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Time sensitive: please check build for astrophysics procsesing

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May 23, 2011 4:46:43 PM

Hi guys, first off--I appreciate any help offered. I have built systems before, but problems arise in one way or another, and I wanted expert tech opinions. I work at a small university and we are starting a physics and chemistry computational center. As this is department money and we are in a rush to use our budget/get research started, I would like this to work the first time (as much as possible).

It will be running Linux with a software called MESA (stellar evolution).

Here is what I have selected and will purchase this week, unless anyone sees any flaws.

AZZA Hurrican 2000 CSAZ-2000 Black SECC Japanese Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case

ASUS Rampage III Extreme LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

Intel Core i7-960 Bloomfield 3.2GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80601960

Thermaltake Frio Overclocking-Ready Intel Core i7 (six-core ready) i5 Compatible Five 8mm Heatpipes Dual 120mm Fans Intel ...

Patriot Viper II ‘Sector 7’ Edition 12GB (3 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2000 (PC3 16000) Desktop Memory Model PV7312G2000ELK

Crucial RealSSD C300 CTFDDAC128MAG-1G1 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

COOLER MASTER Silent Pro Gold Series RSC00-80GAD3-US 1200W ATX 12V v2.3 / EPS 12V v2.92 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS ...

HIS H467QR1GH Radeon HD 4670 1GB 128-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card

Western Digital Caviar Black WD5002AALX 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM

COOLER MASTER Silent Pro Gold Series RSC00-80GAD3-US 1200W ATX 12V v2.3 / EPS 12V v2.92 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS ...

OKGEAR 18" SATA 6 Gbps Cable, Straight to Left Angle W/ Metal Latch, Black, Backward Compatible 3 Gbps and 1.5 Gbps X2

PLANAR PX2710MW Black 27" Full HD HDMI WideScreen LCD Monitor w/Speakers

Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM

Western Digital My Passport Essential SE 1TB Black Portable Hard Drive WDBACX0010BBK-NESN X2


Attached is an image with the prices.
May 23, 2011 4:54:32 PM

Unless your getting a 990x or 980x than you should be building a sandy bridge system not an x58. You could get 16gb of ram that is a little slower for cheaper than your 12Gb. You don't need a 1200w power supply considering your video card is HD 4670.
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May 23, 2011 6:43:26 PM

mlcaouette said:
Unless your getting a 990x or 980x than you should be building a sandy bridge system not an x58. You could get 16gb of ram that is a little slower for cheaper than your 12Gb. You don't need a 1200w power supply considering your video card is HD 4670.


Hi mlCaouette, thanks for your response. I apologize, that was supposed to be 12Gbx2. I will edit the post. Our priority is maximum and quick ram.

I was getting the 1200w psu because I saw another buyer who used that PSU and reported no problems. Some people had difficulties with their PSU not powering the board. I got it not only because it has high watts, but it has almost all of the power pins the MB can take. If there is a cheaper PSU that is good quality and will definitely run the board (high enough watts and have all the connectors), I may buy that. Lastly, on this point, I may do some LN2 overclocking later and did not want to run into power problems.

As for the mb, sandy bridge and x58 are cpu architectures? I'm not very familiar with this, I was just matching up socket types and looking for a motherboard with good ratings/specs/reliability. Is this something I should definitely look into? I'm a little reluctant to change the MB at this point unless it is likely to cause problems.

Thanks !!
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May 23, 2011 6:47:56 PM

Sandy Bridge is the newest generation of Intel CPUs.. The i7 2600k sandybridge cpu is ~$325 and is nearly as powerful (more powerful in some things) as the 990x $1000 cpu and overclocking sandybridge is very simple
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May 23, 2011 7:07:33 PM

cmadrid said:
Sandy Bridge is the newest generation of Intel CPUs.. The i7 2600k sandybridge cpu is ~$325 and is nearly as powerful (more powerful in some things) as the 990x $1000 cpu and overclocking sandybridge is very simple


Thanks, I am looking into it. Is it a bad idea to switch from 6 slots of triple channel, to 4 slots of dual channel? 32gigs would be nice, but we may want 24 if it means quicker ram communication.

Something I've been curious about: a motherboard with integrated video would be nice, but doesn't that slow down the CPU?

Thanks,
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May 23, 2011 7:38:05 PM

While the 2nd generation Intel® Core™ processors are great processors; at this time I am going to advise that you stay with your original build with the change to the power supply. The reason for this advice is that there are no Linux drivers from Asus, Gigabyte or Intel for any of the 6 series boards at this time. Since you have stated that you must have a Linux based environment then you really shouldn’t be looking at the new 2nd generation Intel Core processors. For a power supply with your build something like the Corsair 750w like this one http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168....

Christian Wood
Intel Enthusiast Team
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May 24, 2011 4:31:57 PM

Very helpful IntelEnth. It is definitely a Linux environment. I will stick to the original build. The PSU you linked is no longer displayed. I will get a 750W, as long as I have enough connectors for the motherboard.

I am making the purchase today. Thanks so much for all of your help. If anyone else has any advice, it's not too late :) 

One last question. The CPU I purchased comes with a heatsync/fan. Will this be enough to cool it, or should I just go ahead and replace it with the heatsync/fan I listed above? I don't want to waste money if it won't make any difference.
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May 24, 2011 4:36:01 PM

Are you going to be doing much overclocking? You can probably get a less expensive heatsink if you aren't going to push the cpu very far. Sorry about the linux driver problems ruining my reccomendations from before.

Corsair makes some good 750w PSUs. TX if you don't want modular, HX or AX if you do want modular cabling.
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May 26, 2011 4:53:22 PM

I ended up having to wait on the purchase due to the IT department having issues with us. I think they are resolved and I can purchase today.

We are also buying a laptop, but I think we don't have a choice besides Sandy Bridge. Do you know if it's just graphics problems, or if we won't be able to run our simulations, period?
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June 3, 2011 4:41:15 PM

Building the system this weekend. Will try to update this with how it goes. Ended up ordering a SandyBridge laptop, will see how that goes too.
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June 16, 2011 6:37:32 PM

We got it built that weekend. Spent a week or two installing the software. Ran our first simulation. Star made it until 11 billion years and then wouldn't die properly (software parameter problem). But in terms of the computer--everything seems to be running great on default drivers (Ubuntu 11.04 64bit with latest updates). No problems installing (6 minute install).

May try proprietary graphics drivers soon, but other than that--very happy with the build and it works with linux.

We also purchased a Sandy Bridge laptop and have linux virtualized on it right now. Trying native install this weekend I think. If we do and Linux works well on Sandy Bridge, will update this.
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June 16, 2011 8:07:58 PM

awesome!
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!