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Theodoric - A theoretical physics workstation

by PartpickingGlory


Part List View full price breakdown


Date Published

Aug. 18, 2016

CPU Clock Rate

2.4 GHz


I built this computer for a group at a research institution. Both reasonable CPU and GPU computing power were needed. Money wasn't an issue.

The primary goal of this system is to run a plane wave density functional code VASP. Since it will run 24/7 I particularly focused on quality, endurance, and performance. With GPU computing coming online as a major player and CUDA compilers being released for many languages I decided to add a Tesla K40 to the system. Otherwise the RAM and CPU are the main components of concern. I decided to only put in 64gb of DDR4 but the motherboard can support up to 512gb for further expansion. As for the CPU's I chose two Xeon E5-2630's. The machine has run now for months without any hiccups and the group I made it for seems pleased.

As for the other parts I usually erred on the side of endurance and reliability. I chose Enterprise 2 Tb HDD's, a 256gb Samsung Pro, Phanteks large air CPU coolers, and the Corsair 750D Airflow edition case -- mainly for good looks and expandability. A Tesla K40 sli setup may be added in the future to add some computational gravitas.

Since there is interest in an upgrade, I've been looking at a machine that possibly comprises of dual 22 cores and Nvidia's new Tesla P100. Although I'll probably wait for Intels new CPU's and Zen to come out first.


Part Reviews


I put two of these in a workstation system and they work well and have run for many months straight with a demanding computation load.

CPU Cooler

I good dependable CPU cooler, although it is a little two large. Otherwise I recommend it.


A pretty case with all the expandability you'd need. Although I had problems mounting my dual-socket motherboard.

Power Supply

A good PSU for systems that could/will take a lot of power. It has a 10 year warranty, so where reliability is concerned it checks that box as well.

Optical Drive

Decent and working CD Writer.

Comments Sorted by:

Minky7 3 Builds 7 points 32 months ago

Can it run crysis?

CleverJimmy 2 Builds 2 points 32 months ago

No. That gpu isn't made for gaming. Its for workstation stuff

Minky7 3 Builds 4 points 32 months ago

My dude it's a meme, look up "But can it run crisis?".

The_Boom_Boy 1 point 32 months ago

But i am pretty sure workstation cards can still run games https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_msbomKvVw But obviously it isn't designed to run games, but it still can and would be cool to see those benchmarks.

PartpickingGlory submitter 4 Builds 3 points 32 months ago

It actually doesn't have any video outputs. Nvidia pretty much disallowed gaming.

ARabidPenguin13 1 Build 1 point 32 months ago

I have a nvidia quadro 6000 sitting in my closet and I got curious so i threw it into a system with a 9590 and set an (unsafe. Hot and unsafe) overclock and managed to run far cry 4 on the ultra preset at time of release. Bear in mind I never reccomend doing this and I did it out of sheer curiousity

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CleverJimmy 2 Builds 1 point 32 months ago

No ****. You're a week late

Mr.Quack 1 Build 1 point 32 months ago


pwelch234 1 point 32 months ago

"But the motherboard can support up to 512gb for further expansion" Im running 4gb

Unuvailiable 2 Builds 1 point 32 months ago

So what does this pc actually do? Im a noob to this kinda workstation stuff

Jhobbster 1 Build 1 point 32 months ago

It does research that uses very demanding applications.

Jhobbster 1 Build 1 point 32 months ago

These dual cpu builds never fail to amaze me. +1 From me mate looks very nice

FACUNDO 13 Builds 1 point 32 months ago

This is very powerful. The GPU is also insane. (and pricetag too hehe)

srs922 1 Build 1 point 32 months ago

It puts a big smile on my face to see a workstation pc on here every once and a while. I thought about building one for the use of ANSYS Fluent CFD for my FSAE team at school. Would be like super expensive though.

eopest 9 Builds 1 point 32 months ago

I dunno, seems like you might need more threads. ;)

The primary goal of this system is to run a plane wave density functional code VASP.

I'd like to ask WTH is that, but it sounds like something not readily explainable to normal humans... I need what brain I have not exploded all over the place. :) Interesting build though...

PartpickingGlory submitter 4 Builds 1 point 32 months ago

The group has access to a super computer when they need it. They are considering another workstation: I think it is best to wait until the arrival of Zen and Kaby lake.

eopest 9 Builds 1 point 32 months ago

Gotta use all the budget you have; that way, next year you won't get less. Plus, if they do have you build it now, there's all that data they can crunch right away. :)

Jake762by39 6 Builds 1 point 32 months ago

YES! Another physicist on here! +1

thomasjmoerman 1 Build 1 point 29 months ago

Yay for science builds!

akula2 1 point 29 months ago

+1 from me. How is that cooler doing? Are you happy with the build now?

PartpickingGlory submitter 4 Builds 1 point 28 months ago

It has been running calculations nonstop for like a year, they seem to like it. The coolers work just fine.

akula2 1 point 25 months ago

They seem to like it? You don't that machine with you? The reason why I ask is that I'd like to drop all Water coolers in the next Workstation build batch. As of today, I've dropped Kaby Lake CPU in favor of Ryzen.

signusio 1 point 27 months ago

For the price of the K40, you could get 2 AMD Radeon Pro Duos, and get 32 TFLOPs of performance over the K40's 2-5 (double/single). That is unless your framework is built specifically upon CUDA, but you could probably check out Vulkan if you've got extra time on your hands. _^

PartpickingGlory submitter 4 Builds 1 point 27 months ago

Completely agreed. Except nvidia has a deal where it will give research scientists K40's for free.

sparkyman215 1 point 26 months ago

How much clearance does the ram have? Id like to put a be quiet shadow rock lp cooler but I can't find any ram measurements online.

sevhelou@optusnet.com.au 1 point 24 months ago

cool build love the intel Xeon i'm having an 8 core xeon to!!

Nater650 1 point 22 months ago

I wonder if I can mine bitcoins with this thing...

D0RAW 2 Builds 1 point 21 months ago

where did you get the motherboard at?

Materialism 0 points 32 months ago

Did you bought the RAM separately? ( 2x 32GB sets) if so the RAM won't work that well. Just wondering because they are listed separately on your part list. But good job building this truely powerful computer. +1

PartpickingGlory submitter 4 Builds 1 point 32 months ago

I bought 4x16, why would installing ram in more DIMM slots be deficient?

Gooberdad 10 Builds 1 point 32 months ago

No ignore the noob comment you are fine. This is an awesome crunching machine.

I saw the Tesla in your pictures and had that "Wow" moment. That's a lot of power.

Materialism 1 point 32 months ago

RAM is designed too operate optimal with the sticks within the same set adding another set later on isnt optimal: https://youtu.be/oRCXYXszi8U Says it at 3:20-3:40 I think.

eopest 9 Builds 2 points 32 months ago

Wrong. These are the same manufacturer, same model, bought at the same time with the same timings; they'll run (and have run for months) just fine together.

Materialism 1 point 32 months ago

I meant when he upgrades at a later point and on his part list the RAM sticks are separately thats why I asked.

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PCPerson2016 1 point 30 months ago

It was not his personal build and I bet the institute paid for everything.

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