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 Post subject: School Workstation Build (56k Warning [it's 2013 already])
PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 9:26 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 2:10 pm
Posts: 1829
Location: Northern New Jersey
So it's been some time since my Audio Rig was built, and over the past few days, I've created a new animal. The machine was built for several big reasons:

Adobe Premiere Pro CS6
Adobe Photoshop CS6
Avid Pro Tools 10

Other applications used are: Reaper x64, Adobe Audition CS6 and Adobe Encore CS6.

The machine is used for this because I'm a TV/Digital Media Major, and have very demanding projects which are shot/edited/produced in high definition. Because I don't live on campus, I can't use the editing labs and hardware, so I own most of the gear I need for getting work done, building this computer put the finishing touches on this, and allow me to work from home completely.

The build is as follows (future planned changes will be noted):

2x Intel Xeon E5-2620
Asus Z9PA-D8
2x Xigmatek SD1283 Dark Knight
NZXT Source 210 Elite
Antec HCG-750
Kingston 32gb ECC Registered DDR3
LG WH14NS40 BluRay Burner
Startech PEXUSB3S2E2I USB3.0 PCI-e x1
SIIG NN-E38012-S3 Firewire 400/800 PCI-e x1
Western Digital Velociraptor 250GB HHTZ model
Thermalright HR-55-IFX
Gigabyte GTX660Ti 2gb
1200RPM PWM Scythe Slip Stream (Rear exhaust)
2x Noiseblocker NB-eLoop B12-PS (CPU fans)
Phanteks 140mm White (Top exhaust)
Windows 8 Pro with Media Center

The build was challenging in more ways than one. I did not want a massive case, I did not want something flashy or ugly, and I wanted something as small as I could get it. I most certainly did just that.

For people familiar with the overall gear, the SD1283 is 159mm tall and 50mm wide. The Asus Z9PA has LGA2011 sockets which have a mounting hole size of 80mm. This meant that I had to make sure I chose heatsinks which were shallow enough to fit a fan on each one, as I expect the heat output to require a significant amount of cooling. I chose the fans I did for the smaller hub, quiet operation, and the looks. Despite not having a side window (wouldn't fit anyway) I wanted the inside to look good. The case just fits the SD1283 heatsinks. The available height for coolers is probably 160mm total from the socket mount to the inside edge of the side panel. The biggest issue that I found when doing the install was with the 10" wide motherboard. It extended over a raised part of the motherboard tray which I did not trust. I placed a strip of thick gaffers tape over that area to add an insulating layer to prevent any shorts from the components and/or component leads sticking through the board. The machine booted right up once I pushed the power button the first time, so I must be doing something right.

Cable routing in this case proved to be easier than I expected. Behind the motherboard tray is more than adequate space for hiding cables. The Antec HCG is not a modular power supply, and the cables are long, and worst of all, bundled terribly. The ATX power cable is quite large, and difficult to squeeze places, the 6 pin PCI-e connectors are extremely stiff. There are a large number of cables in general that I didn't need, and had this been even a partially modular power supply, it would have been easier to work with. While I do not want to switch out the power supply having routed the cables, the idea of switching to my Antec True Power New 750 is tempting.

Mounting the fans proved to be somewhat complicated, I used the soft mount system from the Noiseblockers on the two case fans I left in, however since I only decided to do this once I was nearly done with the build, there wasn't much space to work with. That aside, while I'd rather use normal soft mounts, this bolt through kit seems to do the job fine. I do have a nexus soft-mounting kit for fans, so I do think I'll be changing to that soon, I simply didn't have it available while I was doing the build.

The configuration is definitely not set in stone however. The upper 140mm fan is the loudest of the bunch, and though it's quieter than most fans, I can hear it when the room is quiet, and I don't like that. I have sealed off several of the side, bottom and upper vents to promote front to back airflow, I would definitely say this machine could be quieter at idle. I'm tempted to remove the upper 140mm fan and block off the vent. I also have plans to change the PCI slot covers from the vented ones I have installed (different from stock) to solid ones.

Changing the HR-05 to an HR-05 IFX will allow for a dual slot GPU, or at least a better cooler to be installed, which is a must. I had planned on using my GTX260, as it was moderately quiet for normal use, but I didn't realize how little clearance I was dealing with until I could fit everything together. There is more space between the Xigmatek coolers than I had accounted for, so that's great news.

Some of the more nitty gritty on component choices:

I had gone to none other than pm.stacker to ask about his opinion on parts, and to say he knows dual socket boards is an understatement. Although he did point me towards the Asus Z9PA-D8C, no vendors had it in stock or could ship it to me in any reasonable amount of time. Considering a week from now I will have already started classes, I needed to get the machine running to work out the kinks. I'm already bumping into some software problems, but I'm working through just about all of them. The USB3.0 card was chosen for the front panel header it had. Since the Asus motherboard only has two rear USB3.0 ports, and no headers for it, I wanted to connect the front panel USB3.0 to a USB3.0 controller. If it's there, I want to be able to use it (if I need it of course). The front panel audio is the exception, as I don't need it. I have a ProFire 2626, and it sits just inches away from my keyboard, so I don't need to reach under the desk for audio plugs, my main audio outs are all on the ProFire front panel. The Firewire card worked OOTB, as did the USB3.0 card. I didn't even put the driver CDs in, it just worked right away. I'll bet testing transfer speeds soon to make sure it works as I need it to.

The case ended up being spectacular. For a $49.99 case, that's not common. To put everything on the table, I love the matte finish of the case, however it does scratch and chip easily. Taking out screws that held in the PCI slot covers showed me that, as did taking off the side panel thumbscrews for the first time. I've covered that up with a simple paper washer, but knowing that other NZXT cases ship with rubber washers on the thumbscrews (NZXT Phantom, among others), I was disappointed to see this didn't. That aside, the power button doesn't make any clicking noise, it's just a very soft touch and the machine fires up. Same with the reset button. For users who have this case around things that move, or in plain sight where it can get bumped, this can been a problem, but I love it. The dim power LED and HDD LED is absolutely wonderful. I also really love the diagonals on the front panel. While it's priced much lower than other cases, aside from the finish, it is designed well and I feel it competes with many other ATX cases. The cable routing possibilities were perfect for what I needed, and allowed me to set everything up very easily. I only extended one power adapter for the USB3.0 and FW cards, so that I could run the wire out of obvious sight. My only beef with this case is that the two USB ports on the front panel use two separate cables. The USB2.0 port could easily run with the USB3.0 cable, rather than going separately, but it is what it is. Maybe eventually I'll take off the front panel and see if I can do that mod myself. The case grills are a little tight, and I have every intention of cutting out the back fan grill, I have a wire fan grill that I bought with the fans just for that purpose as well, I just need to make sure everything works well, then i'll put it under the knife a little more.

I have already added the 640gb from my previous build, as it holds my main data, and I will be adding a second internal 640gb drive just for school work. The reason for this is because I do not have a working Apple HFS+ read/write driver anymore. In my previous build it installed with Pro Tools, and I was able to work off the external hard drive I used with my MacBook Pro, however with this latest build, the software does not install correctly, and I am only left with the Apple Boot Camp Read Only HFS+ driver for Windows. While I'm sure many will criticize my early adoption of Windows 8 in this build, I feel that it works well enough for what I need to do. Nearly all of my essential software is working correctly, minus only Paragon Partition Manager which I use for work, however I have yet to try installing a different Paragon application we purchased several months ago. Adobe CS6 Student license installed without a single problem, so I have no reason to doubt how well Windows 8 will work for me. Many thanks to the Microsoft support rep who also helped me get it activated on this machine, I'll just leave it at that :wink:

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Larger sizes and more images (and more to be added over the next few days): http://www.flickr.com/photos/29430563@N ... 543083374/

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|Dual Intel Xeon E5-2620-Xigmatek SD1283 DK-II|Asus Z9PA-D8-HR-05 IFX|WD 250gb Velociraptor SATA3|16gb DDR3-1600 ECC RDIMM|WD Blue 640GB SATA2 x2|Logitech K750|Logitech Wireless Mouse|nVidia GTX660ti 2GB|Antec HCG-750|NZXT Source 210 Elite|M-Audio ProFire 2626|Art TubeOpto8 with Smooth Plate Tube Swap|Avid Artist Mix x2|
FartingBob wrote:
A 9500GT with 1GB of RAM is the most pointless thing since NASCAR.


Last edited by bonestonne on Sat Apr 27, 2013 7:47 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: School Workstation Build (56k Warning [it's 2013 already
PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 2:31 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 02, 2010 4:41 am
Posts: 708
Location: Denmark
Very nice to hear something about the NZXT Source 210 Elite. It definitely looks like a great case for it's price. I don't think many people know about the case compared to similar cases like, let's say, the Corsair Carbide 200R and the Fractal Design Core 3000.

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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: School Workstation Build (56k Warning [it's 2013 already
PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 9:45 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 2:10 pm
Posts: 1829
Location: Northern New Jersey
Some updates about the build..

The perforated PCI slot covers really affected the airflow, and the top 140mm fan was creating all of my unwanted noise.

I replaced the slot covers with some temporary ones to alleviate my airflow problems, which now cause the GPU airflow to rise to the rear exhaust fan, where the Slip Stream really just kicks it out.

The top 140mm fan when positioned horizontally is definitely out of balance, and makes a very noticeable rattling sound outside of the case, just on my workbench. Good riddance.

I'm waiting for a Firepro V4800 to put in as a temporary workstation card to hopefully reduce temps compared to my old 9600GT. It's no slouch, but the card is very hot with the stock single slot cooler, as I have to wait a few days for a new Thermalright HR-05 IFX cooler in order to give me room for a 2 slot GPU. The two slot GPU will also bring a close fan to the IFX cooler to keep that all cool as well. Temps are stable, and the machine is so far, rock solid.

Because of the hardware acceleration I need with Adobe Premiere Pro, I'm going to go for the Gigabyte GTX 660ti 2GB, a good price, CUDA compatible, and plenty of RAM for the Mercury Engine to utilize. The bonus for me is the larger, better than reference cooler. The offset on this is that the stock cooler would send heat directly out the back of the computer, however that extra heat that I would be dealing with is likely not going to be welcome.

--New pictures are available on the flickr link posted above--

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|Dual Intel Xeon E5-2620-Xigmatek SD1283 DK-II|Asus Z9PA-D8-HR-05 IFX|WD 250gb Velociraptor SATA3|16gb DDR3-1600 ECC RDIMM|WD Blue 640GB SATA2 x2|Logitech K750|Logitech Wireless Mouse|nVidia GTX660ti 2GB|Antec HCG-750|NZXT Source 210 Elite|M-Audio ProFire 2626|Art TubeOpto8 with Smooth Plate Tube Swap|Avid Artist Mix x2|
FartingBob wrote:
A 9500GT with 1GB of RAM is the most pointless thing since NASCAR.


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 Post subject: Re: School Workstation Build (56k Warning [it's 2013 already
PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 12:58 pm 
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Location: Monterey Bay, CA
Certainly is a beast for computing power. :D No SSD? Doesn't the rotating media impact your editing performance?
I was wandering through Adobe forums earlier. Doesn't look like Adobe has bothered to update their registered list of "certified" GPUs for Premiere Pro beyond the high end cards. You might need to do a small hack to a cuda text file...lost the link for this...

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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, 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: School Workstation Build (56k Warning [it's 2013 already
PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 7:03 pm 
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Great photos and nice build. I won't comment on Windows 8 ;)

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Phenom II 555 (3 cores unlocked) 1.275v - 4GB - Xigmatek 1293 Cooler - WD 64 GB SSD -CM Mystique - Antec NeoHE 550 - Saphire 6870
e6300 - 2 GB DDR - P180 - Scythe Mine - Samsung 400 GB - 3 120mm fans
imac 7,1 C2D 2.0, 3 GB 250GB.
macbook C2D 2.4 3 GB 320GB Samsung M7E


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 Post subject: Re: School Workstation Build (56k Warning [it's 2013 already
PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 7:55 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 2:10 pm
Posts: 1829
Location: Northern New Jersey
I'll say that it hasn't been a walk in the park, however I've worked through my problems.

Paragon Partition Manager 10.0 is incompatible. No workaround, however the shop I work at has already purchased upgraded software which does work. Paragon Hard Disk Manager is compatible with Windows 8, contains all the features of Partition Manager as well as some new features which will be used in the future.

One problem is partially fixed, which I outlined before, which was the lack of HFS+ support. Since my laptop is a MacBook Pro, I do need to have some form of cross platform support. I have the current Boot Camp drivers which are Read Only. Could be worse, but the speed is fine. I'm still working on sorting through all the drivers and making sure that I have the best version installed possible, but with certain workarounds, the speed of certain things will be lower than what it could be.

I'm going to be tweaking the Premiere Pro install to allow GPU Acceleration for the 660ti I have on the way tomorrow, and that will just be that. I've pretty much exhausted my entire bag of tricks trying to get the FirePro V4800 to work with OpenCL acceleration, so the CUDA technology wins only by default. The CUDA technology, as it was explained to me, was a finished standard when the Mercury Playback Engine was developed. Because of that, OpenCL support is very behind on Windows, and only the nVidia CUDA platform is compatible.

I don't find the drives to impact editing performance right now, I have already completed one project by doing the editing in Premiere Pro and Menu system in Encore, and having seen how fast the machine works on only the software acceleration, I'm sure once I add the CUDA GPU for hardware acceleration it's going to be significantly faster.

As far as SSDs go, I'm unsure of it. I have a couple of dead small SSDs which are mSATA, however I know that they have come a long way and have improved a lot. Maybe that will be my upgrade after doubling the RAM. It's going to be June by the time I make the move to an SSD. I also have to say that I'm not sure that an SSD will make much of any difference for what I'm going to be doing, simply considering that the scratch disks and long term storage are spinning disks. If every drive was an SSD in this machine, the speed difference would likely much greater, but I don't want to trust all of my data to an SSD yet.

I'm looking to go back to adding a 140mm fan, as there is very significant heat output, and the system will run much cooler with it. Does anyone have thoughts or experience with the Xigmatek AOS XAF-F1452? I'm looking to keep all fans PWM in this build, so the motherboard can do Thermal management of fan speeds. The Scythe Slip Stream does seem to be problematic, not accurately reporting RPM to the motherboard, I'll have to do some more looking into that.

Some mods that I took care of today aside from the grill cutout was using OEM SATA cables which were much shorter, so I don't have to exercise cablegami too much on this build, and it can be somewhat self contained. One larger change I will be making slowly is that when installing the new GPU and HR-05 IFX, I'm going to be swapping the power supply for my True Power New, as I want to add a couple more coats of paint to the High Current Gamer (red metal bracket has been painted matte white) and I also want to re-sleeve the cables, partly for looks, partly for organization. The stock sleeving is decent, but very stiff and hard to work with. I'm going to be swapping out some connectors for 90 degree connectors in one direction or another to provide better compatibility with my install. Any thoughts on sleeving ideas are more than welcome, I'm thinking of a black and white scheme, but I'm not sure what exactly I want it to look like yet. The new sleeving will be from end to end in an effort to make it look neater (I also want to sort out some of the cables all the way back to the PSU, so they take up less space).

That's all until the new parts arrive tomorrow!

_________________
|Dual Intel Xeon E5-2620-Xigmatek SD1283 DK-II|Asus Z9PA-D8-HR-05 IFX|WD 250gb Velociraptor SATA3|16gb DDR3-1600 ECC RDIMM|WD Blue 640GB SATA2 x2|Logitech K750|Logitech Wireless Mouse|nVidia GTX660ti 2GB|Antec HCG-750|NZXT Source 210 Elite|M-Audio ProFire 2626|Art TubeOpto8 with Smooth Plate Tube Swap|Avid Artist Mix x2|
FartingBob wrote:
A 9500GT with 1GB of RAM is the most pointless thing since NASCAR.


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 Post subject: Re: School Workstation Build (56k Warning [it's 2013 already
PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 5:01 am 
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Location: Northern Italy
Adobe always had a "sweet spot" for Nvidia even before OpenCL/AMD GPGPU appeared on the market. I remember in 2009 struggling with CS2 on a Radeon HD4350 and getting 2 fps on 2nd monitor preview (and it's a dual E5520!). Following online advice, I swapped to a $50 Geforce GT220 with 2048MB onboard, it was like from night to day, now I had realtime preview, in software mode. :!: So when I had some money I decided to swap to a Quadro, I first found a used FX3800 for dirt cheap but it was a OEM Dell card with 1½ slot heatsink and a hurricane fan, then I found a OEM new 4000 (underpowered GF100) for $800 in 2010... it has "just" 2048MB but with CS4 and now CS6 it performs wonderfully. Only downside, the Nvidia video BIOS has some problems handling two Displayport monitors both with audio termination (HP with SPDIF out and Eizo with internal DAC), and the primary display should always be connected to the port marked as "1" on the bracket (on a FX3800/2000/4000, that's DVI-D).

I'm having excellent reliability and stability results with a 128GB Corsair Performance Pro, Marvell 88SS9174-BKK2, on my Ubuntu64 fanless DLNA server. It may not be the latest or fastest but it has auto garbage collection (Trim is not mandatory) and does not suffer uncompressible data like LSI-Sandforce controllers.


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 Post subject: Re: School Workstation Build (56k Warning [it's 2013 already
PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 3:35 pm 
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Posts: 1829
Location: Northern New Jersey
GTX660Ti is installed and running with the Mercury Playback Engine. All is well until you open Photoshop, and see there's no OpenCL support (what a PITA). Since that's a driver issue, I'm leaving things as they are for now. Both of my monitors are DVI only, so for a while, I wont have issues with the Displayport, however by the time I upgrade these monitors, I'm sure I'll be able to move to an ATI Firepro series. I'm using a pair of Acer S211 HL-BD 21.5" LED monitors which support 1080p resolution. I have an identical monitor setup at work on the boss's desk with an Atom based ITX machine we use for emails, music playback and general paperwork with the Office Suite.

The HR-05 IFX proved to be very difficult to install, but is now installed. If you look on the flickr set, you'll notice that there is a mounting issue, as under the GTX660, one of the mounting screws makes contact with the heatsink. Can't be perfect right? Stock cooling may have avoided this, but because of the heat I anticipate this thing dealing with, I'm leaving it. It's fine for now. It took long enough to reach this point where the entire machine was set up, and it lets me relax knowing I wont have to deal with the absolutely poorly maintained Mac Pro workstations on campus (dual CPU, 8gb RAM, and usually filled to the max hard drives with student projects).

The cables of the True Power New are too short to reach, compared to the HCG-750, so I'll reserve the new cable sleeving to be a summer project, as I don't expect to end up using this machine nearly as much then. Anyone with ideas, feel free to put them out. I took advantage of the failed swap to re-route the PSU cables more neatly so the side panel doesn't have to be wrestled back on.

The last things to set up are a small Ethernet switch under my desk for the Avid Artist Mix units, I can directly connect 1, but I need access for both, so a switch is the only way. Ethernet0 is being used for the Artist Mixes, and Ethernet1 is being used for my internet connectivity. Reduces the sloppiness of connecting the Mixes to my whole network. The switch will likely end up being powered by the computer itself, so I'll probably look at a Linksys that uses a 5v power adapter for that mess.

eSATA is the last thing I'll end up setting up, when I find an eSATA bracket that has a long enough cable for some hidden routing, or if I find a nice front panel card reader with eSATA and full support. My last card reader lasted about 5 days before crapping out with very little usage, so as long as my USB card reader keeps working, I'm fine with it. Maybe I'll just move to a USB3.0 reader.

Funny you mention Ubuntu, I will be installing it on this machine, however not any time in the near future. I'm going to set up a dedicated HDD for that, and just select that drive via the BIOS boot selection, just to avoid any boot loader issues. My previous machine ran that way, and it worked out great. Maybe when I move to the SSD, I'll stick in my 80gb for Ubuntu, and use a new one for Win8.

And for the record, I'm still pretty satisfied with Windows 8. All of my hardware works with it, and considering this is a slightly more advanced build than most, that compatibility does speak worlds for how well it works.

_________________
|Dual Intel Xeon E5-2620-Xigmatek SD1283 DK-II|Asus Z9PA-D8-HR-05 IFX|WD 250gb Velociraptor SATA3|16gb DDR3-1600 ECC RDIMM|WD Blue 640GB SATA2 x2|Logitech K750|Logitech Wireless Mouse|nVidia GTX660ti 2GB|Antec HCG-750|NZXT Source 210 Elite|M-Audio ProFire 2626|Art TubeOpto8 with Smooth Plate Tube Swap|Avid Artist Mix x2|
FartingBob wrote:
A 9500GT with 1GB of RAM is the most pointless thing since NASCAR.


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 Post subject: Re: School Workstation Build (56k Warning [it's 2013 already
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 2:22 am 
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Posts: 197
Location: Northern Italy
I know the HR-05 fixing system can be a PITA if you have the chipset near a X16 slot, I was in a worst case scenario since my Tyan has 2 chipsets directly behind the X16 slots and both with one hole directly in line of a X16. But since here they placed the mounting holes worlds apart (something like 3"... :shock:) and thus having to build a retention bracket myself, I built a lowest profile possible using countersunk screws and a piece of 1/10" thick alu. You can adapt the standard TR mounting hardware too: they used metric M3 thread, then you can ditch the long thumbscrew in favor of a standard M3 nut, and/or use a shorter M3 bolt.
On a side note looking at the flickr images, that's a HR-55-SLI-IFX heatsink, way beefier and bigger than the HR-05-SLI-IFX (offset version of the HR-05-IFX you used first place) :wink:

Other side note: all Nvidia Quadro FXx800, Fermi based and newer are DP++ compatible, i.e. their DP connectors are automatically configurable to output DP/HDMI/DVI/VGA via passive adapters. I connected my Onkyo amp to DP2 (connector "3") via a DP-HDMI mechanical adapter and it works 1080p with HD audio. So you can connect your Acer displays via simple DP-DVI passive cables, AFAIK the latest two Radeon-GL generations (Firepro) should be DP++ compatible, I remember the Radeon Eyefinity-6 versions with 2xDVI+2xMiniDP connectors were not compatible, since the MDP ports supported replicators to get 6-display capability and they ditched DP++ for that, don't know if the next E-6 version with native 6xMiniDP restored the "multi-mode" functionality. :roll:


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 Post subject: Re: School Workstation Build (56k Warning [it's 2013 already
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 9:30 pm 
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Posts: 1829
Location: Northern New Jersey
About the HR-55, yes, I got mixed up, when I placed the order, I ordered an HR-05, got this instead. I'm not about to complain. For now the system is running very well. In the future I have plans to change the HR-55 IFX mounting entirely, using shorter mounting clips to avoid touching the GPU heatsink. Since the motherboard does not have mounting holes for the chipset, it will take some thinking about available parts to mount the HR-55 to the two loops that are on the motherboard.

In other news, I added an external power connector for a small Linksys 5 port Ethernet switch for my Avid Artist Mix units. Since I have two, and only two ethernet ports I can use, I have one for my LAN, and one for a separate LAN just for the Mixes. The Linksys switch says that it "requires" a 7.5v power adapter, however it worked fine with a 3.7v power adapter I had around, so I hacked together a 5v molex adapter for it, so it is powered by the computer. This removes any need for a different power strip. I use this same concept to power HDD Docks at my shop, and it works very well. Reduces wall warts, and also makes cable management easier. It also doubles as insurance for the battery backups, I don't have to question whether the docks are plugged into a battery port. The switch will always turn on with the computer, and that's just that. I had thought about trying to mount the switch to a PCI bracket, however that proved to be entirely too complex. I also thought about setting up the switch inside the computer, however if I have to move the system around, I don't want to have to worry about the plugs being inside for that.

I also ordered a 140mm Phantek for the top fan, and once it arrives, I'm going to set the BIOS back to "Generic" fan mode, which is absolutely the quietest. The top fan should take care of all the extra heat that builds up in the case, and temps should stay about the same as they are now, with the fans in "Full Speed" mode, with no top fan. Speedfan does not read any sensors of the board correctly, but CPU temps currently are low 30's idle, under load it hits mid-upper 40's C. For the power and the heat it puts out, I'm very happy with how it worked out.

I'm very satisfied with the performance of this machine, and once the top fan gets installed, I will be waiting until late feb. to upgrade to 32gb of RAM, and that will be it for some time before I make any changes to the system.

Thanks all for looking, feel free to keep the discussion going!

_________________
|Dual Intel Xeon E5-2620-Xigmatek SD1283 DK-II|Asus Z9PA-D8-HR-05 IFX|WD 250gb Velociraptor SATA3|16gb DDR3-1600 ECC RDIMM|WD Blue 640GB SATA2 x2|Logitech K750|Logitech Wireless Mouse|nVidia GTX660ti 2GB|Antec HCG-750|NZXT Source 210 Elite|M-Audio ProFire 2626|Art TubeOpto8 with Smooth Plate Tube Swap|Avid Artist Mix x2|
FartingBob wrote:
A 9500GT with 1GB of RAM is the most pointless thing since NASCAR.


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 Post subject: Re: School Workstation Build (56k Warning [it's 2013 already
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 1:05 am 
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Posts: 197
Location: Northern Italy
forgot about wire loops... all latest mobos I have all have at least 2 holes for screws or pushpins. :oops: anyway there's always a workaround :mrgreen: :wink:
I debated on getting two HR-55 too but they were too high for my setup, since I wouldn't have been able to mount the Spitfire upside down in front of one of them, and being offset they'd have rendered the PCI slot unusable.
Good work on that beast :-) I have to finish rebuilding my theater instead... :arrow:


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 Post subject: Re: School Workstation Build (56k Warning [it's 2013 already
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 10:21 am 
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Location: kolkata
this is really i want to know, specially i am impressed with the pictures.


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 Post subject: Re: School Workstation Build (56k Warning [it's 2013 already
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 2:01 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2013 9:56 am
Posts: 50
Nice looking machine, but I can't help but feel it's serious overkill for what you're doing.

I do HD editing in CS6 all day every day professionally, and I'm running an old Dell Precision T5400 (2x Xeon E5420 2.5GHz Quad, 8GB RAM, Quadro FX570, 300GB Velociraptor, 1TB storage, Windows 7). I'm getting an upgrade next week (Precision T1650, E3-1240v2, 16GB, Quadro 600, 256GB SSD, 2TB storage) .

Out of the box, the Dells are very quiet, even after 4+ years my T5400 is as quiet as the Optiplex admin machine that sits beside it. The T1650 only has three fans in total, so should be even quieter.

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Workstation: Dell Latitude E7440, i5, 1080p screen, Crucial 8GB, Crucial M500 480GB mSATA, Win7
NAS&Downloader: XPEnology PC, AMD E2-2000, 4GB, 2x Seagate 4TB ST4000DM000, 2x HGST NAS 4TB, DSM 5.0
HTPC1: TranquilPC ABEL H2, i3, 4GB DDR3L-12800, Crucial M4 128GB mSATA, Win7
HTPC2: Akasa Euler, DH61AG, Pentium G620, 4GB DDR3L-10666, Crucial M4 64GB mSATA, Win7


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 Post subject: Re: School Workstation Build (56k Warning [it's 2013 already
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 7:26 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 2:10 pm
Posts: 1829
Location: Northern New Jersey
The setup is overkill right now, however the very first project is only :30 seconds, but the final projects reach 30 minutes. I'm the only student who works in full HD from beginning to end, and since I am a commuter student, this machine has to be overkill to a point. Between driving back and forth and having time to get all the media transferred, organized, and edited, I can't wait for things very long anymore. The render times have to be quick so I can get rough cuts done, and passed out to group members so it can be approved. I'm up against 2007 Mac Pro machines with 8gb of RAM, and usually filled to the brim hard drives. They have extremely slow render times because they are not set up with a render farm, and students really don't take care of them. Simply put, I'd rather have this overkill machine for the next 5-7 years (at least) than suffer from having to use the machines at school. Even my laptop (i7 8gb RAM, etc) I really don't have enough power, and I definitely do not want to rely on the machine long term for all of my projects.

It's more than just a "have it for now" machine, it's meant to last me a long time. Not future proofed, but long lasting power. This machine will be seeing hours and hours of uptime this summer doing local spots and short videos several times a week, so there's no more waiting for rendering to finish, and that's the most important factor for me.

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|Dual Intel Xeon E5-2620-Xigmatek SD1283 DK-II|Asus Z9PA-D8-HR-05 IFX|WD 250gb Velociraptor SATA3|16gb DDR3-1600 ECC RDIMM|WD Blue 640GB SATA2 x2|Logitech K750|Logitech Wireless Mouse|nVidia GTX660ti 2GB|Antec HCG-750|NZXT Source 210 Elite|M-Audio ProFire 2626|Art TubeOpto8 with Smooth Plate Tube Swap|Avid Artist Mix x2|
FartingBob wrote:
A 9500GT with 1GB of RAM is the most pointless thing since NASCAR.


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 Post subject: Re: School Workstation Build (56k Warning [it's 2013 already
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 1:13 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2013 9:56 am
Posts: 50
I hear you. My T5400 was originally a single CPU machine, with 4GB RAM, 160Gb boot drive and 500GB data. It's nearly 5 years old, and had extra RAM, another CPU (about £400 for the kit!), and the drives replaced. Otherwise the machine is perfect - it runs quickly, rendering is reasonable.

IF it was my personal machine I'd have a SSD drive, more RAM and maybe a more modern graphics card, and probably get another 2-3 years out of it. But, it's a work machine, and it has to go as it's 5 years old and there's no longer a support contract on it.

_________________
Workstation: Dell Latitude E7440, i5, 1080p screen, Crucial 8GB, Crucial M500 480GB mSATA, Win7
NAS&Downloader: XPEnology PC, AMD E2-2000, 4GB, 2x Seagate 4TB ST4000DM000, 2x HGST NAS 4TB, DSM 5.0
HTPC1: TranquilPC ABEL H2, i3, 4GB DDR3L-12800, Crucial M4 128GB mSATA, Win7
HTPC2: Akasa Euler, DH61AG, Pentium G620, 4GB DDR3L-10666, Crucial M4 64GB mSATA, Win7


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 Post subject: Re: School Workstation Build (56k Warning [it's 2013 already
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 2:37 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 2:10 pm
Posts: 1829
Location: Northern New Jersey
If I had known about the program I am now enrolled in, I probably would have built this machine much sooner. I would have gone through a similar upgrade process as you. But as with most other situations, when I built my old computer, it wasn't used for video editing, and I didn't actually see myself going that route. With this machine, I should be set for some time, and in the future, I would likely replace the CPUs rather than the whole machine. The LGA2011 socket would allow me to upgrade up to 8 core CPUs in the future (and by the time I needed that, I'd likely be able to get them pretty cheap). More RAM is on the to-do list for me at the end of this month, and maybe an SSD over the summer. Beyond that, I see this machine remaining the same for some time, and only replacing the GPU as the major upgrade in the future.

_________________
|Dual Intel Xeon E5-2620-Xigmatek SD1283 DK-II|Asus Z9PA-D8-HR-05 IFX|WD 250gb Velociraptor SATA3|16gb DDR3-1600 ECC RDIMM|WD Blue 640GB SATA2 x2|Logitech K750|Logitech Wireless Mouse|nVidia GTX660ti 2GB|Antec HCG-750|NZXT Source 210 Elite|M-Audio ProFire 2626|Art TubeOpto8 with Smooth Plate Tube Swap|Avid Artist Mix x2|
FartingBob wrote:
A 9500GT with 1GB of RAM is the most pointless thing since NASCAR.


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 Post subject: Re: School Workstation Build (56k Warning [it's 2013 already
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 3:35 am 
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Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 2:54 am
Posts: 197
Location: Northern Italy
eheheheh I hear you but remember that Xeon series CPUs usually don't go down in price with age, they simply disappear from the market, seen with my E5520s that by the time they were dropped in favor of the new Westmere E5620 they were only 5% cheaper than when I bought them (that's 18 months time). This is talking about new; finding used Xeons is difficult (at least here in Europe).


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 Post subject: Re: School Workstation Build (56k Warning [it's 2013 already
PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 8:01 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 2:10 pm
Posts: 1829
Location: Northern New Jersey
Just wanted to leave a teaser about my current usage of the machine:

I'm currently working on a project that's completely managed, produced and edited by me, because it started as a school project and just became a whole lot bigger than I anticipated.

I'm doing a documentary (full length, 60-90 minutes) about a local charity and their efforts throughout what is considered "their time of the year," because after doing a short project and meeting them and working with them so much, it has become a whole different thing than I expected.

As the project develops, I may post some pieces of it so people can see what I'm up to, but for now, I'll just leave this one frame grab to drive the point home..

Image

Big bonus points if you know what the vehicle in the frame is.

_________________
|Dual Intel Xeon E5-2620-Xigmatek SD1283 DK-II|Asus Z9PA-D8-HR-05 IFX|WD 250gb Velociraptor SATA3|16gb DDR3-1600 ECC RDIMM|WD Blue 640GB SATA2 x2|Logitech K750|Logitech Wireless Mouse|nVidia GTX660ti 2GB|Antec HCG-750|NZXT Source 210 Elite|M-Audio ProFire 2626|Art TubeOpto8 with Smooth Plate Tube Swap|Avid Artist Mix x2|
FartingBob wrote:
A 9500GT with 1GB of RAM is the most pointless thing since NASCAR.


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