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Non-Gaming Build Advice for Extremely Heavy Utilization - Focus more on GPU or CPU?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I am having some trouble deciding where to concentrate my funds though between Mobo, CPU, GPU, RAM and which will be the most important for my purposes GPU, or CPU. I've had a very hard time locating info that is helpful, as everything I find is in relation to gaming. I am not sure how my requirements compare to that of a gamer, please look at the info below and let me know what you think would be best. I really appreciate any help!!

The build I am planning around a Mountain Mods case and a wicked custom Cyberdruid res. However, my company just announced layoffs for 800 people, so I can't spend as much as I originally planned. Right now with my parts list Im around 1600 (not including the cost of the res or misc connectors) and cant go higher, but I can make some substitutions if necessary. My previous budget was close to double this and included lots of fancy extras like lighting and many drives. I am buying components as they go on sale and debating whether or not to wait for black friday or buy ahead of time. I'll be building in late december. Also, the reservoir was designed for the MM case, so switching the case to save money isnt an option.

Purpose and Usage of New System and Current System Limitations
Currently, I have two computers that I've split my requirements between and both are pegged at 100% on CPU quite a bit of the time and cannot run the hundreds of thousands of iterations required for multivariate stats simulations. Its not that they are slow...they just cant do it. Even outside of that, It is extremely rare that either one is running less than less than 60-70% memory usage. Often 1.9GB each, just from browsers alone (cloud based work environment and many tabs open). I also do a lot of HD video transcoding that max the CPU, as well as photo video rendering that do the same.

Existing System(s) specs for each computer: Intel Core 2 Duo T9550 2.66 GHz, 6 MB L2 cache, 1066 MHz FSB with 4GB 800 MHz DDR2 SDRAM. I will be giving them back to my company to be used by field engineers once mine is built, so I'll need my one system to do it all. It will be used on average 12 - 15 hours a day and I will likely use it for folding when I'm not working on it.

Current Thoughts on the WC Build
I am going with a 2600k processor which will be OC and an ATI GPU. Undecided on the GPU, but a 68xx most likely. If not WCing the GPU, I may be open to using two crossfired cheaper models vs. one more expensive, if there is any benefit for my situation. I was planning on going with 16gb RAM, since its cheap enough and I don't see 8gb working for me, unless the GPU takes a huge load off my system.

I don't want to get into the wait for IVB discussion. If I have to go more than another 60 days like this, Im taking a 12 gauge to both machines. I cannot deal with the frustration anymore...End of discussion, not waiting.

A/V Equip:
I'll have a 40" 32" and 24" monitor on the system, as well as some high end audio equipment.

Main Question I'd like Help With
So all that said, I only have limited funds. I've already purchases a PSU, pump, and res, so I don't need to worry about that. However, I didnt plan on running a dual loop to start off with, as I dont know that I can justify spending close to $200.00 on blocks alone, at least right now. So between the CPU and GPU, which is going to be more critical for making my system run more smoothly given my current requirements and which is WC going to be more critical for? I'll have plenty of airflow as well.

I really appreciate any help, as Ive had a really hard time finding much that isnt for gaming.
Edited by jc1234 - 11/6/11 at 6:47pm
    
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post #2 of 19
For simulations and CPU crunching power you could probably benefit from a 4 core/ 8 thread CPU like a i7 2600k. And with the 2700K out now you can get the 2600K for $319 shipped.

But thats not really saving money though.
If you want to save money, I will recommend a build.
Got a Phenom II X6 1090T for $160 and pair it with 16GB Ripjaw.
No shortage of memory anytime soon for memory demanding calculation software.
If you can hit 3.6Ghz-4.0Ghz its a 6 core CPU with respectable muscle for its price.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820231312
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16819103849

90+170= $280, and build from there
Just a suggestion.
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post #3 of 19
I can't say whether or not your programs of choice for photo rendering and video transcoding support it, but using the CUDA tech on NVIDIA GPUs renders/transcodes quite a bit faster (but produces somewhat inferior image quality 75% of the time) than doing such tasks with a CPU. Food for thought.
Edited by Broseidon - 11/7/11 at 1:38am
post #4 of 19
Stats sounds like it would be better with CPU power, and better CPU's will pump out quite a few points in Folding@home.

You might want to get a Z68 board with PCIe 3.0 so if you do get money you can upgrade to Ivy Bridge without waiting for an entirely new computer. That's only a suggestion though.
The ASRock Gen3 boards are pretty inexpensive. I believe the Extreme3 Gen3 is about $125.

Also, since you will be overclocking, maybe you should spring for the 2700k. It's binned higher so the possibility of getting a higher clock increases.

Since you said you're going to be using three monitors and want a 68xx card I think you should go for one with a little bit more VRAM.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814150563
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...atedMark=False
Those are still pretty cheap.

I think you should also wait for the Black Friday - Cyber Monday weekend, seeing as how it's very close.

I don't really have very much information on the water cooling business you were talking about; I'm sorry about that.

Best of luck, though!
 
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post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 
+rep to everyone, thanks for the quick replies! To answer a few of your questions:

I have nothing against AMD, but I am comfortable with intel and cannot see myself switching.

I will definitely be getting a Z68 board, but between ASROCK, Gigabyte, ASUS, etc., I can't make up my mind or figure out which is best for my needs. I definitely need USB 3.0, as I have a few external drives that support it. I add about 250GB of data per month, so between storage and backups 3.0 is a must.

As far as CUDA, it has crossed my mind, but I don't know if my programs would support it either, here are list of the mainstream programs I use that I can think of off the top of my head, the lesser known ones, I wont bother with:
  • Excel (Extremely heavy usage with several hundred thousand rows changing a few hundred times per operation, but visual change can be echo off)
  • Oracle Primavera Risk Analysis (Again, extremely heavy usage)
  • Chrome & FireFox (40+ tabs open at all times)
  • MS Project
  • Adobe C4
  • TreeAge Pro
  • IBM SBSS Advanced Stats
  • MATLab (heavy usage)
  • @Risk (moderate usage)
  • avidmux
  • mkvmerge
  • Corel VideoStudio (moderate usage)
  • MS Access (moderate usage)
    
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post #6 of 19
With such processor heavy programs, you will want a i7-2600K. Pricey, yes, but if you're complaining about 2 systems not being able to do what you want 1 system to do...you're going to need all the help you can get. Bonus in the i7 is Hyper threading and slightly larger cache.

Z68 is your must have chipset. Take your pick from these boards, they're almost the same in terms of features, but not price (Examples) Quicksync and overclocking is what you're looking at going for. Quicksync will solve your transcoding woes and allow you to get a budget GPU for whatever you need to pick up slack. (http://www.overclock.net/intel-mothe...-sync-you.html) Also, Z68 is going to offer the ability to use SSD Caching if that tickles your fancy.

Ram is stupid cheap, load up on it.

WC primarily for the CPU. Don't really think a WC'd GPU is worth it non gaming, and if quick sync is going to be handling your transcoding. People fold 24/7 using CUDA without WC setups so I dont see the need there.
Edited by Daegameth - 11/6/11 at 8:05pm
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post #7 of 19
I would really recommend the ASRock boards out of those. They're the best bang for the buck, Gigabyte doesn't have UEFI, and ASUS is often times overpriced.

I've been told by several people as well that the Extreme4 is a solid overclocker and all around great board.
 
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post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by amstech View Post
For simulations and CPU crunching power you could probably benefit from a 4 core/ 8 thread CPU like a i7 2600k. And with the 2700K out now you can get the 2600K for $319 shipped.

But thats not really saving money though.
If you want to save money, I will recommend a build.
Got a Phenom II X6 1090T for $160 and pair it with 16GB Ripjaw.
No shortage of memory anytime soon for memory demanding calculation software.
If you can hit 3.6Ghz-4.0Ghz its a 6 core CPU with respectable muscle for its price.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820231312
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16819103849

90+170= $280, and build from there
Just a suggestion.
lol @ bolded
    
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post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Broseidon View Post
I can't say whether or not your programs of choice for photo rendering and video transcoding support it, but using the CUDA tech on NVIDIA GPUs renders/transcodes quite a bit faster (and produces superior image quality 65% of the time) than doing such tasks with a CPU. Food for thought.
CUDA produces INFERIOR image quality 99% of the time.

I'm a CUDA dev at a major broadcast tech company and we avoid any sort of CUDA encode like the plague.

Test and comparisons: http://www.anandtech.com/show/4083/t...-2100-tested/9

That said, depending on the applications that run your stats workloads, they could see a substantial performance boost using CUDA.
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post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
This is what's on my list so far and what I've already purchased. Ill consider the 2700k if the is a good reason and it is stable OC. The list isn't translating from the spreadsheet on my iPad to the forum well though. Some prices aren't updated. I know the 1K watt pus is more than I need and won't run efficient, but for the price it seemed worth the cut heat output from high usage.

Any suggestions / swaps? I couldn't figure out if the pricier asrock mobos roils be wort it for me...it didn't seem like it. I chose the model of gpu since it didn't think my needs were that high

@C-Bro I don't know crap about cuda, but I am in a related field and am very picky about my video / audio quality of movies & music. I'll be playing 1080p to the 40" and bit streaming to an amp & output a surround studio speaker setup. So anything that would degrade quality is out.


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Intel Core i7 3930K X79 Extreme9 MSI Frozr II Radeon HD 6950 2GB 32GB (4GB x 8) Corsair Vengeance DDR3 1600 PC31... 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
2 x Corsair Force GT SATA 3 120GB 6 x Western Digital WD20EARX 2TB SATA III LG BD Burner WH12LS38 2 x Swiftech MCP655 Variable 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
XSPC Raystorm CPU Block XSPC RX360 Rev 2 Xigmatek CLF-F1255 x 14 T-Balancer BigNG, flow meter, 3 x H20 Temp, & 4... 
CoolingCoolingOSMonitor
2 x Custom Danger Den RAD Reservoirs Primochill Pro LRT tubing - White Windows 7 Pro x64 Sharp Aquos Quattron LC-40LE820UN 40" 
MonitorMonitorMonitorKeyboard
ViewSonic LED 24" LG 32LF11 32" HP L1950 19" Logitech Wireless K800 
PowerCaseMouseAudio
OCZ Z Series 1000W Modular 80+ Gold Danger Den Double Wide 21 Series Nightmare SR2 Logitech Wireless K400 Onkyo TX-NR709 
AudioAudioAudioAudio
JBL L-890 Front L/R JBL LC2 Center JBL L-820 Side & Rear L/R (7.1 setup) Polk PS505 Sub 
Audio
Emotiva XPA-3 Power Amp 
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Overclock.net › Forums › Cooling › Water Cooling › Non-Gaming Build Advice for Extremely Heavy Utilization - Focus more on GPU or CPU?