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$3000-4000 Gaming/Work build - 3-4 VM's & 4 screens

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it is shown that the 6990 beats a 6970 crossfire setup.

I've not seen a single review that has the 6990 beating Crossfired 6970s in anything except power consumption.

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I've not seen a single review that has the 6990 beating Crossfired 6970s in anything except power consumption.

 

i second this, even the occ review agrees, 6970 cf is better than 6990

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Can ya'll not read?

Th OP asked for Nvidia cards so all this ATI talk is useless.

 

As far as virtual machines go, my 6gbs are eaten by running one VM, Firefox and Minecraft. So 12GB minimum for multiple VMs probably nearer 24GBs if you want games and multiple VMs running simultaneously. As Waco said you are probably petter off with 2 systems and a kvm switch. Go 2 930s one with 2 580s for your graphics work and a 460 in the other rig.

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its too bad you can't keep the gaming to another computer. simply because thats what going to cost the most. running muti VM is mostly a memory issue. stack 24gb ( or 48gb) in and you can alt-tab out of anything.

 

i got two builds i suggest going for but you aren't going to like either because they don't cater to both well.. oh and i suggest nvidia over ATi anyday if your going to be running linux.

 

 

Build One: Purely Workstation

Dual Skt 1366

2x W3520 2.6ghz $600

MB: ASUS Z8PE-D12X $400

2x Kingston 24GB (3 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM ECC $1400

PSU 1000watt (good brand) $300

CM HAF Case $100

2x Quadro 600 ($340)

3x HDD $150 (Raid1 + OS)

 

Total:$3290

 

 

Build Two: skt 1556

2600k $300

MB: $200

Memory: 4x4gb(16gb) $300

PSU 1000watt (good brand) $300

CM HAF Case $100

Geforce 580 $400 (for games)

Geforce 550 $130 (muti monitors)

3x HDD $150 (Raid1 + OS)

 

Total:$1615

 

 

i don't see a reason to SLi since it will just cause more issues with drivers in VMs. best thing to do is keep it in the same series and since the other monitors are going to be showing video/text/web you don't need anything powerful at all.

Edited by hornybluecow

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No point to sli?? Other than he wants to game on 3 screens.. U have to sli otherwise u can't

 

I'd still be going with the build that other guy suggested and that I pasted from him

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Hey mate :)

 

quickly ran through 2 builds, ones 1366 and the other is 1155

 

1366:

cpu: intel 990x - 970 if you dont really plan on overclocking (save 600$)

mobo: X58-UD3R-rev 2

ram: corsair vengeance 12gb (3x4gb gskill 3 x 4gb (x2) for a total of 24gb 378$ or just 100$ more.

gpu: gtx 580 twin frozr x2

psu: corsair hx-1000w

hard drive: samsung f3 1tb

SSD: ocz vertext 2 120gb

case: HAF X

total: $3887 w/ 990x or $3197 w/ 970.

 

 

As Waco said you are probably petter off with 2 systems and a kvm switch. Go 2 930s one with 2 580s for your graphics work and a 460 in the other rig.

I dont think he wants two separate systems though, although it is a good idea.

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you don't need sli to use muti monitors unless you are planing on playing across all 3. if that's the case forget about VM because all the money is going into video cards not Memory or CPUs power.

 

i sugges you build a cheap $600 rig for gaming and the rest on your workstation.

Edited by hornybluecow

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Some bloody good suggestions in this thread - including the KVM which I somehow forgot about despite being familiar with the tech - Still, now I know what's possible I want to stick with one PC to maximize single-task performance FTM- from the feedback I might focus on a gaming machine that can manage 2-3 screens with a 4th for readouts as that should still be able to manage my VM requirements individually (with some extra performance in CPU & RAM over what a normal gaming rig would need). I could just run a slower game like CIV4-5 when I have the VM's running if that becomes an issue. What does everyone think about this build? (drawing on suggestions above)

 

CPU: i7-990x ($1339)

 

Mobo: ASRock X58 Extreme6 Motherboard ($255) - with USB 3, SATA3, & 3x PCIE16, this looks pretty attractive for the price range - anything fishy going on here?

 

RAM:G-SKill Ripjaws 3x4x2 - run in 1600 on the 2200/1333/1066/800 mobo. How much performance variance between 1600-2200 MHZ RAM? ($378)

 

GPU: Thinking about a single GTX590, depending on price point & performance from March 24. AMD is looking more attractive with the linux assurances - might 2XSLI some 6970's leaving room for a 3rd later. Or I could just do this with 2 6950's. Advice please.

 

PSU: Zalman ZM1000-HP Plus ($275)

 

SSD: Looking at a nice Vertex 3, 240GB or Vertex 3 Pro 200GB around march 23rd.

 

HDD: 3x Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000 in RAID 5 (more for data loss prevention than speed) for 2TB total - This will mostly hold movies, old games, & swapped out games - will move newer games back into SSD before running. Still not sure if that justifies pairing SATA 2 drives with a SATA 3 mobo (the SATA 3 is for the SSD) ($177)

 

Case: The HAF X looks good - but does anyone know any cases that come in non-black? I won't always have the luxury of running this one in a darkened room - just noticed that during the day in a room that gets a lot of sun, the black cases had a bunch more overheating issues. ($239)

 

Total: $2663 before GPU & SSD. That leaves about $800 for GPU's and $600 for 200-240 GB of vertex 3. Will have to see how the prices work out to help decide between the March 23-24 new GPU & SSD releases or going with a larger number of older components. May well go to around $4500 (for an $1100 - $800 split) to fill this build out properly.

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my opinions on this

 

CPU: i7-990x ($1339)

top of the line bro

 

Mobo: ASRock X58 Extreme6 Motherboard ($255) - with USB 3, SATA3, & 3x PCIE16, this looks pretty attractive for the price range - anything fishy going on here?

sick mobo! it has 6 sata2 connectors on the board to run your RAID, so that is good

 

RAM:G-SKill Ripjaws 3x4x2 - run in 1600 on the 2200/1333/1066/800 mobo. How much performance variance between 1600-2200 MHZ RAM? ($378)

one again running your VMs at the same time as gaming will kill, so getting two sets of these is excellent

 

GPU: Thinking about a single GTX590, depending on price point & performance from March 24. AMD is looking more attractive with the linux assurances - might 2XSLI some 6970's leaving room for a 3rd later. Or I could just do this with 2 6950's. Advice please.

getting 2x 6950(flashed to 6970, is easy to do) is more cost effective, you get like 2-5% performance difference but for like 200$ cheaper

 

PSU: Zalman ZM1000-HP Plus ($275)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139007 i stand by corsair they have always treated me well and their products are well made. this is the same wattage,80+silver, for like 60 dollars cheaper

 

SSD: Looking at a nice Vertex 3, 240GB or Vertex 3 Pro 200GB around march 23rd.

cannot go wrong with SSD especially with the VMs heard they run silly fast, your gonna hafta pay to though >.<

 

HDD: 3x Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000 in RAID 5 (more for data loss prevention than speed) for 2TB total - This will mostly hold movies, old games, & swapped out games - will move newer games back into SSD before running. Still not sure if that justifies pairing SATA 2 drives with a SATA 3 mobo (the SATA 3 is for the SSD) ($177)

sounds good

 

Case: The HAF X looks good - but does anyone know any cases that come in non-black? I won't always have the luxury of running this one in a darkened room - just noticed that during the day in a room that gets a lot of sun, the black cases had a bunch more overheating issues. ($239)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811146067 the NZXT Phantom comes in white also got occ gold award http://www.overclockersclub.com/reviews/nzxt_phantom/6.htm AND is cheaper than HAF X

 

i did not do price totals

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I personally would wait and see what bulldozer has to offer for this kind of money, but if its now its now!

 

what you probably want is a dual (or quad) socket motherboard for all your VM's, but that will get expensive very quickly.

 

Going AMD for MB/CPU is cheaper, but also far less powerful as of now, so i cant really recommend that.

 

You want at least 16GB ram, probably more.

 

1366/1155 socket is hard to choose from since they have about the same performance most of the time, unless you go up to the highest price ranges.

 

Instead of buying a 240GB SSD, go with 4x60, 3x80 or 2x120GB in raid 0, it will definitely be faster (or do you lose TRIM support?). An SSD, combined with much ram, will be the key factor of your great alt-tabbing experience.

 

Graphics wise a HD6950 (single) will be plenty enough, and then maybe add one more later (or next series instead). You can always throw your money on graphic hardware only to regret it in a year or two. But RAM, PSU, HDD, CPU and SSD will not degrade as fast, and will be sufficient for years to come. Nvidia don't have the same support for many monitors i'm afraid. The HD6950 can handle 5 screens by itself.

 

as for HDDs they are cheap as hell right now, so build yourself a nice RAID 5 array of atleast 4 1TB+ drives (preferrably same size of different manufacturers, if its a bad batch or something). Raid 5 will get you safety even if one drive breaks.

 

Power supply: I really recommend the Corsair AX series. They have 7 years warrany, very good quality, and very nice electrical performance.

 

Optical devices you can probably harvest from an older computer, or buy a new one of you really need bluray.

 

So finally a recommended list:

 

System 1

Intel i7 970 (hexacore, socket 1366) 700$

Any of the above recommended motherboards 300$

 

System 2

Intel i7 2600K (quadcore, socket 1155) 300$

Motherboard with p67 chipset (or wait for z68) 200$

 

System 3

AMD 1100T 300$

Motherboars with 890FX chipset 200$

 

Make sure the motherboard is crossifre enabled, has at least 8 sata slots in total with raid 5 support, and at least 4 (probably at least 6) ram slots with support for at least 4GB ram modules. the socket 1366 has support for tripple channel memory, not so much performance increase, but usually more ram slots.

 

The rest of the components:

Nx4GB DDR3-1333 RAM, where N= number of ram slots. 500>Nx60$>200$ (more is MUCH better)

120GB or 240GB SSD with a Sandforce controller (at least SF1200, higher is better) 250$ (or 450$)

1xHD6950 2GB (or maybe, if money is enough a HD6990). Both can handle full eyefinity (6 screens, where of at least 4 over displayport 1.2) 300$ (or 700$)

4 different 2TB (or 1TB) drives (3 will be useable for storage after RAID 5) 450$ (or 250$)

Corsair AX 850W 190$

Choose a case of preference, its up to your taste 200$

 

Totals:

System 1 with all of the worst and 24GB ram costs roughly 700+300+360+450+700+450+190+200 = 3350$

System 1 stripped down a bit costs a bit less than 3000$

 

System 2 and 3 only have dual channel memory, and is a bit cheaper, so totals less than 3000$ with any configuration.

 

Edit

This means that you will have money over to buy display port screens, or you can buy two HD6950, and then you can use your old screens... I don't know what you have or what you want i'm afraid.

Edited by medbor

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First, I'd highly recommend building two separate systems. One for your virtualization server, and one for your gaming build. You'll find the costs just about the same, but your performance/availability levels will be much better. If something happens to your gaming machine, there goes your availability for work.

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i'm with El here. also if your going to spend *cough waste *cough* $1300 an a extreme chip which is 50% premium for a name, not speed. i suggest breaking into the dual cpu realm. it will overall make everything faster, cheaper and of course better.

 

oh and screw wasting money of on faster memory, you'll gain 1-3fps and pay 3x more. i've always found bulking up (24gb or 48gb of DDR1066) performs better than 6gb of DDR2000 for the same price point. To answer your question little to zero real world performance difference from 1600-2000 and i'll go as far to say even at 1066 with low timms you'll see no difference. just purely a waste of money.

 

 

lastly if your not going the dual socket route the 1155 2600k is faster than the intel 990x is most cases, only lagging slightly to the fact that it has 2 extra cores for muti threads. but you only have space for 16gb not 24gb :(

Edited by hornybluecow

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