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Research workstation/server


I am asked to get a "server" for our research group in the university with a budget of >3K CAD, and I thought I could just build one to pack in as much bank for the buck as possible.

Now I should start with that it is not really a "server". We will use it to run our CAD simulations (something like ultrasim and Cadence tools) kinda sounds like a typical workstation. We call it a server because we access it through SSH sessions controlled remotely (hence me naming it workstation/server system). This kinda makes it hard for me find a proper guide online (because servers or workstations usually mean something else), so I am relying on the information I have gathered through watching countless hardware videos and reviews over the years (most of which are on LTT). I have watched the recent video What CPU to Buy - Late 2018 and started from there. Another build that I see very relevant is Ultimate Mega-Workstation PC Build Guide .

in short, the system requirements are:

1- Handle intensive simulations

2- Handle multiple sessions of 1

3- Handle 1 and 2 for an extensive about of time (days)

4- Can be as loud as it wants to. RBG is not a concern.



Current build: https://ca.pcpartpicker.com/user/himura/saved/ckMr6h

<detals at the end>



Burning questions:

0- The obvious: any overkills? anything I am missing? is this a good build? what would you replace?

1- This vs. ready-made workstations: This https://www.servergiant.net/product-page/dell-precision-t5610-6core-2-26ghz-workstation has a xeon and a quadro, but (8?) years old (ancient big guns). Should I just opt for this instead? it is cheaper.

1- Team blue's Xeons: Should I even consider these for my price range?

2- More weaker CPUs or one Stronger one? basically, I am debating if I should have gone for multiple CPUs (i5s or i7s) instead of the 2950X (keep the MB in mind)? Is there a way to have two 2950X in one system?

3- Water Cooling: I have decided to cheap out on this one and opt for a normal cooler since I don't see us overclocking this thing (I know that the entire system can be overclocked, am I missing alot and could have gotten cheaper/weaker parts?). 

4- ECC memory: I know what it is and seems like it is needed, but I have never used a machine with ECC memory on it (even research servers). How can I tell if I really need ECC memory (also they seem to be slower).

6- Graphics: We don't need any kind of graphics card at the moment except for something to connect a display to for basic configurations. This system will almost only be controlled remotely.

5- Scalability: We might add one or two GPUs for parallel computations and such and I think that this build can handle that, am I correct? Also, we might need to add more memory.

6- Memory: Since the board is rated for dual and quad channels, I decided to get quad channels for more throughput. Is my logic correct here or am I better off with a 2x 16 GB kit?

7- Memory again: what’s the difference between F4-3200C14Q-32GTZR and F4-3200C14Q-32GTZRX (they are like 6 CAD extra). Will the X work on my X399A board (I can’t see it in the QVL)? (I chose F4-3200C14Q-32GTZR for now).

8- Power supply trivia: Is this have 2 8-Pin EPS connector? I tried to look but it said 4-20pin connectors which completely threw me off (I am nor really familiar with power supplies)




Detailed build:



Component   Selection Base Promo Shipping Tax Price Where      
CPU 09734bbf8632da3f135375bbb4ea6f94.256p.jpg $1172.75       $1172.75 shopRBC   Buy
CPU Cooler 4fac2f9b09c673af00dff70b5ce5b170.256p.jpg $79.99       $79.99 Newegg Canada   Buy
Motherboard f190fef67b60e3013022d4f0201a6a44.256p.jpg $374.99   FREE   $374.99 Mike's Computer Shop   Buy
Memory ec26d1b10f831d7e32a00b0f00baaa87.256p.jpg $641.00       $641.00 Newegg Canada   Buy
  Add Additional Memory  
Storage 8e94fee922cbd705d4a9f6b24246eabe.256p.jpg $89.99       $89.99 Canada Computers   Buy
  74d3467136c7d6d24b6dab09b903290f.256p.jpg $119.99   Free two-day shipping with Amazon Prime   $119.99 Amazon Canada   Buy
  Add Additional Storage  
Video Card 94c8b0f21d77d7bfa2a9cb727857fcc6.256p.jpg $51.15 -$10.00     $41.15 Vuugo   Buy
$10.00 mail-in rebate
Case 5adb6769672778658fb023e6aec75458.256p.jpg $59.99       $59.99 Newegg Canada   Buy
Power Supply fef7512dace78a5d11d0fea87eb8a7d6.256p.jpg $106.99       $106.99 PC-Canada   Buy
Optical Drive   Choose An Optical Drive  
Operating System   Choose An Operating System  
Software   Choose Software  
Monitor 586fe85fa6bf21fd43afd47ab84557fb.256p.jpg $97.99       $97.99 PC-Canada   Buy
  Add Another Monitor  
External Storage   Choose External Storage  
Expansion Cards / Networking  
Accessories / Other  
Custom   Add Custom Part  
Base Total: $2794.83        
Mail-in Rebates: -$10.00        
Total: $2784.83
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when  you are looking for high end calculations, ecc ram would be nice, instead of this seagate, get clasic WD red hdd, maybe 2 x nvme in raid 0, air cooler is fine, I wouldn't rely on watercooled server,

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Thanks @wojtepanik. thanks for the HDD recommendation. I just threw that particular part in for price estimation (the SSD choice is probably what I'll go for though). I'll keep in mind a WD one. 

Also, how do you define as "high end calculations". If you could provide some examples for me to compare with 

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doing a cad simulations for long time is demanding and if run for long time could cause ram failure and crashes, that's why you need ecc

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