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2600k Build for Statistical Computing

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June 20, 2011 12:54:17 AM

I'm an economics grad student and am building a new rig for running statistics apps (matlab etc) at home. Was originally waiting for the Bulldozer but decided to use SB after hearing about the AMD delay. Anyway, below is my proposed build. Critique welcome.

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[CPU] Intel Core i7 2600K [acquired]
[MOBO] ASUS P8P67 PRO (REV 3.0)
[RAM] G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2x4) DDR3 2133mhz [acquired]
[Cooler] Prolimatech Megahalems Rev. B
[Case] NZXT Classic Series GAMMA
[PSU] Antec Truepower New 650W
[HDD] Samsung Spinpoint 1TBx2 Raid 0 + 2TB for backup [acquired]
[Video] Not important. Someone recommend a decent performance card under $100?
[Keyboard] Logitech Illuminated Keyboard [acquired]
[Monitors] Acer V223WEJbd Black 22" x2 [acquired]

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Let me know what you guys think. I personally have a few questions:

1. I'll primarily use huge datasets for statistical analysis so I don't think SSD would help that much in that regard due to their limited storage capacity. The datasets will still be loaded from the HD. However, would it be beneficial to get an SSD a sa boot drive anyway? I don't mind the added cost but I was a bit hesitant due to the difficulty with trim setting, performance degradation, etc.

2. Is the Megahalems cooler compatible with the G.Skills ram on the P8P67 board? I heard from someone that the ram sticks are a bit too big to clear the cooler. If it's indeed so, can someone recommend an alternative cooler with (hopefully similar) performance? I plan to OC a fair bit hence the fast ram.

3. Can the PSU handle the OC work? Do I need a 750W+ one?

4. Am I too cheap on the case? Is there any difference (except for the cool factor) between an NZXT Gamma and, for example, Tempest EVO? Any suggestion on case is welcome.

5. If I skip the video card altogether and instead use the build-in video from SB, will that cause any CPU performance degradation? I need to maximize CPU performance and if using the built-in GPU makes the CPU slower, I'll definitely get a discrete card.
June 20, 2011 1:10:03 AM

1) If you want to get an SSD as a boot drive then you will notice the difference, but honestly it is more of a life style choice then a "required" tech at this point.

2) Hyper 212+

3) Yes, 650w is more then enough.

4) The case is fine. Last time I checked on Newegg there was a really great discount on the Antec 300. Check that case out.

5) No it won't.
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June 20, 2011 2:15:56 AM

Thanks for the advice. Is 128Gb good enough a size for SSD? Any recommendations for brands etc (I'm a total newbie when it comes to SSDs)?

Also, since I'm looking at a 4.6Ghz+ OC, should I get something a bit more powerful than Hyper 212+? Seriously how would the cooling performance differ between, say a Hyper 212+ with two fans and Megahalems? Again, space is an issue due to the size of the ram sticks.
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June 20, 2011 2:46:04 AM

1) I am a big fan of ssd's. They make your pc feel so much quicker.

2) You should not have a problem with the prolimatech megahalems cooler. Mount it to exhaust to the rear. I used one with patriot ram that had tall heat spreaders without a problem.
Also, with two sticks of ram, you do not need to populate the slots closest to the cpu. That gives you more room.

3) Psu requirements are almost entirely gated by the graphics card. Overclocking makes a minor increase. The Antec 650 is a good choice, and you could use a 380w unit if you wanted.

4) Without a hot video card, any case will do. Good price on the NZXT gamma.

5) If you want to use the integrated video, you will need a Z68 based motherboard that will give you both overclocking and sandy video. P67 will require a discrete video card.
Preserve your options, the Z68 based motherboards are not much of a price premium.

I understand that matlab can make use of the CUDA computational capabilities of Nvidia graphics cards. Check that out, as I am no expert there.
If you do get a discrete video card, then the 650w psu will be appropriate.

64gb is a decent size for a ssd, maybe 120gb. Windows-7 will take about 14gb of it.
Most ssd's will perform the same when used as an os drive under normal desktop usage.

I would look at the Intel 320 series. They have had the fewest return rates in the past:
http://www.behardware.com/articles/810-6/components-ret...
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June 20, 2011 5:42:07 AM

Okay. For maximum upgradability I'd get a good PSU and case in case I need a discrete GPU later. For now though I've changed the proposed build to the following:

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[CPU] Intel Core i7 2600K [acquired]
[MOBO] Asus P8Z68-V PRO
[RAM] G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2x4) DDR3 2133mhz [acquired]
[Cooler] Cooler Master Hyper 212+ with 2 fans
[Case] Cooler Master HAF 922
[PSU] CORSAIR Enthusiast Series CMPSU-650TX
[SSD] Crucial C300 64Gb
[HDD] Samsung Spinpoint 1TBx2 Raid 0 + 2TB for backup [acquired]
[GPU] None
[Keyboard] Logitech Illuminated Keyboard [acquired]
[Monitors] Acer V223WEJbd Black 22" x2 [acquired]

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Question: is the Hyper 212+ enough if I'm shooting for a 4.6Ghz+ OC? Thanks!
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June 20, 2011 1:27:58 PM

The Hyper 212+ should be fine. It has gotten 4.6+ on 1366 platforms, which are significantly hotter than the 1155 chips.

Good choice going with Z68; I was going to recommend NOT getting a GPU unless you absolutely needed it. The integrated video works perfectly for just putting stuff on a screen ;) 

Another perk with Z68 is SSD Caching. It could speed up your work, and an SSD boot drive really only affects your initial boot. I would look into it since you're seriously considering adding the SSD to your system.

I'd look at Intel's 320 SSDs. They're great for the price, use SATA III, and use a better Sandforce controller as opposed to the C300's controller (Micron, I think?). The C300 had some controller issues a while back, and the Sandforce controller has been more reliable since SSDs became more mainstream.
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July 12, 2011 9:21:21 PM

Thanks for the tip on Intel SSDs.

Updated build: I downgraded to a 380W PSU as I don't need a discrete video card. Is 380W enough? Is HAF 922 an overkill? Thanks.

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[CPU] Intel Core i7 2600K [acquired]
[MOBO] Asus P8Z68-V PRO [acquired]
[RAM] G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2x4) DDR3 2133mhz [acquired]
[Cooler] Cooler Master Hyper 212+ with 2 fans [acquired]
[Case] Cooler Master HAF 922
[PSU] Antec EarthWatts Green EA-380D Green 380W
[SSD] Intel 320 Series 80Gb [acquired]
[HDD] Samsung Spinpoint 1TBx2 Raid 0 + 2TB for backup [acquired]
[GPU] None
[Keyboard] Logitech Illuminated Keyboard [acquired]
[Monitors] Acer V223WEJbd Black 22" x2 [acquired]

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July 13, 2011 12:14:47 AM

The Antec 380 green is a fine psu. It is more than enough.

Cases are a personal thing. Get what appeals to you.
You will be looking and touching it for a long time.
In this case, without a hot graphics card, andy case will have sufficient ventilation, and will hold your minimal number of parts.

From a functional point of view, a very cheap case will suffice.
I have built a number of systems with my favorite case, the Antec SOLO.
It is easy to work with, and is of good quality. But the real attraction is the features that make it quiet.
It is not flashy, but I like that.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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July 14, 2011 5:46:12 AM

Thanks for the advice. Acquired all components and finally decided to get HAF 912 as LED fans are not really my thing. Below is the final build with a very reasonable budget of $1350 (inc. monitors). Critique very welcome!

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[CPU] Intel Core i7 2600K
[MOBO] Asus P8Z68-V PRO
[RAM] G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2x4) DDR3 2133mhz
[Cooler] Cooler Master Hyper 212+ with 2 fans
[Case] Cooler Master HAF 912
[PSU] Antec EarthWatts Green EA-380D Green 380W
[SSD] Intel 320 Series 80Gb
[HDD] Samsung Spinpoint 1TBx2 Raid 0 + 2TB for backup
[GPU] None
[Keyboard] Logitech Illuminated Keyboard
[Monitors] Acer V223WEJbd Black 22" x2

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!