Robinet, I think that will pretty much get you there...in about 1/10th the time it takes everyone else...that's going to be sick fast!
I'm quite familiar with the line of 54xx CPUs, I keep a running tally of 'best value' based on the % gains over the e5405's I have installed in the Poweredge. my calcs show the L5420, while only giving 25% in perofrmance gains over the e5405, does so at only $3 per % increase. My CPU utilization won't typically run more than probably 25%, so anything over 3.0ghz is probably overkill...which is perfectly awesome. That said, I like the fact that the L54xx CPUs draw less power and are a little cheaper to operate. (I know, it's a PE2900...but every bit helps).
The only thing to consider is if you're ever going to do virtualization, the Xeon 54xx have intel's virtualization, but do not have second level address translation (SLAT). It's not a concern unless you plan to play with virtulaization, but worth noting before dropping $500+ on upgraded CPUs. Note SLAT doesn't appear until the Nehalem family (possibly 55xx & newer), so it wouldn't work with the 54xx LGA-771 socket. Not sure of the 'true gains' because I can't test it, but it is my general (and likely misguided) understanding that SLAT will allow for the VMs to use the graphics hardware installed in the machine to improve performance versus using virtualized video card drivers. I'm not positive though...
I purchased an TK0025 SLI riser and related install kit (w/ fan, card bracket and pan (card cage)) originally designed for a 690 and it fit the T7400 fine, so my experience is that the SLI riser parts for 690/7400 are interchangeable.
All of these parts are available on eBay -as are memory expansion riser kits.
I ordered two 1GB EVGA Geforce 560 (not ti) cards for SLI. These each require 2x 6pin power sources so I am adding a couple of PCI graphics power splitters to connectosr P5 and P18.
What I don't like about the SLI riser card is that you lose your PCI/PCIe slots if your are using SLI.
If you plan to use dual SLI with the T7400 this leaves you with three remaining PCI-X slots.
I hoped to use the PCI Express x8 card slot, (wired as x4) for a Perc 6i card.
More bad news is that while you can find PCI-X raid controllers, I haven't been able to find a PCI-X USB 3.0 controller.
-You have to be careful when looking for such a card as MANY PCI-Express cards are misrepresented as PCI-X and sales people listing these items online do not know there is a difference between PCIe and PCI-X cards.
There are PCI USB 3.0 controller cards, but the PCI-X bus speed drops to the speed of the lowest card on the bus so if you pop a PCI card into your PCI-X bus it could radically affect the performance of other PCI-X cards.
I fear the same would also be true of PCI-X to PCIe riser (adapter) cards. (that a PCIe card plugged into a PCI-X adapter would run at PCI speeds). This wouldn't be an issue if the PCI-X slots have two or more different busses.
Does anyone know if all three PCI-X slots share the same bus? (pardon me if this has been answered elsewhere in the forums).
btw: Happy new year and thanks to all the great contributions to this thread.
I bought a 690 in 2008 and want to scale it up instead of dropping 1000's for a new workstation. I 've read through your thread to gather information on helping me along my scaling up of my 690. But I have lack of direction.
from 8GB Ram > 32GB
GFX card > Quadro FX 5500 (I plan on getting a additional card for 4 monitors total)
single monitors > dual monitors
I do visual effects freelancing need 4 monitors because I really need the screen real estate.
I purchased a new (Dell Precision 690 Dual Graphic Card 16x PCIe Riser Board TC678 NC893 XH821) to insert into the only PCI-Express x16 card slot on the Motherboard. I noticed that the QUADRO FX 5500 GFX card required a output plug to the 750w Power Supply. I currently only have one such plug from my currently power supply.
If I get a 1000w, will this have the necessary plugs to power 2 GFX Cards?
Other things I will need
I will also need a Dell Precision 690 T7400 Riser Card Assembly Kit it seems.
Regarding the Video Card bridge:
What is the Dell Precision 690 SLI Video Card Bridge MJ247 for?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.