Purchasing a Workstation Help with choosing the best option for my needs and budget.

I am an undergraduate computer science major and I’ll be starting my undergraduate thesis next semester. I’m looking to do research on neural network implementations using the CUDA architecture. Since one of the biggest complaints about neural networks is the processing time, the massively parallel nature of CUDA seems to fit perfectly.

My issue: An undergraduate thesis does not have the most generous of funding. I will be able to acquire some money but its doubtful I’ll be able to fund a 4x Tesla system. I’ve noticed that the GTX 295 actually contains 480 processing cores opposed to a Tesla’s 240 and carries a much smaller price tag. I’ve built systems, but never something this expensive or this complex. I’d rather purchase from a retailer, but the only resellers I can find only carry the Tesla systems.

Getting to the point:
Does anyone know where I can find a reseller who can sell me a pre-built system like the Tesla Workstations, but build it with four GTX 295s and price it appropriately? Thanks a lot!

Are you sure you need four GTX 295? Maybe a single one is good enough - and once you have proven that you get a good speedup with CUDA (and a the performance will scale with the number of GPUs), the University might chip in and fund a Tesla system.


That’s a good point. That would be a great backup plan if the funding falls short. Even so, I’d still like to have a 4x GTX 295 system to propose in case I can procure the necessary funds.

I have not used them, but RenderWare has a range of customizable boxes designed for CUDA. They do offer 4x GTX295 boxes.

I just wanted to swing back to the forums real quickly and say thanks for that suggestion. Of all of the systems I’ve looked at, the 4x GTX 296 system I found at RenderStream is the cheapest and the most promising. I will probably end up buying from then.

There are a lot of things to look for when purchasing such a system, such as CPU/GPU ratio, number of PCI-e slots, PCI-e real bandwidth, power supply etc…

Purchasing one as Christian suggested is a good starting point.

BTW - if you purchase a board that can use only one GPU that might be even cheaper… if the test succeeds you can then buy another “more serious” machine

capable of hosting 4 GTX295.