Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question
Solved

Struggling to decide what to do :(

Last response: in CPUs
Share
December 12, 2013 4:14:34 PM

First, I'll state what I have and then I'll explain my problem. At the moment my main computer is as follows:

CPU: i7 920 (with a Noctua NH-C12 SE 14 cooler)
MB: Asus P6T-SE
RAM: Corsair Dominator 6GB triple channel (3 x 2GB)
GPU: MSI GTX770 Gaming (4GB)
SC: Asus Xonar DX 7.1 (PCI version)
SSD: Toshiba 128GB Q Series
HDD: 1TB Samsung Spin Point F3
PSU: Seasonic X 750
Case: Zalman HD160+

So, I am a programmer, and at the moment I'm spending the time to write CUDA based applications. However, I would also like to port some bits to OpenCL, but I need hardware that I can use to test it on. Now the GTX does support OpenCL, but I would like to test it on other bits of hardware too. So, my thought was to get a second machine. That said, for a while now, I have been also thinking about building a media machine, and in addition, having been a bit frustrated with my Netgear Stora NAS drive at times (since it is really slow due to its 100Mb ethernet connection), I have also thought about upgrading my NAS drive. Anyway, I'm now thinking that I could build a second machine, that can fulfil all of these roles. The thing is each role has a different requirement.

I'm one of those people that tries to be a little forward thinking, so I was thinking of making the machine a bit more powerful than it needs to be at the moment. The thing is though, I'd like it to be near silent (or as quiet as possible).

My initial thoughts were to get an ITX board, and a 4770S, but then I thought to myself, the K isn't that much more money, and probably doesn't generate much more heat at idle or light loading, and if the K does generate too much heat for the case, then surely I can declock it right (if I can, then at the worst I'll have wasted £30 - the difference in price between the S and K)? The reason why I am set on an i7, is more due to (image processing) applications that I write than anything else.

Then I thought to myself, that it's ridiculous that I'd be putting a 4770K in a machine that I intend on using as a trumped up NAS drive, come media machine, come test machine when my main machine only has a Core i7 920 that is probably the bottle neck of the system. Part of me isn't that bothered about that point since any game I've thrown at my current machine runs silky smooth, but part of me is bothered out of principle. However, if I do decide to put the new bits in my current system and move the i7 920 to the second computer, then firstly, I'd need to buy another GPU (probably get a cheap AMD GPU for testing purposes), secondly neither machine would be silent (therefore failing the role of a media machine) and thirdly, both would be too power hungry for me to be happy leaving on 24/7 (failing the role as a NAS drive).

Basically, I have a budget of around £400 to spend on new components for the second machine in addition to the spare parts I currently have set aside (HDD's, OCZ 500W PSU, an old ATX case and a DVD writer).

I'm thinking that I should leave the current system alone and buy an i7 4770(K or S), mobo and RAM for the second machine (since I could make that machine an all in one NAS drive, media machine and test machine and could by a small case at a later date if I purchase an ITX board), but I'd welcome any opinions. Just remember, it needs to fit within a £400 budget.

Thanks,

Andrew

More about : struggling decide

a b G Storage
a b à CPUs
December 12, 2013 4:42:51 PM

CaptainCalm said:
First, I'll state what I have and then I'll explain my problem. At the moment my main computer is as follows:

CPU: i7 920 (with a Noctua NH-C12 SE 14 cooler)
MB: Asus P6T-SE
RAM: Corsair Dominator 6GB triple channel (3 x 2GB)
GPU: MSI GTX770 Gaming (4GB)
SC: Asus Xonar DX 7.1 (PCI version)
SSD: Toshiba 128GB Q Series
HDD: 1TB Samsung Spin Point F3
PSU: Seasonic X 750
Case: Zalman HD160+

So, I am a programmer, and at the moment I'm spending the time to write CUDA based applications. However, I would also like to port some bits to OpenCL, but I need hardware that I can use to test it on. Now the GTX does support OpenCL, but I would like to test it on other bits of hardware too. So, my thought was to get a second machine. That said, for a while now, I have been also thinking about building a media machine, and in addition, having been a bit frustrated with my Netgear Stora NAS drive at times (since it is really slow due to its 100Mb ethernet connection), I have also thought about upgrading my NAS drive. Anyway, I'm now thinking that I could build a second machine, that can fulfil all of these roles. The thing is each role has a different requirement.

I'm one of those people that tries to be a little forward thinking, so I was thinking of making the machine a bit more powerful than it needs to be at the moment. The thing is though, I'd like it to be near silent (or as quiet as possible).

My initial thoughts were to get an ITX board, and a 4770S, but then I thought to myself, the K isn't that much more money, and probably doesn't generate much more heat at idle or light loading, and if the K does generate too much heat for the case, then surely I can declock it right (if I can, then at the worst I'll have wasted £30 - the difference in price between the S and K)? The reason why I am set on an i7, is more due to (image processing) applications that I write than anything else.

Then I thought to myself, that it's ridiculous that I'd be putting a 4770K in a machine that I intend on using as a trumped up NAS drive, come media machine, come test machine when my main machine only has a Core i7 920 that is probably the bottle neck of the system. Part of me isn't that bothered about that point since any game I've thrown at my current machine runs silky smooth, but part of me is bothered out of principle. However, if I do decide to put the new bits in my current system and move the i7 920 to the second computer, then firstly, I'd need to buy another GPU (probably get a cheap AMD GPU for testing purposes), secondly neither machine would be silent (therefore failing the role of a media machine) and thirdly, both would be too power hungry for me to be happy leaving on 24/7 (failing the role as a NAS drive).

Basically, I have a budget of around £400 to spend on new components for the second machine in addition to the spare parts I currently have set aside (HDD's, OCZ 500W PSU, an old ATX case and a DVD writer).

I'm thinking that I should leave the current system alone and buy an i7 4770(K or S), mobo and RAM for the second machine (since I could make that machine an all in one NAS drive, media machine and test machine and could by a small case at a later date if I purchase an ITX board), but I'd welcome any opinions. Just remember, it needs to fit within a £400 budget.

Thanks,

Andrew

Any of the Ivy Bridge or Haswell core i3/i5/i7 processors will be much more energy efficient than the old core i7 920.
Even the new core i7 will do a pretty good job of cutting power when it is idle.
A Core i3 processor is overkill for a home theatre PC or file server.
If your image processing applications are very CPU intensive however, the new core i7 shouldn't give you heat related problems if you choose the right case.

My home theatre PC has a 1TB and a 4TB drive in a silverstone GD04 case.
Many ITX and home theatre cases only support 2.5" drives or a single 3.5" drive.
You may find you need to keep data you access less often on the main PC.

Many of these HTPC cases support MIcroATX boards, so you are not necessarily limited to mini-ITX.

m
0
l
December 14, 2013 6:47:20 AM

VincentP said:

Any of the Ivy Bridge or Haswell core i3/i5/i7 processors will be much more energy efficient than the old core i7 920.
Even the new core i7 will do a pretty good job of cutting power when it is idle.
A Core i3 processor is overkill for a home theatre PC or file server.
If your image processing applications are very CPU intensive however, the new core i7 shouldn't give you heat related problems if you choose the right case.

My home theatre PC has a 1TB and a 4TB drive in a silverstone GD04 case.
Many ITX and home theatre cases only support 2.5" drives or a single 3.5" drive.
You may find you need to keep data you access less often on the main PC.

Many of these HTPC cases support MIcroATX boards, so you are not necessarily limited to mini-ITX.



Thanks for your reply. I've been thinking about what to do the last few days, going backwards and forwards with different ideas. After a bit of consideration I think that my prior conclusion was wrong about upgrading the desktop machine.

Basically, I'm trying to figure out how power efficient and quiet I can make my current desktop machine with an upgrade. With respect to power, according to here:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-770-gk1...

My GTX770 only consumes 12W on idle (+/- a little for the fan configuration). That is nothing to write home about and so the power consumption of the GTX doesn't bother me. That would mean that the total power consumption of the system on idle with a 4770k would probably be around 100W. To be honest, if I am going to leave the machine on all of the time, then I would rather that was halved, but I guess if I am trying to make my desktop machine a multi role machine, then I need to accept some trade-offs.

With respect to noise, my desktop is pretty quiet, yet it is still louder than I'd like. The loudest fans in the case are a couple of 80mm golf ball silent fans (meant to be around 17.8dB(A)). The thing is though, even with sorbethane mounts they are nowhere near that quiet. If I disconnect the 80mm fans, then they system is really quiet, but the CPU temperature gets very high under load simply because there is not enough air moving in and out of the case. My thought here though is that the i7 920 is a hot CPU, but if I replace it with a 4770k, then perhaps the airflow with the 80mm fans disconnected will be enough to keep the 4770k cool enough even under load?

In short, if I upgrade my current desktop machine, then I can put the i7 920 into the second machine along with a cheap AMD GPU to test out my OpenCL code on some AMD hardware (more from the point of view to see if the code works since it would be unfair for me to expect good performance from the cheapest recent AMD GPU that I can find on the market that supports OpenCL). So that leaves the NAS drive... perhaps that will need to wait for another day. :)  So, I guess I'm now after a Z87 MB, a 4770k and a stick or two of RAM, plus an AMD GPU (although perhaps the GPU will need to wait a couple of months - in the mean time, I'll shove my old 9800GTX in the second machine).

Before I commit to the above, idea, I think I'll take my desktop machine apart to double check that it would be quiet enough for my needs with the 80mm fans disconnected. If it is then great, if it's not then I guess I'll be going back to the drawing board.
m
0
l
Related resources
a b G Storage
a b à CPUs
December 14, 2013 7:04:36 AM

CaptainCalm said:
VincentP said:

Any of the Ivy Bridge or Haswell core i3/i5/i7 processors will be much more energy efficient than the old core i7 920.
Even the new core i7 will do a pretty good job of cutting power when it is idle.
A Core i3 processor is overkill for a home theatre PC or file server.
If your image processing applications are very CPU intensive however, the new core i7 shouldn't give you heat related problems if you choose the right case.

My home theatre PC has a 1TB and a 4TB drive in a silverstone GD04 case.
Many ITX and home theatre cases only support 2.5" drives or a single 3.5" drive.
You may find you need to keep data you access less often on the main PC.

Many of these HTPC cases support MIcroATX boards, so you are not necessarily limited to mini-ITX.



Thanks for your reply. I've been thinking about what to do the last few days, going backwards and forwards with different ideas. After a bit of consideration I think that my prior conclusion was wrong about upgrading the desktop machine.

Basically, I'm trying to figure out how power efficient and quiet I can make my current desktop machine with an upgrade. With respect to power, according to here:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-770-gk1...

My GTX770 only consumes 12W on idle (+/- a little for the fan configuration). That is nothing to write home about and so the power consumption of the GTX doesn't bother me. That would mean that the total power consumption of the system on idle with a 4770k would probably be around 100W. To be honest, if I am going to leave the machine on all of the time, then I would rather that was halved, but I guess if I am trying to make my desktop machine a multi role machine, then I need to accept some trade-offs.

With respect to noise, my desktop is pretty quiet, yet it is still louder than I'd like. The loudest fans in the case are a couple of 80mm golf ball silent fans (meant to be around 17.8dB(A)). The thing is though, even with sorbethane mounts they are nowhere near that quiet. If I disconnect the 80mm fans, then they system is really quiet, but the CPU temperature gets very high under load simply because there is not enough air moving in and out of the case. My thought here though is that the i7 920 is a hot CPU, but if I replace it with a 4770k, then perhaps the airflow with the 80mm fans disconnected will be enough to keep the 4770k cool enough even under load?

In short, if I upgrade my current desktop machine, then I can put the i7 920 into the second machine along with a cheap AMD GPU to test out my OpenCL code on some AMD hardware (more from the point of view to see if the code works since it would be unfair for me to expect good performance from the cheapest recent AMD GPU that I can find on the market that supports OpenCL). So that leaves the NAS drive... perhaps that will need to wait for another day. :)  So, I guess I'm now after a Z87 MB, a 4770k and a stick or two of RAM, plus an AMD GPU (although perhaps the GPU will need to wait a couple of months - in the mean time, I'll shove my old 9800GTX in the second machine).

Before I commit to the above, idea, I think I'll take my desktop machine apart to double check that it would be quiet enough for my needs with the 80mm fans disconnected. If it is then great, if it's not then I guess I'll be going back to the drawing board.


The big power hog is always going to be the i7 920, and it is also going to need the most cooling.
Do you really want that in your lounge room?

My home theatre PC is on 24/7. It has a core i3 CPU and I just use integrated graphics.
It draws 36W at the wall while idle (not sleep).

Small fast fans are terrible for noise.
My main PC is in a Silverstone FT02 case, cooled by three 180mm fans on very low speed.
The Silverstone RV02-E is the same layout, but built cheaper.
I have heard a lot of people recommend the Fractal Design XL as very quiet as well.
Even choosing a HTPC case, try to get one with 120mm fans rather than 80mm fans.
m
0
l
December 14, 2013 10:30:05 AM

I just realised that my previous reply might have been a bit confusing. What I was trying to say is that if I put the 4770k in my desktop machine, then that would be the one that I would leave on 24/7, the other machine (the one that I would put the i7 920 in would only be on as and when required).

So my main aim is to make my desktop machine as silent as possible. When I first built it, my plan was to use a 120mm case fan, but the Noctua CPU cooler was too big with a 140mm fan and obstructed the mount position. If I can get a lower profile cooler for the 4770k that is as silent as possible, then I could put something like an Apache 120mm fan in the case and remove the 80mm fans completely.

To be honest, the Zalman HD160+ case looks really nice, but it hasn't been designed for silent running, I'm going to need to get some sound proof sheeting to prevent noise being transferred between the hard drive caddy and the case, and also the motherboard and case. Anyway, I'll get to that when I install the new motherboard.

I think I'll end up going over my £400 budget though. :( 

EDIT: Actually I'm wrong, the place that I thought was a mount for a 120mm fan looks to be just a grill for the lid. So, the largest fan I can fit in the case is a 92mm fan for exhaust out the side.
m
0
l

Best solution

a b G Storage
a b à CPUs
December 14, 2013 2:16:29 PM

CaptainCalm said:
I just realised that my previous reply might have been a bit confusing. What I was trying to say is that if I put the 4770k in my desktop machine, then that would be the one that I would leave on 24/7, the other machine (the one that I would put the i7 920 in would only be on as and when required).

So my main aim is to make my desktop machine as silent as possible. When I first built it, my plan was to use a 120mm case fan, but the Noctua CPU cooler was too big with a 140mm fan and obstructed the mount position. If I can get a lower profile cooler for the 4770k that is as silent as possible, then I could put something like an Apache 120mm fan in the case and remove the 80mm fans completely.

To be honest, the Zalman HD160+ case looks really nice, but it hasn't been designed for silent running, I'm going to need to get some sound proof sheeting to prevent noise being transferred between the hard drive caddy and the case, and also the motherboard and case. Anyway, I'll get to that when I install the new motherboard.

I think I'll end up going over my £400 budget though. :( 

EDIT: Actually I'm wrong, the place that I thought was a mount for a 120mm fan looks to be just a grill for the lid. So, the largest fan I can fit in the case is a 92mm fan for exhaust out the side.


The new machine with a core i7 4770k and GTX 770 should be a lot more efficient than your old machine.
If you old case is going to stay with the old processor, you have an opportunity to get a better case for the new machine.
www.silentpcreview.com is a good reference.
I wouldn't consider the FT02 silent, there is a constant sound even when idle. The sound is from the case fans and the movement of air through the vents. It's better than other cases I've had in the past though.
A case with 92mm fans is never going to be quiet because they have to spin too quickly to keep the case cool.
Good options available with 120mm fans and larger.
Share
December 16, 2013 9:30:46 AM

Thanks Vincent. Unfortunately I don't have the funds for a new case so the i7 4770k will need to go in the Zalman HD160+. The old i7 920 will go in an old tower case that I have sitting snuggly between the sofa and the wall (one side is against the sofa and the other side against the wall, there is about 1ft between the back of the case and the back wall and the front is completely clear, so air flow shouldn't be a problem). The i7 920 will only be on as and when needed.

I'll see what I can do about sound proofing the Zalman a bit, but I think I'll need to settle for the fact that the machine might not ever be as quiet as I want it to be until I change the case.

Thanks for your input. I really appreciate it.

Andrew
Well I ordered some parts today... went slightly over my original £400 limit, but I think I got some good parts:

CPU: i7 4770k
MB: Gigabyte GA-Z87X-UD3H
RAM: 8GB Corsair Vengence (low profile 2 x 4GB) - would have gone for 16GB but the budget wouldn't allow it.

m
0
l
!