The Gigantic Pc Build Thread


craigix

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The 1000W was only the PC, the 8 (?) LCDs + more. It's a lot for a standard ring main which will ALSO have things like microwaves (1000W), washing machines (3000W), kettles, dishwashers, TVs etc. on it.

You would be pulling something like 3000W? That's over loading the sockets in your house for sure if you have other things as mentioned already on it.
 

Squidge

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Could be making a lot of trips back to the 'leccy cupboard to reset the trips :D

If you put the PC upstairs and kept all power hungry appliances down stairs, you should be ok. Just don't try and connect all 8 monitors and the PC to a strip plug and have a single plug for the wall socket. I've seen people do that before, and it takes an age to get the plastic insulation out of the carpet.
 

waffles

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I wonder how much that power bill would come out to.
Personally i would just go for one 280 and a 25 inch or so monitor, but thats just me.
 

Rico

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Assuming you're serious, I'd get an 8600GT. That'll do your HD video and compiz just fine.

(Although I turned off most of compiz within 5 minutes of installing it, but hey, it's your PC...)
 

AireTamStorm

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I'm pretty serious on this topic...

Craig- I actually took into account the power requirements and got a quote to run a 220V 20A line to the room. Since I have basically a duct that goes directly to the house drop, it isn't too expensive of a job.

I've actually benched several cards in person, including the 8600. (Also did an 8800 GTS card) Didn't cut it... in the memory department. I know it is slightly ridiculous, but I figured putting top-end cards in the thing with plenty of VRAM (Compiz, the texture sizes are quite different than in a game) and GPU power would help a bit. If there was a good 8800GT with 1GB of VRAM or a Quadro with quad head support that wasn't $2,000 I'd go one of those routes. That and I did mention CUDA development (I don't know if there is an ATI equivalent).

I'm kind of wary of ATI cards on Linux. Every time I've dealt with ATI on Linux is hasn't been pretty. If someone has a report of the new X2s working, well, that is a different story.

Thanks for the link Chip, but since the cards I'm using require two expansion slots each (yes, I did mean PCIe x16) (total of 8). That case has 7 from what I count, but I could always do an aftermarket mod to one of the video cards and make it work. The PC-P80 looks good because I may be able to purchase a dedicated GPU PSU to slap in the 5.25" bays.... I do hope I can just go the standard dual PSU route however. There are several nice Lian Li cases that accommodate two power supplies, which I think is an optimal solution, but none I've seen so far with 8 rear expansion slots. If you can find one with that criteria, you've saved me a ton of trouble.

I'll do some screenshots / video and perhaps a benchmark, but like I said, not for gaming. I'm going to be picking up three more cards for testing, the 9800 GX2, the GTX 260 and GTX 280. I fear the 9800 will be a massive power hog. If anyone can testify to that, I'll drop that idea altogether. The GTX 260 looks like a very good alternative to the GTX 280 as it is much lower price for very similar functionality.

The Acer 22" won several awards on NewEgg, and I own one already. I can't think of a better screen to use if I want to go multimonitor. Samsung is really nice usually, but a little on the expensive side since I'll be getting so many screens.

Thanks for the replies so far, most people I've talked to about this just laughed and walked away. I'm certain several others did here.

Edit: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16811112172
Holy crap!!! NewEgg marked this one wrong, it has 8 expansion slots and dual PSU! Thank you Chip!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

AireTamStorm

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waffles said:
I still dont get why FOUR 280s are necessary though, let alone one.
Heres a 8600 with 1GB of ram.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...82E16814127341R
60$, theres a non open box version for about 20 more.


Thanks, I'll see about checking that card out with the others. With Compiz, putting a 1080p video on the surface of a 3D object isn't uncommon, so the card has to have a bit of power behind it ^_^. That being said, if it works, it works.
 
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sam fisher

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AireTamStorm said:
I've actually benched several cards in person, including the 8600. (Also did an 8800 GTS card) Didn't cut it... in the memory department. I know it is slightly ridiculous, but I figured putting top-end cards in the thing with plenty of VRAM (Compiz, the texture sizes are quite different than in a game) and GPU power would help a bit. If there was a good 8800GT with 1GB of VRAM or a Quadro with quad head support that wasn't $2,000 I'd go one of those routes. That and I did mention CUDA development (I don't know if there is an ATI equivalent).
Are you trying to decode video at 1000FPS or something?
 
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AireTamStorm

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Peter R said:
Are you trying to decode video at 1000FPS or something?
No, but there are applications coming out mid next year to transcode video on the GPU, which would be beneficial for one of my web sites. The screens at 1680x1050 a piece, and theres going to be two per card. That is alot of pixels to render even at 30FPS, let alone my target 60-80.

It is pretty much decided that I'll either use GTX 280's or GTX 260's at this point... I want all my bases covered and money isn't really a problem. The 260's are considerably cheaper, however, which would allow me to perhaps get some nicer screens or other accessories. Problems now are, reliable and quick storage, power (although not so much thanks to Chip), and bus speed.

I'm so far decidedly on AMD, because I think that HyperTransport bus will be extremely beneficial to the four cards. This is where AMD still has Intel owned, although even my current Q6600 outdoes the Phenom I'm thinking of buying. Would an Opteron be a better CPU in terms of processing power? Or am I not going to have to worry about the bus bandwidth, and possibly go the Intel route?

Finally, this kinda turned into a thread about my rig, I was somewhat hoping we could discuss others as well.
 
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Hyperpc

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PowerPC-base Core @3.2GHz
1 VMX vector unit per core
512KB L2 cache
7 x SPE @3.2GHz
7 x 128b 128 SIMD GPRs
7 x 256KB SRAM for SPE
* 1 of 8 SPEs reserved for redundancy
Total floating point performance: 218 GFLOPSRSX @550MHz

1.8 TFLOPS floating point performance
Full HD (up to 1080p) x 2 channels
Multi-way programmable parallel floating point shader pipelines

Dolby 5.1ch, DTS, LPCM, etc. (Cell-based processing)256MB XDR Main RAM @3.2GHz
256MB GDDR3 VRAM @700MHzEthernet (10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T) x 3 (input x 1 + output x 2)
Wi-Fi IEEE 802.11 b/g
Bluetooth 2.0 (EDR)

Yes Indeed the PS3 Specs I just Installed Xubuntu on my Ps3 it runs faster than my main Pc now my ps3 is my main pc :p I was surprised how fast it ran
 

waffles

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That makes sense, a 4 280s would fly for h.264 encoding.
My current rig is a 2.13 c2d, 2gb of ram, a x1950 pro, and a microATX motherboard (accidentally fried my old one) and 250gb of harddrive space. Im planning on selling it within a couple weeks to a family member, so could anyone recommend wether or not to go with AMD or Intel processors? I probably wont do much overclocking.
 

AireTamStorm

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waffles said:
That makes sense, a 4 280s would fly for h.264 encoding.

Yeah, I'm just hoping I'll be able to use all four simultaneously (it may be limited to one card per transcode).

waffles said:
...
Could anyone recommend wether or not to go with AMD or Intel processors? I probably wont do much overclocking.
From what I've seen, Intel is the higher end at this point, but you pay double for comparable performance. What are you buying the rig for, gaming, work? For playing video, Intel CPUs perform better processing power wise, but the AMD HT bus is going to allow you do download stuff, copy files between hard drives, etc while watching that video with a little more difficulty per core, but much easier for the bus. If you're going to do Crossfire or SLI that bus helps quite a bit in certain applications too.

Gaming, Intel is the way to go as long as you can afford it. If you're building on a budget then AMD will give you comparable performance for half the cost.
 
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senquack

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My bad-ass rig is built around a Athlon-64 with a broken pin I found on the parts shelf when I became a PC tech a new store in 2005. Apparently, it's not that important a pin. Got a crappy 754-pin ASUS board for $70.

Then, a customer gave me a 6800GT Ultra AGP with a broken heatsink for free, all I had to do was install a Zalman and everything was awesome after that.
 

waffles

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Im hoping to build something capable of playing a decent amount of games (crysis on high at a decent fps) for around 850, hopefully less. Im probably going to use it for general computer stuff (video converting, music playing, etc.) If i can get comparable performance for less, i would probably go with AMD, as i definetly wont be in the super high end range of things.
Also, any thoughts on dedicated sound cards/dual core vs quad?
 

AireTamStorm

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waffles said:
Im hoping to build something capable of playing a decent amount of games (crysis on high at a decent fps) for around 850,
From what I hear, 850 + high = good luck. Unless of course they were referring to the "Ultra" setting, if there is one.

waffles said:
Im probably going to use it for general computer stuff (video converting, music playing, etc.)
Then why the crysis referral? That will hardly bench any of the stuff you mentioned.

waffles said:
If i can get comparable performance for less, i would probably go with AMD, as i definetly wont be in the super high end range of things.
If you look at the prices on NewEgg, thats is the tradition. Its been that way since my friend built a Barton 3000+ / Radeon 9800 Pro machine (~$700) and I built my P4 / 5950 Ultra machine ($1200) to see 5FPS of additional performance in Doom III. AMD + nVIDIA makes a nice balance for most of the rigs I've built for friends.

waffles said:
Also, any thoughts on dedicated sound cards/dual core vs quad?
Let me put it this way: When I had my P4 (1 core), I could bring the chip to its knees in Compiz, with a 1080p video. An AMD X2 (and admittedly a card upgrade), It took 3 videos simultaneously to bring the CPU down. Quad core Intel? I couldn't make the CPU choke, no matter how hard I tried. And at 8 videos I finally saw the hard drives actually weren't able to keep up with all the seeking. Quad core, for pretty much any application other than gaming, is the way to go.
 
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lizard808uk

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8 screens seems a bit overkill, even the most ambitious devs I know working on ram hungry / screen intensive enterprise level software use between 2-4..

Craig is right you need a commercial power supply for all that hardware.. while you're at it set up a tesla coil too :p
 

waffles

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My bad, meant to add a "also" there too. And i think there is a super high setting, my current computer can run it around that decently (tried the demo).
 

Rico

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So I bought a Shuttle for £650-ish. 8800 GTX, 2GB ram, Core2Duo E6600, runs Crysis on High just fine. Plus as it's a Shuttle I can actually pick up and move the PC around without breaking my arms. If you chose to go with a conventional tower, such a PC would only cost about £400 now.

Plus the PC has been running every game I've thrown at it for over a year, and probably will for the next couple, as PC graphics aren't really rising like they used to.
 
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