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Help me spec out a machine.

Discussion in 'Computer Hardware' started by amusicsite, 14 May 2012.

  1. Shaun

    Shaun Über Geek

    Looks good, but why no SSD? Surely with a Core i7 and 4GB video RAM you'd have a bottleneck with the HDD (you never get the full 6Gbps bandwidth)?
     
  2. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Location:
    UK
    Cost mainly, anyway I'm moving up from a 4 year old core duo machine. Even with a bottleneck it will seem blisteringly fast. SSD can be slipped in later :wink:
     
    Shaun likes this.
  3. Shaun

    Shaun Über Geek

    True. :thumbsup:

    Part of the reason I haven't popped in here over the past week or so was because my main workhorse laptop went belly-up. The replacement has an Intel Core i7-4700HQ Quad Core Processor, but came with a 750GB HDD - I have SSD's in every machine I use these days - and it felt sooo slow by comparison when I was setting it all up; despite the top-end CPU.

    I'd ordered an Intel 530 SSD but it got lost in the post for a few days - what a relief when I finally got it cloned over. :thumbsup:

    You're right though, they are still an expensive item in terms of cost per GB.
     
  4. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Location:
    UK
    Well, a few years on and I've still not upgraded, the old Mac just keeps on chugging along. Though it's age is causing me problems getting Linux to run on it so I'm looking around again for a nice little quite machine. Looking at this at the mo.

    http://www.atlastsolutions.com/mini...-bt-4-0-wifi-sdd-hdd-drives-gigabyte-h97n-i7/

    Quite amazing how the low power machines have come on. This is 80W at full belt and only 20W on standby. While this one I was looking at (but not as powerful) runs on only 15W! http://www.tinygreenpc.com/computers/intense-pc/intense-pc2-83/intense-pc2-i7.html

    Both look quite usable for day to day use. The top one comes with a Core i7 4790S quad core with the low power one is Core i7-4600U dual core (about as powerful as my Mac Mini) and both come with integrated Intel® HD Graphics 4600. I guess the main restriction is no option to add a graphics card.....

    Unless I do this, which would be very geeky!


    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bP_8EYQ-2RA
     
  5. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Location:
    UK
    I did finally get the one above. Only took me 3 years.... You can't say I rush into these things...
     
    Shaun likes this.
  6. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Location:
    UK
    Still basically using the same machine now. I ran it for a good few years in the little box with no graphics card. I was experimenting with running Linux off a flash drive with this little beast and pushed the USB bus to it's limits. Some of the drives would get red hot but the machine kept going for hours. I think in the end it did damage the USB side of things a bit. Still works but does have it's flaky moments. The case was rarely screwed down as I was forever swapping hard drives and playing around with OS's.

    For it's intended task of running video editing software it's done a grand job. After a few years the gaming head on me convinced me to get a nice graphics card so I grabbed a GeForce GTX 1050 Ti/PCIe/SSE2 as they were the best bang for the buck at the time. Stole a PSU and case of a mate that was getting rid of theirs and since then it's been more of a 'conventional' desktop machine. Except for the fact the mini motherboard, case and power cables from the PSU did not play well together.

    So the final machine I've been running since then is horizontal with a tiny motherboard, big graphics card, few SSD's dangling in the case's empty space. With the top cover permanently off the machine and the PSU very precariously sitting on the side runners of the dive section of the case. If you like nice tidy wiring or that perfect airflow then look away now! It's been abused like when the PSU inevitably got knocked off a few times. Accidental unplugging a running SSD instead of the other one I was swapping out in a live running system. Running two monitors some of the time and because Ubuntu and Nvidia did not like my whacky build, I would unplug the GPU to boot into Ubuntu and only plug the GPU in when booting to Windows to do some heavy work. So the power cable on the GPU and the HDMI cables have been plugged in and unplugged a lot of times.

    There is a healthy, or not, layer of dust over the whole machine though it does get a brush down every 6-12 months to remove the big bits...

    Through all of that it more or less has just worked. Hardware wise I've had no problems and performance wise I reckon I'm about at the place I was in 2012 when I started looking for a replacement to the Mac Mini. My heaviest workloads are editing down the footage from my 2x 4k and 1x HD video cameras. It copes alright but if I add in some effects or do something a bit more complex then I loose the smooth real-time workflow and everything becomes a bit more laborious. So thinking of upgrading to my new machine that will last me at least 5 years. I'm thinking this next one may keep it's performance for a while beyond that.

    Though I've been playing around with Blender and Unreal Engine and you can never have too much juice for either of them. I can do basic stuff in them at the moment but I want my next machine to be able to run both smoothly with room to spare. Looking at the next gen AMD, PCIe 4, fast memory, even faster hard drives. With whoever wins the next GPU war card with the best bang for the bucks. Like before this will probably be in a year or two's time. Once all the bits are out I'll start looking at who is building nice systems that match what I want and when the price is right get one.