Help me spend $900

digital_exhaust

[H]ard|DCer of the Month - May 2008
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Oh...... oh boy!!!!

So... my lovely wife just informed me that we have a nice bonus arriving two weeks from yesterday, and I get half!!!!

So, here's the dealio... I need help making the most out of $900. I haven't really built a "new" boxen in several years, and I'm not exactly up to snuff with all the newest goodies.

I would like to squeeze two dedicated quad boxen out of this money. I don't even know if it can be done for under $900.... but if it can, I know my folding brothers and sisters can help me do it.......:)

So, what should I be looking for? It's got to stay under $900 including shipping, and unfortunately mir's are probably out of the question....

Thanks in advance for any advice!!

 

Tobit

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Do you need cases or can they be naked?


 

APOLLO

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It can be done for under $900, especially if you purchase locally to eliminate shipping costs. The two Q6600s are going to take the most chunk out of the budget, then the boards+memory will take most of the rest. I assume you will be going diskless to avoid unnecessary HD costs. All-inclusive motherboards can be found for well under a $100 a piece, so that leaves you with the RAM. How are these systems going to be configured, with or without VMs? Windows or Linux? That decision will modify the amount of memory you should consider. Naked versus enclosed is up to you, but you can find used cases at flea markets for $20 each or even less if the budget gets too tight.

Where there's a will there's a way. It can be done.

 

digital_exhaust

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I've got some wall space, so I could run naked, but I do have a few cases I can use as well....

I've got a couple hard drives (WD 120's) so I've got that covered. I would like to run diskless, but....and correct me if I'm wrong....I can get more production out of *nix + VM's...right? I'm pretty savvy when it comes to Ubuntu and have been getting my feet wet with suse lately, so if running VM's inside an OS equals more production than the diskless client, that is the way I will go.

The only SMP experience I have is with the diskless client on my 4400+...which of course means I have no experience with the SMP client;)

I suppose I should have gone into a bit more detail in my op... sorry. Any config help would be great as well.....

And as a side, I'm in Denver, and there is a Microcenter not to far from me, so if local is the way to go, all the better as I won't have to wait for shipping!

 

Kendrak

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I've got some wall space, so I could run naked, but I do have a few cases I can use as well....

I've got a couple hard drives (WD 120's) so I've got that covered. I would like to run diskless, but....and correct me if I'm wrong....I can get more production out of *nix + VM's...right? I'm pretty savvy when it comes to Ubuntu and have been getting my feet wet with suse lately, so if running VM's inside an OS equals more production than the diskless client, that is the way I will go.

The only SMP experience I have is with the diskless client on my 4400+...which of course means I have no experience with the SMP client;)

I suppose I should have gone into a bit more detail in my op... sorry. Any config help would be great as well.....

And as a side, I'm in Denver, and there is a Microcenter not to far from me, so if local is the way to go, all the better as I won't have to wait for shipping!


VMs vs the Diskless I think is almost the same. And (for me) the much lower set up time and easy upgrade (burn new CD) is far worth the 50ppd or so you might lose.

 

APOLLO

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If you have the cases and drives, is there anything else you have that can reduce the allocation for new parts in your budget? Providing you have sufficient spare components and maybe seek out a few second-hand parts, I'm wondering if you can somehow stretch that $900 to build three systems? Maybe 2 quads and a dual or even three quads...?? :eek:
 

Tobit

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At $200 per Q6600, stretching $900 to three quads will be tough. You may be able to find some used Q6600's though. I just bought a used Q6600 for $160.

 

APOLLO

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At $200 per Q6600, stretching $900 to three quads will be tough. You may be able to find some used Q6600's though. I just bought a used Q6600 for $160.
At that used price it's within the realm of possibility if he has some of the parts already. For sure 2 quads and a dual can be done. That's 5 SMP clients at least...
 

Tobit

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I might have fawked myself at $160 though, I'm getting a B3 not a G0. Time will tell I guess.

 

Kendrak

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At that used price it's within the realm of possibility if he has some of the parts already. For sure 2 quads and a dual can be done. That's 5 SMP clients at least...

The digi vs kendrak war might burn bright again. This time Digi your bringing the drums :cool:

 

APOLLO

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We need someone like Tiger with [H]ard PPD/$ estimates to get a good basis on the best direction to go with this.

 

digital_exhaust

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VMs vs the Diskless I think is almost the same. And (for me) the much lower set up time and easy upgrade (burn new CD) is far worth the 50ppd or so you might lose.


Good deal... been happy with the diskless client for the last few months:)

I think I might try and stick local for most of it... Microcenter has a Q6600 bundled with an Intel DP35DPM mobo for $299. So I go that route and then grab the PSU's and RAM that Tobit linked and that will put me at just over $800.....

So, are the stock HSF's going to be okay, or should I try and upgrade them? I don't think I'll be doing any heavy OC right away......

 

Tobit

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Intel boards generally do not have any overclocking options so be wary of that deal. Although, I am not familiar with that particular model but, as a rule, Intel has never had much in the way of overclocking options.

 

APOLLO

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So, are the stock HSF's going to be okay, or should I try and upgrade them? I don't think I'll be doing any heavy OC right away......
Then they should be OK, but to tell the truth I've haven't seen a stock Intel desktop HSF since the Northwood CPUs. If they are anything as good as the OEM Xeon quad-core solid copper HSFs, you don't need to go aftermarket right away. They will be sufficient for at least 2.8GHz, if not more. Just be sure you lap the HSF and use the best thermal agent you can find. By running the systems with cases open, you might hit close to 3GHz, gods willing.
 

Xilikon

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My own advice : First list what you already have and/or is willing to sacrifice. Then, do some research in the FS/FT to see if there is some good used motherboards (like a IP35-E and the likes) that you could save money. Then get DDR2-667 RAM at most unless DDR2-800 price is just a few bucks more. Finally, see if you can also put some money youself in addition to 900$ just to determine if you can squeeze 3 boxens.

About the HSF, the retail Q6600 box include a good one with the copper core. They are good up to 2.8 - 3.0 (I had mine for 3.0 while waiting for the Xigmatek). Invest on a HSF later from the FSFT or a great deal online.

 

APOLLO

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Finally, see if you can also put some money youself in addition to 900$ just to determine if you can squeeze 3 boxens.
I'm in full agreement here. If you can just add a few bucks to the total, you might manage three systems, even if the third is only a dual. It can be upgraded to a quad at a later date.

About the HSF, the retail Q6600 box include a good one with the copper core. They are good up to 2.8 - 3.0 (I had mine for 3.0 while waiting for the Xigmatek). Invest on a HSF later from the FSFT or a great deal online.
That's good to know for future reference. I guess my cooling estimations were right on the money in regards to the stock HSF performance.
 

digital_exhaust

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I'm in full agreement here. If you can just add a few bucks to the total, you might manage three systems, even if the third is only a dual. It can be upgraded to a quad at a later date.

That's good to know for future reference. I guess my cooling estimations were right on the money in regards to the stock HSF performance.

Alright... I may be able to throw another $200 at it, I've been putting in insane hours at work for the last couple weeks.... our student population nearly doubled in the last month and SURPRIZE!!......no new teachers:rolleyes:

Right now, all I have are three WD 120g Cavair hdd's, and several cases, so that isn't an issue.

Based on Kendrak's post, I will be sticking with the diskless client for now, so GPU's aren't needed. My big concern is choosing the right ram and mobo. I have never been much of an oc'er, but with the quads it's obviously a pretty big deal, so I do want to have the ability to do so when the time comes.... thanks for the heads up there Tobit!! And I don't really know a damn thing about ram, so thanks Xil for the recommendations:)

I appreciate the suggestions so far... keep em coming!

 

digital_exhaust

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Ahem.... um.. yeah, about that.....

Well... see, um... it's just that...well..... I thought you said....

Aw dammit.... would a beer and a couple tamales make things better?;):p

 

alan2308

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Ahem.... um.. yeah, about that.....

Well... see, um... it's just that...well..... I thought you said....

Aw dammit.... would a beer and a couple tamales make things better?;):p


Well, I plan to add a quad soon, maybe I can pull another rabbit out of the hat and make it two in the near future. Its not looking too good right now, but I'm not throwing in the towel just yet. :D

That power borg I have spitting out a 15 pointer every other day will be the difference. :D

 

jws2346

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At $200 per Q6600, stretching $900 to three quads will be tough. You may be able to find some used Q6600's though. I just bought a used Q6600 for $160.


I concur, but I think you better hurry because with everyone and their brother buying Q6600's the price of them will probably go up. :eek:

If you're inclined, keep a close watch on fleabay and only deal with sellers that have good reps. I just bought a new Q6600 G0 cpu for $168.47 and $9.99 priority shipping so I think it is possible to build two (2) dedicated quad folders for 900 big ones if you're paying attention.;)

OBTW I only have like 20 or so purchases, but I've never had any problems with Ebay as long as I deal with sellers with good reputations :p

 

alan2308

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I concur, but I think you better hurry because with everyone and their brother buying Q6600's the price of them will probably go up. :eek:

If you're inclined, keep a close watch on fleabay and only deal with sellers that have good reps. I just bought a new Q6600 G0 cpu for $168.47 and $9.99 priority shipping so I think it is possible to build two (2) dedicated quad folders if you're paying attention.;)

OBTW I only have like 20 or so purchases, but I've never had any problems with Ebay as long as I deal with sellers with good reputations :p


Thats a great price you got there. When I'm ready to buy mine I'll have to keep an eye out there too.

 

Dangman

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If you want to buy new parts:
Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 CPU - $200
WINTEC AMPO 2GB (2 x 1GB) DDR2 800 RAM - $38
Gigabyte GA-G31M-S2L Intel G31 mATX Motherboard - $67
Antec Earthwatts EA380 380W PSU - $45
----
Total: $350 plus tax and shipping

Multiply by 3 and total costs is now $1050 plus tax and shipping. Not too sure about the overclocking ability of that motherboard though. Does have a few options but dunno how good it is.

But try to buy the CPUs and motherboard used. That would cut down costs some.
 
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CPU: Q6600 -- $200
MOBO: MSI neo2-fr P35 -- $110
RAM: 2x1GB G.SKILL F2 DDR2-800 -- $44
PSU: 500W Silverstone ST50F w/ 8-pin CPU >80% efficient -- $70
HSF: XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 -- $37

SHIP Frys -- $7
SHIP Newegg: -- $16

TOTAL -- $484

TOTAL x2 -- $968


Notes:

CPU: I own this CPU, and 24/7 fold on it at 3.91GHz (434x9)--water-cooled
MOBO: I own this motherboard, and have pushed 450MHz+ FSB
RAM: I own this RAM, and have pushed 900MHz+
PSU: EPS12V (8-pin) connector for motherboard for high OCs, 80%+ efficiency; it may seem expensive, but if you're running it 24/7 it'll be worth the extra $20 in electricity costs in no time.
HSF: Have read great reviews of this heatsink fan (Frostytech). "Best bang for the buck." From what I can tell, a Q6600 should be able to hit 3.6GHz paired with this HSF.


This was fun, and maybe you'll pick one of the components I suggested. Good luck.
 

jws2346

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I might have fawked myself at $160 though, I'm getting a B3 not a G0. Time will tell I guess.


Nah... I wouldn't sweat the stepping too much. From what I've read the differences between a B3 stepping and a G0 stepping in the Q6600 cpu are maybe the G0 might run cooler or might OC' better, but I still think it all depends on the chip.:confused:

If you aren't going for some real insane world record OC's I don't see much difference in the two stepping. I'll always remember the ole' sayin' "it's like a crap shoot as to whether your cpu will OC' or not". ;)

There is a possibility I may be wrong in my assessment, but the odds of that are "between slim and none" ( only kiddin') :rolleyes:

 

digital_exhaust

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Thanks so much for all the suggestions and help guys.... I truly appreciate it.

I'm going to do a bit of poking around and see what I can come up with, I live about 2 miles form Mushkin here in Denver and I plan on stopping by tomorrow morning to see what I may be able to pick up directly from them.... hopefully I can save a few bucks there......not that ram is really expensive....but.....;)

Again thanks for the suggestions and taking the time to put these lists together for me... I knew you guys would be able to help me out!! Now, if I can just get through the next 12 days without having a nervous breakdown..........

 

Kendrak

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Thanks so much for all the suggestions and help guys.... I truly appreciate it.

I'm going to do a bit of poking around and see what I can come up with, I live about 2 miles form Mushkin here in Denver and I plan on stopping by tomorrow morning to see what I may be able to pick up directly from them.... hopefully I can save a few bucks there......not that ram is really expensive....but.....;)

Again thanks for the suggestions and taking the time to put these lists together for me... I knew you guys would be able to help me out!! Now, if I can just get through the next 12 days without having a nervous breakdown..........


I give ya 12 hours :p


 

delvryboy

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2 quads = $400 + ship
2 mobo = always something(refurb) for around $60, $120+ ship
2 cases = w/380 earthwatts($120 at fries BM)
2 Linux x64 = free
2 Rage XL gpu's = about $40, maybe cheaper
2 HDD = you have
2 S1283 hsf = $70+ship

$900 seems to be an easy go.
 

digital_exhaust

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One week to go....and I haven't had a nervous breakdown.......yet......:p

In light of this, I will be donating two of my current farm boxen (complete and run the console client just fine) to the Community Boxen Program.

If any of you have different ideas as to how to get the "Best bang for the Buck" please let me know....

 
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