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Old February 25, 2012, 03:27 PM
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Default Future 2k Build Suggestion for Workstation

Hi Canucks Community

I am planning on building a desktop and was wondering if anyone could recommend some good parts I should use for my build and what platform I should use. The computer will be used for complex scientific calculations and will be running 24/7 for at least weeks at a time.The primary software is will be running is called Gaussian (Official Gaussian Website), which I believe is heavily threaded. Our current computers are 6 years old and are running 2, 1.8ghz opterons in parallel and have 4gb ram,which used to be the fastest during their time. But CPU speed has obviously increased light years since then, so it is definitely time for an upgrade. It currently takes my old computer 2-3months of constant running to finish gaussian jobs, just a reference. The new computer will be built in March or April, so I'm not sure if I should wait for ivy bridge or not. And also would the AMD FX8150 even be a consideration?

These are some of the parts I had in mind so far, feel free to suggest changes.

cpu: Intel core i7 2700k
psu: Corsair ax650
cooler: corsair h100
case: corsair obsidian 650d


Thanks for taking the time to help me out.

Here is some additional info
-My budget is about $2000 USD
-video card is not that important since I will not be gaming, only working and internet use.
-I don't have any particular brand preference, AMD or Intel as long as it gets the job done.
-I will be running 2 operating systems, Red Hat Linux and Windows on separate partitions
-I need at least 32gb memory, as gaussian relies heavily on memory and cpu
-And if someone could possible estimate how much faster my new build will be compared to what I currently have, it would be great.

Last edited by crazymonkeyzero; February 25, 2012 at 04:27 PM.
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Old February 25, 2012, 09:34 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Montreal
Posts: 96

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If paying for the 2700k, thenw why not go with the i7 3820 ?
The chip will cost you less. You will need to pay a bit more for the motherboard, but for about the same total, you will have a newer gen setup

BTW you can see the cpu review in Intel Core i7-3820 Sandy Bridge-E CPU Review

Since your use seems to be ram heavy, with 2011 cpus you can run quad channel instead of dual channel

for storage I have a crucial M4. Cant be any happier
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Old February 25, 2012, 10:05 PM
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Thanks for your response mardig88

Is there a big difference between quad channel memory and dual channel memory in terms of performance? Also I don't believe the 3820 has integrated graphics right? So I need to buy a video card, which kind of eliminates any price difference between the two. But in terms of performance, do you think it would sill be worth it if I did add a video card to invest in the lga 2011 build?
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Old February 27, 2012, 01:31 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Edmonton
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I would personally go to the i7-3XXX series.

Reason #1...you require 32 Gigs of RAM. on 1155 boards this means 8 gig sticks of RAM = expensive if you can even get them...on a lot of 2011 boards this can be achieved using 8 sticks of 4 gig RAM in quad channel. Edit: this has gotten a lot cheaper than I thought and more available but these board still max out at 32 Gig..IE no room for upgrade.

Reason #2: Option to go to 6 core processors...might not fit your budget but the option is nice for this.

Potential Reason #3: Better PCI Express Layout...Gaussian doesn't use GP-GPU but most long run crunching programs are switching to it and that would make it significantly faster.

My build would be:

Asus P9X79 Pro: $329
Intel i7-3820 @ $335 or if 3930K at $630
I'd go up to Corsair AX850 @ $200...overkill but I like room for GPU power.
Case and Cooler you have are good
H100 @ $120
obsidian 650 @ $180
RAM: 8 4Gig Gskill 1866 DDR3 $270

You didn't say anything about hard drive requirements but I assume you don't need much space so a decent SSD is probably good.

Crucial M4 128 GB SSD $180

Total $1615 with 4 core
or $1910 with 6 core. plus OS if you need to buy it and $20 for a DVD Burner and $50 for a GPU.

Without doing the math...and assuming Gaussian can use all the threads I'd put the 4 core at 4-6 times faster...and the six core as much as 8 or 9...for this use only. You never specified which Opterons...there are single core, dual core and quad at 1.8Ghz (even some 6 core versions) and many versions of each.

Another option would be to go to a new Opteron board...they are making 16 core units now...I have no idea how they compare to the i7 though when it comes to raw crunching power.

Last edited by Razamatraz; February 27, 2012 at 01:43 PM.
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