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Author Topic: Updated; Re:need a pc for under US$1000 (now $1500)  (Read 6572 times)
Steve Weldon
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« Reply #20 on: July 26, 2011, 12:47:38 AM »
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The 2600K based system I want,
compared to the 920 based system I'm sure would be adequate,

Maybe if I moved to japan or taiwan I could build a better, less expensive machine with more esoteric and fun parts.


And Steve, (may I call you Steve?)
I have viewed side by side, a spectraview and coloredge.
The photographic prints fired off from the computer were exactly as the screen portrayed.
I want to do that.


a.   I actually prefer the x58 motherboards and 950 CPU's over the 2600k's..  The comparisons are many, and most are made with gaming in mind, but for imaging/video I'd go with a quality x58 motherboard regardless of which one saves money.  When you research this keep several things in mind, the capabilities of the PCIe bus as related to what video cards, PCIe based SSD's, and other high bandwidth tasking.  Also keep in mind future CPU's..

b.  Current higher end gear is more expensive in most Asian countries than in the US market.  Not sure about the European market.

c.  8 vs. 10 bit cards aren't going to give you perfect screen to print matches.  This comes from proper color profiling and experience.  It's just as easy to screw up either card.  If perfect screen to print matches are your main desire, consider a Spectraview and supported software/puck.. It's the easiest way to get there.  But you won't get it just because you buy the parts.  You'll need to understand the process and how to adjust it to your needs.  Depending on your printer you might need to build a printer profile, same with which paper you choose, and much more.  This single area gives people more trouble than anything else combined.  Fortunately we have some really knowledgeable people on this forum who don't mind helping out every now and then.

d.  Steve is fine.. Smiley 

Building a workstation is as much about style, almost, as is photography.  Personally, I go for the end game.  I like to buy high quality components I know I can use for a long time (case, power supply, SSD's, HDD's, optical drives, UPS's), so I don't mind putting a bit of extra money in these areas.  Especially when I know cleaner power and better cooling greatly extends the longevity of the other components (mobo/CPU/RAM/GPU), more important when you know these are the components which run the hottest.  I suppose you can call it the "foundation" approach.  A quality case, power supply, and UPS is sized/selected to support the desired size house. 

It used to be these components, especially power supplies, needed to be changed with every build because they couldn't hold their specs without degradation for even a single build.  Now, we have great quality parts.  This makes your next build cheap.. you'll only need to buy a new motherboard and CPU, maybe RAM as well.. but if you buy quality RAM and stay with the same series CPU you can often use the same RAM for 2-3 builds.

Quality monitors can last a decade, a properly cooled GPU for just as long.  Don't cool your GPU (the hottest running part of your build) and it will only last a few years.  SSD's look to be lasting a long time too, but the next generation is always faster.. so you can plan on keeping your SSD's, but using them in less demanding locations (say as a LR index/database drive vs an OS drive), even HDD's of the same series get faster...  The first WD Blacks were a great deal slower than the current run.  They constantly improve them.  Capacities increase as well.  So you can keep using them, but you'll probably want to use them differently.

We live in great times.. so much technology available.  Enjoy.
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John.Murray
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« Reply #21 on: July 26, 2011, 06:07:29 PM »
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Steve:  Up until the z68 Chipset - I'm in complete agreement.  The killer feature on the Z68 is SSD Caching; basically a chipset level (setup in BIOS) LBA (*not* filelevel) cache of any drive or raid array using an SSD drive.  I've been evaluating an ASUS board using a 40GB Intel SSD against a pair of WD 600GB Raptors configured as RAID 1.  The resulting performance is nearly indistinguishable from an SSD alone!

This approaches enterprise class stuff - as the cache is non-volatile and will consequently survive a reboot.  It's honestly making me rethink RAID 5, or 6 as a viable storage option.....
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Steve Weldon
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« Reply #22 on: July 26, 2011, 06:46:35 PM »
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I was reading about the Z68 motherboards this morning, and then a great single core comparison over at Tom's Hardware.

What I got from this, is core vs. core, the 2600k processes more/faster, but by less than 5% in most cases.  Then, while as you say the Z68 motherboards look great, they're still not battle tested.  For my main workstation I like to use gear that's been out a while and has been through a revision or two so we don't end up with issues we don't want to deal with on a workstation we earn our living with.  For gaming or personal use this wouldn't be such a factor.

Then I look at the Z68 as only having four memory slots?  At least I haven't see one with six yet.  And the 2600k is still at 4 cores.  What I can't find is the limits of the Z68's PCIe bus..

But when you take these points I come up with this:

a.  If I want/need more than 16gb of RAM.. the x58 is the way to go.  (a cheap 24g is possible)

b.  If I want more than 4 cores.. the x58 is the way to go.  (a cheap 6 core is available)

c.  If I want a proven revised motherboard, the x58 is the way to go.

And for this, I lose 5% or less performance per core as compared to the 2600k.  And as you say, SSD caching which does look nice.  But there are some aftermarket approaches to SSD caching which I've heard work even better.

When you say you can't tell the performance from a regular SSD, which SSD are you comparing against?  Many are using the Vertex 2 and it's okay, but not great in performance.   But the Vertex 3's, Crucial M4's, Intel 310's, they're significantly faster.. especially the Vertex 3. 

And can you use this SSD caching for a non-OS drive?  I wonder how it would work for a Lightroom index/caching drive?

I'm taken with the Revo I installed in my student workstation.  It makes a slow 920 feel faster than my 960 workstation with a Crucial C300..  And this is a Gen 1 Revo.  The Gen 3 with Trim is 4x as fast.  I hope to have one for testing soon.  I'll make the Revo3 256g my OS/program drive, my Crucial C300 as a LR/PS work drive (for the current batch of files I'm working on prior to archiving), and I'm thinking of a 40g SSD/1tb SSD cached LR index/database drive..

We have so many great choices it's hard to sort them all out.  And you know there will be a 6 core Sandy coming out soon..

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Rocco Penny
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« Reply #23 on: July 26, 2011, 07:25:23 PM »
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Hmm, Undecided
The trippy lights have me turned off to most of the enthusiast type mobos (also fans etc)
I figure I have to accept buying something that costs more than I want to spend-(want? <500
so no used gear just too risky
The simple puters I have monkeyed around assembling and buying parts for cost 500
I know I could assemble a system that essentially would run a 10 bit monitor for less,
and assemble a system with almost failsafe storage,
or spend way more dough for any reason at all.
I really just want a solid system capable of multitasking, rendering, and general office type usage.
So I'm not running people's CC or sending data to other than local files.  I want to mirror my data on two separate drives.  I want all the parts to work together, and mostly, I want to quit being such a financial justifier.  I want to be sure I need and can use my new gear.

Just running 3 monitors 1 color critical monitor and 2 others I'll be replacing as I get the opportunity.
I have been doing suspect color calibration for the period I've been printing.
2 or 3 years now.
Getting better, but still have lots to learn.
I am going to skip buying 2 or 3 computers in the span of time this computer will keep me happy.
So really we're talking about no reason to upgrade the components year to year?  You have to start somewhere and I'm starting here.
I could save some money, get the 920,
(by the way a diminishing stock apparently-bottom of the barrel yet?)
Less than 500 less for the 920- I'm saying I'll buy a renderng computer for 500 if I can-
I'd spend $60 on it if I could.  I just think it costs about 12 to 15 for a computer period.  Maybe 800 if you're clever.
I also read a bit about the caching on the Z68 and the lack of firmware problems and so on
I just didn't think I'd use the extra features compared to a p-67 as much as would warrant paying the premium.
I will also have to read about and consider this "enterprise class stuff" The good J.M brings up=0)
So have a wonderful evening and thanks again.
Hitachi drives do seem to be highly regarded by IT professionals.
The 1 tb model is a hair more expensive than an f3
I think I'm still with the spinpoints
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John.Murray
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« Reply #24 on: July 26, 2011, 11:06:37 PM »
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Steve:

  • The SSD Caching can be implemented on any drive, again, it is *not* an O/S filelevel cache
  • Good point on Cores, although the cheapest 6-core Socket 1366 is nearly 200 more than the 2600
  • My main home machine (running windows - 24GB) is a X58 (Intel reference implementation), I'm drawing direct comparisons with it
  • This particular board support 8GB modules, giving it a 32GB capacity - granted pricing is currently insane on 8GB, but we know that will change...
  • The X58 does have the advantage on I/O capacity, supporting 20 PCI lanes, the Z68 support 16, although the main reason for this is SLI/Crossfire support. (If you chose to implement Crossfire,  you will lose a PCI slot + and built in eSATA functionality  - at least on this particular motherboard.  There is *no* reason to implement Crossfire on any machine that we would be interested in).  Although I couldn't get a direct answer, I believe this is the reason Intel chose not to make a "reference" implementation of this chipset available - Crossfire is licensed.
  • The X58 offers 3-channel memory interleaving, effectively making memory module performance less important, despite this, I show faster memory IO on the Z68
I'm also very conservative when it comes to building computers; being an Intel Channel partner - I've seen the possibilities and implementation of SSD caching nearly a year ago.  Given that and their early errors on the 67 chipsets SATA implementation, you can be certain Intel has been very conservative in bringing out a very important, and IMO groundbreaking new technology.  Getting this kind of disk performance+capacity has previously only been attainable going SAS / FC with incredibly expensive controllers with large battery backed cache subsystems

Rocco:

I'm in agreement with the trippy lights!  Blue LED's keep me awake at nights!  This particular board is very solid, great build quality.  It also happens to have a number of "enthusiast features, such as Crossfire and Overclocking support (btw - Intel built in the OC support in the chipset).  No-one here is suggesting you actually use those features.  In my mind, if you are considering a 67 chipset, you are crazy not to at least seriously consider the z68 - it doesn't cost that much more especially considering the SSD caching...

Given your preference toward the spinpoints, you could implement them as RAID 1 (mirrored) cache by either a 40gb or even the new 20GB SSD intel just came out with, specifically just for this purpose - about $110  (The max size SSD cache supported btw is 64GB).  You can setup the cache as either write-back or if you want to be conservative, write-through.

Finally, you *could* build this using either a 2600K, or 2500K CPU and simply use onboard graphics (~Radeon 5450 equivalent), then take your time making / saving up for your ultimate display adapter.

« Last Edit: July 27, 2011, 12:01:22 AM by John.Murray » Logged

Steve Weldon
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« Reply #25 on: July 27, 2011, 01:01:40 AM »
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Steve:

  • The SSD Caching can be implemented on any drive, again, it is *not* an O/S filelevel cache
  • Good point on Cores, although the cheapest 6-core Socket 1366 is nearly 200 more than the 2600
  • My main home machine (running windows - 24GB) is a X58 (Intel reference implementation), I'm drawing direct comparisons with it
  • This particular board support 8GB modules, giving it a 32GB capacity - granted pricing is currently insane on 8GB, but we know that will change...
  • The X58 does have the advantage on I/O capacity, supporting 20 PCI lanes, the Z68 support 16, although the main reason for this is SLI/Crossfire support. (If you chose to implement Crossfire,  you will lose a PCI slot + and built in eSATA functionality  - at least on this particular motherboard.  There is *no* reason to implement Crossfire on any machine that we would be interested in).  Although I couldn't get a direct answer, I believe this is the reason Intel chose not to make a "reference" implementation of this chipset available - Crossfire is licensed.
  • The X58 offers 3-channel memory interleaving, effectively making memory module performance less important, despite this, I show faster memory IO on the Z68
I'm also very conservative when it comes to building computers; being an Intel Channel partner - I've seen the possibilities and implementation of SSD caching nearly a year ago.  Given that and their early errors on the 67 chipsets SATA implementation, you can be certain Intel has been very conservative in bringing out a very important, and IMO groundbreaking new technology.  Getting this kind of disk performance+capacity has previously only been attainable going SAS / FC with incredibly expensive controllers with large battery backed cache subsystems

Thanks for the answers.

I'm not hopeful 8g RAM modules will drop down in the 'reasonable' range in the next year or two, and when they do they'll drop for the triple channel too..

I'm curious where Intel will take the x58/1366.. so far it's all been guesses after the new 8 core comes out.  And since I'm a fan of the Revo's the PCIe bandwidth is important to me.  I run a dual GPU 5970 because of the huge difference it makes in video rendering.  I don't render a lot of video, but when I do I hate waiting.  And it helps speed other processes up to a degree as well.

While I'm conservative with my main workstation, I very much enjoy playing with gear..  I'll have to keep a z68 in mind next time I'm offered toys.

In any case, real performance differences won't come from differences in these two CPU/mb's..  it will come from GPU's, storage choices, and in Rocco's case nailing down his profiling.  8 vs. 10 bit video.. don't see any practical difference.  I'd rather have a really clean power supply of the right capacity.. Smiley
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John.Murray
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« Reply #26 on: July 27, 2011, 09:53:36 AM »
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I'm curious where Intel will take the x58/1366.. so far it's all been guesses after the new 8 core comes out.  And since I'm a fan of the Revo's the PCIe bandwidth is important to me.  I run a dual GPU 5970 because of the huge difference it makes in video rendering.  I don't render a lot of video, but when I do I hate waiting.  And it helps speed other processes up to a degree as well.

Thats easy Smiley  Look for the forthcoming "Ivy Bridge" 22nm socket 2011 CPU's coming out late Fall, early next year.  Zeon class throughput (6.4 GT/s QPI architecture) and Quad Interleaved memory access .....  I'm crossing my fingers on Thunderbolt
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