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Build Upgrade - VFX Artist - Film/Television - Page 4

post #31 of 40
Dual socket wouldn't gain you two cores, it would double your core count to 12-cores, 24 threads (if you use the CPU I linked).

You probably can't do six 4GB sticks of RAM with a GPU because you're motherboard likely won't POST that much RAM consistently (it may or may not work, so it's best not to bother). The most I would recommend is 18GB with two 580's which puts the system TOTAL to 21GB (you can technically do 21GB of system RAM, but there would be a small performance penalty for doing so, and the odds of maxing this much RAM on your computer are pretty much nil). You are SUPPOSED to be able to exceed this but it has brought me nothing but trouble when I try to do so. For 18GB of RAM you can do three 4GB sticks, and three 2GB sticks (keep them arranged in their sets of three though, for marginally better performance).

For some info on RAID's the Wikipedia page is pretty helpful: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAID basically a RAID 5 on three disks will write part of any file to all three drives in such a way that if any of the three drives were to fail then the remaining two drives there is still one complete file. Once you replace the failed drive it will re-copy data to the new drive and the RAID array will again be a redundant system. NOTE: THIS ISN'T A BACKUP, IT'S A REDUNDANT SYSTEM, a backup is still recommended.

To set up a RAID on the board literally takes 5 minutes. Set the SATA mode in the BIOS to "RAID", save and exit the BIOS, hit CTRL+I during POST, it will load up the Intel Matrix Storage Manager software. Select "New" give it a name, choose RAID 5, and use the 128k stripe size (the default) - 128k striping gives a good balance of performance and quick rebuilds in a failure scenario. You will actually get just about double the rated read/write performance of a single drive when you put three in a RAID5 under an ideal scenario.

There are 8 SATA ports on that board. 6 black slots are all on the Intel RAID controller (which you can run a Win 7 install on without any additional raid drivers needed), the two red slots are on a separate SATA3 (Marvell, I think) controller that only supports RAID1 or RAID0 - but these SATA3 controllers have been having some bugs handling high-speed RAIDs (sic, SSD based RAIDs) right now. Using them for a HDD RAID seems to be working fine on them though.

Having your data drives in a redundant manner (or backing up your data) is more important IMHO than having your system drive redundant. Make sure you can survive loosing any data you don't have backed up, or looking into using something like a two disk RAID1 with some 2TB (or 3TB) drives so you have the storage of one of the drives, but everything is written to both, so if either drive fails you don't loose any data.

In a workstation environment (with no separate server), RAIDs are your friend to make sure your business keeps running with the minimal odds of downtime and loosing data.
Edited by CTRLurself - 4/14/11 at 12:30pm
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post #32 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CTRLurself [Knyte Custom] View Post
Dual socket wouldn't gain you two cores, it would double your core count to 12-cores, 24 threads (if you use the CPU I linked).

You probably can't do six 4GB sticks of RAM with a GPU because you're motherboard likely won't POST that much RAM consistently (it may or may not work, so it's best not to bother). The most I would recommend is 18GB with two 580's which puts the system TOTAL to 21GB (you can technically do 21GB of system RAM, but there would be a small performance penalty for doing so, and the odds of maxing this much RAM on your computer are pretty much nil). You are SUPPOSED to be able to exceed this but it has brought me nothing but trouble when I try to do so. For 18GB of RAM you can do three 4GB sticks, and three 2GB sticks (keep them arranged in their sets of three though, for marginally better performance).

For some info on RAID's the Wikipedia page is pretty helpful: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAID basically a RAID 5 on three disks will write part of any file to all three drives in such a way that if any of the three drives were to fail then the remaining two drives there is still one complete file. Once you replace the failed drive it will re-copy data to the new drive and the RAID array will again be a redundant system. NOTE: THIS ISN'T A BACKUP, IT'S A REDUNDANT SYSTEM, a backup is still recommended.

To set up a RAID on the board literally takes 5 minutes. Set the SATA mode in the BIOS to "RAID", save and exit the BIOS, hit CTRL+I during POST, it will load up the Intel Matrix Storage Manager software. Select "New" give it a name, choose RAID 5, and use the 128k stripe size (the default) - 128k striping gives a good balance of performance and quick rebuilds in a failure scenario. You will actually get just about double the rated read/write performance of a single drive when you put three in a RAID5 under an ideal scenario.

There are 8 SATA ports on that board. 6 black slots are all on the Intel RAID controller (which you can run a Win 7 install on without any additional raid drivers needed), the two red slots are on a separate SATA3 (Marvell, I think) controller that only supports RAID1 or RAID0 - but these SATA3 controllers have been having some bugs handling high-speed RAIDs (sic, SSD based RAIDs) right now. Using them for a HDD RAID seems to be working fine on them though.

Having your data drives in a redundant manner (or backing up your data) is more important IMHO than having your system drive redundant. Make sure you can survive loosing any data you don't have backed up, or looking into using something like a two disk RAID1 with some 2TB (or 3TB) drives so you have the storage of one of the drives, but everything is written to both, so if either drive fails you don't loose any data.

In a workstation environment (with no separate server), RAIDs are your friend to make sure your business keeps running with the minimal odds of downtime and loosing data.
I think with those procs you can only run one though.

Thanks for the RAID setup info. I know general information about it, just haven't done it with a machine. This helps.

I'm really not as concerned about losing data from the boot drive as much as I am about loosing assets. I have about 10TB of externals that I routinely backup my important work. Given the reputation for these SSD drives failing. I will likely setup a RAID on my boot drive as you mentioned. I store nothing else on boot drives other than program files.

Thanks again


Mossotti
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Mossotti - 2011
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post #33 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mossotti View Post
I think with those procs you can only run one though.
*edit* on a dual-socket board you can run a single non-Xeon processor (like an i7-970), OR one or two Xeon processors (like the Xeon W3680). I think this is where you mis-understood me*/edit*

That's why a linked a 2nd processor specifically for if you were going to run a dual-socket motherboard. The Xeons are designed for multi-processor configurations (which is the only real-world reason they cost more). This CPU will allow you to run two of them on a compatible dual-socket 1366 motherboard and the EVGA SR-2 is the only dual-socket 1366 board that supports SLI. Using that motherboard and two processors you can do 12 physical processing cores running 24 threads at once - literally double of the 970 (actually a hair faster because it's a 3.33GHz instead of 3.2GHz chip that I linked).

Notably for dual-socket you need to buy two sets of RAM (I linked workstation-class RAM in my first post), and you need to buy a specialty power supply that has two CPU 8-pin power connectors (also was linked in my first post).

The point of RAIDing the OS drives is so that if a drive fails the computer keeps running and you can keep working. RAIDing data drives is to prevent any data loss, but if you backing up your data to other drives manually then you're already protected. Knowing this is going to be used as a business computer protecting data and keeping it running consistently are the two most important things - it just depends on what you're doing for which is more important.
Edited by CTRLurself - 4/14/11 at 2:44pm
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post #34 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by CTRLurself [Knyte Custom] View Post
*edit* on a dual-socket board you can run a single non-Xeon processor (like an i7-970), OR one or two Xeon processors (like the Xeon W3680). I think this is where you mis-understood me*/edit*

That's why a linked a 2nd processor specifically for if you were going to run a dual-socket motherboard. The Xeons are designed for multi-processor configurations (which is the only real-world reason they cost more). This CPU will allow you to run two of them on a compatible dual-socket 1366 motherboard and the EVGA SR-2 is the only dual-socket 1366 board that supports SLI. Using that motherboard and two processors you can do 12 physical processing cores running 24 threads at once - literally double of the 970 (actually a hair faster because it's a 3.33GHz instead of 3.2GHz chip that I linked).

Notably for dual-socket you need to buy two sets of RAM (I linked workstation-class RAM in my first post), and you need to buy a specialty power supply that has two CPU 8-pin power connectors (also was linked in my first post).

The point of RAIDing the OS drives is so that if a drive fails the computer keeps running and you can keep working. RAIDing data drives is to prevent any data loss, but if you backing up your data to other drives manually then you're already protected. Knowing this is going to be used as a business computer protecting data and keeping it running consistently are the two most important things - it just depends on what you're doing for which is more important.
though with the SR-2 the xeons can be overclocked, unliike an other server board. but when working with rendering etc, this isnt always desirable as you want stability rather than anything else.

look at things made by 3dboxx etc and then spec it and build yourself. gives you an idea of whats good but then save some money
     
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post #35 of 40
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone for your help. I just pulled the trigger on this order.

This seems like a pretty tame build compared to what you guys are up to so I won't do a build log. I will post back once I've completed the assembly to give any feedback on the layout and problems if there are any.

I friggin' love new builds!!!

Mossotti
Mossotti - 2011
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Mossotti - 2011
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post #36 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mossotti View Post
Thanks everyone for your help. I just pulled the trigger on this order.

This seems like a pretty tame build compared to what you guys are up to so I won't do a build log. I will post back once I've completed the assembly to give any feedback on the layout and problems if there are any.

I friggin' love new builds!!!

Mossotti
all the best x
     
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post #37 of 40
Nice when you get it all you need to start a build log on here!
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post #38 of 40
Thread Starter 
Alright guys. I received my hardware last Thursday and put the new computer together on Friday. I spent the weekend setting up software and working out any kinks with its functions. I'll briefly go over the process and some information that may be helpful.

The parts:
CPU:: Core i7 970 - Gulftown
Motherboard: EVGA X58 FTW3
Graphics Card: 2x MSI N580GTX Twin Frozr II
Memory:CORSAIR Vengeance 24GB
Hard Drive: Western Digital VelociRaptor 300GB (Boot Drive)
Power Supply:CORSAIR AX1200 1200W
Display: Samsung 305T 30"
Case: COOLER MASTER HAF X
Sound Card: M-Audio Fast Track Ultra
Speakers: Alesis M1 Active MK2
Headphones: Sennheiser HD 280 Pro
Operating System: Windows 7 Pro 64
Cooling CPU: CORSAIR Hydro H70

I like the case more than I thought I would. They have done a spectacular job with the internal layout and cable control and management. I laid in the power supply first, then mounted the back bracket of the Corsair H70 to the motherboard. I mounted the motherboard, dropped in the CPU and finished fixing the Corsair H70 to the back of the case with a push/pull on the radiator.
The H70 requires a little bit of attention. They don't supply much information about where to mount the radiator and fans. When you apply the front bracket of the H70 to the motherboard be sure to leave a little slack in the screws (do not tighten full yet). I figured this out after the fact even though the supplied instructions warned me. If you've fastened the front bracket too tight you will not be able to set the H70 disc which you need to position and twist to lock to the front bracket. Then tighten fully. Without a case of this size CM HAF-X I don't know how you could fit the radiator in the case. Its quite large and cumbersome and the fan cables are fairly short. I removed the rear fan from the case and mounted the H70 radiator to the grill. Be sure to plug in the CPU power and the H70 fan power before mounting the radiator. It ends up fitting nicely in this case.

I added my HD's to the slides. The front LED fan cables can get lost behind the HD's and the upper case layout so be sure to pull those cables into a manageable area before securing the HD's. The BluRay optical is straightforward. I used the 1 and 3 PCI-E slots for the MSI GTX580's. I've seen layouts where they are stacked in 1 & 2, but this seems to needlessly confine the cards with little room for circulation between the two. I seated the 24GB of RAM and finished the wiring. The excess slack of the cables can be tucked at the bottom near the PSU and in any unused HD bays.

I was unable to post during my initial boots. I rechecked my seating and still wasn't posting. I swapped in my old GTX8800's and booted just fine. The MSI GTX580's come with a power cable extension for PCI-E that I swapped in and booted right up. I actually have the 8 pin + the 6 pin plugged in to power theses cards. They are the largest and quietest graphics cards I've ever used.

All in all this was a fairly simple build. I'm registering CPU idle temps at 3-5 degrees and Core averages around 18-20 degrees. At full load the temps fluctuate up 4 or 5 degrees. All hardware is running stock. I ran a Cinebench resulting in CPU score of 8.08 and Open GL at 37.46 fps. This computer is near silent. The only noisy piece is the Optical Drive when running.

A couple of side notes for Windows 7 Pro 64 on this computer. The sleep system is a little quirky. I was getting random reboots, but isolated it to when the computer wakes after sleep mode. I turned off sleep mode and have not encountered the problem since. I also installed AVG pretty quick after installing windows. It conflicted with a number of program installs including strange errors that I do not have permission to access certain files. I uninstalled AVG and finished my software installs without any further problems.

The system is quite a bit faster than my last. The WD VelicoRaptor drive is a bit faster during boots and launching programs, but honestly not too noticeable. It's still a good drive. I opted for this route instead of the SSD's for now. The prices and fail rate of the SSD's is still too high for me to consider in a stable build.

Here are a couple images from this build:
Boxes:


Layout Internal:


Workstation Setup:


Thanks for the help here guys. It made a big difference bouncing ideas in this forum and getting feedback from people who have a good understanding of the hardware involved and what I was looking to build.
Mossotti - 2011
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Mossotti - 2011
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post #39 of 40
Awesome dude!!

I see you too play the guitar
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Sweaty Box
(10 items)
 
Stacker T01 v5.0
(10 items)
 
Sturbin' Box
(13 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 5960X ASUS Rampage V Extreme 2x Nvidia 1080ti SLI 32GB Corsair Dominator DDR4 3400Mhz 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Samsung 850 pro NVMe M.2 Custom EK watercooled loop Windows 10 Pro Triple LG 4K 27" 
PowerCase
Cosair 1500Ti CaseLabs M10 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Delidded i7 3770K @ 5Ghz ASUS Maximus V Gene EVGA GTX 670 SLI - Heatkiller Blocks 16GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3 @ 2400Mhz 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Samsung 840 EVO Custom Loop - EK Supreme HF Windows 7 Pro 64-bit Dell 30" + 2 x Dell 24" 
PowerCase
Sparkle Gold 1200W CM Stacker T01 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Phenom II X6 1055T @4.0GHz (308x13) / 3.08GHz NB ASUS Crosshair IV Formula w/EK full coverage block ATI 5870x2 Crossfired @ 950/1250 8GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3 1600 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
OCZ Vertex 3 SSD Swifttech Apogee Drive Block/Pump Windows 7 64bit Pro ASUS 27" LCD 
PowerCase
Corsair Professional Series Gold 650W  Lian-Li PC-650A 
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post #40 of 40
nom nom nom. tasty set up bro x
     
CPUCPUMotherboardGraphics
Xeon x5650 Xeon X5650 EVGA Classified SR2 EVGA GTX 680 FTW 
GraphicsRAMHard DriveHard Drive
EVGA GTX 680 FTW 24 GB DDR3 1600Mhz C9 1 TB WD Black 1 TB WD Black 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
1 TB WD Black 1 TB WD Black Kington Hyper X 3k 120GB OCZ Vertex 3 120GB 
OSPower
Windows 8 Cooler Master Silent Pro Hybrid 1050w 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
3930k Intel ES ASrock X79 Extreme4-m GTX 680 16GB 1600Mhz DDR3 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
240GB Samsung EVO SSD 2TB WD Green DVDrw Cooler Master Nepton 240m 
OSPowerCase
Windows 7 Ultmate Cooler Master VS550 Cooler Master Silencio 352 
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CPUCPUMotherboardGraphics
Xeon x5650 Xeon X5650 EVGA Classified SR2 EVGA GTX 680 FTW 
GraphicsRAMHard DriveHard Drive
EVGA GTX 680 FTW 24 GB DDR3 1600Mhz C9 1 TB WD Black 1 TB WD Black 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
1 TB WD Black 1 TB WD Black Kington Hyper X 3k 120GB OCZ Vertex 3 120GB 
OSPower
Windows 8 Cooler Master Silent Pro Hybrid 1050w 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
3930k Intel ES ASrock X79 Extreme4-m GTX 680 16GB 1600Mhz DDR3 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
240GB Samsung EVO SSD 2TB WD Green DVDrw Cooler Master Nepton 240m 
OSPowerCase
Windows 7 Ultmate Cooler Master VS550 Cooler Master Silencio 352 
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