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Quint-monitor monster build as a temp. holdover until the Xeon E5 SB release

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hey everyone, I'm currently working out a temporary build to hold me over until I can purchase dual 8 core xeon E5s later this year (or early next). Until then, I've chosen to deal with a modest desktop i5 + mobo + 16gb DDR3 1600mhz. Here are the total specs:



Additionally, the fifth monitor will be purchased from Amazon, a

.

I don't play games (other than StarCraft 2 occasionally), but I do a lot of programming, typically requiring 3-5 Visual Studio 2010 instances. Additionally, I do solid modeling using SolidWorks 2011, so that's why I'm considering the Quadro FX 3800. The Quadro NVS 420 has four DisplayPorts, which are how I'd connect the four NEC monitors.

In addition to the SolidWorks and Visual Studio needs, I tend to run about 100 processes presently, and I do a lot of machine learning and artificial intelligence programming. At some point, I know the trade-off between a high-end workstation and renting space on an EC3 cluster weighs in favor of the latter, but for everyday data processing (which involves a lot of FLOPS) and code compilation, I need something that's relatively future proof.

My biggest concern is to maximize the efficiency of this build; the i5/mobo/ram combination is temporary, but I need to be able to justify the expense vis-Ã*-vis the future expected expense of the dual Xeon E5s. Moreover, I need to be able to salvage everything else from this build--graphics cards, the dual Samsung 470 SSDs, etc.

Any suggestions or advice would be massively appreciated!
Edited by lwyr - 5/30/11 at 11:35pm
post #2 of 5
looks good only concern is cooling... grab some fans now... maybe gt ap15 so that when you upgrade you can use them to help cool...
post #3 of 5
For over $5,000, just pay the bit extra and get a 2600K.
Gaming System 3.0
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i5 2500K Asus Z68-V Inno3D GTX 570 8GB G.Skill Ripjaw X 2133MHz 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
3x Seagate Barracuda 500GB 7200.12 Asus DVD/RW Drive Windows 7 Ultimate 64-Bit BenQ G2411HD 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech G510 Corsair VX550 CoolerMaster 690 Advanced II NVidia Razer Deathadder V2 
Mouse Pad
Razer Goliathus Speed 
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Gaming System 3.0
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i5 2500K Asus Z68-V Inno3D GTX 570 8GB G.Skill Ripjaw X 2133MHz 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
3x Seagate Barracuda 500GB 7200.12 Asus DVD/RW Drive Windows 7 Ultimate 64-Bit BenQ G2411HD 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech G510 Corsair VX550 CoolerMaster 690 Advanced II NVidia Razer Deathadder V2 
Mouse Pad
Razer Goliathus Speed 
  hide details  
Reply
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the suggestion. I didn't give cooling any thought, because I don't intend to overclock this one, and assumed that the stock i5 fan would suffice. In hindsight, a better fan would probably increase the longevity of the cpu. The Lian Li case comes equipped with 2x120mm and 2x140mm chassis fans, which should be enough to handle the graphics cards, psu, and cpu air exchange.

Additional considerations I forgot to mention above:

--- Machine Learning Usage Details ---

Since I didn't expand on this well enough, I do a lot of statistical analyses on text and sound. For example, I'm working with one text corpus that about 28 TB in size (I will never need to store the actual data on my external hard drives--I'd probably only need to store a couple gigabytes in the end, but it's the processing of this data that matters).

Mostly, I use support vector machines for classification, k-means for clustering (along with a couple other methods, but k-means is the crudest and simplest for now) and then do a latent semantic analysis. A few of the algorithms take advantage of sparse matrices and involve eigendecomposition thereof. Running these in multiple threads concurrently evince the need for the processor upgrade, since hyperthreading is a waste. That's also where the increased memory requirements (eventually 24 GB ECC ddr3) are most apparent.

--- Solid Modeling Usage Details ---

In addition to the machine learning requirements, I do a lot of solid modeling and am presently working on an automated book scanner to help with data aggregation and input. That's more of a side project, but this device requires performing some complex simulations (animations) before I actually commit to manufacturing the device. I also do PSPICE simulations for electrical devices, and will need something that will remain useful when I move on to do my Ph.D. in electrical engineering next fall.

--- Audio Usage Details ---

I briefly mentioned audio processing in the above machine learning section, but one side hobby is music composition, and I'd love a system that's able to support Sonar and Gigastudio. I haven't begun searching for a GSIF2 sound card yet, but will eventually move into that arena once I have some more cash.

--- Virtualization Usage Details ---

I forgot to mention that because I do development, I have 10 "clean" environments in which I run my software. These run Windows XP, Vista, and 7 with a variety of software configurations, and also run Ubuntu linux as well as another instance of Windows 7 for RealVNC remote collaboration with co-workers.

--- Final Notes ---

Any advice on ways to cut my current expenses would be appreciated. I did my best with the monitors, but they're still pretty expensive. Obviously I don't need more than one IPS monitor, but even that one is questionable. I figure that having one for color-correction stuff (when I do web design, GUI development, play the occasional game, and watch movies) is enough justification for the Dell U2711. The NECs are just a relatively cheap, decently-performing monitor for my text-based applications.

I'm also spending a little more than I'd like on the SSD drives. I'd intend to connect the Samsungs in a RAID0 array to improve the transfer rates (they're 250 MB/s read and 220 MB/s write presently, and in RAID0 that nearly doubles). However, because of my software consumption, visual studio usage, and virtualization setup, I could see myself using 512 GB pretty quickly.
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by WaterMelnKidd View Post
For over $5,000, just pay the bit extra and get a 2600K.
Heh, I originally wanted the 2400 + el cheapo ASUS mobo, but then budged by $40 and went with the 2500K. I can't justify moving any more than that on a temp. setup, and Newegg is showing the 2600K at ~$300, so I don't think it's in my budget to move that much more unless there are significant advantages in doing so.
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