17 DEC

YouTube Video Review - High End CAD Workstation Build

Published by Richard Parry on 17th Dec 2013

We've just uploaded our latest YouTube video - a review of a custom high-end overclocked CAD workstation.

We built this 3 of these CAD workstations for one of our customers. Their requirements for hardware components were very specific, so while we didn’t need to provide consultancy for the actual components, we did complete the full system build and each system also underwent a full stress test and burn in process.

This stress test includes a full CPU and Memory stress test, which in-turn puts pressure on other components such as the PSU. We could stress test the installed hard drive, but the SSD used for the OS we did not stress test.

We also supplied 3 monitors per workstation. These comprised of different configurations, but always identical per system. For example, one system had 3x 27” LED IPS displays for 16:10 aspect ratio at high resolution, and others had 24” or 23” displays.

Each system was made up of the following components;

Asus P9X79 Workstation Motherboard
This is an excellent quality Socket 2011 based workstation motherboard. It has sufficient PCI-E 16x slots for almost any pro-gamer or high-end user. It also has excellent capacitors and electronics which make it perfect for overclocking.

Intel 3rd Generation Core i7 (4820K) 3.7GHz Quad Core 2011
This CPU was chosen as it is the highest-end Intel i7 CPU that can be overclocked. It has 4 (quad) cores each running at 3.7Ghz. This is the K version of the CPU, so it is fully unlocked and can be overclocked. We did not overclock this CPU, but using the supplied cooler has allowed the customer to perform overclocking operations themselves. Our customer has experience with overclocking so would be able to safely overclock this CPU.

Zalman CNPS11X Extreme Cooler
This cooler was chosen as it has a massive 120mm PWM fan, heat-pipe technology and is ideal for overclocking. This CPU is compatible with almost all current CPU’s, including Socket 2011, 775, 1155/1156/1150 and AMD sockets too. It includes brackets, thermal paste, comprehensive installation instructions and a fan speed resistor (3pin). The fan itself is 4-pin PWM.

Fractal Design Define XL R2 Computer Case (Black Pearl)
This case is an absolute beast. It is extremely well built and an absolute bargain for the price. It has plenty of internal drive bays, which are easily removed on slide out trays, thumb-screw installation of optical drives (5.25” bays) and has incredible internal cooling. Internally there are 3x 140mm fans, one at the rear, one at the front and one at the bottom. All fans are 3pin silent fans. At the bottom of the case a standard ATX PSU can be installed. At the top a further 2x 140mm fans can be installed (or 120mm as screw holes allow for both) if extra cooling is required. What is brilliant about this case though is the design – the cabling goes through the motherboard tray to the underside, which isn’t normally visible. This gives the build of the system a really clean look and would look fantastic should you ever have a clear side panel or internal lighting.

This high end graphics card is the heart of the CAD requirements for this workstation. The customer tried various GPU’s, including 3D/CAD designed such as Quadro and AMD FX cards, but they found the GTX 660 was an excellent compromise between price and performance. It would also drive the 3 high-resolution monitors on each system.

Samsung 256GB 840 Pro Series Basic SSD
This SSD was chosen as the main OS drive for each system.

WD RE 1TB Enterprise 6Gbps SATA 7200RPM
The customer wanted a fast OS drive (SSD), but also wanted reliable internal storage. They therefore chose a single 1TB Western Digital RE4 Enterprise drive per system for internal scratch data storage and other miscellaneous file storage.

Corsair Vengeance 16GB (2 x 8GB) Memory Kit PC3-15000 1866MHz DDR3 DIMM
This RAM was chosen as it has a high 1866MHz clock speed. It can also be reliable overclocked if need be, and has in-built high quality aluminium heat spreaders. The system was to be used with Windows  7, so this was plenty of RAM for their intended use and allows for future expansion too.

Corsair RM650 RM Series 650W Modular PSU 80+
To power all of these components the customer chose the Corsair RM650. This is a high-end modular PSU that is perfect for this type of install and looks brilliant installed in the monstrous Fractcal Designs tower case. The PSU is fully modular, and this aids to the clean look within the chassis as only cabling required is used. We supplied the unused cabling with each system in a separate box so the customer could upgrade their system later and not be without the much needed cables!

All of the products seen in the video review are available on our site to purchase individually, however if you would like to talk with us about a custom workstation or server configuration please call us on 0800 652 1649 or email us on [email protected]

Check out the video below.

YouTube Video Review - High End CAD Workstation Build

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