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Old December 10, 2010, 12:44 PM
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Default Folding Rig-low power consumption

I built a system last Feb: i7-860/8 gigs memory to replace an old P4 for doing some 3D and fractal rendering. I got a GTX 460 for it and switched over to GPU folding at times during the warm weather. Except I'm using it more for folding now (that and I haven't been able to afford/justify Photoshop 5 yet.)

So I'd like to build a machine that I can run 24/7 that will be good on power consumption for folding, some surfing and other minimal tasks if the i7-860 machine is rendering or tied up.

But there's a twist to this
. I can't afford to build a full system now. But I've seen some of the sales at NCIX and figure I can buy decent parts on sale periodically ($100/month). The major downside would be parts sitting around for months, so if something is faulty I may not know it until assembly time, although some parts can be tested on my existing system. Some parts won't be an issue like the peripherals or monitor. So is it a bad idea to do it piecemeal or just save up and do it at once?

While it's somewhat of a budget build, I'd still aim for higher end parts. i.e. like a good power supply like Corsair 550. A good cooling case (like my CM 690), although that may be large but easy to add fans for cooling. Or if 4 gigs of memory is better buy than 2, etc.

The final stages of purchasing would be CPU, MB and memory as close together as I can afford.

Looking mostly for guidance on the CPU/GPU for folding, power consumption, so I can start doing more research in that direction. Plus any other pitfalls of buying it piece by piece. Will prices drop next spring or summer with Sandy Bridge? etc. How long will the LGA 1156 boards be available?

1. What YOUR PC will be used for. That means what types of tasks you'll be performing.
Folding - can be GPU or CPU, surfing

2. What YOUR budget is. A price range is acceptable as long as it's not more than a 20% spread
Doing it piece by piece means I won't skimp or go for budget parts but depend on good sales.

3. What country YOU will be buying YOUR parts from.
Canada-probably NCIX but not exclusive.

4. IF YOU have a brand preference.
I lean towards Intel/NVidia

5. If YOU intend on using any of YOUR current parts, and if so, what those parts are.
Already purchased a 1 gig HD and Samsung DVD burner last week, both on sale. I may use the existing GTX 460 and put a newer/larger 460 in the i7-860 system-depending on prices/sales.

6. IF YOU have searched and/or read similar threads.
Yes, I've seen some of the older threads on budget builds, but nothing about a piece by piece purchase or low power consumption folding.

7. IF YOU plan on overclocking or run the system at default speeds.
Maybe. I found the GTX 460 easy to o/c

8. WHEN do you plan to build it?
No deadline - when I've assembled enough to get it going.

9. What resolution do you use?
Not a factor.
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Old December 10, 2010, 12:54 PM
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I've been trying to get the same thing going for a while as well, decided to go with 1 low consumption 24/7 rig and an efficient high output rig for smart metre folding.
Already pulled the trigger on a x3440 build, waiting on NCIX to get all the parts in.

Since you don't have a timeline and already have a rig running, I would highly recommend you wait for Sandy Bridge. Look for the 35W TDP core i3 proc with 2 cores/4 threads, I'm hoping F@H is at least on par with the previous generation i3's with similar specs. That would be ~3-5k PPD for a measly 35W on the CPU, not to mention the rig will be cheaper since you get integrated graphics. I plan on getting one to double as a routerbox/server, assuming F@H performance isn't in the gutter.
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Old December 10, 2010, 01:02 PM
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yes on anything but cpu and mobo, as per above. so whatever else you find uber deals ,like ram and psu and dvd etc go for it..:)

getting a mobo with 2 pci-e slots or more will be crucial too.
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Old December 10, 2010, 01:35 PM
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Why now you save the money until you have to total required? By that time, better deals will probably occur on current processor, or something better will come with the same money spend.
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Old December 10, 2010, 01:49 PM
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Most efficient is an i7 bigadv rig (4 cores, 8 threads). Need around 3.6GHZ too.

A GTX 460 768mb card is a good GPU folder with decent PPD at good volts.

Why not post a WTB thread in the FS forum here? Mention that its a folding rig and you might even get a folder's discount (I have seen/done this several times). I would offer you up something cheap if I had something that was not already spoken for.
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Old December 10, 2010, 03:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chriskwarren View Post
Most efficient is an i7 bigadv rig (4 cores, 8 threads). Need around 3.6GHZ too.

A GTX 460 768mb card is a good GPU folder with decent PPD at good volts.

Why not post a WTB thread in the FS forum here? Mention that its a folding rig and you might even get a folder's discount (I have seen/done this several times). I would offer you up something cheap if I had something that was not already spoken for.
Amen to that , our Folding team usually gives good discount on Hardware to fellow folders.

That being said, a Cheap i3 build, with a pair of 430's shouldn't pull more than 250-300 W at the wall. Idealy that should give you 20K worth of points for very little investment and maintaince.

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Old December 10, 2010, 07:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charloz24 View Post
Why now you save the money until you have to total required? By that time, better deals will probably occur on current processor, or something better will come with the same money spend.
In part, buying a full system means hoping everything you want is available and sometimes settling for an alternative just so you have everything at once. By getting known and well recommended parts as I go along, I"ll always be (usually) content with what I've accumulated and know what I need to finish it off. Hard to waste parts anyway, if not myself someone I know...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ilya View Post
...I would highly recommend you wait for Sandy Bridge. Look for the 35W TDP core i3 proc with 2 cores/4 threads, I'm hoping F@H is at least on par with the previous generation i3's with similar specs. That would be ~3-5k PPD for a measly 35W on the CPU, not to mention the rig will be cheaper since you get integrated graphics. I plan on getting one to double as a routerbox/server, assuming F@H performance isn't in the gutter.
Thanks, without a set deadline I can easily wait for SB and watch reviews and specs (compare against existing). Not needing the graphics card would keep cost (heat) and power consumption lower as well.

Thanks for the input and any additional comments.
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