Hi, firstly i would like to thanks for opening this useful official forum. I'm a freelancer motion graphic designer working mainly on After Effects CS3. I need to build a powerful workstation. Can you suggest me a complete configuration that has '2-Quad Core Xeon' with some powerful motherboard, a system that is equivalent to 'Mac Pro'. Also pls suggest me amount of RAM & Pro. Graphic Card. I need a system that really saves me a time on generating previews & rendering. I don't mind going for bit older models if they can save me some money without compromising much in performance. I request you to please include model no of all the products you recommend, especially for motherboards & processors.
Thanks for the request for information.
Question to you --- will you be migrating to CS 4 or CS 5?
To answer your question there are dual socket workstation solutions from OEM's like Apple, Boxx Boxx3D8500, Dell T7500, Fujitsu CELSIUS R670, HP Z800 and Lenovo D20. You can of course build your own with WS boards that support Intel® Xeon® processor 5500 series from vendors like ASUS Z8NA-D6C or Super micro. You really need to work ASUS or Supermicro to make sure you get the correct motherboard.
Your question on memory has a foundation on what you are actually doing. You will need to provide more data on that in order that I can provide you a better answer.
That said thinks that can impact your performance;
1) Processor speeds
2) Mem Capacity
3) Mem bandwidth - more is always better
4) Dick config RAID, Solid State Disk, etc…
One more thought on which workstation. I assume you buy a workstation probably very 2-4 years. If that is the case, then you may want to opt up in your configuration – e.g. do not buy the older model buy the most recent model – it will last you longer.
If you're looking for an Intel workstation board, I'd recommand S5520SC. You may select components on http://serverconfigurator.intel.com/Configure.aspx?ID=1666 http://serverconfigurator.intel.com/Configure.aspx?ID=1666. The CPU/memory/graphics model selection is based on your requirements. You may visit http://www.intel.com/performance/workstation/xeon5000/dcc.htm?iid=perf_ws_body+5000_dcc http://www.intel.com/performance/workstation/xeon5000/dcc.htm?iid=perf_ws_body+5000_dcc for performance benchmarks.
Thnx both the above answers are very helpful especially link to server confiurator. Still I couldn't understand & select few things like RAM: Unbuffered ECC or Registered ECC, Further in RAM : Select Rank single or dual, Intel® Thermal Solution, Intel® RAID Controllers, Intel® RAID Accessories, Solid-State Drive.
To answer your questions: