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Author Topic: Battlestation E-Peen Thread (Warning: Contains Graphic Hardware Pictures)  (Read 315 times)

Offline tormaid

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So maybe you're a recent convert to the Glorious PC Master Race, or maybe you're an old hand. In either case, you ought to take pride in your battle station, whatever its relative level of performance, because it is YOURS. To enable you in that, I've created this thread for you to post nerdy specs and pictures of your window into the Wired.

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Offline tormaid

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My current battle/work- station is the product of much thought and changes in direction over the last year. The main design goals were: silence (or at least near-silence) in order to use audiophile-grade, open-backed headphones, the ability to edit photos in 10-bit, wide-gambit color, and the ability to still play games. I discovered a lot about what it really means to have a silent computer along the way: mainly, that electrical noise will always be an issue, even on completely-passive systems, so my final design compromises by minimizing fan noise and dampening electrical hum. I also ended up with two video cards because Quadro workstation cards, which are required to output 10-bit color in OpenGL applications such as Photoshop, carry a massive price premium, and the gaming GPU can be used for its additional computational power in image processing and video editing applications.

The main specs are as follows:
  • Intel Xeon E3 1240 v5 (3.4-3.8GHz) [6th-Generation i7 Equivalent]
  • 16GB of 2133MHz DDR4 RAM (Will be upgrading to 32GB soon™)
  • 256GB Samsung 950 Pro NVMe SSD
  • 1TB WD Blue HDD (For game installs)
  • Nvidia Quadro M2000 4GB [Workstation GPU--GTX 950 Equivalent]
  • Nvidia GTX 1070 8GB [Gaming GPU] Edit: it doesn't work like that, you can't use both together and still have access to professional features on the Quadro...

Pictures:
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Edit: Consider the above pictures obsolete. The beefy GTX 1070 is no longer in my system.
« Last Edit: 2017-02-14 12:28:28 by tormaid »

Offline ginsan

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I bought my PC parts on Black friday, so i got some good deals. Leo help me put the PC together and kindly provided me with the case.

My specs are:
Intel i5 6600K
8GB 2400MHz DDR4 RAM
GTX 1060 6GB
ASUS Z170E Mobo

PS:
Steam sales are going on until Jan 2. I may or may not have spent money that I may or may not have.

Offline tormaid

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Bumping this thread due to updated system pictures and I wanted to add a bit about the case mod I did.

In order to reduce high-frequency coil whine and further dampen the fan noise within the case, I lined the inside with acoustic foam. The exact product I used is called Acoustipack, and while it is quite expensive, it is far and away the best-reviewed of such products out there.

I used the single three-layer sheet to line the inside of the left side panel, as that is positioned to absorb the majority of the noise from the GPUs.

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And then I used the two-layer sheets to line the top and bottom of the case. The top, I managed to line from front to back, which should help with noise from the optical drive, but the bottom I ended at the bottom set of drive cages, as there are no components in there anyway.

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Offline 13thMuse

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I have a pretty nice setup that Tormaid mostly put together for me, though I've been learning some stuff along the way. (Everyone has to start somewhere, right?) My specs are as follows:

Intel Core i7 930 processor (4GHz)
Nvidia GTX 970 (3.5GB lol) graphics card
8GB 2133MHz DDR3 RAM
Kingston UV400 SSD
Cryorig H7 cooler (cooling is important!)
650 watt power supply
BenQ XL2411 (144Hz) monitor
SteelSeries Rival 100 mouse
Ducky Mini keyboard with Cherry MX Blue switches

I also have a 1TB storage hard drive but I try to keep my games on the fast one. All I ever play is Overwatch, Stardew Valley, and Age of Empires II, so I'm not sure if I'm getting my money's worth... ^^; My anime looks great though.
« Last Edit: 2017-02-06 12:15:01 by tormaid »

Offline bwbScram

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Pretty sweet rig, huh?

So, I've actually never built a computer myself, despite every desktop I've ever had being a franken-puter. Once I get a sizeable chunk of cash, it'll be happening.
« Last Edit: 2017-02-06 02:10:14 by bwbScram »

Offline tormaid

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So it turns out I'm an idiot. I assumed that because Nvidia allowed me to install a single driver for both of my GPUs, that they actually worked together. As it turns out, the primary feature of the Quadro card--10bit color output in OpenGL applications like Photoshop and, you know, Windows--doesn't work when the Geforce driver is installed, and the Quadro driver won't install at all when the Geforce card is present in my system.

So, I was forced to sell the GTX 1070, even though it is the best card I have ever owned. I am making due with the Quadro for gaming now, but it is far from ideal, as quite a bit of massaging is needed to the settings in order to get smooth framerates on what is essentially a GTX 950 with more VRAM. Nvidia has Pascall offerings for their professional lineup coming soon, but I will probably hold off for Volta at this point. Honestly, as long as I can still push >100fps in Overwatch, I don't actually care that much.

I am also trying to figure out the source of the electrical whine coming from my power supply. It may be that I have a particularly dirty socket next to my desk. Normally, I wouldn't worry too much, but when my entire build is centered around silence, I kind of have to care. It's actually significantly louder than my Noctua fans, the only other real source of noise from the unit.

My next project, now that I have an unexpected infusion of cash, is finishing the Pfsense router I am building in order to unlock the full speed of my gigabit internet connection. More on that soon...

Offline 13thMuse

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I hate it when people perpetuate false information... I guess this is a reminder to always triple-check compatibility. 

As an aside, I had some kind of driver issue with my basic scrub webcam/mic that chipmunked me and rendered me completely unintelligible (one of the more frustrating yet hilarious software issues I've had) so someone gifted me a Blue Snowball mic, and it's by far the nicest USB mic I've ever used. The sound quality is noticeably improved from before, even just in game chat. (Maybe I'll get noticed on Twitch now lol ^^; )

Offline tormaid

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I hate it when people perpetuate false information... I guess this is a reminder to always triple-check compatibility. 

As an aside, I had some kind of driver issue with my basic scrub webcam/mic that chipmunked me and rendered me completely unintelligible (one of the more frustrating yet hilarious software issues I've had) so someone gifted me a Blue Snowball mic, and it's by far the nicest USB mic I've ever used. The sound quality is noticeably improved from before, even just in game chat. (Maybe I'll get noticed on Twitch now lol ^^; )

:^)

The mic issue was super weird though... Must be a Windows 10 thing, though, since it works on your sister's computer fine, right?

Offline 13thMuse

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The mic issue was super weird though... Must be a Windows 10 thing, though, since it works on your sister's computer fine, right?

Yeah, it was totally unpredictable for me (restarting or unplugging/replugging may or may not make it stop, etc.)  but she hasn't had a single problem on Windows 7, so it must be some wonky Windows 10 issue. :/

Offline tormaid

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I said I'd post about the PFSense router, so here it is. I've put together the hardware based on a lot of research. There were some hickups, but it ended up OK. I actually finished this almost two months ago, but hey, better late than never!

Specs:
  • MBD-X10SLL-F-O uATX Server Motherboard (LGA 1150)
  • Intel Celeron G1820T Dual-Core CPU (2C, 2T @2.4 GHz 35W TDP)
  • 8GB Kingston Unbuffered ECC DDR3 1600 RAM
  • SanDisk SSD PLUS 120GB MLC SSD
  • Intel 82573L Gigabit NIC (w/ riser)
  • Supermicro CSE-512L 200B Case w/ 200W Power Supply
  • Supermicro Passive LGA 1150 Heatsink

The reason I went with the Celeron and not the Intel Xeon E3 1220L v3, which has hyperthreading and a much lower TDP at around the same price, is that PFSense only recently added multi-threading support, so I believe I'll actually get better performance out of this higher-clocked chip. It's a little-known fact that all consumer Intel chips in the i3 line and bellow (Pentium, Celeron, Atom) support error-correcting memory, so there are no compatibility issues using this OEM consumer chip. Edit: I might actually be forced to get the Xeon a higher-clocked i3 after all due to OpenVPN adding support for Intel AES-NI hardware acceleration. I will take the opportunity to benchmark this, however, and post an update with the results.

You might also ask (rightly) why anyone would spend $500 on a router. Well, I have two main reasons: the first is that I am now using Ting's gigabit fiber, which you basically need a custom solution like this to take full advantage of, and the second being that I want to run an always-on VPN for privacy at the router level, which actually requires a fair amount of computational power at these speeds. There's other fancy stuff I can do too, like run a router-level firewall and (very importantly) an ad-blocker, but those are the main reasons. Also, if it wasn't clear why I had a second NIC, it's because PFSense requires this for separating the WAN and LAN.

Here are some pictures of the build:
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And finally, I just picked up this military-grade portable server rack for my entire setup that I can just slap a shipping label on and send anywhere I want on eBay last week for cheap. I'm moving in two weeks, so it will definitely come in handy.

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« Last Edit: 2017-06-18 15:48:35 by tormaid »