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Heavy quad build (£3-4k budget) Help

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#1
Hey guys,

I have been asked to build this for a mate of mine at work... he wanted to get a dual G5 mac and i managed to talk him out of it... anyways he was happy to part with £3-4k for the mac along with a monitor. he works for a record label and does a bit of everything really.

Main purpose of this rig is audio production, video production (not much a bit of adobe premiere), Web Design, Photoshop, and he wants to do a lot of Gaming too. so all in all a good all rounder.

I told him to wait a few months for nehalem and then i do him an X58 with a nehalem quad & some DDR3, perhaps two 24" screens and around 2TB storage.

He dosent want to wait, he wants it now!!!... sooo... one option will be to build him a Q6600 quad on a DDR3 board... then when nehalem comes along just swap the board and chip for the new ones (obviously leaving enough in the budget for that).

Any Ideas... what parts would you use etc.
Use this site if you in the states and dont know the value of the pound ;) www.overclockers.co.uk
 
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#3
Main purpose of this rig is audio production
Let him get the mac. The audio production industry is mac based, so let him stay with the standard, and be able to use his PC for work.
 
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#4
OR you could go skulltrail?
Well the thing is, i want to give him value for money with this... bang for buck... skulltrail is on slow ram and to be honest I dont think its worth it... specially with Nehalem so close.

If i did a P35 with a Q6600 or 8400 chip... overclocked it a bit for him stably... then in a few months drop in a nehalem board and chip I think that would be the right way to go perhaps.
 
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#5
Let him get the mac. The audio production industry is mac based, so let him stay with the standard, and be able to use his PC for work.
I produce music too...
The standard is MAC, but only becuase Logic only runs on a mac... protools runs on PC and actually better ;)
He on the other hand uses ~Ableton & nuendo... so a mac is not neccessary.
(im very anti mac hehe... had to work on one for 2 years a long time ago and hated every second... at least now they are so similar to pc in every way).
 
K

kyle2020

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#6
Sounds good. You could even drop him an E8200 or an E7200 in it and overclock the nuts of it.

What graphics are we talking also?
 
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#7
Sounds good. You could even drop him an E8200 or an E7200 in it and overclock the nuts of it.

What graphics are we talking also?
He's not particularily computer savvy (which is why im building and advising), but after explaining the ins & outs of the latest gfx hardware he wants to go GTX280 or HD4870X2... (sli or crossfire wouldnt be a good idea I dont think when running intense audio applications as the soundcard would also be using that bus... and he wants something that will work out the box... no sweat).
 
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kyle2020

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#8
Slap a 4870X2 in it and call it a day. Heres what i come up with:

ASUS P5K Premium (solid overclocker, reliable as hell, cheap and look nice)
E8400 or equivalent - remember they do 4Ghz on crazy low voltage
4870X2 or a GTX280
8GB of Corsair or equivalent RAM (would he need 8GB?)
Some Samsung Spinpoints (1TB) in RAID O
A Corsair 650W PSU (dont know what models are etc)
And a case like a Lian Li or something thats quite low key?
 
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#9
Do you guys think that the non "Extreme" version of the Q9650 quad core chip is a good idea to go for if not planning to move to nehalem? If I were to do this build for him, It would probably be non-overclocked (or mildly overclocked) as stability is key... I dont want him calling me everyday as its crashing etc...
 
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#10
OK, so long as you have both agreed what software he needs to run... and the software and file compatibility is OK with him.

Skulltrail aint so bad. "The RAM is slow". Well, actually, only vis-a-vis regular DDR2 >6400 on single threaded. Benchmarks show it, but in practice this isnt going to be noticable when doing stuff on the PC. In fact, there is an argument that in multitasking situations, the FB-DIMMs are just as fast.

1./ This is a nice board: http://geizhals.at/deutschland/a318034.html

2./ Stick in two of these: http://geizhals.at/deutschland/a293868.html (Only 50W each and passive cooler)

3./ And make sure you get 4 or 6 sticks of FB-DIMM 6400 x8 dual rank. 2 sticks is suboptimal... you only get dual channel performance, not wuad channel performance. That's where is loses to regular DDR2.

4./ Then get a mac alu keyboard. They really are the best kbs out there and work fine on a PC. Why not a 30" cinema display also? That way he has the best of both worlds. "Apple look" and PC hardcore.

5./ GTX280 works out of the box. Is plenty powerful enough, and has CUDA, which *might* be useful to him. Photoshop CS4 IIRC has CUDA based plugins for extreme picture processing.
 
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#11
I produce music too...
The standard is MAC, but only becuase Logic only runs on a mac... protools runs on PC and actually better ;)
He on the other hand uses ~Ableton & nuendo... so a mac is not neccessary.
(im very anti mac hehe... had to work on one for 2 years a long time ago and hated every second... at least now they are so similar to pc in every way).
I'll be watching this one with interest. I'm also in the audio field, so I use a macbookpro for audio and lecturing, while my pc is gaming centered. Audio on pc is viable, but a few tweaks will help with stability. The Steinberg forums are a good source of info.

One bit of advice: let him go dual boot, with general internet etc. and gaming on one, and audio on another drive or partition.

And audio LOVES quad and plenty ram.
 
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#12
hey lemonsoda... youre actually tempting me with this skulltrail idea... but ... wouldnt nehalem walk all over it ?
Im just thinking I could build him a temporary solution (like all the ram, HDD's, Case , DVD R/W, PSU, GFX, (then a Q6600 & DDR3 and P35 board))... then in a few months just drop a nehalem and X58 mobo in.
 
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#13
I'll be watching this one with interest. I'm also in the audio field, so I use a macbookpro for audio and lecturing, while my pc is gaming centered. Audio on pc is viable, but a few tweaks will help with stability. The Steinberg forums are a good source of info.

One bit of advice: let him go dual boot, with general internet etc. and gaming on one, and audio on another drive or partition.

And audio LOVES quad and plenty ram.
nice, Ill post pics of the build... as my home rig costc about £2500... and that was my biggest build... most of the other builds I do are for people on budgets hehe... so this one should be good... i have the freedom to go mad with it really.

audio on my Q6600 rocks hehehe.... I know its not neccessary, but I produce now in 24bit 192khz... and can load up a tremendous amount of VST plugs and channels and have no worries atall... (my old P4 used to only handle about 4 channels in 24/96 hehehe)
 
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#14
Nehalem wont walk all over 8 true cores. If you take a look at Cinebench 10, you will see that a Quad Core 2 gets a performance factor of about 3.7x compared to a single core. The Nehalem gets 4.1x (due to HT). Whereas dual xeon quads with true 8 cores will get you 7.0+x.

Of course, these figures change app by app. But IMO the dual xeons win Nehalem. The question is whether dual xeons are overkill. But for the über-enthusiast, who cares about too much power? :roll:
 
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#15
Let him get the mac. The audio production industry is mac based, so let him stay with the standard, and be able to use his PC for work.
Eh not really....

I run Cubase, Reason and Sonar on a pc, so do a lot of other people.

But I'm about to build a pc and install mac os for Logic Studio...

Personally if you are going to do a pc for him get a Xeon x3230 :)

Or you could go with a set of xeon 5k series chips, no need for the skulltrail, that's more of a gamers board.

Key to a good production system is lots of ram, fairly fast processor *even a e7200 is plenty to be honest* and some good quick hard drives..

Trust me my DAW is a e6420 @ 2.8 and I run far more than 90% of the producers out there at once and have no issues with 8gb of ram and XP x64.

Try 30 instruments *software synths* and well over 100 effects, never see over about 30% usage.

As for the some gaming part, even a base level server/workstation board will have x16 slot, toss a single 4870 or something in there call it a day.
 
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#16
Nehalem wont walk all over 8 true cores. If you take a look at Cinebench 10, you will see that a Quad Core 2 gets a performance factor of about 3.7x compared to a single core. The Nehalem gets 4.1x (due to HT). Whereas dual xeon quads with true 8 cores will get you 7.0+x.

Of course, these figures change app by app. But IMO the dual xeons win Nehalem. The question is whether dual xeons are overkill. But for the über-enthusiast, who cares about too much power? :roll:
Not only 8 TRUE cores, you also get 2 TRUE processors!

4 cores and 8 threads at 3.6ghz is still 3.6ghz...

8 cores and 8 threads on 2 chips at 3.6ghz is pretty much 7.2ghz and physically 8 cores and threads.
 
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#17
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#18
Wow... Reading this thread has really shown me what kinda power is out there if you want to spend the money to get it. Its just amazing what we can put into a pc nowadays :rockout:
 
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#19
getyour self a nehalen gainstown server cpu with dual socket mainboard lga1366
6gb's of ddr3 1066mhz ( 3 for each cpu)

or wait for nehalem beckton server cpu 8 cores = 16 threads native die
supports Multie socket mainboard 2 or 4 or more
 
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#20
Nehalem wont walk all over 8 true cores. If you take a look at Cinebench 10, you will see that a Quad Core 2 gets a performance factor of about 3.7x compared to a single core. The Nehalem gets 4.1x (due to HT). Whereas dual xeon quads with true 8 cores will get you 7.0+x.
Nehalem Beckton easly kils a dual socket quad xeon
+ it handels multie socket 2 or 4 or more
true multie scaling
2x beckton = 24 threads
4x beckton = 48 threads
 
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#21
OK, OK, just like sandybridge will kill beckton.

Point is, he wants it NOW, not at the end of 2009!
 
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#22
Ill chat with him today at work and discuss the options...
i think the important thing will be to have a chip and board that we can dual boot with vista 64 & XP pro 32 as a lot of audio programs do not like Vista just yet.
Ill have to look into these server baords and how they run a dual boot setup like that and if the need to run solely on a server OS in 64bits or not.

thanks for all the suggestions :) I look forward to this build
 

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#23
As everyone else is concentrating on the CPU, RAM and GFX, why not throw in a shit hot SSD to handle the OS and have the 2TB HDDs for storage.

I know the prices are pretty damn high on SSDs and the write speeds aren't as good as they should be, but the read performance would be pretty freakin' fast - food for thought... maybe.
 

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#24
Nehalem Beckton easly kils a dual socket quad xeon
+ it handels multie socket 2 or 4 or more
true multie scaling
2x beckton = 24 threads
4x beckton = 48 threads
According to benchmarks but I find them biased and not to reliable. I would wait until we have individuals doing thier own benchmarks to see how it performs in real world conditions.
 

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#25
I know this wouldn't really be practical, but I couldn't resist...



Tom's Hardware do a review and here is the official product page.

Just image, he could have have his EQ or something on the touch-screen, then on a 24" or so, the rest of his software, like the time-line or whatever it's called. :p