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Thread: Dell Precision T5500 Xeon - £1,590 - Worth it?

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    Dell Precision T5500 Xeon - £1,590 - Worth it?

    My partner is looking at getting a new system to do digital animation and other graphics work using things like Maya, photoshop etc and then using the same machine to render out the finished work.

    His current computer is pretty old and very slow! So hes been looking at getting an upgrade and would be looking at upgrading quite soon. He doesn't know much about computers or about building his own but saw an advert on eBay for a Dell computer and wanted to know if it would be suitable.

    I had a quick look at it and the spec seemed ok to me but I'm not very good with high end machines for animation/work and a lot of the components are different from what I would use in a gaming machine.

    Anyway, the computer is listed on ebay and is as follows:

    Code:
        * Intel Xeon W5580 3.2-3.33GHz Quad Core with TurboBoost and HT (8 threads!)
        * 24GB DDR3 PC3-10600 RAM
        * 500GB 7200rpm 16MB Samsung Hard Drive
        * 1000GB 7200rpm 16MB Seagate Hard Drive
        * 1500GB 7200rpm 16MB Seagate Hard Drive
        * NVIDIA Quadro FX 4600 768MB Graphics Card
        * Realtek HD Audio Sound Card and integrated speaker
        * Gigabit LAN
        * DVD+/-RW SATA Optical Drive
    Opinions?



    Thanks,
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    <<== UT3 Player spoon_'s Avatar
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    Re: Dell Precision T5500 Xeon - £1,590 - Worth it?

    Do you need the NVIDIA Quadro FX 4600 at all?

    Because if not there is nothing left in that PC apart from ok ish CPU and RAM.

    HDDs are dirty cheap these days all three you have listed there its like £100?
    Optical drive, £10
    Probably crap mobo for no money...

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    Re: Dell Precision T5500 Xeon - £1,590 - Worth it?

    Quote Originally Posted by spoon_ View Post
    Do you need the NVIDIA Quadro FX 4600 at all?

    Because if not there is nothing left in that PC apart from ok ish CPU and RAM.

    HDDs are dirty cheap these days all three you have listed there its like £100?
    Optical drive, £10
    Probably crap mobo for no money...
    I don't know to be honest as the computer isn't for me. My partner wants a computer thats going to be very fast for digital animation, artwork, modeling and rendering. I don't actually know what you need to be able to do them things in the slightest, hadn't even heard of a Quadro FX GPU before.

    Was kinda hoping you guys here would have more experience with a system that would be suitable for this type of work and could advise on what to do if this system really isn't all its cracked up to be.

    Thanks,
    Sacred

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    Re: Dell Precision T5500 Xeon - £1,590 - Worth it?

    Simplistically, the Quadro FX is Nvidias professional rendering card - the normal nvidia cards are for gaming.

    http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/vid...00-fx4600.html
    Rgds,

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    Re: Dell Precision T5500 Xeon - £1,590 - Worth it?

    Quote Originally Posted by blueball View Post
    Simplistically, the Quadro FX is Nvidias professional rendering card - the normal nvidia cards are for gaming.

    http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/vid...00-fx4600.html
    Ah I see, so its a yes on the GPU but the MOBO, processor etc are all sub-par?

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    Re: Dell Precision T5500 Xeon - £1,590 - Worth it?

    A bit of a strange system the W55 are designed for a dual socket configuration otherwise a W35 or W36 would be a much cheaper choice (about 2/3 of the price). In a single socket configuration the only reason to have a Xeon over a desktop i7 is you want to use ECC memory, make sure the system includes ECC memory, otherwise just buy a desktop. I have a W3680 and it really does kick some tail like with all things though its expensive and will get old very fast. Saying its got 8 threads, is hiding the fact its only an older 4 core processor rather than the 6 core top of the range one now, having said that I doubt your friend will ever use all 4 cores! So its the maximum processor speed that is important. Shame none of the disks are anything good like a 15k sas or an SSD. They are not even maximising the ports capacity, get a small fast drive or a 2Tb one, anything else is a waste of electric.
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    Re: Dell Precision T5500 Xeon - £1,590 - Worth it?

    Thanks for the replies, could you guys advise on a full build that would be more suitable?


    Also how difficult are we talking to build from scratch? As would be tempted to order components through Scan with the insurance and talk my partner into trying to build it ourselves if its going to give good savings! Or are the savings so small its worth letting someone else build it?

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    Re: Dell Precision T5500 Xeon - £1,590 - Worth it?

    I find building a system yourself never turns out to be cheaper than what you can buy as a package you can however buy exactly the components you like (which is why I do it). As to building to be honest is childs play these days. its virtually impossible to plug the wrong thing into the wrong place the only "hard" part is wiring the front panel (3-5 connections) and for that there is a little diagram or asus have spacers so you can see off board what to plug where. The system you list is reasonable for the price, However I feel its more around the "new" price rather than second hand.
    (\__/) All I wanted in the end was world domination and a whole lot of money to spend. - NMA
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    Re: Dell Precision T5500 Xeon - £1,590 - Worth it?

    Quote Originally Posted by oolon View Post
    I find building a system yourself never turns out to be cheaper than what you can buy as a package you can however buy exactly the components you like.
    So what would you advise as a decent pre/custom build from somewhere like Scan or OverclockersUK? My partners had a look at Boxx but they don't have prices

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    Re: Dell Precision T5500 Xeon - £1,590 - Worth it?

    I certainly wouldn't recommend OCUK.

    I would recommend asking here as these guys have experience speccing and building high-end professional kit for modelling/3D render/etc and you're likely to get some good unbiased advice (from experience).

    I know Aria now offer a custom build + overclocking service for £49 exc. VAT so once you've nailed down the components you need they might be a good place to go.

    HTH

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    Re: Dell Precision T5500 Xeon - £1,590 - Worth it?

    That's a reasonable price for a Dell workstation, remembering that it will be built with professional grade components. Whilst the exact specification is a little odd (the hard drives, and the choice of a multi-socket CPU in a single-socket system) it's also not badly priced for that class of workstation compared to a similarly specified new one (check out Dell's website if you're not convinced: new T5500s start at ~ £1500 ex vat.

    BUT

    you probably knew that was coming, right

    There's the very odd selection of hard drives, for one. To me it looks like they just shoved whatever spare drives they had available into the machine to make it appear better value.

    Most importantly though, there's that graphics card. Yes, it's a professional grade nVidia card - for owning a Quadro you get much more targetted driver support, which means that they're an ideal choice for graphical workstations. Unfortunately, the FX 4600 is the professional grade version of the 8800GTX, which means that card is considerably older than the rest of the rig - it's effectively two major generations behind the current Quadro cards.

    If this new rig is meant to be a serious professional work tool, then personally I'd be swallowing my pride and buying a brand new workstation direct from someone like Dell, to get their business-class service and support (e.g. Dell 3yr pro-support with next business day on-site service is only £152 - lose the on-site and it's only half that). Perhaps look at the (AMD/ATI) Radeon FirePro V4800 and the (nvidia) Quadro 2000 series professional graphics cards - he'll need to check whether the software he uses prefers one company's cards over the other. it should be possible to get something of high spec and professional quality, with a 3yr warranty, for less than £2000. And if it's worth spending £1600, it's worth spending £2000 to get something new with a good warranty

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    Re: Dell Precision T5500 Xeon - £1,590 - Worth it?

    lets see what we can get for your money

    Intel Core i7 960 £229.40 (Same speed as above but single chip no ecc). LN29252
    SABERTOOTH X58 £154.30 LN35791 (bonus its USB3/SATA3)
    Corsair Memory XMS3 12GB DDR3 1333 Mhz CAS 9 Triple Channel Desktop £111.72*2 LN26178

    The above would replicate the motherboard/memory/processor being the same speed just with "modern" models rather than Q4 '09 ones. £618.10

    That Quadro though looks pretty expensive new even now at arround 2k! LN25475 strange though its a 2 year old card. If you need that kind of card, the Ebay option seems quite tempting, as its a card with a free system, however there is always risk from ebay (for me 1.5k is WAY to much to risk on ebay). The only way to answer this is to research the performance difference for the software you wish to use. As that card is quite old is actually rather slow compared to modern cards, the question is will be fast for the specific tasks you wish (3d rendering) or will a normal gaming card have eclipsed its performance by now? Personally I would be temped to go with a near top range gaming graphics card (200-300 quid level) from nvidia GTX 570 as i think it will actually perform better, due to age of that card. NVIDIA hobble there gaming cards a bit however after 2 years that ground will have been made up.

    Palit GeForce GTX 570 1280MB NVIDIA Graphics Card 264.68 LN36720

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    What would come to 1682.17, though I am sure it could be trimmed and adjusted.
    Last edited by oolon; 22-03-2011 at 03:52 PM.
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    Re: Dell Precision T5500 Xeon - £1,590 - Worth it?

    Thanks guys, will put this forward to my partner on Thursday and let you lot know what he thinks.

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    Re: Dell Precision T5500 Xeon - £1,590 - Worth it?

    I would be wary of using a normal graphics card. The Quadro cards (and AMDs equivalent FireGL) will have special drivers and the architecture is customised for graphics work. Gaming cards are designed to do lots of shading, specialist Graphics cards are designed for drawing triangles and texturing.
    Rgds,

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    Re: Dell Precision T5500 Xeon - £1,590 - Worth it?

    Could you list all the packages you intend to use??

    This is a cheaper system I helped specify for another forum member:

    http://forums.hexus.net/hexus-hardwa...ne-please.html

    Edit!!

    This thread maybe of use too:

    http://forums.overclockers.co.uk/sho...php?t=18255008


    Those despicable Elk,stealing the pond weed!

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    Re: Dell Precision T5500 Xeon - £1,590 - Worth it?

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    Could you list all the packages you intend to use??

    This is a cheaper system I helped specify for another forum member:

    http://forums.hexus.net/hexus-hardwa...ne-please.html

    Edit!!

    This thread maybe of use too:

    http://forums.overclockers.co.uk/sho...php?t=18255008

    The software used is:

    Adobe master collection,
    Maya,
    3DSMax,
    Motion Builder,
    Mudbox,
    Unity

    With a budget of £1850 to £2100

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