[Beowulf] A bit OT - scientific workstations - recommendations

Roland Krause rokrau at yahoo.com
Fri Mar 3 11:11:38 PST 2006

I realize that this is slightly off-topic but since we all deal with
hardware quite a little bit I thought I'd ask you for recommendations
where to buy scientific workstations. 

The specs for what I am looking for are very similar to my current
cluster nodes namely

- Dual Opteron 248 - 252
- 4Gig Memory
- Gig-E

but since these are supposed to be desktops where people do pre- and
post-processing and visualization I'd like to add:

- 250-300 Gig disk (SATA or SATAII)
- NVidia 6600 or comparable (Quadro 540 maybe)
- DVD writer
- Quiet fans
- SuSE-10 preinstalled
- 24/7/365 next day on site support 

I have checked IBM and SUN which are "waaaayyy to expensive" and I am
leaning towards HP's xw9300 which seems nice but the sales people at HP
are the most unhelpful bunch I've ever dealt with. So obviously I have
my doubts about the whole HP-Linux experience. 

Also, I like the OS preinstalled, patched, the BIOS fully upgraded to
the latest and the graphics drivers installed and everything ready to
go so that all I have to do is to plug the cables in. Down the road I'd
like to see next-day on-site support.

Where do you guys go for this stuff? I am looking to buy 10
workstations to start with and then many more down the road.

Am I dreaming?


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