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[Build Log] Xeon E5-2640 Workstation Part. 1

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After nearly four years of running a Dual X5650 workstation, it died out on me couple weeks ago thus I dismantled and sold most of the parts, it was running a Tyan S7002 motherboard, for some reason Tyan boards haven’t been very reliable for me considering that the machine ran 24x7 / 365. After deliberating whether to upgrade to a more modern technology or to just replace my current motherboard with ASUS Z8NA-D6C, I decided to take advantage of Intel’s C602 chipset along with Xeon E5 CPU’s.


Many people have asked me what are the reasons for so much computing power. Well my answer remains fairly simple. As some of you may or may not know, I work in a datacenter and I am tasked with testing application(s) meant to run on multi-cpu and multicore servers and workstations, thus my workload is heavily processor and I/O oriented.


As I mentioned above that the system is both processing and I/O oriented, that mean that it will be running; VMs, IDEs (For those who are not programmers, an IDE is an Integrated Development Environment, used for programming, testing/debugging, and organization.) While I have a nice workstation at work, this one will be used at home so that I don’t have to spend countless nights at work.

Now that I have described the average usage of the said machine, I will show the specifications of my old workstation compared to the upcoming build.

Previous Setup:

Motherboard: Tyan S7002AG2NR
CPUs: 2x - Xeon X5650s
RAM: 6x - Kingston 8GB = 48GB total.
I/O: Adaptec 6805 w/ 4 x 250GB Western digitals in RAID10 and 2 x 40GB Intel 320 SSDs.
GPU: nVidia Quadro FX-3700

My previous build handled testing and development quite nicely, at full load the CPU and memory usage never exceeded 80%.

For those wondering why do I have SSDs in RAID, well it is mostly because after working in a datacenter for a quite time, you see things fail that shouldn’t besides running my drives in RAID I also backup important files onto a hard copy (CD/DVD) and also upload them for off-site storage, while many might think that this is excessive I think that you can never be too careful.

I think it is time for me to stop rambling about my old build and get to the part that we have all been waiting for, the Dual E5-2640 build!

Component List:

Chassis: Lian Li PC-A75 – 181.99 @ Newegg
- The original plan was to purchase a Case Labs MH10 case, but since I will not be water-cooling I decided not to get one.

CPUs: Xeon E5-2640 x 2 - 914.99 @ NewEgg

Motherboard: Supermicro X9DAE – 435.99 @ Superbiiz

RAM: I have two choices here - 64GB total.
- Kingston KVR1333D3D8R9S/4G – 4GB x 16 @ 1333MHz
- Kingston KVR13R9D4K4/32 - 8GB x 8 @ 1333MHz

I will most likely choose the 4GB x 16 route due to the fact that I do not need expandability to 128GB of ram, however since either choice is free it all depends on what we have left over from server builds (All RAM is ECC Registered.)

RAID and I/O:

RAID Card: Areca ARC-1882-8i that I will also receive for free, honestly I’d buy it myself mainly because I prefer web based management compared to Java based environment which both Adaptec and LSI use.

Boot Drives: Intel 520 SSD @ 60GB in RAID 1 – 89.99 x 2 @ NewEgg

Storage/Workload Drives: 500GB WD VelociRaptors x 4 (2.5” For RAID Enclosure) – 159.99 @ NewEgg

ODD: Whatever slim CD/DVD drive I have around the house.

Boot Enclosure: IcyDock MB994IPO-3SB for SSDs – 85.99 @ NewEgg

Storage/Workload Enclosure: IcyDock MB994SP-4S for WD VelociRaptors – 76.99 @ NewEgg

PSU: SeaSonic Platinum 1000W – Not included in price as I bought it a while ago.

GPU: nVidia Quadro 2000.
Since this computer will not be used for gaming and/or graphics intensive tasks, I am sure that I could get away with the aforementioned Quadro card that was pulled from one of the decommissioned workstations. What I like about it is that it does not require any additional power cables and its ability to support two screens which is all I need, however I am pretty sure that I also could get away with a GeForce card as well.

CPU Coolers: Prolimatech Megahalems – 2 x 69.99 @ NewEgg.

Xeon E5-2640s have already been ordered and are due for delivery on 2/28/2013 and the rest of the parts will be ordered by the end of the week.

The following content is property of Mikhail Vasyutyk and sharing without proper consent is not allowed.

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