System Builder Marathon, May '09: $2,500 Performance PC

Page 3 - Seeking answers? Join the Tom's Hardware community: where nearly two million members share solutions and discuss the latest tech.
Status
Not open for further replies.

manitoublack

Distinguished
Jan 23, 2009
109
0
18,680
0
Love the compact idea, went that way with my system. Twin 295's on a Gigabyte GA-EX58 Extreme in a Silverstone LC17 HTPC case. Fits like a glove in my Hi-Fi stack. As you mention in the article, space is a huge problem as is cable management.

Great to see the SBM with a twist.
 

jakemo136

Distinguished
Jan 10, 2008
46
0
18,530
0
[citation][nom]Proximon[/nom]A bit surprised at the PSU selection given the cards, but impressed that it survived so well.[/citation]

If you do a little research, i.e. eXtreme Power Supply Calculator Lite (http://extreme.outervision.com/PSUEngine) and punch in ALL of the parts here, at 100% system load at stock speeds, you only need 688 Watts of total power.

The power ACTUALLY needed from a power supply is often grossly over-exaggerated, especially like this one, with a margin of 300+ watts to spare. I suppose if you had an outlet on the back of your case and ran your home theater from it, too, that'd be legit.
 

bounty

Distinguished
Mar 23, 2006
389
0
18,780
0
Since only 1 guy in your marathon stuck with the concept, does that mean he automatically wins? If height isn't an issue while using a handle, why limit yourself to mATX then? It seems people were looking for "gamming cube" portable enclosures, not a mATX case shootout. The 1300$ box doesn't even have a handle, it's a mid tower ATX case where they just forgot the extra mount points to make it ATX. I was looking forward to some creativity in making 2500$ do something useful in a small box (1 Dual Gpu, SSD's in Raid? RAMdrives? creative cooling etc.) It's not like you bring a micro sized portable computer, but also your massive 30" 2500x1600 monitor. Instead we got the same set of articles we get every month, with slightly smaller motherobards. So close, but missed being a great article.

-Bounty
 

Crashman

Polypheme
Former Staff
[citation][nom]bounty[/nom]Since only 1 guy in your marathon stuck with the concept, does that mean he automatically wins? If height isn't an issue while using a handle, why limit yourself to mATX then? It seems people were looking for "gamming cube" portable enclosures, not a mATX case shootout. The 1300$ box doesn't even have a handle, it's a mid tower ATX case where they just forgot the extra mount points to make it ATX. I was looking forward to some creativity in making 2500$ do something useful in a small box (1 Dual Gpu, SSD's in Raid? RAMdrives? creative cooling etc.) It's not like you bring a micro sized portable computer, but also your massive 30" 2500x1600 monitor. Instead we got the same set of articles we get every month, with slightly smaller motherobards. So close, but missed being a great article.-Bounty[/citation]

Look at the Silverstone cube. Lay it on its side. Voila, you have the Silverstone micro tower seen here.

Cubes really are a bad idea. Micro ATX cubes are around 30% wider than a standard full tower and around 50% taller than an HTPC-style desktop. If you're building for HTPC, the desktop fits the rack and is shorter. If you're building for portability, the skinny tower is easier to carry assuming you're lucky enough to have a top handle.

The SG03 micro tower and SG01 cube are within 2% of each other in size (lenth*width*depth) so if your excuse for using a cube is size, there's no good reason not to put the SG03 in the same category as the SG01.

As for the mid-sized mini-tower used in the $1300 PC, you'll have to start a thread there to address it.
 

rambo117

Distinguished
Jun 25, 2008
1,157
0
19,290
4
[citation][nom]vaker5[/nom]I would kill for any of these, my stock dimension 2400 isn't doing the trick, and no jobs equals crappy computer!!!![/citation]
wow, id die in your position lol.
my 3870s cf are barely doin the trick for my games.... :(
 

themike

Distinguished
Jan 16, 2007
65
0
18,630
0
Great article, I truly wish there was also a "non gamer" version of these guides! Not everyone who wants a fast computer wants it for high fps high resolution 4X FSAA gaming.
 

Crashman

Polypheme
Former Staff


The Core i7 was added for non-gaming performance. The system would have made a better gamer with a Core 2 Duo, since they produce less than half the heat when overclocked. That is to say, an E8600 would probably do 4.00-4.20 GHz in the same case, using a readily-available low-profile performance cooler. And most games wouldn't notice that it was an E8600, they's simply pick up that it was a 4.00 GHz clock.
 

rambo117

Distinguished
Jun 25, 2008
1,157
0
19,290
4
[citation][nom]Crashman[/nom]The Core i7 was added for non-gaming performance. The system would have made a better gamer with a Core 2 Duo, since they produce less than half the heat when overclocked. That is to say, an E8600 would probably do 4.00-4.20 GHz in the same case, using a readily-available low-profile performance cooler. And most games wouldn't notice that it was an E8600, they's simply pick up that it was a 4.00 GHz clock.[/citation]
yes, exactly what should have been used with the $1300 build. that was kinda a trainwreck...
i think Tom's is obsessing with i7 a bit..

theres still phenomII ;)

**AHEM**
 

chripuck

Distinguished
Oct 30, 2008
198
0
18,680
0
[citation][nom]powerbaselx[/nom]Forgive me if i'm wrong, but since this is supposed to be a portable PC, shouldn't the disks be configured as RAID1 - Mirror - for better protection and some Read performance improvement?Since the RAID controllers aren't very trusty, i think it's a risk to go to a LAN party or a competition with RAID0...Another thing: instead of 2x disks 7200-rpm wasn't it better to install a WD Raptor 10k-rpm with better performance? I'm pretty sure this option would offer better stability instead of the RAID0 set...[/citation]

I ran RAID 0 for 4 years in an Antec LANBoy II case that I toted all around Atlanta. Never once had a problem.

If anything I'd compliment your suggestion by saying go RAID 0+1, get the speed of striping and the redundancy of mirrored.
 

chripuck

Distinguished
Oct 30, 2008
198
0
18,680
0
[citation][nom]Crashman[/nom]You're right. You'll see in the system comparison that the overclock was not "good enough" to support the cards though, which means one thing: You'll never get the "most" from your high-end cards unless you can OC the crap out of the CPU.And that means another thing: Though the GPU's might make 2560x1600 possible under a greater variety of games, there's going to be a lot of GPU power going unused simply to get the most portability possible.All a compact system builder can do is throw in the most powerful parts the budget and case allow, and hope for reasonable results. It's a heavy price to pay for portability.Most games won't get a significant performance boost from quad cores or the new architecture, so if you're building only for gaming, you might be better off with an E8600 at 4.00+ GHz.[/citation]

Ehh, unless you're future proofing. Obviously the new 1366 socket will have a much longer lifespan than the old socket. My i7 920 might not out and out beat your 8600 but in a year or two I'll get the i7 1020 (making that up of course, but you get the point) which will beat the 8600.
 

Crashman

Polypheme
Former Staff
[citation][nom]chripuck[/nom]Ehh, unless you're future proofing. Obviously the new 1366 socket will have a much longer lifespan than the old socket. My i7 920 might not out and out beat your 8600 but in a year or two I'll get the i7 1020 (making that up of course, but you get the point) which will beat the 8600.[/citation]

Actually, I don't think LGA-1366 will outlive LGA-775 in desktops. Intel is pushing LGA-1366 towards servers, so unless you're buying a Xeon to upgrade your 920 you might be out of luck.
 

chripuck

Distinguished
Oct 30, 2008
198
0
18,680
0
[citation][nom]Crashman[/nom]Actually, I don't think LGA-1366 will outlive LGA-775 in desktops. Intel is pushing LGA-1366 towards servers, so unless you're buying a Xeon to upgrade your 920 you might be out of luck.[/citation]

You're wrong and you're right, I dont think that will be the case with the 775 socket. You're probably right on the new i5 socket though. 775 will go the way of the Celeron processor with all the new tech going down the i5 socket.

I dont know many gaming enthusiasts that would upgrade an 8600 to anything branded Celeron. :)
 

Crashman

Polypheme
Former Staff


= lame response. The ACTUAL problem is that the cards are close to each other. = card spacing too close. = can't be "correctly" fixed with a Micro ATX motherboard, because Micro ATX only has four spaces.

I say correctly, because there's a BIG fan in front of the cards. If you don't mind the ROAR, you can put a faster fan there.

Or how about this for a solution: Use a bigger case and a board with extra space between the x16 slots? The only problem with that is, the point was to build as portable a system as possible.
 

mbaroud

Distinguished
May 2, 2008
9
0
18,510
0
Thanks guys for including a Micro ATX system.
Most "extreme machines" tend to be Full sized ATX Behemoths, i personally tend to go for Micro ATX, even though sometime you sacrifice expendability.
 

mbaroud

Distinguished
May 2, 2008
9
0
18,510
0
On another note, how come the price table is showing a Silverstone SG04B-H, while the pics are clearly of a SG03B???
 

rubix_1011

Contributing Writer
Moderator
= lame response. The ACTUAL problem is that the cards are close to each other. = card spacing too close. = can't be "correctly" fixed with a Micro ATX motherboard, because Micro ATX only has four spaces.

I say correctly, because there's a BIG fan in front of the cards. If you don't mind the ROAR, you can put a faster fan there.

Or how about this for a solution: Use a bigger case and a board with extra space between the x16 slots? The only problem with that is, the point was to build as portable a system as possible.
Awesome reply by the incredibly 'credible' staff. Seriously, my reply was a legitmate reply for why you saw the temp differences and the OC increases with the side off and you forced outside air in. The cards were 'still close together' with the side panel off, so what's your excuse there? Your attempt to discredit my claim of the case having poor airflow vs good airflow is a mis-guided pot-shot.

I see your point of building a portable system, but that wasn't anything along the lines of what I was making a point of...it was the airflow in the case and your 'test' of alternative cooling by blowing more air in by means of an external source.

Be a little more mature and represent THG a little more professionally...or maybe this is how they suggest you reply to reader's comments...?
 

Crashman

Polypheme
Former Staff
[citation][nom]rubix_1011[/nom]Awesome reply by the incredibly 'credible' staff. Seriously, my reply was a legitmate reply for why you saw the temp differences and the OC increases with the side off and you forced outside air in. The cards were 'still close together' with the side panel off, so what's your excuse there? Your attempt to discredit my claim of the case having poor airflow vs good airflow is a mis-guided pot-shot. I see your point of building a portable system, but that wasn't anything along the lines of what I was making a point of...it was the airflow in the case and your 'test' of alternative cooling by blowing more air in by means of an external source. Be a little more mature and represent THG a little more professionally...or maybe this is how they suggest you reply to reader's comments...?[/citation]

Hahahah, I call them like I see them. What, you wanted dishonesty? That's your gig not mine.

How do you think the air was forced into the case? With the side panel off? Hardly. Try a big fan in front of the case. What I said about the card spacing being the issue is 100% honest. What I said about using a noisier fan in the SG03 case to force air into the cards as being an impractical workaround is also 100% spot-on. You get the straight shot from me, if you can't handle it cry to someone else.

You see, I don't make excuses. That's your second job.
 

Crashman

Polypheme
Former Staff
[citation][nom]mbaroud[/nom]On another note, how come the price table is showing a Silverstone SG04B-H, while the pics are clearly of a SG03B???[/citation]

The build price was based on the SG04B-H (newegg's listed name) which is listed at Silverstone as the SG04-H. The SG04-H remains the recommended case for the build. The SG03B was substituted when the SG04-H ran out of stock. The SG04-H ran out of stock over a week after the parts were ordered, when it was found that a clerical error had omitted it from the order.

We want everyone to use the SG04-H (SG04B-H). Test results would be the same because the SG03B uses the same chassis. The only changes between SG04-H and SG03 are the face plate and handle.
 

rubix_1011

Contributing Writer
Moderator
Hahahah, I call them like I see them. What, you wanted dishonesty? That's your gig not mine.

How do you think the air was forced into the case? With the side panel off? Hardly. Try a big fan in front of the case. What I said about the card spacing being the issue is 100% honest. What I said about using a noisier fan in the SG03 case to force air into the cards as being an impractical workaround is also 100% spot-on. You get the straight shot from me, if you can't handle it cry to someone else.

You see, I don't make excuses. That's your second job.
Sorry, I don't play 2nd grade games like 'I know you are, but what am I'. If you want to have a useless pissing contest, go find someone else. You sir, have little tact and taste when it comes to human interaction. I don't mind getting blunt replies when they actually serve a purpose other than an attempt to degrade your intended audience. Try acting like an adult; your articles and responses might get a little more respect.
 

Crashman

Polypheme
Former Staff
[citation][nom]rubix_1011[/nom]Sorry, I don't play 2nd grade games like 'I know you are, but what am I'. If you want to have a useless pissing contest, go find someone else. You sir, have little tact and taste when it comes to human interaction. I don't mind getting blunt replies when they actually serve a purpose other than an attempt to degrade your intended audience. Try acting like an adult; your articles and responses might get a little more respect.[/citation]

I'm all about correct and incorrect. If you want an opinion, ask something like "Wouldn't a dual-core be more appropriate for so little CPU cooler space" and I'd say "Yes". Score one for whoever asks that. And it's not even a real contest since my scoreboard only goes to 1.

Case ventilation is good at the bottom. At the top, it's a matter of the CPU cooler and power supply fan fighting for the same airstream.
 

Crashman

Polypheme
Former Staff
[citation][nom]walp[/nom]So NOW CRYSIS is a CREDIBLE BENCHMARK, hahahahahahahaBut what did happend with the Dragon-simulator-game-no-one-ever-have-heard-of or whatever it was?You never fail to surprise me. Never!My atomic Casio stop-watch and the easter-bunny surprises me more often...[/citation]

Crysis is included because it's a neo-classic with horrific overhead that taxes even modern hardware.
 

Crashman

Polypheme
Former Staff
[citation][nom]rubix_1011[/nom]I don't mind getting blunt replies when they actually serve a purpose other than an attempt to degrade your intended audience.[/citation]

Here's the kind of responses I'm looking for:

1.) That CPU looks kind of hot, why didn't you use xxx.
2.) You say that the cards were a little too hot, is there a ventilation problem?
3.) Why not use faster intake fans?

Those are questions I can answer. Here's what I don't want to see:

"There's no good reason not to use a Phenom" when most people know there are a few good reasons.

"This is the problem with your system" when I know it's not.

"Since you've already answered this question, let me ask it in a more accusitive way"

Etc.

And here's something we LOVE to see:

"Could you try THIS for your next SBM" When "THIS" is a concept requested by many readers, we look into how to apply "THIS" to our next SBM.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

ASK THE COMMUNITY

Latest posts