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Very cheap linux build

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Okay, I want to do a cheap linux build for the sole purpose of folding. The only requirements is that I have a dedicated Nvidia gpu that will work with linux and a small form factor case (I'll probably be using Ubuntu). Seeing as I can get more ppd on a gpu, the cpu isn't going to be entirely important.

Here is what I have so far:

AMD Sempron 140 Sargas (I am pretty set on this CPU, unless there is a very good combo)

For the motherboard I would like multiple slots for graphic cards, but they all don't have to be pci-e 2.0.
Mobo: DFI LANParty DK 790FXB-M3H5 maybe? I never heard of DFI, but since this isn't going to be a gaming machine it really doesn't matter.

Memory: WINTEC AMPX 4GB (I am going to need 4gbs because I want to use Ubuntu 64-bit). (with %15 discount)

HDD: Western Digital 500gb (If there is anything cheaper, please let me know).

PSU: ( i need something that has a lot of power because I plan on putting multiple gpu in this build) Possibly: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817190021

GPU: (Haven't decided, but I plan on doing as many as I can using all the slots [both PCI-E and PCI])

Case: (Cooling very important) XCLIO Godspeed Two Advanced?

NIC: TP-LINK TL-WN722N

$417 before GPU... anything that I should change so that it will be cheaper
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post #2 of 9
Thread Starter 
I decided that the MSI N460GTX is going to be my first card. This should do me fairly good until I can get enough money to buy a couple of 580gtx's. Then I'll get the PCI VGA's once I filled all the PCI-e slots.
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post #3 of 9
LOL, DFI is probably of the best manufactures of motherboards from back in the day. That board you picked is build for overclocking and gaming.

I would say get this board.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813131406

if you want to get a dual core go with this for a small extra amount. Pay for it with the saved money from the motherboard.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16819103687

Memory
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820226092

what do you need 1000watts for?
how many video cards are you going to get.
I would say this for the PSU. Unless you are running really high powered cards, you won't need 1000watts.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817139009

case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811146061

NIC
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16833166056

You also know that if you are going with multiple GPU's that sempron will bottleneck the crap out of the GPU's.
what are you using this computer for?
post #4 of 9
sorry but, what are the PCI vga cards for? im not sure what you are trying to do with your build. but seriously fill me in on what the pci vga cards do.

EDIT::
i reread and i think you will be folding. are pci video cards worth it? i have seen a few motherboards that have like 4 usable pci-e slots.
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post #5 of 9
I really hope you aren't trying to like SLI all these cards. It doesn't work that way, and linux won't take advantage of SLI very well.
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
As I have said, this is strictly for folding. The GPU's are going to have its own f@h client, thus it shouldn't be bottlenecked by the CPU. The reason i picked that board is because it has 3 PCI-e slots and 3 PCI slots, 6 VGA's altogether each of them folding. How much power will I need for a 460gtx and 2 580gtx (later on) and 3 PCI vga's (later on)?
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post #7 of 9
seems kinda like a waste of money if you want to spend that much on video cards to skimp on the other hardware.

How much are the PCI cards really going to add to the PPD.
post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudbyday View Post
Okay, I want to do a cheap linux build for the sole purpose of folding. The only requirements is that I have a dedicated Nvidia gpu that will work with linux and a small form factor case (I'll probably be using Ubuntu). Seeing as I can get more ppd on a gpu, the cpu isn't going to be entirely important.
Heya,

GPU3 folding, which is what you're looking to do, requires more CPU than you think. You'll want a dualcore for 2 or 3 GPU's. More than that, and you will want to move up a bit. The clock rates are not terribly imporant, but cores are. You can assign GPUs to cores. You'll find people multi-GPU folding with mostly dualcores and quadcores. I multi-GPU fold with GTS450's on a a low watt (45watt) AMD quadcore. They use the cores and they do take up significant CPU cycles. If you try to multi-GPU fold on a single core Sempron, you'll likely bottle neck with two high end cards, or three mid-level cards. Since you're looking to have several cards, I'm suggesting you avoid wasting time with a single core CPU since you'll be moving on to more cards faster. Get a cheap quadcore. Even a simple Propus is going to be a good move (they're sub$100). Again, I went with a low watt quad (45watts) $140. It is much more expensive than a basic dualcore and especially the sempron, but it's a quad core and will handle lots of GPUs (GPU3 requires more cores with more cards) and is topping out at 45watts. When you fold, low wattage is a critical factor.

If you use a 90 watt or higher CPU to fold on, you'll notice it build up on your end total watt usage for your electric bill. I fold on GTS 450's because each card uses roughly ~100 watts at max load while overclocked. My CPU then uses at best 45 watts (the one linked, propus 610e). PPD per WATT is more important than total PPD in a box if you fold 24/7 if you don't want a mammoth electric bill. My box currently has two GTS 450's folding full time 24/7. It adds about $15 to my electric bill each month. Each card pulls about 9k PPD each on average (some are higher but the lowest I've seen is around 9k and they're more common for GPU3) and 100 watts. I average around 18k~20k PPD usually depending on which work units I get for about 250 watts total draw on my watt meter. And end of the day, my bill goes up $15 for that 250 watts being used 24/7 per month.

The 460's will get more PPD but at a significantly higher wattage draw. If you get several of them, and in the future, several 580's, you're going to have a significant electric bill. If you're ok with $50+ or more per month added to your electric bill, then this is not an issue. If you're cost conscious, then it is. Also, the 460 has two PCIe connections. The GTS450 only needs 1. You can easily power more GTS450's on less expensive power supplies (plus you can get molex to PCIe converters to really max out a good one; again, 100 watts per card, a 600w PSU can handle a few of them and your CPU and be cheap compared to a big 850+ watt one with enough PCIe to cover just 2 460's).

Also, make sure the motherboard you get will actually work with several nVidia GPU's. There are AMD chipsets that do not work with several nVidia GPU's and do not support it. BioStar for example has a couple of AM2+ and AM3 boards that simply will not work with several nVidia GPU's. I ran into that problem with one. So I get SLI rated boards and/or high end AM3 boards that are known to support nVidia GPU's (multiple) and are already being folded on by other folders. If I can't find someone already folding several GPU's on a particular motherboard (just ask in the folding forum), I wouldn't buy it.

I fold on 2Gigs of RAM and it makes no difference in the world for me, though I'm using Win 7 on that machine.

I use a HAF922 case with extra 120mm fans facing against my GPU's for cooling. The machine is headless. I access it over my network wirelessly with TightVNC. I use a Mugen2 on my CPU (CPU not overclocked, I want it to be low draw, 45 watts, but high core count for GPU3).

So again: consider what you're willing to pay electric-bill wise. Then start looking at what GPU's you're willing to run that fit in your budget. Then start looking at the rest of the components.

Very best,
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thank you for that excellent response, seeing as I don't know much about folding. So I am going to look at all my options, and I think I'll just stick with the 460gtx as my absolute highest card. I go to college, so I don't have to worry about an electric bill, but I do want to be careful.

I am going to be buying each part one at a time, since I don't get a lot of money, thus the reason for a low budget linux build. Which will give me an excuse to learn linux also.

Anyways, so I need an nforce motherboard for multi-gpu solution? And I do need more than a one core CPU? I wished that ATI would work with linux.

Okay so here is what I think is what I"ll start out with (unless there is something better):

Mobo + GPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboD...t=Combo.596576 ($50 MIR)

Memory: WINTEC AMPX 4GB

CPU: AMD Athlon II X3 445 (temporary CPU)

Case: XCLIO Godspeed Two Advanced (has two side fans)

PSU: Rosewill Rv2-700 700w (some wiggle room)

HDD: (still looking) -/+ $40

CD/DVD drive: generic, whatever I can get a hold of for cheap

NIC: Rosewill RNX-G1

So we are looking at about $600 to start off, not bad.
Edited by cloudbyday - 2/11/11 at 12:19pm
MSI EX625
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MSI EX625
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