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 Post subject: To Upgrade My DELL PRECISION 690 or BUILD New or BUY New
PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 4:19 pm 
8086
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To start with, one thing I have been missing the past 3 to 4 years with Maximum PC is guidance/Information/Coverage of 'WORKSTATIONS'. I live on mine!

To buy a fully loaded workstation is expensive, like $7,000 plus dollars. I own a DELL Precision 690, which when new was awesome. It is now 4 1/2 years old. I am a Product designer with my primary tool being SolidWorks 2011 w/ Simulation and then Photoshop, Illustrator, MS Office. The PC doesn't seem to be as fast as it was new, but then for me all PC's are too slow. I am often running all these apps at the same time.

I am trying to figure out if I can get a 'really noticeable' performance improvement by upgrading components on my workstation. I am adept at building PC's so I am not afraid to swap anything out.

Here is my configuration:
Processor: 2 - Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5345 @ 2.33GHz Clock Speed 2.4GHz L2 Cache Size 8192
Memory: 8GB DDR2 PC2-5300
Graphics: NVIDIA QUADRO FX 4500 512MB
MOTHERBOARD: ?? DELL site won't tell me
Primary HD: WDC WD1002FAEX-0 Caviar Black
Windows 7-x64 Business

I like the ease of access into the DELL CASE so I'm good with the case.
The motherboard is outdated and limiting however I don't know what I have or what options I have for upgrading within the Dell case.

I don't mind spending substantial money on this if it is worth it but at the same time cheaper that buying a new workstation.

Advice on either upgrading what I have or building new would be be so much appreciated.


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 Post subject: Re: To Upgrade My DELL PRECISION 690 or BUILD New or BUY New
PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 2:21 am 
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WOW that was a very nice system! Well I think you could build a good system for vastly less though the GPU will be the kicker this time around. I haven played with the quadro series much but a new sandy bridge system could do wonders for your processing times. I am sure you could do fine with a 1155 but personally I think a 2011 or sandy bridge-e would be perfect for this set-up. I have a feeling you eat through some RAM and a newer GPU would be good too! You could carry some items over if you wanted but i think with prices on most things where they are a new build would net you some good results.
Are there any peripheral connections that you require? What kind of case are you looking for, i.e. full tower, business look, no LED fans, etc.?

Here is a preliminary build:
http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx?WishListNumber=19168286


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 Post subject: Re: To Upgrade My DELL PRECISION 690 or BUILD New or BUY New
PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 5:43 am 
8086
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Joined: Sat Sep 13, 2008 6:50 pm
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Thanks Wicked smart,

So what would a system look like If I doubled the price tag?
I know I want a blu-ray player, as for the case, bells and whistles are nice but easy access and installation/replacement of drives is important and quiet is good. A board with the potential to upgrade the CPU in the future is good.

Do you think the Quadro 5000 would provide a noticable leap over the 4000? and then on to the Quadro 6000?


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 Post subject: Re: To Upgrade My DELL PRECISION 690 or BUILD New or BUY New
PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 5:26 pm 
Thunderbird
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Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2007 6:17 pm
Posts: 850
Location: Phoenix, AZ
oderuntz wrote:
....MOTHERBOARD: ?? DELL site won't tell me....


http://www.computerhope.com/issues/ch000504.htm

Sandra, Belarc Advisor, Speccy, SIW, CPU-z, etc. are likely to ID the board maker to a point as well.

That is a dual CPU server MB, it may or may not be replaceable with an ATX form factor MB (although it looks to me like it may).

support

You may have to measure MB mounting standoff, rear I/O, expansion slot alignments.


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 Post subject: Re: To Upgrade My DELL PRECISION 690 or BUILD New or BUY New
PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 4:28 am 
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This might help with the GPU decision.
http://www.nvidia.com/content/PDF/product-comparison/product-comparison-master-revised.pdf
doubling the price would help but mainly with the GPU. The 2011 chipset would give you more RAM and more PCI-e lanes the two extra cores might help processing two but that is a premium that will cost quite a bit more. like up to $1000- 1200 more depending on components choice. I also thought maybe a Antec P193 Case might be better but take a look on the Egg if you want to see it.


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