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Introduction: Hi guys, I am Steve and I love computers lol don't we all. I am into strategic business marketing and project management. Because my old Time machine is as old as me and now I can write by hand faster. I am building a new mf workstation/server. Initially it will be for my SOHO (business use) also for playing games in my spare time and later to develop into an internet based company (server) using centOS, WHM and Cpanel.


This is quite a demanding spec for any single computer which requires a lot of functionality and future proofing. I fully expect it to take 12 to 18 months to build because of the expense involved (no credit interest charges for me).


The main programs that I will be running for the SOHO will be windows office professional including project 2010 enterprise edition, palasade @risk for projects (highly memory intensive monticarlo calculations) Project in a box enterprise edition (project management software). For games, I love battle field and sniping games so speed will be a must as well as clear graphics. As for the internet aspect, I will eventually be setting up a hosting company based on CentOS, WHM and Cpanel so again reliability and speed will be a must.


I have the case which is a Corsair cc800dw and will be buying the motherboard on the first of next month which will be latest version of the ASUS Z9PE - (D8) WS with dual processors.


The next buys will be the CPU's E5 2690 (S.9G, L3, 8c,rev, C2) which have a really meaty price tag of around £1200 each. Phew, its going to be a few months to save up to buy them cash.


After that I will be looking at the best and most suitable memory to fill the slots for each CPU.


I have downloaded a list of compatible memory, however there is a lot to chose from and this highly important aspect is where I would need some sound advice from you guys.


The mb spec says the following. MEMORY 8 X DIMM, MAX, 64GB, DDR3 2133 (O.C.) /2000(O.C.)/1866/1333/1066 MHz ECC, Non-ECC, Un-buffered Memory. It goes on to say: For Registered Memory, Max, 256GB DDR3 1600/1333/1066/800 MHz. Obviously I don't mind adding to memory but do not want to waste precious money replacing inferior memory when I find that I have to upgrade it as and when my needs will demand. Can anyone tell me what the diference and cost benefits of buffered and unbuffered memory is and which is overall the best to invest in.


Other componants that I will need to buy later on will be power units, a water cooling system and high capacity HD's to eventually fill all of the slots available. Additional items would be a good quality CD and DVD RW, prolly great quality sound and dual video/graphic cards will be a must as well.


I prolly have not thought of everything at the moment so I will leave the rest to your imagination based on you building this mf system for yourselves.


Of course this has to be a highly functional workstation/server for business use but it must also be an impressive and showy home enthusiast machine as well.


Thanks for taking the time in reading this rather long post and I look forward to your help and advice. I will obviously post pictures of this project as it develops so that you can see the results of your efforts.




CPU Intel® Socket 2011 Processors

Dual Intel® Xeon® processor E5-2600 product family

Supports Intel® Turbo Boost Technology 2.0

* Refer to http://www.asus.com for CPU support list

Chipset Intel® C602

Memory 8 x DIMM, Max. 64GB, DDR3 2133(O.C.)/2000(O.C.)/1866(O.C.)/1600/1333/1066 MHz ECC, Non-ECC, Un-buffered Memory

Quad Channel Memory Architecture

* For Registered Memory, Max. 256GB DDR3 1600/1333/1066/800 MHz

* Refer to http://www.asus.com or user manual for the Memory QVL (Qualified Vendors Lists).

System Bus 8.0/7.2/6.4 GT/s Intel® QuickPath Interconnect

Multi-GPU Support Supports NVIDIA® 4-Way SLI™ Technology

Supports AMD Quad-GPU CrossFireX™ Technology

Expansion Slots 4 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (dual x16 or quad x8) *1

2 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 *1

1 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (x8 mode) *1

Storage Intel® C602 chipset :

2 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), blue

8 x SATA 3Gb/s port(s), black

Support Raid 0, 1, 5, 10

Marvell® PCIe 9230 controller :

4 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), gray

Support Raid 0, 1, 10

LAN Intel® 82574L, 2 x Gigabit LAN Controller(s)

Audio Realtek® ALC898 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC

- Supports : Jack-detection, Multi-streaming, Front Panel Jack-retasking

Audio Feature :

- Absolute Pitch 192kHz/ 24-bit True BD Lossless Sound

- DTS Ultra PC II

- Optical S/PDIF out port(s) at back panel

USB Ports ASMedia® USB 3.0 controller :

4 x USB port(s) (2 at back panel, blue, 2 at mid-board)

Workstation Feature 7 x PCIe x 16 slot(s)

Quick Gate: 2 x vertical USB 2.0 on board

ASWM Enterprise

ASMB6-iKVM Remote Management Tool

Special Features ASUS Digital Power Design :

- Industry leading Digital 7 +1 Phase Power Design

- Industry leading Digital 2 Phase DRAM Power Design

ASUS Exclusive Features :

- Front Panel USB 3.0 Support

- ASUS SSD Caching

ASUS Quiet Thermal Solution :

- Stylish Fanless Design Heat-pipe solution


- ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3

- ASUS EZ Flash 2

- ASUS MyLogo 2

- Multi-language BIOS

ASUS Q-Design :

- ASUS Q-Shield

- ASUS Q-Code

- ASUS Q-Slot


Back I/O Ports 1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse combo port(s)

2 x LAN (RJ45) port(s)

2 x USB 3.0

6 x USB 2.0

1 x Optical S/PDIF out

6 x Audio jack(s)

Internal I/O Ports 1 x USB 3.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 2 USB 3.0 port(s) (19-pin)

2 x USB 2.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 4 USB 2.0 port(s)

2 x Vertical USB 2.0 port(s)

2 x COM port(s) connector(s)

6 x SATA 6Gb/s connector(s)

8 x SATA 3Gb/s connector(s)

2 x IEEE 1394a connector(s)

2 x CPU Fan connector(s) (4 -pin)

6 x Chassis Fan connector(s) (4 -pin)

1 x S/PDIF out header(s)

1 x 24-pin EATX Power connector(s)

2 x 8-pin ATX 12V Power connector(s)

1 x 4-pin EZ_PLUG Power connector(s)

1 x RAID key header(s)

1 x ASMB6-iKVM connector(s)

1 x VGA connector(s)

1 x Front panel audio connector(s) (AAFP)

1 x AUX panel header(s)

1 x SMBus header(s)

1 x System panel(s)

1 x Power-on button(s)

1 x Reset button(s)

1 x Clear CMOS jumper(s)

Accessories User's manual

I/O Shield

2 x COM port cable(s)

8 x SATA 3Gb/s cable(s)

6 x SATA 6Gb/s cable(s)

1 x 3-Way SLI bridge(s)

1 x 4-Way SLI bridge(s)

1 x SLI bridge(s)

1 x 2-port USB2.0 + 1394 bracket(s)

BIOS 64 Mb Flash ROM, UEFI BIOS, PnP, DMI2.0, WfM2.0, SM BIOS 2.6, ACPI 2.0a, Multi-language BIOS, ASUS EZ Flash 2, ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3

Manageability WfM 2.0, DMI 2.0, WOL by PME, WOR by PME, PXE

Support Disc Drivers

ASUS Utilities

ASUS Update

Operating System CentOS 5.7/6.1 32/64-bit

Windows® Server 2008 R2

Windows® Server 2008 R2 Enterprise

Windows® Server 2008 Enterprise 32/64-bit

Windows® 7 (Ultimate SP1) 32/64-bit

RedHat® Enterprise Linux Desktop WS 6.0 32/64-bit

RedHat® Enterprise Linux AS5.7/6.2 32/64-bit

SuSE® Linux Enterprise Server 11.2 32/64-bit

SuSE® Linux Enterprise Desktop 11.1 32/64-bit

VMWare ESX4.1/ESXi4.1

Form Factor EEB Form Factor

12 inch x 13 inch ( 30.5 cm x 33 cm )

Note *1: This motherboard is ready to support PCIe 3.0 SPEC. Functions will be available when using PCIe 3.0-compliant devices. Please refer to http://www.asus.com for updated details.

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You're better off building one system for work / gaming, and another as a server.


Components and their prices change so often (especially in an 18 month period) that you'd be better off saving up, and then purchasing the server parts all at once (especially if you purchase them at the same place, or buy an HP / Dell). The cost of those CPUs will significantly drop in 18 months, and for the same price in 18 months you can get something more powerful.

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Good advice, running CentOS does recommend using three comps, one as the server and two others as workstations. I just thought that in the beginning wrapping it in the windows 7 or the server 2008 package would mean that I could take advantage of the power of this workstation/server mother board and kill two birds with one stone. If this system proved to be successful, I was going to duplicate it as the second and third comps and of course link them all up as one system. As for saving up and buying all the parts at once, that is good in theory, however, with me, I would probably end up spending the money on other high priority things, so its better that I stay with the plan and spend the money that I set asside on this project. However, I will leave the processors and memory to last so that I get the best deals. Any thoughts that you may have on the other components would be greatly appreciated and will help me formulate my budget further.
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