Do not know if the power supply will support it but the new GTX 680 is a moderately low power card (195 watts) high performance GPU. I am not sure of the requirements for AutoCad but for CS5 Premiere it is the best choice much better than any Quadro card. You really need to get a power supply requirements calculator and figure that out. It can support 3-4 monitors. Forget the SSD scratch disk, bad choice, plan on getting several good 7200 rpm hard drives. I would just throw out the 1 GB modules and you might want more memory as 8 GB per CPU (2 GB per core) is not 1st class
Many thanks for your prompt reply. It appears that a GTX 680 will be on my shopping list. I will perform a power requirement assessment to determine if I will need to upgrade the psu as well. I read that I could possibly add a 2nd psu just for the gpu provided that it will not require a mb to turn on.
Thank you as well for the identification of the flawed logic in my proposed build. Following your suggestion to use platter drives instead of the ssd, I read all that I could and now understand that despite the current popularity, there are shortcomings as well. Not a bad thing when the price of conventional drives is 20 times cheaper per gb. Given that I rarely turn off this computer and a few extra minutes to boot the os is not even a measurable concern in my situation, is it even worth using an ssd for the os when their longterm durability is also being questioned? I only suggested including them becaue of the (wrongly) published universal performance gains. I have a couple of 15k sas drives, despite the noise, would you suggest that I include them instead. They are 146gb. There is no doubt that they are approximately 20% faster (i/o) and they are noisier (lol) but for my intended purpose will I realize much difference when also considering the huge space limitations?
Again thank you for your help!!!
You have a much bigger problem. A single Xeon E5355 on a 771 socket mobo with 4 x 1 GB memory is dead slow and so outdated, it dates back to 2007, 5 years old, that it makes no sense at all to buy a 5 year old CPU to add to the one already in the system. Even with dual CPU's and 16 GB it would still be very slow, think around 20 - 40 times slower than a modern fast system. Both investments have to be depreciated fully in 6 months time when you realise you need a new system.
IMO it is an utter waste of money to upgrade such an old system. Much better to start thinking about a new system now. If you decide to go that route, I suggest you get a GTX 680 video card, that supports three monitors. For ideas about building a new system, look at Adobe Forums: What PC to build? An update...
I also agree with Harm in that any upgrades to that old Dell workstation is a waste of money at this point. A second Xeon E5355 CPU, even used, costs much more money than is justified by the performance improvement it offers: A single E5355 goes for more money than a new i5-2500K CPU. What's more, it requires fully-buffered DDR2 RAM, which is now no longer cost-effective (and likely astronomically expensive): 16GB of DDR2-667 FB-DIMMs needed for that system now costs $400. That's a total of at least $650 for such an upgrade. And even upgraded to the max with two CPUs, 16GB of RAM and a fast GTX 560 Ti GPU, that system will only be about as fast as a PC with a single i3-2120 CPU with 8GB or more RAM and the same GTX 560 Ti GPU. This is because the Xeon E5355 dates way back to the very first of the Core 2 Quads, the Q6600 and Q6700, with their 65nm process technology. The end result is that you would have had to spent at least an additional $900 in upgrades just to bring its performance on a par with an entirely new $600 system. (And that's not to mention that the Quadro NVS 285 is now almost worthless, especially since it is essentially a GeForce 6200 that's been repurposed for business use.)
As such, I'd recommend repurposing that Precision 690 as a home server, and getting a new PC with a much more up to date fast CPU (i7-2600K or higher) as your editing system.
Thanks so much guys.
As others have said before me, I really appreciate the time and more importantly the knowledge which so many of you share. I suspected that the proverbial "silk purse from a sow's ear" might have been my pursuit. It is so difficult to wrap my head around the frighteningly fast obsolescence of this technology. I guessed I should have looked at the dates on some of the posts I found on the web where what I was proposing to do seemed like a good idea!!!
Again gentlemen, thank you again for your advice. Clearly you have helped save money and avoid performance disappointment.
BTW, I just recently purchased an Inspiron laptop with the following specs;
i7 2670 QM
Nvidia geforce gt 525m
win 7 64x
I guess this system is already magnitudes faster than my "project" lol!