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 Post subject: Recommendations on a case etc
PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2014 1:55 pm 
Little Foot
Little Foot

Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 1:22 pm
Posts: 190
The primary purpose of this is to get recommendations for enclosures, but feel free to comment on anything.

I am putting together a build for work- to be used as a meshing tool for CFD applications. The name of the game here is high clock speeds, lots of cores, and tons of ram. GPU only needs to display the screen, and won't be used for any computations.

I've included a pcpartpicker list of current parts:

http://pcpartpicker.com/user/Pantocrator/saved/4JMk

Feel free to comment and improve the parts list. I'm including a larger psu because eventually the program we are using (within the next year) will support GPU acceleration, so I'd like to add a quadro or similar to help with the computations once the program supports that feature.

I don't know enough about workstation graphics cards to know if they support sli or the like, but as of now that is a secondary concern. I'd like a quiet case that can easily fit everything inside so assembly isn't a pain. I'd like it to be on the smaller side- the last case I used for work was a Cosmos II, and it was absolutely wonderful (and necessary for the large number of HDDs we had to cram in it since it is used as a NAS) to work with, but I don't have space for another one of those.

So, looking for case recommendations that will fit all this stuff, easy to work with for assembly and maintenance, quiet, etc.
Don't care what it looks like, price isn't a huge concern. Try not to get something flashy though, as this is used in a professional lab setting.


thank you!!!


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations on a case etc
PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2014 3:24 pm 
Coppermine
Coppermine
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Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2009 4:40 pm
Posts: 702
Quote:
So, looking for case recommendations that will fit all this stuff, easy to work with for assembly and maintenance, quiet, etc.
Don't care what it looks like, price isn't a huge concern. Try not to get something flashy though, as this is used in a professional lab setting.
Cases aren't "noisy" or "quiet", per se - it's the components inside that make the noise. There are some cases that try to muffle the sound, but they tend to restrict/minimize airflow and usually result in higher temps.

I would recommend you try to find PC parts that run as quietly as possible. Disregarding the GPU, the next noisiest components are fans, CPU coolers and PSU. Good news: most quality PSUs (like the one you picked) run pretty quiet. The Hyper 212 is also pretty quiet provided the fans are quiet. For case fans (and replacement CPU cooler fans), try Noctua.

As for the case, have you looked at the HAF XB EVO?


Hope this helps.


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations on a case etc
PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2014 3:42 am 
Team Member Top 250
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Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2004 9:06 pm
Posts: 34
Location: Mount Dora FL
I would strongly recommend the fractal R4 case. I have two of them, one of which is my main machine and the other is my HTPC.

The cases themselves can hold 8 full sized regular hard drives plus two or more SSDs.

My main machine has an Nvidia GTX 760 for it's video card and it can hold a much larger GPU as well due to it's main hard drives being placed from side to side rather than back to back which also gives the case greater stability due to it's greater width.

Wiring is very easy to keep clean and neat due to the greater space at the side of the case behind the motherboard.

I am using 3 140 mm case fans blowing in and 1 140 mm blowing out and they are very quiet, For my CPU cooling I am using a Corsair H100I all in one cooling system which I have located at the top of the case. The H100I uses 2 120 mm fans which are speed controlled by the pump software which monitors the temps. For most of my uses, the H100I case fans run in "quiet" mode but if I am going to abuse my system by running folding or video compression I will run them in either balanced or maximum speed mode.

My only regret about using the H100I is that the fans are 120 mm and not 140mm which can push more air past the radiator while being quieter.

I also use the "Corsair Link" system to monitor my CPU and GPU temps as well as all of my hard drive temps.

I currently have 6 Western digital hard drives in both my main and HTPC machines. Those would include 1 2TB hard drive for software and other long term storage, 4 3 TB WD RED drives for video storage, and one 1.5 TB WD Green for video storage.

I am scheduled to receive TWO 4 TB WD RED drives later today which will each replace one 3 TB drive on each machine with those "replaced" 3 TB drives each replacing the 1.5 TB drives with the 1.5 TB drives either being retired or used as additional storage somewhere.

Currently each machine has over 16 TB of long term storage along with a SSD boot drive.

My main machine serves as a backup to the HTPC because of the many years I have spent recording "Over the Air" or unencrypted Cable TV programs.

I keep my video recording strictly legal with two TV tuners in each machine.

If you go with this case, I recommend using large Velcro strips to secure the SSDs to the back of the motherboard mounting plate instead of securing the SSDs with screws which then makes it very hard to remove or replace the SSDs because the motherboard needs to be removed to unscrew the SSDs from the back panel.

I am very pleased with my fractal R4 cases and I am planning on purchasing another one to build a strictly "Backup" machine which no one will have "write" or "delete" access to. The new "backup machine will control all of it's copying from the HTPC to itself via running the Microsoft "SYNCTOY" application.

I will transfer 5 of my long term video storage drives from my master to the new backup machine thereby freeing up my main machine to run whatever I want without fear of accidentally deleting any of my videos. I already have a spare motherboard and an AMD 1090 6 core processor along with 1000 Watt power supply laying around. I just need to buy some memory and the case and I am ready to go.


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations on a case etc
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2014 12:20 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2004 9:06 pm
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Location: Mount Dora FL
Actually, if one is not using one or both of the 5 1/4 drives they can easily be converted to handle the 2 1/2 " drives via a simple adaptor which in a pinch gives 10 Hard drives and depending on how creative one is, at least two SSDs on the back of the motherboard panel. A little creativity with Velcro can easily support perhaps up to 6 SSDs.

It is up to the motherboard to determine exactly how many hard drives it can support but one can easily add a couple of add-in hard drive adaptors to cover Whatever the motherboard itself doesn't cover.


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations on a case etc
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2014 1:01 am 
Smithfield
Smithfield

Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
Posts: 5251
It honestly depends on how much you want to spend, but sense you're spending that much, maybe price is not a factor here.

The best case I've had, hands down, because not only did it perform really well with cooling, but was the cleanest case for the two years I've had it (I only had to clean the air filters), was the Silverstone FT02. The only problem is that it's a bit of a beast of a case for a MidATX case, can only hold 5 3.5" drives (there's a spot for a 2.5" drive), and it costs $250.

Otherwise I've heard Corsair Carbide series cases have really good build quality and cooling.


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations on a case etc
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2014 1:46 pm 
Team Member Top 250
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Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2004 9:06 pm
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Location: Mount Dora FL
I often see the Fractal R4 on sale at NEWEGG for as low as $79.00. That is for the case without a clear side window. My main machine uses a clear side window but it is set up as a "show Piece" computer and not an every day work machine. Along with the Corsair link system to track temps, I also am using the Corsair lighting and fan kit in that machine.

My HTPC alsu uses the Fractal R4 but it is set up as a file server as well as a HTPC so it doesn't have all the extras in it. My main machine serves as a backup to my HTPC.

Yesterday I received two Western Digital RED 4 TB drives to replace two good but filled WD 3TB Green Drives.

I don't use any raid arrays because I don't see much sense having a large stripe across multiple drives which would mean that I am exercising all my storage drives just to read a single file. The WD 3 and 4 TB drives are more than fast enough to serve as a media server drive without any pauses or breakups.

The Way I have my hard drives allocated is C: Boot Drive, D: misc software source files and long term program source storage. My E: 3 TB WD Green drives contain TV Series A - L while my 3 TB WD Green F: drives contain TV series M - Z. It is my F: 3 TB WD Green drives which I just upgraded to 4 TB WD RED drives. My 3 TB WD RED G: drives contain Movies A - Z and still have a LOT of free space on them. My 3 TB H: WD RED drives contain Movies M - Z and finally my I:drives which are 3TB WD RED drives as well contain various other Christian Movies, Christian TV Series,, Christian TV shows, War Movies, Misc military videos, Worship music, Audio Files, Kids Vids, Sports videos, pictures and finally TV shows that are not part of a series but stands alone shows. AS I Mentioned earlier, I have exactly the same hard drive arrangement on both my MAIN and my HTPC machines to allow me to quickly swap in replacement hard drives if one should fail.

It is much quicker to copy a single hard drive to a replacement hard drive than it is to rebuild a RAID 5 array. I can swap in a replacement hard drive in about 3 minutes while with todays new three and four TB drives it would probably take a day or two or three to rebuild an array. I don't mind keeping a spare 3 or 4 TB WD drive handy just in case I need to swap something out and create another backup copy of that failed drive. I started out using 300 MB drives s long time ago but they quickly became filled and it has been a long procession of ever increasing hard drive sizes just to hold all of my recorded videos. When they first came out, I liked the 3 TB WD Green drives but now as my needs keep expanding I am slowly moving everything to the new 4 TB WD RED drives which are designed to be run in arrays within a small enclosure where any balance problem can quickly destroy all the hard drives in them.

I have only had ONE 3 TB WD GREEN drive fail on me and it was over three years old. I expect the NEW WD RED drives to last longer than the Green drives because they are more finely constructed for a 24/365 environment even though I don't run my drives that way. Being on separate drives eliminates the extra wear a raid array would introduce to each system.


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations on a case etc
PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2014 12:51 pm 
8086
8086

Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2014 8:38 am
Posts: 3
I've also been looking for a case, and I found some great ones here http://www.squidoo.com/best-pc-cases. I believe the Cooler Master Storm Enforcer would be just what you're wanting. It has USB 3.0 and other great features that put it on top.


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations on a case etc
PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2014 5:25 pm 
Team Member Top 250
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Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2004 9:06 pm
Posts: 34
Location: Mount Dora FL
I recently purchased my third Fractal R4 case and the latest Gigabyte 990FXA-UD5 REV3 motherboard. I will get an AMD 9590 processor next month when my next checks come in. I already have a 1200 watt power supply sitting here along with a spare Corsair H100I CLC cooling system waiting for the few remaining parts to arrive for a new "main" machine.

I am building a new "main" or "master" pc with all high end AMD products except the video card which will be NVIDIA.

Right now, AMD offers the best band for the buck and the bucks are very scarce these days.

My current HTPC will become a backup server while my current "main" PC will become the HTPC. I will be adding a good video card to the "backup" machine to allow it to run folding on it's GPU as well as it's CPU.

The latest Gigabyte 990FXA-UD5 REV3 motherboards now have the UEFI bios and have been ramped up to run the extremely potent 9590 processors.

Basically speaking, the newest machine will be like my current high end machine except that it will contain all of the latest versions of each piece of equipment. My old "main" machine with it's 8350 8 core CPU was already pretty strong running at 4.5 GHZ but the new 9590 8 core will run at 5.0 GHZ reliably all day long.

I will eventually be running folding on both the CPUs and GPUs on all three machines.

I am currently currently running folding on my main machines CPU and GPU while running folding only on the HTPC CPU because it's GPU is simply too weak.

When all is up and running I may actually wind up tripling my current points production.

Oh well, the more the better, Points that is.


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