Go Back   Hardware Canucks > PC BUILDERS & TWEAKERS CORNER > New Builds

    
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old September 15, 2011, 07:33 AM
Rookie
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Montreal, QC
Posts: 5
Default Parallel Computation Build

Hey everyone, I'm a mechanical engineering master's student putting together a rig to run optimization algorithms for my thesis project. Basically, I'm using genetic algorithms to identify optimal swimming gaits for an eel-like robot. My model and optimization algorithm is coded up in MATLAB and highly parallell (my quad core q6600 at home runs the code pretty much twice as fast a computer with the equivalent dual core).

Approximate Purchase Date:this week

Budget Range: 600-800

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Parallel Computation

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: ncix.com, newegg.ca, or tigerdirect.ca

Country of Origin:Canada

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: No


Here's a list of the parts I've picked out so far and some of my main concerns:

-The only thing that matters is CPU speed and cores, with cores>>>speed. Would anyone recommend a different CPU?

-I'm never sure what to get in terms of a MoBo. Overclocking would be nice but isn't critical. I just want to make sure my CPU can run without and issues at stock speeds.

-Is the video card adequate for basic productivity stuff and maybe a few 3-D plots in matlab? My previous builds have all been for gaming, so I have little knowledge of low end graphics cards.

Thanks in advance for your help!

CPU: AMD Phenom II X6 1100T Black Edition Thuban 6 Core Processor 3.3GHZ
NCIX.com - Canada's Premier Computer Store - Online PC Discount Store, Buy Computer Accessories [...] omoid=1371

RAM: Mushkin Enhanced Silverline Stiletto 8GB 2X4GB PC3-10666 DDR3-1333 9-9-9-24
NCIX.com - Buy Gigabyte GA-870A-USB3 AMD870 AMDSB850 ATX AM3 DDR3 2PCI-E16 3PCI RAID USB3.0 CrossFireX Motherboard - Gigabyte - GA-870A-USB3 - in Canada

Hardrive: Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 500GB 3.5IN SATA 6GB
NCIX.com - Buy Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 500GB 3.5IN SATA 6GB/S With NCQ Internal Hard Drive OEM - Seagate - ST3500413AS - in Canada

PSU: OCZ ModXStream Pro 500W ATX
NCIX.com - Buy Gigabyte GA-870A-USB3 AMD870 AMDSB850 ATX AM3 DDR3 2PCI-E16 3PCI RAID USB3.0 CrossFireX Motherboard - Gigabyte - GA-870A-USB3 - in Canada

MoBo: Gigabyte GA-870A-USB3 AMD870 AMDSB850 ATX AM3 DDR3 2PCI-E16 3PCI RAID USB3.0 CrossFireX NCIX.com - Buy Gigabyte GA-870A-USB3 AMD870 AMDSB850 ATX AM3 DDR3 2PCI-E16 3PCI RAID USB3.0 CrossFireX Motherboard - Gigabyte - GA-870A-USB3 - in Canada

Case: Antec Three Hundred Mini Tower
NCIX.com - Buy Antec Three Hundred Mini Tower Gaming Case 300 ATX 3X5.25 6X3.5INT No PS Front USB & Audio - Antec - THREE HUNDRED - in Canada

Video Card: EVGA GeForce 210 520MHZ 512MB 1.2GHZ DVI HDMI VGA PCI-E
NCIX.com - Buy EVGA GeForce 210 520MHZ 512MB 1.2GHZ DVI HDMI VGA PCI-E Video Card - Others - 512-P3-1310-LR - in Canada

CPU Cooler: Corsair Cooling Air Series A50 Performance CPU Cooler
NCIX.com - Buy Corsair Cooling Air Series A50 Performance CPU Cooler LGA775 LGA1155 LGA1156 LGA1366 AM2 AM3 - Corsair - CAFA50 - in Canada

DVD Drive:LG GH24LS70 24X SATA Lightscribe Internal DVD Writer Burner DVDRW Optical Drive Black OEM
NCIX.com - Canada's Premier Computer Store - Online PC Discount Store, Buy Computer Accessories [...] omoid=1373
Reply With Quote
  #2 (permalink)  
Old September 15, 2011, 08:03 AM
Arinoth's Avatar
Moderator
F@H
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Halifax
Posts: 8,602

My System Specs

Default

Welcome to hardware canucks, and always glad to see a fellow engineer who has the fortunate (or unfortunate) luck to be using MATLab for simulation purposes.

One thing I can say from my own experience is that I've never found a graphics card to limit or effect the speed of MATLab at all especially with some of the older computers we have at my own university. I've only ever noticed that a faster processor and more importantly multiple cores has decreased the amount of time it takes MATLab to perform a complex calculation.

I'd stay away from OCZ power supplies though as their quality is really based on how cheap they are to buy. I'd recommend looking at a 400W or higher
Corsair or XFX power supply, they may be a bit more but they are worth it in reliability and build quality.

If you're not impartial to buying used, you could probably get a 1366 system for cheaper then that AMD one, which would give you an extra 4 threads (refering to the i7 920-950 4 core + 4 threads from hyper threading), however if you want actual physical cores that's probably the best route to go.
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old September 15, 2011, 10:33 AM
Hall Of Fame
F@H
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Ottawa, ON
Posts: 1,227

My System Specs

Default

MATLAB (at least what I've used so far) doesn't have GPGPU support yet so integrated graphics will be fine for you. I haven't seen even an old Intel integrated card struggle on a 3D plot, so unless you want to animate your plot at high FPS or something, you don't need any real graphics power.
Do you know the degree of parallelism for your program and parallelism profile during a run of your program? I'm asking because single Intel physical cores are faster than AMD cores, so if you happen to have a setup where worker threads have to wait for a single control thread, then you may be better off with a Core i7 2600k.

I'm thinking along the lines of the following:
$40 Antec High Current Gamer 400W 30A 24PIN ATX12V V2.3 Active PFC 80 Plus Bronze Power Supply 135mm Fan - DirectCanada
$45 Coolermaster Elite 430 Black ATX Mid Tower Case 3X5.25 2X3.5 5X3.5INT No PS Front USB & Sound - DirectCanada
$124 ASUS P8Z68-V LX Z68 LGA1155 ATX 2PCI-E16 2PCI-E1 DDR3 SATA3 USB3.0 Audio Video CrossFire Motherboard - DirectCanada
$305 Intel Core i7 2600K Quad Core Unlocked Hyperthreading Processor LGA1155 3.4GHZ Sandy Bridge 8MB - DirectCanada

(NCIX will pricematch DirectCanada)

That should still be below $800 after you add RAM and disks. The OC headroom won't be much even if you do go to an aftermarket cooler because of the motherboard, but you don't want that much of an overclock unless you want to make a stability test as well. I say "make" a stability test because your program will likely have a different load compared to OCCT / Prime95, and a flipped bit somewhere may have some drastic effects that you don't want floating around in a research paper. If you do overclock, you'll want to make some "sample" in which you know what the final result should be and run that a bunch of times with something heating your CPU in the background if you don't load all cores to 100%.
__________________
"The computer programmer says they should drive the car around the block and see if the tire fixes itself." [src]

Last edited by frontier204; September 15, 2011 at 10:39 AM. Reason: Clarify DoP
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old September 15, 2011, 12:19 PM
Rookie
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Montreal, QC
Posts: 5
Default

Thanks for the great replies. Based on the response to my first post this really seems like a quality forum community.

Based on your recommendations an Intel i7 2600 seems like its might be the better option, faster all around and much better for future non-parallel projects.

I do have one more question though. If I decide the hassle of stability testing for OCing isn't worthwhile, could you recommend an alternative, cheaper motherboard.
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old September 15, 2011, 12:31 PM
Keywork's Avatar
Allstar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Niagara
Posts: 604

My System Specs

Default

The 2600K is a bit of a stretch it seems for his budget. I like what Arinoth suggested though. You could most likely build a X58 setup on the cheap that would probably spank the X6....just a thought though.
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Old September 15, 2011, 01:19 PM
NI3 NI3 is offline
Top Prospect
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 246
Default

800 before taxes?
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old September 15, 2011, 02:27 PM
Hall Of Fame
F@H
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Ottawa, ON
Posts: 1,227

My System Specs

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeewee View Post
Based on your recommendations an Intel i7 2600 seems like its might be the better option, faster all around and much better for future non-parallel projects.
I do have one more question though. If I decide the hassle of stability testing for OCing isn't worthwhile, could you recommend an alternative, cheaper motherboard.
If you won't overclock AT ALL, then you can go for an H67 motherboard. They're quite a bit cheaper (several tens of dollars) than Z68 because they have NO CPU overclocking capability and normally have weaker voltage regulation because of it. You could also downgrade to the Core i7 2600 (without the k) but keep in mind that that non-k CPUs in the Sandy Bridge line have weaker integrated graphics.
See: AnandTech - The Sandy Bridge Review: Intel Core i7-2600K, i5-2500K and Core i3-2100 Tested

Off topic but your post and Arinoth's remind me of my control system optimization code that was so poorly written that I logged onto 3 separate computers and had them run subsets of the problem space, also MATLAB
__________________
"The computer programmer says they should drive the car around the block and see if the tire fixes itself." [src]
Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Old September 15, 2011, 02:52 PM
Rookie
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Montreal, QC
Posts: 5
Default

800 after taxes.

I dont need anything high-end except the processor, I'll probably go with integrated graphics if I get the i7, so I think the budget should be doable. The computer will solely be used for running simulations in MATLab.

Would a mATX motherboard like this be alright? I don't need overclocking or any other feature, the system is basically a box to run matlab on a high-end desktop CPU?

Intel BOXDH61WWB3 mATX LGA1155 H61 Express DDR3 PCI-E16 1PCI-E 1PCI Video Sound GBLAN B3 Motherboard - DirectCanada
Reply With Quote
  #9 (permalink)  
Old September 15, 2011, 03:03 PM
Arinoth's Avatar
Moderator
F@H
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Halifax
Posts: 8,602

My System Specs

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keywork View Post
The 2600K is a bit of a stretch it seems for his budget. I like what Arinoth suggested though. You could most likely build a X58 setup on the cheap that would probably spank the X6....just a thought though.
That's what I was thinking, can get a i7 950 used for about 200-225$ and older CPUs like the i7 920/930/940 from 100-200$. The only expensive part would be the mobo, but still could be done for around 100-150$ used as well. That's about 400$ for processor/motherboard at the high end of the scale.
Reply With Quote
  #10 (permalink)  
Old September 15, 2011, 04:38 PM
Rookie
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Montreal, QC
Posts: 5
Default

If I was buying this myself I would be more open to the used i7 option. I have send to a parts list to my supervisor though and he's going to order it, so buying everything new is a lot simpler logistically.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
adding sli to loop - series or parallel? sukebe Water Cooling 12 January 5, 2011 11:18 PM
Parallel Processing questions Jim Johnstone Video Cards 3 November 29, 2010 09:59 AM
Second doorbell in parallel? sswilson Off Topic 32 February 7, 2009 11:41 AM
Add parallel port on Gigabyte EP45-UD3P esanity Troubleshooting 2 January 10, 2009 01:42 PM
Series VS parallel: tri-fire watercooling vinister Water Cooling 4 May 2, 2008 06:47 PM