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Discussion Starter #1
So, I managed to score a pair of xeon e5-2670's on ebay for a meager $135 for the matched set. I thought to myself, screw it, I'm building my dual Xeon workstation.

I've spent the last two weeks slowly procuring some parts, and will be updating this build log as I go.

So far, this is what I have:

Intel Xeon E5-2670 (x2)

Supermicro X9DAi Motherboard

Two cheapo artic coolers (just to get the thing up and running. I plan on replacing these later, I'm just not sure where I want to go yet).

Thermaltake Core V51 Riing edition case.

EVGA GTX 780 Classified

I'm still deciding on RAM, hard drive options and cooling.

I'll edit and update this thread as I go.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I've been wanting to do this for a VERY long time, but never had the money to go through with it.

I'm planning to pull the 16GB of ram from another computer at home, to test it.

I'm still undecided on whether I'm going to go with ECC ram or not. I've never used ECC, but I've also never had an issue with any stick of RAM that I've ever purchased, so I'm still up in the air on that one.

I'm also planning on pulling my EVGA 750 power supply for testing. I plan on using an EVGA G2 1300W power supply, but I have to get RAM first. We'll see what happens.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowfat View Post

As soon as I saw "fast cheap workstation" in the title I knew you were talking about the E5-2670s. So many people are grabbing these up lately.
I was thinking the exact same thing! I was even considering getting a couple for myself to build something, but my time is occupied with another build at the moment.

With that said, I'll be living vicariously through this build log until I decide to tackle something like this myself!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yeah......at 135 for the pair, it was a total no-brainer. I was going to go with the ASRock board in an article that I read, but by the time I was able to get it, they were out of stock. I opted to get the big bad supermicro board with USB 3 headers. I'm really looking forward to getting this beast up and running. Hopefully I can get windows 10 running without too many issues.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by unothegreat View Post

Yeah......at 135 for the pair, it was a total no-brainer. I was going to go with the ASRock board in an article that I read, but by the time I was able to get it, they were out of stock. I opted to get the big bad supermicro board with USB 3 headers. I'm really looking forward to getting this beast up and running. Hopefully I can get windows 10 running without too many issues.
Wth... Just checked ebay, its flooded with them, and so cheap. Since when is this a thing?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
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Originally Posted by Gilles3000 View Post

Wth... Just checked ebay, its flooded with them, and so cheap. Since when is this a thing?
I dunno, but it was too good of a deal to pass up. That, and all the freelance work I've been doing lately game me an ample supply of funds to do the build. I figured it was time.
 

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**UPDATE** Board is up and running. I'm actually typing this on it right now. My case won't be here until next week. I have a 480 GB SSD coming in tomorrow, along with my 1000W EVGA G1 80+ Gold power supply. Though, my 750 EVGA supply seems to be running it just fine.

And, here's a screenshot to prove she's alive:

 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by unothegreat View Post

**UPDATE** Board is up and running. I'm actually typing this on it right now. My case won't be here until next week. I have a 480 GB SSD coming in tomorrow, along with my 1000W EVGA G1 80+ Gold power supply. Though, my 750 EVGA supply seems to be running it just fine.

And, here's a screenshot to prove she's alive:

Good to know that proper posting on OCN requires at least 16 real cores doing 100% real work.
biggrin.gif


Where and what did you pay for the Supermicro X9DAi board? $500-600 MB kinda takes the shine off the cheapskate workstation patina.
 

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I'm thinking of doing this very same sort of build in a couple weeks and water cooling it. Supposedly the E5-2670's are flooding the market because they have reached end of life for a few huge data centers (Facebook among them) and are being sold by the thousands by recycles. I've seen a few big YouTubers and tech review sites doing builds with these chips over the past month or two. The CPU's are a steal but the dual socket motherboards that support them have inflated in price since the processors have gotten so cheap. The ones that don't have the very plain "server" look with the green PCB are $600+ when you can even find them for sale at all. I'm still looking for a reasonably priced board and then I'm all in. I couldn't normally justify building a dual socket machine for just video encoding but for the price why not?

Just a thought but I'm not sure you need such a big power supply. The 750w should be plenty considering the CPU's will probably pull less than 300w combined under load and a 780 is probably somewhere in the 200's. A little overkill shouldn't hurt but probably isn't necessary:p

Please do keep us updated, I love seeing these builds
thumb.gif
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by MicroCat View Post

Good to know that proper posting on OCN requires at least 16 real cores doing 100% real work.
biggrin.gif


Where and what did you pay for the Supermicro X9DAi board? $500-600 MB kinda takes the shine off the cheapskate workstation patina.
I got the board off Newegg,as well as the case. The board was 479.

I realize that 479 doesn't seem cheap but when you consider the cost of the entire build (I'm hovering right around a grand so far), for the amount of power I have, this really is a steal.

I'm a 3D/motion graphics artist and video editor, so the more power I have, the faster I can churn through things.

Speaking of power, I did a cpu/gpu render test last night, and the cause are only about 25% slower than my gtx 780 for rendering, which is impressive. Even the 5960x has about a 50-65 difference vs the gpu.

The only thing I really have left to get is my ram. I pulled the 16gb out of my fx 8350 gaming rig to get the thing running, so when I get paid next Friday (or my freelance checks come in), I'll be ordering 32gb of Kingston HyperX Fury Blacks to drop in there. And I'll still have 12 open ram slots. ?

Once I get all my drives (two ssd's in a raid 0 and a few 2.5 in his for storage purposes) I'll be grabbing at least one more 780 to put in there.

I wanted to have more room to expand, without having to buy another power supply down the road, which is why I went with the 1000w evga.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I just finished running some actual benchmarks on the system.

I used two programs to benchmark. Cinebench (which seems to be an overall standard), and Blender (which is my main 3D program). Here are the results:

Cinebench

OpenGL - 76.44 fps
CPU - 1978 cb
CPU Single Core - 100 cb

Blender BMW benchmark scene

Use this file:
http://blenderartists.org/forum/showthread.php?239480-2-7x-Cycles-benchmark-(Updated-BMW)

GPU Single GTX 780 - 1:22.49 (default 240x136 tile size)
CPU - 4:24.70 (default 240x136 tile size)
CPU - 1:53.62 (64x64 tile size)
CPU - 1:42.67 (32x32 Tile size)

It's interesting to me that using the default tile size in the scene is SIGNIFICANTLY slower, but once you start adjusting the tile sizes to better match your system, those extra cores really start coming into play. Once you get down into smaller sizes, it's only a tad bit behind the GPU as far as rendering goes. I mean, we're looking at less than a 20% difference here, which for a single frame, doesn't matter. Once you start getting into longer animations, 20% per frame adds up really quickly, but still. Impressive numbers to be sure. It also goes to show how important it is to optimize your render.
 

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Case finally came in yesterday! Supermicro lied about the motherboard though. As far as the case is concerned, it's definitely NOT an e-atx board. Maybe an xl-atx or ssi - eeb case. Regardless, it fit, but with absolutely no room to spare!

Pictures will be up tomorrow.
 

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Warning, this post is picture heavy!

I've renamed the computer to Atlas, following the idea of naming my computer's after Battlemech's. Atlas is a fitting name, as the Atlas is the biggest, baddest mech in the Battletech universe.
biggrin.gif

The Thermaltake Core V51 BARELY had enough room to fit the board. This thing is MONSTEROUS, and took up every square inch of space.



To fit the SAS cable, I actually had to notch out part of the lower drive cage, just about the screw hole. The drive cages are now screwed in from the back, instead of the motherboard side, like they were when I took the case out of the box.



Even though I no longer have access to the cable management grommets, I think I did a pretty decent job making it look clean from the window side of the case.



Oh, those fans!! They look pretty dope, IMO. Never been a fan of windows and lit fans, but this is a build that I'm proud of, and want to be able to see.



All buttoned up, and looking killer!


Just a couple of things though....

First, I have got to get a fan controller of some type, as these things push some heavy duty airflow, and in turn, it's LOUD. There's a constant **WHOOSH** going on. It's not obnoxious, but I've got to tone it down.

Second, I wasn't sure if I'd keep the cheapo Arctic i11 coolers long term when I bought them, and now I'm DEFINITELY not sure I'll be keeping them. I'm just not sure what I'd replace them with. I've not looked into it, but maybe Thermaltake has a 140 Riiing fan that I can put on something, or I might go with dual AIO water cooling. Building a custom loop is both out of my price range, and way more work than I want to do.

All in all, I'm SUPER happy with how this turned out, and it's nice to have a splash of color on my desk to offset all the black in my office.
biggrin.gif
 
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