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Building a mini supercomputer, please advise : )

Last response: in Systems
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August 17, 2009 3:44:56 AM

In this list of parts I have included two MOBOs. Which one is best suited for Linux (namely Ubuntu)? Furthermore, please offer any educated opinions about my build. My budget is apx. $2000 but I am aiming for $1500 to keep funds free for other business purchases.



Wish List: From NEWEGG
Qty. Product Description Savings Total Price

2 LG 22X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe Black SATA Model GH22LS30 LightScribe Support LG 22X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe Black SATA Model GH22LS30 LightScribe Support
Item #: N82E16827136153
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy $59.98

1 EVGA 141-BL-E757-TR LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX X58 SLI LE Intel Motherboard EVGA 141-BL-E757-TR LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX X58 SLI LE Intel Motherboard
Item #: N82E16813188049
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy $20.00 Mail-in Rebate
$239.99

2 TRIPP LITE SUPER7 7 Feet 7 Outlets 2350 Power Surge Protector TRIPP LITE SUPER7 7 Feet 7 Outlets 2350 Power Surge Protector
Item #: N82E16812120300
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy $29.98

1 Logitech 967740-0403 Black USB Standard Internet 350 USB Keyboard Logitech 967740-0403 Black USB Standard Internet 350 USB Keyboard
Item #: N82E16823126012
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy $10.99

1 Logitech MX518 8 Buttons 1 x Wheel USB Wired Optical Gaming-Grade Mouse Logitech MX518 8 Buttons 1 x Wheel USB Wired Optical Gaming-Grade Mouse
Item #: N82E16826104178
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy $39.99

1 Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST31000528AS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5 Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST31000528AS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
Item #: N82E16822148433
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy $89.99

1 OCZ Platinum 12GB (6 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model OCZ3P1333LV12GS OCZ Platinum 12GB (6 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model OCZ3P1333LV12GS
Item #: N82E16820227401
Return Policy: Memory Standard Return Policy $210.99

1 GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD5 LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD5 LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard
Item #: N82E16813128362
Return Policy: Limited Replacement Only Return Policy -$19.00 Instant
$298.99
$279.99

2 BFG Tech BFGEGTX275896OC2E GeForce GTX 275 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card BFG Tech BFGEGTX275896OC2E GeForce GTX 275 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card
Item #: N82E16814143199
Return Policy: VGA Standard Return Policy $20.00 Mail-in Rebate
$479.98

1 Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601920 Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601920
Item #: N82E16819115202
Return Policy: CPU Replacement Only Return Policy -$9.00 Instant
$288.99
$279.99

1 CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply
Item #: N82E16817139006
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy -$60.00 Instant
$10.00 Mail-in Rebate Card
$179.99
$119.99

1 GIGABYTE GZ-FA2CA-AJB Black Aluminum ATX Full Tower Computer Case GIGABYTE GZ-FA2CA-AJB Black Aluminum ATX Full Tower Computer Case
Item #: N82E16811233026
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy -$20.00 Instant
$159.99
$139.99



Total, including 2 $15 power strips: $1,981.85 (with an extra MOBO that won't be in final tag).
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August 17, 2009 4:03:40 AM

What are you going to be using the system for?

Even at 1920x1200 i suggest getting 1 GTX275 first and then a second if the first doesnt give you the performance you want, it saves you quite a bit up front that you may not need to spend, but if you arent gaming and your programs are not significantly boosted by CUDA then you can get away with a much weaker card so i really need to know the uses for this system before providing any more significant advice.

But otherwise it looks pretty good.
August 17, 2009 4:16:31 AM

Virtual machines, multiple diagnostics on HDDs running simultaneously, web design, video and photo editing... and when the day (or night) is done, pwning some RTS games (probably with WINE) and watching movies. Need more info?

FYI Gigabyte website says its board needs special drivers for Linux (lame). I want to put this together, OC it, then get on with other things, not hunt for drivers for weeks. Thanks!

Left out that I already ordered a mini water cooler also: Corsair Cooling Hydro Series H50 All-In-One High-Performance CPU Cooler
August 17, 2009 4:27:54 AM

That covers everything, RTS games tend not to be super graphically intensive, so a single GTX275 would let you max stuff out, and for most RTS games even lower than that would still hit the max frame rates, like a GTX260 or a GTS 250.

For $5 more you can get a WD caviar black which has denser platters and will perform slightly better than the seagate 12 series.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

For your needs the 12GB of ram will actually help significantly, i dont know much about linux support. Reducing your graphics power wont give you a difference and will free up some budget for other 'business purchases', which is never a bad thing to have.
August 17, 2009 4:35:56 AM

Hey thanks. According to the tests here, the HDDs I selected are the fastest in practice. Is this not accurate?

You have a good point about the two vid cards. The reason I had selected two was so that I can still be using this computer effectively ten years from now without having to hunt for a duplicate card, or even buy another. This may be unrealistic with video cards though since they tend to burn out. The card I did select was one of the top cards per the charts here that wasn't in the stupid range of pricing. Now that I think about it though, wouldn't it be better to just get one really good card then two almost as good cards? What actually is the point of SLI?

I intend for this system however to last apx. ten years usefully. I'm a technician and have computers that have run almost non-stop for ten years solidly, so I know it can be done with state of the art hardware.
August 17, 2009 4:49:39 AM

Well in the future you will be able to pick up another GTX275 for significantly cheaper, of just drop in one of the current cards when a GTX275 no longer suffices. You dont have to drop in an identical card, just another GTX275 for SLI. And BFG offers lifetime warranties on their graphics cards, so if the GTX275 does die, they will replace it with either another GTX275 or a modern equivalent card.

Im unsure of how recent the charts are, but you are right, the seagate 12 series does seem to land a bit high, hmm im going to have to go do some hard drive research tomorrow.

You are definitely right about the computers being able to last 10 years. I have an old P2 sitting next to me that still runs pretty good, and it wasnt even state of the art when we got it.
August 17, 2009 5:02:51 AM

They can run even longer if you take care of them.

Ok, EVGA 141-BL-E757-TR wins and I only need one graphics card for now. I want BluRay but it costs too much right now and the money can be better spent.

I have to wait for the RAM to come available or check the charts here and change brands anyway, so I look forward to hearing about your HDD research! Wouldn't it be cool if those inexpensive HDDs are in fact the fastest? Tom's is dependable right? I believe they are. And Seagate is dependable too. They might just be the fastest.
August 17, 2009 10:58:46 AM

Will two triple channel kits work in triple channel mode?
I have heard that often different kits won't work together...

Thanks for all the help hunter. I'm going to switch to this RAM I think. Just want to make sure that 6 sticks will run in triple channel...
August 17, 2009 11:07:09 AM

any $$$ for an SSD?
!