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 Post subject: Development & Light Gaming Rig
PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2015 3:36 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2014 8:29 am
Posts: 9
Hi guys. Life happened and it's been a while since I posted.

I'm looking to build an expandable, silent to very quite machine for heavy development including Nvidia GPU compute usage and some light gaming. My ideal would be something like one of the gaming builds that SPCR has done over the last few months but I can't go there just yet.

Quiet is paramount. The machine is going in the office my wife and scaredy pets spend most of their time in, and frankly I'm sick of white noise myself. But, I do unfortunately need 1-2 TB of storage for in machine data over the short term. Beyond that I am trying to keep the initial cost down.

The basic parts list is http://pcpartpicker.com/p/J6ZQ99.

CPU: Intel i3-4150
MB: ASRock Z97 Anniversary Micro ATX
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR3-1600
SSD: Samsung 850 EVO-Series 120GB
HD: Seagate 1TB Barracuda
GPU: MSI GTX 750 Ti Twin Frozr
Case: Fractal Design R4
PSU: Corsair CS450M
OS: Windows 7 Home Ultimate or Windows 8.1 Pro

I chose Nvidia for power efficiency and because I specifically need it for GPU compute code rather than AMD. The HD is for image and VM storage, I do have a couple WD 750 Caviar Black laptop drives on the shelf, I could possibly use instead.

I plan to incrementally upgrade the following as needed and when I can:
RAM: 16GB for VM usage.
CPU: Intel i5-4670K for performance or possibly an i7 if I need the threads for my image analysis programs I'll be writing.
GPU: GTX 980(?) SLI(?) as needed for additional compute resources and occasional 1440p gaming.
HD: Build a remote storage server when we get into a house.

I'm uncertain about additional fans or aftermarket coolers for this rig either now or later.

Hopefully I haven't forgotten anything and I look forward to your feedback.

Thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: Development & Light Gaming Rig
PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2015 7:14 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 4:36 am
Posts: 5053
Location: Monterey Bay, CA
CPU: Intel i3-4150 - ok
MB: ASRock Z97 Anniversary Micro ATX - good choice
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 -> you are better off going with 2 x 4GB now and getting another 2 x 4GB later. Otherwise you give up the benefit (speed) of dual channel memory controller.
SSD: Samsung 850 EVO-Series 120GB - 120GB class drives take a big hit in performance as they don't populate all of the memory controllers read/write channels with Flash. See the diffference when you go to 250GB.
HD: Seagate 1TB Barracuda - go with 5400 rpm 3.5 or 2.5" drives if you want to minimize noise and if it's just storage and not being used as a scratch disk.
GPU: MSI GTX 750 Ti Twin Frozr - ok
Case: Fractal Design R4 - the stock fans are noticable...quiet but noticable. I ended up getting three $13 Antec True Quiet 140's in my build (see signature)
PSU: Corsair CS450M - really cheap PSUs scare me..that said, I don't know enough about this PSU model to comment. As for your power use...450W is fine for the build as is (~150W stress load). With an i7 and a GTX 980, it goes to ~300W...call it 250W-260W under heavy gaming load. This 450W PSU will be ramping it's fan up a lot. If you really want SLI....obviously, it's a different PSU :)
OS: Windows 7 Home Ultimate or Windows 8.1 Pro - get the OEM version and save $'s.

CPU cooler - The stock cooler might be ok for the i3. You could try it out. For i5 or i7, I'd get the Scythe Kotetsu for $40-45.

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1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, MSI Z87-G45, MSI GTX 760 2GB Gaming, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung Evo 250GB, Crucial MX100 256GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic X-560. 35-40W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 200-230W Rift, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)

Support SPCR through these links: NCIX, Amazon and Newegg


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 Post subject: Re: Development & Light Gaming Rig
PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2015 9:17 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2014 8:29 am
Posts: 9
Thanks CA_Steve.

I wasn't sure if 1 bank vs. 2 banks of RAM was still an issue or not.

Using a 5,400 RPM drive should help since it's not going to be my primary disk. I'd also forgotten about the partially populated controllers on smaller SSDs. Yikes.

Your fan advice is also appreciated, going back an rereading page 8 of the Quiet ATX Gaming Guide using the True Quiets to lower the noise floor will be nice, especially since this system will have to sit on my desk.

I'll have to dig around a bit on the PSU. It was one of the parts I was considering replacing later, especially if I bump to SLI down the road. The Corsair CS450M came up on a good sale and for some reason I thought it had appeared as an alternate on one of the SPCR Gaming Guides, but I see that was the 650. The Corsair CS series is also listed in the 2b Tier of the Eggxpert Tiered Power Supply List, if there is any value in that, and I assumed that included the CS...M's.

Does anyone here know if there is there a difference in quality (or noise) between them? Or have a PSU recommendation?


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 Post subject: Re: Development & Light Gaming Rig
PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2015 12:31 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2007 10:12 am
Posts: 3551
Location: ITALY
rdy4life wrote:
I wasn't sure if 1 bank vs. 2 banks of RAM was still an issue or not.

A 1 bank kit is a tad less performing option, for some penny less:



rdy4life wrote:
Using a 5,400 RPM drive should help since it's not going to be my primary disk.

http://pcpartpicker.com/part/western-digital-internal-hard-drive-wd10jfcx - SPCR review.


rdy4life wrote:
I'll have to dig around a bit on the PSU.

The CS450 for that price is a steal (you can find a good written review in german on ComputerBase.de, where "seite" means "page", as graphs, tabs and comparisons are readable without translation, and another good written review on TechPowerUp! about the larger CS-650M).
80plus Gold, modular, noise-wise it has no issue at all at any power level, electrical performances are good or very good (set aside a bit too much of ripple on the 12V rail when close to the rated power): the only really questionable aspects are the choice of fan and capacitors (cheap ones), which may pose some concerns about long-term (> 3years) reliability, but for that price, and given that it should be backed by a relatively generous warranty, it shouldn't be a real issue, right?
To be more clear, personally for 27 USD I would have no doubt buying it even when I didn't need it (maybe even for more, but at 27 USD it's a steal, not a deal), I'd love to see it at that price here in Italy (it's 70 euros the lowest).


rdy4life wrote:
Does anyone here know if there is there a difference in quality (or noise) between them? Or have a PSU recommendation?

There is no difference except the connectors (the 450 sports just 1 PEG connector) while, noise-wise, for a good chunk more than twice that price that unit has virtually no competitors (its closed rivals are their Corsair siblings, the semi-passive RM450 and RM550).

Eventually: you really miss a CPU cooler (the stock one is too crappy), with the price difference due to the Antec TrueQuiet fans you can afford the improved Define R5, and (apparently) you can shave off 40 USD buying a Pentium G3258 and oc'ing it (particularly if you're going to upgrade later with a Core i5/Core i7).

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Luca

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 Post subject: Re: Development & Light Gaming Rig
PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2015 5:30 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2014 8:29 am
Posts: 9
quest_for_silence wrote:
A 1 bank kit is a tad less performing option, for some penny less:
...

I like this option of spending a little more on the faster RAM for future OC, since I'm planning on eventually swapping out for an unlocked K version processor.

quest_for_silence wrote:

So the WD RED's are still a good option? That's good to know.

quest_for_silence wrote:
The CS450 for that price is a steal (you can find a good written review in german on ComputerBase.de, where "seite" means "page", as graphs, tabs and comparisons are readable without translation, and another good written review on TechPowerUp! about the larger CS-650M).
80plus Gold, modular, noise-wise it has no issue at all at any power level, electrical performances are good or very good (set aside a bit too much of ripple on the 12V rail when close to the rated power): the only really questionable aspects are the choice of fan and capacitors (cheap ones), which may pose some concerns about long-term (> 3years) reliability, but for that price, and given that it should be backed by a relatively generous warranty, it shouldn't be a real issue, right?

That ComputerBase review was excellent. Thanks. I'd seen the TechPowerup one but really nothing on the CS-450M itself.

quest_for_silence wrote:
Eventually: you really miss a CPU cooler (the stock one is too crappy), with the price difference due to the Antec TrueQuiet fans you can afford the improved Define R5, and (apparently) you can shave off 40 USD buying a Pentium G3258 and oc'ing it (particularly if you're going to upgrade later with a Core i5/Core i7).

You just gave me the excuse I needed to upgrade to the R5. :D

The only problem with the Pentium G3258 for me is 2 threads vs. the 4 on the i3-4150. When you are running a couple VMs, even small ones, you'll notice the difference. Since I write networking code and drivers it is a real problem, especially in terms of network latency and throughput. For starters, you silently lose as much processing power on the host as you do in the client handling the data.

Thanks for all the input, I really appreciate it.

BTW, Steve I'll use the affiliate links when I get around to ordering.


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 Post subject: Re: Development & Light Gaming Rig
PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2015 5:44 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 4:36 am
Posts: 5053
Location: Monterey Bay, CA
kewl.

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1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, MSI Z87-G45, MSI GTX 760 2GB Gaming, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung Evo 250GB, Crucial MX100 256GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic X-560. 35-40W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 200-230W Rift, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)

Support SPCR through these links: NCIX, Amazon and Newegg


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