New workstation

Hi vvvvolks,

i’m about to buy my new workstation, after 3 years of dell m90…

here are the relevant specs:

Processor : Intel Core i7 Processor 960(3.20GHz,4.8GT/s,8MB)

Memory : 12GB 1333MHz (6x2GB) Tri Channel Memory

Hard disk : 600GB (2x300GB) Serial ATA Raid 0 “Stripe”(10.000rpm)

Graphics : 1.8GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX295 Graphics Card

Audio Integrated HDA 7.1 Dolby Digital capability (i have an external m-audio profire 610 anyway…)

Operating System : English Genuine Windows 7 Professional (64 BIT)

Display : DELL 24in U2410 Italian Black Widescreen UltraSharp (1920X1200)

i’d like to hear any possible critic, comment, hint, suggestion about this, since i’m about to spend a lot of cash, you know…

especially about the graphic card, usually i have the control patch on the first monitor and the render on the second monitor… and i need the possibility to connect a matrox triplehead to the second output of the graphic card, so i have a control patch and a multiscreen render.

do you think that graphic card is good for this? or do you know a better one for this kind of setup?

also do you think i’ll be able to make hd captures with fraps at 25/30fps?

that will be my main usage of this machine.

thanks a lot for your help vvvvriends!


What motherboard are you buying defetto?

I´d go for SSDs. No moving parts, more quietly, faster.
…also more expensive.


@bjoern yeah but they’re too small and too expensive… i think 10.000rpm should be fast enough for the realtime capture, don’t you think? tnx for the hint!


i don’t know what kind of external hardware you are using. make sure that you can get 64bit drivers for that.


I would recommend a P6T serie motherboard.
I would recommend also GSkill/OCZ Corsair Memory sticks.

Have a look also to the new CPU i7 870.

Which box have you expect to buy ?

@kalle my external hardware is usually just my sound card plus some midi instruments (a keyboard and a wind instrument)… i shouldn’t have problems with that, i hope… thanks for the hint!

@digitalslaves thanks for the suggestions!
the i7 870 looks slower from the specs, and i don’t really have control on the motherboard/memory, as i’m buying an alienware, and they don’t give you control on that…
this is the model of the box, Aurora ALX

the fact that noone is commenting about the gpu means that you guys think i won’t have problem about the multiscreen due to the fact that the gtx295 is basically a sli setup? good to hear, as that was my main concern…


You gonna pay really a high price for that config which could be buy and mounted for a lower price.
You may save around 800 € even more!
With of course same spec, good case , good cooling … and only high end components.
Feel free to speak about that with me.

Alienware is nice , but expensive and not as better as home made configuration for the price.
But it stills anice config .

Concerning the GPU of course it would be ok.

See you .

yes sure if you look at the price on the website, but i’m in touch with one of their commercial agents and he gave me exactly around 800 € discount! plus i have three years of warranty on accidental damages too…

that’s how it works with dell in general, if you contact them rather than buying on the website, they always come up with discount and offers.

My dell m90 for instance was 3000 euros on the website, and i payed it 2400… and the warranty really works, each time i called them for a broken part, the man was there in two business days with the new piece.

thanks a lot for the suggestion though, and let’s have a chat on skype, who are you? Anthony? Or3? Urbandrone?

plus some midi instruments (a keyboard and a wind instrument)… i shouldn’t have problems with that, i hope…

exactly this could hit the point already.
e.g. the Midiman Midisport Uno USB interface, which is quite common, doesn’t work with Windows7 64bit. see my previous complaints here.

i also tried to install the drivers in a VirtualXP-environment.
guess what: no success…

if somebody around here is able to point me in the ríght direction i’d be really happy!

ignoring this little issues i have to admit:
i don’t want to go back to XP anymore.

damn we actually use a MIDISPORT 2x2 sometimes cause i have only one midi-in on my soundcard… i guess m-audio will release some drivers soon windows7 compatible though, let’s see, i’ll let you know if i find a solution.

p.s. i’m really curious to see and try windows7 :) everyone seems to be happy about it

doesn’t look good at all :(

maybe the 32bit windows works out ?!?!?!?

anyway: start searching here


seems like you have a lot of money to spend…

i build machines for render farms and general purpose 3d work.
my personal favorite box is the codegen 4u 500

there is a similar box from chieftec but it costs 4x as much and you cant fit more than 3x hd

in the codegen you can put 7-8 hds comfortably

and i never buy the newest stuff because you get a 10-15 percent performance gain for 2-3x the price of the previous generation

for ie if you check i5 boards and a mid-range processor (400 euro for a board + an i5-750 proc)
its just a bit slower than an i7 board with a new proc (800-1000 euro at least)

for capturing any 4 core proc like the q6600 will do with no raid just a not too full hd

…so my setups always make it below 1000 euro

and see this if you are doing any rendering,1380.html


@kalle look what i just found!
this is updated three days ago, they have drivers for my soundcard(released last week), and it also says that all the pulg&play stuff (midisport etc) can be used without installing any drivers under Windows 7 32-bit & 64-bit.
“Connect your device and Windows will install the drivers automatically. If prompted to search for drivers, browse your computer and choose to search your main system drive (usually C:) to find the drivers.”
hmm, strange it’s not workin for you, what you say? anyway that’s good news :)

yes well i have some money, then what is a lot is really relative.
this machine will cost me around 4k euros (with monitor included, the monitor is like 660 euros…)

that case sounds good, although i don’t really need 7-8 hds, and i think the one i’m buying (aurora) is smaller in size… consider that i will have to build a custom flight case for it, cause i will use this machine in live shows around europe and possibly world.

now you’re right about not buying the newest stuff, that’s also why i chose the i7 960 rather than the 975, which costs twice as much as the 960, and the performance are really similar

i know i can save money if i get mid-range stuff, but i believe it will be mid-performance, what you think? looking at those charts on tom’s hardware, passmark etc, i don’t see any i5 processor, the top is just xeon and i7.

now i’m not an hardware expert, but i know for sure that my software will push the limits of this hardware.
and since i will use this machine for a very important project, i don’t want have any performance limitation.

another point is that when you buy mid-range, you save money but you will have to buy a new machine sooner.
i want to use this one for at least three years.

luckily i don’t do rendering in 3dmax etc, but fullhd capture would be nice, especially with the bluray writer :)

can we have a private chat anyway? are you on skype?
thanks a lot for the extensive reply!


btw i didn’t realize that the chart here is the time in milliseconds, so the shorter the better… lol

i thought the i7 was at the bottom of the list :) anyway yeah the i5 750 is right there.

nice choice!


i’m a new user and this is actually my first post here. i’ve been watching the vvvvorum for some time now and just thought i may as well jump in and also give my 0.02€ on this topic.

i’m building workstations and servers for the cg-shop i work at, so i know a bit about the topic. now i surely don’t mean to talk you out of that alienware deal, but with the price in mind i’d like to point out two other viable options you may consider.

the first one was already brought up here. i mean for ~3k€ you could have two very decent workstations if you build them by yourself or with a friend. make them identical configs and you also have the benefit of total redundancy on that part if you’ll take both machines to important gigs. (that dell guy won’t come onstage to bring you the replacement for a failed component) if you go that route i’d also recommend p6-t class boards for i7 as DigitalSlaves already did before. (most of the asus ws class boards are pretty decent anyway) i also like the codegen cases victor2 suggested as they are cheap, 19", rugged and have lots of space, but for a workstation i’d rather pick something like a coolermaster cosmos. (which looks buttugly, but is otherwise a totally perfect case imho) also when shopping for a nice display you can’t go wrong with at least checking out eizos offerings.

the other option i’d like to suggest is getting a “real” (as opposed to a highend gaming rig) workstation class computer like a hp z600, lenovo thinkstation d20, dell precision t7500 or even an sgi octane III. the customer service on these units will certainly match the level alienware provides. (although lenovo service can be a bit wonky sometimes)

as stated above these are only my personal 2 cents on this so your mileage may totally vary. ;)

best vvvvishes,

edit: fixed some bad grammar and typos