System?

I am trying to put together the ideal 3D work station. Here are the spec's anyone see anything wrong with them?
dual 3.4 xeon processors
windows xp x64 8 GB ddr2 sdram 400mhz ecc <--- what does this mean? 512mb pcie x16 quadro fx4400 dual dvi or dual vga or dvi+ vga <--- which should I choose? 160 gb sata 7200 rpm hard drive w/ databurst cache ntfs file system cd/dvd burner hyper threading enabled
Comments please? Can I improve this with some minor tweaks? or is this as good as it gets? I am limited to a dell system.
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The "ideal" system is something you will be chasing, it's basically a budget/performance balance. The more money you can throw at a system the more power it will have but it's very much a case of diminishing returns. You could go upto 2 3.6ghz for an extra £390, from 8Gb to 12Gb for an extra £2740. You could add a nice high bandwidth SCSI array for a few grand more. So long as you accept that between you ordering one and it turning up something faster and cheaper will become available.
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I am using a system pretty similar to what you describe. Replace the SATA 7200 with Ultra320 10k drives, and that's about it. Does it work OK? Sure! Is it "that" much better than your off-the-shelf workstation? Not so sure. Oh, and also - I had to pay $200 for a fancy Lian-Li box, because all that stuff wouldn't fit in a standard ATX case.
What would I do if I could add or change ONE thing? I'd like something QUIETER! All that stuff requires lots of cooling, and lots of cooling makes lots of noise. If you work all day on it that noise becomes a real nuisance, and I believe degrades my concentration and indirectly the quality of my work.
G Faris
snipped-for-privacy@ix.netcom.com says...

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