1 2 Previous Next 42 Replies Latest reply: Oct 23, 2012 7:06 AM by Harm Millaard RSS

    Planning / building a new system. Part 1

    Harm Millaard Community Member

      At some point in time, we all face that difficult decision. We know that our system is at the end of its lifecycle and needs to be replaced in the near future. But does it require a complete new system, or is it worthwhile to upgrade parts of the system, or is it better to wait for the new .... that was just announced?

       

      We all have these thoughts from time to time, we have budget restraints, we have to 'sell' our ideas to the Financial Director, we have to get final approval and then, as a final step, we must implement them.

       

      This gives you the link to a multi-part sequel about planning and building a complete new system. It is not a simple copy this build and paste it for your system builder, because it is based on my own ideas, budget limits, needs, and idiosyncrasies. It is full of uncertainties, decisions to be made, further investigations to be done, but the intention is to take you along on this journey to a new system, showing you the choices I had, the decisions I made and why.

       

      See: Planning and Building a new system

       

      I appreciate your feedback and help in this endeavour, which may not be finished before september 2012. I intend it to be a 6-7 part sequel with pictures of the build progress.

        • 1. Re: Planning / building a new system. Part 1
          Studio North Films Community Member

          Hi,

           

          Harm

           

          Very Interesting,

           

          I will be building a new system in a few months time, and some of the parts you have choosen are really interesting.

           

          Good Luck,

           

          I look forward to your next Sequel

           

          Baz

          • 2. Re: Planning / building a new system. Part 1
            cpachris_1969 Community Member

            Harm,

             

            Since you mentioned you like the hot-swappable cages, have you considered the CaseLabs TX10-V, so that you could use the cages on the PSU side also?  I'm trying to decide between these two cases.  Height might put it out of consideration, but it sure would be nice to have the cages all up and down the PSU side also. 

            • 3. Re: Planning / building a new system. Part 1
              Harm Millaard Community Member

              You are correct that height was the only consideration not to choose the TX-10, for the simple reason that it would not fit under my desk.

               

              My office just does not allow any other location than under my desk, in the corner:

               

              Office.png

              • 4. Re: Planning / building a new system. Part 1
                DeePeeBee

                Harm, I am starting on a build very similar to yours - but with a lot less beef. I already have the 3930 CPU and the Asus P9X79 WS motherboard and my Noctua NH-D14 cooler, 600 GB Sata III Velociraptor HD and EVGA GTX 570 (Model 1579 with 2GB of RAM) should arrive this week.

                 

                I've started thinking thru the setup and in reading the MB manual, I find myself with so many choices that I don't know what to do. First, I think I need to settle on the the disk/RAID setup so I can do that once - when I set up the system instead of coming back to "fix it". 

                 

                I already have a 120GB SanDisk SATA III SSD (Extreme) and I also have a pair of 80GB old (Sata II) SSD's.

                I had planned to use the 120 GB SSD for my boot disk, and the velociraptor to run videos/photoshop projects. Everything that is finished goes to my HTPC so I don't need a lot of storage, but I did plan to use an internal 1TB Green WD HD for backup - In addition to my external HP MediaSmart Server backups.

                 

                Now that I read about the WS motherboard's ability to use an SSD as cache for a larger HDD, I am wondering if I should use a SATA III SSD/Velociraptor HDD setup for my project fines and a small SATA II SSD for my OS. And would I want the largest stripe size possible for both RAIDs or a smaller size for the OS?? If I need a hardware RAID controller to do any of this, I probably would stay with the software alternatives.

                 

                To add to the confusion, I can still expand my HD options - I could get a 300GB velociraptor to go with the SATAIII SSD drive for the OS, and another 600 GBvelociraptor to pair up in RAID 0 for the projects.

                 

                My PSU is a Corsair modular HX620W which is probably light, but I will only use it on my "test bench" to get some power consumption data before I decide how big to go. I have 4 sticks of G Skill Ripjaws DDR3 1600, 4 GB each, which I will eventually either supplement with another 16GB or maybe replace totally with 64GB. And there is also an LG blu-ray burner and a USB wireless N adapter to pop into the USB port on the MB.

                 

                Fast booting is nice, but not worth spending money on - rendering is what eats up hours and what I want to beat down.  This is not a professional work station, just for my photography/video hobby, but I still never want to have another 16 hour render time. 

                 

                There will be no software on this machine other than what is necessary for my hobby - I'll use Windows 7 Home Premium 64GB and Adobe Lightroom 4. I already have Production Premium CS5 and plan to download the trial for 5.5 - or 6.0 if it is still available as a trial. The ASus MB comes with Norton but I usually use AVG Anti-virus - I don't plan to be surfing the Web, only to dowload updates for drivers, etc.  I would even use my other machine for tutorials, etc. to keep this one as clean as possible.

                 

                I've never overclocked before, but this MB seems to make that process pretty straightforward.  I'm sure I will have a hundred other issues as I progress, e.g. should I use the Drive Xpert Mode (is Super Speed just RAID 0 for dummies??and does it only work on the same SATA  ports that will provide SSD caching??), should I use TurboV EVO or set up an underclocking profile and an overclocking profile for myself? Would I want to overclock the GPU?? Should I use MEMOK?? Would you recommend installing all of the Asus utilities or is that just bloatware?

                 

                And then there will be tuning Windows and setting all those Adobe preferences, how to take advantage of the two LAN ports, etc., etc., but I do have some sources to start with for those challenges.  It would be great to use your thread or your build site to package some of the best resources.

                 

                The case for all this gear is still undecided, probably a Silverstone Fortress FT-02. I've never had a viewing "door" before, but with all of the ASUS diagnostic lights, maybe that would be a good idea.

                 

                I'm ok to use anything that makes life simpler, but not at the expense of bogging down the system. I'd appreciate comments and advice from you and anyone else interested, especially if there are issues that I obviously have not thought of. I plan to try to run the PPBM5 (or 6) benchmarks and I'm game to try out various configurations or tests to see what works best.

                 

                This is the first time I've ever sought help with a build (except for my son, but family is different), so I hope I haven't asked for too much. If I have, it's really the HDD system that I need to come to grips with before I start putting  things together.

                 

                Thanks in advance,

                Dorothy

                • 5. Re: Planning / building a new system. Part 1
                  DeePeeBee Community Member

                  Harm, I now realize there are other threads more relevant to my question, in fact, I think I have found the answers to most of my questions. When I finish my build I will try to run the PPBM5 benchmarks (or maybe the PPBM 6 runs if they are ready then). Thanks, sorry to have polluted your thread and good luck with your build,

                  Dorothy

                  • 6. Re: Planning / building a new system. Part 1
                    Harm Millaard Community Member

                    Dorothy,

                     

                    Sorry for not having answered before, Your post did not not give me sufficient handles to come up with a clear and concise answer as a reply. It was a bit too broad and raised too many issues/questions to answer in some simple phrases. Nevertheless, your doubts, questions and uncertainties about which way to turn are about the most frequent things one encounters when building a new system. That was the exact reason why I started this series, but my timetable may not match yours. If you have specific questions, please create your own topic and I will try to respond. But if I'm not there, there are many others with valuable input who can help you.

                    • 7. Re: Planning / building a new system. Part 1
                      poppabear69 Community Member

                      Hi Harm,

                       

                      I am in a similar boat - my current i7-920 is good enough, but I would like to upgrade.

                       

                      I saw the Adobe TV episode about the Premiere CS6 and Mercury Playback Engine.

                       

                      http://tv.adobe.com/watch/cs6-creative-cloud-feature-tour-for-video/get-blazing-performanc e-and-rock-solid-stability-with-the-enhanced-mercury-playback-engine/

                       

                      It says that Premiere CS6 was designed to take advantage of the new Xeon E5-1600 and E5-2600 CPU's.

                       

                      There doesn't seem to be a price premium for the new Xeon's.  The Xeon E5-1650 has the same specs as the i7-3930K and is a comparable price.

                       

                      I am looking forward to seeing some PPBM6 results from the new Xeon's.

                      • 8. Re: Planning / building a new system. Part 1
                        icy100 Community Member

                        Hi Harm

                         

                        Great info. I'm in a similar position of looking to upgrade to get the best out of CS6 (Premiere, AE etc) and was very interested in reading your thoughts about your future upgrade plans as I'm looking at similar specs. I am considering the Asus P9X79 and wondered what the difference would be between the Pro version and the WS you're proposing. I'm also finding great difficulty in sourcing the Samsung 1.35v 4gb memory sticks in the UK so I'm considering others and wondered if you could recommend memory (8 x 4gb) that would also work well with the X79 and a 3930k cpu.

                        • 9. Re: Planning / building a new system. Part 1
                          icy100 Community Member

                          I've looked at Harm's thoughts on the various components and have decided (probably) to upgrade within the next couple of weeks. My current system is

                           

                          Windows 7 Professional

                          Antec 1200 case

                          Asus P6 X58 mb

                          Intel i7 930 2.8

                          GTX 480

                          24gb memory

                          Corsair 850w silver psu

                          Highpoint Rocket Raid 4322 Raid controller

                          4 x 1tb Samsung F3 internal Raid 0

                          4 x 1TB Samsung F3 external Raid 0

                          1 x 1TB Samsung F3 os disc

                          Matrox MXO2 le

                           

                          I intend to swap out the mb, cpu, gpu and memory and put in the following

                           

                          Asus P9 X79 Pro mb

                          GTX 680 gpu

                          Intel i7 3930k cpu

                          Corsair vengence green 8 x 4gb (1.35v) memory

                           

                          My intention is to use CS6 with Premiere Pro and AE nad hope that this confirguration will work well

                           

                          Any suggestions regarding the compatability or any other possible issues with this potential setup would be welcome

                          • 10. Re: Planning / building a new system. Part 1
                            DeePeeBee Community Member

                            icy100, I am in the process of starting up my build very similar to yours.  But I used the workstation version of the Asus P9X79.  It is a K***A** Board, but I did have to RMA the first one I received and it IS LARGER THAN A STANDARD ATX board - CEB form factor 12x10.5. I couldn't fit it into a coolermaster Scout for example, so I ordered a Silverstone F02. You may have to stick with the Pro version if you want to use the Antec 1200. I wanted the WS for the twin LAN ports and the firewire which I need.  It also has a port for a wireless adapter stick ($5.00 refurbished) which is a really easy install.

                             

                            You need to think about your CPU cooler.  I used the Noctua NH D14-SE2011 and it just barely clears my GSkill ripjaws memory sticks - it seems to be more than adequate cooling. I had read that folks had to Dremel off the heat spreaders on some Vengance sticks.  I believe the Asus website and the Notua website will give you the combined requirements for a case and for memory that will physically fit. Also the Noctua cooler is very high so you need to check the clearance in your case. If it won't fit, you may have to go with liquid cooling - with its attendant radiator/fan fitting issues.

                             

                            I did get a 1000 w psu, but you are likely fine with the 850.

                             

                            If I had 24 gb of existing COMPATIBLE memory, I would start with that rather than buy an 8x4 set, the WS mobo has memory configurations for 1, 2, 4, 6, and 8 sticks. Then if 24 GB isn't enough and you need to go to 32 you could then buy a 4x8 set and then eventually add another 4x8 to get to 64 (although I have read that sometimes adding an unmatched set just doesn't work, so that's somewhat of a gamble).

                             

                            Good luck, if you need anything measured, just let me know, it's all together on my dining room table so easy to do now.  My case comes tomorrow, so I'll start packing it in next week.

                             

                            Dorothy

                            • 11. Re: Planning / building a new system. Part 1
                              RjL190365 Community Member

                              DeePeeBee wrote:

                               

                              If I had 24 gb of existing COMPATIBLE memory, I would start with that rather than buy an 8x4 set, the WS mobo has memory configurations for 1, 2, 4, 6, and 8 sticks. Then if 24 GB isn't enough and you need to go to 32 you could then buy a 4x8 set and then eventually add another 4x8 to get to 64 (although I have read that sometimes adding an unmatched set just doesn't work, so that's somewhat of a gamble).

                              Dorothy,

                               

                              The only problem with that is that the memory controller bandwidth will be reduced if you're not using RAM in sets of four on this platform. For example, if you're using six sticks, what the LGA 2011 memory controller does is map part of the installed memory as quad-channel and the remainder as single-channel. So, with 6x4, only 16GB will be mapped as full quad-channel while the remaining 8GB will be mapped as single-channel. (Obviously, using that system with only one or two sticks will result in the memory controller be constrained to single- or dual-channel mode, respectively.)

                               

                              Also, the LGA 2011 platform does not officially support a three-stick memory configuration because the memory controller does not have a triple-channel mode. Only single, dual or quad channel configurations are supported.

                              • 12. Re: Planning / building a new system. Part 1
                                DeePeeBee Community Member

                                RjL - that's good to know - just because it will "work" doesn't mean it'soptimal!  What would you say about the option of getting 4x8 instead of 8x4 and the possibilities of adding another set of 4 in the future?

                                • 13. Re: Planning / building a new system. Part 1
                                  RjL190365 Community Member

                                  Dorothy,

                                   

                                  You will likely pay around a 30 percent premium for going 4x8 instead of 8x4. However, this will give you room to expand whereas going with 8x4 would require you to completely replace some or all of those sticks just to expand RAM.

                                  • 14. Re: Planning / building a new system. Part 1
                                    icy100 Community Member

                                    Dorothy, many thanks for your input. I've now ordered all the components but I've changed out the Corsair memory for the G.Skill Ripsaws (8*4gb). Everything should be with me by next week so the build starts then. If I come across any problems I'll give you a shout for guidance.

                                    • 15. Re: Planning / building a new system. Part 1
                                      DeePeeBee Community Member

                                      Icy, I'm going to give some unasked for guidance - I see you have a RAID controller card, but it looks like you might also be using the Intel onboard RAID controller for a second raid. If that's the case, then - when you get everything working, be sure you set the SATA controller in your Bios to "RAID" and then, WHEN THE WINDOWS INSTALL SHOWS THE LITTLE BOX AT THE BOTTOM OF THE SCREEN THAT SAYS "Load Drivers" STOP!~!! and be sure to load the Intel Rapid Storage drivers that you can put onto a thumb drive from the Asus webpage for your mobo.  I was so anxious to get Windows loaded that I flew right past that last point - even tho I knew about it and even tho I had actually written it down on my startup cheat sheet. Now I'm going to have to reinstall windows after I went thru the updates and some of the tweaking.

                                      If the presence of the Raid controller card obviates the need for the Intel drivers, then just ignore my advice - IO really am a newbie about RAIDS. But I figured you won't mind being forewarned even if you don't need the warning.

                                      Which cooler did you settle on - if it's a liquid cooler, I'd be interested to see your CPU temps - I haven't stressed mine yet or tried to overclock it, and its staying around 34C.

                                       

                                      Dorothy

                                      • 16. Re: Planning / building a new system. Part 1
                                        icy100 Community Member

                                        Dorothy, thanks for the 'heads up' advice on the RAID. I decided on the Noctua cooler as you suggested as it seems to be a very good selection for the 3930k cpu. I'll let you know how I get on with the build once everything arrives and I get the change to build and test it.

                                        • 17. Re: Planning / building a new system. Part 1
                                          Harm Millaard Community Member

                                          Just to let you know that the build has really started. First pictures of the case and drive cages have appeared, as well as the tab up to now. Have a look at the original page http://ppbm6.com/Planning.html and go to the panel 'Case' for more details. So, effectively we have now moved into part 2.

                                          • 18. Re: Planning / building a new system. Part 1
                                            cpachris_1969 Community Member

                                            Harm,...you should check out the specs on the upcoming Asrock Extreme 11 motherboard, before making your purchase.  Had a company rep confirm to me yesterday that they are close, and it should be ready for shipping in early June.  Crazy number of SATA ports and USB headers, and lots more PCI lanes available that a normal X79 board. 

                                            • 19. Re: Planning / building a new system. Part 1
                                              Bill Gehrke CommunityMVP

                                              Man oh man I like this rumored board already!

                                               

                                              "As far as storage is concerned, ASRock decided that the usual SATA connectivity provided by the Intel X79 PCH is not enough for its flagship motherboard, so it installed a third-party LSI SAS2308 controller.  This adds eight SAS 6Gbps, or eight SATA III, ports to the board thus raising the number of storage devices that can be connected to the X79 Extreme 11 to 14 (10 of these will be able to work at 6Gbps speeds)."

                                               

                                              I had been unsucessfully hunting for a motherboard with onboard 4 SATA 6 Gb/s ports that could be used for a four Disk RAID 10 setup but this does it one better with 8 ports WOW!. 

                                               

                                              Message was edited by: Bill Gehrke

                                              • 20. Re: Planning / building a new system. Part 1
                                                cpachris_1969 Community Member

                                                Yeah, it looks to be pretty incredible.  Lets hope it actually makes it to market.  I'm holding off on purchasing a board right now to see if this one pans out. 

                                                • 21. Re: Planning / building a new system. Part 1
                                                  JEShort01 Community Member

                                                  Wow Harm, what a case!!!

                                                   

                                                  Thanks for sharing the saga of your planning and build as it comes together.

                                                   

                                                  Regarding the photo taken of your new case next to "Harm's Beast", it sure makes the "Beast" look pretty wimpy (I know that it is NOT though).

                                                   

                                                  Do you have a name planned for your new system yet - I guess it could be Beast II, Mega Beast, PPBM6 Eater, Beyond the Beast, etc.?

                                                   

                                                  Regards,

                                                   

                                                  Jim

                                                  • 22. Re: Planning / building a new system. Part 1
                                                    Harm Millaard Community Member

                                                    Jim,

                                                     

                                                    That case is indeed impressive. I will update and add pictures as the build progresses and components come in. All the cages are now installed, so I have 4 hot swap 2.5" and 15 hot swap 3.5" slots available, plus the other 16 3.5" slots on the PSU side. Just wondering where to get the funding for this massive amount of storage. The CFO (my wife) is not overly enthousiastic to say the least.

                                                     

                                                    As to the name, Bill was the one who came up with the name 'Harm's Beast' back in the early PPBM5 days. Maybe he has another moniker for this machine, but my initial thought was 'Harm's Monster'.

                                                    • 23. Re: Planning / building a new system. Part 1
                                                      Bill Gehrke CommunityMVP

                                                      'Harm's Monster' it is indeed

                                                      • 24. Re: Planning / building a new system. Part 1
                                                        JEShort01 Community Member

                                                        Excellent Bill!

                                                        • 26. Re: Planning / building a new system. Part 1
                                                          Zoop studio Community Member

                                                          Christus, wat een monster, geweldig! (crist, what a monster, great!)

                                                          • 27. Re: Planning / building a new system. Part 1
                                                            Harm Millaard Community Member

                                                            In case you were wondering whether there are alternatives for this case, well there are. See http://www.mountainmods.com/index.php

                                                             

                                                            And if you are wondering whether there are solutions if you need even bigger raid arrays with your system, look at http://www.aberdeeninc.com/abcatg/petarack.htm

                                                             

                                                            For some pictures of what THAT looks like, see http://www.tomshardware.com/picturestory/582-petarack-petabyte-sas.html .It was not only price, but also size that decided me against this solution. I could not fit it under my desk but it gives one more storage.

                                                             

                                                            If you want to go even more extreme, look at: http://www.ncsa.illinois.edu/BlueWaters/ which also uses Tesla acceleration, as well as 400PB storage.

                                                            • 28. Re: Planning / building a new system. Part 1
                                                              Harm Millaard Community Member

                                                              On the request of an old friend here on the forum, I have added a small piece about water cooling and why I chose not to use it. Might be interesting.

                                                              • 29. Re: Planning / building a new system. Part 1
                                                                cpachris_1969 Community Member

                                                                Harm Millaard wrote:

                                                                 

                                                                With increasing numbers of disks the benefits of water cooling diminish, because the disks all make noise and there does not exist a cooling block for disks, so fans are still required there.

                                                                 

                                                                There are plenty of options for water cooling disks.  Here is a link to a few:

                                                                 

                                                                http://www.aquatuning.us/index.php/cat/c106_HDD-waterblocks.html

                                                                 

                                                                Harm Millaard wrote:

                                                                 

                                                                Pro's of water cooling:

                                                                • It saves the sound of at least one fan on the CPU cooler, possibly two in a push-pull configuration.
                                                                • It saves the sound of the video card fan, if there is a cooling block available for the video card in use.

                                                                Con's of water cooling:

                                                                • It is far more expensive than air cooling and not much better.
                                                                • It still requires fans for the radiator(s), negating the advantage of no CPU or video fan.
                                                                • It adds the sound of the pump.
                                                                • It is a difficult and time consuming job to install and requires more maintenance than air cooling.
                                                                • It requires a large chassis, or external housing and the clutter that brings.

                                                                 

                                                                 

                                                                While I agree with most of your reasoning above, I disagree with certain points.  And since so many people look to you for guidance, I feel obliged to point out the part that is just opinion.  Water cooling IS more expensive than air cooling, and IT DOES take more maintenance and more time to install.  I think everyone would agree with those points.  Whether a large chassis is a negative or not, I guess depends on viewpoint.  You've already clearly proven that you are ok with a large chassis.    You either needed the large chassis, or would have had to use external housing and the clutter that it brings, for all those disks.  But you understood that the additional disks bring additional performance for you, so you are OK with the large chassis.  Its the same with water cooling. 

                                                                 

                                                                I think the comments regarding sound and performance above are somewhat misleading.  Water cooling can achieve far superior results to air cooling, and it can do so at much quieter levels, even when considering the pump (which is inaudible when decoupled).  The whole point of water cooling is cooler temperatures and quieter operation.  And the reason we want cooler temperatures, is the ability to achieve higher overclocks of CPU and GPU's.  I think the wonderful PPBM results you have overseen prove how important processor speed is to good Premiere performance.  Overclocking your CPU will get you better results, and water cooling will allow better overclocks than air.  Water cooling will ALWAYS have an advantage over air, because it has the ability to take heat and move/spread it over large surfaces that are not surrounding the components you want to cool.  And because the water has already moved the heat away from the componenet (CPU), and I can use very low RPM fans to move the heat away from the radiator and out of the case.  Water cooling is better performance, at quieter noise levels, than air.  When done right.  I guess anyone could point to a really bad water build, or a bad air build, and try and form conclusions.  But I think I'm staying pretty factual when I state that water cooling will get better performance than air cooling, at quieter noise levels.  But it does come at a price, which is the cost involved and the maintenance.  Some of us will be ok with that trade-off.  And I guess I could also make the argument that if my CPU and GPU are running cooler because of my water cooling, they will last longer than if they were air cooled, and that these savings would offset any additional cost of water cooling.

                                                                 

                                                                Enjoying the article so far! 

                                                                • 30. Re: Planning / building a new system. Part 1
                                                                  Harm Millaard Community Member

                                                                  Thank you for the constructive comments. Much appreciated.

                                                                   

                                                                  I quite agree with your statement that higher overclocks are achievable with water than with air. But with reasonable overclocks in the range of 4.0 to 4.8 GHz the temperature differences between water and air are negligent, it is beyond that range that water cooling is showing its teeth. But my consideration is the mechanical noise of 24+ hard disks in my setup that outweighs the low RPM fans for the radiator(s).

                                                                   

                                                                  I looked at your link, but how do you cool all these hot-swappable drives in these cages with water?

                                                                   

                                                                  Magnum14.png

                                                                  • 31. Re: Planning / building a new system. Part 1
                                                                    cpachris_1969 Community Member

                                                                    Yeah, you would definitely have to give up the existing hot-swappable drive cages if you went with a HDD watercooled setup.   But, most would agree that HDD's don't need much, if any, cooling provided.  I think water cooling the HDD's is overkill.  And I also agree that your system would not experience any of the "quietness" benefits of most water cooled system, because of all those disks.  So many of the positives of water cooling are negated for your system.

                                                                     

                                                                    But if it were me, I would still consider it for the CPU, just for the lower temps you could get there, and/or the higher overclock achievable.  Most of the tests I've seen show between 5 and 10 degrees celcius cooler while idling, and even more than that when the system is stressed.  And that's at stock speeds.  When you start getting into overclocking, the temperature deltas between water and air are even larger.  That's a big temperature difference, that you could use to either extend the life of your CPU, or push it into a higher overclock.  Plus...if you give water cooling a chance...you'll find its kind of fun and addictive.  You have room for at least two 480 radiators on top of your case, and could mount additional in the side if you desired. 

                                                                     

                                                                    Will be anxious to see your PPBM scores, regardless of your cooling setup, with this great new system your building!

                                                                    • 32. Re: Planning / building a new system. Part 1
                                                                      ECBowen CommunityMVP

                                                                      Water Cooling has 1 main advantage over active air cooling and that is cooling efficiency. Essentially cooling efficiency is the ability to move a set amount of heat from the heatsink in a set amount of time in declared/different ambient conditions so as to avoid heat buildup on the material. This is a very important concept for people to understand because this is why a certain ambient temperature ceiling is required to maintain or be less than or the cooling efficiency degrades very quickly. What this translates to is heat begins to build up on the heatsink until a point the cooling unit is no longer able to cool the device below thresholds. Another variant of this is greater heat generation requires greater cooling efficiency in order to move the heat away from the heatsink in time before continuous heat buildup on the material begins. This is why active cooling is as efficient as water cooling with ideal ambient conditions with standard heat generation. However when you have either extreme ambient conditions or heat generation then Watercooling has far greater efficiency in moving the heat than Active air cooling. Water Cooling has a much better capability to move more heat or dissipate heat quicker than active cooling.

                                                                       

                                                                      The caveat to this as there always is one is quality of components. Cheaper, less efficient materials and active components will always lower the over all efficiency of the specified unit which of course lowers the capability to move heat away from the heatsink.

                                                                       

                                                                      Eric

                                                                      ADK

                                                                      • 33. Re: Planning / building a new system. Part 1
                                                                        cpachris_1969 Community Member

                                                                        ECBowen wrote:

                                                                         

                                                                        However when you have either extreme ambient conditions or heat generation then Watercooling has far greater efficiency in moving the heat than Active air cooling. Water Cooling has a much better capability to move more heat or dissipate heat quicker than active cooling.

                                                                         

                                                                         

                                                                         

                                                                        Well put.  And a CPU under load is definitely 'extreme heat generation'.  Also agree with your statement that you can have build up on the heatsink (or radiator) to a point that cooling is no longer able to cool the device below a threshold.  The way I'm combatting this in my current build, and to lower that threshold below what most would find acceptable, is to add more radiators.  The limitation of air cooling is there is only so much heatsink space afforded by the component.  With watercooling, I can spread that heat over a large area away from the CPU.  I'm fitting 4 large radiators in the same case that Harm is using for this build (although I do have the pedestal also).  With that much cooling space, I can get away with running the radiator fans at SILENT speeds (slow) and still get temperatures lower than what could be achieved with loud (fast spinning) fans and air cooling. 

                                                                        • 34. Re: Planning / building a new system. Part 1
                                                                          David OS Community Member

                                                                          Harm

                                                                          I've been doing a lot of reading of these forums and your Planing / building article... keeping up to date with your monster build. Infact, I'm building my own mini monster atm and have been able to draw some guidance on how I should proceed. I have a quick question if you don't mind addressing... With all your power requirements for this build, what are your toughts on an adequate UPS. I see eps calculator has recommended 2200VA rated one. Thanks...

                                                                          • 35. Re: Planning / building a new system. Part 1
                                                                            cpachris_1969 Community Member

                                                                            Will you give you my two cents also here.  Whatever you decide are the appropriate power requirements, ...split it between two PSU's.  In the current build I'm working on, I have two Corsair AX850's.  If you are after a quiet build, this helps greatly.  With the Corsair's, the fan doesn't even start spinning until you put an above average load on the PSU.  By dividing the load between two units, I'm anticipating have absolutely zero PSU noise, because there will be no fans spinning most of the time.  Quiet is one my requirements.

                                                                            • 36. Re: Planning / building a new system. Part 1
                                                                              JEShort01 Community Member

                                                                              IMHO regarding water cooling after living with a fast water-cooled system for over a year...

                                                                               

                                                                              Pros:

                                                                              - for my build, I'm feel I'm getting similar cooling performance to a top-notch air cooler, but at a lower sound level. Using a single 480mm radiator and two slow, quiet 120mm Noctura's, my setup is quiet, cools well, and has been reliable. I suspect that "force fed" water flow around the cpu / gpu is more effective than the convective liquid flow that air-coolers count on (aka heat pipes).

                                                                              - water block cooled GTX video cards during a render are virtually silent compared with any fan cooled design I've ever been around.

                                                                              - a Swiftech centrifugal pump "suspended" by water tubing is absolutely SILENT; I happened to learn this while prototyping my final build (my pump is not bolted or taped to anything in my system - and no, that was not my original plan!)

                                                                              - No issues whatsoever regarding installing and getting air-flow around your RAM (water blocks are tiny compared with air-coolers)

                                                                               

                                                                              Cons:

                                                                              - More cost; I'd say $100 more for a good system CPU cooler (aka Swiftech 655, cpu water block) and $125 additional extra for a GTX with factory installed water block

                                                                              - Extremely time consuming to plan and build; yes, I repeat, EXTREMELY time consuming!!! Also, once you have something like a water-block cooled GTX mounted you really will not want to invest the time required to test any other video cards.

                                                                              - Weight; nobody ever seems to mention this, but water-cooling adds weight vs. an air-cooled setup, and powerful video editing PCs are pretty heavy to begin with.

                                                                              - More trouble / risk to relocate; Once all the bubbles have been purged from the system its best just to leave most water cooled PC designs sitting upright.

                                                                               

                                                                              Other comments:

                                                                              - Once built, my water cooled build has proven to be extremely maintenance and trouble free. And, when I upgraded a quad-core to a six-core CPU I'd even say that is was much easier do than when I've done similar CPU changes on a build that utilized a large, efficient CPU air-cooler

                                                                              - Technically (ignoring the "time" factor for planning and implementing your build) my first choice for fast and quiet is water-cooled, 2nd choice is air-cooled, and for me dedicated sealed system "liquid" coolers (Corsair H70, etc.) would be a distant 3rd choice. Why? Water and air are the most effective coolers, and water is the quietest to effectively cool my 6-core 4.5 GHz system. Finally, dedicated liquid coolers just don't seem to rate the reliability that I desire for 24/7 use, including when I'm not home.

                                                                               

                                                                              cpachris,

                                                                               

                                                                              Seems like you and I value strong performance and extreme quiet...

                                                                               

                                                                              - Regarding your idea to have 2 AX850's - FYI, I'm not aware of anyone doing this unless you plan on doing something like powering all of your drive with one p/s and the rest of the PC with the other. A few years ago I did just that for a poor-boys home server build where the PC consisted of two cases. The drive case used one power supply, which had a physical on/off switch on the power supply itself, and the "paper clip" pin short trick on one p/s mounted in one case to power 8 drives. The main case used a power supply in the normal fashion connected to the motherboard, case power switch, etc. Eight 1 meter long SATA cables ran from the controller in the main case to the "drive" case. To power things on, I fired up the drive case first, and simply started the server just like a normal PC hard boot. BTW I had this "dual-box" "dual p/s" server for a 3 years and now a friend has been running it for 2 additional years, so I can say is has been totally trouble free.

                                                                              - I'm very happy however using a single AX1250 for my main home PC / editing box now for the same reasons that you mention - it pretty much runs silently all of the time because it is never having to work close to its maximum capacity.

                                                                               

                                                                              Regards,

                                                                               

                                                                              Jim

                                                                              • 37. Re: Planning / building a new system. Part 1
                                                                                cpachris_1969 Community Member

                                                                                Jim,

                                                                                lol....I use the paperclip trick all the time when testing fans.    for two PSU's in the same case, i'd do something a little more elegant, but the same rough idea.  using the same method, you can wire the second PSU over to the same two wires on the first PSU that you would have shorted, and the computer power switch then controls both PSU's.  becoming more common that it used to be.  i'll probably wire it myself and sleeve it, but there are a host of vendor solutions available now for less than $20 bucks that do the same thing.  Here is a link to a review of a few of these vendor solutions if you're interested:

                                                                                 

                                                                                http://www.hardocp.com/article/2011/08/24/black_art_dual_psus_in_your_enthusiast_pc/1

                                                                                 

                                                                                And yes, I think we both value quiet performance.  With the build I'm working on right now, I'm even going to do my primary storage as an SSD array.  I know that there will be lots of people that immediately poo-poo that idea in this forum.  And I'll readily agree its not the cheapest way to do things....but I think my 8 to 10 disk SSD raid 5 array will be faster than many other HDD arrays that have even more disks.  But....we'll see when I'm done.  I'll post some benchmarks. 

                                                                                • 38. Re: Planning / building a new system. Part 1
                                                                                  JEShort01 Community Member

                                                                                  Correction for my post #36; the "edit" option is not available for me to edit my own post so I'd like to mention I use a 240mm radiator, not a 480mm. Sorry, my bad!

                                                                                   

                                                                                  Jim

                                                                                  • 39. Re: Planning / building a new system. Part 1
                                                                                    Zanzaben Community Member

                                                                                    So I have been looking over your build and I have been wondering why you are useing raid 3 over raid 5. Can anyone tell me what eactly why raid 3 is better for video editing than raid 5.

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