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Old 2011-04-29, 19:29   #1
c10ck3r
 
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Question New computer ???s

Okay, so I'm looking an get a new home/office desktop, which will run P95 when I'm not "working" (I trade ForEx as a "job", enough to afford said computer). Was wondering if I could get some suggestions from the forums as to where/what to get.

I'm looking at getting a state-of-the-art system with advanced graphics and as fast a processor + RAM as is available for consumers. The basics of what I'm wanting is:
3 High Resolution (at least 1600 x 1280) 30+" monitors, running in tandem
Ergonomic keyboard to reduce pain
Seperate Keypad
DDR3 RAM
Linux OS
Tower should have watercooling

So, pretty much I'm looking for suggestions for mobo, proc, RAM, and GPUs. Anyone have any good setup ideas that would work well for both graphics and LL/DC/P-1 testing?

Thanks in advance,
Johannes
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Old 2011-04-29, 19:42   #2
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How much are you looking to spend? Why water cooling? Will you be overclocking? Would you be building this PC yourself? Where do you live? What specifically will this be used for, "P95" is very general?

30" monitors run at 2560x1600, and if you haven't check the cost of them so far, do so, it may frighten you depending on what your budget is. Are you sure you have room for three big monitors?
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Old 2011-04-29, 22:02   #3
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lava-In general, I'm looking to keep it (hopefully) under $7500. AFAIK, watercooling is almost a must-have for overclocking and/or beasty computers, which is what my intentions are. I will most likely have it put together by a local company here in Overland Park, KS, and it'll be used for trading during the KCBOT's open hours and the British markets openings. The rest of the time it will be running Prime 95 doing either LL tests, P-1, or DoubleChecking to speed up the curve. I will have room for all equipment, since I have a decent sized home office and no kids/pets to worry about. The stand will be custom made to fit my equipment, so the screens shouldn't be a problem-right now I'm looking at the Samsung SyncMaster 305T Black 30 monitors, sub-$1000 each. So, $4500 for the tower/programs left in current budget, would run P95 or a more optimized factoring/sieving program 12 hrs per day (left on for news feed reasons anyways). Thanks, J
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Old 2011-04-29, 22:33   #4
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Well, since you plan to be doing some P95 work, a top end CPU would fit right in. However, you don't mention playing any games or doing any GPGPU work, so you don't need a monster GPU. A low or mid range GPU with three monitor outputs would serve your purposes just fine.

Basically, you're looking at an Intel i7 2600k CPU:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-070-_-Product

And if you really REALLY want to squeeze every last drop out of the CPU, look into phase change cooling.
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Old 2011-04-30, 00:44   #5
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Thanks for the advice! I heard that some Distributed Computing programs used GPUs with great speed, so I figured I would include a high-end GPU in the package since I can write it off as a business expense. The main thing I still need to figure out is how much RAM I will need/use. Right now I'm looking at 6Gb DDR3-1600, which I think will suffice.
Does anyone think that the 6Gb/s SATA drives are actually any faster than normal HDs? I'm under the impression that is fast, but not sure. Do any mobos that work with the 2600k have built-in USB 3.0 ports? I back up my trading logs on a 2TB Seagate, but might consider using another port to maintain website files if I expand. Thanks for all your help Lava!
Johannes
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Old 2011-04-30, 01:39   #6
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SATA 6 Gbps is only faster than SATA 3 Gbps if you have a drive that can transfer data at over 300 MB/s, almost all can't*, but a very select few SSDs can.

* That is they can't do that sustained, but they should all be able to transfer that fast in bursts. Basically, you can ignore the whole SATA spec thing. Any 2 TB or lower SATA drive will work with any SATA controller you buy now, 3 TB and above drives are a whole different matter.

To get 6 GB of RAM with a Sandy Bridge CPU, you'd need to do a weird arrangement with the RAM, since they only have two memory channels. Shoot for 4 GB or 8 GB in two modules (ie 2*2GB or 2*4GB), then you can always add more later if it's not enough.

Most motherboards will have a USB 3.0 controller on the board, but the P67 chipset itself does not include one. This means that you'll (usually) get two USB 3.0 ports at the rear of the case. Cooler Master have one case called the HAF X, it has USB 3.0 ports at the front and some cables inside run from them all the way to the back, you can run them outside the case and into USB 3.0 ports at the rear (if you have them). This allows you easier access to those ports since it essentially moves them to the front, and possibly other case manufacturers have had the same idea, but it'll be a rare feature and likely only with expensive cases.

If you want easy access to USB 3.0 ports, your best bet would be to buy a USB 3.0 hub or an extension cable. I'd recommend the hub actually as I got a 2m extension cable myself and it appears to be too long to work properly.

For GPGPU work, nVidia cards seem to be the order of the day, and the more powerful the better. But remember, the more power, the more noise. You can water cool these too, but doing so voids the warranty, unless you buy a card with a water block already attached:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814130601

CAUTION: Make sure the graphics card you buy can actually drive three displays. Having three video outputs does NOT guarentee the ability to run three monitors. Also, 30" screens are large, so make sure the card can also run those at their native resolution. I don't think the above card will output to three monitors, but then you can always just buy more cards. Note that if you want to play games with the cards in SLI mode, you'd be limited to two screens. Also note that when running GPGPU stuff on the graphics card, the display can get quite laggy.

By the way, Gb and GB mean different things. Small b is bits, big B is bytes, there's an 8 fold difference between them. You'd be pretty upset if you actually did get 6 Gb of RAM for the price of 6 GB. Nevertheless, they seem to be used pretty much interchangably by some people, and you have to judge by the context which they mean.
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Old 2011-04-30, 01:49   #7
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I have a gigabyte ud7 motherboard and 2600k overclocked to 4.5GHz. It's awesome and I love it. I bought the corsair H70 water cooling block. No dramas so far and seems to keep temps under 80degC. Piece of cake to install.

I had troubles with ram. I've now settled on these:

http://www.gskill.com/products.php?i...BDTDlELTRHQlhM

1600MHz @1.5V. The new 2600k CPUs only officially support up to 1.5V ram. A lot of the 1600MHz ram at the moment is 1.65V - although works, not recommended. RAM is cheap compared to the money you're looking at. I'd max it to 8GB+

What sort of time frame you looking at?

There's new 6core intel CPUs later this year. That would be more suited to what you're doing. I'm finding that the 2600k@4.5GHZ is a bit memory starved. I had noticeable improvements from going from 1333MHZ ram to 1600MHz ram. The 6core cpus later this year will have quad-channel memory so they'll scream.

As for video cards - dual nvidia GTX580s. They're awesome.

Gigabyte UD7 board has usb3 ports.

As for storage, I'd recommend SSDs. You're right - SATA 6Gb/s is a waste for traditional mechanical drives. SATA 6G comes into it's own for SSDs. On SSD - I'd look at the latest charts on anand - http://www.anandtech.com/tag/storage

For SSD - OCZ vertex3 240 seem to be the choice at the moment. Have one of those as boot and programs drive, and a 2TB HDD as tier2 storage for data.

Doing GPU work for primes is a bit fidgety at the moment. You have to get and submit work manually. Check out the mfaktc post on the gpu forum for more information. As a rough rule, I find GPUs give about 10x performance per watt compared to CPUs, and about 100x performance of a single CPU core.

-- Craig
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Old 2011-04-30, 02:06   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lavalamp View Post
Also note that when running GPGPU stuff on the graphics card, the display can get quite laggy.
I'd be interested to hear some specifics on this.

I now have PCs with GT430, GTX460, and GTX580s, all windows xp (430) or windows7 (460 and 580), each one of them has zero slow down with GPGPU code being run.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lavalamp
By the way, Gb and GB mean different things. Small b is bits, big B is bytes, there's an 8 fold difference between them. You'd be pretty upset if you actually did get 6 Gb of RAM for the price of 6 GB. Nevertheless, they seem to be used pretty much interchangably by some people, and you have to judge by the context which they mean.
Awesome! One of my pet hates - getting the units wrong.

-- Craig
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Old 2011-04-30, 02:25   #9
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On the memory thing:
I'd recommend thinking about possibly 16 Gig of RAM in this box, 4x 4Gig modules. You want a motherboard that will support it, probably a couple of hundred bucks, and one with multiple slots for your multiple GPUs. And a very *solid* power supply, too. You can get RAM coolers, too, probably worthwhile.

I'd probably hold at 4-core Sandy Bridge right now, let others find the bugs, put $500 in the budget to replace the processor in 6 months.

The extra RAM supports ECM, P-1, and sieving activity such as NFS@home.

Getting the GPU drivers right under Ubuntu at the moment is a bit complicated; I'm in the process right now.

What's the premium to have someone assemble your system for you compared to doing it yourself? What about getting the OS working properly?
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Old 2011-04-30, 09:49   #10
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c10ck3r,
I think your need to support three 30" monitors at 1600 x 1280 is the most difficult of your requirements to meet and is therefore the place where you need to start.
  • First - for simplicity and economy pick a single GPU that can support all three monitors (e.g. A Sapphire 6970 with 2 GB VRAM http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814102918). Nvidia GPUs are currently better at distributed computing because they support CUDA, but AMD is catching up with OpenCl and, IIRC, Nvidia currently requires two GPUs to support three monitors.
  • Second - Christenson is correct. Get 4 x 4GB memory modules. 8GB memory modules are too expensive and can't run as fast the 4GB memory modules.
  • Third - Wait a few weeks to seen what kind of performance enhancements the Z68 chipset brings to Intel CPUs and what kind of performance enhancements the Bulldozer module brings to AMD CPUs.

Last fiddled with by wblipp on 2011-05-01 at 11:19 Reason: fix List
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Old 2011-04-30, 14:05   #11
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Wow! Thank you all for the ideas!
Okay, so assembly is about $150, Linux OS installed=another $50, I'll probably take 16G(B) RAM (4x4)
In other forums, I've heard rumors about an i9 series coming out this year, can anyone confirm/link to?
I'm looking at next February for purchase, but I wanted to get a good idea of what I'll need. I appreciate all y'all's advice, and hopefully by the time I get it online we'll have another Mersenne prime found!
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