Forum Home > Miscellaneous > Fozzik's Hardware > Peggle Overkill Build
 07-02-2009, 02:50 AM #1 Slide   Join Date: May 2005 Posts: 1,108 Peggle Overkill Build Long time no see The desktop S939 4200+ isn't really cutting it anymore, so it's time to build! Don't use the desktop much these days, either use my Macbook Pro for computing or the PS3/Wii for gaming. So my wife gets a beast that will handle anything Peggle throws at it. Here's the specs, doing it piecemeal - so this month it's the mobo/cpu/ram. CPU: Intel I7 920 D0* Mobo: Gigabyte EX58-Extreme* RAM: 12GB Patriot 1600* Graphics: 8800GTS 320 (for now, will be last part replaced). Boot Drive: Some form of SSD Storage Drive: 4*1 TB (2.7 TB useable in RAID 5) OS: Windows 7 Pro Power: 850W Seasonic Modular* Case: Recycled P180 *Sitting on my table currently The mobo is going in this weekend, next month the plan is to do the storage drive and sort out any cooling needs (replace stock HSF etc). It's supermassive overkill for her needs, *but* I hack the Terminal Services DLL so that I can RDP in when she's using it and do my own stuff which includes: * Running multiple VMs' * Transcoding 1080P to 720P movies on the fly to feed my PS3 * Some fairly heavy database & development work (and occasionally logging in locally and playing Crysis with everything on max )
 07-02-2009, 03:59 PM #2 Fozzik     Join Date: Feb 2005 Posts: 6,273 Getting fries with that? __________________ "Behind this mask, there's an idea... and ideas are bulletproof." -V for Vendetta My blog - The Last Bastion
 07-02-2009, 04:05 PM #3 rabb1t     Join Date: Feb 2006 Posts: 8,666 I guess you already got the *ed items, so it's too late for me to suggest something like an Q8400 to save on monies if you really aren't going to use it's full potential. I'd also have suggested waiting for socket 1156 if you could, as I'm predicting 1366 will die out fairly quickly post 1156 launch. I've heard there can be issues with 12 gig, so if you see trouble try yoinking out 6 of those first and seeing if that clears it up. On the GPU, be mindful that the current rumors are that Nvidia is launching series 3 in October, and that ATi may be trying to beat them to the punch with their next-gen. __________________ rabb1t.com - pc gaming hardware tech talk for everyone “Hey, can I get a buff in case we go back to pwning their doods? kthx.” - Belkar Bitterleaf, The Order of the Stick
07-02-2009, 06:16 PM   #4
Slide

Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,108

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Fozzik Getting fries with that?
Yup, but they cost extra

Quote:
 Originally Posted by rabb1t I guess you already got the *ed items, so it's too late for me to suggest something like an Q8400 to save on monies if you really aren't going to use it's full potential. I'd also have suggested waiting for socket 1156 if you could, as I'm predicting 1366 will die out fairly quickly post 1156 launch. I've heard there can be issues with 12 gig, so if you see trouble try yoinking out 6 of those first and seeing if that clears it up. On the GPU, be mindful that the current rumors are that Nvidia is launching series 3 in October, and that ATi may be trying to beat them to the punch with their next-gen.
Too late, got it. Don't care if the socket dies out, have been building PC's for 20 years now - and every 3 years when I replace the CPU I find the previous Motherboard/Socket/Connections are obsolete (i.e. always buy CPU/Mobo/RAM in one shot).

Looked at a top Phenom 2 and top end Core 2 Quad, and it really wasn't that much cheaper - maybe 70-80% cost and this has to last a few years, and I do cane it in none gaming ways so it's fine

Rumours are that the Green team are having really bad returns on their silicon and it'll be next year when it's out. They've been taking the piss for a couple of years so it better be pretty damn special otherwise it's AMDTI for me.

Edit: The RAM is fine, it stops you overclocking the 2.6GHz CPU to 4.0GHz however. (I'm dealing with 20-30GB sized databases so I can live with that!)

Last edited by Slide : 07-02-2009 at 06:19 PM.

 07-03-2009, 06:07 AM #5 Fozzik     Join Date: Feb 2005 Posts: 6,273 The real trick is just finding the right software to do the work you need done. Actually making use of all the power you can put in a machine these days is made much harder because of how much the software industry is dragging their feet. I'm sure for things like video encoding/decoding and the like there are probably applications by now that fully utilize multiple cores...I'm mostly griping about all the apps that still don't. __________________ "Behind this mask, there's an idea... and ideas are bulletproof." -V for Vendetta My blog - The Last Bastion
07-03-2009, 10:11 AM   #6
Slide

Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,108

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Fozzik The real trick is just finding the right software to do the work you need done. Actually making use of all the power you can put in a machine these days is made much harder because of how much the software industry is dragging their feet. I'm sure for things like video encoding/decoding and the like there are probably applications by now that fully utilize multiple cores...I'm mostly griping about all the apps that still don't.
They are coming slowly, it's pretty hard to write code for a lot of tasks that deals with multiple threads. Actually one of the reasons the 720 was a big win for me was that the cores have hyperthreading - so it's actually 8 threads, rather than 4.

For certain tasks - such as compilation, working with large datasets in a database, encoding it helps a lot.

Games are hard to do tho, a lot of it is a single render pipeline that's hard to make parallel - although the console programmers should have some experience of this. You'll start to see other tasks, such as AI, physics, resource management and such get spun off into their own threads - but the hard work is still graphics (and the bottleneck there is GPU not CPU).

 07-03-2009, 05:13 PM #7 Slide   Join Date: May 2005 Posts: 1,108 > Just added an Antec P182, and 4* Western Digital Caviar Green 1TB SATA-II 32MB Cache for the RAID 5 storage drive. And cancelled them, just got stung with a $2000 council tax bill. Oh well next month. So was doing some research and found some interesting things, might be of some use for those that are planning a highish end build. * The way Vista (and I guess Windows 7) sets up partition tables favours Software RAID 5 arrays with 3 or 5 drives. Apparently the stripe used for parity works best with an odd number of drives due to Windows starting a partition on block 2048. You will have overheads on writes with say 4 drives. * If you are planning on an i7 920 build, you really should be overclocking it. They will clock from 2.66GHz to 4.0GHz easily, but there's a sweet spot up until around 3.5-3.6GHz where voltages and heat don't really increase too much so aim to stick under that for longevity purposes. Also faster, more expensive RAM isn't of much use really - look for stuff that has tighter timings for better performance for the$. Im using PC-12800 RAM and will probably underclock it a little. There's a handy utility here: http://icrontic.com/forum/showthread.php?t=78307 That will help you plan your overclock. (Make sure you buy a third party heat sink such as a Noctua for o/cing tho - the stock one will not cut it. * It's an interesting time in Graphics, with the imminent release of Windows 7 comes DirectX 11. The rumour mill is hinting that DX11 is what DX10 was originally planned to be, but NVIDIA manufacturers kicked up a stink about it and it was neutered. Meanwhile ATI quietly built what is effectively a DX11 capable GPU 2 generations ago (and is in partnership with MS providing custom chips for the X360). The rumours state that ATI has a DX11 core ready to go during the launch, whereas NVIDIA is having design issues, fabrication issues etc and will not be ready until next year. The top of the line single ATI GPU, 4890 is getting price slashed by the web retailers + manufacturers to clear stock and NVIDIA have been forced into launching a broadside to rebrand an existing product as 275 to compete (and lose much money). Both perform similarly and prices across both are tumbling in anticipation of x5xxx. It's worth noting that given the current state of PC gaming, and how mostly everything is a belated port of an X360/PS3 title these days that the current GPU's are more than powerful enough to run mostly everything on max settings. * SSD is improving, but there are still issues with performance degradation over time. They are fast, but still seem to need a regular reset to maintain perfomance over a few weeks-months. The combination of the price and the issues means, wait for another geneation or two. I'd have to recommend something like a 320GB Samsung F1 as boot drive for now. (p.s. got the core of the system installed and windows 7 on it, working okay so far - but not o/ced yet. Peggle seems to run okay, no slowdowns during extreme fever as of yet. Just running some memtest at the moment to check the RAM. Will maybe run a Prime95 torture test tommorow if the ambient cools down a bit - but it's really hot and humid here at the moment and don't have any real cooling at the moment as the case was running my 4200 in passive basically). And finally, happy Independence Day to all the Tea dumping separatists! Last edited by Slide : 07-04-2009 at 05:26 PM.
 07-18-2009, 12:59 PM #8 Slide   Join Date: May 2005 Posts: 1,108 Well it's up and running and stable. Pretty happy with it so far, it's temporarily housed in the old P180 with nowhere near enough cooling so still all on stock. New case arrives in a week or two, so i'll start taking some pics and post them. In the meantime this is what i'm digging (note this is me remoted into it, not locally)
 07-23-2009, 04:57 PM #9 Slide   Join Date: May 2005 Posts: 1,108 Well it's time for the next phase of the build, this month it's all about the case and cooling. This is what is on order: Thermalright Ultra-120 Extreme Scythe Kaze Jyuni 1900RPM * 2 Scythe Kama PWM 120mm Fan * 2 Scythe Kaze-Master 5.25" Fan Controller Silverstone SST-FT01S "Fortress" ATX, Mid tower Silverstone SST-CFP51S Aluminum Bay converter
 07-27-2009, 03:42 PM #10 Slide   Join Date: May 2005 Posts: 1,108 The etailer I got the TRUE from ran out of stock, so thats a delay - but the other etailer delivered the brushed aluminium Fortress case, and slot in bay cooler today. It was awkward carrying it across London on the Tube. Just got it out of the box. It is GORGEOUS. It's really the best looking case i've ever seen - had a P180 before and that was nice and understated but plasticy. This thing just looks like a craftsman has made it by hand. It's reminiscent of the Mac Pros which are handsome, but nicer. Well worth the premium so far. The brushed aluminium is going to match the internals (blues and silvers) really well. I'll put some pictures up this week once I find the camera charger.
 09-17-2009, 03:24 PM #11 Slide   Join Date: May 2005 Posts: 1,108 Well I got sidetracked with networking and a new cooler, i've installed Devolo 200Mbs Homeplugs around the house and joined them all into a dedicated 100Mb switch, I also upgraded the PS3 with a 500GB hard disk and PlayTV to act as a PVR. Finally, I canned the big heavy air cooler and put in a Corsair H50 sealed watercooling loop which is really quiet and cools excellently. I replaced the Seasonic M12 850W with a BeQuiet Darkpower Pro 850 and that works nicely. I seem to have inherited the IT guy role at work and my predecessor bought a stack of Seagate 1.5TB drives, and we seem to have some spare Dell servers with RAID cards that are unused so next month will possibly be a free storage upgrade. Leaving one drive as a hotspare, it will be a 8.3TB Array Last edited by Slide : 09-17-2009 at 03:41 PM.
 10-10-2009, 03:22 PM #12 Slide   Join Date: May 2005 Posts: 1,108 128MB Indilinx SSD to put my Windows 7 on. Next up
 10-10-2009, 05:27 PM #13 rabb1t     Join Date: Feb 2006 Posts: 8,666 You has a zoom. __________________ rabb1t.com - pc gaming hardware tech talk for everyone “Hey, can I get a buff in case we go back to pwning their doods? kthx.” - Belkar Bitterleaf, The Order of the Stick
10-10-2009, 06:46 PM   #14
Amsra

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Quote:
 Originally Posted by Slide 128MB Indilinx SSD to put my Windows 7 on. Next up

Drool......

10-14-2009, 04:31 PM   #15
Slide

Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,108

Quote:
 Originally Posted by rabb1t You has a zoom.
Well it's quick Glad I preordered it to, prices gone up 25% here for this unit and no sign of stopping.

Seq: 240
512k: 160
64k: 29

It's 10 times faster in the mid size, double in the big size and 100 times in the small. Write speeds are similar.

 10-15-2009, 04:59 PM #16 Slide   Join Date: May 2005 Posts: 1,108 Top two results are older smaller drives, bottom left is a modern 1.5TB Hitachi Deathstar I borrowed, bottom right is the the Crucial 128GB Indilinx. Results speak for themselves I think, if you can afford it use an Intel/Indilinx SSD as boot drive and a modern 1/1.5TB drive as storage. The 1.5TB is fast, and ideal for storage of big files. The SSD is really an order of magnitude faster across most workloads except big files where it's just twice as quick. Last edited by Slide : 10-15-2009 at 05:01 PM.
 10-16-2009, 06:24 AM #17 Fozzik     Join Date: Feb 2005 Posts: 6,273 Did you fill the SSD with information before running the tests? From what I've read lately, they still can lose a decent amount of performance once they have to start wiping and moving data every time you want to write to the drive. I know they've been working on fixes and tricks to avoid the performance penalties, but I don't think they've solved it yet. Anyway...of course the SSD is still likely to be much faster than a mechanical drive in most ways...the point was just that the nature of the flash SSD leads to deceptively high performance numbers out of the box that later fall a bit once the drive has been in use for a while. __________________ "Behind this mask, there's an idea... and ideas are bulletproof." -V for Vendetta My blog - The Last Bastion
10-17-2009, 05:37 PM   #18
Slide

Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,108

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Fozzik Did you fill the SSD with information before running the tests? From what I've read lately, they still can lose a decent amount of performance once they have to start wiping and moving data every time you want to write to the drive. I know they've been working on fixes and tricks to avoid the performance penalties, but I don't think they've solved it yet. Anyway...of course the SSD is still likely to be much faster than a mechanical drive in most ways...the point was just that the nature of the flash SSD leads to deceptively high performance numbers out of the box that later fall a bit once the drive has been in use for a while.
Well from what I can gather, primarily from the excellent series of articles by anand this issue is pretty much overcome on the G2 versions of the Intel drives and the Indilinx based flash drives (which I have one) and possibly even the Samsungs. The main problem is doing a full delete of a "cell" is slow work, so if you are near capacity on the drive then it bottlenecks to delete unused data. There is a command these drives support (brand new) called TRIM which basically is housekeeping when the disk is idle, the firmware on mine just got flashed with it, Win7 supports it and i'm waiting on drivers from the Intel controller at the moment.

I put Windows 7 Corporate 90 trial on it today and some other stuff, so it's 50% capacity and will say it is massively faster for day to day use. I mean, really by a HUGE amount, night and day. But obviously this is a fresh windows install etc. \it obviously boots faster, but the desktop is instantly responsive. Running software installers are the big instant win with it tho = you click the installer and the progress bar is hugely faster.

10-17-2009, 06:15 PM   #19
Slide

Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,108

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Slide Well from what I can gather, primarily from the excellent series of articles by anand this issue is pretty much overcome on the G2 versions of the Intel drives and the Indilinx based flash drives (which I have one) and possibly even the Samsungs. The main problem is doing a full delete of a "cell" is slow work, so if you are near capacity on the drive then it bottlenecks to delete unused data. There is a command these drives support (brand new) called TRIM which basically is housekeeping when the disk is idle, the firmware on mine just got flashed with it, Win7 supports it and i'm waiting on drivers from the Intel controller at the moment. I put Windows 7 Corporate 90 trial on it today and some other stuff, so it's 50% capacity and will say it is massively faster for day to day use. I mean, really by a HUGE amount, night and day. But obviously this is a fresh windows install etc. \it obviously boots faster, but the desktop is instantly responsive. Running software installers are the big instant win with it tho = you click the installer and the progress bar is hugely faster.
I just tested this, filled the drive up to 98% and benched it, it lost 5% speed on some tests, compare to the benchmarks on a freshdrive and deleting files brought it back to normal.

 10-18-2009, 05:54 AM #20 Fozzik     Join Date: Feb 2005 Posts: 6,273 Cool. They are getting much better, that's good to know. Now they just need to get the size / price ratio right, and computers will finally get past a long time bottleneck. __________________ "Behind this mask, there's an idea... and ideas are bulletproof." -V for Vendetta My blog - The Last Bastion
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