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Windows 7: Building high perfroamnce home workstation - I need an advice!

02 Sep 2014   #1

Win7 Pro x64
Building high perfroamnce home workstation - I need an advice!

Hello experts!

I am currently running home based W7 Pro x64 based workstation and need to upgrade it to gain more performance.

My current setup:
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-MA770-UD3 (supports only SATA2)
PCU: AMD Phenom II x4 945 @ 3GHz
DRAM: 4 x 2GB @ 800Mhz (Geil)
Bootable drive: SSD Kingston V300 128GB
HDDs: 4 x HD Samsung HD154UI (no RAID), 1 x WD20EZRX

All drives are encrypted with TrueCrypt (Win7 Pro does not have bitlocker).

I was considering the following upgrade:

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD5
PCU: AMD X8 FX-8350 4GHz
DRAM: 2 x Kingston DDR3 16GB 1600MHz ECC-R DR x4 w/TS Intel (latency 11)
Bootable drive: 2 x SSD Kingston V300 128GB (RAID 0)
HDDs: 5 x WD20EZRX (possibly on RAID5?)

The workstation main purpose is to do some scientific calculations 24h. It has a VMWARE virtualized Oracle database and application server in it. You may assume that currently 70-80% of the application time is being spent on CPU while the remaining part is coming from the database reads/writes (95% read / 5% write). I believe that with a more powerful CPU this might be closer to 60% for CPU and 40% for database so this is why I want to setup a RAID. What I am looking for is to get the best possible performance improvement in terms of value. I need as many SATA III ports as possible - this MB has 8 of them which suits me very well.

Therefore I have a few questions for which I could not find clear answer on the net:

1. Is that upgrade setup good? Any suggestions?
2. Which DRAM should I choose? For the same price I can get 1333MHz with latency of 9 or 1600MHz with latency 11. Different tests give different results so it is confusing.
3. According to various tests AMD FX perfomance is better from Phenom II for integer and float operations (disregarding the frequency and number of cores) but maybe a Phenom II X6 1090T would be better?
4. I am a bit confused with RAID on the motherboard. I am not willing to spend money on high-end RAID controller as the one on the motherboard suits my needs. However it says it is limited to 6 ports out of 8 which leads me to a question: how many RAID arrays can I define using my motherboard RAID support? Only 1 or multiple?
5. If only one RAID array is supported then I have another question regarding how to setup two arrays in that setup. As I understand I might setup a 5 drive RAID5 array on motherboard and another one for 2 SSD's using some inexpensive SATA III PCI-e controller. However they are limited to 6Gb bus which gives around 750MB/s - is that right? So if that is the limitation then maybe it does not make sense to buy additional SSD?
6. With a 5xHDD RAID5 I should get around 750MB/s maximum read. Any idea what would be the effect of decrupting that on the fly by Truecrypt? Right now I simply do not feel that Truecrypt operations but I am working SATAII which compared to RAID on SATA III might be up to 10 slower. On the other hand the AMD FX-8350 is much stronger and additionally it is supposed to natively support AES hash algorithms.
7. Does the DR next to Kingston (Dual Rank?) means that they run in Dual Channel?
8. Last but not least I have a NOX Urano 650W which should be capable of powering that setup (the calculation show around 500W at full utilization) but is that safe?

Any response would be greatly appreciated!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Sep 2014   #2
Mellon Head

Win 7 Pro x64/Win 10 Pro x64 dual boot

Welcome to the forums.

I can tell you that if you're going to run an FX-8350 at that kind of load 24/7, it's going to get hot. I know from experience, they run hot. I would recommend water cooling if you're going to buy an FX for this purpose. It doesn't have to be fancy, just a sealed AIO system from Corsair or CoolerMaster will do fine:

CORSAIR Hydro Series H100i Extreme Performance Water/Liquid CPU Cooler. 240mm - (if your case has room for it)


Cooler Master Seidon 120M ? All-In-One CPU Liquid Water Cooling System with 120mm Radiator and Fan -

The Seidon will fit most cases.

That will keep your temps down and make that 8350 last longer.

Sounds like a killer build.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Sep 2014   #3

Win7 Pro x64


Currently I have Ninja Scythe with a lowered RPM (@500) Coolink Fan and another one mounted on the side. I am not doing overclocking at all and I won't do that in future. My case is rather big and provides a good airflow - Chieftec CH02B-BM - so I had no heat problems at all. Wouldn't it be enough for FX-8350? I can change the fans or the RPM but I do not want it to be too loud.

The workstation is located in the living room so quietness is also quite important.

Any thoughts on the other points?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

03 Sep 2014   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium x64

Hello dwierzbowski,

If you want to create a RAID configuration, you should use RAID-speciffic hard drives. The WD Greens are very good drives but they have "fall asleep" when not used and were designed for secondary storage; they aren't a great fit for a RAID. I could recommend either the WD Red drive or the WD SE.

The WD Red has capacity up to 6TB and IntelliPower, meaning it consumes less power.

The WD SE has capacity up to 4 TB and 24x7x365 reliability, though it is more datacenter-oriented.

If you'd like you could check them out:

WD Red:
WD Red NAS Storage ? What is NAS?


About your question for you MoBo's RAID array support, you should check the manual in more detail, RAID configurations for this motherboard should be explained:

Also, I have to agree with Mellon Head, you should get a water cooler to maintain the heating and temperature. Otherwise, this is a really good and serious setup.

I hope it works well!
Best of luck! :)

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Building high perfroamnce home workstation - I need an advice!

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