Project: The Great Wall (GA-8N-SLi-QUAD)

lobstar

Limp Gawd
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Final Display Pics on Page 3!

This is going to be the start of my project log for a machine based around the Gigabyte GA-8N-SLi-Quad Royal. Here are the specs on the system that should be arriving in boxes today and over the corse of the next few days.

Gigabyte GA-8N-SLi Quad Royal
Intel Pentium EE 955
4GB G.SKILL DDR2 667
4x eVGA 7800GT CO 256MB
4x WD Raptor 150GB
PC P&C Turbo Cool 1KW PSU
Hauppauge WinTV-PVR USB2.0
Lian Li Silent PC-V1100A Plus
2x Lite-on 16x DVD-RW W/Lightscribe

Now, thats just the PC ... I know a lot of you already think you know whats going to happen on this ... just another quad SLi rig right? Wrong. There is one more visual component that really gives this project its name:

8x Dell UltraSharp 2405FPW 24" Wide Screen Monitor

Total cost of the build out so far is $13, 212.40. That doesn't include software licensing and such (monitor stands, DVI cables, etc, included in that price).

So, what is this beast for? I'm actually building this for the CEO of my company who does Foreign Exchange trading. He needs news feeds, price feeds, TV, etc, all on one machine. He hates moving around his desk to get at different machines and not having all of his documents in one place. Hey, who am I to tell him he doesn't need a new machine? ;)

Only one obstacle so far: Power. I have to have an electrician come in to give me another 20 amp circuit for his office for all of this equipment. Each monitor has a peak rating of 80W, and I'm guessing I'll probably have about 840W on average from the PC itself. To help the situation I'll be running dual Monster Power POWERBAR 1100's. Also, I'm looking at a 5500W UPS, but that is another day.

As I start getting parts I will include pictures of the build out, updates on problems I run into, and of course, a final build out picture. Watch this space for updates over the next week!

(Just a side note: Since stability is key I won't be doing an over clock, and since its a work PC for the CEO, we're not going to be seeing any awesome case modding, so it'll probably be pretty boring. I will bench the system out to the best of my ability and see if I can get quad SLi working on this beast.)Final Display Pics on Page 3!
 

lobstar

Limp Gawd
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Two Raptors will be Raid 0, two will mirror (raid 1) as a means of backup for important docs.
 

Imitation

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Well if power is a true concern why not go with 4 6600GT's and save him 800 bucks?
 

[LYL]Homer

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Imitation said:
Well if power is a true concern why not go with 4 6600GT's and save him 800 bucks?

So lobstar can do some after-hours gaming on the boss's computer?
 

drizzt81

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Imitation said:
Well if power is a true concern why not go with 4 6600GT's and save him 800 bucks?
Considering that he/she is planning to drive 8 displays, I am sure that there is a better solution than 4 consumer gfx cards. I remember some daytrader on here had a nice (back then) AGP card with 4+ outputs and some interesting software on top...

anyway, the OP certainly seems to know exactly what the goal of this exercise seems to be...
 

lobstar

Limp Gawd
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The problem with things like the Quadro series of PCI-E cards is that the 2D performance is WAY sub par, and the resolutions available really push the card. With the nature of the business, there are a lot of graphs updated every second, and any display lag will cause a direct loss of money. Therefore, the 7800GTs put a great amount of memory and performance toward these resource intensive apps.

Oh, and after hours gaming ;)
 

lukek

Limp Gawd
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You give any consideration to if the power supply will be too loud for him/her?
 

lobstar

Limp Gawd
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I've considered the possibility, but to be honest, his office has a lot of equipment already (TV, air purifier, phones, etc ..) so I don't think so. That and I will be removing 2 PCs and replacing them with this one. Also, the case has some pretty good noise dampening as well as large 120mm fans to help keep the noise down.

NEW PROBLEM!

The PSU is too long for the stock Lian Li case, so some minor mods are happening. Luckily, with the well built and very user friendly case, those mods only require a philips head screw driver.

Cherry
case1.jpg


Removed HDD cage and PSU wall
case3.jpg
 

lobstar

Limp Gawd
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Nov 24, 2004
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301
As fast as it was a problem, it is no longer. Its like it was made to fit in there.

psuincase.jpg


Also, might be the last update for a while, I have some other work to do, so thats about all the time I have now. Hopefully nothing will break around the office and I will have some more time this afternoon to piece more of it together!
 

lobstar

Limp Gawd
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More parts came in this afternoon. Hard drives, DVD drives, the PVR, and power strips!

parts.jpg


PowerBars.jpg


That PVR should be pretty sweet.
 

lobstar

Limp Gawd
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More parts came in today. Proc, Gfx cards, mobo, ram ... now all we need are those dang monitors! More pics when I find where I left my SD card ....
 

drizzt81

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lobstar said:
The problem with things like the Quadro series of PCI-E cards is that the 2D performance is WAY sub par, and the resolutions available really push the card. With the nature of the business, there are a lot of graphs updated every second, and any display lag will cause a direct loss of money. Therefore, the 7800GTs put a great amount of memory and performance toward these resource intensive apps.
In that case, you cannot afford to use LCDs. You will need CRTs with a refresh rate of at least 100Hz, in order to make sure that the display is updated frequently enough to make sure that the business makes the most money!
 

movax

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I only assume it's not your dime, but 4x7800s are overkill. Like someone else said, 6600s would cut back on power consumption at the least. I'd even venture so far to say that even old Matrox Millenium IIs can handle modern 2D programs well...they just lack more RAM.
 

lobstar

Limp Gawd
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In that case, you cannot afford to use LCDs. You will need CRTs with a refresh rate of at least 100Hz, in order to make sure that the display is updated frequently enough to make sure that the business makes the most money!

Ahh, but having as much info as you can take in is more important. With CRT's I'd have more problem with space requirements on the desktop. What I'm talking about is the lag between the packets being recieved by the machine, processing, and then displaying. A couple hz here and there isnt making or breaking a deal. Also, a few ms here and there is nothing you wouldnt get over the interenet anyway, so I'm staying in the realm of reality. What I need to reduce is the redraw rate on the displays. Right now with his apps, you can watch the Quadros punching themselves in the nuts everytime a graph updates.

But again, he just made the request that it have those monitors and be bleeding edge, so I just have to ensure it does what he wants with meeting his requirements. Simple really :)

----------------------------

On to the purpose of this post!

So, I've got most of the stuff assembled now as far as mounting the Proc/HSF (WTF was Intel thinking with that design ... and was was Gigabyte thinking puting Caps right next to the support posts?!), Video cards are in, RAM is in. Next step is the 4 HDDs, optical drives, and then cable management!

1.
parts2.jpg


2.
mobo1.jpg


3.
mobo2.jpg


4.
vid1.jpg


One thing I will note: If you plan to do this, dont plan to use the PCI slot on this motherboard. Even with the single slot video cards, the PCI card will rest on the fan housing of the video card ... thus blocking most air flow unless you use some sort of third party cooler ... which will then hang off the back of the card obfuscating the SATA ports on the mobo. A few quips and quirks with the mobo, but overall it seems decent from an installation point of view.
 

drizzt81

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just curious: why did you not get 7900GTs, which run cooler and with less power, and are likely the same price, if not cheaper?
 

lobstar

Limp Gawd
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drizzt81 said:
just curious: why did you not get 7900GTs, which run cooler and with less power, and are likely the same price, if not cheaper?

When I ordered the parts, no one had the 7900s in stock. Those were my first choice actually.

The monitors are in! I've been busy the last couple days, but hopefully today I will have more time to work on this beast.
 

Jason711

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you have got to be shitting me. lotta crazy hardware for sure.

but can that little ( ;) ) p4 even push those cards?
 

Eva_Unit_0

[H]ard|Gawd
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wow that is absolutely ridiculous. if he doesn't mind paying his soul for that box then of course by all means have him enjoy it...but I practically see that thing as a waste of good parts.

Well, at least it should pull in some good benches.
 

falcon6268

n00b
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Lol, I am subscribed, and yes take lots of picutres of this beauty and the monitors when you get around to it. :)
 

Jason711

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i still think that p4 wont push those cards to save its life.. (not to be a critic) an x2 cant really do it either.
 

omz

Gawd
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Jason711 said:
i still think that p4 wont push those cards to save its life.. (not to be a critic) an x2 cant really do it either.

can anything push those 4 gt's?
 

itsmikey

Gawd
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Feb 24, 2006
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my god i'd love to build that. i want to build computers for a living. not networks. ugh. why can't the pay be the same.
 

omz

Gawd
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Dark_fire said:
2 opterown 175s @3.5GHz
hehe, i seemed to have forgotten about multiprocessor systems :rolleyes:
btw, do they even make quad-sli for multiprocessor systems? i thot this gigabyte was teh onyl board with it...
 

lobstar

Limp Gawd
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Messages
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I ran into a problem with what I thought was the mobo, but after getting the part back, it seems its something else. I'm hung up on stability. Basically, booting with the 13x multiplier required results in either a lockup or no keyboard (usb or ps2). Going to 14x with 3.73ghz seems stable, so I may just kick up the voltage a bit and call it good. At that setting, it either doesnt like the dual channel setup for the ram, or something is wrong with the 4th dimm slot, because it will give very strange boot symptoms. I should say this also happens with just two sticks of ram in the dual channel configuration as well. I have a ticket in with Gigabyte at the moment, but no response back. This will get up and running, but unfortunately all support parties are slow as hell.
 

Ockie

*** Self Proclaimed Storage King ***
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Even with my top of the line rig and my 10tb monster file server...



you get my attention. That system is beyond nice :cool:


I cant wait to see the final configuration for the desktop. Also, out of curiosity, see what you can do with the new nvidia drivers in regards to get it to work in quad sli, there are some hacks out there, it would be cool to see with the latest drivers :D


Just FYI guys, he's building this for a CEO, they can make enough moeny to cover that machine in a couple of hours... so I don't think this is a big expense. Heck, my CEO makes $2,600 an hour and thats not even benifits nor is it pillow landing packages or anything :eek: Plus then they can write it off as a business expense.
 

Poncho

[H]ard|Gawd
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Stoney said:
any updates? your boss wants his system up and running. :D
So do i. :p


I'm gonna laugh when this guy gets fired for spending all this cash on a system that is totally unstable. Really man.,.... I would sell all that crap and build a Xeon workstation and add PCI cards until you have enough outputs. This guys paycheck depends on the stability of his system.... and you failed to reasearch what he NEEDs rather than what YOU want.
 

Ockie

*** Self Proclaimed Storage King ***
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There is nothing wrong with overspending on something like this. You guys need to know CEO's and VP's better, they don't care, they simply want the best. You wont find them on Autotrader.com nor would you find them visiting multiple dealer lots to look for the best deal... nope, they would just call the dealership and buy that new Bentley... they don't care, they just want the best.


I remember recommending computer parts to a VP, first thing he told me, "I don't want junk, I want the best that you can get so I can use it for a long time". They dont want to wait for the computer to catch up to them, they want the computer to be waiting for them.



In all honestly, 13k for a computer setup like that is nothing... try and build yourself a budget machine by dell with all that... i dare you. If it were me personally I would have chosen a multi monitor video card instead of multiple cards just because of the sheer intimidation and the chances of problems occuring with multiple video cards.
 
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