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Higher end build for intense multitasking

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February 14, 2009 9:24:38 PM

I'm going to be running 5 monitors and doing some pretty intense multitasking with databases and lots of stuff open at once. I did a good amount of research and my main uncertainties are the points that I starred below.

CPU $290
Intel Core i7 2.66GHz
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU Cooler $70
Cooler Master V8
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hard Drive (2) $200*2=$400
Western Digital VelociRaptor 300GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case $260
Silverstone TJ09
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

DVD Drive $30
HP DVD-RW
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power Supply $250
Antec Signature SG850 850W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Operating System $100
Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Memory (2) $136*2=$272
G.SKill 6GB (3 x 2GB) SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard $300
ASUS P6T Deluxe
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Graphics Cards (3) $145*3=$435
Sapphire Radeon HD 4850 512MB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Sapphire Radeon HD 4850 1GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Sapphire Radeon HD 4870 1GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
*Not sure on these. 4870 is so huge might be too big to fit 3 in the mobo?

Sound Card $0
HT Omega Claro Plus
From current computer
February 14, 2009 9:31:26 PM

One HD4850x2 has 4 outputs. Add an HD4350. Then you could change the PSU to 650W.
February 14, 2009 11:41:02 PM

The case looks like a sweat box. Try an Antec 1200. Plenty of air flow through that. Tri Xfire not always the best way to go. 2 4870 1gig cards or an Nvidia sli 260/280 set up would be better IMO. The heat sink is one BIG, HEAVY mother.... but should work well. And if you go with the 3 video card set up, You won't have room for them if the cards are double slotted. look at the lay out of the board. Good Luck and let us know what comes of it.
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February 15, 2009 12:24:37 AM

I have a TJ09. It's pretty good at cooling if you add 3 more fans in the available slots. By default it comes with only two - not exactly ideal for a build like that. I agree with swifty, just get the Antec 1200, it's nice and cheaper and solves the problem.

I'd buy a HD 4870 X2 for gaming and two HD 3650 (for monitors 2 to 5). TBH I don't know how that compares in games with three HD 4850, but I suspect it's better to have 2 better GPUs with 1GB each than 3 weaker GPUs with 512MB each because games are rarely optimized beyond 2 GPUs.
February 15, 2009 12:27:42 AM

BTW, are you going to play games? I assumed you will, since you picked three HD 4850 cards. If you're not going to play games on this machine, then get three HD 3650 cards or at most HD 4670 cards. The 850W Signature is way overkill in this case, and you can replace it with a 650TX or PC Power & Coooling 750W ($80 each at Newegg).

February 15, 2009 1:32:45 AM

Thanks for the responses. A few followup questions:

1) Is the CPU cooler necessary since I won't be doing any overclocking?

2) I'm not really a fan of that Antec case cause it's a bit too colorful. Any other suggestions for clean cases with a side view panel?

3) I don't really plan on playing many games, maybe Counter-Strike once in a while or the new StarCraft when it comes out. I actually already have an HIS HD 3850 512MB. Maybe I should get 2 more of those or 1 more of those and 1 HD 48X0?

Any thoughts on that and along with that, which PSU will support whatever you recommend?

4) Are two hard drives worthwhile? I had read that it's good for keeping things separate and for backing up but I'm not sure? Will there be much of a performance difference?
February 15, 2009 3:59:29 AM

1. No

2. Take a look at this list, hopefully you'll like one.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=2010090007%201295819209%20105510039%201055508421%201054808289&bop=And&Order=PRICE
Maybe the Coolermaster HAF 932 ?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119160

3. Two or even three HD 3850 cards together would not match even a single HD 4870 1GB. That's because the HD 4870 has 2.5 times the stream processors of a HD 3850 and more RAM and scaling with 3 GPU's is inefficient. Also, you can't combine HD 3850 and HD 4870 cards. Sell the HD 3850 or keep it to feed a separate monitor or two, and play on a HD 4870. I don't think you'll need anything more powerful for CS and StarCraft.

I recommend the PC Power & Cooling 750W. It will be plenty for HD 4870 (even with the HD 3850 too). If you later discover some game you like that needs more power, that PSU will be able to handle two HD 4870 cards. The 650TX has the amps for HD 4870 Crossfire but doesn't have enough PCI-E connectors for it.

4. Two Velociraptors in RAID 0? Nice, but it won't really do that much in games. It would be fabulous if you encode videos or do other things that involve large files. It also increases the chance of data corruption, so backup often, at least in the first few months. Personally, I'd prefer to invest the $400 in a single Velociraptor 150GB and three WD6401AALS for storage, for a total of about 2TB. It depends on how much space you need and what you do.



February 15, 2009 5:36:31 AM

Thanks.

1) OK

2) Hmm I'm not wild about the Coolermaster but seems like a solid choice.

3) I'm not big on games at all but do need the capacity to run 5 monitors. Maybe 3 4850's or a 4850X2 and a single 4850? How does that sound and if I do do that would you suggest 3 of them or the X2/single?

4) I'm planning on running important databases so was figuring OS on one and postgreSQL/database on the other. Are 2 HD's going to help much for this? I don't need much space at all -- only use about 50GB right now. Am I better off with a Velociraptor and WD or even just sticking with 1 Veloci since I don't need much space?

EDIT: maybe 2 150GB Veloci's, 1 for Windows and 1 for databases, then 1 of those WD6401AALS for music/program files? any kind of optimal configuration? i remember reading about the page or swap file or something
February 15, 2009 2:50:34 PM

3) Keep the 3850, add a 4850x2. More than 2 GPUs in Crossfire do not scale well, and is overkill for your needs.
February 15, 2009 3:26:35 PM

chisness said:
I'm going to be running 5 monitors and doing some pretty intense multitasking with databases and lots of stuff open at once. I did a good amount of research and my main uncertainties are the points that I starred below.

CPU $290
Intel Core i7 2.66GHz
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU Cooler $70
Cooler Master V8
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hard Drive (2) $200*2=$400
Western Digital VelociRaptor 300GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case $260
Silverstone TJ09
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

DVD Drive $30
HP DVD-RW
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power Supply $250
Antec Signature SG850 850W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Operating System $100
Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Memory (2) $136*2=$272
G.SKill 6GB (3 x 2GB) SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard $300
ASUS P6T Deluxe
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Graphics Cards (3) $145*3=$435
Sapphire Radeon HD 4850 512MB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Sapphire Radeon HD 4850 1GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Sapphire Radeon HD 4870 1GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
*Not sure on these. 4870 is so huge might be too big to fit 3 in the mobo?

Sound Card $0
HT Omega Claro Plus
From current computer



Replace one of the HD GPUs with a Quadro fx
February 15, 2009 3:43:09 PM

ourselfish said:
Replace one of the HD GPUs with a Quadro fx


How would that help with databases, multitasking or gaming?
February 15, 2009 4:45:34 PM

Quadro Fx series is designed for Gui manipulation, Since you are running multiple displays; I'm assuming also that you'll be accessing an ftp, or using BigTable or some other database Program frequently; it couldn't hurt to add a GPU designed specifically for this purpose? Especially if two Cards you already have are "enthusiast" Chipsets.

It would be useful to get; Even if you aren't running 3d applications.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nvidia_Quadro
Quote:
"...CrossFire doesn't always give a performance benefit – in some extreme cases, it can lower the framerate due to the particulars of an application's coding. This is also true for Nvidia's SLI, as the problem is inherent in multi-GPU systems. This is often witnessed when running an application at low resolutions." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ATI_CrossFire
February 15, 2009 8:17:28 PM

ourselfish said:
Quadro Fx series is designed for Gui manipulation, Since you are running multiple displays; I'm assuming also that you'll be accessing an ftp, or using BigTable or some other database Program frequently; it couldn't hurt to add a GPU designed specifically for this purpose?


Quadro is not designed for GUI manipulation, FTP, or database work. It's designed for CAD and 3D animation.
February 15, 2009 10:03:08 PM

...
Quote:
Quadro Fx series is designed for Gui manipulation, Since you are running multiple displays; I'm assuming also that you'll be accessing an ftp, or using BigTable or some other database Program frequently; it couldn't hurt to add a GPU designed specifically for this purpose? Especially if two Cards you already have are "enthusiast" Chipsets.

*It would be useful to get; Even if you aren't running 3d applications.

and workstations, which use multiple monitors.

Quote:
"NVIDIA provides a full range of robust products designed for the professional workstation user. Whether you're a designer developing the latest automobile, a 3D artist working on the next blockbuster film, or a financial trader on Wall Street, NVIDIA Quadro® graphics solutions and NVIDIA nForce® Professional motherboards deliver unmatched power and performance"
Quote:
* Award-winning NVIDIA Quadro® NVS graphics processors— featuring nView® technology— are the business standard for multi-display desktop graphics.
* The revolutionary NVIDIA Tesla™ many-core computing products— featuring award-winning NVIDIA CUDA™ technology— delivers high-powered data-parallel processing to help engineers, scientists, and technology professionals solve increasingly complex problems.
* NVIDIA Business Platform™— Certified PCs deliver quality, stability, and manageability to the corporate workforce.


http://www.nvidia.com

*Just don't buy it from newegg.


nVidia Quadro 3500
February 16, 2009 1:23:49 AM

ourselfish said:
and workstations, which use multiple monitors.


Pretty much any video card can run multiple monitors. The HD4850x2 which I suggested can run 4 of them.
February 16, 2009 1:31:26 AM

I'm using two monitors myself on a gaming card. Seriously, that's a mainstream feature these days, it doesn't require a workstation card.
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