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Topic Title: Two Opteron workstations, two different workloads, need advice
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Created On: 06/06/2006 11:50 AM
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 06/06/2006 11:50 AM
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ashyanbhog
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Posts: 1
Joined: 06/06/2006

Hi

We are working on a budget to configure two opteron workstations. One is to run Catia and Pro/E softwares (3D modeling softwares but not of 3DS Max or Maya kind), and will be used to load and work on large asemblies which will mostly consist of very complex molding tools with quite a bit of 3D surfaces.

The other workstation will be used as a ANSYS solution server and will have the CPUs running at 100% for hours at a stretch, data sets dumped to the harddisk in one go will usually be 40 to 60 GB.

I have listed the specs and hope gurus who know better will suggest corrections. It is easy for us to get money for a small upgrade later, so I have also listed the upgrades we have planned 6 to 8 months down the line

3D modelling workstation

Dual Opteron 246s (going for the cheapest 2x opteron)
Iwill DK8ES
4GB registered RAM in 1x4 configuration
XFX 7900 GTX with 512MB RAM (mod with rivatuner for quadro type performance)
76 WD Raptor main disk and a 160 7200RPM seagate for completed projects and other stuff.

UPGRADES: Dump the 246 and go for higher frequency, dual core Opterons.

ANSYS solution station

Dual Opteron 246s
Iwill DK8ES
4GB registered RAM in 1x4 configuration
Areca 1210 or 1220 Sata II + RAID card
4 x 160 GB 7200 RPM Seagate disks in RAID0 configuration,
A cheap nvidia 6200, 256MB card if the onboard ATI turns out to be inadequate

UPGRADES: Users will be logging CPU, memory and swap usage. Based on the exp. we may go for all or few of the the listed upgrades --2 x 18 GB WD Raptors in RAID0 configuration exclusively for SWAP, add 4GB more RAM, Higher frequency, dual core opterons.

Tyan K8WE seems to be a no-compromise motherboard. But the $200-300 that I save with the Iwill allows me to go for the Areca, WD Raptors and 7900 GTX which I think will turn out to be more useful than the extra features in the Tyan. Please let me know if I will be shooting myself in the foot by opting for the Iwill or if the there are other motherboards that suit the purpose better on the same budget.

We have a tight budget and need to be extra careful with the specs as we will have to live with the purchased systems no matter how they turn to be.

Looking forward for your suggestions









 06/17/2006 03:49 AM
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Oberon
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Posts: 1
Joined: 06/17/2006

quote:

Originally posted by: AjayS
Hi

We are working on a budget to configure two opteron workstations. One is to run Catia and Pro/E softwares (3D modeling softwares but not of 3DS Max or Maya kind), and will be used to load and work on large asemblies which will mostly consist of very complex molding tools with quite a bit of 3D surfaces.

The other workstation will be used as a ANSYS solution server and will have the CPUs running at 100% for hours at a stretch, data sets dumped to the harddisk in one go will usually be 40 to 60 GB.

I have listed the specs and hope gurus who know better will suggest corrections. It is easy for us to get money for a small upgrade later, so I have also listed the upgrades we have planned 6 to 8 months down the line

3D modelling workstation

Dual Opteron 246s (going for the cheapest 2x opteron)
Iwill DK8ES
4GB registered RAM in 1x4 configuration
XFX 7900 GTX with 512MB RAM (mod with rivatuner for quadro type performance)
76 WD Raptor main disk and a 160 7200RPM seagate for completed projects and other stuff.

UPGRADES: Dump the 246 and go for higher frequency, dual core Opterons.

ANSYS solution station

Dual Opteron 246s
Iwill DK8ES
4GB registered RAM in 1x4 configuration
Areca 1210 or 1220 Sata II + RAID card
4 x 160 GB 7200 RPM Seagate disks in RAID0 configuration,
A cheap nvidia 6200, 256MB card if the onboard ATI turns out to be inadequate

UPGRADES: Users will be logging CPU, memory and swap usage. Based on the exp. we may go for all or few of the the listed upgrades --2 x 18 GB WD Raptors in RAID0 configuration exclusively for SWAP, add 4GB more RAM, Higher frequency, dual core opterons.

Tyan K8WE seems to be a no-compromise motherboard. But the $200-300 that I save with the Iwill allows me to go for the Areca, WD Raptors and 7900 GTX which I think will turn out to be more useful than the extra features in the Tyan. Please let me know if I will be shooting myself in the foot by opting for the Iwill or if the there are other motherboards that suit the purpose better on the same budget.

We have a tight budget and need to be extra careful with the specs as we will have to live with the purchased systems no matter how they turn to be.

Looking forward for your suggestions



First off, the GTX mod to Quadro is hit or miss and I wouldn't recommend it for a professional workstation. Second, the 74GB Raptor is outperformed by the 150 GB. In fact, you can get 74GB Raptor performance out of quite a few SATA300 HDD's. - I think the Fujitsu's are leading the pack right now. I would go for the 150 Raptor. Third, 4GB memory is overkill - 2GB is all you need. We run Catia V5, NX2 and I-deas here on 2GB and I've worked on 4GB boxes and there is no performance increase. Forget about 4GB memory and get the fastest 2GB within your budget. 4GB memory for your Ansys workstation would be a good choice though.

The Opteron 185 destroys anything else right now and should be your choice. On a tighter budget you might OC a 165 (I have one at home doing 2.7GHz on air, rock stable)

We got our last 4 workstations from Electra Computer (3 CAD, 1 FEA) with the Opty 185 (and 2x Opty 285) and they are Ferrari fast - the fastest I've ever worked on. You might give them a look here:

CAD workstation: http://www.electracomp.com/pro...?pro...&cat=248&page=1

and,

FEA Workstation: http://www.electracomp.com/pro...?pro...&cat=248&page=1

Amazing when I think that I first worked in Unigraphics v11 on a 486DX266...

Hope this help in your decision-making process,

-Oberon

As an addendum to my last reply, dual processors for Catia or Pro/E is wasted money - they are single-threaded applications and don't know what to do with the extra processor. Do not get dual processors for these applications unless your money is burning a hole in your pocket in which case I have some property in Florida for sale...

-Oberon
 06/20/2006 07:57 PM
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TeamScream
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Posts: 29
Joined: 06/09/2006

In looking at the image of theiWill D8KES mobo , I would be a little bit concerned about the placement of that uppermost processor socket, as it may limit your choices of HSF combos.
Since you seem to have settled on a board with SLI capability but probably have no intentions of ever using it in SLI mode there are other seemingly good choices.

SuperMicro H8DCi

SuperMicro H8DCE-HTe

And of course the Tyan K8WE (S2895)

SuperMicro also has this pretty awesome case which supports (and provides accomodations for) SATA Hot Swap ability (4 hot swap bays w/controller back plane.

SuperMicro SC733T-645 Chassis

The other cool thing about that chassis is it's fan ducts and multi 120mm fan accomodations which will help keep things cool if this (these) systems are going to be in your office running 24/7.

You dont mention anything about power supplies in your post so I will also add that the SuperMicro chassis comes with a 645 watt power supply ready made for its boards and chassis, plus they come with a floppy installed.

Check those links out and see what you think.

P.S. what chassis did you have in mind for these beasts?




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