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Thread: Starting over, bye bye Intel

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2005

    Default Starting over, bye bye Intel

    Any thoughts? I need a new workstation for 3D Graphics/Video, and part time gaming. This is what I have started to build, waiting for some items to hit the store shelves.

    MOBO: Tyan Thunder K8WE (S2895) w/40 PCI-x lanes (NForcePro, 2200 AND 2050!!)
    CPUs: Dual Opteron 252 2.6GHZ
    GPUs: Dual Leadtek NVidia GeForce 6800 Ultra PCI-express (just released in Japan)
    HDD 1: Two @ Raid 0 Hitachi 7K80 SATA II NCQ 3GB/sec 80GBx2 (system disk) or two Raid 0 SATA II WD Raptors 10,000 RPM if they ever release NCQ versions.
    HDD 2: Two at Raid 0 Hitachi T7K250 SATA II NCQ 3GB/sec 250GBx2 drives (3D graphics workspace, media disk)
    (Weekly backups to my existing 500GB Lacie Firewire drive to compensate for RAID 0 data risk.)
    RAM: Generic 1gb PC 3200 ECC Registered X 4 (w/room to expand if 64 applications demand it in the future)
    PSU: Thermaltake 680W Dual SLI support, triple rail 12v.
    DVD R/RW drive: ATA Plextor with 8mb cache PX716A (Japan model)
    Case: CM Stacker w/cross-fan just for kicks.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2005

    Default Re: Starting over, bye bye Intel

    I may be wrong but I think I read somewhere that the WD Raptors have NCQ in them.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Texas, USA

    Default Re: Starting over, bye bye Intel

    Just my two cents worth here but I'd stay far, far away from those Hitachi drives you casually mentioned. Hitachi bought out the old IBM drive company and they're now being manufactured under the Hitachi label. It is possible that improvements may have been made to the design but I'm still having nightmares about the IBM DeathStar drives that were so popular a while back. I still have an old 40GB model sitting on a shelf in the hopes that one day I'll figure out how to remove the platters to another readable medium so I can retrieve the data on it.
    Old age and treachery will overcome youth and skill
    My Toys

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Minnesota, United States

    Default Re: Starting over, bye bye Intel

    Just a note: Don't mix up the PCI-X buses with the PCI-E lanes. That board has 40 PCI-E lanes and two independent PCI-X buses.
    PCI-E = Peripheral Component Interconnect-Express; very fast, fairly new so not many devices exist, video cards being the main one
    PCI-X = Peripheral Component Interconnect Extended; bascially a faster PCI bus, used mostly for SATA/SCSI/RAID controller cards and gigabit ethernet NICs. Once more PCI-E devices come out, it becomes essentially useless, just like regular PCI. It's a nice touch for a server/high-end workstation board, but it don't think the board has "40 PCI-X lanes."

    Anyway, I'd say make those 512MB modules instead of 1GB. You'll probably never use even 1GB per CPU, and there's room for more if you get dual 512MB per CPU in case you do. By the time you'd need more than 2GB per CPU, technology will have advanced far enough that even this motherboard is nearing obsolescence. The point is it will save money and 512MB modules perform much better than 1GB. A 1GB module will have very poor latencies. Also, get Corsair RAM. Never get generic RAM for anything but a budget system. There's fairly cheap, non-ECC, registered RAM available at all the popular online U.S. retailers (such as Newegg).

    I'd say get 4 Maxtor 16MB cache 250GB SATA II drivers and run them RAID 01. You'll get high speed, redundancy, and the same amount of space as now, just at an increased price. It's certainly the best RAID option for the system in question (actually RAID 10 would be better, but you'd have to buy a seperate controller, while 01 is supported by the nVidia SATA controller). Definitely go with the Maxtor over the Hitachi. I'm assuming you don't want to mess around with SCSI, since you can get the motherboard with a built-in SCSI contoller as an option, or buy one with RAID 10 and/or RAID 5 support and its own built-in processor for parity calculations, which is the only way to run a truly "hardware" RAID....

    For your system drive, just run dual Raptors in RAID 0 or even just one, if you want to save money (though that doesn't look like an issue).

    If you have anything that you needs to be backed up, your Firewire drive should do, though I'd go as far as to get a tape drive if its really important.

    Other than that, looks good. That should be one of the best systems for gaming and 3d rendering you could make.

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