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Workstation and Server class machines - please guide

Hi,
To run 3DS Max, Maya, Adobe Premier and After Effects we are planning to use Workstation class machines instead of the desktops we have been using for years.

Please suggest if we can get something like following or better, it would be nice if you could please suggest me HP / Dell model numbers:
1. Single Proc, Intel Xeon Quad Core, 4GB RAM, Nvidia Quadro FX2000 (or a better card)
2. Dual Proc, Intel Xeon Quad Core, 6GB RAM, Nvidia Quadro FX 2000 (or a better card)
3. A server class machine4
4. Network Attached Storage Server

Thanks
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rajoo_sharma
Asked:
rajoo_sharma
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bdsuserCommented:
Since you listed graphics card specs, I assume you checked with the software vendors to make sure these graphics cards work with the software.  I have a few clients that use 3d modeling software and the software all list preferred graphics cards.  I would gather your computer specs and just call Dell, HP, IBM, etc. and get some quotes.  They will be better able to tell you which computer model you need.  I like working with Dell only because I don't have to go through a reseller to buy a computer.
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AustinComputerLabsCommented:
The Dell precision workstations are designed for your kind of work. You customize and compare here: http://www.dell.com/us/business/p/precision-desktops?~ck=anav#facets=51795~0~11401827,55103~0~925610&p=1

For the network attached storage you may have to go with MS storage server I have some CAD clients that have had difficulty with other NAS devices and programs like CAD. Some have difficulty with Windows API's.
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rajoo_sharmaAuthor Commented:
Hi bdsuser,

Thanks for the prompt reply, I appreciate your kind help.
Waiting for your guidance.
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danubianCommented:
1. HP Z400 Workstation
2. HP Z600 Workstation
3. Not sure what to recommend here. You should be more specific. HP Proliant M350 are a good start. For rackable you could think of HP DL family.
4. You could try an iSCSI solution from HP MSA2000 family.
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danubianCommented:
err: Proliant ML350...
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rajoo_sharmaAuthor Commented:
Thanks Austin, danubian.
I'll go through the suggested ones and get back.
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rajoo_sharmaAuthor Commented:
Hey Guys,

I'm back :-), These are custom machines and do you think they are okay for our requirement?


Power-X DP Intel Workstation - # PLS7002-2-8-V:
- 1 x Intel 5500 Chipset / 8 DDR3 DIMMs / 2 x GbE - Tyan S7002
- 2 x Quad-Core Intel Xeon – 5620 (2.0GHz / 12MB L3 Cache / 5.86GT/s QPI / LGA 1366 / 80W) - 8Cores
- 4 x 4GB ECC DDR3 1066 = 16GB RAM
- 1 x 1TB SATA HDD (Enterprise SATA)
- 1 x Pedestal Server Chassis with Fixed PSU
- 1 x DVDRW
- 1 x NVidia Quadro 2000


Power-X DP Intel Workstation - # PLS7002-1-4-V:
- 1 x Intel 5500 Chipset / 8 DDR3 DIMMs / 2 x GbE - Tyan S7002
- 1 x Quad-Core Intel Xeon – 5620 (2.0GHz / 12MB L3 Cache / 5.86GT/s QPI / LGA 1366 / 80W) - Single Proc
- 2 x 4GB ECC DDR3 1066 = 8GB RAM
- 1 x 1TB SATA HDD (Enterprise SATA)
- 1 x Pedestal Server Chassis with Fixed PSU
- 1 x DVDRW
- 1 x NVidia Quadro 2000


Power-X DP Intel Server - # PLS7002-1-4-V:
- 1 x Intel 5500 Chipset / 8 DDR3 DIMMs / 2 x GbE - Tyan S7002
- 1 x Quad-Core Intel Xeon – 5620 (2.0GHz / 12MB L3 Cache / 5.86GT/s QPI / LGA 1366 / 80W) - Single Proc
- 2 x 4GB ECC DDR3 1066 = 8GB RAM
- 1 x 1TB SATA HDD (Enterprise SATA)
- 1 x Pedestal Server Chassis with Fixed PSU
- 1 x DVDRW
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AustinComputerLabsCommented:
The workstation configs will work better for running applications than the server config.
To utilize the RAM you will need a 64bit OS.

Looks good to me, I wish I had one of those.
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rajoo_sharmaAuthor Commented:
Thanks Austin for the prompt reply.

1. We'll for sure use a 64 bit OS
2.
The workstation configs will work better for running applications than the server config.
We'll be running only a CentOS 5.0 and Windows Server 2008 on server machines. Applications like 3DS Max will for sure run on workstations.

So you suggest these workstations for 3DS MAX, Maya, Adobe Premiere and After Effects?

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AustinComputerLabsCommented:
Yes, I would.
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rajoo_sharmaAuthor Commented:
great, thanks Austin.
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AustinComputerLabsCommented:
Glad we could help.
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rajoo_sharmaAuthor Commented:
Hi again,

Due to some availability issue with "Tyan S7002" motherboards we are opting "Intel® Server Board S5500BC" for server machines and "Intel® Workstation Board S5520SC" for workstation machines.

1. Do you think there is any problem with this change?

2. Also, please suggest me a NAS that can be used as a file server in a windows 2003 / windows 2008 domain environment, our requirement from 1TB to 4TB. It must have the capability to join windows domain so that security and sharing settings can be applied to the user home directories.

Thanks.
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AustinComputerLabsCommented:
I like the Intel boards better than Tyan.
For a NAS with complete compatibility with MS server, windows API and Domain you will want to get one with the Windows storage server operating system.
Like http://www.buffalotech.com/products/network-storage/business/terastation-wss-ws-qlr5/
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rajoo_sharmaAuthor Commented:
Thanks Austin,

We'll finalize Intel boards.

And thanks for this link, I'll check the same, do you suggest some other as well?

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AustinComputerLabsCommented:
Dell has a few with Windows storage server  as do all the major names.
It is mostly a matter of which OEMs you like, what they offer and what type of warrantee you need.
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rajoo_sharmaAuthor Commented:
okay, I got it.
Thank you so much, you have been a great help.

I'll bother you again for my further queries, if any :-)
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rajoo_sharmaAuthor Commented:
Hi Austin,

We've finalized the double processor workstation as discussed with you. Now, to reduce the cost, we are considering:
Intel Xeon W3550 Processor and WX58BP Motherboard, rest of the components will be same as I mentioned earlier.

Do you think there can be any major issue with this change i.e. performance wise or in future when the new versions are released (3DS MAX for example)?

Thanks
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AustinComputerLabsCommented:
Nothing major but there will probably be a performance hit.
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rajoo_sharmaAuthor Commented:
Thanks Austin, I'll update you on this again.
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rajoo_sharmaAuthor Commented:
I thank you all the guys who helped me understand and finalize the configuration for our requirement.
I did try my level best to award the points fairly.

Thanks again everyone.
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