I’m looking to build a Xeon workstation with ECC ram being a requirement, and stability being of utmost importance. I want to be able to use a large amount of RAM, preferably 128GiB+. I use Linux, and BSD, not concerned about compatibility with Windows. I use ZFS as my file system so having a large amount of memory is preferable.
I plan on using the computer as my main workstation which I do very occasional gaming on, but most of the time I am programming, running virtual machines, containers, maybe doing a little bit of video editing on, and generally just getting work done. I have fooled around with IOMMU in the past, and wouldn’t mind trying it again so having parts that work well with it would be nice.
I don’t have a huge amount of experience with workstation builds, but I have built servers, which I generally have more experience with. I’ve got a lot of questions about what might be the right choices for different parts.
I don’t have a plan fleshed out other than an idea of what I want out of my machine so I haven’t really picked any parts. Here is a general idea of what I want from the different parts though.
- CPU: Xeon, single or dual. Or should I consider something else, Ryzen?
- Motherboard: Not concerned with the form factor, should support ECC RAM. In servers I have used Supermicro and was really happy with them, I would like to use one of them but don’t think they have something that would work well as a workstation motherboard though.
- Disks: I’ll probably start with 4 SSDs mirrored. NVME, or SATA?
- GPU: I generally had good experience with NVIDIA on Linux.
- RAM: 128GiB+ ECC.
- Cooling: I’m not sure if I would want to use water cooling since it’s a fair bit of complexity but I would consider it. In the past I have used large quiet fans.
I don’t think I’d want to go much over $4k CAD / $3.2k USD max. I would consider buying used xeons to get the price down.