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starbase1
01-16-2009, 08:22 AM
If everything goes to plan, I'll be ordering my dream PC in 2 weeks.

The prime use for it will be 3d graphics, mainly Lightwave, plus a bit of vue, blender and other stuff.

I'm going for a system from Armari, as I have seen nothing but good reviews of their kit, and in swapping emails with their people, they clearly have a good understanding of the applications. So what do people think? Any suggested changes?

My main drivers were that I definitely wanted an i7 CPU and lots of memory.

Custom Armari Magnetar NS+

Case : Chenbro SR105 Chassis with Hot-Swap SAS/SATA Bays and Armari Bezel
PSU : Corsair TX750 750 Watt PSU
System Cooler : SanAce - Low noise fan Kit for Magnetar NS+ (Chenbro
SR105 Chassis)
Motherboard : Asus P6T Deluxe Core i7 LGA1366 DDR3 PCIe2 Motherboard
CPU : Intel Core™ i7 940 Processor 2.93GHz (Quad-Core/8 Thread SMT)
CPU Cooler : Manufacturer supplied, standard factory CPU cooler(s)
Memory : 12GB Corsair XMS3 DDR3-1333 (PC3-10666) SDRAM (2 x 6GB Kits)
Graphics : Zotac 9800GT 512MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Graphics Adapter
Hard drive : Samsung Spinpoint F1 1TB SATA-II Hard Disk HD103UJ
Additional Drives : 3 x Samsung Spinpoint F1 1TB SATA-II Hard Disk HD103UJ
CD/DVD Drive : Sony NEC Optiarc Multi-Format DVD Writer
2nd CD/DVD Drive : Sony NEC Optiarc Multi-Format DVD Writer
IDE Cards : 3Ware 9650SE-2LP PCI-e SATA II Low Profile Raid Controller
Sound : Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Audio 7.1 32bit PCI Sound Card (OEM)
Monitor : Dell Ultrasharp 2408WFP 24" widescreen LCD Flat Panel Monitor
Keyboard : Logitech Ultra-Flat Keyboard (Silver+Black, OEM)
Mouse : Logitech RX250 Scroll Optical Wheel Mouse BLACK (OEM)
O/S : Microsoft Windows XP Professional 64Bit (OEM)
Warranty : Armari 2 Year standard workstation warranty for systems


The graphics card is relatively low end compared to the rest of the kit, but I won't be playing games on it, so I think it will do fine.

Additionally I have asked if they can overclock it for me, (they do this for games machines), and the 4 x 1Tb drives will be a raid array of 3Tb available space.

I'll probably go for Fester 64 as a dual boot option, even though I'm unimpressed with it, and once I get it I'll make Ubuntu Studio 64 a 3rd boot option.

I was struggling a bit with the monitor choice, so if anyone can suggest alternate 24" monitors in the same price range as the Dell, I'd be interested to hear them. (Actually, can anyone suggest places in London where you can see high end monitors? That's something I'd really like to see for real before buying, and I doubt PC World would know quality if it bit them on the bum.)

Nick

Nangleator
01-16-2009, 11:39 AM
I'd just recommend getting your software installed and working, then creating a disk image that you can use to restore the pristine state, periodically.

In order to keep stomping malware.

starbase1
01-16-2009, 11:52 AM
I'd just recommend getting your software installed and working, then creating a disk image that you can use to restore the pristine state, periodically.

In order to keep stomping malware.

I'm seriously considering only connecting it to the web when absolutely necessary...

Matt
01-16-2009, 12:07 PM
I would go for a beefier power supply if that were me. I have a 1000KW in mine, Enermax, been solid as a rock.

Oh, and why XP 64 Bit? A soon to be unsupported OS? I would go definitely go Vista 64, seriously, i't WAAAAAY better than I was expecting.

Matt
01-16-2009, 12:08 PM
I'd just recommend getting your software installed and working, then creating a disk image that you can use to restore the pristine state, periodically.

In order to keep stomping malware.

I wish I'd done that with mine, but I always forget to!

Matt
01-16-2009, 12:11 PM
Looks like a smoking system though, dunno what you're on now, but if it's old, you'll wonder what hit you when you press F9!

:D

(BTW: Credit crunch not affecting you then is it!)

Andyjaggy
01-16-2009, 12:11 PM
Yeah looks good, I would jump up to 16gb of ram. And I wouldn't go with XP64. It will soon be two versions behind and you will start to have issues with getting drivers for it.

Kevbarnes
01-16-2009, 12:42 PM
Hi Starbase

Sorry but I can't contribute from a technical spec point of view but I would be interested in what ball-park budget this spec is costing you, as I'm interested in upgrading my self and not really sure what to specify for the best - so I'm taking all notes to this thread.

Your welcom to send me a pm; if you didn't want to go public on cost

and I shall be most interested in how the set-up performs.
Regards

Kev

beverins
01-16-2009, 01:06 PM
You definitely need an aftermarket CPU cooler. The Intel ones barely cool the CPU on idle.

Trust me, please get a better CPU Cooler. They make the difference.

Matt
01-16-2009, 01:07 PM
Check out these videos for some pretty spiffy kit, I pressume he's loaned this stuff, that or he's a millionaire!

http://www.youtube.com/user/trubritar

zapper1998
01-16-2009, 01:08 PM
is that a single cpu ??? on the MB ???

beverins
01-16-2009, 01:10 PM
And you indicated that you've asked them to overclock it. This REQUIRES a better CPU Cooler. Not marketing gimmick, not sales hype.

I have an overclocked QX6700 OC'ed to 3.2ghz. The Stock cooler went to 70C on IDLE. The Ultra Chilltec made it go down to 40C on FULL LOAD, 25C on idle.

Ultra Chilltecs are a bit pricey. Things like a Zalman CNPS9000 (?), Scythe Ninja or a Tuniq Tower are all masterful. Read reviews at newegg.com...

Matt
01-16-2009, 01:37 PM
That link I posted shows the Vapochill system

starbase1
01-16-2009, 03:01 PM
I would go for a beefier power supply if that were me. I have a 1000KW in mine, Enermax, been solid as a rock.

Oh, and why XP 64 Bit? A soon to be unsupported OS? I would go definitely go Vista 64, seriously, i't WAAAAAY better than I was expecting.

I asked the Armari people, and they assured me that I would only need more power if I planned on going for a top end graphics card, as none of the components were that power hungry.

As for the OS, well, my initial plan was to just have XP64! (Soon to be obsolete? I really don't think so, unless W7 will run on the very lowest spec netbooks, MS will keep it going rather than leave a chunk of the market open only to Linux.

It was exchanges with Neverko that persuaded me perhaps I should give it a second chance, (it really blew the first one big time!), and I also see it as a stepping stone to W7. That really does sound interesting, very much what was promised in Fester...

Nic

starbase1
01-16-2009, 03:02 PM
And you indicated that you've asked them to overclock it. This REQUIRES a better CPU Cooler. Not marketing gimmick, not sales hype.


I'm sure you are right, I expect them to tell me what is needed to cool it if they will factory overclock this for me.

Nick

starbase1
01-16-2009, 03:05 PM
That's a bit paranoid isn't it? :)

Mine is connected almost 24/7 and I use only the Windows built in firewall and Avast (which I occasionally disable).

I've had 0 infections while running this setup, and it's been running for a loooong time.

Possibly... It just occurred to me that as I will then have two PC's, why not keep the webby stuff away from the most important one? I've not had an infection for a long time either (also using Avast!)

starbase1
01-16-2009, 03:07 PM
Looks like a smoking system though, dunno what you're on now, but if it's old, you'll wonder what hit you when you press F9!

:D

(BTW: Credit crunch not affecting you then is it!)

Core two duo.
I reckon it will be about 6-7 times faster...

(And its an inheritance)

starbase1
01-16-2009, 03:16 PM
Yeah looks good, I would jump up to 16gb of ram. And I wouldn't go with XP64. It will soon be two versions behind and you will start to have issues with getting drivers for it.

12 is the current limit for this MB and DDR3 memory... I asked and they said bigger SIMMS (or whatever they are called these days) should arrive sooner or later, so I'll probably upgrade later.

If it's dual boot seems to me I have the best of both worlds.

And as I remarked in an earlier reply, I simply don't believe that XP is about to die. I think MS would like it to, but I think I saw on ZDNet that 71% of desktops with windows have XP on them. Hardware manufacturers ignore that kind of market share at their peril.

And in a year I expect to upgrade the Fester boot option to Win7.

Nick

Andyjaggy
01-16-2009, 03:45 PM
Well even if you don't think XP is going to die, which it probably won't, I still so no real reason for not going with Vista at least. It gets a bad wrap, but it really is better.

Matt
01-16-2009, 03:55 PM
my initial plan was to just have XP64! (Soon to be obsolete? I really don't think so

Well, actually, it is, Microsoft are only supporting it with security patches.

starbase1
01-16-2009, 04:02 PM
Well even if you don't think XP is going to die, which it probably won't, I still so no real reason for not going with Vista at least. It gets a bad wrap, but it really is better.

Why do so many people who had a good experience with Fester assume I haven't used it? I have.

And what do I lose by going dual boot?

An OS is not an end in itself, its a framework for applications. And what would be so different running Lightwave full screen under XP64 than under Fester 64?

starbase1
01-16-2009, 04:05 PM
Well, actually, it is, Microsoft are only supporting it with security patches.

New machines continue to arrive which are XP only, and there is no sign of that changing. If W7 meets its goal of running significantly better on low end hardware, that may change, but until Netbook manufacturers believe that, and believe that their customers want it, XP will live on.

starbase1
01-16-2009, 04:07 PM
http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/windows_7.png

Andyjaggy
01-16-2009, 04:35 PM
An OS is not an end in itself, its a framework for applications. And what would be so different running Lightwave full screen under XP64 than under Fester 64?

Exactly. You just clarified my point. So why not just get the newer one that you know you won't have any issues with drivers with?

You keep making the point of running on low end hardware. But what you are buying is far from a low end machine. Anyway sorry to keep pushing the point, I'll shut up now, it's your machine.

Matt
01-16-2009, 06:52 PM
New machines continue to arrive which are XP only, and there is no sign of that changing. If W7 meets its goal of running significantly better on low end hardware, that may change, but until Netbook manufacturers believe that, and believe that their customers want it, XP will live on.

Personally, I think Windows 7 will kill off XP, certainly kill off Vista! :D

(Actually my Vista experience hasn't been at all bad)

COBRASoft
01-16-2009, 06:53 PM
I would also go for Vista 64, much better than XP 64. Specially now all drivers are available.

By the way, Windows 7 is faster on an old computer than Vista and eating less memory... I know, still beta, but it is a good sign.

Speedmonk42
01-16-2009, 11:50 PM
That's a bit paranoid isn't it? :)

Mine is connected almost 24/7 and I use only the Windows built in firewall and Avast (which I occasionally disable).

I've had 0 infections while running this setup, and it's been running for a loooong time.

Yes, I have to agree.

What 99% of people who complain about Windows and viruses do NOT admit is that they go to porn sites.

Apparently that is Bill's fault.

Boris Goreta
01-17-2009, 01:14 AM
My advice is not to go with Corsair power supply. I bought the same one since I was afraid I wouldn't have enough power for 2xXEON each eating 120 W, hungry graphics card and 6 hard drives. The system was working fine except when I hit F9 to render power supply would go into jet mode, being very loud and I mean it, veeery loud. In idle mode it was ok. Corsair is now sitting in my garage because I swapped it immediately with Seasonic 650 W power supply. The system is working fine for over a year and it is quiet all the time. There is no audible difference when CPUs are under load and when they are idle.

I am using Windows 7 64 bit also with 12GB RAM. I already did several projects on Windows 7 and I am very satisfied. Absolutely no problems, and everything runs fast and apps start very fast too. Photoshop CS4 starts in exactly 3 seconds. Damn, I just fired Combustion and it started in 2 seconds, some scary stuff, ha ? This is my only OS, I trust it.

I see you got three beefy hard drives to go into RAID, that is smart, I have three 1.5TB seagates and get great benchmark results.

For the system hard drive I would ditch Spinpoint and get 2 new Velociraptors 150GB each and put them into RAID. They are great for system disks since they have fastest access time on the planet. This is what you need because system and apps are constantly accessing a lot of small files. Use Ultimate Defrag to defrag system drive periodicaly, this software defrags and moves files and apps that you use often to the outer tracks of the hard drive where the access times are fastest. Very smart defragmenter.

Your CPU will be faster then my two XEONs at 3.0 according to some benchmarks, so that is a fine CPU.

I love the scent of new hardware. :dance:

starbase1
01-17-2009, 03:14 AM
Yes, I have to agree.

What 99% of people who complain about Windows and viruses do NOT admit is that they go to porn sites.

Apparently that is Bill's fault.

I've found Russian sites more of a problem than porn sites, (I speak some, I am fascinated by the Russian space program, and my wife is a fluent Russian speaker). The most effective thing I did was to switch from IE to Firefox, that's the point at which I pretty much stopped getting infections.

starbase1
01-17-2009, 03:29 AM
Exactly. You just clarified my point. So why not just get the newer one that you know you won't have any issues with drivers with?

You keep making the point of running on low end hardware. But what you are buying is far from a low end machine. Anyway sorry to keep pushing the point, I'll shut up now, it's your machine.

I say this because the low end is high volume, and that's what will keep the OS alive and supported.

And to say that I will have NO driver issues is just plain silly, (and I notice that further down the thread there's a claim that ALL hardware has Vista drivers.)

Maybe all new hardware does, (though thats a string claim), but what about all MY hardware? I have no issues with my current hardware under XP, and that's how I know I will have no driver issues under XP!
:D

And guys, its DUAL BOOT!

I will have BOTH XP and Fester!

starbase1
01-17-2009, 03:38 AM
Why don't you go all Linsux on your new PC? It bet it's going to be awesome running Linsux with all that power! :)

Well...

I use Ubuntu Studio quite a bit, and it really is fast, even on the old machine I have now. I love the operating system, but despite what the Linsux gurus say, there are still many, many driver gaps, and all too often the applications just don't cut it.

They like to claim that Gimp is a substitute for Photoshop!?! Yeah, and you could swap my ar$e for Jaylo's and no one would notice!

I'll continue to use it for some stuff, I do think it's getting better fast, and it will go in as a third boot option, but its not there yet...

(But I do think that blender with all that horsepower under 64 bit will scream!)

starbase1
01-17-2009, 03:46 AM
My advice is not to go with Corsair power supply. I bought the same one since I was afraid I wouldn't have enough power for 2xXEON each eating 120 W, hungry graphics card and 6 hard drives. The system was working fine except when I hit F9 to render power supply would go into jet mode, being very loud and I mean it, veeery loud. In idle mode it was ok. Corsair is now sitting in my garage because I swapped it immediately with Seasonic 650 W power supply. The system is working fine for over a year and it is quiet all the time. There is no audible difference when CPUs are under load and when they are idle.

I am using Windows 7 64 bit also with 12GB RAM. I already did several projects on Windows 7 and I am very satisfied. Absolutely no problems, and everything runs fast and apps start very fast too. Photoshop CS4 starts in exactly 3 seconds. Damn, I just fired Combustion and it started in 2 seconds, some scary stuff, ha ? This is my only OS, I trust it.

I see you got three beefy hard drives to go into RAID, that is smart, I have three 1.5TB seagates and get great benchmark results.

For the system hard drive I would ditch Spinpoint and get 2 new Velociraptors 150GB each and put them into RAID. They are great for system disks since they have fastest access time on the planet. This is what you need because system and apps are constantly accessing a lot of small files. Use Ultimate Defrag to defrag system drive periodicaly, this software defrags and moves files and apps that you use often to the outer tracks of the hard drive where the access times are fastest. Very smart defragmenter.

Your CPU will be faster then my two XEONs at 3.0 according to some benchmarks, so that is a fine CPU.

I love the scent of new hardware. :dance:

Thanks for staying on topic!!!

The PSU info is a bit alarming, and as I said further up I was initially concerned about it being able to cope. I will think hard on that.

In terms of speed, before the i7 systems appeared I was looking at 2 Zeons, like yours, and I was told that this set-up would be a LOT faster! The i7 seems to be the biggest step forward in price/performance that Intel have ever pulled off.

I'[ll definitely get that defragger you mention.

(The plan was actually 4x1Tb in the raid, yielding 3 Tb of striped space).

I have high hopes of W7, not least because of early reports like yours, and that people at the top have acknowledged that it really needs to be significantly faster than Fester.

grimoirecg
01-17-2009, 05:58 AM
I'd agree to have a Raid 0 setup for your system drives. I have 2 10k raptors and read and write speeds are so much faster than an ancient old single 7500 drive setup.
People try to tell you raid 0 setup s dangerous and twice as prone to failure, but I've never had any problems in years, and it's certainly worth the 'risk' for the performance you get.
IF you're using xp64 then you'll ether need a floppy with the raid drivers, or I just mod my xp disc with the drivers on it.

starbase1
01-17-2009, 06:11 AM
I'd agree to have a Raid 0 setup for your system drives. I have 2 10k raptors and read and write speeds are so much faster than an ancient old single 7500 drive setup.
People try to tell you raid 0 setup s dangerous and twice as prone to failure, but I've never had any problems in years, and it's certainly worth the 'risk' for the performance you get.
IF you're using xp64 then you'll ether need a floppy with the raid drivers, or I just mod my xp disc with the drivers on it.

I'm not convinced by raid 0 personally, it's a case of write both read either, so I see trade-offs, and there's the issue of losing a full 0% of available space. But like I said, for me it's more about fault tolerance than speed.

Carm3D
01-17-2009, 07:51 AM
I put a Zalman CNPS9500 CPU heatsink in my current computer. First one I ever built myself. I love it because it's quiet and it's copper (conducts heat more efficiently than the cheaper aluminum stock coolers). Plus it's got a sexy design. :)

I also put in some copper clip-on memory heat sinks.

warrenwc
01-17-2009, 08:47 AM
Windows 7 HAS been optimized to run on lower power hardware & I'm hearing reports that it does so just fine.
XP truly is on the way out.

I am also about to order parts to build my next system & am going with Seagate & Western digital for the Hard drives.

The magazine I trust most for HW news (Maximum PC), recommends the Thermaltake Duo-orb for the cpu cooler, but it IS wide so make sure you've got room.

16GB is impractical with 3 channel Ram (just sayiing :))

starbase1
01-17-2009, 09:16 AM
Windows 7 HAS been optimized to run on lower power hardware & I'm hearing reports that it does so just fine.
XP truly is on the way out.

I am also about to order parts to build my next system & am going with Seagate & Western digital for the Hard drives.

The magazine I trust most for HW news (Maximum PC), recommends the Thermaltake Duo-orb for the cpu cooler, but it IS wide so make sure you've got room.

16GB is impractical with 3 channel Ram (just sayiing :))

Thanks for the suggestions, I'm not anti Microsoft (just anti Fester!), and I too have high hopes for W7.

In terms of cooling and a lot of this stuff, I'm going to trust the people putting it together, I have seen them repeatedly win best awards in reviews in graphics mags, and as someone with six left thumbs on my right hand, I'm not going to try and build one myself.

Nick

Ernest
01-17-2009, 09:20 AM
I was surprised to read that the Corsair was so loud. The [H] review of the Corsair 750W had found it to be pretty silent.
http://www.hardocp.com/article.html?art=MTQwMyw5LCxoZW50aHVzaWFzdA==

Carm3D
01-17-2009, 05:42 PM
I am also about to order parts to build my next system & am going with Seagate & Western digital for the Hard drives.

I bought a Western Digital hard drive once.. It died after six weeks. I only buy Maxtor now.

JonW
01-18-2009, 01:08 AM
Hope this will help:

I have been running for the last 3 weeks 24/7, the scene was a little over10gb ram usage according to WTM, all the PCs are using XP64:
E5450 V8 16gb ram 800 gtx280
i7 940 (overclocked 3.68ghz) 12gb ram 1600 1gb 9500
i7 920 (overclocked 3.15ghz) 12gb ram 1600 1gb 9500
E5335 V8 12gb ram 1gb 9500
Old Mac dual CPU
24” Dell
30” Dell
& a few other bits & pieces.

According to my MGE S3000 UPS, & I believe this is sine wave based, when everything was on, all CPUs running at 100%, including screens, 1450 watts .

I did have to turn on the air conditioning for a few days due to a couple of stinkers!

My i7 940 overclocked is quicker than the E5450 with GI but overall about 20% slower than the E5450 V8. The new i7 940 & 920 overclocked render quicker than the E5450 & E5335 & were less than half the price of the E5450 set up.

The overclocked boxes have been running continuously for over 3 weeks (not looking forward to the electricity bill) using the stock heat sink & fan, but I did add a couple of fans to the case & mounted an 80mm fan on top of the ram with a few cable ties. Not elegant but it works.

Get your box/es from the local cheap supplier. You will get as much performance as a box (& more than likely more performance) from a Named brand, no point wasting money on bloated “computer sales” corporations which provides no service. & charge you twice the price for the privilege.

bobakabob
01-18-2009, 04:51 AM
Nick, checked out the Armari website after your recommendation (investing in new PC in 6 months or so).

I've been out of the loop re processor development... How does the i7 compare to Xeons? Also, will Armari configure you a dual boot system?

grimoirecg
01-18-2009, 05:30 AM
I bought a Western Digital hard drive once.. It died after six weeks. I only buy Maxtor now.


GO to Amazon reviews or somewhere similar and see reviews of any hard drive and there will be some people who bought one and it failed after x amount of time.
You have had one experience of a WD failing after 6 weeks, while I have been using WD drives exclusively for 8 years without a single problem, I've been running 2 in raid0 for 2 years with no problems.
It's just bad luck if you get a bad one, but it's not normal and could happen with any brand.

starbase1
01-18-2009, 05:35 AM
Nick, checked out the Armari website after your recommendation (investing in new PC in 6 months or so).

I've been out of the loop re processor development... How does the i7 compare to Xeons? Also, will Armari configure you a dual boot system?

I've been very impressed with the help I have had by email in getting the system right, and that includes asking for stuff that's not on the standard list, (and they don't just push you towards spending more...) . Yes, they will do dual boot.

I started out looking at dual xeons, and was told that for rendering one i7 will beat 2 xeons for less money! The major downside is that i7 requires the more expensive DDR3 memory, which is not yet available in seriously large banks, so if you want (say) 32 Gb of memory, stick to Xeon!
:devil:

starbase1
01-18-2009, 01:42 PM
I bought a Western Digital hard drive once.. It died after six weeks. I only buy Maxtor now.

There was a big survey here about a year back on hard drives, loads of people answering - I'd suggest enough to be statistically significant.

starbase1
01-19-2009, 03:23 AM
There was a big survey here about a year back on hard drives, loads of people answering - I'd suggest enough to be statistically significant.

Found it:
http://www.newtek.com/forums/showthread.php?t=84752

I found it extremely interesting...
Nick

Oedo 808
01-19-2009, 09:20 AM
I bet you can't wait to get your hands on that baby, it dwarfs my recent Q6600 build. You should be alright with a Corsair PSU, their range are made by both Seasonic and CWT (Channel Well Technology) who are both well respected manufacturers, there are mixed reviews about the 750(CWT) noise levels, I think you'd be ok as the unit wouldn't really be stressed, I think the trouble comes with the 750 because it has a 140mm fan so that when it does spin up a bit more, you'll know about it. Though I'm no expert, just sharing what I've read when looking to put together my own system. All you can do when looking for a new system is Google, Google and more Google, and then hope you're not reading BS. A few places I've read PSU reviews were SilentPCReview (http://www.silentpcreview.com/) JonnyGURU (http://www.jonnyguru.com/index.php) and HardwareSecrets (http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/).

I went for a Corsair 650W myself (Seasonic/120mm), it's build quality feels good and it is quiet on full load, though my spec wouldn't really tax it at all, there's a big difference between a system on full load and a PSU operating at maximum capacity. I suppose it's worth bearing in mind that Corsair now have an 850W model which may be a better bet, this comes in at around £110-£120 which is the sort of price a Seasonic 700W commands, the advantage with the Seasonic model is that it uses a 120mm fan (and a 60mm one, but that should be idle with your output needs), and I believe it's modular, but as you're not building the system, cable management is not your headache and I'm sure they will do a good enough job to be sure of a decent airflow through the case. On the other hand it's reputed to make a buzzing noise at low loads and if you went for the Corsair 850, that would be working at a lesser % capacity which will help to avoid it's 140mm fan getting too excited. I'm not sure who makes the Corsair 850, I know that Seasonic are releasing an 850, but I could end up adding 2+2 and coming up with 5, though I'd have no problem even if it were CWT as they make the 1000W model which is supposed to be very good. The new Seasonic 850 isn't really an option as I don't reckon we'll see it very much below the £200 mark, but come to mention it, after all the talk about the others I think that model from Seasonic also has a 750W version, depending on pricing it could be the one you should go for if they can get hold of it.

Either way you won't have a problem powering the system with that GPU... which I feel I must say... is pants! Ok so I guess you don't game much but even so, if I were an i7 CPU I would refuse to boot up being forced to share the same mobo as a rehashed 8800GT. I chose to go with an Xpertvision 4850 1GB, at £130 it was only £10 more than the cheapest 512 model I could find so I thought it worth the extra. I know there is some concern with ATI and LightWave working together, so far I haven't noticed any problems save for the fact that I need to enable Legacy mode to be able to see metaballs. If you want to stick with Nvidia I would at least consider a 9800GTX+ (rehashed 8800 GTS 512), the Palit version (http://www.palit.biz/main/vgapro.php?id=773) I've noticed is available from around £125 which is what I'd go for if possible in your shoes, Palit and Xpertvision are essentially the same, my card is OC'd to 735/1050 and is currently sitting at 35C, it only goes up to 60C using FurMark's Xtreme Burning mode, at this temp the fan stays at it's resting value of 50% which is groovy as the fan is inaudible above the other case/CPU fans. Anyway this isn't an advert for Palit/Xpertvision, just to say there not cheap crap, which was actually my first impression when I bought an FX5500 of unspecified brand that turned out to be an Xpertvision, but that turned about to be a good card also. Incidentally, Palit bought out Gainward a few years back.

The place you're ordering from may prefer to use certain brands like Zotac, if so their 9800GTX+ (http://www.zotac.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=217&Itemid=314) comes in at ~£140, and if they can do Asus there is also their Dark Knight edition (http://uk.asus.com/products.aspx?l1=2&l2=6&l3=656&l4=0&model=2582&modelmenu=1) which I'd heartily consider. Anyway if a 9800 GT suits all your needs then that's all moot, it's probably just me struggling to see a £90, years old tech GPU in that lovely system :heart:.

For CPU cooling, not cheap at ~£60, but I'd get the Noctua NH-U12P SE1366 (http://www.noctua.at/main.php?show=productview&products_id=24&lng=en), it utilizes two of their NF-P12 fans in a push-pull configuration, should come in handy when the summer comes (but is there such a thing in England? ;)).

And for hard drives? Painful though it may be, I'd rather wipe my bum with a Maxtor than put one anywhere near my new system, I can only imagine Carm3D is pulling your leg or has got the Maxtor branded Seagates, either that or I would advise him to go out and by a few lottery tickets. It does seem from people's opinions that Western Digital are the most reliable, though I settled for the Spinpoint F1 1TB and have no complaints.

Like I said, I'm no expert, I'm just coming of the back of the same process and these are just my thoughts rather than any rock solid advice.

Now I'm off to Google some 920 vs 940 OC reviews! Not that I can afford either, but I just have to know!

Good luck with it.

starbase1
01-20-2009, 04:01 PM
Thanks for such a hugely detailed response!

starbase1
01-29-2009, 03:22 AM
I put the order in after a few changes, most notably dropping RAID storage, (and just going for 4 Tb over 4 drives!)
:devil:

Chenbro SR105 Chassis with Hot-Swap SAS/SATA Bays and Armari Bezel Suitable for Extended ATX workstation and server motherboard
3 x 5.25" External Bays, 4 x Hot-Swap 3.5" SATA/SAS Hard drive bays

Cooling: 1 x 120mm exhaust fan (Rear), 90mm HDD Cooling Fan Front panel: USB2.0 port x 2 Dimensions 533mm(D) x 198mm(W) x 425mm(H)

Corsair TX750 750 Watt PSU
High 80% efficiency rated. Single 14cm Ultra-quiet Cooling fan Power Spec: +12V @ 60.0A Power Spec: +5V @ 28.0A, +3.3V @ 24.0A,-12v @ 0.8A,+5Vsb @ 3.0A Suitable for Dual Graphics card (SLI / CrossFire) Systems Manufacturer 5 year limited warranty

SanAce - Low noise fan Kit for Magnetar NS+ (Chenbro SR105 Chassis)
Asus P6T Deluxe Core i7 LGA1366 DDR3 PCIe2 Motherboard Intel X58+ICH10R Chipset.

Intel Core™ i7 920 Processor 2.66GHz (Quad-Core/8 thread SMT)

Coolermater V8 low noise Enthusiast CPU Cooler

2 x 6GB Corsair XMS3 DDR3-1333 (PC3-10666) SDRAM Kit 3x 2GB matched memory modules with Classic Heat Spreaders Tested at 1333MHz with JEDEC standard 9-9-9-24 Latency at 1.5V memory kit designed for Intel Core i7, X58 Chipset motherboards

Zotac 9800GT 512MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Graphics Adapter

2 x Sony NEC Optiarc Multi-Format DVD Writer Black bezel.

4 x Western Digital Caviar Black Desktop 1TB SATA-II Hard Disk
Capacity: 1TB. SATA 3.0Gb/s. 7,200RPM Rotational Speed
32MB cache. Dual onboard processors deliver outstanding performance

Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium - Fatal1ty Professional Series

Dell Ultrasharp 2408WFP 24" widescreen LCD Flat Panel Monitor

Microsoft Windows XP Professional 64Bit (OEM)
Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate 64Bit (OEM)

(And I'll be adding Ubuntu Studio as a 3rd boot option)

I want it now!!!
Nick

MooseDog
01-29-2009, 04:48 AM
FUN!

just a quick bg note about the linux boot: if you're into researching a virtual drive solution, the newest version of virtualbox can have a 32-bit linux host and a 64-bit virtual machine to try out your 64-bit lw. it's also fixed the usb error they were having and supports hardware accelerated graphics!

starbase1
01-29-2009, 05:14 AM
FUN!

just a quick bg note about the linux boot: if you're into researching a virtual drive solution, the newest version of virtualbox can have a 32-bit linux host and a 64-bit virtual machine to try out your 64-bit lw. it's also fixed the usb error they were having and supports hardware accelerated graphics!

Now that is interesting - there was a LOT I liked about Virtual Box, (mainly along the ease of use lines). Though I plan on keeping this one 64 bit... Well, apart from virtualising the entire old PC to run as a VM from the desktop of the new one!

Andyjaggy
01-29-2009, 10:14 AM
Mind if I ask how much that cost you?


I ask because my machine died a week ago and I just bought a new one two days ago and it sounds pretty similar to yours, not quite as pimped out though. :) I ended up just going with Dell as they had killer deals on their i7 machines.

I am pumped to try out the i7. From everything I have seen and read it is going to be like 70% faster then my Q6600.

starbase1
01-29-2009, 10:40 AM
Mind if I ask how much that cost you?

I ask because my machine died a week ago and I just bought a new one two days ago and it sounds pretty similar to yours, not quite as pimped out though. :) I ended up just going with Dell as they had killer deals on their i7 machines.

I am pumped to try out the i7. From everything I have seen and read it is going to be like 70% faster then my Q6600.

Dell had some fairly eye watering markups on the add ons when I looked at their prices, and did not seem to have configs that would suit heavy duty CGI, (such as megatons of memory).

I went through Armari because they had repeated won awards for their hardware in graphics mags, (not just general computer ones), and when I started discussing what I needed they 'got it' immediately, but did not try and build up the order. They were also very amenable to putting stuff in that was not part of their standard options, such as dual boot operating systems, extra USB ports, and overclocking it for me before they sent it out. (If that baby doesn't warp space time while rendering, I'll be disappointed!).

It's close to 3k, (I'm sure you could feed in the options on their web site if you want it exactly!)

Nick

JonW
01-29-2009, 06:26 PM
Get your local computer shop to put computers together if you don’t want to did it yourself. You will save a bucket load of money & will be able to easily upgrade & change parts. Also you can get exactly the parts you want for your new computer.

Computers from most of the Big Brands are very restrictive in what can be changed, as they usually have MBs made DOWN in specs to a price (very profitable for them), & you will usually be stuffed if you want to do upgrades.

Andyjaggy
01-30-2009, 09:25 AM
I decided when my last machine broke that I was done building my own machines. I'm tired of bothering with it and really just don't have any interest in doing it anymore, I just want a fast machine that will work with a minimum of fuss. So I went with the fastest Dell I could get with the best warranty, now I have the peace of mind that I will have a fast working computer for the next 4 years, and if it does break Dell will fix it.

Honestly I feel no need to upgrade my machine every two years either, the current speed of machines will more then satisfy my needs for the next 4 years, and if I do need more power I'll just grab a couple cheap render nodes to add to the farm.

Oedo 808
01-30-2009, 11:42 AM
Good luck with it starbase1, enjoy the power!

I don't really feel the need for more power than I have because I'm not hugely into rendering yet, and half the time when Modeler is struggling neither the CPU, GPU nor the RAM has reached it's limit.

Hopefully this will be one of the changes that LWX brings.

starbase1
02-19-2009, 12:15 PM
It's arrived!

Initial impressions are very good - the 24" Dell ultrasharp is a georgeous monitor (And VERY bright).

The look of it as a whole is extremely classy, simple elegant glossy black, halfway between a concert grand piano, and the monolith from 2001!

Looking to the right I see that all 8 cores are barely ticking over...
And there's barely a dent on the 4 terabytes of storage either...

The number of connections on the back, and on the monitor is confusing the hell out of me, but I think I'll run it out to the 42" TV shortly. Must get the sound card hooked up to t
the speakers too...

Nick