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Old January 3, 2011, 03:55 AM
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Default CAD Workstation: X3440 vs 760 vs 860

Hi everyone,

I would appreciate a bit of help regarding a CAD workstation I need to build.
It will be mainly used for Solidworks [modelling, no HT] and 3D Studio Max [rendering, HT capable].

I will be using the NVidia Quadro600 graphics card.

After a bit of netsearch I was thinking of going for a Xeon X3440 + Gigabyte P55M UD4M or Asrock P55 Extreme.

A cheaper alternative would be a 760 based system.

A more expensive alternative would be a 860 system.

I am thinking of using 8GB RAM 1333. ECC or no ECC in case of Xeon?

Any ideas / suggestions?

Thanks in advance!

Last edited by tzoutz; January 3, 2011 at 04:31 AM.
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Old January 3, 2011, 06:44 AM
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well i have an i7 860 and a xeon 3440 and it was very easy to get the xeon to 860 speeds. but outside of that i could barely see any differences at all. justmy2cents
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Old January 3, 2011, 07:19 AM
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IMO, do not skimp on the CPU. Get the best one you can afford, it pays off in the end, especially while rendering.
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Old January 3, 2011, 07:34 AM
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Thanks for the replies!

I have already raised my budget by including the X3440 and 860.
The Xeon is my current favorite as I intend to OC mildly at some point.

Does anyone have any tried/tested setup to propose?

It looks like the following mobo's are the more popular for the X3440 and I could get them locally.

Asrock P55 Extreme4

Gigabyte P55MA UD4

ASUS Maximus III Gene

Any preferences/suggestions;

RAM is also a bit of a headache. I 'd like to get 8GB but 1333 or 1600? ECC or no ECC?
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Old January 3, 2011, 08:27 AM
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yes. like them xeons ever since mac got his on a regular retail board without issues

get the ud4p, best bang per buck. giga reliability. all good :)


ram wise, cant help you there. except go with non ecc
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Old January 3, 2011, 10:16 AM
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Thanks some more!

So I 've been doing a little homework and am slowly coming to this, for just under 1000 EURO.

CPU Xeon X3440
MOBO Gigabyte P55A UD4
RAM Corsair vengeance 2X4GB DDR1600 8-8-8-24
GPU PNY Quadro 600 1GB

COOL Coolermaster H212
CASE Coolermaster CM690
PSU Coolermaster Real Power 620W Modular

HDD WD Caviar Black 1TB/64MB/SATA600

Any comments/suggestions from the gurus?

PS. I plan to be running WIN7 PRO 64
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Old January 3, 2011, 10:23 AM
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can you find cooler master 912 for case? the psu is ok, i would go with seasonic made, like some antecs or corsair.
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Old January 3, 2011, 11:20 AM
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I can find 922, 932 and 690II for pretty much the same price [100EU].
I chose the 690Nvidia [70EU] because I prefered an aesthetically simple case with a side window [Sorry I like watching ].

If it is a matter of cooling I will happily compromise with a 922/932 although I would be open any suggestion for something a little more striking [I am confident I can add a window].

I can get a Corsair CMPSU-650TXEU PSU (650W) or the 750W.

Speaking of Corsair I was also wondering whether the Corsair CPU Cooler Air Series A50 (Intel 775,1156,1366 & AMD AM2/AM3) is little more solid a choice compared to the Coolmaster H212.

Thanks, it seemd the really important stuff is sorted.
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Old January 3, 2011, 11:29 AM
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cool. the 932 isnt worth the price premium if there is any where you are buying.

go with the corsair, they will do advertised numbers.

for 'low end' the 212+ cant be beaten. higher up the v6gt and a bit over that the hr-02 are my picks. the latter needs a deep case to fit.

also, have you happened to read the sandy bridge review? :) the only pun would be motherboard/bios maturation rate, which right now is virgin :D
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Old January 3, 2011, 03:07 PM
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Cool! [Pun intended]

Sandy bridge wise, I am no expert at all but I guess you are suggesting I maybe

a. wait for the introduction of the new line of processors because I will be able to get more for my money [or a little more] by bying one of them

b. wait for the introduction of the new line of processors because I will be able to get more for my money [or a little less] by bying one of the current crop

You have certainly got me thinking as I am in no desperate need of a workstation right now. How long shall I wait, 1-2 months?
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760 , cad , max , solidworks , x3440

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