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[WIP] New Gaming rig in time for Skyrim

Discussion in 'System Builder's Advice' started by theeldest, Apr 5, 2011.

  1. Ahhzz

    Ahhzz

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    dude :(
  2. theeldest

    theeldest

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    Benches

    Sent off the card today. Newegg should ship a replacement next week sometime. I'll still have it in time for BF3 and definitely for Skyrim.

    Figured I should post some benchmarks now.

    I've currently got the four 640GB drives in RAID 10 being accelerated by the 20GB Intel 311 SSD.

    MB/s
    [​IMG]

    IOPS
    [​IMG]

    And I have a 120GB Agility 3 for Apps & Games

    MB/s
    [​IMG]

    IOPS
    [​IMG]


    ATTO does a much better job of showing how an SSD can stretch it's legs
    [​IMG]


    I'm in the process of converting the RAID10 setup to a RAID5. I'll post benchmarks of that when I have them but the main reason is Intel's poor RAID10 implementation. Most good RAID controllers will process reads from every drive in a RAID 10 setup. Intel will only read from a single drive in each mirrored pair giving half the theoretical read performance.

    With RAID5 the read performance will be that of 3 drives (n-1) whereas the RAID10 performance is currently that of 2 drives (n/2).

    I have the option of adding a 5th drive to the RAID setup for even better performance(I've actually got 7 of the 640GB drives but can only fit 5 with the Intel SSD on the chipset controller). The usual downside to RAID5 is poor write speeds but different tests I've seen show small differences with modern processors and a small number of drives.

    Thoughts? Benchmark requests?

    Attached Files:

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  3. techtard

    techtard

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    This build is a beast man. Every time I click this thread rainbows explode out of my eyeballs!

    How does the ssd accellerated raid array run in real world usage?
  4. theeldest

    theeldest

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    It's hard to say quantitatively whether the SSD acceleration gives a noticeable difference. It does boot in about half the time as before I added the SSD, so that's good.

    Microsoft has a toolkit that I'm going to figure out how to use: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff191077(v=VS.85).aspx

    One of the things you can do is time how long it takes for apps to load. When I get to it I'll post some benchmarks.


    Regarding the switch to RAID5 my read speeds increased quite a bit (maxing at about 300 MB/s). We'll see if this is a good switch or not. Benchmarks are a bit strange with the RAID array and the SSD accelertion. Not all benchmarks utilize the SSD so miss some performance. And the RAID is much better at sequential data and anything that is weighted more towards random or small reads/writes shows poor performance.

    Anyone have benches you'd like to see?
  5. theeldest

    theeldest

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  6. Ahhzz

    Ahhzz

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    Motherboards and CPUs on my front porch!! Won't get a lot done, as I'll be away for a bit, but I'll be up til midnite getting them installed anyway :)

    nice find on the 24"!!!
  7. theeldest

    theeldest

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    Oh man, you are going to have SO MUCH FUN!!!

    I'm excited FOR you! I remember when I first built the Sandy Bridge setup and how easy it was to get to 4+ GHz.

    Reminder, if you're doing RAID or SSD caching or you *might* do it later, set the HDDs as RAID in the BIOS now.
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  8. Ahhzz

    Ahhzz

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    Ok, set it up last night (til 11:30 heheheh) and runs great! I did has a sad when I had to open an Intel box instead of an AMD, but the ASRock board was gorgeous :) The only question I have, is about the eyefinity stuff. I wanted to be able to stretch compatible games across multiple monitors, but I only have two monitors. Will Eyefinity only support 3 or 6? Is there another way to stretch the game screen across two monitors?

    I'm also not really going to have any access to it for a coulpe of weeks, but when you get a chance, mind throwing your settings out so I can see what I can push up on 'clocking?
  9. theeldest

    theeldest

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    Sure. I'll put up my settings when I get home this evening.

    For Eyefinity I am pretty sure you can do 2 monitors. The problem is that most people wouldn't want to as you'd have a bezel right in the center.
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  10. digibucc

    digibucc

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    fixed. the bezel is ok in rts/mmos, but anything from a person's perspective where the center of the screen gets the attention (all 3d games pretty much) will suck with 2.
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  11. Ahhzz

    Ahhzz

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    Ok, anyone point me the right direction to get it setup? I can't seem to convince it to play properly :(

    But that is a good point, it would be right in the center of the screen...wonder if I can convince the significant other to let me splurge on a third 22".....

    I play Rift a lot, which wouldn't need the direct center of the screen all the time... Skyrim, Deus Ex, STALKER:COP... those may be more of a challenge...
  12. digibucc

    digibucc

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    to set it up:
    go to CCC, click "Desktop Management" , then "creating and arranging desktops" , right click on a monitor, and click "create group"

    note: for 3 monitors off one card you need a DisplayPort adapter, which will add another $100 to your costs.
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  13. Ahhzz

    Ahhzz

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    can't "thank" twice for one post, so here ya go, Thanks!! *cheers*
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2011
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  14. theeldest

    theeldest

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    Hmm. My card came with a mini-displayport to DVI adapter.
  15. Ahhzz

    Ahhzz

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    My card has one as well, but they say that you can't enable a third monitor without an "Active" DP Adapter....
  16. digibucc

    digibucc

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    i don't know - mine doesn't have it. AMD's Eyefinity compatibility page has some mini-dp adapters listed:
    http://support.amd.com/us/eyefinity/Pages/eyefinity-dongles.aspx

    and in the fine print they say this:
    keyword OR.
  17. Ahhzz

    Ahhzz

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    No, I understand. My point was that you need an "Active" adapter, whether you use the DP or Mini-DP port. Mine only had a regular DP adapter (not mini-), but I don't know if it's "active" or not... we've got a couple around the shop that came in Dells and HPs as a dongle, I think I'll take one home to see what happens when I steal her monitor and put it on my desk :)
  18. theeldest

    theeldest

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    I was thinking that I just set a friend up with 3 monitors running off a single card with one using an adapter on the mini-display port. Then I realized that monitor is using displayport natively and that's not really what we're talking about here.

    @Ahhzz, what model Dell monitors are you looking at? Quite a few have DP built in.
  19. theeldest

    theeldest

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  20. Ahhzz

    Ahhzz

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    None yet... I honestly wasn't thinking clearly about the bezel in the way when I started this little adventure. I've got another Dell 22" at the house, I think, that she's using.. Not sure if any of them have native DP yet...
  21. Ahhzz

    Ahhzz

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    Hmm... these little jewels don't have two beveled corners, only one. The other is squared off, so I have 3 right-angle corners, and one beveled... I'm betting they only work with the specific vid card they came with..... *sigh* Oh well. I guess I'll steal the other monitor, and see if the adapter that came with it is "Active" enough ;
  22. theeldest

    theeldest

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    Monitor should be delivered today and the video card is still on it's way back to newegg. I probably won't get the replacement in time for BF3 but should have it for Skyrim.

    I downclocked my memory ... well ... I loosened the timings so I could drop the voltage to 1.35v. I know that 1.5v and above can be a little hard on the memory controller with SB and there are reports that it may degrade/damage the chips.

    Going from CAS 9 to CAS10 is going to have no effect on performance but may help the longevity of the processor.
  23. nt300

    nt300

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    I read somewhere that RAID 10 performed better in real world versus RAID 5.
  24. theeldest

    theeldest

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    So the differences in performance between RAID10 and RAID5 are very heavily dependent on the specific workload.

    And in this specific example RAID10 is working with one arm tied behind it's back. A proper RAID10 implementation would use all drives for read operations while the Intel implementation uses half of the drives for read operations.

    This is one main reason I switched to RAID5. RAID5 will always use n-1 drives for reads and writes. The only other performance consideration is on parity calculations for write operations. Realistically, this is only relevant on smaller writes as for large sequential writes modern processors can keep up quite well with the storage subsystem.

    But this is a problem I've solved by using the SSD caching. Any small writes are automatically routed to the SSD and written to the array later.

    So I gain the read performance of 1 disk and don't need to deal with the write performance problem due to my specific setup.


    Thanks for the input, though. It was informational and well cited.
  25. theeldest

    theeldest

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    Oh, and regarding BF3. This setup with a single 6950 runs BF3 on a single 1920x1200 monitor at high to ultra high settings being set by the program. Haven't pulled fps but it's smooth as butter. I'd estimate well over 45. (anything more and I just can't tell)

    With the dual 6950s and 3 of these monitors that my buddy's running it stutters a bit on Ultra High. But if you drop just a couple settings it's over 45 fps the whole time.

    woot
    Ahhzz says thanks.

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