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 Post subject: Build plans for dedicated F@H machine
PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2014 4:22 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 02, 2013 5:17 am
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Greetings!

I've been planning this build for the last couple months, and am ready to make it happen. This machine will be a dedicated folder and will run 24/7/365. It will be in my office on the main floor, next to my current desktop build. My budget is $2500. I have a spare SSD that will serve as my hard drive, and can get Win 8.1 for $20 because I am a teacher, and Microsoft offers us special pricing for software through my school. I do not need any additional peripherals.

I plan to OC the CPU, but will probably run the GPUs close to, if not at stock.

I'd prefer to purchase all of the items from Newegg, and the list below reflects this.

So far, this is my plan for the build:

PCPartPicker part list
Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel Core i7-4770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($314.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Corsair H100i 77.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: MSI Z87-G55 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($122.98 @ Newegg)
Memory: Kingston HyperX Blu 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($84.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: XFX Radeon R9 290X 4GB Double Dissipation Video Card ($479.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: XFX Radeon R9 290X 4GB Double Dissipation Video Card ($479.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: XFX Radeon R9 290X 4GB Double Dissipation Video Card ($479.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Fractal Design Define XL R2 (Titanium Grey) ATX Full Tower Case ($154.38 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: EVGA SuperNOVA 1300 G2 1300W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply ($159.99 @ Newegg)
Case Fan: Fractal Design FD-FAN-SSR2-140 66.0 CFM 140mm Fan ($14.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $2392.28
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-06-09 19:46 EDT-0400)

My main questions can be focused in the areas of the CPU/MB chipset and the PSU.

Because my intent is to fold with this until the cows come home, is it worth investing in a non-K SKU chip to gain access to the new Z97 chipset?

I've been a student of these forums and have heard from up on high the preachings of choosing too much power supply for a rig. So my question is, given the usage profile of this machine, is 1300W too much, not enough, or just right... This PSU calculator suggests a power supply value of 1564W. I have assumed high usage values and high capacitor aging, giving the nature of the build. Do I need to step up the PSU or am I in the sweet-spot?

Much obliged to all comments, questions and critiques 8)

Respectfully submitted,
LemurWrangler


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 Post subject: Re: Build plans for dedicated F@H machine
PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2014 8:38 am 
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Probably would be fine. You got that minimum 1500W calc because you maxed out capacitor aging. Otherwise, it says about 1100W draw.

I think I would be more worried about heat buildup. Might want to think about using riser cards to give some distance between them. Have you thought about running an open air setup with a big fan blowing air?


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 Post subject: Re: Build plans for dedicated F@H machine
PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2014 12:01 pm 
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Location: Chicago
Thanks phillyj. I don't think the open air build will work because the build still has to work with the aesthetic of our main floor den, but I am happy to throw as many case fans at the problem as is necessary. I plan to take out as many HDD cages as I can to allow for more airflow inside the case. Also, I'm not familiar with riser cards. Can you post a link to buy the ones that would fit my needs? Can you use riser cards inside a closed case, or does it need to be an open-air build?

In terms of the power draw, I selected high capacitor ageing and utilization values because I did not want to underestimate the load of the machine running 24-7 near 100% with an OC'd CPU. Given that I plan to run it 24-7 how should I take into account for (additional?) stress on the components that they will see in my calculations? Does that need to be part of my calculation? Any other folders out there run or know of systems with similar power draws?


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 Post subject: Re: Build plans for dedicated F@H machine
PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2014 12:26 pm 
Smithfield
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Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
Posts: 5543
phillyj is talking about something like these (there are ribbon cable versions of these too). This will only work if you can physically secure the card away from the motherboard.

Looking at another website for power consumption measurements, it appears the R9 290X chews up about 300W per board if it's near 100% taxed. Adding another 100W-150W for the rest of the system (I'm going to assume F@H doesn't use the CPU much if it has GPUs to do the work)... so I think 1500W should be good but 1300W is probably the bare minimum for comfort.

Also as long as you can keep the computer cool, it probably will last a lot longer than you think. Heat is really what kills components over time. Investing in a water cooling setup for at least the video cards would help, a lot.


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 Post subject: Re: Build plans for dedicated F@H machine
PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2014 3:49 pm 
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LatiosXT wrote:

Also as long as you can keep the computer cool, it probably will last a lot longer than you think. Heat is really what kills components over time. Investing in a water cooling setup for at least the video cards would help, a lot.


That's going to be one beefy watercooling setup though. I can't imagine how much heat these new AMD gpus put out. Anyway, your plan is gonna be pretty expensive.

Hey folders, is there any way to use a cheaper CPU or will there be issues? I know you need at least 3 cores to run 3 GPUs. Where else can we skimp on? Cheaper mobo, case?


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 Post subject: Re: Build plans for dedicated F@H machine
PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 9:03 am 
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Thanks LatiosXT and phillyj for the feedback! Considering the heat from the 290x's, and my lack of budget for a full custom watercooling solution, I'm going to need to move on to different GPUs. What do you think about the 780 as an alternative? I know that they don't produce as many ppd as the 290X, but they won't fry inside a case. Looking at this site it appears that the 780 draws significantly less power than the 290X, and runs cooler. Plus, there is a combo discount at Newegg on the EVGA PSU that I'm look at and EVGA 780 ACX cards. Plus, because these cards seem to pull less power I can be more confident with a 1300w power supply, instead of having to go larger.

Also, unlike AMD GPUs, I don't believe that the Nvdia GPUs require a whole thread from the CPU for management in F@H, which will leave more resources to fold on the CPU. LatiosXT, running F@H, you can choose to enable or disable the CPU for folding. The CPU does produces significantly few ppd than the GPU, but there are different types of projects that run on the CPU vs the GPU, so I don't want to neglect one for the other. This is also why I'm interested in a powerful CPU that is overclockable. Right now, I'm running an i5-3750K @4520mHz and earning decent ppd boost with the OC on the chip. I'm hoping to give the GPUs the management they need from the CPU, and at the same time, produce stronger ppd values with the OC'd 4770K.

Does this sound a bit more reasonable heat and power wise...?

Thanks again!


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 Post subject: Re: Build plans for dedicated F@H machine
PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 9:46 am 
Smithfield
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Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
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I'm going on a whim and say F@H likes higher compute performance, which NVIDIA 's non Titan GPUs don't do well in.


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 Post subject: Re: Build plans for dedicated F@H machine
PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 12:11 pm 
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I'm sorry, but what do you mean by 'compute performance'? What characteristic of the GPU helps to determine this? How do you measure this characteristic?

According to this chart, the 780 appears to be an effective card and produces high PPD values.


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 Post subject: Re: Build plans for dedicated F@H machine
PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 1:07 pm 
Smithfield
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Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
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Compute performance as in its FLOPS rating. If F@H uses single precision then NVIDIA's GPUs do well there. But if it's double precision then only the Titans can do any amount of effective work.

But if you say the 780 does well, then it's probably single precision


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 Post subject: Re: Build plans for dedicated F@H machine
PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 4:06 pm 
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Location: Sittin' downtown at the railway station, one toke over the line.
It is as you say. F@H uses single-precision. AMD has a slight edge over NVIDIA as of these last few GPU generations, at the expense of power consumption and heat. Driver versions have an impact as well. Expected performance in F@H is roughly analogous to expected gaming performance. Memory clocks and PCIe bandwidth (as in mining) are largely irrelevant.


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