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Old February 4, 2011, 07:46 AM
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Default New low power SR-2 build...

Hi fellow HWC enthusiasts,

So... I made the mistake of selling off my last SR-2 rig about 2 weeks ago now.
Video cards and all.
In favor of something that was to be more power efficient, in the 2600k... and we all know how that turned out for everyone... ehem (I ended up with 3 x 2600k, and 1 mobo )

So I ended up picking up another sr-2. (non-folding)
However this time I'm going to do something strange...

The main goal is to find out, if its possible to build a powerful system, that does not suck down a ton of electricity, or generate much heat, while still maintaining some semblance of being a proper "workstation"
I will also create separate settings in the bios for a mild overclock but nothing too crazy, because I don't want too much of the excess voltage becoming wasted as heat energy.
It is my hope that this system will be decent enough to be able to last a few years as a workstation.

I chose the sr-2 again because I rather love the platform for all of its unique features.
I'm looking for some suggestions on cpu, ram, and gpu.
So far I'm leaning towards E5620 x 2, some cheap low voltage ram, and some low power consumption gpu, the new gtx 560ti looks tempting.
I cannot seem to find the low power 6 core intel chip anywhere... L5xxx something or other.

More info below.
-----------------------
1.) PC will be used as a workstation for photo/audio/video production, throwing in some 3d modelling as well.

2.) Budget I'm NOT going to spend much on this time, maybe $2000 (this could get ugly...)

3.) Parts will be purchased in Canada, unless you count a mountain mods UFO Extended case I've been eyeing... I may even end up building my own custom case out of MDF... will have to see when I get to it.

4.) Intel obviously, because of the SR-2 platform

5.) I've got a few extra SSD's, and regular HDD's, optical drives kicking around I wont need much in the way of the small items.

6.) Looked around, currently speaking to someone on EVGA forums who has been doing something similar.

7.) I will tinker around with overclocking, however I plan to air cool this unit this time, being that I swap hardware quite often its a pain in my arse to keep emptying and filling up the loop over and over again.
So perhaps mildly over clock, but nothing serious.

8.) Building it now

9.) I don't really plan on gaming unless the wife and kids were serious about me playing world of warcraft with them when time permits. if that's the case 1920x1200 is fine by me.
----------------------------------

Thanks in advance for any suggestions or opinions you fine folks can offer
I'm all ears, and here to learn.

Cheers!
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Old February 4, 2011, 08:00 AM
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For CPU's you may consider grabbing a pair of E5645 hexacores from Ebay. There are some available for $695 each right now. They are only about $200 more than what you can buy E5620s from retail for. I can tell you from experience they do run cool and I am sure you could drop the voltage down even some more. With a pair of Prolimatech Megahalems they are full loading @ under 50C while @ 3.7GHz. The whole system pulls less than 500W from the wall while folding.

PS - you should move over to our folding@home team.
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Old February 4, 2011, 08:40 AM
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Yeah fold come to the team !

I use 5639 Hexa, paid 490 $ each, and they do run cool. I am watercooling, but it is not needed for mild to semi high overclock.
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Old February 4, 2011, 10:09 AM
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It's very much possible, as the only time I've seen the SR-2 ramp up power is when it's folding or when running highly threaded simulation/analysis applications. The temps don't budge at all when gaming. I'm not sure about video production but while I assume it will probably require a relatively large amount of memory (depending on what you do), the CPU load probably won't be high enough to max out your power draw (and temperatures). These CPUs run very cool anyhow. My highest clocked SR-2 @ 3.8 Ghz/1.28 Vcore only draws around 425-450 wall watts while folding. You'll need a high efficiency PSU unit though. My other SR-2s @3.6 Ghz draws almost 500 watts because they have less efficient PSUs. I recommend the AX1200 (or AX850 depending on what you plan to put in) , an Antec HCP 1200 or some other reputable "gold" PSUs. As for air cooling, I use NH-D14s. They're fugly but are very effective.
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Old February 4, 2011, 11:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matsta31 View Post
Yeah fold come to the team !

I use 5639 Hexa, paid 490 $ each, and they do run cool. I am watercooling, but it is not needed for mild to semi high overclock.
Quote:
Originally Posted by lowfat View Post
PS - you should move over to our folding@home team.
I plan to! I wanted to set up a small folding farm for HWC, I just need some space, as the studio is already filled.

Thanks for the suggestions!
I'll check ebay, and maybe see if any of the shops can special order.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Xeven View Post
My other SR-2s @3.6 Ghz draws almost 500 watts because they have less efficient PSUs. I recommend the AX1200 (or AX850 depending on what you plan to put in) , an Antec HCP 1200 or some other reputable "gold" PSUs. As for air cooling, I use NH-D14s. They're fugly but are very effective.
Thank you for your suggestion! I have a few AX1200's left over, I'll definitely put them to good use!

Though one question... which mounting plate did you use for the D14's??
Sorry, I'm not an expert when it comes to anything, just a grasshopper in training.
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Old February 5, 2011, 12:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grampa View Post
Though one question... which mounting plate did you use for the D14's??
Sorry, I'm not an expert when it comes to anything, just a grasshopper in training.
The motherboard comes with Xeon backplates pre-mounted so you'll have to replace it with the included x58 backplates. You'll need a Torx T20 to remove the screws. Just saying because I had to make a quick run to Canadian Tire as I couldn't find my old one (on the rare occasion I actually needed it! ).
Oh, and welcome to the Team Grampa!
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Old February 5, 2011, 05:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xeven View Post
The motherboard comes with Xeon backplates pre-mounted so you'll have to replace it with the included x58 backplates. You'll need a Torx T20 to remove the screws. Just saying because I had to make a quick run to Canadian Tire as I couldn't find my old one (on the rare occasion I actually needed it! ).
Oh, and welcome to the Team Grampa!
Ah ok... I had not encountered anyone using the D14 on there before, I just followed the herd, and created my own custom loop the first time through. I thought you somehow used the original backplate on the d14

Its good to know the SR-2 can actually take both!!

Last edited by Grampa; February 5, 2011 at 05:22 PM.
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Old February 5, 2011, 05:31 PM
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If you haven't purchased heatsinks I think I would rather go w/ Megahalems for an SR-2. Roughly the same price and performance however they can use the stock backplates so a lot less pain to install.
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Old February 5, 2011, 05:58 PM
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I used an Alan Key for taking out the Xeon backplate..... Altough, the Swiftech blocks worked with the xeon backplate.

But if you do go air cooling, get the megelhem, less pain.
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Old February 5, 2011, 06:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowfat View Post
If you haven't purchased heatsinks I think I would rather go w/ Megahalems for an SR-2. Roughly the same price and performance however they can use the stock backplates so a lot less pain to install.
It's four screws. It's not that hard.
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