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Need help choosing some components


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#1 DaltonRandall

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Posted 25 January 2016 - 03:29 PM

Hey guys,
 
New user here, and I could use some assistance with a build. It's more of a specialist system with some required hardware pieces and I'm trying to build around that.
 
Here is what is already set in stone:
 
Intel Xeon E5-1630 v3
NVidia Quadro M4000
Blackm@gic DeckLink 4K Pro
 
It needs to be paired with a MicroATX board, and I'm shooting for 32 GB of RAM.
 
It doesn't seem like there are an awful lot of MicroATX LGA2011-3 boards out there to begin with, but I need it to be able to handle the correct number of lanes for the video cards and I also want to make sure I am maximizing all related bandwidth and components. Price can't be out of control, but I have about $3K for the entire system, so I can be generous with some things.
 
I have been told that with the Xeon CPU, ECC RAM is greatly preferred... but I can't seem to find any MicroATX boards at all that support this. To that point, I read on another forum that it's the CPU which determines whether or not ECC RAM can be used - which this one can - but I've also read that the board also needs to support it, so I am not sure which is accurate. I would like to get the most reliable/highest performing RAM I can, but that too seems to be limited within these particular confines (DDR4, 2133, ECC, 4x 8GB).
 
I also keep going back and forth on whether or not to use AIO cooling or air cooling; both sides seem to have pretty strong voices backing them. The board will be horizontally mounted, so stress from a heavy air cooler won't be as much of an issue as it would be for a vertically mounted board, but this system WILL be moved around from location to location quite a bit. I have never gone the AIO route before (though it doesn't look very difficult to set up), but the last thing I want is for liquid to be spilling all over everything. That said, some of the air coolers can get pretty massive and unwieldy too and I don't want to put undue stress on the board due to transit.
 
This build will likely have one SDD for the OS and system files and two additional SSDs put together in a RAID 0 for the media it will be using. I assume I can do this as a software RAID fairly easily, but if a hardware RAID card is vastly preferred for some reason, that would be helpful to know.
 
This is the board I am leaning toward at the moment: http://www.evga.com/articles/00941/EVGA-X99-Micro2-Motherboard/
 
It seems to have mostly great reviews everywhere I have researched it and it seems to have the right size and number of lanes for the video cards (although I don't know if one might be in the way of another). I can't find any indication that it supports ECC RAM though, so that's the one thing giving me pause. I'm not even sure if ECC is necessary, but I want to use all of the system benefits if I can.
 
The board can take an M.2 SSD - which I thought about using for the OS drive, but it disables one of the PCIe slots and might reduce overall PCIe bandwidth (?). I have plenty of 2.5" drive slots available, so having the boot drive be a regular SSD is not an issue if that's a better choice. I thought the M.2 might have better direct bandwidth though.  The machine will be running Windows 7 64-bit.
 
Thank you to anyone who can offer advice or help... I have built several PCs in the past, but probably not for a good decade and this particular system has some specific needs so I am trying to get it right. :)

 



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#2 Ram4x4

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Posted 25 January 2016 - 04:34 PM

ECC RAM is for servers or machines running/using high value data.  If you have a need to ensure you don't lose or corrupt important data, then ECC is the choice.  Understand that ECC memory is more expensive and slightly slower than non-ECC memory.

 

ECC memory may also be "registered", i.e. a buffer between the memory and the controller to help ease stress on the controller and to allow more memory to be used in the system.  Not all ECC is registered, but almost all registered memory is ECC.  I've never seen a PC type board that will take registered ECC, only un-buffered ECC.  Registered only works on server boards so far as I've seen.

 

The motherboard needs to support ECC as well as the CPU.

 

I usually only recommend water cooling to someone doing high overclocks as most modern, high-end air coolers are more than enough at stock speeds, just be sure you have adequate case fans to move the heat out.  Personally, I'm particularly biased against many of AIO's because generally they don't perform any better, or as good as a quality air cooler and they tend to be a fair bit noisier.  They also present the issues of leakage, etc. 

 

I understand your concern about a heavy heatsink, but since the board is being mounted horizontally, unless you drop the PC, it should handle jouncing around without issue.  Noctua coolers have a really nice mounting system that's pretty solid and most 2011-v3 boards have a pretty robust socket mount.

 

M.2 does not automatically mean PCIE, M.2 can also use SATA.  You'd have to check the board specs to be sure.  Typically, a board will disable one of the PCIE slots if you use M.2, as you indicated, but that might only be restrictive if you were looking to run more than one video card in an SLI configuration.

 

Are you sure you want to run RAID0?  SSD's do respond well to that set up and see good speed gains, even with software RAIDs, but if one of the disks fail, or the RAID crashes, it's total hell to try to retrieve any of the data, if you can at all.  I used to run RAID0 in my systems in the past, but after a couple of crashed RAIDs I stopped.  I lost too much important data.    If you want speed, make use of that M.2 connector in PCIE, and get an SSD that runs on PCIE on an M.2 connecter...they are pricey though, but wicked fast....faster than a pair of SATA SSD's in RAID0. 



#3 RolandJS

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Posted 25 January 2016 - 04:53 PM

...and, purchase at least two usb ext HDs, get Macrium Reflect Pro and/or Acronis True Image, for making full-images of both your OS partition and your very important data partition[s].  I believe both products can handle RAID also, get the specs from their respective Support teams first.


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Clone or Image often! Backup... -- RockE (WSL)


#4 DaltonRandall

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Posted 20 March 2016 - 09:21 PM

Thanks so much for the insightful comments.  I should have replied earlier, but I've spent the last two months doing a lot of research to get things right and I didn't want to needlessly spam the forums.  This is what I have ended up with:

 

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/7WjhnQ

 

I took your advice and went with the Samsung 950 Pro instead of a couple of SATA SSDs in a raid, and I'm just sticking with standard RAM as I don't think I will have a need for anything crazy mission critical.

 

According to this chart from the manufacturer: http://www.evga.com/support/motherboard/, they only suggest one model of RAM that is 2133MHz (the max my CPU allows, from what I understand) and is also 8GB in size (I'd like 32GB total, so 4 sticks each of 8GB).  That RAM is the Corsair Vengeance LPX.  I do have a concern about RAM clearance with that CPU cooler, but the cooler itself can easily be changed for a different one if need be.

 

At this point I just want to make sure all of the parts are compatible with each other and that I am still good with all of my PCI-e slots with the two graphics cards I will be using and the M.2 SSD in place as well.  I have tried to fully maximize this system within my $3,000 budget, so I have pushed things in a  few places - but I would rather get something very capable for now than have to constantly tweak later.

 

If anyone has any insight, further recommendations, advice, or comments, I would be very grateful. :)  Thanks!



#5 MadmanRB

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Posted 21 March 2016 - 01:07 AM

Is this a server PC? As it seems silly for a home office and gaming rig

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#6 DaltonRandall

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Posted 21 March 2016 - 04:36 AM

Hi MadmanRB,

 

It's a specialized server to run this software: http://www.casparcg.com

 

They have a systems recommendation page but it is dreadfully outdated; in short, they strongly recommend a Xeon-class CPU (I believe part of that is the necessity of the number of PCI-e lanes, but maybe 40 is possible with a modern i7 so there's probably another reason I'm overlooking), and the two video cards are essential to getting what I need out of the software.  Everything else is just trying to maximize performance around those parts within my budget.  The software is currently 32-bit (so can only use 4GB of ram), but the upcoming version will be 64-bit so I am trying to plan ahead.

 

More than anything, I just haven't built a computer in so long and just wanted to make sure all of my stuff is going to work together.  I believe the board can accept ram up to 3333MHz, for example, but my CPU is only compatible up to 2133.  It's those little things that can ruin a build and I'm trying to make sure I address them all.



#7 Ram4x4

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Posted 21 March 2016 - 05:04 AM

The Haswell-E Intel CPU's (the 6-core and 8-core) are 2011-v3 socket CPUs, the same as the Xeons.  The 6-core i7-5820K is the bottom end CPU in that class and only has 28 lanes, the remaining two 8-core and Xeons all have 40 lanes.

 

Since you are only going to run two video cards in SLI and a single PCI-E SSD on the m.2 slot, you will have plenty of PCI-E lanes with any of those CPUs.  You just need to read the mobo specs to find out if any of the PCI-E slots are disabled when an x4 SSD is used in the m.2 slot.  Slot use and disabling any of them is a function of the mobo manufacturer, regardless of the CPU you choose.

 

For example, my system is an i7-5820K on an ASRock motherboard.  It will support three video cards in three-way SLI, but if I install a PCI SSD in the m.2 slot, the board disables the third PCI-E slot for video, so I would be limited to two video cards only.  The board will do that regardless if I have the 28 lane 5820K CPU, or one of the higher end 40 lane CPUs.   



#8 DaltonRandall

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Posted 21 March 2016 - 05:18 PM

Yes, the M.2 does disable the bottom (x8) slot.  The other two are x16.  However, I don't believe I will be running the cards in SLI; they are totally different cards (and one isn't made by Nvidia).  They can just be run separately and independently, right?



#9 Ram4x4

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Posted 21 March 2016 - 06:29 PM

Yes, the M.2 does disable the bottom (x8) slot.  The other two are x16.  However, I don't believe I will be running the cards in SLI; they are totally different cards (and one isn't made by Nvidia).  They can just be run separately and independently, right?

 

Yes, you can run both cards as individual outputs.  In order to SLI you need identical cards. 






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