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 Post subject: New build advice sought
PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2013 9:17 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 20, 2013 9:07 am
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Location: Zürich, Switzerland
Hello Silent PC forum this is my first post and I was hoping some feedback on a system I am planning to build. I have not included HDD since I will be reusing (OCZ Vertex 3 120 GB and WD Greens) rather than buying.

The components I am thinking of buying are

Fractal Design R4 XL Black Pearl
Asus P9D WS (seems solid with good expansion for the price)
Kingston KVR16E11/8
Kingston KVR16E11/8 (RAM when I have more $$ I will perhaps buy some more of these)
INTEL Xeon E3-1245 v3 (Xeon E£ should give me scope to mess around with ESX Server)
AMD FirePRO v4900 (should meet my non-gaming mainly photo editing needs - 10 bit support wanted)
Seasonic SS-660XP2 (Plat. fan variable PSU)
Prolimatech Megahalems (CPU Passive Cooler)
Arctic Accelero S1 PLUS (VGA Passive Cooler)

I am not finding much time these days with kiddies to do any serious gaming but might do the 1/2 hours per week...

Thoughts / feedback most appreciated.

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 Post subject: Re: New build advice sought
PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2013 12:30 pm 
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Location: Monterey Bay, CA
Welcome to SPCR.

So, what's driving your build with a server mother board and ECC memory? Not photoshop :)
Do you have some demanding app that requires it? Vt-d perhaps? Check to make sure Asus is supporting it.

Your stressed load power with proposed parts is under 200W. With this case, go for the fanless 400W.

graphics: when you say 10-bit support...do you mean output support for a 10-bit panel? I think the FirePro and Quaddro's are overrated for Photoshop work. If you were doing 3D modeling or something, then it's another issue. Take a look at this Photoshop benchmark. Your 4900 slots in somewhere between the Quaddro 2000 and 4000. Chances are, the 4600 integrated gpu will perform nearly as well, unless you have pretty hefty file sizes/large workflows (figure a 50% bump in performance over the HD 4000. So, the 37 sec becomes ~25 sec). Try it with the integrated gfx first and then see if you need a bump in performance.

passive cpu cooler: It'll probably work ok. Haswells run fairly hot, though.

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 Post subject: Re: New build advice sought
PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2013 1:00 pm 
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Location: Guatemala
takeawaydave wrote:
INTEL Xeon E3-1245 v3 (Xeon E£ should give me scope to mess around with ESX Server)
AMD FirePRO v4900 (should meet my non-gaming mainly photo editing needs - 10 bit support wanted)
Why E3-1245v3 when you going to use a dedicated GPU, go with the Intel Intel Xeon E3-1240V3, its TDP is 15W less out of not having iGPU, might help if you going with a passive heatsink.

takeawaydave wrote:
Asus P9D WS (seems solid with good expansion for the price)
Why asus? i would consider SUPERMICRO MBD-X10SAE-O, atm newegg has saving on supermicro mobos + haswell xeons, up to $75 on a combo.

takeawaydave wrote:
Prolimatech Megahalems (CPU Passive Cooler)
If you really want to go fanless.... the best shot would be NoFan CR-95C Copper, was reviewed by SPCR NoFan CR-95C Copper Fanless CPU Cooler.

takeawaydave wrote:
Arctic Accelero S1 PLUS (VGA Passive Cooler)
I have no experience FIREPRO cards, but idk if its such a good idea to go fully passive one it. i woudl add the bottom intake and the front intake to ensure freash air is going to the GPU n CPU, since you want to run them passive.

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 Post subject: Re: New build advice sought
PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2013 1:10 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 20, 2013 9:07 am
Posts: 24
Location: Zürich, Switzerland
CA_Steve wrote:
Welcome to SPCR.
Thanks!

CA_Steve wrote:
So, what's driving your build with a server mother board and ECC memory? Not photoshop :)
Do you have some demanding app that requires it? Vt-d perhaps? Check to make sure Asus is supporting it.

The P9D WS is a workstation board with the C226 workstation chipset as opposed to a server board. Yes the workstation features amongst other does include VT-d that I would want for running ESX.
CA_Steve wrote:
Your stressed load power with proposed parts is under 200W. With this case, go for the fanless 400W.

Yes I was considering the same (Seasonic Platinum 400 Fanless)... my only fear is expandability if I want to move to a having a second GPU (AMD HD 7950)
CA_Steve wrote:
graphics: when you say 10-bit support...do you mean output support for a 10-bit panel? I think the FirePro and Quaddro's are overrated for Photoshop work.
Yes perhaps overrated. I am more of a Lightroom user than Photoshop. Lightroom supports 10 bit out put on 3 channels when used on a 10 bit capable display (looking at Dell U2713H)

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 Post subject: Re: New build advice sought
PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2013 1:46 pm 
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Location: Zürich, Switzerland
Abula wrote:
If you really want to go fanless.... the best shot would be NoFan CR-95C Copper, was reviewed by SPCR NoFan CR-95C Copper Fanless CPU Cooler.
That looks an impressive cooler, a little pricey but unfortunately not available as far as I can see in Switzerland
Abula wrote:
takeawaydave wrote:
Arctic Accelero S1 PLUS (VGA Passive Cooler)
I have no experience FIREPRO cards, but idk if its such a good idea to go fully passive one it.
Been thinking the same - really the kind of advice I am seeking - thanks !
Abula wrote:
That said if you were to accept fans here the most massive cooler out there that should allow very quiet operation is Prolimatech MK-26, for more info check SPCR Prolimatech MK-26 Multi-VGA Cooler, the only big downside is its weight, but by far the best air cooler on the market.
Wow - that is quite a beast yes and less than audible by the review at 500RPM. However I think the v4900 is essentially equivalent to a Radeon HD 6670 which doesn't appear on the compatibility list...a shame.
Abula wrote:
takeawaydave wrote:
INTEL Xeon E3-1245 v3 (Xeon E£ should give me scope to mess around with ESX Server)
AMD FirePRO v4900 (should meet my non-gaming mainly photo editing needs - 10 bit support wanted)
Why E3-1245v3 when you going to use a dedicated GPU, go with the Intel Intel Xeon E3-1240V3..
I guess I am looking for some flexability that the 1245 offers.
Abula wrote:
takeawaydave wrote:
Asus P9D WS (seems solid with good expansion for the price)
Why asus? i would consider SUPERMICRO MBD-X10SAE-O, atm newegg has saving on supermicro mobos + haswell xeons, up to $75 on a combo.

Sounds a great deal from newegg unfortunately I'm overseas - the X9SAE was on my list to start with but some how it dropped off. Will give this again some considertion - good call!

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 Post subject: Re: New build advice sought
PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2013 3:07 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 4:36 am
Posts: 4436
Location: Monterey Bay, CA
takeawaydave wrote:
CA_Steve wrote:
graphics: when you say 10-bit support...do you mean output support for a 10-bit panel?
Lightroom supports 10 bit out put on 3 channels when used on a 10 bit capable display (looking at Dell U2713H)

I don't think you need a FirePro card for that. It's part of the digital output standard for DisplayPort 1.2. The limiter is always the display.

Lightroom doesn't use the GPU for acceleration. So, no benefit to getting the add-on card...and absolutely no benefit to getting the 7950.

Adobe has a useful FAQ on improving Lightroom performance.

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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: New build advice sought
PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2013 12:56 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 20, 2013 9:07 am
Posts: 24
Location: Zürich, Switzerland
CA_Steve wrote:
I don't think you need a FirePro card for that. It's part of the digital output standard for DisplayPort 1.2. The limiter is always the display.
CA_Steve wrote:
Adobe has a useful FAQ on improving Lightroom performance.
Thanks for the pointer. Yes Display Port (interface and cables) does support 10 bit however to support 10-bit output the environment requires an unbroken chain of components form the graphics driver to the OS, the application through the card to the cable to the display.
If any part of the chain doesn’t support 10-bit output the 10 bit chain breaks and it won’t work.

CA_Steve wrote:
Lightroom doesn't use the GPU for acceleration. So, no benefit to getting the add-on card...and absolutely no benefit to getting the 7950.

Sure this wouldn't be for Lightroom. I would probably keep 2 separate partitions (or perhaps VM's ) one for photo-editing; one for gaming in which I would use respective cards. IF the 7950 comes along it probably wouldn't be until the drop in price and resells hit Ebay :)

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 Post subject: Re: New build advice sought
PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2013 10:33 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2008 11:45 am
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Location: 128.0.0.1
Unless you're using ECC memory I see no need for your choice of mainboard and CPU. You can save quite a bit of money by going with a desktop CPU (Ivy Bridge or Haswell) and mainboard. All of Intel's quad-cores should support VT-d.

For the cooler, I'd definitely go for the Thermalright HR-02 Macho. The Megahalems was never designed to be run passively. The Macho is the untouchable king of low airflow. Have a good, silent 120mm fan at the back ready to jump in if CPU temps cross 50c, though.

The AMD FirePRO v4900 is based on the Radeon 6670 GPU.
Good news is, the Arctic S1 should be able to cool it passively.
Bad news, the card was not exactly a monster two and a half years ago and on the FirePRO it's married to AMD's pro-line drivers, which all leads to me to think it's gaming performance is going to be terrible.
You say you'll only game 1-2 hours a week. Time is really not important here, if it's Skyrim you're playing you're experience is gonna be underwhelming :)


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 Post subject: Re: New build advice sought
PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2013 11:26 am 
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Location: Zürich, Switzerland
tim851 wrote:
Unless you're using ECC memory I see no need for your choice of mainboard and CPU. You can save quite a bit of money by going with a desktop CPU (Ivy Bridge or Haswell) and mainboard. All of Intel's quad-cores should support VT-d.
Yes - I am pretty aware of this but would like the flexibility to set up a Nexanta VM that uses ZFS - why ? just really cause I can if I get ECC mem... :P

tim851 wrote:
For the cooler, I'd definitely go for the Thermalright HR-02 Macho. The Megahalems was never designed to be run passively. The Macho is the untouchable king of low airflow.
But is it quiet ?
tim851 wrote:
The AMD FirePRO v4900 is based on the Radeon 6670 GPU.
Good news is, the Arctic S1 should be able to cool it passively.
Great thanks for confirming !
tim851 wrote:
Bad news, the card was not exactly a monster two and a half years ago and on the FirePRO it's married to AMD's pro-line drivers, which all leads to me to think it's gaming performance is going to be terrible.
Yes I agree doesn't look much really compared to what else on the market for similar dollar but want it for the 10 bit output. Hence thinking of getting a 7950 as well for gaming.

On another note any ideas on how the stock Define XL R2 fans perform in terms of quietness ? Looks as though only one Front fan is supplied, along with rear and bottom (pulling I assume). Would swapping the bottom fan to the front position be a wise move so I can get more air flow. Or perhaps a 4th fan ?

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 Post subject: Re: New build advice sought
PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2013 12:59 pm 
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Location: 128.0.0.1
takeawaydave wrote:
tim851 wrote:
The Macho is the untouchable king of low airflow.
But is it quiet ?

The Macho comes with a fan that is reputed to be quiet. However, I don't think you'll even need that one. The heatsink is build in such a way that it rests only a few mm in front of the rear exhaust fan and the airflow of that should be enough for your non-overclocking endeavours.

Quote:
On another note any ideas on how the stock Define XL R2 fans perform in terms of quietness ? Looks as though only one Front fan is supplied, along with rear and bottom (pulling I assume). Would swapping the bottom fan to the front position be a wise move so I can get more air flow. Or perhaps a 4th fan ?

Whoa nelly, the Define XL is a very big case. Sure you want/need one as big? Your setup does not need it.

If you take it: The traditional way to cool the CPU would be to plug it into the top PCI-E slot and have it cooled by the upper front fan. Remove the drive cage for optimal air flow. Should be sufficient. A bottom fan is NOT needed in your setup. Place it in the lower front and set as slow as possible to cool your WD Greens. They need very little airflow as it is.

You could experiment with using the bottom fan to cool the GPU. For that, I would plug the FirePro into a lower PCI-E slot (though beware of their speed, could be that the lower ones are only PCI-E x4), the closer the better.
In this scenario, the upper front fan would not be needed.

I would imagine the default fans that ship with the case are quiet if you control their speeds. Asus usually has some of the better fan controls available. At speeds over 600 rpm, no (120mm+) fan is silent. At over 800 rpm, none is quiet. To my ears at least.


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 Post subject: Re: New build advice sought
PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 12:39 am 
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Location: Zürich, Switzerland
tim851 wrote:
Whoa nelly, the Define XL is a very big case. Sure you want/need one as big?
Not to sure but I am sure the extra space won't hurt. I think acoustically they Define and Define XL are similar, no ?

I have my eye on a RAID controller card so I can bring all the disks in from my old machine plus some new ones. Also have the warranty running out on my NAS and with its track record with the PSU blowing every 12 months or so more disks could be making there way to this new machine.

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 Post subject: Re: New build advice sought
PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 5:35 pm 
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takeawaydave wrote:
The components I am thinking of buying are

Fractal Design R4 XL Black Pearl
Asus P9D WS (seems solid with good expansion for the price)
Kingston KVR16E11/8
Kingston KVR16E11/8 (RAM when I have more $$ I will perhaps buy some more of these)
INTEL Xeon E3-1245 v3 (Xeon E£ should give me scope to mess around with ESX Server)


Hello takeawaydave,

did you build this system?

i just bought ASUS P9D WS + Kingston KVR16E11/8 + Xeon E3-1245 v3 yesterday
i am not able to boot the system first time after assembly
the DIAG_DRAM led glows on motherboard indicating RAM problem
this RAM is not listed as one of the compatible RAMs on ASUS website
but KVR16N11/8 is listed which is very similar
although Kingston lists this as suitable for ASUS P9D WS

did the configuration work for you??
if yes, then i may be having some other problem :( :(

Duh..
the RAMs were not sitting properly
they click when they are fully inserted and no part of the pins are visible
this mobo had one sided latches for RAM slot, maybe thats why i didnt seat them right correctly
the system is assembled and is running.. er.. more like flying like a jet!


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