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Which parts to choose for a system (multiuser, multitask, with more RAM) ?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Hi all the great people here! thumb.gif I was searching here and on the net, and still haven't found anything working for such requirements - please help me building a PC case for these..

Here is how this PC will be used now:
* win7 x64 Pro or Ultimate (later maybe Win8, but it's gonna be Win7 for now)
* 2-3 users at the same time (fast user switching) with the following stuff opened at the same time:
- dozens (maybe even hundreds) of applications
- Chrome+Firefox+Opera+IE browsers (with at least a few plugins in each) with hundreds (maybe even a thousand) of tabs open in each (I know it may sound weird; but it's a requirement here..), and
- several virtual machines.
Usually all of this is running at the same time. And in this situation I need that switching between applications/tabs/user accounts would access the pagefile as little as possible. I see from taskmgr that in such situations CPU is not loaded much (Flash is disabled in browsers).
Also, I see that on my previous PC (Win7 32-bit 4GB RAM) in such situations memory commit is usually at least 7-8GB, and therefore there is a lot of swapping going on, until the PC becomes unstable. So this new build must have a lot of RAM - 16 GB at least.

Here's the possible rough specification of some parts:
  • CPU - Intel Core i5/i7 (Sandy or Ivy Bridge)
  • RAM - DDR3 1333MHz-1600MHz 16GB dual channel (it would be ideal to have an ability to change/expand it to 32GB later on, etc.) - Kingston, Corsair or Crucial
  • Graphics - currently is not required to be powerful. (It would be sufficient to have a somewhat similar powerfulness like the one I had previously - ASUS HD4870 PCIE 1GB GDDR5 2XDVI - model EAH4870/2DI/1GD5).
    Maybe integrated graphics would already have such power and would be enough at the moment?
  • Storage: 64 GB (or 128GB) SSD (for OS system files and some larger/frequently used programs)
    and + 2 TB Western Digital HDD (for everything else, there will be a lot of files used)
  • PSU - roughly, at least something of this level: OCZ ZS Series 650W non-Modular, 80 Plus Bronze, ATX12V v2.2 and EPS12V (OCZ-ZS650W-EU)
  • LAN, WiFi, Bluetooth, DVDRW...
  • I need the parts to be as much compatible as possible, and seriously compatible with Microsoft/Windows (Windows Hardware Compatibility List, Windows Hardware Quality Labs tested, etc. - as much as possible)
  • this time I don't really need abilities of overclocking the system (I just need a reliable and stable PC)
  • dual monitor support (no high requirements of video performance though for the additional monitor)

--- [Note]: I'm looking in one of the most popular local stores in my country. If needed, here are the English-translated lithuanian shop lists (Click to show) Prices are in lithuanian Lits (divide Lits by 4 and you get GBPs, i.e. 4 Lits = 1 GBP).
--- [/Note]


So, for this situation..

  1. Which components would give the highest bang/buck ratio for around 1000Lt (250GBP)? Of course, some of the (less important) PC parts mentioned above would have to be "cropped" to lower specs in this case.

  2. Which components would give the highest bang/buck ratio for around 2000Lt (500GBP)?
    I start picking like this.. please help me by putting here your comments and component list suggestions..
    • Storage(HDD): WD20EZRX Internal Drive WD Green 2TB SATA3 3.5'' IntelliPower 64MB AFT 304.00Lt ~ 76 GBP
    • RAM: CMZ16GX3M2A1600 DDR3 Corsair Vengeance Black 16GB (2X8GB) 1600MHz CL9, XMP1.3 330.00Lt ~ 85 GBP
    • CPU: BX80637I53470 Intel Core i5-3470, Quad Core, 3.20GHz, 6MB, LGA1155, 22nm, 77W, VGA BOX 610.00Lt ~ 153 GBP
    • Storage(SSD): VTX4-25SAT3-128 SSD OCZ Vertex 128GB SATA3 4, 550/430MBs, IOPS 90/85K, 120K Max IOPS 402.00Lt ~ 101 GBP
    • MOBO - one of these:
      1. B75 PRO3-M ASRock B75 PRO3-M, B75, DualDDR3-1600, SATA3, SATA2, HDMI, GBLAN, mATX 206.00Lt ~ 51 GBP, or
      2. B75 PRO3 ASRock B75 PRO3, B75, DualDDR3-1600, SATA3, SATA2, HDMI, GBLAN, ATX 6 221.00Lt ~ 55 GBP, or
      3. BOXDB75EN Intel DB75EN, B75, DDR3-1600, SATA, GBLAN, mATX, BOX 265.00Lt ~ 66 GBP
    • SH-224BB / BEBE: Internal DRW Samsung SH-224BB, SATA, bulk bar, black 48Lt ~ 12 GBP
    • RC-342-KKN1-GP PC casing without PSU Cooler Master Elite 342 mATX black 83Lt ~ 21 GBP
    • CP-9020050-EU: PSU Corsair VS 550W ATX 80 Plus Very quiet 120mm fan 163Lt ~ 41 GBP
    • TBW-107UB: TRENDNET Micro Bluetooth USB ADAPT. 10M 29Lt ~ 7GBP
    • TL-WN881ND: TP-Link TL-WN881ND 300Mbps Wireless N PCI Express Network Adapter 51Lt ~ 13 GBP

    Total: ~ 2226 Lt (~ 557 GBP)
    Are these components worth the money in this situation? Will they be well compatible with each other and with the Windows HCL?

  3. Which components would give the highest bang/buck ratio for around 3000Lt (750GBP)?

  4. Which components would give the highest bang/buck ratio for around 4000Lt (1000GBP)?


Note: I'm updating this first post as I pick for these options.

Many thanks!
Edited by domino-loto - 2/19/13 at 12:43am
post #2 of 27
It sounds like you have it pretty well figured out, except for the processor / motherboard.
Mid range CPU: Intel i5-3470 (since overclocking is not needed)
Higher range CPU: Intel i7-3770K (best because of the several users and virtual machines)
Highest range CPU: i7-3930K (even better, but out of your budget)

Motherboards to match:
lower range: Any H61 board that says it is compatible with Ivy bridge CPUs
higher range: Any Z77 board
highest range: any X79 board


For memory, simply look for a good value 1600MHz 16GB set from a brand that you trust.

For graphics, I do recommend having dedicated graphics since several people could be doing (possibly) intensive things. Any Radeon 77xx or 78xx would do great. If you are on a budget, integrated graphics will work fine, but could be a problem if several people are watching YouTube at once.

For the SSD, this is a good value for the performance http://www.skytech.lt/ct128m4ssd2-ssd-crucial-128gb-sata3-sparta-415175mbs-p-67231.html

The computer case is completely up to your personal preference smile.gif

Any 80 plus certified power supply in the 500W range (if you use dedicated graphics) would be great! There aren't many rights vs wrongs for many of the components. You have lots of choices thumb.gif
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post #3 of 27
Thread Starter 
Thanks for a reply!
Quote:
because of the several users and virtual machines

To be clear, just in case - I meant users would switch via fast user switching with many programs left running, and they want to switch fast. These programs usually won't be using a lot of CPU, but they would be using a lot of RAM.

Quote:
Am I not confusing something? Looks like this SSD has a better value - price and speed (random read and the advertised sequential read/write): SSD Kingston V300 120GB SATA3, 450/450MBs, IOPS 55k, 7mm, Model: SV300S37A/120G
post #4 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by domino-loto View Post

Thanks for a reply!
To be clear, just in case - I meant users would switch via fast user switching with many programs left running, and they want to switch fast. These programs usually won't be using a lot of CPU, but they would be using a lot of RAM.
Am I not confusing something? Looks like this SSD has a better value - price and speed (random read and the advertised sequential read/write): SSD Kingston V300 120GB SATA3, 450/450MBs, IOPS 55k, 7mm, Model: SV300S37A/120G

Ah, I understand. In that case, probably any i5 would be more than sufficient for the processor.

And yep, that would be a good SSD too (better value). I only recommended the Crucial M4 because I have used several of them with very good consistent results.
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post #5 of 27
Thread Starter 
I don't see H61 listed in i5 compatibility list here: http://ark.intel.com/products/68316/Intel-Core-i5-3470-Processor-6M-Cache-up-to-3_60-GHz
Should I look for other chipset for this CPU?

I start picking for ~2000 Lt (~ 500GBP) like this.. please help if you have comments/suggestions..
  • WD20EZRX Internal Drive WD Green 2TB SATA3 3.5'' IntelliPower 64MB AFT 304.00Lt / ~ 76 GBP
  • CMZ16GX3M2A1600 DDR3 Corsair Vengeance Black 16GB (2X8GB) 1600MHz CL9, XMP1.3 330.00Lt / ~ 85 GBP
  • BX80637I53470 Intel Core i5-3470, Quad Core, 3.20GHz, 6MB, LGA1155, 22nm, 77W, VGA BOX 610.00Lt / ~ 153 GBP
  • VTX4-25SAT3-128 SSD OCZ Vertex 128GB SATA3 4, 550/430MBs, IOPS 90/85K, 120K Max IOPS 402.00Lt / ~ 101 GBP
  • BOXDB75EN Intel DB75EN, B75, DDR3-1600, SATA GBLAN, ATX, BOX 265.00Lt / ~ 66 GBP
  • ... there will probably be another ~ 500 Lt (~ 125GBP) for the remaining parts of this PC case

Total: ~ 2400 Lt (~ 600 GBP)
Are these components worth the money in this situation? Will they be well compatible with each other and with the Windows HCL?
post #6 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by domino-loto View Post

I don't see H61 listed in i5 compatibility list here: http://ark.intel.com/products/68316/Intel-Core-i5-3470-Processor-6M-Cache-up-to-3_60-GHz
Should I look for other chipset for this CPU?

I start picking for ~2000 Lt (~ 500GBP) like this.. please help if you have comments/suggestions..
  • WD20EZRX Internal Drive WD Green 2TB SATA3 3.5'' IntelliPower 64MB AFT 304.00Lt / ~ 76 GBP
  • CMZ16GX3M2A1600 DDR3 Corsair Vengeance Black 16GB (2X8GB) 1600MHz CL9, XMP1.3 330.00Lt / ~ 85 GBP
  • BX80637I53470 Intel Core i5-3470, Quad Core, 3.20GHz, 6MB, LGA1155, 22nm, 77W, VGA BOX 610.00Lt / ~ 153 GBP
  • VTX4-25SAT3-128 SSD OCZ Vertex 128GB SATA3 4, 550/430MBs, IOPS 90/85K, 120K Max IOPS 402.00Lt / ~ 101 GBP
  • BOXDB75EN Intel DB75EN, B75, DDR3-1600, SATA GBLAN, ATX, BOX 265.00Lt / ~ 66 GBP
  • ... there will probably be another ~ 500 Lt (~ 125GBP) for the remaining parts of this PC case

Total: ~ 2400 Lt (~ 600 GBP)
Are these components worth the money in this situation? Will they be well compatible with each other and with the Windows HCL?

That is a good point - H61 is technically compatible but only if the manufacturer has given it a bios update, so that could possibly cause trouble.

My only recommendation then on the parts you listed is the motherboard. This AsRock B75 will certainly be compatible and is a better value for the features you get. Otherwise, I really like what you selected, and they will be compatible together. Hopefully we'll get someone else's opinion here, but I think it is good!
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Athlon 64 FX-55 Clawhammer Or Athlon 64 X2 4200+ Manchester Asus A8N32 - SLI ATI Radeon X850 XT PE 
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Or MSI GeForce 210 4 x 1GB Corsair XMS 500MHz OCz Agility 2 LITE-ON DVD 
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i5-3360M @2.8-3.5GHz nVidia GT 650M @1GHz 2x4GB G.Skill 1600MHz Crucial M4 SSD 128GB 
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Intel 520 SSD 240GB Bluray / DVD combo Win 7 Home 64 Seasonic 550W modular 
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NZXT Vulcan 
CPUCPUMotherboardGraphics
Athlon 64 FX-55 Clawhammer Or Athlon 64 X2 4200+ Manchester Asus A8N32 - SLI ATI Radeon X850 XT PE 
GraphicsRAMHard DriveOptical Drive
Or MSI GeForce 210 4 x 1GB Corsair XMS 500MHz OCz Agility 2 LITE-ON DVD 
CoolingOSPowerCase
Antec Kuhler 920 Win 7 Home Premium OEM Antec High Current Pro NZXT Phantom 
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i5-3360M @2.8-3.5GHz nVidia GT 650M @1GHz 2x4GB G.Skill 1600MHz Crucial M4 SSD 128GB 
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post #7 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by frogger4 View Post

My only recommendation then on the parts you listed is the motherboard. This AsRock B75 will certainly be compatible and is a better value for the features you get.

Thanks for the suggestion and encouragement! One of quite a few things I noticed was a difference in formfactor mATX vs ATX, a few port differences and RAM speeds supported.

By the way, is B75 Pro3-M (mATX) also as good as B75 Pro3 (ATX version)? (I see only some small differences, like 1 x PCI Express 2.0 x1 slot and a few connectors)

A side question: what is a good way of (or a tool for) comparing motherboards from different manufacturers?

And yes, it would be nice to hear some more opinions from others as well smile.gif Please join the discussion, it's very helpful for me here.
Edited by domino-loto - 2/11/13 at 1:25pm
post #8 of 27
Thread Starter 
The guy from the shop has suggested 3 options for me. Here's his comment:
Quote:
3. Better kit (no. 3) - with Ivy Bridge i7, high quality and relatively cheap additional coolers for stability , very high quality 32GB of RAM (4x8GB) and 128GB OCZ Vertex 4 latest SSD drive with a huge I / O operations per second, would be ideal for working with several "serious" users + accessories like wireless plate, Bluetooth, etc.

2. Cheaper is similar, but of lower class - i5 with stock cooler, the same type of RAM, just less of it - 16GB, a little weaker video card and consequently less power supply unit.

1. The cheapest kit - the most clipped one, with no video card (it's integrated), simpler SSD and RAM. I think below this there is nowhere to "climb", it does not pay-off.
  1. 2360 Lt = 590 GBP
    1x BX80637I53570: Intel Core i5-3570, Quad Core, 3.40GHz, 6MB, LGA1155,
    22nm, 77W, VGA BOX
    1x P8B75-M: Asus B75, DualDDR3-1600, SATA3, 5xSATA2, HDMI, GBLAN,
    mATX
    1x CMX16GX3M2A1600C11: DDR3 Corsair XMS3 16GB (2X8GB) 1600MHz
    CL11 1.5V, Heatsink
    1x ASP900S3-128GM-C: Needle Premier Pro SSD 128GB SATA3 SP900S,
    Sparta 550 / 520mb 85k IOPS
    1x WD2002FAEX: Internal WD Black 2TB 3.5'' SATA3 7200RPM 64MB
    1x SH-224BB / BEBE: Internal DRW Samsung SH-224BB, SATA, bulk bar,
    black
    1x RC-342-KKN1-GP PC casing without PSU Cooler Master Elite 342 mATX
    black
    1x CP-9020050-EU: PSU Corsair VS 550W ATX 80 Plus Very quiet 120mm
    fan
    1x TBW-107UB: TRENDNET Micro Bluetooth USB ADAPT. 10M
    1x TL-WN881ND: TP-Link TL-WN881ND 300Mbps Wireless N PCI Express
    Network Adapter
  2. 2800 Lt = 700 GBP
    1x BX80637I53570: Intel Core i5-3570, Quad Core, 3.40GHz, 6MB, LGA1155,
    22nm, 77W, VGA BOX
    1x GA-Z77P-D3: MB Z77 S1155 ATX / GA-Z77P-D3 GIGA-BYTE
    1x PVI316G186C0K: Patriot DDR3 Intel Extreme Masters 16GB (2X8GB)
    1866MHZ CL10 1.5V, XMP1.3
    1x WD2002FAEX: Internal WD Black 2TB 3.5'' SATA3 7200RPM 64MB
    1x VTX4-25SAT3-128G: SSD OCZ Vertex 128GB SATA3 4, 550 / 430MBs,
    IOPS 90 / 85k, Max IOPS 120K
    1x GV-R775OC-2GI: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7750, 2GB DDR3 (128 Bit), HDMI,
    DVI-D, D-SUB, BOX
    1x SH-224BB / BEBE: Internal DRW Samsung SH-224BB, SATA, bulk bar,
    black
    1x RC-342-KKN1-GP PC casing without PSU Cooler Master Elite 342 mATX
    black
    1x CP-9020050-EU: PSU Corsair VS 550W ATX 80 Plus Very quiet 120mm
    fan
    1x TL-WN881ND: TP-Link TL-WN881ND 300Mbps Wireless N PCI Express
    Network Adapter
    1x TBW-107UB: TRENDNET Micro Bluetooth USB ADAPT. 10M
  3. 3700 Lt = 925 GBP
    1x BX80637I73770: Intel Core i7-3770, Quad Core, 3.40GHz, 8MB, LGA1155,
    22nm, 77W, VGA BOX
    1x GA-Z77P-D3: MB Z77 S1155 ATX / GA-Z77P-D3 GIGA-BYTE
    1x RR-212E-16PK-R1 CPU Cooler Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo 1366 /
    1156/1155/775 / FM1 / AM3 + / AM3 / AM2 +
    2x PVI316G186C0K: Patriot DDR3 Intel Extreme Masters 16GB (2X8GB)
    1866MHZ CL10 1.5V, XMP1.3
    1x WD2002FAEX: Internal WD Black 2TB 3.5'' SATA3 7200RPM 64MB
    1x VTX4-25SAT3-128G: SSD OCZ Vertex 128GB SATA3 4, 550 / 430MBs,
    IOPS 90 / 85k, Max IOPS 120K
    1x GV-R777OC-1GD: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7770, 1GB DDR5 (128 Bit), HDMI,
    DVI 2xminiDP, BOX
    1x SH-224BB / BEBE: Internal DRW Samsung SH-224BB, SATA, bulk bar,
    black
    1x RC-342-KKN1-GP PC casing without PSU Cooler Master Elite 342 mATX
    black
    1x RS650-ACAAD3-EU: PSU Cooler Master GX 650W ATX 12V 80Plus single
    rail
    1x TL-WN881ND: TP-Link TL-WN881ND 300Mbps Wireless N PCI Express
    Network Adapter
    1x TBW-107UB: TRENDNET Micro Bluetooth USB ADAPT. 10M

What do you guys think of these 3?

--
I'm now also trying to pick a config with 64GB* RAM (one cheap config and one good config). Other components would be minimal, no need for high CPU speed, nor video performance. There should be an ability to connect 2 monitors (or even 3-4 monitors would be great too). Just for multiple document viewing, in fact for viewing hundreds/thousands of documents and browser windows (with Flash disabled), with a few users logged on, without any swapping/paging. Any suggestions?

*I've tested - chrome browser can eat up as much memory as many windows/tabs you throw at it. I managed to get ~5GB virtual memory usage for chrome processes in a very short test with opening a few hundred of tabs with a same document (+there were a few more GBs for OS and other apps, so it has used ~8GB easily).

Regarding RAM 64GB + CPU + MB I've started looking - and seems I found:
one or two examples in that direction (Click to show)
RAM:

Corsair XMS DDR3 CMX64GX3M8A1333 64GB (8X8GB) 1333MHz CL9 1.5V, heat sink 946.00Lt
or CMZ64GX3M8A1600 DDR3 Corsair Vengeance Black 64GB (8X8GB) 1600MHz CL9 1.5V 1,154.00Lt

A) lower cost version with 64GB RAM: CPU + Mobo:

BX80619I73820 Intel Core i7-3820 Quad Core, 3.60GHz, 10MB, LGA2011, 32nm, 130W, BOX 955.00Lt
ASRock X79 + X79 EXTREME3 EXTREME3, X79, QuadDDR3-1600, SATA3, GBLAN, RAID, PCI-E 3.0, ATX 620.00Lt - I'm not sure about stability and compatibility of this
or + BLKDX79TO DX79TO Intel, X79, QuadDDR3-1600, QPI, SATA3, RAID, GBLAN, CF, ATX, 647.00Lt BULK - (needs a BIOS update to work with the i7-3820?)
or + BOXDX79TO DX79TO Intel, X79, QuadDDR3-1600, QPI, 2xSATA3, RAID, GBLAN, ATX, BOX 709.00Lt - (needs a BIOS update to work with the i7-3820?)

B) more expensive version with 64GB RAM: CPU + Mobo:

BX80619I73930K Intel Core i7-3930K, Hexa Core, 3.20GHz, 12MB, LGA2011, 32nm, 130W, BOX 1,859.00 Lt
+ I haven't picked a mobo for this yet

Your input would be very welcome!..
Edited by domino-loto - 2/12/13 at 10:48pm
post #9 of 27
Since it doesn't seem like you'll be overclocking, take a look at the Xeon E3-1230 V2.

It's basically an i7 3770 without onboard video and roughly $100 less. At least here in the US; not sure how prices are for you.
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Thermaltake 
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X3 710 CACZC | 3.7GHz DFI LP DK 790GX-M2RS ATI Radeon HD 3300 4GB OCZ XTC @ 800MHz 2.08v 
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Western Digital 6400AAKS LG 22X DVD±R Xigmatek S1283 7 Professional 64-Bit 
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20" Acer AL2017 Logitech Media Corsair CX430 Thermaltake Soprano 
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Logitech G5 
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six|speed
(11 items)
 
five|speed
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automatic.
(14 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 4790k Gryphon Z97 Asus GTX760 OC 16GB Crucial Ballistix 
Hard DriveCoolingOSOS
2x 256GB Crucial MX100 H60 Windows 8.1 Pro OS X Yosemite 
MonitorPowerCase
2x Dell U2414H Seasonic X650 Legacy U3 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5 760 | 4GHz | 1.275v Gigabyte P55A-UD3 MSI NX7600GT  8GB G.Skill ECO 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
1TB Samsung Spinpoint F3 LG 22X DVD±R Corsair H50 OSX 10.7.3 
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LG 23" Corsair HX620 Antec Nine-Hundred MX 518 
Mouse Pad
Thermaltake 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
X3 710 CACZC | 3.7GHz DFI LP DK 790GX-M2RS ATI Radeon HD 3300 4GB OCZ XTC @ 800MHz 2.08v 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Western Digital 6400AAKS LG 22X DVD±R Xigmatek S1283 7 Professional 64-Bit 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
20" Acer AL2017 Logitech Media Corsair CX430 Thermaltake Soprano 
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Logitech G5 
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post #10 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shift. View Post

Since it doesn't seem like you'll be overclocking, take a look at the Xeon E3-1230 V2.

It's basically an i7 3770 without onboard video and roughly $100 less. At least here in the US; not sure how prices are for you.

Thanks, it's a good idea. I'm checking the price and availability of this CPU. It supports max 32GB RAM and requires a pricey X79 2011 motherboard, (as well as i7-3820 does), am I correct?
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Overclock.net › Forums › Intel › Intel - General › Which parts to choose for a system (multiuser, multitask, with more RAM) ?