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Ultimate home PC challenge...

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March 23, 2006 3:43:12 AM

Feasability study of ultimate home PC.
Anyone have any input/opinions ?

Tyan K8WE (S2895UA2NRF) System board
2 AMD Opteron 285 CPU's
2 7900 GTX Dual GPU Vid Cards SLI
8 2GB Sticks
8 Seagate 146GB Cheetah 15K.4 Drives
In Raid 0 array

Thats 4 CPU cores, 4 GPU cores, 16GB ram,
and 1.1TB of the fastest disk access avaliable.
Is there anything faster out there?[/b]
March 23, 2006 5:00:37 AM

Is there a motherboard that can support 8 2GB sticks? I am new to this, so don't flame me if this is possible. I have just never seen such a thing.
March 23, 2006 5:07:14 AM

Yea, most dual socket 940 bouards support 8 dimms, and 16 gig max.
Personally, I dont see the point. Better to go with lower latency and timing. at a higher mem bus.
Only because with 16 gigs, you would be lucky to get T2 @ 333DDR speed, and something like 4,4,4, 10 timings.
Related resources
March 23, 2006 8:24:05 AM

You need Registered ECC memory for that board (Like I would know 8) ).

Registered RAM adds 1 transparent CAS tick, however even in games this doesn't affect performance much, as the 2 x dual-channel memory controllers can aggregate performance. (Expect 10 GB/sec or so in SANDRA Memory Benchmark).

Using *ChipKill (tm)ECC (*128x4) will improve stability 100's of fold over regular ECC (64x8) DIMMs aswell.

Registered ECC/ChipKill (128x4) PC3200 2 GB DIMMs are quite costly, if they are even available on the mass market yet. 8 GB (total) would be far easier to get, as going 2 GB (per DIMM) might require a drop to PC2700 (333) or PC2100 (266) just from the DRAMs density alone.

However DRAMs made using 90-80nm should be on the market, so perhaps times have improved in the Registered ECC* 2 GB capacity market since I built my system.

Also, Bear in mind the onboard SCSI and onboard SATA RAID arrays can not be merged together, nor can arrays span both controllers.

http://users.on.net/~darkpeace/hardware/Opteron270.html - System Builders notes at the bottom may still apply today, although less so.

You'll also want to be replacing the Opteron stock fan with a 3-pin varient that is larger (ie: funnel 80mm to 70mm), spins slower with variable speed rpm, with the same CFM rating or it will make heaps of noise. (OH&S issue to use for over 1 hour otherwise).

Data Transfer Rate wise, using the nVidia RAID over 4 x 300 GB (7200 rpm, 16 mb cache each, SATA + NCQ HDDs) my result beats the Gigabyte iRAM (which is bottlenecked by 1 x SATA interface, but will beat my seek times hands down).

Have a look at: (Note: Firefox zoom ability will help heaps here, otherwise turn image scaling off to get full size, and full detail)

http://users.on.net/~darkpeace/forum_images/







Currently in WinXP XP (Win32), not running NUMA as 2 nodes, one at 2048 MB, and one at 768 MB (rest of 4 GB address space in use by devices) tends not to scale well. I still use Win32 quite often for various reasons.

I'll enable NUMA tonight, and bench it again in WinXP Pro (Win32) and also WinXP Pro x64 Edition (Win64*) both with NUMA on just to show the difference between the above, and also between x64 and x86(32)

* - Not to be confused with Itanium 'Win IA-64', a different kind of 64-bit processor
March 23, 2006 10:51:49 AM

Tabris, I love your and the PC that Gakalist wants to build:) 
When I rob a bank I will buy some for sure:) 
March 23, 2006 11:37:05 AM

Just buy/consult/sell 100 PCs (over time) making US$50 or so on each PC.

If you know how to build a PC on the cheap, and can demonstrate the advantages over a 'brand name' machine, it isn't that hard.

If you save all the profit, you'll have enough. 8)
March 23, 2006 1:31:45 PM

And why would you possibly have a need for this??? You have a ton of money to throw at a computer???
March 23, 2006 2:17:23 PM

why 8 x 2gb sticks? i think 4 x 4gb sticks ddr2 is beter(less power consumption:) ...but thats just me
March 23, 2006 3:42:07 PM

Quote:
why 8 x 2gb sticks? i think 4 x 4gb sticks ddr2 is beter(less power consumption:) ...but thats just me


Because current Socket 939 / 940 AMD processors have integrated dual-channel memory controllers, which only support DDR1.

DDR2 memory controllers will be integrated into future AMD processors starting with Socket AM2 for desktop. Socket F (future Opterons), not 100% what they'll be using yet (prob Reg DDR2). Socket S will get bumped to 638 pins, and future Turion 64/X2 will support DDR2 aswell.

I am guessing you've never looked at the price difference between 1 GB, 2 GB, and 4 GB DIMMs. Let alone between Unbuffered and Registered and/or Non-ECC, ECC, ChipKill ECC, etc DIMMs. The price rise is very steep at 2 GB / 4 GB. The larger capacity DIMMs are usually clocked lower aswell. eg: PC2700 or PC2100.

Decent 2 GB and 4 GB DIMMs = Very expensive :cry: 

Quote:
And why would you possibly have a need for this???


Have you ever used a computer that was 'fast enough' ?

Good for development work, research, and running Virtual Machines (which can run other operating systems at the same time, and run a 'virtual network' within the PC - good for testing stuff), etc.
eg: http://www.vmware.com - check it out.

Also runs Battlefield 2 at an 'almost' acceptable speed (they need to learn to code, or start patching that game somewhat urgently). Can host 3-6+ dedicted game servers, while playing a client on the same machine. (Setting "CPU Affinity" helps, but isn't required to be setup for it to work).

Also waiting on a server for http://www.virtualbattlespace.com / http://www.virtualbattlefieldsystems.com that might benefit from such a system, and scale far and beyond what people think. (512 - 1024 players, plus another 1024+ AI + vehicles, + island that takes 3-4 hours to walk over so there is a 'need' for vehicles, etc).
March 23, 2006 3:55:41 PM

Quote:
Just buy/consult/sell 100 PCs (over time) making US$50 or so on each PC.

If you know how to build a PC on the cheap, and can demonstrate the advantages over a 'brand name' machine, it isn't that hard.

If you save all the profit, you'll have enough. 8)

We live in different places with different mentality and standard. Here is not that much easy. I live on the Balkan, Macedonia. :lol: 
March 23, 2006 4:25:06 PM

I think 16 gigabytes of RAM is a little bit excessive. Remember that you could have 16 terabytes of RAM and not see any performance increase. In fact, in some situations you can aquire lower-density RAM that has faster timings and get better performance on a smaller amount.

I think 4-8 gigs of RAM would be suffecient for the next 4 or 5 years.

It would be fun to fold some proteins on that. . .
March 23, 2006 4:37:21 PM

Quote:
Remember that you could have 16 terabytes of RAM and not see any performance increase.

Well having 50 times more storage space than I have now(360GB) operating 500 times faster (Opterons 4P server peak bandwidth compared to that of my 7200RPM 8MB cache SATA disks) that is a DAMN increase in performance of the system.
RAM Drive rulles:) 
March 23, 2006 4:57:17 PM

Quote:
RAM Drive rules:) 


Now a RAM drive is a different story. I need to pull myself away from this fantasy world, I feel like my rig is ancient!
March 23, 2006 5:39:33 PM

Quote:
The price rise is very steep at 2 GB / 4 GB.

I see. So you're being frugal?
March 23, 2006 9:47:55 PM

Quote:
hmmm, is there a need for a rig like that?


Not in the home, no way. ONLY if you, and I mean only, if you are a TOP OF THE LINE HDV (high def video) professional, AND you run a bagillion programs at once.

LOL...I think I made up a new word.

PS, prozac, I like your new sig....where did riser say that (link).
March 23, 2006 9:50:27 PM

never mind....found it.

ROFL!
March 24, 2006 2:14:31 AM

Quote:
Yes that would be feasible.

There are even boards that will support 16 DIMMs.

http://tyan.com/products/html/thunderk8hm.html

So you can have 32 or even 64GB of RAM.


PS You can get a Quad Opteron with 8 cores and even more RAM :-D

http://tyan.com/products/html/thunderk8qe.html

OR an 8way Opteron with 16 cores and hell of a lot more RAM


And then you know what would happen? You wouldn't be rich anymore :lol: 


I'll take an 8way Dual Core Opteron please with 128GB RAM + 2 Dual GPU 7900GTX cards. Oh and I would like fries with that!!!

:-D
March 24, 2006 2:43:42 PM

No flame bait here boys...just been busy at work...no time to check how things are progressing here.

The system is in the works, just got the MB, CPU's on order, undecided on the RAM config yet. Vid cards not avaliable yet, so a couple of 7800gtx's i've got will do for now and the case and PS is still under consideration.
No decision on the cooling yet, anyone have any suggestions? I want colder than liquid cooling but the peltier stuff is a little trickey on the condensation issue. Is it possible to cool a liquid cooling system close to the freezing point?

Thanks for the input guys, and sorry for the inactivity.
March 24, 2006 3:01:54 PM

hm...maby ur rite in the part regarding the cost, but if you would lok at it form the point of future upgrades, *buing lower ram now and then later on getin new one and ...throwing away the old one ) its much beter to get beter/more ram first, it minimizes the costs of buying 2 times, im planning to get a mobo which can supprot 16 gigs of ram , and for now 2 gigs (2x1gig) (instead og geting 4x512 or 2x512 as i originally planed), as for my rig that im planning to get during summer.....but yet again i might wait till Vista is out to put up a new rig (need to get windows anyway...so why not get the vista instead of xp)
a b à CPUs
March 24, 2006 3:13:05 PM

That is the Maximum PC 2005 dream machine
And there could be something more powerful.

Well maybe this one, according to the Extreme Tech Magazine (forgot which issue)

The Orion supercomputer.
It's got 96 processors and 192GB of ram! :p 

ET link

cNet link
March 24, 2006 7:10:20 PM

Yo Proz, the faster the better as far as i'm concerned......even if it's fast enuf, it gotta be faster.
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
March 24, 2006 8:16:57 PM

IMO that's just stupid.
March 27, 2006 3:51:36 AM

Anyone else have any input on the above mentioned products ?

Thanks
March 27, 2006 4:00:34 AM

Overclocked RAM DDR or DDR2 does not need heat spreaders. Enthusiasts are marketed high performance RAM on them because they look kewl and sell better, plus more profit! ( and they do cool a degree or two better)
But WaterCooling RAM is not needed except for the bling/bragging rights...
March 27, 2006 4:16:45 AM

Anyone have any experience with the Prometeia Mach II coolers?

Thanks...
March 27, 2006 10:17:50 AM

Is that mobo going to have sufficient overclocking potential to really justify Vapo though? I always thought the workstation-type boards tended to be engineered to be stable rather than than cutting-edge.... So surely they'll be lacking the necessary extended voltage options etc...?

Just a question... I've not played with SMP at all (perhaps one day)...
March 27, 2006 10:51:43 AM

Maxtor Atlas 15K2 are way faster than all that Seagate garbage =)
March 27, 2006 4:22:42 PM

The phase cooling is a little overkill I agree, but the system is going to be running a lot of apps 24/7....video recording and home automation system for the whole house plus security monitoring. Not to mention the BF2 and other games. So I figure the cooler the more stable.

Thanks for the input guys....
Any other suggestions for the system ?

I Just ordered 3 dell ( I know, I know......Dell...ugh....) 30" displays, should be here in a few days.....
I'm not a big dell fan, but the displays are awesome, better than apple, and cheaper.

Does anyone know of a monitor arm system that can handle 3 of these on one mount?
March 27, 2006 4:31:12 PM

Quote:
The phase cooling is a little overkill I agree, but the system is going to be running a lot of apps 24/7....video recording and home automation system for the whole house plus security monitoring. Not to mention the BF2 and other games. So I figure the cooler the more stable.

Thanks for the input guys....
Any other suggestions for the system ?

I Just ordered 3 dell ( I know, I know......Dell...ugh....) 30" displays, should be here in a few days.....
I'm not a big dell fan, but the displays are awesome, better than apple, and cheaper.

Does anyone know of a monitor arm system that can handle 3 of these on one mount?



I would advise you to use a smaller AMD64 939 system running Linux for the security and automation tasks. There are several Linux DVR / security systems that work quite well and a Dual Dual Core Opteron for games and other tasks.

The following Links are for illustration only:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Linux-Window-CCTV-Alarm-Record-DVR-...

http://cgi.ebay.com/DVR-LINUX-8-CHANNEL-SURVEILLANCE-12...

If you'd like help putting one together or if you want me to put one together for you please let me know.

Good Luck!
March 28, 2006 4:19:35 AM

Anyone on the monitor arm ?
March 28, 2006 3:34:19 PM

Thanks for the help Linux, my buddy has a fabrication machine shop and has suggested custom making one....we;re gonna give it a try.

Anyone else have any suggestions ?
March 28, 2006 3:46:52 PM

Quote:
Thanks for the help Linux, my buddy has a fabrication machine shop and has suggested custom making one....we;re gonna give it a try.

Anyone else have any suggestions ?



Kewl :-D

Make sure you build a very solid wide base for'em those suckers like to tip over :-|
March 28, 2006 3:51:10 PM

Quote:
Feasability study of ultimate home PC.


That system is overkill for a "home PC". 8O
March 28, 2006 6:16:01 PM

No suck thing as overkill 9-inch. The faster the better....fewer upgrades in the future, and it'll last quite a few years before having to replace again and turn into a hand-me-down system.
March 28, 2006 6:17:56 PM

Anyone seen or tried out the new physics processors yet ? Worth adding to my system when they come out ?

thanks guys
March 28, 2006 6:21:21 PM

Hey linux, no CNC, he does one off's for concept stuff, all machine made, but he can't justify the CNC stuff. Too costly.
March 28, 2006 10:24:30 PM

Anyone on the physics chip ?
March 30, 2006 4:10:38 PM

aNYONE ?
March 30, 2006 5:11:24 PM

Quote:
aNYONE ?


Sorry don't know.

I doubt they are worth it however.
March 30, 2006 8:11:05 PM

I just read a pretty good article here:

http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,1697,1943838,00.asp

Theoretically a physics board is a great idea. But... basically it says that a physics standard hasn't been adopted by game developers yet. You could get a board now but there's no guarantee that games will utilize the physics API in their code. PhysX does sound like a better solution to SLI physics right now since SLI physics effects are only for show and don't influence gameplay and PhysX effects will change the gameplay. BTW, awesome system. I, for one, am extremely jealous.
April 1, 2006 2:50:10 AM

Thanks Buddy,
It's going together slowly, but will be finished in the next week or two. Just got a call from UPS, the monitors are at the depot and will be here Monday. I'm still waiting for the dual GUP 7900's to release to the public, have a deposit on 2 of them at the local computer shop here in Toronto, they are the first on the shipping list from the suppliers here in canada when they finally become avaliable. The 7800's will do until then.
Can't wait.....this puppy is gonna fly.
April 1, 2006 2:58:56 AM

Does anyone know of a case that can handle all this equipment?
I need some ideas...
I'm thinking something that can handle all 8 hdd's, 2 dvd-rw drives, soundblaster front access 5 1/4" bay, lcd fan control, and maybe 2 power supplies, plus liquid cooling for the board chips, and the 2 phase cooling rigs. the only one that I think "may" handle it would be the one I linked to earlier.

http://www.coolcases.com/cases/sr101107_m_p1.html

Anyone heard of another that might do the trick ?

Thanks guys....
!