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workstation config


i've been asked to put toget the spec for a high end workstation on a microsoft platform - however i'm not to go over the top as budget is an issue but i want to some what future proof the investment too! i was wondering what you make of the below spec and what alterations you might suggest. cheers

oh ya Pentium IV is enough - no need to go with Xeon or itanium - try to stick with intel too!


·      90 nm based Pentium 4 Processor Extreme Edition
·      3.73 GHz processor with HT Technology supporting Intel Extended Memory 64 Technology
·      800 MHz / 1066 MHz FSB
·      2 MB L2 cache advanced transfer cache
·      Processor throughput of 6.4 GB/s

RAM Memory
·      DDR2 533 / 400 capabilities @ 8.5 Gb/s (PC4200 / PC3200)

·      Intel 925XE express chipset

·      PCI Express graphics – 4 GB/s per direction for graphics bandwidth
·      DMI - delivering up to 2 GB/s bandwidth between memory and i/o controllers

·      Intel High Definition audio, enabling multiple simultaneous audio streams
·      Intel Matrix Storage technology, with integrated RAID 0 & RAID 1 capabilities
·      4 Serial ATA ports- facilitating high sped data transfers @ up to 150 MB/s
·      8 Hi-Speed USB 2.0 offering 40x greater bandwidth over USB 1.1
·      BIOS Supporting HT

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1 Solution
Pretty nice setup If I may say so:

Go with slightly faster ram.   OCZ has pc5400 (667mhz) which ties in nice with the 925xe chipset.

asus p5ad2-e motherboard  
support for 4gb of ddr2 711/533/400
8 usb2.0 ports
dual gigabit lan
integrated 8 channel surround sound
2 sata controllers for up to 8 sata drives with raid 0, 1, 0+1, 5  native support
plus you can implement raid on 2 of the pata controllers as well
3 firewire 400 ports
All the bells and whistles

Video Card
ati radeon x800xt
I would say the x850xt pe but Under the PCI-Express interface you will find the Radeon X800XT, which is a 16 pixel pipeline video card clocked at 500MHz VPU / 500MHz memory, and the Radeon X800XT-Platinum Edition, which has 16 pixel pipelines and is clocked at 520MHz VPU / 575MHz memory. So the only difference between the X800XT and X800XT-PE is a 20MHz VPU clock frequency and a 75MHz memory frequency.
Not to mention the 850 is almost impossible to find and costs about $200 bucks more.  It's really an incremental step for ATI.


For the market for a GeForce 6800Ultra based video card you cannot go wrong with the BFG GeForce 6800Ultra OC. It packs all the capabilities and features of the GeForce 6 series into a package that is solid and overclocks well out of the box. GeForce 6800Ultra is simply faster than the Radeon X800XT-PE. GeForce 6800Ultra = 256MB GDDR3, 16 pipelines, 6 vertex units, 400MHz/1.1GHz

Good luck and I'm jealous


you mentioned a workstation, but not what it will be doing! (thats really critical)

for a office system, "high end" means a lot diffrent than say, a CAD system, or even a 2D workstation, or graphics editing.

Rules of thumb:
processor helps applications that must churn data. CAD, Graphics processing, and 2D drafting all do this, office automation does not!

CAD works best with specific video cards, certified for use with 2d/3d applications. Graphics processing mostly needs a high end card with lots of ram, but more important is a good monitor(s).

"high end" desktop, office applications only:
3.2ghz pentium 4, with a 800mhz FSB, and HT technology, 1gb ram, 40gb hard drive.

"high end" graphics processing:
3.8ghz p4, 2gb or ram, maybe even 3 if they do large layouts, like magazines. 250gb dual hard drives. Decent 3D card, like a geforce 6600, or a ATI 9800 series.

"high end" CAD/2D:
3.8ghz p4, 2gb ram, dual 250gb drives, or even quad with a raid 0+1 depending on the size of the drawings being worked on. (single part drawings need only a single drive, assemblies need more for faster data processing) a rule of thumb is once your over 20mb average size, you want at least a seprate drive for the OS and data files, once you hit 40mb, you want striped/mirrored drives. Video card here is a true 3D card, like the ATI Fire GL series, or the Nvidia Quadro series.

d_boweAuthor Commented:
vantim - thanks for the update on availability of ddr2 pc 5400 - i had heard of trials of PC6400 but not that anything greater than DDR2 533 was available - i had only checked out kingston - so cheers

as for zkrieger's question - its a general workstation to be able to cope with multiple demand using intel technology under a some what constrained butget but trying to future proof the invest ment too!

I think all in all everything in the computer that you want  can be used as a Workstation, or a gaming PC, or just a really powerful all round desktop.  It's the choice of Video that will make this PC what it is.  If your looking to do intense graphics then your gonna want a pro video card as opposed to a gaming video card.  

Your still looking at that powerhouse punch without dishing out the green on a Dual Xeon machine and a bunch of Expensive Registered Error Checking Dimms.  I can heartily agree with that. This would be a solution I would take if it were me.  My advise has always been:  When shopping for what to get, look at your budget, then make the big decision (that you already made) which is, Intel or AMD and then go for the biggest, baddest, absolute best and, fastest computer you can afford.  That will gain you nothing but time and usually quality.

Good luck


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