg
Memory Samsung 32GB (1 x 32GB) Registered DDR4-2133 Memory $249.99 @ Newegg
Memory Samsung 32GB (1 x 32GB) Registered DDR4-2133 Memory $249.99 @ Newegg
Memory Samsung 32GB (1 x 32GB) Registered DDR4-2133 Memory $249.99 @ Newegg
Memory Samsung 32GB (1 x 32GB) Registered DDR4-2133 Memory $249.99 @ Newegg
Memory Samsung 32GB (1 x 32GB) Registered DDR4-2133 Memory $249.99 @ Newegg
Memory Samsung 32GB (1 x 32GB) Registered DDR4-2133 Memory $249.99 @ Newegg
Memory Samsung 32GB (1 x 32GB) Registered DDR4-2133 Memory $249.99 @ Newegg
System/Application Sandisk X210 250GB 2.5" Solid State Drive $94.00 @ Amazon
Project Mushkin Reactor 1TB 2.5" Solid State Drive $299.99 @ Newegg
Project Mushkin Reactor 1TB 2.5" Solid State Drive $299.99 @ Newegg
Project Mushkin Reactor 1TB 2.5" Solid State Drive $299.99 @ Newegg
Project Mushkin Reactor 1TB 2.5" Solid State Drive $299.99 @ Newegg
Storage Seagate Archive 8TB 3.5" 5900RPM Internal Hard Drive $228.98 @ PCM
Storage Seagate Archive 8TB 3.5" 5900RPM Internal Hard Drive $228.98 @ PCM
Storage Seagate Archive 8TB 3.5" 5900RPM Internal Hard Drive $228.98 @ PCM
Storage Seagate Archive 8TB 3.5" 5900RPM Internal Hard Drive $228.98 @ PCM
Storage Seagate Archive 8TB 3.5" 5900RPM Internal Hard Drive $228.98 @ PCM
Storage Seagate Archive 8TB 3.5" 5900RPM Internal Hard Drive $228.98 @ PCM
Storage Seagate Archive 8TB 3.5" 5900RPM Internal Hard Drive $228.98 @ PCM
Storage Seagate Archive 8TB 3.5" 5900RPM Internal Hard Drive $228.98 @ PCM
Video Card Gigabyte GeForce GTX 980 Ti 6GB WINDFORCE 3X Video Card (2-Way SLI) $599.99 @ Amazon
Compute Card Gigabyte GeForce GTX 980 Ti 6GB WINDFORCE 3X Video Card (2-Way SLI) $599.99 @ Amazon
Case Nanoxia NXDS6B ATX Full Tower Case $269.99 @ Amazon
Power Supply EVGA 1000W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply $189.99 @ Amazon
Other LSI LSI00411 1m Internal Cable SFF8643 to x4 SATA $26.00
Other LSI LSI00411 1m Internal Cable SFF8643 to x4 SATA $26.00
Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts
Total $10705.64
Generated by PCPartPicker 2016-01-02 22:21 EST-0500

If you build a workstation with 64-128GB+ memory WITHOUT using Xeon's and ECC memory, then you will have just built a multi-thousand dollar computer with 10X higher chances of memory related failure/error than most cheap consumer desktop computers. Bad idea. For any professional workstation with 32GB or more memory I would highly recommend ECC memory.

In the "upgraded" build posted above, PCPP is calculating estimated power dissipation all wrong (almost 200W for RAM?). The PSU is fine.

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks. I will absolutely follow your advice regarding ECC RAM and the Xeon CPU.

I have to decide between a single socket MB and a dual socket. I'm leaning toward a single socket board, given that I can later upgrade to a Xeon with up to around 18 or 22 cores, if needed. I think I'll start with one Intel Xeon E5-1650 V3 3.5GHz 6-Core Processor.

The motherboard I'm thinking of using is this one:

Asus X99-DELUXE/U3.1 ATX LGA2011-3 Motherboard

It supports the Xeon CPU and ECC RAM according to this article:

Intel CPUs: Xeon E5 vs. Core i7 - Puget Custom Computers https://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/articles/Intel-CPUs-Xeon-E5-vs-Core-i7-634/

That article also reiterates your point about Xeon CPU's and ECC RAM.

What is your opinion of using that motherboard?

If you don't like it, is there another board you recommend that also supports USB 3.1?

  • 53 months ago
  • 2 points

I'm not sure I see the logic in spending $400 on a motherboard with only 1 socket for this.

How about a $300 SuperMicro X10DAL with a $40 USB 3.1 PCIE card?

Otherwise, for a non-overclocking single socket workstation I'd probably just go for the ASRock X99 Extreme4/3.1.


Heavy multitasking actually benefits from having separate CPU's to run things on. Having 2 totally separate memory subsystems means less contention for resources, better responsiveness, and the ability to actually restrict compute intensive rendering or compiling or other operations to one physical CPU and its memory subsystem, keeping the other free to do your bidding (research/browse, etc). If you're looking for a way to cut costs. The X10DAL in a smaller case, and a pair of E5-2630 V3's would be nice (16 cores in total for ~$1250).

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for explaining. I see the logic of a dual socket motherboard now. I'm going to go for a larger budget.

But the reviews I read of several indicates that they each had problems when only 1 cpu was installed. Those were not reviews of the MB you recommended, however.

So I'm going to go in the direction you recommend. The X10DAL in a smaller case sounds good...

However, one review of the SuperMicro X10DAL on NewEgg does mention a con relevant to me: it doesn't work well in the Define R5 case.

I like the R5 case because it is quiet and relatively smallish. The Nanoxia NXDS6B ATX Full Tower Case also looks like a good choice for a quiet case. I don't have any direct experience with it, but it has a few more negative reviews on Amazon compared to the Define R5 case. What are your thoughts about that?

I didn't find any reviews of the SUPERMICRO MBD-X10DAC-O.

Bottom line: I'm going to go in the direction of your recommendations: dual socket MB, Xeon CPU, ECC RAM, etc. I'm going to request a larger budget and I don't think that will be a problem. I just need to find the right case and motherboard combo. I appreciate any further thoughts you have.

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

But the reviews I read of several indicates that they each had problems when only 1 cpu was installed.

I wouldn't bother concerning yourself too much with newegg/amazon reviews for enterprise/workstation gear. There are thousands of these things out there working great in the hands of people who are too busy to be bothered leaving a review.

In a dual socket system, only 1 of the CPU sockets is electrically mapped to the chipset, so that's where the first CPU must go. Also, these systems have 2 separate CPU hosted PCIE and Memory subsystems. PCIE slots and Memory slots are electrically connected to only one or the other CPU socket, so when using only a single CPU, PCIE devices and RAM need to be installed only in slots that are actually connected to that single CPU. I suspect most of the problems people have with dual socket systems would probably be resolved by simply reading the freakin manual. (I know..... bleh)

one review of the SuperMicro X10DAL on NewEgg does mention a con relevant to me: it doesn't work well in the Define R5 case.

Many SuperMicro and other enterprise motherboards deviate from ATX/EATX mounting slightly, and may require modifications to install in case's other than those sold by the same company. A SuperMicro motherboard will mount in a SuperMicro case without incident, but there are sometimes a hole or 2 that deviates from standard in order to achieve a better layout/density. The X10DAL is a great example of this. If you look at the mounting hole pattern of a regular ATX board, and compare it to the X10DAL, you'll see they have deleted 1 mounting hole, and moved another, in order to accommodate such a high density configuration.

The X10DAL is also 10 inches deep, slightly deeper than the commonly accepted 9.6 inch standard for ATX. Most case's will accommodate this extra just fine but it's something to keep in mind.

Anyway, it doesn't matter what ATX case you select for the X10DAL, unless it is a SuperMicro case, you're going to have 1 mounting hole on the motherboard that doesn't line up with anything. You can build a floating standoff for this position, and install it on the board so that it provides support between the board and tray, or you can drill the tray out and install a standoff (retain with a nut from behind, use standoff with longer male thread than normal), or you can do nothing, and just make a point not to use any redonkulously heavy heat-sinks for the CPU's that would exert very high strain on the board.

I like the R5 case because it is quiet and relatively smallish

The R5 would work fine for a build with the X10DAL. The only thing I don't like about the R5, is that it only has 7 expansion slots, which means that a "double-wide" card (like a GPU) can't be installed in the last slot of the motherboard.

...The Nanoxia NXDS6B ATX Full Tower Case also looks like a good choice for a quiet case. I don't have any direct experience with it, but it has a few more negative reviews on Amazon compared to the Define R5 case. What are your thoughts about that?

Fractal Design, Nanoxia, Corsair, Phanteks, ThermalTake, NZXT, Cooler Master, Lian Li, Rajintek, Antec, SilverStone.... (probably others I can't think of right now)

All of these companies make some pretty nice case's. There are tradeoffs with any case. Cost vs layout vs weight vs size vs features vs rigidity vs noise vs aesthetics etc etc... The order of importance for these traits is subjective. For most nice case's made by these mainstream/popular brands, you can find professional reviews and good thorough video overviews of them, so you should have a good idea of what you are getting before you buy it, and know whether or not the qualities of that case are going to fit your subjective expectations. When people order products on a whim without doing their due diligence, and are disappointed, they leave bad reviews for otherwise perfectly decent products. When people do not understand the thing they have ordered, they leave bad reviews in an attempt to channel blame for their own incompetence elsewhere.

I use amazon/newegg reviews only to identify whether a product has very obvious trending/recurring problems. If 10 people in a row all say it caught fire, chances are it's a good firestarter. If a particular product has "DOA" or "busted within a month" showing up repeatedly in reviews, then it's obviously a lemon.

I didn't find any reviews of the SUPERMICRO MBD-X10DAC-O.

The X10DAC, X10DAi, and X10DAX are all basically the same motherboard with slightly different features. You can find some "reviews" for these, but again, a lot of them are left by people who don't know what they are doing, have different expectations, etc, not by the thousands of people out there who are too busy to be bothered leaving a review for their workstation gear that works exactly as expected.

I chose the X10DAC because it comes with a built in SATA/SAS HBA with support for 8 additional drives without taking up a PCIE slot, so the system would support up to 18 drives total (thus, the giant case). Based on your issues with storage space, and using it as a server, I figured this might be helpful. Even the PSU was selected with this in mind, as it comes with 16 SATA power connections, (more could easily be added/duplicated but this is a very convenient start).


Bottom line: I'm going to go in the direction of your recommendations: dual socket MB, Xeon CPU, ECC RAM, etc. I'm going to request a larger budget and I don't think that will be a problem. I just need to find the right case and motherboard combo. I appreciate any further thoughts you have.

Here you go:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

Type Item Price
CPU Intel Xeon E5-2630 V3 2.4GHz 8-Core OEM/Tray Processor $619.99 @ SuperBiiz
CPU Intel Xeon E5-2630 V3 2.4GHz 8-Core OEM/Tray Processor $619.99 @ SuperBiiz
CPU Cooler Noctua NH-D9DX i4 3U 46.4 CFM CPU Cooler $59.99 @ Amazon
CPU Cooler Noctua NH-D9DX i4 3U 46.4 CFM CPU Cooler $59.99 @ Amazon
Motherboard Supermicro MBD-X10DAL-I-O ATX Dual-CPU LGA2011-3 Motherboard $301.98 @ Newegg
Memory Samsung 32GB (1 x 32GB) Registered DDR4-2133 Memory $249.99 @ Newegg
Memory Samsung 32GB (1 x 32GB) Registered DDR4-2133 Memory $249.99 @ Newegg
Memory Samsung 32GB (1 x 32GB) Registered DDR4-2133 Memory $249.99 @ Newegg
Memory Samsung 32GB (1 x 32GB) Registered DDR4-2133 Memory $249.99 @ Newegg
Storage Sandisk X210 250GB 2.5" Solid State Drive $94.00 @ Amazon
Storage Mushkin Reactor 1TB 2.5" Solid State Drive $299.99 @ Newegg
Storage Seagate Archive 8TB 3.5" 5900RPM Internal Hard Drive $228.98 @ PCM
Video Card Gigabyte GeForce GTX 980 Ti 6GB WINDFORCE 3X Video Card $599.99 @ Amazon
Case Corsair Vengeance C70 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case $104.99 @ Amazon
Power Supply EVGA 850W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply $119.99 @ Amazon
Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts
Total $4109.84
Generated by PCPartPicker 2016-01-03 19:49 EST-0500
  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

You are giving me a great education. Thanks for explaining in such detail. Your point regarding Amazon reviews is well taken. (I have seen that exact issue in other areas where I have enough expertise to detect when reviewers are misinformed.)

I can certainly use a drill and other tools to modify a case. That's not a problem.

I do not expect to add more than 2 internal HDD's, 1 SSD and maybe one M.2 SSD. I do want a smaller case - not more than 19" x 9" x 18" or so. (Basically a mid-tower ATX case.)

Regarding CPU's, is there a choice with higher clock frequency and lower core count in the same price range? I would like the higher clock rate for spreadsheet work and other single-threaded applications.

What about the LGA 2011-v3 socket (vs 2011)? I'm hoping for an upgrade path to the next generation of Xeon CPUs and I think I read that they will support LGA 2011-v3.

The only decent dual socket MB I found so far that has LGA 2011-v3 and is an ATX form factor is this one:

Amazon.com: ASUS Z10PA-D8(ASMB8-IKVM) Dual LGA2011-v3/ Intel C612 PCH/ DDR4/ SATA3&USB3.0/ M.2/ V&2GbE/ SSI EED Server Motherboard http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00O1A68NS

BTW, I did not expect you were going to reply again, so I opened a new topic with a focus on a dual Xeon build. I probably should have been more patient and waited for your reply here. However, I expected most people reading my OP would think I was still looking for an i7 build, when in fact I have decided on a Xeon ECC RAM build now.

That new topic is located here:

$5500 budget dual Xeon ECC RAM with dual GPUs and dual 4K monitors for Linux and must be silent - Forums - PCPartPicker http://pcpartpicker.com/forums/topic/129898-5500-budget-dual-xeon-ecc-ram-with-dual-gpus-and-dual-4k-monitors-for-linux-and-must-be-silent

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

If you give me a bit of time, I can give you a pretty great build. My question is, I don't know much about the needs of 3D work, so my list may not be accurate

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

Great. Thank you! Don't be too concerned about the specific needs of the 3D work. My current system handles that OK, so I know the new one will be fine. The thing that taxes my current PC the most is general usage - working simultaneously with many open applications (often dozens of CPU and RAM hungry apps) and many hundreds of browser tabs (necessary for research work). The most challenging requirements might be very low noise levels and Linux compatibility (esp for the GPU's). I look forward to your suggestions!!

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

This is what I have so far. PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

Type Item Price
CPU Intel Core i7-5930K 3.5GHz 6-Core Processor $554.99 @ SuperBiiz
CPU Cooler be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 3 67.8 CFM Fluid Dynamic Bearing CPU Cooler $89.90 @ Newegg
Motherboard MSI X99A SLI PLUS ATX LGA2011-3 Motherboard $199.99 @ Amazon
Memory Corsair Dominator Platinum 64GB (4 x 16GB) DDR4-2666 Memory $559.99 @ Newegg
Storage Samsung 850 Pro Series 1TB 2.5" Solid State Drive $419.00 @ Amazon
Storage Western Digital Red 5TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive $189.99 @ Amazon
Storage Western Digital Red 5TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive $189.99 @ Amazon
Video Card MSI GeForce GTX 980 4GB Video Card (2-Way SLI) $522.50 @ B&H
Video Card MSI GeForce GTX 980 4GB Video Card (2-Way SLI) $522.50 @ B&H
Case Fractal Design Define R5 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case $89.99 @ Newegg
Power Supply EVGA SuperNOVA 1000 P2 1000W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply $186.99 @ SuperBiiz
Case Fan Noctua NF-S12B redux-700 33.5 CFM 120mm Fan $13.85 @ Amazon
Monitor Philips BDM4065UC 60Hz 40.0" Monitor $786.99 @ Best Buy
Monitor Philips BDM4065UC 60Hz 40.0" Monitor $786.99 @ Best Buy
Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts
Total $5113.66
Generated by PCPartPicker 2016-01-01 18:03 EST-0500
  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you! So you like the MSI GPU better than this EVGA? EVGA GeForce GTX 980 4GB Superclocked ACX 2.0 Video Card. Any reason why? In a comparison of 3 GTX 970 cards, the EVGA was quietest, so I was hoping the same would apply to the 980.

With that MB will I be able to plug my existing USB 2.0 devices into USB 3.0 ports? The board has limited USB 2.0 ports, but otherwise looks great.

Thanks again.

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

I've heard the MSI card is quieter. USB 3.0 ports work with USB 2.0 devices.

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks!

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

Part list #1: Really high clock speed CPU, 64GB of RAM, 2TB SSD, 3x5TB HDDs, 980ti, and a 850W Platimum PSU. This CPU only has 4 cores/8 threads, so it won't be the best at editing.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

Type Item Price
CPU Intel Core i7-6700K 4.0GHz Quad-Core Processor $403.73 @ Micro Center
CPU Cooler Noctua NH-U12S 55.0 CFM CPU Cooler $67.74 @ Newegg
Motherboard Asus Z170-DELUXE ATX LGA1151 Motherboard $317.99 @ SuperBiiz
Memory Corsair Vengeance LPX 64GB (4 x 16GB) DDR4-2400 Memory $520.61 @ Newegg
Storage Samsung 850 EVO 2TB 2.5" Solid State Drive $712.69 @ B&H
Storage Western Digital Green 5TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive $186.99 @ SuperBiiz
Storage Western Digital Green 5TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive $186.99 @ SuperBiiz
Storage Western Digital Green 5TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive $186.99 @ SuperBiiz
Video Card EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti 6GB ACX 2.0+ Video Card $649.99 @ B&H
Case NZXT Noctis 450 ATX Mid Tower Case $117.99 @ Directron
Power Supply Corsair 850W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply $168.48 @ Mac Mall
Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts
Total $3520.19
Generated by PCPartPicker 2016-01-01 17:25 EST-0500

Part list #2: 6-Core CPU with a little lower clock speed, workstation board, 64GB of RAM, you can upgrade to 128GB, but there is some confusion around that. (Intel's page says that it only supports 64GB of RAM, but people have used 128GB on it before.) I have a 1TB SSD, and 3x5TB HDDs. It has the same 980ti, and a 1000W PSU so that you can upgrade in the future.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

Type Item Price
CPU Intel Core i7-5930K 3.5GHz 6-Core Processor $531.23 @ Micro Center
CPU Cooler Noctua NH-U12S 55.0 CFM CPU Cooler $67.74 @ Newegg
Motherboard Asus X99-E WS SSI CEB LGA2011-3 Motherboard $486.99 @ SuperBiiz
Memory Corsair Vengeance LPX 32GB (2 x 16GB) DDR4-2400 Memory $249.67 @ Newegg
Memory Corsair Vengeance LPX 32GB (2 x 16GB) DDR4-2400 Memory $249.67 @ Newegg
Storage Samsung 850 EVO-Series 1TB 2.5" Solid State Drive $337.77 @ OutletPC
Storage Western Digital Green 5TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive $186.99 @ SuperBiiz
Storage Western Digital Green 5TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive $186.99 @ SuperBiiz
Storage Western Digital Green 5TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive $186.99 @ SuperBiiz
Video Card EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti 6GB ACX 2.0+ Video Card $649.99 @ B&H
Case Cooler Master Cosmos II (Black) ATX Full Tower Case $315.99 @ SuperBiiz
Power Supply EVGA SuperNOVA 1000 P2 1000W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply $186.99 @ SuperBiiz
Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts
Total $3637.01
Generated by PCPartPicker 2016-01-01 17:42 EST-0500
  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

In list #2 that's a very interesting MB recommendation. I like it. I'm leaning toward your list #2. Do you think I'll need two GPU's to drive the two 4K monitors? I don't need gaming-level latency.

Do you know which of the two cases you recommended is quietest?

Also, some people recommend buying the 64 GB RAM as one matched set. What do you think?

Thank you!

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

I don't think you'll need 2 GPUs, since you are not gaming. I'm not sure about the cases though. For the memory, which ever choice that is cheaper is better, as they will both work.

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

I have no idea what you'd need but here's a stab at it anyways. I'm going to assume you'll need a dedicated sound card for your audio production, but knowing absolutely nothing about it, here you go anyways. =)

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

Type Item Price
CPU Intel Xeon E5-2660 V3 2.6GHz 10-Core Processor $1422.57 @ B&H
CPU Cooler CRYORIG H5 Universal 65.0 CFM CPU Cooler $42.25 @ Newegg
Motherboard MSI X99A Raider ATX LGA2011-3 Motherboard $214.58 @ Amazon
Memory Kingston 64GB (4 x 16GB) Registered DDR4-2133 Memory $437.99 @ SuperBiiz
Storage Samsung 850 EVO-Series 1TB 2.5" Solid State Drive $337.99 @ Amazon
Storage Seagate Archive HDD v2 6TB 3.5" 5900RPM Internal Hard Drive $218.99 @ B&H
Storage Seagate Archive HDD v2 6TB 3.5" 5900RPM Internal Hard Drive $218.99 @ B&H
Video Card EVGA GeForce GTX 970 4GB ACX 2.0 Video Card $319.99 @ SuperBiiz
Case Cooler Master Silencio 652S ATX Mid Tower Case $94.99 @ Amazon
Power Supply EVGA SuperNOVA P2 650W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply $119.99 @ Amazon
Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts
Total $3428.33
Generated by PCPartPicker 2016-01-01 20:42 EST-0500
  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

And an interesting option that would allow you a very significant increase in CPU power if need be. ;)

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

Type Item Price
CPU Intel Xeon E5-2660 V3 2.6GHz 10-Core Processor $1359.99 @ SuperBiiz
CPU Cooler CRYORIG H5 Universal 65.0 CFM CPU Cooler $42.25 @ Newegg
Motherboard Supermicro MBD-X10DAL-I-O ATX Dual-CPU LGA2011-3 Motherboard $301.98 @ Newegg
Memory Kingston 64GB (4 x 16GB) Registered DDR4-2133 Memory $437.99 @ SuperBiiz
Storage Samsung 850 EVO-Series 1TB 2.5" Solid State Drive $337.99 @ Amazon
Storage Seagate Archive HDD v2 6TB 3.5" 5900RPM Internal Hard Drive $218.99 @ B&H
Storage Seagate Archive HDD v2 6TB 3.5" 5900RPM Internal Hard Drive $218.99 @ B&H
Video Card EVGA GeForce GTX 970 4GB ACX 2.0 Video Card $319.99 @ SuperBiiz
Case Cooler Master Silencio 652S ATX Mid Tower Case $94.99 @ Amazon
Power Supply EVGA SuperNOVA P2 750W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply $135.98 @ Newegg
Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts
Total $3469.14
Generated by PCPartPicker 2016-01-01 20:49 EST-0500
  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

I do hope to do a Xeon build in a few months, but I was told to wait for the next generation parts.

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

That's generally what they always say. You're always waiting for the next generation of parts. The top tier i7 for the next tock-generation of 2011-3 will be either unlocked 8 or 10 core (!) which would be fantastic, but you really should be using locked Xeons and ECC RAM for professional applications. Intel does things on a tick-tock schedule where they do a major release and then a minor release. The next release for the professional/enterprise 2011-3 chipset will be a minor release (ergo it might not be worth waiting for,) and the next major/significant release would likely be a whole new chipset and socket. And I haven't heard any rumors of anything on that scale yet.

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

Here's what I was told:

"I would strongly suggest waiting until the Skylake bases Xeon E5 CPUs come out. Currently, we have Haswell based Xeon E5s, and they are close to two years old. It's not really an ideal time to build a high end Xeon workstation if you can afford to wait a few months."

Could you clarify? Do you not consider Skylake based Xeon's to be a major/significant release?

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

We're still waiting on the Broadwell Xeons to be released, let alone the Skylake ones. Sure they'll be good chips, there is one rumoured to have 22 cores, but you just have to ask if it's really worth it to wait that long. It should be done any time in the first half of 2016...

And really, with a dual socket mobo, your upgrade path is set.

  • 53 months ago
  • 0 points

Did the person who told you that take into consideration that it typically takes 6-12 months for mainstream linux distros to have good support for new platforms/CPUs?

You could be waiting a 6-12 months or more for them to be released, and another 6+ months before there is ready made mainstream distro (non rolling release) running a kernel that supports it properly.

2 years old, is actually a blessing for what you want to do. Running linux on bleeding edge hardware is only a good idea if you are a linux developer working on solving problems for that new platform. Otherwise you're just tinkering and wasting time.

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

Are you sure you need an i7? I would have thought, especially for spreadsheets+ browser multi core xeons would be better.

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

The comments here have now made me decide to use Xeon CPU(s). However, Libre Office Calc doesn't leverage multiple cores, so for spreadsheet work a faster clock speed is better. That's why I initially picked the fastest clock speed i7 I could find. But overall, I think this system will be better with Xeon CPU's. I'll probably pick a Xeon CPU that has a faster clock speed and fewer cores to strike the right balance. If I get the budget, I'll add a 2nd Xeon.

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

If I were you I would go for the cryorig R1 for the cpu cooler.

Its very attractive and about as good as the noctua NH-D15

  • 53 months ago
  • 0 points

CAD works best with OpenCL and AMD cards run better with OpenCL, just a FYI. The 980's will do great but if you are not gaming at all and only rendering I would recommend FirePro card for CAD.

FirePro W9100 16GB place to see its specks

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

Cad Special / Price breakdown by merchant

Type Item Price
CPU Intel Xeon E5-1650 V3 3.5GHz 6-Core OEM/Tray Processor $564.99 @ SuperBiiz
CPU Cooler Deepcool CAPTAIN 120 91.1 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler $59.99 @ Newegg
Motherboard MSI X99A SLI PLUS ATX LGA2011-3 Motherboard $183.98 @ Newegg
Memory Corsair Vengeance LPX 32GB (2 x 16GB) DDR4-2400 Memory $209.99 @ Amazon
Memory Corsair Vengeance LPX 32GB (2 x 16GB) DDR4-2400 Memory $209.99 @ Amazon
Memory Corsair Vengeance LPX 32GB (2 x 16GB) DDR4-2400 Memory $209.99 @ Amazon
Memory Corsair Vengeance LPX 32GB (2 x 16GB) DDR4-2400 Memory $209.99 @ Amazon
Storage Samsung 950 PRO 256GB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive $189.99 @ Amazon
Storage Western Digital Red Pro 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $159.99 @ Amazon
Storage Western Digital Red Pro 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $159.99 @ Amazon
Storage Western Digital Red Pro 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $159.99 @ Amazon
Storage Western Digital Red Pro 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $159.99 @ Amazon
Video Card AMD FirePro W8100 8GB Video Card (2-Way CrossFire) $999.99 @ B&H
Video Card AMD FirePro W8100 8GB Video Card (2-Way CrossFire) $999.99 @ B&H
Case Phanteks Enthoo Pro ATX Full Tower Case $99.99 @ Amazon
Power Supply EVGA 1000W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply $139.99 @ Amazon
Other Sharp 43" Class 4K Ultra HD $497.00
Other Sharp 43" Class 4K Ultra HD $497.00
Other Display to HDMI $8.99
Other Display to HDMI $8.99
Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts
Total (before mail-in rebates) $5750.81
Mail-in rebates -$20.00
Total $5730.81
Generated by PCPartPicker 2016-01-03 11:38 EST-0500
  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

Regarding the Sharp monitors, do you have a link to a specific model?

The only Sharp 4K monitors I found are these:

Sharp UB30U Review (LC-43UB30U, LC-50UB30U, LC-55UB30U, LC-65UB30U) http://www.rtings.com/tv/reviews/sharp/ub30u?uxtv=97b6

None of those seem like a good choice as a computer monitor because they don't support 4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4. Your thoughts on this?

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

click on the parts list and it will give you the link I had there for them.

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

I would absolutely prefer AMD cards, but reading about the current Linux drivers pushed me toward using the proprietary Nvidia blob. Obviously, that's not my ideal choice, but every other choice seemed worse in some way.

AMD says they can't spend more on open source development. I wish they could see how much revenue they lose because of that decision. I just purchased one Nvidia card and will probably buy two more now. That's 3 lost AMD sales for high end cards in one week from one customer. If AMD accelerates the open source development, it will translate into more sales for them.

Even if they don't accelerate it, they are still going in the right direction. And I assume that next year I will be buying AMD GPU's.

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

Can you name a piece of CAD software for linux that heavily leverages openCL?

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

Can you name a piece of CAD software for linux that heavily leverages openCL?

  • 53 months ago
  • 0 points

Link Tons of programs work good on OpenCL because anyone has the rite to use it for free. Just do a simple search. Don't be lazy.

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

I did extensive searching, I can't find any CAD software for linux that leverages openCL heavily. I'm asking you to provide an example to support your claim that an AMD GPU would be better for this. I'm not certain that it would be, in fact, I highly doubt it.

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