Originally Posted by voovode
- Would you go Xeon or i7? If Xeon then which series?
- What kind of motherboard would you fit these in?
- Would you go FirePro or Quadro? Any versions of these cards tested? SLI ?
- Would you go 16 or 32GB of RAM? was that gonna be 1066/1333 because of CPU's limit, higher or O/C ?
- Would you buy PCI-SSD like RevoDrive 3 X2?
What kind of design work? If we're talking Photoshop or general graphics arts design work, your requirements are considerably different than if you were going to be using Solidworks, Maya, Blender, etc.
If you're doing something that will take advantage of multi-threaded, multi-core CPUs, then I would probably look at a Intel X79 chipset motherboard of some sort (ASUS P9X79 series, etc) that has 8 DIMM slots, and an i7-4930K CPU. Xeons offer no advantage for the casual business user over i7 processors -- except they support ECC memory. They also can't be overclocked, and typically run slower than an i7 dollar for dollar.
Neither Firepro nor Quadro unless your design software SPECIFICALLY recommends one. Again, depends on your intended application. Need more info.
32GB of RAM is cheap and easily obtained with an X79 platform. Four 8GB DIMMS gives you quad channel RAM and inexpensive entry cost, with easy upgrade path to 64GB if you need it later.
No, I wouldn't go with a PCIe SSD. I'd get a quality SATA 3 (6.0 gbps) SSD like a Samsung 840 Pro for a boot/OS drive, and a pair of enterprise 2-4TB HDD in RAID 1 to use with Storage Spaces as a Mirroring volume under Windows 8. Also, plan on a comprehensive external backup solution while you're at it.