Used Xeon Workstation - convince me not to do it

Of course I watched the recent video about the conversion of an "old" server to a workstation/gaming rig and now I want to do the same.

2-4 CPUS with 8 cores each
Decent Mainboard (with some connectivity)
64-128GB of ECC DDR3 RAM
1000-1300W PSU
GTX 970
(GTX660ti for virtualisation)
Samsung 850 Pro 250gb (OS)
modded NZXT H630

Regarding the case I want to modify my NZXT H630 a bit to allow for some more unresticted airflow and add some ducts to guide the airflow.

Budget for the BOLD parts is 1000€

If anyone has got any suggestions or resons why this may be the worst idea of my life, they would be greatly appreciated.

What are you going to USE it for?

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Stuff.... brag about my cores...

But srsly, lots of CAD (often includes rendering), office work, sometimes gaming, running game servers, a lot of virtualisation and I got a bad habit of doing all those things at the same time

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I know I'm going to get flamed for this... but here goes.

I don't like the idea of buying older Xeons to put on a $400+ motherboard just because Wendell did it.

I'd say just buy a whole complete server. You money goes way further, and you can spend the savings on more RAM

Or you can do what I did and buy engineering sample CPUs. If I had to do it over again I'd buy the cheapest 12 core CPUs I could find and save $1500. Here's my system (cuz I like to show off):


Servers have somewhat of a downside:

they´re loud af

(and I´d be be basically using server components outside a server enclosure with a non-redundant power supply and different cooling, soo it´s not that different from the real deal.)

and your system looks goddamn awesome

The 1U and 2U rack mount servers are pretty fucking loud. I totally agree.
However the towers, which are like 4u or 5u in size (and can usually be converted to rack mounting) aren't too bad. You can even unscrew the internal heat sinks and put in some coolermaster 212 or whatever flavor you like.

My system is dead quiet tho.. and that was one of the requirements I had.

Yup, me too (at least in idle and light use)

One question I always had about ES CPUs is how do you find out which motherboards they will work in before you buy them?

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So you are looking for reasons not to do what I did? ... twice?

I am so sorry. I can not help you.

with those gpu's and hdd,s its waste of money.

There are lots of ebay postings for ES CPUs and a lot of them list which boards are supported. I took a chance and everything worked for me. I was a little lucky because my mobo shipped direct from Supermicro with the latest BIOS installed (which is what was needed). That being said, I'm hesitant to upgrade my bios without confirming that the CPUs will still be supported. The good thing about my board, is that it is a year old and all the old issues have probably been ironed out.

I came

why? I know it´s a far from ideal situation, but I don´t want to spend another 1.5k on a proper NAS.

Here is a list of a few more builds in the forum. I will update that list shortly and I will start writing on the FAQ. Hopefully this weekend.

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lets say you'll get more drives in future, still those gpu's are one of the worst.

Since he is very specific about those parts, I guess he already owns them.

Anyone else thinking house fire?

Yup, this is more of an up/downgrade of my existing pc

Uhm, why?

The 3770K mentioned in your profile is still your system? So, trading single core performance for a massive number of cores. Can't see anything wrong with that. ;)

depending on your workload, having more than 2 cpus can actually hinder work, there was an article about it but I can't seem to find it. having to do with things getting more complex and programs having issues actually using all the available cores.

Also, if you have lets say 8 ram slots for the xeons, you will want to fill all of them so that you can actually get benefit from upped number of cores them selves. see:

Then there is the whole thing about compatibility, remember to check your PSU actually has the cabling required by the motherboard and that the motherboard in question actually can be mounted into a normal case.

Heat is another issue especially if you want to have 4 cpus, as a single xeon will output X ammount of heat at idle and having 4 of them will surprising everyone, quadruple the heat output. when running a render or calculation job, 2 x xeons can draw a nice 300W of power that gets turned into heat and with 4 your get 600w meaning your computer doubles as a hair dryer.

if you still want to build one, consider looking into this guide here:

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Lets get 32 cores in a tiny fucking box, THEN put AMD in it too! What a great idea, you've created a jump jet off of a commissar IV missile.