SuperMicro RX-W280i-QK5

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Take one look at the SuperMicro RX-W280i-QK5 and it’s clear this is no ordinary workstation.

With a depth of 648mm it has the look of a server. With support for up to 8 hot-swappable 3.5-inch hard drives and an optional rack mount kit it also has many of the characteristics.

The reality is that this has the potential to be a very powerful machine, best suited to high-end design visualisation. But we’re not just talking about ray trace rendering here, serving up huge datasets and textures in lightning quick time.

With support for up to eight high-performance SAS drives it also has the potential to deliver the hard disk throughput required for studio grade compositing and video editing.

With this in mind our review machine’s two hard drives look a little lonely in the eight front loading bays. The 120GB Intel 520 SSD is a good solid performer when it comes to professional grade storage, though some may find it a little under capacity for heavyweight 3D apps and datasets. There is, however, a 2TB 7,200RPM SATA to back it up.

With 16 cores and 32 threads in total, the two Intel Xeon E5-2650 processors deliver a solid score in our 3ds Max ray trace rendering benchmark, but the 2.0GHz clock speed, the lowest of all the workstations on test this month, sees it slipping down the benchmark charts in all of our other CPU tests.

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There’s huge potential for this colossus of a workstation – up to 512GB of RAM, lightning quick storage and room for two high-end Nvidia Tesla compute GPUs to support the Nvidia Quadro K5000 – but as it stands one can’t help feeling it needs a bit more investment to make the most of the server-grade chassis.

To view comparative scores from other workstations please click here
For details of all our specific CAD/CAM/CAE benchmarks click here

Specifications

» 2 x Intel Xeon E5-2650 (2.0GHz) (8 cores)
» 32GB (8 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 ECC
» Nvidia Quadro K5000 (4GB)
» 120GB Intel 520 Series SSD + 2TB Western Digital SATA 3Gb/s 7,200RPM
» Supermicro mainboard (Intel C602 chipset)
» Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64
» 3 year next business day warranty

CPU benchmarks

(secs – smaller is better)
CAD (SolidWorks 2010) – N/A
CAM (Delcam PowerMill 2010) – 1) 221 2) 261 3) 261
CAE (SolidWorks 2010 Simulation) – 116
Rendering (3ds Max Design 2011) – 114

Graphics benchmarks

(bigger is better)
CAD (SolidWorks 2010) – N/A
CAD (SolidWorks 2013) – 44
CAD (PTC Creo 2.0) – 5.22
2 x Intel Xeon E5-2650 (2.0GHz) (8 cores)
32GB (8 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 ECC
Nvidia Quadro K5000 (4GB)
Supermicro mainboard (Intel C602 chipset)
120GB Intel 520 Series SSD + 2TB Western Digital SATA 3Gb/s 7,200RPM
3 year next business day warranty
supermicro.co.uk
N/A
221
261
302
116
114
N/A