Upload & Sell: On
in addition to the xps 8500, i'm also considering this
3770K CPU 319.99
16gb memory 77.99
cpu cooler 33.75
Asus p8z777 MOBO 189.99
2tb drive 89.99
corsair carbide case 90.98
seasonic 520w PS 82
GEForce 650 135.99
Given that, with the bare-bones Xeon Precision WS your additional (non-Dell) buy list would look like:
16gb memory 77.99
2tb drive 89.99
Although I sure like my ST3000DM001 3TB Baracudas a lot. I recently added two to each system in a RAID0 configuration. Very fast! And can be found for $120 after rebate with a little looking around. I think I paid $100 a pop for mine. I just happened on to a pile of them at a department store believe it or not and gobbled them all up. Mmmm, Yummy HDDs! http://www.anandtech.com/show/5042/seagates-new-barracuda-3tb-st3000dm001-review
With a high spec consumer-class brand-box I usually need to replace it in about 2 years.
With a home made high-spec gammer box I usually need to replace it in about 3 years.
With a mid-range Workstation class machine I usually want to replace it in about 5 years (but end up waiting 6).
Why do you need to replace the homemade system in 3 years? I'm considering builiding a system for photo editing (no gaming), so your statement caught my attention.
Assuming a non-Xeon/Opteron build the MB is usually at the end of its life span by then. To upgrade with any significant impact on system performance I usually find the buss speed is too slow, the caches too small to take up any slack, the chipset unsupportive, power requirements impossible (without changing the MB), and so on. My criteria for "replacement" is double the speed at the same relative class and price-point.
I haven't been paying very close attention for the past two or three years so things may have changed a little on me but from keeping system current since 1980 with the CBM/CPM Pet until now that's how it's played out. In 1998 or so the Pentium Pro based machines began defining the "Workstation" class computer for Intel based machines in answer to high performance machines like the Sun SPARCstation ('89) and their very popular "Ultra Workstations" ('95). Since then there has always been a split in system performance, longevity, and stability of course with the Workstation class in the far lead. Xeon became the moniker after the Pentium Pro and the performance division between consumer and workstation/server classes continued to grow for awhile until the two were fairly well defined.
The biggest split in the past couple of years has been in multi-core computing where Xeon and Opteron offer up to 8 and 16 cores per chip (respectively) but the supporting board-level and system components typically remain a cut above their consumer grade counterparts. I guess you can look up all the meaningful specs and see the differences and/or look at real-world benchmarks like the PhotoShop script benchmarks. I used to know enough to lay it out but I've not visited much to do with computer hardware in the past two years and forgotten most of it. I do know that Intel's Core branded processors starting with the 32nm fabrications in early 2011 were up to the task of taking on and even defeating the Xeon line in terms of speed per core (measuring with some non-real-world benchmark utilities). But the smooth steady and dependable operation of Xeon/Opteron systems I believe still remain a significant difference between them and their desktop brethren as far as I know. I've read some people saying that it's currently down to only ECC as the most distinguishing difference but I think they're talking only about chip performance and not the features and specs found in the rest of the system. ECC is a fairly big deal tho - as of course is 6 cores per chip vs. only 4 that Mr. Zucker is considering.