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Help with i7 920 build for MatLab/computation

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September 25, 2009 7:04:45 AM

Hi all,
I've finally got funds to make a respectable machine for calculation/research work. It'll be used for MatLab at least 75% of the time, never for gaming, and I will not be overclocking at all, as I'm running annual hourly simulations and highly value stability. The code I'm running is highly parallelizable, which I think makes quad core ideal, and this machine should last me for 3 years until I (optimistically) graduate. I've read enough threads to develop some guesses as to what I want, but most focus on gaming so I was wondering if anyone could give me a little advice for my particular situation. Here's what I'm thinking of:

CPU: Intel i7 920
Motherboard: ASUS P6T SE (I'll never use SLI or Crossfire)
RAM: 6-12G of 1333 DDR3. I know the 920 will run at 1066, but I didn't see a big price difference. I'd like low latency (CAS 7) and was thinking of

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

which says it runs between 1.5-1.65V. However, is it more important to get something at 1.5V but maybe with a higher latency (CAS 9)?

Fan/Cooler: Do I need one if I will not be overclocking? Or will the stock suffice?

PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V (under $100! -- 650W should be enough since I will not have multiple graphics cards or overclock, right?)

GFX: Something simple and under $100, not yet decided though suggestions welcome!

HD: Samsung, 1TB

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

Case: Guessing I just need something midsized and basic since I am not overclocking or having tons of graphics. I'd like it to have maximum cooling though since i7s run hot. Maybe this one?

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

Please let me know if you see anything blatantly wrong with any of this, or if you have suggestions to make it better! Hopefully this will turn out some useful info for anyone else out there building dedicated MatLab/computation machines....


September 25, 2009 1:12:47 PM

There are two trains of thought on this, the first is that high speed DIMM's can make up for running slower timings by the amount of bandwidth provide the processor. Specifically, bandwidth is the amount of data that can be moved from one given device to another.
The other point of view is that memory with low latency can make up for the lack of bandwidth because the memory has a lower latency that in effect moves data between the CPU and memory faster. Programs that do not require a large amount of bandwidth tend to benefit more from quicker data transfers between the memory and the rest of the computer; such as games or 3D applications.

The stock fan and heatsink should be fine for you since you are not overclocking.

650W will be fine for you.

Why not go with i5 and P55?


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September 25, 2009 2:43:32 PM

Thanks for the suggestions; I'll definitely look into a different case, didn't realize there was a sale/coupon code.

My budget is around $1.5K, but for the whole thing including monitor, DVD/CD, wireless, and a few other smaller things not listed in the original message. I've chosen i7 over i5 because of triple channel memory and because since it's in budget I figure I may as well get the best computer that I can, especially since it has to last at least a few years. Actually that's another case for the 1333 ram, betting a couple years from now something like an i7 965 will be a cheap upgrade if I want it and that's what it supports.
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