Joe Rochinski

Powerful enough to keep working while Simulation crunches numbers?

Discussion created by Joe Rochinski on Jul 28, 2010
Latest reply on Mar 22, 2011 by Joe Rochinski

Up to this point I've been using a 3.0GHz Dual Core Xeon, 8GB RAM, and a Quadro 4500 for Solidworks modeling, drawings, and occasional Simulation studies. This has been getting the job done for a few years now, but the system is mostly hands-off while running simulations. I'd run a lot more simulations if I could keep working on models while it did its thing.


The first thing that came to mind was a 2nd dedicated PC for simulations, complete with another seat of solidworks + subscription. But computers have come a long way lately. What if one monster system could handle both tasks at once?


I've built many a custom PC in my day so I'm planning to build myself. This is about as good as it gets until you start talking about dual-socket CPU motherboards, but considering I can build this for half the cost of a comparable off-the-shelf workstation, I went nuts. Here's what I'm thinking:


ASUS P6X58D-E Motherboard (6GB/s SATA, 3X PCIe)

Intel Core i7 980-X Extreme Edition CPU (6 core X 3.33GHz)

24GB (6x4GB) DDR3 RAM @ 1333Mhz

ATI FirePro V8800 2GB Video Card

Antec Twelve Hundred Full-Tower Case

750W Corsair Power Supply


Using the drives from my previous system, I can have this for about $3600. Comparable HP and Dell workstations are in the $6500-$7000 range. I can shave nearly a grand off (or throw in some WD Raptors) and still have tons of power by going with the ATI V7800 and the not-quite-as-extreme Core i7 970. Whatever the case, if it works, it will still be cheaper than a dedicated system + an additional set of solidworks + subscription.


So is this enough to pull it off or am I going to have to sell some organs to enter the realm of dual-xeon workstations?