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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Goals
  • Create a cheap, powerful desktop for chess analysis (serious number crunching) to offload work currently being done on my i7 820QM laptop.
  • When not in use for analysis, serve as a host for on-the-fly transcoding of downloaded videos to the TiVo HD.
  • Overclock i5 750 to 4.0GHz air cooled, and maintain reasonable temperatures for 24/7 full load usage for up to a week at at time.
  • Stay as far under $600 as possible while still building with quality.
Cost -
  • Subtotal - $559.92
  • Taxes / Shipping - ~ $40
  • Total - $599.92

Mobo - GIGABYTE GA-P55A-UD3 - $149.99



CPU - Intel Core i5 750 - $179.99



Case - Cooler Master Elite 335 - $39.99



Cooling MUX-120 - $47.99



GPU - HIS H465FS512H Radeon HD 4650 - $32.99



RAM - Crucial Ballistix 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (8-8-8-24) - $107.99



PSU - COOLER MASTER Elite 460 RS-460-PSAR-J3 460W - $29.99



Optical - Sony Optiarc Black DVD/RW - $22.99



Hard Drive - Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB - $55.99

 

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I assume the application is multi-threaded? If so, it would probably benefit from Hyper-Threading. Any option to source it to CUDA?

Personally, I wouldn't trust that PSU for 24/7 100% load...
 

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Quote:


Originally Posted by DuckieHo
View Post

I assume the application is multi-threaded? If so, it would probably benefit from Hyper-Threading.

no..

it will depend on his actual workload & code.
ht does not give you predictable results and may even degrade computing performance.

where ht is good at is having lots of desktop applications open.

but for high performance computing(number crunching), HT is mostly turned off.

Quote:


For some applications though, it can decrease performance, mainly due to cache thrashing. The extra logic also exacts a power penalty. Fortunately, for those cases where HyperThreading degrades performance, it can be turned off. In fact, when Intel runs Linpack, Stream MP, and a number of other HPC-type benchmarks, it executes them with HyperThreading disabled.

http://www.hpcwire.com/blogs/AMD-Tou...-87909202.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Quote:


Originally Posted by DuckieHo
View Post

I assume the application is multi-threaded? If so, it would probably benefit from Hyper-Threading. Any option to source it to CUDA?

Personally, I wouldn't trust that PSU for 24/7 100% load...

Thanks Duckie! Yes, multi-threaded, but unfortunately no real benefit from HT due to the way most chess engines are coded.

CUDA application seems like it would be great, but unfortunately most chess analysis is integer based, not floating point. It's also very difficult to synch threads and workloads on such a small time scale between CPU/GPU, but in the future it might be a possibility. If it does become useful, I'll certainly upgrade to a decent GPU. For right now, once the PC is set up I'll actually be RDP-ing into it, it won't even have a monitor attached.

Video transcoding would see some benefit from a decent GPU, but unfortunately the software written specifically for the TiVo doesn't support it.. yet..
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Quote:


Originally Posted by DuckieHo
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Personally, I wouldn't trust that PSU for 24/7 100% load...

It's a concern of mine for sure.. I'll definitely be watching it initially, but since I've got a relatively low-power GPU (which won't be doing anything really, just idling) I'm hoping that it will be sufficient.

If it explodes and burns my house down, certainly feel free to say "I told you so."
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by BrandonSi View Post
It's a concern of mine for sure.. I'll definitely be watching it initially, but since I've got a relatively low-power GPU (which won't be doing anything really, just idling) I'm hoping that it will be sufficient.

If it explodes and burns my house down, certainly feel free to say "I told you so."


Then again... you said you might be RDP into the system. Just hope your mobo supports POSTing without a video card.

You can probably save some money and go with a mATX P55 mobo.

With your workloads.... What's the commit level like? If you're doing a few days of processing, would an error cause you to start over or you would lose only a few hours/mins of processing?
 

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Was about to say power supply. The CoolerMaster isn't a very good PSU. I'd suggest a SeaSonic SS power supply for best reliability, or this Antec for cheapest worthwhile PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817371023

You could drop the GPU to a 4350 and save a few bucks there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by Baldy View Post
Definitely invest in a better Power Supply.

This might probably be good enough for you entire rig, taking into consideration your not-so powerful GPU. I would get a better PSU, but your budget does not allow so.
Totally agree, but the budget is firm here. I'm hoping it will be sufficient, and if not, that nothing blows up before I can find a replacement. PSU is definitely the weakest point in the build though, I agree.

Quote:

Originally Posted by DuckieHo View Post
Then again... you said you might be RDP into the system. Just hope your mobo supports POSTing without a video card.

With your workloads.... What's the commit level like? If you're doing a few days of processing, would an error cause you to start over or you would lose only a few hours/mins of processing?
Good point, the GPU will still be installed so it shouldn't be too much of an issue, I'm just hoping power consumption while idle is minimal.

Commit level is configurable, whatever I'm comfortable with. Right now I've got the analysis being backed up every 10 minutes, and it's pretty much an instant resume process. Now if the HD fails, I'm screwed but for me it's an acceptable risk.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by Phaedrus2129 View Post
Was about to say power supply. The CoolerMaster isn't a very good PSU. I'd suggest a SeaSonic SS power supply for best reliability, or this Antec for cheapest worthwhile PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817371023

You could drop the GPU to a 4350 and save a few bucks there.
Very good point. I may pick up a higher quality PSU from microcenter when I'm there, and then test them both out, and return the weaker one if there's a serious issue. I appreciate the suggestion, NewEgg reviews are somewhat wishy-washy so I'm hesitant to go with something unless I've had actual recommendations.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Phaedrus2129 View Post
Was about to say power supply. The CoolerMaster isn't a very good PSU. I'd suggest a SeaSonic SS power supply for best reliability, or this Antec for cheapest worthwhile PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817371023

You could drop the GPU to a 4350 and save a few bucks there.
Baldy linked the Corsair 400CX for $35 AR + Free Ship.

Quote:

Originally Posted by BrandonSi View Post
Commit level is configurable, whatever I'm comfortable with. Right now I've got the analysis being backed up every 10 minutes, and it's pretty much an instant resume process. Now if the HD fails, I'm screwed but for me it's an acceptable risk.
Screwed as ALL your data is gone or just that run? How large are the files? You could backup to your laptop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by DuckieHo View Post
Baldy linked the Corsair 400CX for $35 AR + Free Ship.

Screwed as ALL your data is gone or just that run? How large are the files? You could backup to your laptop.
Thanks, I'll check out the Corsair as well!

As far as the data, just that run (and I guess all my downloaded TV shows..) would be lost.. Once an analysis is complete, the results are either implemented or discarded, depending on the outcome. Point taken though, I may just run a scheduled backup for that data to another PC every few hours..
 

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Oh, you might have missed this:

Quote:
You can probably save some money and go with a mATX P55 mobo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by DuckieHo View Post
Oh, you might have missed this:
Ah, another great point.. I forgot to add that the UD3 motherboard has a $20 rebate. Perhaps I can re-purpose that $20 for the PSU! That slipped my mind entirely.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by cdolphin View Post
I think you can bump up to an i7-920 and still be under budget?
180 from mc
chepa mobo around 140?
It's possible, in fact I started out with X58 so I could move to Gulftown eventually, but the price started creeping up and I wasn't as comfortable with the quality at that point.. For example ,I'd have to stay with 3GB of ram to keep the triple-channel going.. lots of little things you wouldn't normally think about until you research it.

I did consider the i7-860, it's only $20 more but both the 750 and 860 at 4GHz will be very similar.. The only main difference being uncore speed (16x 2133Mhz vs 18x 2400Mhz), and honestly since I'm sticking with P55 I'm not even sure it's worth the $20.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by cdolphin View Post
I think you can bump up to an i7-920 and still be under budget?
180 from mc
Cheap mobo choices:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813186170
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813157163

He won't benefit from any of the i7 features. No major performance gain for what he needs... especially to stay on costs.

Check the clock-for-clock benchmarks:
http://hardocp.com/article/2009/09/0...7_processors/3

EDIT: I forgot about the i7 920 for $180.... if he could find a mATX or Asus P6T SE for about $150, the price comes out the same.

Quote:

Originally Posted by BrandonSi View Post
It's possible, in fact I started out with X58 so I could move to Gulftown eventually, but the price started creeping up and I wasn't as comfortable with the quality at that point.. For example ,I'd have to stay with 3GB of ram to keep the triple-channel going.. lots of little things you wouldn't normally think about until you research it.
You can use dual-channel on i7 fine.

Slightly cheaper kit of DDR3-1600 2x2GB: http://www.microcenter.com/single_pr...uct_id=0317775
 

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yeah, you can still stick with a dual-channel ddr3 kit, or see if you can squeeze a used kit from the FS section (possible!)
The foxconn I linked to is 144 after MIR and has $2 shipping...It will come out to the same price as your listed components, and should perform better, the same, or merely give room for more...
I understand the HT deal...But the way I see it, you can always turn it off
 
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