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Thread: Budget i7 build

  1. #1
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    Budget i7 build

    Just want a quick check on this before I order if you don't mind? It will be on 24/7 and will be used as a FTP server for incoming video which will also automatically process high resolution video when it is uploaded - hence the processor power. The application won't be using the graphics card, hence it's a cheapy just so I can take an HDMI and VGA output.

    All advice much appreciated...

    Thank you,

    Oli


  2. #2
    Bagnaj97
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    Re: Budget i7 build

    Quote Originally Posted by Olimain View Post
    Just want a quick check on this before I order if you don't mind? It will be on 24/7 and will be used as a FTP server for incoming video which will also automatically process high resolution video when it is uploaded - hence the processor power. The application won't be using the graphics card, hence it's a cheapy just so I can take an HDMI and VGA output.
    Processing the video could mean anything, but if you're transcoding or similar then you may be better off with a cheap CPU and a modern graphics card. With GPU offloading even low to mid end cards can often outperform a CPU when it comes to transcoding because it's a highly parallel task and GPUs have many cores (shaders). The added benefit would be lower overall power consumption, which should be a consideration if it's going to be on 24/7.

    Only some software can take advantage of this gpu offloading, but it may be worth looking into...

  3. #3
    Not a good person scaryjim's Avatar
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    Re: Budget i7 build

    Quote Originally Posted by Bagnaj97 View Post
    Only some software can take advantage of this gpu offloading ...
    Quote Originally Posted by Olimain View Post
    ... The application won't be using the graphics card ...
    I think he knows that

    My only question would be whether you've considered a Phenom II X6 build as an alternative? In multitasking the 6 physical cores are easily comparable to 8 virtual cores, and a Phenom II X6 + 880G motherboard + 8GB DDR3 would cost somewhat less than the i7 package, plus you wouldn't need the discreet graphics card. AMD have recently hacked the prices on Phenom IIs so you can now get the top-of-range 1100T for < £190. In the Hexus review, the 1100T beat out every processor (except the i7 980X) in heavily multithreaded applications (I assume your software is heavily mutlithreaded since you're going for an i7 950), and was only fractionally behind the i7 950 in the lighter threaded tests. Given that the overall platform cost is going to be ~ £100 less, I'd've thought it's worth a look

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    Senior Member watercooled's Avatar
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    Re: Budget i7 build

    I'd also consider a Linux OS for a server if that app you're using is cross-platform. Not only is it free, it tends to be a much more robust and reliable server OS. If you've never used it before it would involve a learning curve, but it would be well worth it if you have the time.

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    Re: Budget i7 build

    Thanks for the answers so far.

    Watercooled: The application is Mac or Windows (Win 7 or Win Server 2008) only I'm afraid so I'm limited there.

    Scaryjim: I hadn't actually considered the AMD side of things and that is a good point, as I could save on the on-board graphics. I'd need to be able out output VGA and HDMI. You're right that the software is heavily multithreaded. It analyses broadcast quality and above video for various patterns and images and with uncompressed HD video being ~10GB per minute it needs to pack some processing power... Is the Phenom II X6 the best for this? Can you recommend a motherboard?

    Thanks again

    Oli

  6. #6
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    Re: Budget i7 build

    I assume that the OP has their free postage at Scan activated?

    Out of interest what software are you using??

    Regarding the Phenom II X6 I would look at the X6 1055T for around £135 or the X 1090T for around £159:

    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/amd-p...he-125w-retail

    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/amd-p...he-125w-retail

    This motherboard has USB3.0 and SATA3.0:

    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/gigab...sata-raid-matx


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    Re: Budget i7 build

    I do indeed have free postage.

    I've been running it on my main editing machine lately which is an i7 930 with 12GB DDR3 and it was brilliant, however it's software that also runs over a network and having other people in the office access the computer's HDs while I'm in the middle of mastering a new video was causing problems. Also, people from around the world upload video to be tested automatically so it makes sense for the main host machine to also host the FTP server too to speed everything up. The software is pretty much bespoke so there's not really anything on the net that can help...

    I can't believe the price of that AMD board compared to the i7 equivalent!

  8. #8
    Not a good person scaryjim's Avatar
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    Re: Budget i7 build

    Which CPU you go for depends on how comfortable you are with overclocking it! An X6 1090T / 1100T have similar performance to an i7 950 at stock speeds. The 1090T is cheaper though, and as it has an unlocked mutliplier can essentially be turned into an 1100T by spending about 5 seconds in the BIOS! Given that this is a work machine you're building I assume you would want to go for the best possible performance at stock speeds, in which case the 1090T / 1100T are the ones to go for. I would only recommend a 1055T if you can find the 95W version and you're willing to overclock it.

    Motherboardwise, that's one of the more expensive options! You'd be fine with most 760G chipset AM3 boards, which generally cost less than £50. The only thing to be wary of is that the Phenom II X6s have a high power draw (125W) and some cheaper boards won't be designed to cope with that: so do your research carefully before buying.

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    Re: Budget i7 build

    If you liked that price you'll like this one even more http://www.ebuyer.com/product/244433
    It has sata 6gbs, vga + hdmi, even got a com port, however it does lack USB 3.0

    I'm not sure I'd trust that ezcool psu for 24/7 running

  10. #10
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    Re: Budget i7 build

    Crikey that is a bargain. I'm almost sold with AMD here to be honest. Am I likely to need 6GB RAM? The software isn't really RAM heavy and I won't actually be using this PC for anything other than that and FileZilla FTP server.

    Maybe I'll opt for a Corsair PSU to be safe!

  11. #11
    Senior Member watercooled's Avatar
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    Re: Budget i7 build

    Oooh I didn't even notice that EZCrap PSU, I'm usually the first to jump on them. Simply put, DO NOT USE IT! They are complete rubbish and I wouldn't trust one to run a system like that without nuking it for 5 seconds. Get a proper make.

    Edit: It's not really easy to advise what RAM to get without knowing the apps, AMD systems are dual channel so it would more likely be 4 or 8 GB anyway. 4GB is more than enough for most things, very few apps will come close to using that.

  12. #12
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    Re: Budget i7 build

    The MSI motherboard does not have SATA 3.0 as it uses the SB710 southbridge.

    I would also look at some of the new Antec PSUs too.


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    Re: Budget i7 build

    The MSI board also doesn't appear to support any CPU over 95W:

    http://eu.msi.com/index.php?func=pro...9&maincat_no=1

    which is a shame as I also really like the look and price of this board. I do keep checking the MSI page above though in the hope they release a BIOS update to support higher wattage CPUs like others have done.

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    Senior Member watercooled's Avatar
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    Re: Budget i7 build

    A BIOS update shouldn't make any difference to what TDP CPUs it supports - it's a physical limitation of the components on the board, drawing more than the design TDP could overload/overheat and damage them - VRMs for example.

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    Re: Budget i7 build

    Quote Originally Posted by watercooled View Post
    A BIOS update shouldn't make any difference to what TDP CPUs it supports - it's a physical limitation of the components on the board, drawing more than the design TDP could overload/overheat and damage them - VRMs for example.
    Thanks for that - I'll stop checking now!

    I have also been looking at the Asus M4A78LT-M:

    http://www.asus.com/product.aspx?P_ID=bZpT4egUiqtojuHR

    and the specs say is supports CPUs up to 125W but when you look at the CPU support list there's the Phenom IIX4 965 (HDZ965FBK4DGI) at 140W on there - I assumed this had changed due to a BIOS update.

  16. #16
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    Re: Budget i7 build

    Ok, total re-jig then - have I missed anything?



    EDIT - may go for the 1090 if it's going to be stable when bumped up to 1100T speeds.

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