A challenge - looking to build a new seti pc

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Profile Dave Cummings
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Message 973883 - Posted: 25 Feb 2010, 22:53:39 UTC

Hey all,
as some of you know I am looking at retireing my old laptop, its basically dead!

What i need help with is as follows, its gunna be a challenge

I have a budget of £100

I would like to build somethingin a micro ATX case something like

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Black-Micro-ATX-SFF-Desktop-PC-Computer-Case-with-PSU_W0QQitemZ320492747267QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUK_Computing_DesktopComponents_RL?hash=item4a9edb3a03

I will need a mainboard and CPU - BUT this is the important thing, I want to keep this machine as slient as possible, aka silent PSU and as close to silent as possble.

Hard Disks aint a problem I have loads of them, is anyone up for helping me out? not asking for hand offs but if anyone knows of cheap small form factor machines on ebay, like a cube PC etc, can they let me know?

It doesnt have to be mega powerfull just something i can leave on 24/7 in my bedroom!
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Message 973886 - Posted: 25 Feb 2010, 23:05:13 UTC

maybe with this mainboard?

[url]http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/MSI-845GVM-V-Micro-ATX-Motherboard-2-8GHz-P4-CPU_W0QQitemZ180473649141QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUK_Motherboards_CPUs?hash=item2a051157f5 [/url]
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Message 973887 - Posted: 25 Feb 2010, 23:07:19 UTC - in response to Message 973883.  

Hey all,
as some of you know I am looking at retireing my old laptop, its basically dead!

What i need help with is as follows, its gunna be a challenge

I have a budget of £100

I would like to build somethingin a micro ATX case something like

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Black-Micro-ATX-SFF-Desktop-PC-Computer-Case-with-PSU_W0QQitemZ320492747267QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUK_Computing_DesktopComponents_RL?hash=item4a9edb3a03

I will need a mainboard and CPU - BUT this is the important thing, I want to keep this machine as slient as possible, aka silent PSU and as close to silent as possble.

Hard Disks aint a problem I have loads of them, is anyone up for helping me out? not asking for hand offs but if anyone knows of cheap small form factor machines on ebay, like a cube PC etc, can they let me know?

It doesnt have to be mega powerfull just something i can leave on 24/7 in my bedroom!

Trouble is, quiet means cool, cool means low power, and as a general rule, low power means not incredibly fast.
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Message 973888 - Posted: 25 Feb 2010, 23:14:32 UTC - in response to Message 973886.  

A P4 in very small case can never be quiet, there is no space for a good cooler (big heatsink with slow rotating fan). If it should be quiet, you should look for case with a normal height, so you have place for that.
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Message 973913 - Posted: 26 Feb 2010, 1:29:36 UTC

Dave: I don't know how much an Atom 330 with an ION GPU cost over there, but Sten-Arne's seems to be cranking along at a decent pace.
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Profile Dave Cummings
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Message 974417 - Posted: 27 Feb 2010, 10:35:43 UTC

well i got me the following for £35

intel p4/2.6gz/512/800
Intel Heatsink and Fan
Apoen MX4SGI-N pga478b
1GB Memory
Slim Case
DVD ROM
120gb HDD

now then what to install? Windows xp? or Windows 7?

Should I do a photo build you know - step by step in building a SETI machine?

thats not too bad for thirty five quid is it!

I am going to use this to replace the laptop that is dieing a death.

dave
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Message 974420 - Posted: 27 Feb 2010, 10:39:51 UTC - in response to Message 974417.  

now then what to install? Windows xp? or Windows 7?

With 1GB Memory: Win XP.
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Message 974438 - Posted: 27 Feb 2010, 13:04:07 UTC

XP x64 rocks........
Even the 32 bit version rocks.......anything newer sux.

Linux has it's own attractions, I have never gone there.

XP...go there.
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Message 974451 - Posted: 27 Feb 2010, 13:59:56 UTC - in response to Message 974438.  

windows 7 has its proponents because of its ability to run directX 11 on the newer graphics cards. I'm not certain how this would help running seti apps but its a boon for gamers


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Message 974460 - Posted: 27 Feb 2010, 14:43:34 UTC

Skildude - I just finished Bioshock 2 in Windows 7 on my GTX275 and the graphics really are awesome :D.
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Message 974493 - Posted: 27 Feb 2010, 16:40:00 UTC - in response to Message 974451.  
Last modified: 27 Feb 2010, 16:58:05 UTC

windows 7 has its proponents because of its ability to run directX 11 on the newer graphics cards. I'm not certain how this would help running seti apps but its a boon for gamers

And so far DX11 is an ATi only game, As so far Nvidia is a no show, Rumor says It's due to very poor chip yields. Like about 7 chips or 4% out of about 416(4 wafers of 104 each) according to one site, It may be a bit of a while for Wile E Coyote, Er Nvidia to catch that Road Runner, Er Ati. :D

http://vr-zone.com/articles/tsmc-40nm-yield-issues-resurface/7963.html

http://www.semiaccurate.com/2009/09/15/nvidia-gt300-yeilds-under-2/
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Message 974504 - Posted: 27 Feb 2010, 17:16:06 UTC

TMSC improved their process and now yields are far more bigger, around 40+ percent, although still far under desired harvest. Six months have passed.

As for XP, Vista and 7. Last two(Vista SP2, not vanilla or SP1) have vast changes in kernel, which are making them significantly faster in heavy scheduling on SMP systems(as most of ours). Depending on software, speed increase can be even "felt". In numbers, its 5-15%.

In this case here, old PC with P4, they would bring not much more than XP, but in contrary(if not tuned). I would use XP, x64 if possible(depends on exact P4 model - I think its Northwood, so not EMT64 capable).
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Message 974518 - Posted: 27 Feb 2010, 17:59:57 UTC - in response to Message 974504.  

TMSC improved their process and now yields are far more bigger, around 40+ percent, although still far under desired harvest. Six months have passed.

About time, but if it's at 40%, is that high enough to call 'production volumes'? I hope that it will be soon, as the supply of the high end nvidia cards appears to have pretty much dried up. Man, ppl like BFG and EVGA must be steamed about now...

As for XP, Vista and 7. Last two(Vista SP2, not vanilla or SP1) have vast changes in kernel, which are making them significantly faster in heavy scheduling on SMP systems(as most of ours). Depending on software, speed increase can be even "felt". In numbers, its 5-15%.

I find that amazing, considering a couple things, 1st, Vista has been derided since it's inception as being a pig and slow, but I read a review that I saw recommmended in another thread, which compared 32 & 64 bit versions of XP, Vista, 7, and Server 2008, and in many instances Vista came out on top, or rarely lower than second. In all but one of the tests, XP came in last, with not much diff between 32 & 64 bit. I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it, and from what I read, the person doing it is highly respected, I just wonder how the tests he performed correlate to serious crunching rigs? 2nd, I thought that 7 would be based upon Vista, and be an improvement, lightened up, faster. From what I've read, bottom line, it isn't, at least in the testing he did. Go Figure.

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Message 974536 - Posted: 27 Feb 2010, 19:44:22 UTC
Last modified: 27 Feb 2010, 19:51:39 UTC

There are too many factors to be considered. I would comment such tests more deep, if I knew circumstances around them.

As for Vista - there is "Vista" and Vista :) I put in brackets "not vanilla or SP1", bcs in SP2, Vista gets version of kernel, so called MinWin kernel, the heart of Windows 7(same happened with 2008 Server R2). Generally both Vista and 7, should beat XP, working with more than 2 CPUs - and they must be loaded with work, to get real results. Tests, running single thread(like SuperPI) cannot show the difference, and perhaps XP would win, bcs its internals are way far simplier than Vista and Win7(e.g XP does not have I/O prioritization, more kernel synchronization objects, Vista and 7 have more precise quantum accounting, thus leading to more fair cpu time division between concurent threads, interthread I/O cancelation, etc). But load Vista and 7 with heavy work and many context switches with more than two logical CPUs - XP bites the dust.
But these improvements have to exploited by programmers to get fully blown jetfighter from Vista and 7.
I have fellow programmers, mostly driver writers and system programmers, and they praise 7 for its performance and flexibility. I myself have little experience with 7 and don't run it - thats why I cannot be more exact, with numbers.

As speaking for XP - 32-bit version is very different than x64. x64 shares its kernel with Windows 2003 x64. Its practically same code. Some may have noticed, even patches(updates) coming for XP x64 and 2003 x64 are binary same. 64-bit kernel is very improved(e.g implements so called "kernel patch protection" - anti-rootkit feature) in many ways. And bcs of nature of 64-bit environment, it faster also.

I would like to move all my rigs to 7 x64, but now its impossible - for sake of compatibility(unrelated with SETI).
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Message 974620 - Posted: 28 Feb 2010, 0:16:45 UTC - in response to Message 974518.  

I find that amazing, considering a couple things, 1st, Vista has been derided since it's inception as being a pig and slow, but I read a review that I saw recommmended in another thread, which compared 32 & 64 bit versions of XP, Vista, 7, and Server 2008, and in many instances Vista came out on top, or rarely lower than second. In all but one of the tests, XP came in last, with not much diff between 32 & 64 bit. I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it, and from what I read, the person doing it is highly respected, I just wonder how the tests he performed correlate to serious crunching rigs? 2nd, I thought that 7 would be based upon Vista, and be an improvement, lightened up, faster. From what I've read, bottom line, it isn't, at least in the testing he did. Go Figure.


Vista's derision, IMO, comes from the fact that people hate change, and hate the unknown (see MSattler's post). Anyone taking a technical look at it can see that it's far superior to XP in nearly every way.

Because so many people complained about Vista being a memory "hog" (which frankly wasn't even close to truth), Microsoft scaled back it's SuperFetch feature, effectively reducing the advantage Vista had.

Then there's the well documented fact that jumping on anything anti-Microsoft will generate clicks, even if they're attempting to pass themselves off as a technical reviewer/blog.

Personally, I love Windows, including Windows XP, but Vista and 7 are every bit superior to that aging OS that it's worth dumping in favor of either choice. I've had no problems running Vista on an old Pentium 2.53GHz 1GB RAM machine (it was a tad slower than XP until I maxed it out at 2GB).
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Message 974628 - Posted: 28 Feb 2010, 0:58:11 UTC - in response to Message 974417.  
Last modified: 28 Feb 2010, 1:01:48 UTC

well i got me the following for £35

intel p4/2.6gz/512/800
Intel Heatsink and Fan
Aopen MX4SGI-N pga478b
1GB Memory
Slim Case
DVD ROM
120gb HDD

now then what to install? Windows xp? or Windows 7?

Should I do a photo build you know - step by step in building a SETI machine?

thats not too bad for thirty five quid is it!

I am going to use this to replace the laptop that is dieing a death.

dave


Good bit of kit for the price. I've run Win7 on older hardware, even on an old 1.5Ghz P3, and once all setup it wasn't really that slow. Some of the things DWM might leech some CPU cycles from it tho. So for a little cruncher that is going to sit in the corner & not make any noise I'd go with XP. You could get something like a GeForce 9400 if it would fit in that case as well. All the ones I've seen are fan less cards.
If that is a non-HT chip it will probably pump out 400-600 credits a day I'd expect.
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Message 974868 - Posted: 28 Feb 2010, 21:51:01 UTC - in response to Message 974628.  

it is a ht chip - does that matter?
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Message 974871 - Posted: 28 Feb 2010, 21:58:00 UTC

Not much. + 20-30% more credits, compared to non-HT chip. P4 Hyper-threading is not that improved like in Core i7(i3 etc.). XP will suit it well.
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Message 974882 - Posted: 28 Feb 2010, 22:37:45 UTC

cool thats good to know - I am looking for some pc3200 ram for it trying to get it to 2gb
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Message 974975 - Posted: 1 Mar 2010, 6:32:21 UTC - in response to Message 974882.  

cool thats good to know - I am looking for some pc3200 ram for it trying to get it to 2gb

If running Vista/Win7 it'd be worth it. If running XP or earlier, it's not worth it. XP just doesn't make much use of more than 1GB of RAM.
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