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  • Challenge: Different kind of computer build.

    I am looking to build a computer for work. No gaming, no media playback, just work.

    The work is business software development so I deal with huge amounts of data and multiple, demanding process running simultaneously. I often have several vm's running at the same time.


    Other desired traits.

    -Upgradable over an extended time frame. Convincing my boss to shell out 200-300 dollars every six months is easier than convincing him I need 2,000 every two years for a whole new machine.
    -Budget. It is for work.
    -No glowing cases etc. It is for work.
    -Quite is very, very important. I will be working and I like silence when working.
    -Reliability a must. If work stops because the thing is unstable my kids will starve.

    So, any suggestions?
    Last edited by El_Gringo_Grande; 03-03-2010, 10:36 AM. Reason: Adding requirment.
    I知 not racists, I have republican friends. Radio show host.
    - "The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity". -Jacob Burkhardt
    - "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" - Emerson
    - "People should not be afraid of it's government, government should be afraid of it's People." - Line from V for Vendetta
    - If software were as unreliable as economic theory, there wouldn't be a plane made of anything other than paper that could get off the ground. Jim Fawcette
    - "Let me now state what seems to me the decisive objection to any conservatism which deserves to be called such. It is that by its very nature it cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving." -Friedrich Hayek
    - "Don't waist your time on me your already the voice inside my head." Blink 182 to my wife

  • #2
    Re: Challenge: Different kind of computer build.

    pop the lights out of a gaming computer and your set :)
    "Everyone makes fun of us rednecks with our big trucks and all our guns........until the zombie apocalypse"

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Challenge: Different kind of computer build.

      Originally posted by venman View Post
      pop the lights out of a gaming computer and your set :)
      Except for the budget, noise and reliability you are right.

      (And just popping out the lights would leave those glass panels. Those would be frowned upon.)
      I知 not racists, I have republican friends. Radio show host.
      - "The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity". -Jacob Burkhardt
      - "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" - Emerson
      - "People should not be afraid of it's government, government should be afraid of it's People." - Line from V for Vendetta
      - If software were as unreliable as economic theory, there wouldn't be a plane made of anything other than paper that could get off the ground. Jim Fawcette
      - "Let me now state what seems to me the decisive objection to any conservatism which deserves to be called such. It is that by its very nature it cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving." -Friedrich Hayek
      - "Don't waist your time on me your already the voice inside my head." Blink 182 to my wife

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Challenge: Different kind of computer build.

        What's your budget?

        If it's under $500, what's wrong with a business-line Dell, or equivalent, with a good processor and extra RAM (and perhaps a redundant raid array for important work)? You can save a lot of money building your own gaming machine because computer retailers mark up those kinds of machines by a lot - in particular the graphics card. But when it comes to basic or business needs on a budget, they're hard to beat. Why? Primarily because the OS is bundled and there are fewer premium parts for them to mark up. Plus you get a warranty.

        It sounds like you just need a good processor and lots of RAM. You don't need a premium motherboard. You don't need particularly fast RAM. You don't need a very good graphics card. And so on.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Challenge: Different kind of computer build.

          Originally posted by sordavie View Post
          What's your budget?

          If it's under $500, what's wrong with a business-line Dell, or equivalent, with a good processor and extra RAM (and perhaps a redundant raid array for important work)? You can save a lot of money building your own gaming machine because computer retailers mark up those kinds of machines by a lot - in particular the graphics card. But when it comes to basic or business needs on a budget, they're hard to beat. Why? Primarily because the OS is bundled and there are fewer premium parts for them to mark up. Plus you get a warranty.

          It sounds like you just need a good processor and lots of RAM. You don't need a premium motherboard. You don't need particularly fast RAM. You don't need a very good graphics card. And so on.
          Budget isn't really set but the cheaper the better.

          I have been using Dell/HP for going on 5 years and the problems are.

          1. Usually not as quite as I like. And I can't really tell until I (the company) have already bought it.
          2. They charge for the OS and I don't need that. MSDN license gives me any OS I want.
          3. Expandability. Many of the basic business computers don't have room for adding several additional hard drives. Most of them don't have room/capability for going past 4 gig of memory. (I need at least 8 gig)
          4. I have run into trouble several times upgrading the OS (and removing the crap ware) from the home version to the ultimate/professional version I use. Especially on the basic (cheap) business/home computers.
          5. Dell/HP workstation (which do come close to what I want) computers are overpriced like their gaming computers are.
          6. Never in my life have I used the warranty offered by Dell/HP. Mainly because they won't support it if you wipe their OEM OS and install your own version.
          7. I want to drive at least 2 24" monitors. Over time that may go to three. Basic business computers often don't support that out of the box and most you can't even upgrade the graphics.
          8. I want it as fast as possible for the money.
          9. The power supply of those basic units are usually custom for the machine. Replacing them is difficult if not impossible. Adding several HD and a new Graphics card becomes difficult.

          Those are the basic reasons.

          I am usually all for going the pre-made route. But I am running into bottle necks on some of the stuff I am doing lately.
          Last edited by El_Gringo_Grande; 03-03-2010, 01:07 PM.
          I知 not racists, I have republican friends. Radio show host.
          - "The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity". -Jacob Burkhardt
          - "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" - Emerson
          - "People should not be afraid of it's government, government should be afraid of it's People." - Line from V for Vendetta
          - If software were as unreliable as economic theory, there wouldn't be a plane made of anything other than paper that could get off the ground. Jim Fawcette
          - "Let me now state what seems to me the decisive objection to any conservatism which deserves to be called such. It is that by its very nature it cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving." -Friedrich Hayek
          - "Don't waist your time on me your already the voice inside my head." Blink 182 to my wife

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Challenge: Different kind of computer build.

            Many of those issues aren't really issues with newer pre-built stuff. For example, all those Dell motherboards should support 8GB of RAM, and they offer 64-bit Win 7 for no additional cost over the 32-bit version. You can also replace the OEM fans with quieter ones. Almost all of them, except the very basic ones and the slim ones, have pci-e expansion slots for discrete video cards - if they don't already come with one.

            But in any case, sounds like you're just looking for the cheapest quad core motherboard, a decent quad core CPU, 8GB of the cheapest RAM, a basic video card with 2 outputs, a reliable PSU with a single 120mm fan, quiet case fans, a basic case with a bunch of expansion ports, and reliable hard drives. Shouldn't be too hard to find the stuff online.

            There are very few video cards that allow you to run more than 3 monitors, and they are very expensive. You can do it with multiple video cards - but you need the expansion slots on your motherboard and you need the extra cards. There are also splitters that allow you to run more monitors on a single card, but those are also expensive.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Challenge: Different kind of computer build.

              Originally posted by sordavie View Post
              Many of those issues aren't really issues with newer pre-built stuff. For example, all those Dell motherboards should support 8GB of RAM, and they offer 64-bit Win 7 for no additional cost over the 32-bit version. You can also replace the OEM fans with quieter ones. Almost all of them, except the very basic ones and the slim ones, have pci-e expansion slots for discrete video cards - if they don't already come with one.

              But in any case, sounds like you're just looking for the cheapest quad core motherboard, a decent quad core CPU, 8GB of the cheapest RAM, a basic video card with 2 outputs, a reliable PSU with a single 120mm fan, quiet case fans, a basic case with a bunch of expansion ports, and reliable hard drives. Shouldn't be too hard to find the stuff online.

              There are very few video cards that allow you to run more than 3 monitors, and they are very expensive. You can do it with multiple video cards - but you need the expansion slots on your motherboard and you need the extra cards. There are also splitters that allow you to run more monitors on a single card, but those are also expensive.
              I said I don't need the OS. I always just throw the one that comes with the computer away. That right there is at least 100 dollars. Why would I pay 50 dollars extra (or whatever) for Win7 professional when I won't use it? Why the hell would I pay anything for an OS when I will only install my OS? It doesn't matter if the base OS is offered in 64 bit. I will not use it.

              I said I could "EXPAND" to three monitors in future. Because it is easier to get a few hundred dollars every fiscal quarter than it is to get thousands at any one time. Buying a mother board that would allow that expansion is easy. Buying a Dell to do the same is not so easy.

              When you buy a dell computer with 8 gig of memory usually all the slots are taken up. So I would have to throw out the dell memory if I wanted to upgrade to 16 gig. (And yes I can easily use 16 gigs of memory.)

              Again, if I find a Dell that has plenty of room for several more HDs then the price advantage probably gone. And how do I know if there is enough room for 4 or 5 more HDs?

              Try to buy a Dell without some kind of video included. If it is on board video then there often is not a GPU slot. If there is a GPU slot you are going to overpay for a cheap graphics card. Dell charges idiotic amounts for better GPUs. Find a PC that has two GPU slots and you start loosing the price advantage the Dells provide.

              If I have to replace fans/PSUs etc (if you can replace them) I might as well just build it because that voids any warranty and the powers that be won't like it. And you are now adding the cost of those quite fans plus S&H. Also, does the PSU have the proper connections for those new fans?

              Dell etc charge sales tax. More dollars I could put into the computer.

              Do you think I haven't already considered all the above?

              And of course I can find all of this out on the tubes. Everybody that asks for help on these forums with building a computer could find the information they are requesting online. And in fact I have been reading the advice given in several threads on these very forums. Most of those threads revolve around getting the best gaming performance. Almost none of them consider heat output and/or noise levels. None of them consider if the parts look "professional". I have also been looking at and comparing multiple components at site like new-egg.

              All I am asking is for some suggestions for good components at reasonable prices that are either quite or will make other components quite and at the same time consider that anything that looks showy or flashy will be frowned upon by management. (Budget is between 1000 and 3000. Even though it isn't my money the lower the price the more likely I am to get the PO approved.)

              And maybe there is something I have not considered about this particular endeavor. Like maybe high end video cards would be of benefit to my development machine. I can't see why they would be but one never knows everything.
              I知 not racists, I have republican friends. Radio show host.
              - "The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity". -Jacob Burkhardt
              - "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" - Emerson
              - "People should not be afraid of it's government, government should be afraid of it's People." - Line from V for Vendetta
              - If software were as unreliable as economic theory, there wouldn't be a plane made of anything other than paper that could get off the ground. Jim Fawcette
              - "Let me now state what seems to me the decisive objection to any conservatism which deserves to be called such. It is that by its very nature it cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving." -Friedrich Hayek
              - "Don't waist your time on me your already the voice inside my head." Blink 182 to my wife

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Challenge: Different kind of computer build.

                Here is my current wish list.

                2 G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL5D-4GBPQ $175.98
                2 SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive $179.98
                1 HIS H467PS1GH Radeon HD 4670 iSilence4 1GB 128-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card $104.99
                1 CORSAIR CMPSU-450VX 450W ATX12V V2.2 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply $69.99
                1 Antec P182 Gun Metal Black 0.8mm cold rolled steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case $144.99
                1 LITE-ON CD/DVD Burner - Bulk Black SATA Model iHAS124-04 $25.99
                1 Intel Core i5-750 Lynnfield 2.66GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80605I5750 $199.99
                1 Intel X25-V SSDSA2MP040G2R5 2.5" 40GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) $129.99
                total $1031

                I don't have motherboard yet because they just confuse me.
                I知 not racists, I have republican friends. Radio show host.
                - "The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity". -Jacob Burkhardt
                - "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" - Emerson
                - "People should not be afraid of it's government, government should be afraid of it's People." - Line from V for Vendetta
                - If software were as unreliable as economic theory, there wouldn't be a plane made of anything other than paper that could get off the ground. Jim Fawcette
                - "Let me now state what seems to me the decisive objection to any conservatism which deserves to be called such. It is that by its very nature it cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving." -Friedrich Hayek
                - "Don't waist your time on me your already the voice inside my head." Blink 182 to my wife

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Challenge: Different kind of computer build.

                  The 1366 scokets are going to be better off for VM type work, the i5 750 is great for gaming but lack HT for the extra thread count. On top of that your current RAM is not compatable with your current CPU, all the new i5s and i7s need DDR3. I'm sure you know but the only thing that SSD is going to hold is the OS. I'd also look at one of the newer 5xxx series GPUs that have DVI, HDMI, and DisplayPort (I know you can only dirve two digital outputs at once off of one card but I'm pretty sure with an adapter you can split the DisplayPort output). For straight up cheapness that case is expensive and if you value silence that much maybe you should look into a passivly cooled GPU and/or water cooling for the CPU.

                  Do you need a lot of GPU power or just to drive a few monitors? there are a few HTPC type cards that handle light gaming and blue ray playback very well that are quiet and some are even passive. Here are some power and noise numbers for a few.
                  Reapator, overlord of ponies

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Challenge: Different kind of computer build.

                    Originally posted by Reaperassault View Post
                    The 1366 scokets are going to be better off for VM type work, the i5 750 is great for gaming but lack HT for the extra thread count. On top of that your current RAM is not compatable with your current CPU, all the new i5s and i7s need DDR3. I'm sure you know but the only thing that SSD is going to hold is the OS. I'd also look at one of the newer 5xxx series GPUs that have DVI, HDMI, and DisplayPort (I know you can only dirve two digital outputs at once off of one card but I'm pretty sure with an adapter you can split the DisplayPort output). For straight up cheapness that case is expensive and if you value silence that much maybe you should look into a passivly cooled GPU and/or water cooling for the CPU.

                    Do you need a lot of GPU power or just to drive a few monitors? there are a few HTPC type cards that handle light gaming and blue ray playback very well that are quiet and some are even passive. Here are some power and noise numbers for a few.
                    Ahh thank you. Exactly the kind of info I was looking for.

                    I only expect the SSD to hold the OS. And really what I am hoping to do is open managements eyes to what SSDs could do for us so if it will make booting really snappy I would be happy.

                    The only thing I want the GPU to do is drive two 24" displays each at 1900x1200 in 2D. Don't care about 3D anything.

                    I like that case because I have heard from others that it dampens noise pretty well. Partly because it is so sterdy. But I am not married.
                    I知 not racists, I have republican friends. Radio show host.
                    - "The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity". -Jacob Burkhardt
                    - "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" - Emerson
                    - "People should not be afraid of it's government, government should be afraid of it's People." - Line from V for Vendetta
                    - If software were as unreliable as economic theory, there wouldn't be a plane made of anything other than paper that could get off the ground. Jim Fawcette
                    - "Let me now state what seems to me the decisive objection to any conservatism which deserves to be called such. It is that by its very nature it cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving." -Friedrich Hayek
                    - "Don't waist your time on me your already the voice inside my head." Blink 182 to my wife

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Challenge: Different kind of computer build.

                      GPU things:
                      assuming that your monitors are both DVI and allowing for possible 3rd monitor on one GPU
                      Good features for price: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814102870 (unsure of noise levels but a quick google can fix that)
                      Complete silence while keeping features: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814131300

                      cheapest but need adapter to run 2nd monitor and unable to run 3rd monitor, silent
                      http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814150469

                      CPU:
                      I'd put money on a i7 920 or a 930 (which is replacing the 920) both are 4C/8T chips at 2.66 GHz and 2.8GHz respectivly its more money than a 1156 socket system but you have a higher performance and core count upgrade path, the new 32nm hexacore chips are coming soon but are going to be +$1000, cheaper stuff will come later down the road.

                      Motherboard:
                      what kind of things are you going to be looking for? USB 3.0 and SATA3 6GB/s needed/wanted for future? most boards have lots of room for RAM so that isn't much of a factor. Just need more information before we can narrow it down to what you need.

                      RAM
                      With a 1366 system its DDR3 in three channel configurations, so a 3 x 2 GB set would work well giving you 6 GB and still leaving you with the option to put in another 6 GB later down the road.

                      To add more performance/price you can OC you system (pretty reliably) which the intel chips to well, but of course that means more heat which means more noise. After market cooling can take care of both easily.

                      Cooling for now I would bet that the stock CPU cooler would be alright, and you can always live with it for a month and then upgrade later if need be.

                      I like the WD HDDs more personally but HDDs are not that big of a deal especially with the OS on the SSD. As for the SSD I'm not extreamly current on that so I'm not sure if there would be a better drive out there for your application.

                      Case wise I'm not really sure what to suggest, the P182s and the like are nice and quite. This is a good place to do more research on what you need for silent computing.
                      Reapator, overlord of ponies

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Challenge: Different kind of computer build.

                        Quiet is pretty easy to do nowadays. A passive (though quite large) CPU heatsink (aftermarket) is available for most LGA775 socket chips and probably for some LGA1366 ones too. Graphics wise, you have a whole range of passive cooled graphics cards to choose from. As for PSUs, go for those with a 80-Plus rating, active PFC, and a 120 mm fan or larger (don't buy any with a secondary smaller fan). Then just pop in some 120mm case fans with a case fan controller and you've basically cut down system noise to a barely audible few decibels. By "barely audible", it means you'd have to strain to hear it in a quiet room.

                        Once you can post down a budget range, I'm sure we can come up with a great list of passively cooled parts.
                        |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
                        TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
                        Former 9th & 13th

                        Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
                        Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





                        SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

                        TG Primer and Rules

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Challenge: Different kind of computer build.

                          I changed it to the i7 930 and the 3x2gig memory. Plan on sticking to stock coolers for now for everything. I got my case preference from that silentpcreview.com actually.

                          So currently I have

                          1 Intel X25-V SSDSA2MP040G2R5 2.5" 40GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) $129.99
                          1 POWERCOLOR SCS3 AX5750 1GBD5-S3DH Radeon HD 5750 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card $149.99
                          2 SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive $179.98
                          1 Intel Core i7-930 2.8GHz LGA 1366 Quad-Core Desktop Processor Model BX80601930 $298.99
                          1 Antec P182 Gun Metal Black 0.8mm cold rolled steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case $144.99
                          1 Crucial 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory $164.99
                          1 LITE-ON CD/DVD Burner - Bulk Black SATA Model iHAS124-04 $25.99
                          1 CORSAIR CMPSU-450VX 450W ATX12V V2.2 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply $64.99
                          For a total of ~ $1159

                          450w should be enough for now, shouldn't it?

                          Now all I need is the mother board.

                          USB 3 not important. SATA 6 would be nice with the SSD but not required. Would like a mobo that supports >= 16gig with 6 slots. That probably isn't a big problem either. Mono sound is good enough. 4 USB inputs is enough. No firewire or anything else. Don't THINK I need raid but as many SATA ports as I can get with maybe a couple of external SATA connections.

                          I just don't want to it be the bottleneck in the system and it absolutely must be stable. The only problem I have ever had with building my own computer is the stability of the mobo and/or it's bios. That is why I am so uncertain about the motherboard selection.

                          The budget is really about anything. They just bought me a $1700 chair so I can't see a real big problem with any component if I can justify it with regard to increasing productivity. But I also respect the companies desire to be as frugal as possible.
                          I知 not racists, I have republican friends. Radio show host.
                          - "The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity". -Jacob Burkhardt
                          - "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" - Emerson
                          - "People should not be afraid of it's government, government should be afraid of it's People." - Line from V for Vendetta
                          - If software were as unreliable as economic theory, there wouldn't be a plane made of anything other than paper that could get off the ground. Jim Fawcette
                          - "Let me now state what seems to me the decisive objection to any conservatism which deserves to be called such. It is that by its very nature it cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving." -Friedrich Hayek
                          - "Don't waist your time on me your already the voice inside my head." Blink 182 to my wife

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Challenge: Different kind of computer build.

                            X58 boards come pretty loaded since its a 'premium' chipset.

                            Well SATA3 6GB/s has to be supported on both ends, chipset and drive. SATA3 and USB 3.0 are mainly for future proofing but those features are also available by add-in card.

                            My recomendation would be
                            http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product...82E16813128423

                            Combo deal it with the 930 to save $20
                            http://www.newegg.ca/Product/ComboDe...t=Combo.353145

                            That Corsair PSU will be great for this system.
                            Reapator, overlord of ponies

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Challenge: Different kind of computer build.

                              Again, thanks.

                              I added the motherboard you suggested. Also changed it from 2x1tb drives to 3x500gig drive. Figured having each VM get it's own drive would be good.

                              And the total is

                              1289.00

                              I was curious so I went and built some comparable computers from Dell and HP. The Dells came up $50-200 more expensive and HP about the same to about $300 dollars more depending on the models. None of the prices includes S&H or taxes. So I bet the Dell and HP would be even more because taxes would add about another $100.

                              But! I get a better CPU (930 vs 920) in most comparisons. I get a better video card (that is silent!) in every comparison. A much better computer case. In almost every comparison I get 2 gig more memory. I also get the HDs configured like I want. And I get a SSD to boot from that only the expensive workstations offered.

                              If this was a low to mid level computer Dell/HP wins hands down.

                              But for high priced systems it is still better to build your own. Not that you save a butt ton of money and the savings probably equal what I value my time at for the extra effort to build my own. But you get to pick the components you want and there is a bit of ego/pride/nerd fun to be had.
                              I知 not racists, I have republican friends. Radio show host.
                              - "The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity". -Jacob Burkhardt
                              - "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" - Emerson
                              - "People should not be afraid of it's government, government should be afraid of it's People." - Line from V for Vendetta
                              - If software were as unreliable as economic theory, there wouldn't be a plane made of anything other than paper that could get off the ground. Jim Fawcette
                              - "Let me now state what seems to me the decisive objection to any conservatism which deserves to be called such. It is that by its very nature it cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving." -Friedrich Hayek
                              - "Don't waist your time on me your already the voice inside my head." Blink 182 to my wife

                              Comment

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