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New Engineering Lab build, need input

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Last response: in Systems
February 12, 2013 5:33:08 AM

Its been a while since I have build a system, but I need to build one for work and was hoping to get some input from people who are more in the know since myself.

The system will be used in the engineering lab where I work. Mostly for data acquisition, signal processing, and video capture. We use matlab a lot to process some pretty big data files that we capture off of some instruments in development, as well as running labview, and some other programs that the guys in I work with write. In the future we are going to be doing video imaging etc.

We are prototyping some stuff for instrument development, where we capture with some USB tethered cards @ anywhere from 1k to 10k hz and then have to remove the carrier frequencies which can be between 256hz to 1500hz, so we process raw data of roughly 1 million data points and want be able to spit out the filtered data quickly.

Here is what I am thinking for the setup right now:

Processor: Intel Core i7-3930K
Mobo: not sure, either ASUS P9X79 WS, or ASUS P9X79 Pro
RAM: CORSAIR Vengeance 64GB (8 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3
HDD1:SAMSUNG 840 Pro Series MZ-7PD256BW 2.5" 256GB
HDD2:Western Digital WD Black WD2002FAEX 2TB 7200 RPM
HDD3:Western Digital WD Black WD2002FAEX 2TB 7200 RPM
GPU: PNY VCQ2000D-PB Quadro 2000D 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 Workstation Video Card
Case:LIAN LI Lancool PC-K62
Cooler: Not sure, Noctua NH-D14 SE2011 or ZALMAN CNPS12X
Power Supply: SILVERSTONE ST1000-P 1000W

We have some gigabit cameras, so thinking the WS could be a good match for that.

More about : engineering lab build input

a b B Homebuilt system
February 12, 2013 5:50:02 AM

Looks like a solid build. I suggest a CM 212 Evo for a air cooler.
a b B Homebuilt system
February 12, 2013 5:59:43 AM
you dont want ps noise getting inot your test rig so you want high end ps and have extra room so you dont ripple out the rails.

may want look into a rack cases if your system test bed set up.
there are work racks that these fit into that you can move or keep as a work station.
move the server/test station at will.
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February 13, 2013 5:12:45 PM

Thanks for the input so far guys. I have never seen the seasonic power supplies before, and from the specs and the reviews it looks like a real nice quality product.

The computer has always been stationary because of how we do the testing, our instruments are highly portable so its not an issue to line up 3 of 4 of them for testing in close proximity to the computer.

May 4, 2013 1:11:22 PM

Yep, that looks good.
I am assuming the two WD drives are in RAID 1?
Have a very similar build for similar uses...
May 4, 2013 3:19:06 PM


An important feature of your question is that the system concept should be carefully tailored to requirements that are scalar to complexity and expected resolution functions, latency/response, and multiplicity of simultaneous and/or sequential functions. It is possible to make general suggestions >

In my view, the system applicable to processing of instrumentation output on the scale mentioned, reduced latency and resolution imagined is a resounding call for a Xeon or Dual Xeon processor / quite a lot of ECC error correcting RAM / Quadro graphics card / and RAID 0+1. For future GPU accelerated it's recommended to have the capability of adding a GPU coprocessing unit. Such a machine would have extended capabilities- e.g., extreme computation and processing, simulation, a disk system that can process high speed camera input, 3D modeling with high anti-aliasing with benefits for mechanical simulation / animation such that concentration could be on experimentation / simulation such a fluid, structural, thermal / modeling instead of computer limitations, errors, and resolution and a longer period of use.

You query is too wide-ranging to make a specific suggestion without knowing more specifically your applications and requirements, but a range of such a machine >

Budget > Xeon E5-1650 (6-core@ 3.2GHZ) > 64GB ECC 1600 RAM > Quadro K5000 > 2 X SSD RAID 0 for operating system and applications > 6TB RAID 5 (mirrored) data > 850-100w PSU > 12-16A outboard RF, surge, if possible a rated, shielded case, shielded power conditioner Powervar, OneAC, or similar. The power conditioner is suggested due to the elevated noise floor and possible data corruption from RF interference and power variability from adjacent equipment to the power supply- a conditioner will significantly lower the noise floor.

Full Bore > 2X Xeon E5-2687W (3.1/3.8GHz 20MB cache, 8-core ) > 128GB ECC RAM 1600 > Quadro K5000 > Tesla K20 > LSI high speed RAID controller > SSD RAID 0+1 (?) for operating system and applications > 6-10TB RAID 5 data > 1300W modular power supply > 12-16A outboard RF, shielded power conditioner. Possible front panel computer thermal monitoring and fan speed controller.

For either of these, use a roomy, high quality, case that is known for quiet operation. There are some cases that are designed with built in handles for convenient moving.

Also, the display(s) should be an integral aspect and because of the possibility of a many control menus plus instrumentation viewports, perhaps two 27" 2560X1440 or higher resolution. Besides the quickly growing list of CUDA /GPU accelerated programs >

> another reason to use Quadro graphics -and supplementary GPU processors is that they can run at 128X anti-aliasing. Even something as simple as overlay of waveforms at these higher resolution benefits and certainly in consideration of high speed, high resolution video capture. f you are running mechanical, thermal, or fluidic simulations /animations/models. In combination with error correcting RAM, greatly enhanced double precision and integer computational emphasis of Xeons, would in combination enhance laboratory use.

So, really only some general thoughts. Whether using proprietary or custom software, the proposed system would benefit from research into the characteristics conducive to processing and data storage optimizations and then research the devices that produce those characteristics- or ask again here!

Just a few casual thoughts.



[Dell Precision T5400 > 2X Xeon X5460 @3.16GHz / 16GB ECC RAM / Quadro FX 4800 (1.5GB) / WD RE4 and Segt Brcda 500GB > 875W PSU / Powervar 10A power conditioner > Windows 7 Ultimate > AutoCad, Revit, Solidworks, Sketchup, Abobe CS, Corel Technical Designer]