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Need input on list for next rig - Different requirements than most gaming systems

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I'd appreciate some input on the list of items below for my next rig and first WC build. I havent built a computer in years, but other than WCing, everything looks the same. I chose WC due to wanting to slightly OC the CPU and due to the ambient temp of my office during the winter, as I have a wood stove in it. Additionally, I wanted to limit excess number of fans due to dust created by the wood stove. I dont know if positive pressure is possible, but I figure I'd give it a try and use filters on the intake fans. My systems average 4 - 5 years, but ideally, Id like to keep this setup as long as possible, as I cannot imagine I will need anything more powerful for at least that many years.

Primary Usage
This rig will be used primarily for heavy modeling and database intensive applications running in parallel to 1080p movies. It will also serve as a media server for the tv upstairs. I will have 1 40" monitor and one 32" monitor dedicated to the system, with a 26" on a kvm switch that I would like to extend the desktop onto from the 32". I am hoping a single GPU can support this with dual DVI cables to the 32 and 26 and a single DVI or mini HDMI to the 40". The 40" will be reserved for movies, but ocassionally may be used for data applications where I have a ton of data to decrease my eye strain.

I will also be using a Denon 7.1 networked receiver with panasonic speakers in a 5.1 setup. I play a lot of music (FLAC and WAV) and I work in the audio / video field. Im a bit of an audiophile when it comes to music and movies, although my budget doesnt allow for great components.

I do play games, but right now just on the PS3, although I figure this system will have the capability to outdo the PS3's capability...if not, Ive wasted some serious $$$. I dont play online games though, so many speed considerations as far as GPU arent an issue for me.

Aesthetics
As far as looks, while Id like them not to be important, I probably spend 12 - 15 hours a day in my home office in my current job and it would be nice to have something nice to look at. I am planning on all cables being sleeved in white. I wont be doing any sleeving myself, that is one thing I will leave to whomever I am buying from. All tubing will be UV blue. I will only be using UV light in this rig if possible. I dont think I want any LEDs, except maybe on the fans if I have no other options and in that case I'll go with blue. I am planning on a waterfall res from Cyberdruid, as I think they are very relaxing. I plan on using screw on compression fittings and Id like to either find some in white, or maybe use white duracoat, but I dont know if that is too thick and will mess up the threads. It seems very thing when I've used it on a few guns, but not as thin as hard chroming, so Im up in the air.

Main Concerns / Questions
I think I have the major stuff listed below, but I have some concerns:
  1. Will the GPU I plan on using (EVGA 550 TI) support the monitors and functions I listed below? I do not plan on SLI and I tried to keep this as cheap as possible, since this is for primarily modeling simulations and 1080p video, but I will have a lot going on at once across the 40", 32" and 26" monitors.
  2. I want a six core processor, as I do believe that the modeling programs will start to be built to use many cores, since often servers and powerful workstations are running these programs. However, I wonder if Windows will be the limiting factor as far as performance?
  3. The Mobo is on the less expensive side, but seems to fulfill my needs. I definitely wont be 3 way SLI and the bigfoot network cards on the higher end models seem to cause more harm than good for regular network applications from the few complaints I have read. Any reason I should go with a higher end Mobo?
  4. Ideally Id like to save money by ditching the high end sound card in favor of the onboard sound. However, given my receiver and speakers, I dont know that onboard cards made for gaming and home theater will meet me music requirements. Any idea?
  5. Am I going overkill on the PSU? I could take it down to 850, but between the components listed here, any future pci x16 cards and numerous USB devices, it seemed like 850 might be borderline.
  6. I am totally undecided on the fans. I like the Gelid gamer UV Blue, but they are fairly expensive and somewhat louder than other similar models. UV Blue without LEDs is hard to find. I am planning on incorporating lighting power switches in a 5.25 bay, so I could have on switch for LED and another of UV cathodes. I am looking for 4 input fans to run at higher pressure and 3 output fans to run at lower pressure, they dont have to be the same model.

Planned Equipment / Components

Parts List:
Case Mountain Mods mirror black 3 window U2-UFO case (standard configuration) - $360.00 http://www.mountainmods.com/u2ufo-mi...ndow-p-78.html
CPU i7 990X six core (OC to 4.3GHz) - $990.00
CPU i7-2600K Quad Core, 8MB L3 Cache, 1MB L2 Cache, 3.40 GHz (LGA1155) - $314.00 http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...159&CatId=6991
MOBO MSI BIGBANGXPOWER Intel X58 Motherboard Socket LGA1366 - $270.00
MOBO ASUS P8Z68-V Intel Z68 Motherboard - ATX, Socket H2 (LGA1155) $185.00
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...723&CatId=7212http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...295&CatId=3669
GPU EVGA 550 TI - $130.00
GPU XFX HD687AZNFC Radeon HD 6870 Video Card $185.00 http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...295&CatId=3669
Audio HT OMEGA Claro Halo XT PCI - $250.00 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16829271005
HDD 1 SSD to run OS and Apps, 4 x 2TB 7200 RPM drives for data, two RAID 0 - undecided on models
PSU NZXT Hale90 1000W ATX - $210.00 http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...626&CatId=2535
RAM Crucial 12GB kit (4GBx3), 240-pin DIMM, DDR3 PC3 10600 - $93.00 http://www.crucial.com/store/mpartsp...95DADFA5CA7304
Lighting Lamptron inverterless UV light x 6 - Vendor not decided, probably FrozenCPU since they will sleeve cables http://www.frozencpu.com/products/13...rst.html#blank

WC Parts List:
Pump Swiftech MCP655-B 12v - Vendor not decided, probably FrozenCPU since they will sleeve cables
RAD Black Ice Stealth GT 360 $70.00 http://www.frozencpu.com/products/42...?tl=g30c95s161
CPU Block Heatkiller Rev 3.0 1366 - $95.00 http://www.frozencpu.com/products/10...tl=g30c325s839
GPU Block - None made yet for 550 TI yet
Fan Controller LaLamptron FC-5V2 30W - Vendor not decided, probably FrozenCPU since they will sleeve cables
Tubing Feser Tube Active UV blue hose 1/2" ID (3/4"OD) 16 ft (extra for noob mistakes) - $50.00 http://www.performance-pcs.com/catal...ducts_id=25911
Res Cyberdruid waterfall reservoir planned
Water Temp Sensor I want one, but not sure who makes a decent one.
Fans Undecided, something high pressure at low RPM preferably UV reactive in blue and low db - Will need 4 high pressure input and 3 lower pressure output
Fan Filter ModRight Clear Fan Filter x 4 - $24.00 http://www.frozencpu.com/products/12...tl=g47c223s548
Light Power Switch Lian Li Military Switch Baybus Multi Port Black (4 Switches with covers) - $55.00 http://www.frozencpu.com/products/76...t_-_Black.html

I'd really appreciate any positive or negative feedback.

Thanks,

JC
Edited by jc1234 - 8/24/11 at 5:52pm
    
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post #2 of 20
I'm no expert but I think your GPU is going to be the weak point. The resolution is the key issue. I think the 550 Ti is going to be slightly underpowered for what you will be doing. I would recommend at least a 560 or 560Ti if you can swing it.
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post #3 of 20
I would suggest getting at least a 570. 550 wont do with how you intend to use your rig
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post #4 of 20
If you plan on dropping a grand on the 990x, why not wait a couple months for the 3960X?

[edit]Rather than having a 6 core, do any of your modeling programs use GPU processing rather than CPU? With some research, you may find out that CPU means nothing and you could save some cash and get SLI 580s or something
Edited by Angrybutcher - 8/22/11 at 12:42pm
 
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post #5 of 20
I don't think any of the Nvidia cards will push three monitors at once. You would have to go SLI or use GTX 590 (which is technically SLI on single card), but that is a pricey card which it sounds like you are trying to avoid. Just a heads up. Not as familiar with ATI, but I believe some of their higher end cards will do it. Somebody correct me if I am wrong.
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post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 
As far as the modeling programs, its about 50/50. Some are just cpu intensive because of the 100s of thousands or millions of calculations, a few are somewhat GPU intenstive, but only as its painting the update to the display after that its static until I make a change. I think even the lower end GPUs could handle it. My computer now is a really crappy core 2 with a stock onboard graphics card and is really sluggish, but does ok. The CPU pegs and freezes when I try to run simulations in the low 100's of thousands, in the millions forget it.

As far as GPUs, I was hoping to avoid SLI, for the cost of both additional cooling and additional cards. I only have experience with ATI cards and I was able to run 3 monitors at once using a single card with dual outputs, 2 monitors on a split DVI and a single on an RCA. I have no experience with the NVIDIA chipset, but I have noticed that the ATI cards are really expensive comparatively.

I cant imagine I could run SLI GPUs and an OC i7 chip on a single 360 rad and that adds significant cost. I can go up to a better GPU if the 550 ti wont cut it. I could also plan for future SLI. I just cant afford it now unless I can figure out how to do that many loops on a single rad.

As far as the processor, I really didnt want the 990x, I wanted the 980x which is being EOL. The reason I wasnt planning on waiting for the 3960x is that each time I change my mind, the price goes up lol.

I will be buying parts starting in the next week or so as things go on sale, but I wont be doing the build until I take vacation in mid december, so I do have some time to wait for good prices. I had hoped the 980x would get cheaper when it EOL, but then I learned that intel is evil and doesnt drop prices, it just replaces product.
Edited by jc1234 - 8/22/11 at 2:34pm
    
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post #7 of 20
Price vs performance, I think ATI actually usually comes out on top. Hopefully an ATI person jumps in here, as I don't want to give you bad info so not going to talk out my ass

Usually can't cool multiple vid + cpu off single 360, but with lower powered cards like that, maybe. Have seen people cool 2 GPUs and a cpu with a single 360 and get usable temps.
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post #8 of 20
I'm still of the opinion that you should skip the 990x and get an i7 2600k, or wait for Sandy Bridge E. The processing power of the Sandy Bridge processors are quite a bit better than the Core2 Duo's. I'd also look into forcing the modeling program to use the GPU 100% rather than a mix of CPU and GPU.

The GPU power (even the built in Intel HD3000) is insane when it comes to number crunching. Encoding video on the HD3000 can cut rendering times in half or more compared to a dedicated GPU. Same when looking at Folding or BOINC when comparing CPU to GPU. My 570 will process a SETI packet in 10 minutes where as my CPU takes about 3 hours for the same data!

Regarding the radiator, in most cases you can get by with a single 360. The only time you'll run into issues is if you've got the CPU and GPU maxed at the same time.
 
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post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Angrybutcher View Post
I'm still of the opinion that you should skip the 990x and get an i7 2600k, or wait for Sandy Bridge E. The processing power of the Sandy Bridge processors are quite a bit better than the Core2 Duo's. I'd also look into forcing the modeling program to use the GPU 100% rather than a mix of CPU and GPU.

I also don't NEED 3 monitors. I can get away with two, I would just really like the third for organization of stuff on-screen, but I can wait a while until I have money to add a second GPU if needed. If I can find two GPU's for the right price and run it on the same rad, then it may be in my budget. A lot depends on whether I need that PCI sound card and whether the motherboard is good enough. I cant find sound card spec differences between boards.

The GPU power (even the built in Intel HD3000) is insane when it comes to number crunching. Encoding video on the HD3000 can cut rendering times in half or more compared to a dedicated GPU. Same when looking at Folding or BOINC when comparing CPU to GPU. My 570 will process a SETI packet in 10 minutes where as my CPU takes about 3 hours for the same data!

Regarding the radiator, in most cases you can get by with a single 360. The only time you'll run into issues is if you've got the CPU and GPU maxed at the same time.
I definitely wont need to OC the GPU(s). I'll have to check into forcing to the GPU for the programs, I didnt know that was an option, but I havent had anything other than standard onboard run of the mill cards since 2002. I used to be an ATI partner in a business I managed and got good wholesale discounts so I had a few radeon cards on some "state of the art" dell's optiplex's lol. Anymore, there is no discount in wholesale for small volume resellers.

A few of my programs are built on C++ by a few PhD's I'm working with, nothing fancy, just pure function. Is forcing programs to the GPU available regardless of the program, or is it an option some applications have built in?


As far as the i7 9xx cards. I have to be honest, part of the reason I want the 980x or 990x is because I just want a powerful six core processor. Im being retarded and have this whole six core thing in my head. I'm fairly certain that Im willing to pay the extra few hundred in this instance for a six core processor just to shut my inner child up.


EDIT: BTW, I just realized, that I could get a 480. I have the space and will already have the fans, its not much more expensive. A lot will depend on the whole sound card issue and what I can save, or not save there.
Edited by jc1234 - 8/22/11 at 3:30pm
    
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post #10 of 20
My personal opinion:

Get a cheaper case.
Skip the 1366 socket and get a 1155 socket motherboars and 2600k. The power of this cpu is amazing and you will be more than happy wirh it.
You save some cash on the case and cpu so now you can a beter gpu. Get something like a GTX 590 or HD 6990 to support the multi screen setup.
Single 360 rad with some good fans will cool the system very nicely.
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