3 Replies Latest reply on Mar 24, 2013 6:55 PM by RjL190365

    Hardware Upgrade Advice

    gregory98

      Hi,

       

      Our company had plans to buy 10 new workstations for a contract we have coming up.  All 10 were to have the following specs:

       

      – 3rd Generation Intel Core i7-3770K

      – Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

      – 256GB Solid State Hard Drive (Boot Drive)

      – 1TB 6Gb/s Hard Drive w/64MB Cache (Data/Backup Drive)

      – 16GB, 1600MHZ DDR3, 4DIMM

      - 2GB Nvidia Quadro 4000 Display Adaptor

       

      The heaviest use will come from users who work with CS6 (mostly Flash) and Cinema 4d.

       

      Since the initial quote, management found 4 nearly new Dell Optiplex 380 workstations in storage with the following specs:

       

      - Core2Duo E7500 Processors

      - 4GB RAM

      - 320GB 7,200 HD

      - No dedicated graphics

      - 32-bit Windows 7 Professional

       

      To cut costs, management wants to assign the 4 Dells to the lightest users and apportioned $500 per PC to bring them up to speed as much as possible.  The layout of the motherboard is reversed so a double-wide video card is impossible.  Of course I'm also limited to 4GB RAM due to the 32-bit OS.

       

      These are my thoughts:

       

      Scenario 1:

      Upgrade the Core2Duo to Core2Quad (~$150)

      Add Asus GeForce GTX650-E-2GD5 2GB GDDR5 video card (~$150)

      Labor (~$150)

      Total $450

       

      Scenario 2:

      Add PNY Quadro 2000 video card (~$350)

      Labor (~$75)

      Total $425

       

      Scenario 3:

      Add OCZ Agility 3 AGT3-25SAT3-240G 2.5" 240GB SATA III SSD (~$200)

      Add Asus GeForce GTX650-E-2GD5 2GB GDDR5 video card (~$150)

      Labor (~$150)

      Total $500

       

      Scenario 5:

      Install 64-bt Windows 7 Professional (~$150)

      Upgrade RAM to 8GB (max. capacity) (~$50)

      Add Asus GeForce GTX650-E-2GD5 2GB GDDR5 video card (~$150)

      Labor ($150)

      Total $500

       

      Scenario 5:

      I considered getting new i3 destops but couldn't make it work.

       

      Which would you do?

       

      Any help would be greatly appreciated.

       

      Kevin G

       

      Edit:

      I should add that I submitted the following but it came in $5,000 higher than the i7 workstations ($500 per workstation).  I didn't think the cost justified the low-end Xeon.

      Dell Precision Workstation

      – Dell Precision T3600 Workstation

      – Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

      – Intel Xeon E5-1607 Processor (Quad Core, 3.0GHz, 10M)

      – 16GB, 1600MHZ DDR3, 4DIMM

      – 256GB Solid State Hard Drive (Boot Drive)

      – 1TB 3.5" 6Gb/s SATA with 32MB Cache (Data/Backup Drive)

      – 2GB Nvidia Quadro 4000 Display Adaptor

       

      Thanks

        • 1. Re: Hardware Upgrade Advice
          RjL190365 Level 4

          IMHO, any of those upgrade scenarios would be a colossal waste of money. I would not spend even a single penny on upgrading any of those old Dells for this one very huge reason:

           

          The performance benefit of all of those upgrade scenarios combined would be far smaller than their cost justifies. You would gain a far greater performance boost by buying complete new systems than wasting money on upgrading old, severely outdated systems such as those Dells. In other words, you could have spent tens of thousands of dollars on upgrading each of those PCs and you'd still end up with performance that's below the bottom 10% of the rankings in the PPBM5 benchmark list.

           

          In other words, tell someone who's in charge not to throw good money after bad.

          • 2. Re: Hardware Upgrade Advice
            gregory98 Level 1

            No one thought this was a good idea and we objected.  We're stuck with it.

            • 3. Re: Hardware Upgrade Advice
              RjL190365 Level 4

              gregory98 wrote:

               

              No one thought this was a good idea and we objected.  We're stuck with it.

               

              And not only that, but Dell has largely crippled its BIOS such that those particular systems might not support quad-core CPUs at all (or put it this way, the only CPUs that those systems will support are those that had already been pre-installed in them).

               

              By the way, you will not be able to fit even a GTX 650 in any of those four Dell systems. This is because although the Asus GTX 650 that you were looking at uses a single expansion slot backplane, its extra-thick pre-installed cooler actually takes up two expansion slots. That can be problematic in BTX systems due to the internal layout. As a result, you're stuck with the older Fermi-based very-low-end cards like the GT 620 and GT 610.

               

              Message was edited by: RjL190365