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 Post subject: Micro-ATX System with i7-4771 and 32 GB of RAM...
PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 10:57 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2013 4:54 pm
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I'm planning a new computer and could use some help...

It will mostly be used for running virtual machines. I'll probably run Ubuntu as the base operating system (and also most of the virtual machines). But I'd also like to play with this some: http://www.vmware.com/products/vsphere-hypervisor/

The most important thing is 32 GB of RAM. This means Micro-ATX (unless someone knows of a mini-ITX board that accepts 4 dimms, but I can't find any).

I think I want an i7-4771, over an i7-4770k because I'd like VT-d. (At least I think I do...anyone use it and able to provide me with some insight?)

I won't ever play games with this system, but I'd like it to be able to be used as an HTPC in addition to the virtualization.

I don't need anything but built in graphics. I probably won't ever need any PCI cards. I don't necessarily need any optical drives, especially if I can get a smaller more awesome case by not having any.

This ASUS H87M-PRO motherboard looks interesting, although the lack of reviews (especially lack of people running Linux) makes me nervous.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6813131994

It wouldn't be bad to have more than one gigabit port on the motherboard, but I haven't seen any LGA 1150 boards that have that.

To start my only drive will be a 1TB Samsung EVO. I don't plan on having any 3.5" drives in the system, but want to be able to add a second SSD down the road.

I'd like the case to be small, and not too heavy. I'd like it to look good in my living room. I'd ideally like to be able to build another one or two of these in the future and stack them on top of each other without issue!

The case I've come up with so far is the Silverstone Milo at http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6811163174 but I'm open to all suggestions.

The system will run 24/7 for at least the next five years. I'd like it to be quite and energy efficient. Most of the time it will be idle (but running). My understanding is that the i7-4771 has the same idle energy usage as any of the lower watt chips. Is this correct? What can I do to get the enery usage down?

I'd love suggestions for fans, power supplies, and anything else I'm forgetting. (Even for what brand/model of Ram to use for my 32 GB). Does the i7-4771 come with a suitable heatsink/fan for a very quiet system? If not what should I buy?

Thanks so much for your help!


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 Post subject: Re: Micro-ATX System with i7-4771 and 32 GB of RAM...
PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 5:23 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2009 10:20 am
Posts: 475
Location: Ottawa
SuperMagicMan wrote:
I think I want an i7-4771, over an i7-4770k because I'd like VT-d. (At least I think I do...anyone use it and able to provide me with some insight?)

Basically VT-d lets you assign hardware devices directly to a VM. For example, if you had a fileserver VM you could put a real HBA/RAID card in your server and then assign it to the VM. The fileserver VM would then see the card directly and use the same drivers that it would if it was running on bare metal. Another example would be to assign video and sound cards to a desktop VM and then use the server as both a desktop and a VM host. In most cases when you assign hardware in this way it can only be used by one VM, however there are some devices that are VT-d aware and can make themselves appear as multiple devices, but these are usually expensive server grade components.

If you have no intention of directly assigning hardware to VMs in this way then VT-d is of no use to you. Note, you don't need VT-d to assign USB devices directly to a VM. VT-d is also not the same as VT-x. VT-x is far more important for VMs in the general sense and is included on all modern CPUs.

Be aware that even if your CPU supports VT-d your motherboard may not. It's quite common for consumer boards to not have the option of enabling it in the BIOS/UEFI.


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 Post subject: Re: Micro-ATX System with i7-4771 and 32 GB of RAM...
PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 5:50 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:22 pm
Posts: 1886
Location: Guatemala
If you are after efficiency for 24/7 operation, i would only go with Intel motherboards, they have a good track in the past of bieng the most efficient, on micro atx LGA1150 there are two options,

Intel BOXDB85FL LGA 1150 Intel B85 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
Intel BOXDH87RL LGA 1150 Intel H87 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard

For PSU, if you are looking for the lest power draw, i would go with picoPSU, your system should never even reach 200W, so a picoPSU-160-XT + 192W Adapter Power Kit should be more than enough, there are other options lower in price and in watts, but you need to find out what you system will consume in load and what other components you will place in over time.

If you don't like picoPSU for whatever reason, and you are looking for a standard ATX PSU, then be sure to check that ML03B has a restriction of 140mm, this will take a lot of good PSU out of the list, like Sesonic X series (most are 160mm), Kingwin LZP and str (most are 170mm), there are some but not that many options, my suggestion is SeaSonic SSR-360GP 360W ATX12V v2.31 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Active PFC Power Supply New 4th Gen CPU Certified Haswell Ready (matches 140mm lenght), it has reviewed by SPCR Seasonic G360 PSU: High efficiency & performance, low price. Should be more than enough for the system you are planning and i like the G series as the fan always runs (quietly in my experience) for setups that will get very little air due to the case design.

According to Silverstone ML03B page, Limitation of CPU cooler 70mm, so that takes a lot of coolers out, but the case also has opening on the top, so you might be able to get away close to that height (will depend on how you mount it).

Image

The coolers that i would consider are,

1) Thermalrigth AXP-100 - 58mm height, this would be my personal pick, love the looks, the height and size should fit fine.

Image

2) Scythe Big shuriken SCBSK-1000 - 58mm height, but scythe products are very hard to get for the US, and when they are available most of the time are imported from japan so they are more expensive than what they used to be, but regardless i found a build on the desired case that has a BIG Shuriken SCBSK-1000, i believe its discontinued or replaced by a newer model. SPCR did a couple of reviews that mgiht be worth looking, LGA775 Low Profile Heatsink Roundup and Scythe Big Shuriken 2 & Reeven Vanxie CPU Coolers, from this last review, seems the big shuriken 2 is also 58mm height, so im assuming its the replamcent or newer iteration of the same cooler, checking amazon for it, there is one that i believe is the same, Big Shuriken 2 Rev. B SCBSK-2100

Image

Image

For memory, im using on Asus Haswell build, Crucial Ballistix Sport 32GB (4 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Profile Desktop Memory Model BLS4K8G3D1609ES2LX0, this true low profile memory, half height of what you get on other manufacturers low profile, bearly reaches the tabs of the memory banks. Also is low voltage since you planning on running it 24/7 might make a tiny tiny bit of difference (again not much savings but it will also run cooler at lower voltage). Here is an image so you get an idea into how low height they are,

Image

Fans, the case uses 80mm fans =(, not much experience with those since most cases use 120mm now a days, but if i were to need one the one that would be on my top list would be Noiseblocker NB-Multiframe M8-S1 80mm x 25mm Ultra Silent Fan - 1200 RPM - 6 dBA, i believe i bought one a couple of years ago, i was going to do a cooling mod to my ROUTER but then the ISP changed it a newer Router and the mod was never done, im going to search for the fan if i find ill run fanXpert2 on it and post you the graph to see how it undervolts on 3pin.

_________________
GameMi >> MSI Z87-GD65 | Intel Core i7-4790K | Thermalright Silver Arrow IBE + 3x Noctua NF-A15 PWM @500rpms| Crucial Ballistix Sport 32GB DDR3 1600 | nVidia GTX780 + ARCTIC Accelero Xtreme IV | Samsung SA850 27'' 2560x1440 | Samsung 840pro 512GB | Hitachi 7K1000 1TB | Fractal Design Define R4 + 4x Noctua NF-A14 PWM @450rpm | SeaSonic SS-860XP2
Other builds ---> ServeMi | CamMi | MiniMi | HTPCMi


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 Post subject: Re: Micro-ATX System with i7-4771 and 32 GB of RAM...
PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 11:57 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2013 4:54 pm
Posts: 2
Thank you washu for the explanation of vt-d. And apparently the DH87RL motherboard supports it, so I'm in luck: http://www.intel.com/support/motherboar ... 030922.htm

Thank you Abula for all your recommendations. You've pretty much sold me DH87RL motherboard, and the Pico power supply. And I'm pretty sure I'll be taking your suggestions for everything else.

Now I'm wondering whether my case choice is a mistake. Should I consider something else? Am I better off with a more traditional micro-atx case or a different htpc case?

Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Micro-ATX System with i7-4771 and 32 GB of RAM...
PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 12:44 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:22 pm
Posts: 1886
Location: Guatemala
The above post was more suggestion to your initial case desire, this will be more toward another case that imo should be a good option,

Fractal Design Black Aluminum / Steel Node 605 FD-CA-NODE-605-BL ATX Media Center / HTPC Case, reviewed by SPCR Fractal Design Node 605 HTPC Style Case

SILVERSTONE ML03B Case Dimensions: Width 440mm, Height 105mm, Depth 340mm
Fractal Design Node 605 Case dimensions (W x H x D): 445 x 164 x 349 mm (excluding front panel - 440 x 162 x 341 mm)

Even though the NODE 605 is an ATX case it has very similar dimensions to the ML03 micro atx, aside from the height, this is because the NODE uses the PSU vertical while the ML03 uses it horizontal, thus ending with similar width, the depth is almost the same, and where it changes more is the height (105 vs 164), this because of the placement of the PSU, but this imo isnt bad but good, this allows also to use taller CPU coolers, from Fractal Design Node 605 official web,
Quote:
CPU cooler compatibility: Approx 125mm with side-mounted fans - For coolers with top-mounted fans, Fractal Design recommends that you add at least 30 mm clearance for decent airflow
So assuming you go with top mounted, this will be up to 125 - 30 = 95mm height, this open better cooler than ML03B, for example instead of the AXP-100 the bigger brother is an option, Thermalright AXP-200 (73mm height with fan) or even Noctua NH-L12 (93mm height with fan) that was also reviewed by SPCR Noctua NH-L12 Low Profile Cooler.

And the second thing is that the height increase on the NODE 605 allows the use of 120mm fans instead of 80mm on the ML03B, this imo is good as most of the good fans that we all use are 120mm, there are huge selections, and very easy to find both cheap and expensive.

So if you were to live with 164mm of height instead of 105, then i would go with Fractal over the Silverstone. That said this isn't the only one with this layout, even Silverstone have some cases like that, that you should at least check out, even SPCR did a review, SilverStone Grandia GD07 & GD08 Media Center Cases

_________________
GameMi >> MSI Z87-GD65 | Intel Core i7-4790K | Thermalright Silver Arrow IBE + 3x Noctua NF-A15 PWM @500rpms| Crucial Ballistix Sport 32GB DDR3 1600 | nVidia GTX780 + ARCTIC Accelero Xtreme IV | Samsung SA850 27'' 2560x1440 | Samsung 840pro 512GB | Hitachi 7K1000 1TB | Fractal Design Define R4 + 4x Noctua NF-A14 PWM @450rpm | SeaSonic SS-860XP2
Other builds ---> ServeMi | CamMi | MiniMi | HTPCMi


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