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chess computer

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March 27, 2008 3:28:35 PM


Greetings from Spain!
I am a professional chess player.
I need to buy a powerfull desktop computer dedicated for chess playing/analyzing.
The computer i am trying to buid has only one purpose: to support my home preparation and analyses between tournaments. When I am traveling I use my notebook with all my databases. However, I need a more powerful computer at home so I am study my games more deeply.
Can anyone give me some ideas for a chess computer based on whats good quality and value right now (processor, memory, motherboard, etc)?
I have aprox. 1800€ to spend.

I look forward your kindly help.

More about : chess computer

a c 127 à CPUs
March 27, 2008 3:43:04 PM

1800 euros would be like 2200 USD here and could get you a nice system. I suggest anything mobo from Asus or Gigabyte, 2-4GB of DDR2800 or DDR2 1066 and in my preference a C2Q Q6600, as that one has some great power.

I am sure more will come with more suggestions though.
March 27, 2008 3:47:04 PM

the turk of course :o  /terminator

Since he has the budget, why not get something more impressive? Q9450 or even QX9650, since he can afford it :D 
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March 27, 2008 4:00:48 PM



I appreciate your help but could you be more specific?...

Motherboard:
CPU:
Memory:
Graphics:
(...)

March 27, 2008 4:10:03 PM

It's not clear what you want the computer to do. If it's mostly for database analysis then the power needs to be in the CPU and memory as long as you have a software program that will utilize the CPU power (multi core/multi threaded application). You mentioned that you use your laptop to analyze databases so it is implying that hard disc capacity is sufficient but you're not telling us anything about what you need for data analysis and access speed.

Depending on the software you use, a 64bit OS may be approptiate.
March 27, 2008 4:11:03 PM

CPU: Q9450
Memory: DDR2 1066 x2G
Motherboard: Gigabyte G33M-DS2R (or other similar G31/G33/G35 chipset motherboards)
rest of the stuff doesn't matter too much. Just get need to get a quality power supply in the 350-400w range from a good supplier. Seasonic, PC power and cooling, corsair, etc. 350 is way more than you need, but you can stick a nice videocard in there if you really need to.

This will have onboard video. So you don't need a video card. Unless you have more specific needs on the video, the onboard should be enough.
March 27, 2008 4:33:14 PM

piratepast40 said:
It's not clear what you want the computer to do. If it's mostly for database analysis then the power needs to be in the CPU and memory as long as you have a software program that will utilize the CPU power (multi core/multi threaded application). You mentioned that you use your laptop to analyze databases so it is implying that hard disc capacity is sufficient but you're not telling us anything about what you need for data analysis and access speed.

Depending on the software you use, a 64bit OS may be approptiate.


I use my ladtop when i'm traveling between tournaments. I use it mainly to search games through my database (I have in it more than 4,5 million games).

At home i need a more powerfull tool to analyse games and prepare myself. I use several chess software like Chessbase Fritz, Deep Shredder, Hiarcs, etc. They "think"/avaluate the best move in the position. Yes, i suppose this software requires a fast processor and high memory speed.
(sorry for my poor english)
March 27, 2008 4:34:39 PM

He's going to need more than 2GB of memory. I'd say go for at least 4GB and a 64-bit OS.

Definitely get the Q9450 or the QX9650 (Or even the QX9770 when it comes out)

I remember seeing pro chess players competing against super computers. Based on that, I'm assuming some software you will be using will require very very powerful components?

Will it use a lot of graphics intensive applications? I can't imagine it will but I must ask.
March 27, 2008 4:59:08 PM

Bobby Fischer said:
Greetings from Spain!
I am a professional chess player.
I need to buy a powerfull desktop computer dedicated for chess playing/analyzing.
The computer i am trying to buid has only one purpose: to support my home preparation and analyses between tournaments. When I am traveling I use my notebook with all my databases. However, I need a more powerful computer at home so I am study my games more deeply.
Can anyone give me some ideas for a chess computer based on whats good quality and value right now (processor, memory, motherboard, etc)?
I have aprox. 1800€ to spend.

I look forward your kindly help.


There are some things you need to find out about your program?
Is it desgined to make use of more than 2 Cores/Processors?
Is there a 64-bit Version of your software available?

Unless specifically designed to do so, most programs only use 1-2 cores.
In this case, a Dual-Core would be best since they run their cores at the highest speeds.
If they support more than 2 Cores, then the Quad Core would word best.

In General, 32-bit Programs are limited to using 2GB of RAM.
64-Bit versions can use much more which could greatly improve performance in some cases.

However, Running a 32-bit Program on a 64-bit OS will actually hurt performance slightly in most cases.

At this point, any answers are conjecture without more informantion.
March 27, 2008 5:28:49 PM

Where are you getting your parts from...Europe or US? Prices will very much depend on that but this will get you started.

4GB of DDR2 800 in a 2x2GB kit, no less than that with a 64-bit operating system. Use Crucial, Corsair, Mushkin or Patriot. I would say Corsair will be a little better but go with Crucial, Mushkin or Patriot if you want to save a little money. DDR2 1066 won’t do you any good since you won’t be over clocking your CPU.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



Hands down, put some extra money into a top notch quad core CPU but do not get a QX version. Those are for people who like to over clock their hardware far beyond factory settings. If you can get your hands on an Intel Q9450 do so, but if not a Q6600 will be fine too. The Q9550 is slightly faster than the Q9450 but is not worth the extra $200 (or euro mark up).

I would go with either of these motherboards by ASUS and Gigabyte. They are based on Intel's X38 chipset which is fairly new and is quite solid, reliable, and will have a good life span.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Video Card...that is a tough one. You don't want any lagging if your chess programs are graphic intensive so I would suggest either Nvidia 9600 GT or ATI HD 3870 for a good performance / price GPU.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



So, if you piece together the components above you will be under $1000 and have a solid backbone for a system. The dollars is a very rough estimate since we don't know yet where you are getting your hardware. It should give you some head room to pick up the other stuff like hard drives, optical drives, power supply, a case and a monitor if you don't have one.
a b à CPUs
March 27, 2008 5:29:17 PM

Some info I gathered so far from the soft he uses.

About Deep Hiarcs 12 Multiprocessor
Quote:
Deep HIARCS 12 is the ultimate multi-core/multiprocessor HIARCS chess engine capable of utilising up to 8 CPU cores simultaneously.


About Deep Shredder 10 - Multiprocessor
Quote:
Deep Shredder 10 is the new version for multiprocessor systems (including Dual Core systems).


Found no information about Fritz being multi-cpu optimized.
March 27, 2008 5:48:46 PM

It's still not clear what kind of GPU is necessary for the software but the Shredder site says that the newest version is 64 bit and can utilize multiple cores. I'm still not sure of the other software so you might want to stick to a 32 bit OS (or go with Vista Premium so you have the 64 bit OS if you can use it) to make sure your existing software will work.

Picking a processor for the application depends on your budget. Since at least one of the newest versions of your applications can utilize multiple cores, you might as well go quad. One option is the Q6600 since it's over 2GH but there are certainly other options if you want to spend the money. If you're going with a 32 bit OS with the option of switching to 64 bit if your software will support it, you might as well go with 2 - 2GB sticks of RAM.

As far as the motherboard, it only really makes a difference if you need to go with higher end graphics (but it doesn't look like it's needed), or if you want to overclock.

a b à CPUs
March 27, 2008 6:01:09 PM

I read somewhere on the chessbase.com site that Deep Hiarcs needed something like a GeForce5 GPU or compatible with 64MB, so I guess pretty much anything would go.
March 27, 2008 6:10:56 PM

Zenthar said:
I read somewhere on the chessbase.com site that Deep Hiarcs needed something like a GeForce5 GPU or compatible with 64MB, so I guess pretty much anything would go.


I saw that too but didn't want to jump to conclusions.
Someone on the HIARCS Chess Forum made this comment about his ultimate chess computer: "I bet a massively parallel RISC version of a PIII chip with say 64 processors, each cranked to at or near 4 Ghz with an internal endothermic cooling chamber at -80C would be able to beat the pants off of contemporary software programs in terms of the nodes/second."
March 27, 2008 6:21:07 PM

MoBo:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $276.99

CPU x2
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $285.00

Ram x2:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $149.99


with 64bit vista and whatever else is needed (hdd, case, ect.), would the 8 cores of something like this not be better then say a high end QX9xxx series at a much higher price?

this would leave you with about $1k left over or so for the rest....
March 27, 2008 6:25:41 PM


Thank you very much for your help.
Based on your recommendations, i set up a configuration for my new computer.

Do you agree with this layout i made or do you think i must do some changes so i can have a better chess computer?

Case: Antec P182 Super Midd Tower
Processor: Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 2,83Ghz LGA775
Motherboard: Asus P5E x38
Cooler: Noctua NH-U12P c/ Vortex FAN
Power: Corsair HX 620W Modular
Graphics: SAPPHIRE HD3650 512MB DDR3 PCI-E
RAM: 2x G.SKILL DDR2 PC2 8500 [PK] 4GB kit (8GB)
HD: 2x SEAGATE 250GB SATA II 16MB SP (Raid 0)
HD storage: SEAGATE BARRACUDA 500GB 32MB DE CACHE SATA II (AT3500320AS)
OS: Microsoft Windows Vista Home Prem 64-bit OEM
LiteOn DVD+-R/RW/RAM/DL SATABULK BLACK +20X (LH-20A1S-15C)
March 27, 2008 6:28:49 PM

Bobby Fischer

What type of Chess simulator are you using? Is it AI(Artificial Intelegience) base with options to access/process SQL database? Is your software multi-threaded?


Unless you are using a standard chess game which i think you are not...You probably need a server or a PC-workstation at home.

Chess game presents infinite probabilities and require a lot of memory, and HD space. The computer that can beat humans are work-station supported by a mainframe/server. Existing PC games can't beat professional chess players like you.

Do you run or simulate multiple games at a time? How many displays do you need?

That would give to guys/gals in this forum a better persfective of the specifics of your need.


March 27, 2008 6:31:12 PM

leon2006

his apps were listed above...it looks like they are mulit-threaded for up to 8 cores.......
March 27, 2008 6:37:16 PM

Bobby Fischer

If you are to run use a desktop....

You should get 8 Gbytes....Professional chess simulators will need more than that.
Get 2x Terabyte Drive...Bigger storage for game database.
Get Vista 64 Ultimate: One of the features of Ultimate is remote access that will enable you to run/check your desktop when you are not at home.

a b à CPUs
March 27, 2008 6:37:42 PM

Check the price difference between a 3850 and a 3870, if not much (like 20$) you might want to consider the later.
a b à CPUs
March 27, 2008 6:40:01 PM

leon2006 said:
Get Vista 64 Ultimate: One of the features of Ultimate is remote access that will enable you to run/check your desktop when you are not at home.
If when away he has access to a descent connection, you have a good point there.
March 27, 2008 6:40:34 PM

gizmogamez said:
MoBo:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $276.99

CPU x2
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $285.00

Ram x2:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $199.99


with 64bit vista and whatever else is needed (hdd, case, ect.), would the 8 cores of something like this not be better then say a high end QX9xxx series at a much higher price?

this would leave you with about $1k left over or so for the rest....



Do you think a dual xeon solution (socket 771) can be interesting for chess?

I hadn't thought about that... It's not too expensive?
Doesn't need a special type of memories? (FB-DIMM) an a special 2 processors board?

See, I "only" have 1800€ to spend ...




March 27, 2008 6:42:20 PM

since the software sites only recommend a GF5 series card....wouldn't an ati 38xx series be overkill? y not save the few $$$ and get a 34xx for like $50, put the extra into ram or something.....
March 27, 2008 6:47:02 PM

Bobby Fischer

Chess games require a lot of CPU-power, Memory, and HD space.
Zeon is good but you need to pay additional for ECC type memory.

The payback for that is time....It will take lesser time to get the results that you need...

You will be fine with 8800GT/ GTS 512 or 3870, 3850 GPU since most of your display are stationary/static. You need a sizeable display to look at your games and simulation results....

March 27, 2008 6:47:56 PM

well if i'm thinking right that 1800 is about $2800 us or so....

if server mobo, cpu x2, 8gb ram = ~ $1200

that would give you $1600 for power supply, case (sure that will cost a little but hey), 2 nice HDD's for the RAID would be good in there, low end video is all that I can see those programs needing so something around $50....then a dvd drive and anything else....should be very easy to do...even with the cost of Vista Ultimate 64bit (OEM for ~ $200)
March 27, 2008 6:50:11 PM

yes, the ECC ram will have a slightly slower response, but i think the extra ram that you could have (a board like the asus can support 32gb) and the 8 cores instead of 4 would be far better...but maybe i'm wrong :S


HIARCS 12 SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS:

Minimum: Pentium 300 MHz, 64 MB RAM, Windows Vista or XP (SP 2), DVD ROM drive, Windows Media Player 9. Recommended: Pentium IV 2.2 GHz or higher, 256 MB RAM, Windows Vista, GeForce5 or compatible graphics card with 64 MB RAM or higher, 100% DirectX compatible sound card, Windows Media Player 9, DVD ROM drive. PLAYCHESS.COM
March 27, 2008 7:03:34 PM

leon2006 said:
Bobby Fischer

Chess games require a lot of CPU-power, Memory, and HD space.
Zeon is good but you need to pay additional for ECC type memory.

The payback for that is time....It will take lesser time to get the results that you need...

You will be fine with 8800GT/ GTS 512 or 3870, 3850 GPU since most of your display are stationary/static. You need a sizeable display to look at your games and simulation results....


I am not concerned with the GPU graphics. My chess programs (Rybka, Fritz, Hiarcs, Shredder, etc.) don't make a great graphics use. I think that a HD3650 512MB DDR3 PCI-E is quite sufficient.

I am more concerned with the correct choice for the processor/RAM/motherboard ... they are the true "heart" of the system for dedicated chess.
March 27, 2008 8:45:13 PM

Since your going for a very high end CPU intensive workstation why not look at a skulltrail setup? you could utilize 8 cores there and 32GB of RAM. Raid 0 would defiantly improve your systems performance but i think the key would be CPU/RAM.

3650 is a fine choice or even 3450.
a b à CPUs
March 27, 2008 9:05:23 PM

I think the skulltrail was intended as a gaming platform, I don't think he would get the best bang-for-the-buck with it. His Xeon suggestion on the other hand really concentrates on what he wants to do: crunch data :p .
a b à CPUs
March 27, 2008 9:52:04 PM

^ Agreed. The OP might want to look in to a Dual CPU set up. If the server boards,etc are out of the price range I recommend:

P35-DS3R or P5K-x
8GB DDR2 800 (4*2GB)
500+GB SATA 7200.11 HDDs possibly in RAID 0/1
8600 or 3850 or other cheap card (not too cheap though)
QX9650 possibly OCed
XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 (works better than stock and pretty cheap @ ~$40, and ranks #1 at Frostytech)
Corsair 450VX/550VX/520HX or PP&C 610 (trust me, please do get a good PSU)
a b à CPUs
March 27, 2008 9:55:15 PM

Before investing anywhere near the 2800$ I would make a few calls or send a few e-mails to make sure the software you want to use will really benefit from multi-CPU (you better call the makers as we don't know much about them). Some of the software you mentioned come in single and multi-CPU flavors, which one do you currently own and/or do you plan to buy?

If the software can take advantage of every core we give them, then the Dual Xeon is a very interesting option. The only modification I would do to gizmogamez's setup is:
  • RAM: A-DATA 4GB FB-DIMM DDR2 667 (it cost less and will run in-sync with the Xeon 1333MHz FSB)

    Depending on the remaining budget, switching to a faster CPU like the Intel Xeon E5420 Harpertown 2.5GHz could be an option.
    a b à CPUs
    March 27, 2008 10:08:03 PM

    ^Agreed.
    March 27, 2008 10:17:31 PM

    If you opt for 2 CPU motherboard. You can install one CPU 1st and add later.
    March 27, 2008 11:23:18 PM

    so are you the Bobby Fischer? amazed no one asked. seems most people here can build a dual quad/raided/Ln cooled/dual boot/4way sli'd/5 second boot gaming machine. explain how the stuffs made and who slapped cards together with fire sale parts and is over charging 2min after conception. but no asks if your him.
    a b à CPUs
    March 27, 2008 11:47:45 PM

    albundy2 said:
    so are you the Bobby Fischer? amazed no one asked. seems most people here can build a dual quad/raided/Ln cooled/dual boot/4way sli'd/5 second boot gaming machine. explain how the stuffs made and who slapped cards together with fire sale parts and is over charging 2min after conception. but no asks if your him.
    To be honest, I had no idea who Bobby Fischer was, but I googled him and it seems he died in mid-January this year ... I guess he's not him :p .
    March 28, 2008 1:24:42 AM

    Um, Bobby, Didn't you DIE about 2 months ago? LOL.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bobby_Fischer

    Robert James "Bobby" Fischer (March 9, 1943 – January 17, 2008) was an American-born chess Grandmaster, an Icelandic citizen at the time of his death, who became famous as a teenager for his chess-playing ability. In 1972, ...
    a b à CPUs
    March 28, 2008 1:30:54 AM

    Quote:
    To be honest, I had no idea who Bobby Fischer was,


    Fischer's career was an amazing story. Trust me, it's worth a good Google. Highest rated chess player ever until Kasparov. An American, (the USthen and now a third rate chess power), he single handedly crushed the Russian chess machine in the sixties/ early seventies. Crazy MOFO but one of if not the greatest chess legend ever.

    I would think a dedicated chess site would have the best idea of what hardware is best.

    What is your ELO/title BF?
    March 28, 2008 4:57:41 AM

    i really enjoyed the movie. i'm sure there is a book somewhere, but the movie found me first.
    sorta bummed he's dead.
    March 28, 2008 5:00:41 AM

    Shadow703793 said:
    ^ Agreed. The OP might want to look in to a Dual CPU set up. If the server boards,etc are out of the price range I recommend:

    P35-DS3R or P5K-x
    8GB DDR2 800 (4*2GB)
    500+GB SATA 7200.11 HDDs possibly in RAID 0/1
    8600 or 3850 or other cheap card (not too cheap though)
    QX9650 possibly OCed
    XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 (works better than stock and pretty cheap @ ~$40, and ranks #1 at Frostytech)
    Corsair 450VX/550VX/520HX or PP&C 610 (trust me, please do get a good PSU)

    Why not too cheap? Discreet is more than he needs. May be it's just me, but I think onboard would do fine. Money is better spent else where.
    a b à CPUs
    March 28, 2008 10:07:11 AM

    chiadog said:
    Why not too cheap? Discreet is more than he needs. May be it's just me, but I think onboard would do fine. Money is better spent else where.

    The DS3x and the P5K-x motherboards do not have integrated graphics.
    a b à CPUs
    March 28, 2008 10:07:53 AM

    Quote:
    I'm sure integrated GMA 950+/690G/6150 graphics should be good enough. Anyways I can't believe I'm talking to a chess master (I still can't beat Easiest in Titan Chess)

    NEVER INTEGRATED! The integrated uses SYSTEM RAM thus reducing performence and RAM.
    March 28, 2008 1:10:34 PM


    I adopted the name "Bobby Fischer" as a homage to that great chess player, my youth's hero.
    I have a 2420 FIDE rating and I have the International Master FIDE title.
    What I still don't have is a good configuration for my next (chess dedicated) computer ...
    Please stop with the babble and help me with a good configuration (motherboard, processor, RAM, GPU, etc) for my next desktop.
    a b à CPUs
    March 28, 2008 1:50:10 PM

    Does anyone know if a server board such as the ASUS DSBF-DE referenced before could be housed into an Antec 900 case; I think the airflow through that thing could be good for a dual CPU setup. My only "concern" is the CPU placement on the server board compared to a standard board (top back vs top front). Any other suggestions for tower?
    March 28, 2008 1:54:34 PM

    that asus board is an E-ATX board, so i don't think it would fit in that case.
    March 28, 2008 1:59:39 PM

    Do not worry about getting DDR2-1066 memory. It will be a waste of money. Stick with DDR2-800 memory, its actually rated to faster speeds than the FSB of the fastest quad core CPU out right now. DDR2-1066 memory is for overclockers. Here's a 4GB kit of very good DDR2-800 memory for under $100. Its actually what I'm running in my overclocked system right now.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    If you want to go with 8GB, which I think might be good for your simulations, it will cost you $200.

    I wouldn't worry about a CPU cooler. The stock cooler should be fine. If you intend to overclock, then I would get the cooler.

    Your case is a very nice, big, cool, and quiet case. Pretty professional looking as well.

    I'll be honest, I do not know much about chess simulators, but based on what I've read, the Radeon 3850 is more than what you will need. Lucky for you its a pretty cheap card when it comes to higher end builds. I wouldn't buy a card any better than the 3850, it'd be a waste.

    The Q9550 CPU will be expensive but if you're not overclocking, it will be the best fit for you. If you need to save 100 euros, get the slightly slower Q9450.

    Now for a single card application the best motherboard you should buy is a P35 chipset motherboard. They're cheap. They're stable. They do everything you need.

    Here's an excellent P35 motherboard but without raid. If you want to raid 0 I would suggest buying a PCI card for that. Or get the P35-DS3R for an extra $30, its the same board but with raid and a few more sata ports and more durable capacitors. This board also overclocks like a dream if you ever get the knack for it.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    You can't beat that price for $90.


    If I were you I would go with the Seagate 7200.11 Hard Drives. They come in capacities of 500GB, 750GB, and 1TB. They are VERY fast drives and have plenty of storage for your databases.


    Now all that being said, someone above mentioned getting a server board and running dual Xeons. That's very interesting and might be a pretty good way to go. I am not very familiar with Xeon mobos so I can't really offer any input, but if you need more than 4 cores, using 2 quad core CPUs may offer a nice bump in performance for you.


    My 2 cents. Hope it helped.



    Edit: Bobby Fischer was a great chess player who later lost his mind. I'm sorry but there's really no love lost for him where I come from after the statements he made about 9/11.
    a b à CPUs
    March 28, 2008 2:03:22 PM

    For power supply I was thinking about a good Tier 1 power supply (this is a server setup after all) like the PC Power & Cooling S610EPS EPS12V 610W. I think it has the 8 pin power connector for the dual CPU.
    March 28, 2008 2:05:36 PM

    If you're choosing the Q9550, make sure your motherboard can support CPU half multipliers (as the 9550 is 8.5x and the 9450 is 8x)
    March 28, 2008 2:19:17 PM

    skynet ran into hardware technical difficulties so it posted to tom's forums for assistance in taking over the world.
    March 28, 2008 2:34:11 PM

    c0llin said:
    If you're choosing the Q9550, make sure your motherboard can support CPU half multipliers (as the 9550 is 8.5x and the 9450 is 8x)



    Anybody knows a motherboard model that can support CPU half multipliers?
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