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Build Advice Help on a Server/Workstation Build

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by n0va, 13 Jul 2009.

  1. n0va

    n0va Burnin'!

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    Heya Guys :)

    Alright, so someone asked me to build a PC for him.
    He has a architecture office, and their PC's are really really old, I can't tell you the model because I didn't inspect them further when I saw they had 40 mm coolers on the CPU :D

    This build is pretty much low-Budget. What we are aiming for is a Server that holds Data and will be accesible through VPN, and will probably have Drives in RAID 1. It will need a bit of Graphics and processing power because of the VPN streaming.

    Then, there will be 2 Workstations, or Desktop PCs, that will be running their CAD programs. They won't need too much Graphics power though, I think integrated graphics will do fine, but I'm not quite sure.
    All in all my budget is about 1200 $, but it would be best if the end-prize was below 1000$.

    For the drives, I think I will use Seagate drives, small ones for the Desktop PCs and obviously bigger ones for the Server, because they are very reliable in my experience. But for the rest of this, I'm totally unexperienced in this Area, because I mainly build gaming PCs.
    So, I'm asking for your help. What hardware could you recommend to me? Thanks in advance :D
    n0va
     
  2. Diosjenin

    Diosjenin Thinker, Tweaker, Et Cetera

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    Wait - two PCs and one file server for $1000 total? Am I really reading that correctly?

    - Diosjenin -
     
  3. Burnout21

    Burnout21 Is the daddy!

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    I agree sounds more like a joke to me
     
  4. n0va

    n0va Burnin'!

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    Why is this supposed to be a joke, the two PCs on their own really don't need much power!
    Also, maybe I miscalculated Euro to Dollar... Wait... Well, just a bit: 1400$ is maximum, but below would always be better.

    At the moment, I'm thinking about switching the server for a NAS Box, because the Server doesn't really need to be accessed for anything else than Files.

    But I still don't get it, why do you think this should be a joke?
     
  5. MaverickWill

    MaverickWill Dirty CPC Mackem

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    I dunno. Everything using integrated graphics, cheapy processors, tiny HDDs in the workstations, a few 1TB drives in the Seagate, some semi-decent power supplies... As long as you're able to re-use monitors, peripherals, and cases, that shouldn't be too hard, should it?
     
  6. n0va

    n0va Burnin'!

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    Most of that I will do. Tiny HDDs in the workstations, Hell we don't even need 1TB, 500GB should be enough (Maybe I should've put that more clearly), but still, are there any good integrated Graphics Mobo? Wouldnt it be better to buy a Mobo and a Graphics Card for roughly the same price?

    Monitors and peripherals and stuff will be reused, yes. So no extra $$ on that. Though I need hardware advice for the Motherboards 'n stuff... No idea what to use here...
     
  7. Krikkit

    Krikkit All glory to the hypnotoad! Super Moderator

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    For cheap workstations have a look at the Dell Small Business range. Better than we can custom-build for small budgets.
     
  8. floppyeardbunny

    floppyeardbunny New Member

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    Ok I build highend servers for a living and we regularly get odd questions. This fits in the odd category.
    1. Most CAD software is aggressive. You need a dedicated video card for openGL graphics (quadro or ATI's equivalent) some of the newer software is running in D3D but its gonna have a hard time running on a 400~600 box.
    2. You can do it in ~1400 but you would have to really skimp on the other hardware. If you were stateside I would say go to a second hand computer shop and pic up some old workstations preferably with PCIe slots (for the video cards)
    3. The network storage could be real easy, you could use a linux distro and run it on one of the old boxes they already have and be done with it. plug in a bunch of harddrives and that could work. Or pick up a junky little desktop and do the same.

    I would agree though the three boxes under 1400 is a stretch. Especially with the CAD stations in the mix.
     
  9. Burnout21

    Burnout21 Is the daddy!

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    Can i ask what applications there running?

    Personally in this situation just buy some Dell's, less hassle that way.

    On-board graphics has taken a nose dive with sod all board makers making it availble.
     
  10. n0va

    n0va Burnin'!

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    I will ask him, tomorrow (it's around 12 pm here now) I will be able to tell you exactly what applications he is running. But considering that they are running ok on their current PCs, the programs aren't too heavy, and everything will probably be an improvement.

    A quick Edit:
    I have had a look at the Dell small business range. It's around the prize range I was looking for - BUT: they have so many extras we don't need! They include Vista Home Premium, we don't need this, also, they give you a minimum of 250GB HDD space, which is far too much for the workstations. 160 or 120 or even less would be totally sufficent. Plus, they provide you with software you can't uncheck in the config and that costs extra. So shouldn't it be possible to leave all this stuff out and put in some better parts?

    Another one:
    I have looked around for parts. If I just take a Intel e5200 (70 $), then a 70 $ Mainboard, a 350-400 Watts PSU (50 $), and 2GB RAM for around 30 $, I'm can still spend up to 80 $ for a good graphics card (-> Just looked, maybe a 4650 or 4670?) . But then, I wouldn't even be hitting the 1000$ Mark if I built 3 of these. Less good hardware for the Server PC, and I could even buy better stuff for the Workstations.
     
    Last edited: 13 Jul 2009
  11. MaverickWill

    MaverickWill Dirty CPC Mackem

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    Out of interest, why are you looking for graphics cards in the server? If it's just for files, a NAS could work fine. Failing that, you could just set up the server using as much low-cost, low-power components as possible. You wouldn't even need a monitor, DVD drive, mouse or keyboard if you configured some remote desktop software on it (well, you would to set it up, but after that, you wouldn't). And, as a result, no graphics card. Just cheapo integrated graphics would be fine.

    For the workstations, if the CAD packages can use CUDA, etc, go for nVidia cards. it'd take the strain off your processors, and you could skimp out on them, and just use a 9600GT (or similar) in each machine.
     
  12. n0va

    n0va Burnin'!

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    Oops, I think I mixed this up. I didn't want any Graphics card in the server at all, not from the beginning on, only remote Desktop and that's it, just like you said. What I wanted to say in my other post was that, if I bought 3 of these I wouldn't even hit the limit :D

    And for the 9600gt, wouldn't the e5200 be bottlenecking it?
     
  13. MaverickWill

    MaverickWill Dirty CPC Mackem

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    Pass. I was just suggesting it, in case the apps can use CUDA. I'm no CAD expert - in fact, I believe a more accurate term is "n00b" - so I assumed they might work with CUDA. You could go for an E7X00 and a GTS250 - depending on price, power consumption, speed, etc, this could be cheaper in the long run than the 9600GTs. Unfortunately, there is so much more you need to learn, and so little I can teach you (because I know nothing).

    Anyone else care to help out? I'm done. I got nothing more. I'm out. Empty. Etc. :p


    Will
     
  14. n0va

    n0va Burnin'!

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    I would also go for better hardware, but unfortunately, GTS and E7xxx is soooo outta the budget >.<

    Yeah same, I also don't know about CUDA and CAD and stuff, only thing I do is building decent gaming PCs for around 600-1000$ for Friends 'n stuff, but I've never been into something like this before, that's why I came here to ask.
    Thanks for your help though MaverickWill, you really gave me some good ideas :)
     
  15. MaverickWill

    MaverickWill Dirty CPC Mackem

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    The GTS250s over here can cost less than £80 on a good day, so that's about 90 Euros each? And I know the E7200 was less than £100 (call it 115 Euros) a couple of months back. You might be able to go for the E6xxx range for a lower budget. Since you're (I should hope!) not overclocking on workstations, any old motherboard will do. What supplier will you be using for parts?
     
  16. n0va

    n0va Burnin'!

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    Over here the GTS costs about 140 €, this is too much already, also I think this card is a bit too powerful. 200 € just for GFX + CPU is a bit too much. And no I won't be overclocking, so just about any MB will do :D
    I will probably use alternate.de as my supplier, they are very cheap and fast judging from my past experiences with them :)
     
  17. dark_avenger

    dark_avenger Well-Known Member

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    CAD doesen't make use of CUDA but there is a series of nVidia cards called "quadro's" which
    are designed for CAD work.
    I'd be telling your friend that his computers help him make money and that he should spend the bit extra and do it right the first time.
    It will save him money later.
     
  18. n0va

    n0va Burnin'!

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    Thanks, but I have already looked into this: They are FAR too expensive. And when I say far, I mean... err... FAR!
    Also, the CAD and the Computers are just a minor part in the job of an architect. Most of their modeling, they do by hand (Though the PCs are also needed). So, I wouldn't say he needs such an extreme thing, for a video editor or something I would recommend this, but for this it's just not right.
     

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