Author Topic: Suggestion on new PC  (Read 7701 times)

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Offline blueskull

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Suggestion on new PC
« on: November 21, 2014, 05:24:46 am »
Hi, I want to build a new PC workstation for Altium Designer and MinGW compiler toolchain.
I do gaming, but I'm not a serious gamer. Portal 2 is the most demanding game I'll run.
I suffered from bizarre memory problems alot, so I WILL buy something with ECC memory ONLY.

Here are my chioces:
a. C226 mobo+Xeon E3-1271 V3+DDR3 1866 (Memory Controller OC) ECC 8G*2+GTX 750 Ti
b. X99 mobo+Xeon E5-1630/50 v3(Quad/Hex core)+DDR4 2133 ECC 4G*4+GTX 750 Ti

Prices for C226 and X99 is close (X99 is $50 more expensive), prices for E3-1271 V3 and E5-1630 is very close.
DDR4 is a little more expensive than DDR3, but quad channel offers much more bandwidth compared to DDR3.

The only drawback is X99 platform consumes much more idle power (80+W vs 40+W).
I want to put everything into a small form factor case, both C226 and X99 have uATX mobos.

So, what you guys may suggest me to buy?
I want to buy things from newegg or superbiiz.
 

Offline awallin

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Re: Suggestion on new PC
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2014, 06:22:02 am »

I just built an LGA2011-3 machine, and to my surprise there was no stock intel cooler supplied with the CPU.
The third party coolers are all very big so you have to carefully check that they fit your case and that they don't block RAM-slots - the cooler will also come very close to the GPU card.

I was a bit disappointed that drivers for the GTX 750 Ti are not automatically detected&installed on linux (Ubuntu 14.04LTS) - had to find and install the nvidia driver manually.

I put 2x 8Gb DDR4, but maybe using 4x sticks provides more bandwidth. The X99 did not boot even to the BIOS unless the ram sticks are exactly in the right slots (there are 8 slots on the mobo).
 

Offline JuiceKing

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Re: Suggestion on new PC
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2014, 09:03:34 am »
I learned the hard way that box size is directly related to long-term PC happiness. Make sure the case you get has adequate airflow with margin. My main PC dates back to 2005, but no component is original at this point; everything has been upgraded over the years. The system wasn't rock-solid reliable (and at times terribly unreliable) until I got a big Corsair box for it 4 years ago. That gives me room for a big heatsink on the CPU, big fans on the front, top and back. Big fans can run slow and silent. Cool components just keep working. The original case--spec'd by the assembler/manufacturer--was just too cramped for its own good.
 

Offline Galenbo

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Re: Suggestion on new PC
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2014, 06:49:53 pm »
H87M-E + I5-4670 + 2x8GB DDR3 +250GB SSD + 2TB HDD

No clue about your Nasa-EEC memory, the reason why you would need that, the solution you try to reach with that, and the new problems that will pop up with that.

« Last Edit: November 21, 2014, 06:52:54 pm by Galenbo »
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Re: Suggestion on new PC
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2014, 07:06:13 pm »
H87M-E + I5-4670 + 2x8GB DDR3 +250GB SSD + 2TB HDD

No clue about your Nasa-EEC memory, the reason why you would need that, the solution you try to reach with that, and the new problems that will pop up with that.
+1
If you go this way, a couple of years down the track just drop an I7 in for a cheap futher upgrade.
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Offline abaxas

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Re: Suggestion on new PC
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2014, 07:16:00 pm »
Buy an ex corporate machine that is 3-4 years old. Stick in 8 gig of ram, a low end graphics card and an SSD

Total cost 15-25% of what you are currently spending for 60-70% the performance

Repeat in 3 years time for a machine better than you have already spec'ed.




 

Offline magetoo

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Re: Suggestion on new PC
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2014, 08:39:57 pm »
Buy an ex corporate machine that is 3-4 years old. Stick in 8 gig of ram, a low end graphics card and an SSD
I was going to point to the /r/buildapc subreddit but have to say that is a perfectly valid option too. (power and space being the possible drawback)
 

Offline dannyf

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Re: Suggestion on new PC
« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2014, 09:40:40 pm »
Quote
So, what you guys may suggest me to buy?

A few different strategies:

1) buy a high-end machine: I am still using a dual-xeon workstation I got several years ago (5 - 10 years, I think), and I think I can use it another 3 - 5 years. Perfectly capable for what I do, and plays most of the games. Yes, the machine was pricey but you get to use it over a longer period of time;

2) buy a low-end server: you will often find those deals from time to time, HP, Dell, or Lenovo. TS140 for example has a E3 version that goes for $300(?).

3) build you own. A dual x5650 go for $100 - 200. Building one from parts, especially you already have some of them, is likely the cheapest way to go.
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Online nctnico

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Re: Suggestion on new PC
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2014, 02:40:44 am »
Hi, I want to build a new PC workstation for Altium Designer and MinGW compiler toolchain.
I do gaming, but I'm not a serious gamer. Portal 2 is the most demanding game I'll run.
I suffered from bizarre memory problems alot, so I WILL buy something with ECC memory ONLY.

Here are my chioces:
a. C226 mobo+Xeon E3-1271 V3+DDR3 1866 (Memory Controller OC) ECC 8G*2+GTX 750 Ti
b. X99 mobo+Xeon E5-1630/50 v3(Quad/Hex core)+DDR4 2133 ECC 4G*4+GTX 750 Ti

Prices for C226 and X99 is close (X99 is $50 more expensive), prices for E3-1271 V3 and E5-1630 is very close.
DDR4 is a little more expensive than DDR3, but quad channel offers much more bandwidth compared to DDR3.
I'd get an Asus motherboard and A-brand memory like Kingston if I would build a machine myself. Over the years (decades!) I have build lots of rock solid PCs with those two brands. I only had a defective memory module once. Running x86memtest for a day or 2 is a good idea. I second the suggestion about a case with a good airflow. A used machine may be good value for money as well. For everyday use ECC memory may be overkill if you have a good motherboard and memory to begin with so an i7 based system could be another option.

On paper the i7-4790 will provide the same computational performance as the Xeon E5-1630. I'm looking at buying a new PC as well (from Dell) but I have not found good comparison between the i7-4790 and the E5-1630 v3 where it comes to actual performance. The larger cache and more than twice the memory bandwith the E5-1630 offers should make a difference somewhere.

I wouldn't get an old server. These are likely to have run in a hot place for a long time. Besides that servers are usually very noisy.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2014, 02:44:34 am by nctnico »
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Offline blueskull

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Re: Suggestion on new PC
« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2014, 06:09:51 am »
Thanks, folks.

The reason why buying an ECC system is not because non-ECC may crash, but is it may silently corrupt my data, especially I do sophisticated board level design, and occasionally do simple ASIC design.

I'd prefer to build a high performance and solid machine, because I want it to last longer. The cost is not really that important, because an AD15 will cost me 9k+ USD (I'm currently using academic AD14, but I'll graduate in 1 year, and I want to stay in USA to find a job).

Since major version upgrade of AD is VERY expensive, so I will not upgrade to A16+. I'll stick with AD15, so I really don't need it to be super future proof.

Here my question is whether I should go for hex core quad channel DDR4, or I can go for quad core dual channel DDR3. Both is good, and both can handle AD15 perfectly. GPU may be upgraded later, but that is completely for gaming. I don't do 3D modeling using any professional tools, and I even don't use AD's 3D PCB function.

I MUST go with a SFF case, because I'm living in a very space confined place, and I have 2 monitors and another intel NUC server in my dorm. A standard ATX just won't fit in my room. Personally I will go for quad core+dual channel DDR3, because it is really energy efficient, but my concern is I may encounter huge trouble upgrading the system later, if I need better performance. If I go for LGA1150, then I can't upgrade it later, I'll have to buy a new one, since this is probably the best LGA1150 platform ever made. If I go with LGA2011, then I have quite a margin to tinkering my system.

Another question for you guys is DO I REALLY NEED QUAD CHANNEL DDR4? It has 3x bw compared to 2*DDR3 1600, and is not so expensive. Will I encounter memory performance barrier in everyday using?
 

Online nctnico

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Re: Suggestion on new PC
« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2014, 11:00:14 am »
I wouldn't fixate on upgradeability. Sockets and memory change so much that by the time you want to upgrade your machine you end up buying a new CPU and memory which force you to buy a new motherboard as well. I'm more or less in the same boat regarding upgrading ;) Dell has 'Precision T1700' desktop systems in a small form factor case with Xeon E3 processors and ECC memory. The reason I buy 'for business' Dell systems nowadays is because their cases have better airflow than standard ATX cases and they have proven to be quite reliable. My kids trash their Dells by playing browser based games which have the CPU work at full power all day long.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline ConKbot

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Re: Suggestion on new PC
« Reply #11 on: November 22, 2014, 06:05:37 pm »
I wouldn't fixate on upgradeability. Sockets and memory change so much that by the time you want to upgrade your machine you end up buying a new CPU and memory which force you to buy a new motherboard as well. I'm more or less in the same boat regarding upgrading ;) Dell has 'Precision T1700' desktop systems in a small form factor case with Xeon E3 processors and ECC memory. The reason I buy 'for business' Dell systems nowadays is because their cases have better airflow than standard ATX cases and they have proven to be quite reliable. My kids trash their Dells by playing browser based games which have the CPU work at full power all day long.

+1 The only time you should be worrying around being able to upgrade is when youre doing a new CPU every 6 months because youre paying $$$$ for the biggest and best for gaming etc...

Spend enough to get a machine which will last a while, stuff it to the gills with RAM so you dont have to worry about matching timings later if you upgrade etc... Well maybe not completely full on those server motherboards with 8-16 slots that support 8 or 16 GB each  :o , but on a desktop machine with 4-6 slots, I say max it out. 

I retired my last PC when I went to play a game (DayZ) that was PC only, and not a crap console port, and it was absolutely bogged down.  Checked on newegg and the system was 7 years old, with a graphics card that was 3 years old.  Oddly enough the xbox360 and PS3 were ~ 7 years old then too, so no wonder I could max out the settings still run console ports just fine  ::)
 

Online NiHaoMike

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Re: Suggestion on new PC
« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2014, 06:59:46 pm »
if you number crunch and run alot of 100% cpu / gpu stresses ... heat is you number 1 killer. SFF used to be very unreliable when it comes to heat, but im not sure about the newer ITX, i assume you are talking about SFF using ITX.
The 1U and blade servers I have worked on seem to be perfectly happy with a 100% load 24/7. Granted, they're kinda useless as workstations since you can't put much of a GPU in a 1U. Some 2U servers can accept GPUs but your best bet is to go 4U or bigger.
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Online nctnico

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Re: Suggestion on new PC
« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2014, 08:09:02 pm »
if you number crunch and run alot of 100% cpu / gpu stresses ... heat is you number 1 killer. SFF used to be very unreliable when it comes to heat, but im not sure about the newer ITX, i assume you are talking about SFF using ITX.
The 1U and blade servers I have worked on seem to be perfectly happy with a 100% load 24/7. Granted, they're kinda useless as workstations since you can't put much of a GPU in a 1U. Some 2U servers can accept GPUs but your best bet is to go 4U or bigger.
The thing is that those 1U server cases are designed for proper airflow while the standard ATX computer cases for which the design dates back from the early 80's have no planned airflow at all.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline ampdoctor

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Re: Suggestion on new PC
« Reply #14 on: November 23, 2014, 12:26:50 am »
It always seemed to me that the latest and greatest flavor of the month cpu's and boards have never really been worth the cost increase. How many people are really going to need that 5% difference? unless you plan on slagging the computer to within an inch of it's life with solidworks or creo, I would think an i5 quad core with a truckload of memory should generally be adequate, and just allow for an upgrade to an i7 should you find yourself really taxing the processor more heavily than expected.

my biggest question would be whether or not to go with the 1150 or the 2011 socket. The 1150 seems so give you the most vendors, mobo options, and bang for the buck, while the 2011 seems to be more forward looking. With the speed at which things are changing in the computer market these days I'm not so sure anybody should even bother with looking 5 years into the future.
 

Offline IanB

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Re: Suggestion on new PC
« Reply #15 on: November 23, 2014, 12:42:55 am »
Something I learned recently to my cost is that modern high performance hard disks get HOT. Very hot. If you don't install them in a ventilated bay with good airflow they will fail. Guaranteed. Memory chips also get hot. Make sure they are cooled as well.

Yeah, you may want to install just an SSD. But do you feel lucky? Do you?

Short answer: small case equals loud fan and very annoying background noise. Large case equals quiet fan and a peaceful existence.
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Online nctnico

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Re: Suggestion on new PC
« Reply #16 on: November 23, 2014, 03:08:42 am »
Something I learned recently to my cost is that modern high performance hard disks get HOT. Very hot. If you don't install them in a ventilated bay with good airflow they will fail. Guaranteed. Memory chips also get hot. Make sure they are cooled as well.

Yeah, you may want to install just an SSD. But do you feel lucky? Do you?
IMHO when using an SSD the key thing is to disable swapping to the hard drive especially when using Windows.

Edit: I did some digging into how reliable SSDs are and much to my surprise the failure rate of A-brand SSDs is much lower than the failure rate of hard drives. I'm also pleased with how affordable SSDs got. Even 1TB from an A-brand like Samsung or Sandisk is not breaking the bank.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2014, 12:59:37 pm by nctnico »
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

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Re: Suggestion on new PC
« Reply #17 on: November 23, 2014, 05:08:52 am »
Blueskull, sounds like you're on the right track. Especially if you're after a high reliability machine, stick with the Xeon and ECC Registered RAM. The only advice I'd give you is if you're going all out to build a fairly high-spec and rock solid machine, do yourself a favour and invest in a Supermicro motherboard. Forget that consumer level stuff. You'll be happy you did for many years to come.
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: Suggestion on new PC
« Reply #18 on: November 23, 2014, 07:05:01 pm »
Thanks, guys.

After asking and googling, I finally decided to go with an E3 1271 V3+Supermicro C226, which gives a little higher single core performance at a lower cost and lower TDP.

I won't be fixating on upgradability, because I can tansfer my licenses to any new computer if needed.

Thx, again.
 

Offline Syntax_Error

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Re: Suggestion on new PC
« Reply #19 on: November 23, 2014, 10:02:52 pm »
If you are willing to give up just 100MHz core clock, grab the E3-1241v3. The box price drops substantially. If you can give up 200MHz, and grab a E3-1231v3 it's even lower, but not by as large a delta.
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Online nctnico

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Re: Suggestion on new PC
« Reply #20 on: November 25, 2014, 08:21:34 pm »
IMHO you should get as high a clock rate your money can buy. There are still many applications out there which are single threaded. Xilinx ISE for example; even though you can enable multi processing I've never seen it use more than 1 CPU.
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Online NiHaoMike

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Re: Suggestion on new PC
« Reply #21 on: November 25, 2014, 10:16:58 pm »
Xilinx ISE does seem to only use one thread to do the bulk of the work. No idea if the underlying problem is simply difficult to solve with multiple threads or if it's just crippled to help sales of the paid versions.
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Offline Galenbo

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Re: Suggestion on new PC
« Reply #22 on: January 06, 2015, 12:59:16 pm »
... non-ECC may crash, but is it may silently corrupt my data, especially I do sophisticated board level design...to build a high performance and solid machine... The cost is not really that important, because an AD15 will cost me 9k+ USD... quad channel DDR4, or I can go for quad core dual channel DDR3.

I MUST go with a SFF case, because I'm living in a very space confined place, and I have 2 monitors and another intel NUC server in my dorm. A standard ATX just won't fit in my room.

Somehow, I see some conflicts and contradictions between both quoteblocks.

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