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 Post subject: Silent Graphics Workstation
PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 12:21 am 
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Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2012 11:54 pm
Posts: 5
Hi!

I've been directed here by the nice folks from the SPCR Facebook Group. I'm currently looking for buying a graphics workstation based on Windows 7. As two of those workstations will be used in the bed room, I'd like them to be very quiet. On the other hand, I'd like to have a reliable system, that's able to cope with Adobe Lightroom 4 and Adobe Photoshop CS6, to some extent even with Adobe Premiere Pro CS6.

So I asked a couple of vendors for offers around these specs:

- Windows 7 Pro
- i7 Quad Core
- GBit Network support (I'm putting all the heavy data stuff on a NAS on the other side of the flat)
- USB 3.0 support
- 32 GB RAM
- 500 GB SSD (for system, applications, swap disk), with thermal reserve for 2nd 500 GB SSD at a later point in time
- Dual-Power video adapter with DVI-out ( usable for Adobe products; i.e. supported by the Adobe Mercury engine )
- maybe a dedicated sound card ( I also like to play around with digital DJing software like Native Instruments Traktor )
- maybe a built-in card-reader

- blue-ray burner will be bought seperately from this order as an external device, e.g. asus SWB-06C2X-U


And this was the offer from the most interesting vendor, who has two (!) stores not far away from me and who was very quick to answer.

- case: miditower CORSAIR Obsidian 550D, black
- power supply: ATX 650 Watts, CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650 v2, 80Plus-Bronze
- main board: S-1155 ASUS TUF Sabertooth P67 (Rev. 3.0) ATX
- processor: Intel Core i7 - 3770, 3.40 GHz, LGA1155, Quad-Core, Boxed
- processor cooling: NOCTUA NH-C12P SE14
- memory: DDR3-RAM KIT 32 GB, 1600 MHz, CL9, CORSAIR Vengeance
- video card: SAPPHIRE Ultimate Radeon HD 7750, Full Retail, 1024GB, PCI-E 3.0
- storage: SSD 2.5" SATA 6Gb/s OCZ Vertex 4, 512 GB
- card reader: ICY BOX IB-865-B 60 in 1, completed with a mounting frame

...including Windows 7 Pro 64Bit, installation therof and burn-in testing of the assembled system.

Now my question: What do you guys think?

1) will this system be very quiet (compareable to a tablet? or more compareable to a laptop? I have no idea how one would compare "quietness")
2) will this be a stable system, even when letting it run for a couple of days or even weeks? (not getting too hot? good quality components?)
3) will this system be powerful enough so I can work fluidly with Adobe Lightroom 4, Adobe Photoshop CS 6 and maybe even Adobe Premiere CS 6?
4) what are your suggestions?

Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Silent Graphics Workstation
PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 7:03 am 
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Location: Monterey Bay, CA
Welcome to SPCR!

The proposed setup won't be silent. It can be pretty darn quiet with some fan profile tweaking. Do tablets make noise?!?

Case: I like the 550D.

CPU: good choice

mobo: Is fine. Or, look at the P877-V and save $40.

RAM: 16GB is useful for Photoshop. Unless your files are crazy large, I'm not sure >16GB is needed. Adobe recommends 4GB per core for Premier Pro..if that takes into account hyperthreading, then maybe 32GB is useful. I'm doubtful. You can always start with 2x8GB and add more later. Tall heat spreaders can interfere with the CPU cooler and add no value.

SSD: Consider getting 2 smaller SSDs instead of one. One for OS/apps, one for scratch disk/local storage. Should be a tad faster for heavily loaded projects. Consider the Crucial m4. Great reliability, cheaper than the Vertex, does well with compressed data. You could probably get away with 2 x 128GB.

Video card: In general, nice card. One option would be to just use the iGPU on the Intel chip. It may meet your needs. Adding a video card later is the easiest thing to do.

Photoshop and Lightroom make use of Open CL and Open GL in Windows. I don't know how much gpu power is actually needed, because there aren't any reliable benchmarks posted. Just people with opinions. A low end gaming card like the 7750 will work fine. the HD4000 iGPU might work as well.

Premiere Pro is currently tuned to only use Open CL for 2 specific ATI cards in Mac laptops. If you want specific GPU acceleration for Premiere Pro, then you have to buy a CUDA enabled Nvidia card. If this is a hobby, and not work, I wouldn't bother.

PSU: If you want silent operation, then get a quieter PSU. Your system power draw is fairly low. The Kingwin LZP-550 and Seasonic x-560 have high efficiency, are passive at your nominal load power, and are quiet at higher loads.

_________________
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)

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 Post subject: Re: Silent Graphics Workstation
PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 10:31 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 02, 2010 4:41 am
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Location: Denmark
I'm not sure the PSU that you mention is quiet. You should go with the Seasonic or Kingwin as CA_Steve mentioned, or perhaps the Corsair AX750W. The AX850W (yes, 850) was reviewed here at SPCR and it was semi-passively cooled, meaning that the fan will only turn on when the system load is high (and even then it is very quiet). It got the SPCR review, and I even believe that it was in fact made by Seasonic.

You can always check the SPCR recommended list for PSU's.

Just check to see if the Corsair 550D includes a fan controller. At stock, then fans will not be quiet enough, so you'll need to undervolt them.

The main board seems a little over geared. Do you need a main board that expensive? Also be aware that you can buy a main board with a Z77 chipset.

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Cooler Master Elite 341, Athlon II X3 425, Radeon 5750 (passive, fan zip-tied on), Crucial M4 64 GB.
Cooling: AC Alpine 64 Pro, rear exhaust Scythe Slipstream 800 rpm @ ~5 V


"SSD's: The difference between a casual jogger and a dog chasing a ball"


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 Post subject: Re: Silent Graphics Workstation
PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 2:31 pm 
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I didn't even notice the OP listed a last-gen mobo :)

If he goes with the current gen Asus, then Fan Xpert will obviate the need for another fan controller.

_________________
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: Silent Graphics Workstation
PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 2:31 pm 
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Posts: 5
Hi, thanks for the welcome and the advise!

Regarding the P877-V... Why is it $ 40 cheaper, what's missing?

Regarding 16GB... My systems tend to be with me for longer than I initially plan, so 32 GB is my way of "future-proofing" the system a little bit. Also, I tend to use many applications at the same time, having some running in the background; RAM helps.

Regarding smaller SSDs... I'm not sure 512 GB will be enough for me. This is kind of a test finding that out. If it isn't, I can always throw in another one. If it is, I even might throw in a second one anyway for swap / temp space. Until now, I haven't yet had the pleasure of having a SSD, so I should experience quite a speed-up compared to my old system, which is already 6 years old.

Regarding Open CL / Open GL... No idea, I just know my currently installed video card works ok with Photoshop, but my current system is too slow for video cutting. It is a hobby, i.e. something that I invest more money than I get out of. :-) But I take my hobbies serious.

Regarding PSU... Unfortunatelly, my vendor doesn't carry Kingwin / Seasonic. But he has a "CORSAIR CX600 V2, 80 Plus" and a "CORSAIR Gaming Series GS500, 80Plus". Are they any good? You can find the list of my vendor's power-supplies here (500 to 600 Watts) and here (600 to 800 Watts).

Regarding the fan controller... The only thing I know about these kinds of things is, that the voltage for the fan comes out of the mother board. That's pretty much it :-)

Regarding the mainboard being over-geared... I cannot judge that. What I want / need is reliability, support for at least 4 memory slots, support for at least 2 extension cards (video card, maybe sound card later on), USB 3.0 and GBit LAN. It wouldn't hurt if the onboard soundcard would be ASIO supported and there were Windows 7 drivers available and Windows 8 drivers announced. Besides that... Which features do you think I could live without?


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 Post subject: Re: Silent Graphics Workstation
PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 10:05 am 
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Location: Denmark
These PSU's are very quiet:

http://www.ditech.at/artikel/N50CM1/Net ... ronze.html
The 700W has been reviewed here at SPCR and it has received the "recommended" award.

http://www.silentpcreview.com/Coolermas ... _Pro_M700W

http://www.ditech.at/artikel/N50EN5/Net ... -Gold.html

The SPCR review of this one:
http://www.silentpcreview.com/Enermax_Modu87_500W

Most of the Enermax PSU's I've heard of are very quiet.

http://www.ditech.at/artikel/N52EN2/Net ... ronze.html
http://www.ditech.at/artikel/N52EN3/Net ... ronze.html

The 625W has been reviewed here at SPCR:
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article806-page1.html

_________________
Cooler Master Elite 341, Athlon II X3 425, Radeon 5750 (passive, fan zip-tied on), Crucial M4 64 GB.
Cooling: AC Alpine 64 Pro, rear exhaust Scythe Slipstream 800 rpm @ ~5 V


"SSD's: The difference between a casual jogger and a dog chasing a ball"


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 Post subject: Re: Silent Graphics Workstation
PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 2:08 pm 
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Location: Monterey Bay, CA
Motherboard: Stick with the current generation of mobos, so you get the benefit of the new features. Here's a comparison list of the Asus Z77 mobo's. I just listed the ones that have Fan Xpert2* and support 4 RAM slots. It just comes down to some have wifi built in, some don't, all have Thunderbolt header but only 1 has the module, some have PCI orthers just have PCIe. Some have longer warranties. Pick the features you need/like.

*Fan Xpert2 - this is software Asus provides that allow you to set up nice fan speed profiles. Read the SPCR ASUS mobo review to learn more.

RAM: <shrugs> Futureproofing doesn't exist. RAM is always easy to add. But, If you want to spend the Euros, go for it.

PSU: The Enermax MODU87 +, 80Plus Gold 500W seems to be the best of the selection available.

_________________
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: Silent Graphics Workstation
PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 11:09 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2012 11:54 pm
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Well... Photoshop eats up all the memory it gets :-)

Thanks for the suggestions! 500 Watts, would this be still enough if I opt for a stronger video card?

I've browsed through the motherboards, from the Z77 ones the Mainboard S-1155 ASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe, ATX looks very good to me. It has 8 USB 3.0 ports, and I don't see too much difference to the Mainboard S-1155 ASUS P8Z77-V Premium, ATX which is a lot more expensive.


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 Post subject: Re: Silent Graphics Workstation
PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 6:06 am 
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Your system will use maybe 150W if fully loaded. CPU TDP is 77W, GPU is 55W.

_________________
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: Silent Graphics Workstation
PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 7:26 am 
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Thanks :-)

I'll ask my vendor for an updated offer and will post the results.

Thanks for you help, guys!


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 Post subject: Re: Silent Graphics Workstation
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 1:15 am 
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Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2012 11:54 pm
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Hi Guys, this is the updated offer from my vendor.

Apparently, the Enermax MODU87+ 80+ Gold 500W is not available, so he substituted it with the Enermax Revolution87+ 80Plus-Gold.


- case: Miditower CORSAIR Obsidian 550D black
- power supply: ATX 550 Watts, ENERMAX Revolution87+ 80Plus-Gold
- main board: S-1155 ASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe, ATX
- cpu: INTEL Core i7 - 3770, 3.4GHz LGA 1155 Quad-Core, Boxed
- cpu cooler: NOCTUA NH-C12P SE14
- ram: DDR3-RAM KIT 32 GB, 1600 MHz, CL9, CORSAIR Vengenance
- video: PCI-E 3.0 SAPPHIRE Ultimate Radeon HD 7750, Full Retain, 1024 MB
- storage: Solid State Drive 2.5 SATA OCZ Vertex 4, 512 GB
- card reader: ICY BOX IB-865-B 60 in 1 (USB 3.0)

- windows 7 pro 64bit SP1


What do you think? Are the components good? Will it be very audible? Will it be powerful enough for video-cutting and processing lots of photos?


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 Post subject: Re: Silent Graphics Workstation
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 6:06 am 
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This should work out fine for your needs. It should be pretty quiet as is and you can tweak the fan noise levels and system temps using the Asus fan software. I still have some concerns about using just 1 SSD. But, you can try it out and if the workflow seems drive limited, you can always add another.

_________________
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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