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 Post subject: Quiet dual Opteron workstation
PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2006 10:15 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2003 8:51 am
Posts: 41
Location: Glasgow, Scotland, U.K.
Hi everyone,

I’m not 100% sure if this is the right place to post this? If not, please move to a better place in the forum.

A couple of months ago, I took quiet PCs from being a hobby and made it into my profession. I started up my own business making tailored systems and services, specialising in quiet PCs and workstations. I have been a member of SPCR since 2003 and feel that I would not be where I am today without all your help. I’m writing this article to share the things I learned during a recent project. Hopefully you will find it interesting.

One of my customers wanted a quiet high end workstation for Maya. After some research and discussions with the client, we agreed on the following specification:

Case : Silverstone Temjin TJ05
PSU : Seasonic S12 Powersupply 600W
Case Fans : 2 x AcoustiFan DustPROOF 120mm (Changed to 2 x Yate Loon D12SL-12)
Case Fan Accessories : Black Anti-vibration silicone 120 mm fan gaskets and Ultra-Soft Arrowhead Fan Mounts, 2 Zalman Fanmate 2
Motherboard : Tyan Thunder K8WE (non SCSI version)
CPU : 2 x AMD Opteron 280
CPU Cooler : 2 x Scythe Ninja-PLUS with 120mm fan
Memory : 4 x 1GB DDR400 ECC REG
Graphics : GeForce 7900 GTX 512MB
Hard Drives : 2 x Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 300Gb Sata
CD/DVD Drive : NEC ND-4570A
Floppy Drive : Mitsumi 7 in 1 + FDD
Sound : Sound Blaster X-Fi Elite Pro
Case Sound Proofing: 2 x AcoustiPack Deluxe (Big Case)
HD Boxes : 2 x Scythe Silent Box Heatlane HDD Enclosure (Changed to 2 x Silentmaxx HD-Silencer)
O/S : Windows XP Professional 64Bit (OEM)

Comments about the component choices

Case:
I chose the Silverstone case because of the need for space and because it is made of steel. Normally the airflow is restricted by the HD cage, blocking most of the airflow behind the front intake 120mm fan. Having the HDs mounted in boxes in the 5 ¼â€

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/ Micke


Last edited by Strand on Thu May 11, 2006 6:04 am, edited 5 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2006 10:38 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2005 6:55 am
Posts: 5085
Location: UK
Quote:
The client was really happy with the performance and the sound level of the workstation. His first comment was: Is it on?


Well done! You are a credit to SPCR. :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2006 7:50 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2005 10:39 am
Posts: 288
That’s really cool nice work, ive been thinking about trying this out as a business too how do you go about advertising? And have you had much interest since you started?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2006 1:53 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2003 8:51 am
Posts: 41
Location: Glasgow, Scotland, U.K.
Hi Dave,

I can't say that I have had a lot of interest so far. I still need to get a proper website up and running. I try avoiding normal advertising at the moment and concentrate on networking events. And hopefully my reputation will continue to grow slow but steady.

I think the biggest hurdle with Quiet PC and Workstations is than most people don’t know that they exist, and therefore aren’t looking for them.

I have had more interest in the high efficiency part of building Quiet PCs than the actual noise part. I guess that most people can see a direct relationship between lower power drawn by a computer and saving money on the electricity bill.

Where are you based? When you talk about Quiet PCs do people understand that it is Quiet PCs, not just slightly less noisy PCs?

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/ Micke


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 14, 2006 2:25 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2005 10:39 am
Posts: 288
Strand wrote:
Where are you based? When you talk about Quiet PCs do people understand that it is Quiet PCs, not just slightly less noisy PCs?


I am Based in the UK oxford to be exact. and yes i do understand that. i think it would be quite a good thing to do for an office to take down the ambiant noise of the comptuers.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 28, 2006 7:33 am 
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Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2004 2:42 pm
Posts: 606
Location: UK
hm, i wonder what an office of silent PCs would sound like.. if it would still actually be really quiet due to the sheer number of computers..

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 28, 2006 7:37 am 
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Joined: Tue May 24, 2005 8:22 pm
Posts: 2465
Location: Vancouver, BC
mb2 wrote:
hm, i wonder what an office of silent PCs would sound like.. if it would still actually be really quiet due to the sheer number of computers..


In the office I worked in, most of the white noise was created by the HVAC system, not the computers.

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Thinkpad X200 – SSD bliss, T60p – loud hard drive, Core Duo whine :(
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2006 9:05 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2005 4:51 pm
Posts: 18
Did the 7900gtx fit in the top PCIe slot?
That one large cooler looks like it might block

-palmem


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2006 9:18 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2003 8:51 am
Posts: 41
Location: Glasgow, Scotland, U.K.
No problem with fitting the 7900GTX. The dual-slot cooler goes below the card, so it doesn’t go any closer to the heatsink than the 6500 on the pictures! It does cover the PCI slot between the two PCIe slots.

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/ Micke


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2006 10:32 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2006 5:33 pm
Posts: 275
I wonder why the customer wanted a 7900GTX instead of something like the Quadro FX 540. The prices are almost the same, but the FX 540 is more than twice as fast as the 7800GTX (which probably isn't significantly slower than the 7900GTX in Maya).

benches


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2006 11:38 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2003 8:51 am
Posts: 41
Location: Glasgow, Scotland, U.K.
I had this discussion on 2cpu.com http://forums.2cpu.com/showthread.php?t=73233 and a couple of other places.

Maya is apparently one of the only professional apps that don’t see any real benefit for using a Quadro card. The bench you refer to doesn’t tell the whole story. Compare the different test. The FX1400 gets a better Maya GTX score than the FX4400?

The recommendation both I and my customer got from other pro Maya users was to stick with a high end GeForce card.

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/ Micke


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2006 12:21 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2006 5:33 pm
Posts: 275
Strand wrote:
I had this discussion on 2cpu.com http://forums.2cpu.com/showthread.php?t=73233 and a couple of other places.

Maya is apparently one of the only professional apps that don’t see any real benefit for using a Quadro card. The bench you refer to doesn’t tell the whole story. Compare the different test. The FX1400 gets a better Maya GTX score than the FX4400?

The recommendation both I and my customer got from other pro Maya users was to stick with a high end GeForce card.

I didn't see a conclusive agreement in that thread, though...


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