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[Worklog] The Beast Slayer
#16
Well, Hiig will officially account for half of our team pretty soon... and I'm alright with that.
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#17
Righty, here are the parts:

GTX 1080:
- 5x Gigabyte
- 1x EVGA
- 2x ASUS
- 2x MSI

PSU:
- 2x Rosewill 1600s
- 1x Rosewill 700M

SSD:
- 1x ADATA 240 GB

Mobos:
- 2x ASRock X99 WS-E
- 1x ASRock Z170 Pro4S

RAM:
- 4x APACER 8GB DDR4 2133

CPU:
- 2x Xeon E5-2670
- 1x i5 6500

HDD:
- 2x RuthalaDrives
- 1x Seagate ST4000DM000 4TB

First thing you're wondering is why there are so many different brands for the video cards. This was due to limitations on how many of a particular product one customer can buy. The prices ranged from $600 to $620.

The two 1600 watt power supplies should be sufficient for the two systems, allowing both for overclocking room, and upgrades. The 700 watt unit will be for my personal rig. I haven't decided which 1080 to use, but it will probably be the EVGA, because it's all by its lonesome.

The SSD is for my personal rig, as is the 4TB hard drive. Ruthalas has offered to throw in some random hard drives he had for the crunchers, since nothing on those systems will require excessive drive activity.

Mobos was where things started to get interesting during parts selection. It's painfully obvious from many posts on this forum that I've been trying to figure out what board(s) to get, what amount of bandwidth is actually going to be used, and so on. Turning to Xeons and x99 chipsets I found a decent solution in the form of a 7 slot board. Combined with an eight core 2.6 ghz Xeon each, the individual systems should both support 40 PCI-e lanes, allowing five slots to operate at x8. Additional experiments will be performed to determine if they can work well at full capacity.

My personal rig's mobo was just something simple. Z170 chipset for overclocking, but nothing particularly special. Same for the RAM. Nice and cheap, nothing special about them either. 8 gigs will be used for each cruncher, and 16 gigs for my personal rig.

In addition to the parts listed above, a 23.6 inch monitor with a 1ms response was purchased for my personal rig. The crunchers will be headless, so my two older 19 inch monitors will be used for a triple monitor setup on the personal rig. An inexpensive case, keyboard and mouse were also purchased, along with an after market cooler. The Xeons come with coolers, but they are proprietary. As it is hard to tell whether the coolers will fit onto a standard board, the plan is to try them on first, and if they don't fit, additional coolers will be purchased.

So what happens now? Now the parts will be shipped to Ruthalas for inspection. I'll have to discuss how in-depth the testing of the hardware will be with him at a later stage, but once everything has met the testing criteria, there will be some packaging reduction to reduce the total volume of the final shipment to Dubai. Basically, whatever can be removed safely without compromising either the safety of the parts in transit, or the ability to return parts under warranty. For example, the CPU and RAM can be placed into the motherboard, and the packaging of the CPU and RAM can be flattened, reducing volume, and also doubling up as 'armor' for the final shipping box.

I don't have anything to base this off, but hopefully everything should be in Dubai by mid next month.
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#18
Cool beans! Here are my thoughts:

I take it those CPUs are E5-2670 v3? E5-2670 (non v3) is a different socket. Either way, The E5-2603 V4 also gives you 40 PCI-E lanes and costs $1,300 less than the E5-2670 v3, that's a saving of $2,600 you can spend on GPUs.

It's a shame you couldn't go for all EVGA cards, the 1080Ti may be coming out within the next few months and their step up program allows you to trade in any card at list price.

I strongly recommend you don't buy E5-2670 v3's, it's an totally insane waste of money and I seriously urge you to reconsider. You could buy another four GTX 1080's with that money. Please see this link to review the difference between the two CPUs.
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#19
Fuck. I honestly did not think the v3 would be an issue. Considering it's Intel, they always just make up a completely new socket for different CPUs. Well, going to have to return the CPUs and get different ones. Still need an eight core, so I'm thinking of going for a pair of E5-2609 V4. I'm guessing these should work with 2011v3 sockets.

This will probably add another $170 or so to the total cost. $65 was left over from the cash I took with me, and the rest I can cover from PayPal
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#20
I wish you'd shared your shopping list before placing the order Raritydespair

Always always always check the QVL list when putting a rig together, the Asrock X99 WS-E CPU QVL is here

The E5-2609 V4 is fine, any particular reason for the extra two cores though? One physical per GPU is fine so the E5-2603 V4 will be perfect for your build and save you a couple of hundred dollars.

Edit: Also, Xeon CPUs tend not to come with heatsinks included, remember to buy aftermarket 2011-3 heatsinks to cope with the specified TDP of the CPU!
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#21
Quote:I wish you'd shared your shopping list before placing the order

I wish I had the time. There were several sales going on and the order was placed 30 minutes before they ended.

Quote:The E5-2609 V4 is fine, any particular reason for the extra two cores though? One physical per GPU is fine so the E5-2603 V4 will be perfect for your build and save you a couple of hundred dollars.

The boards have 7 slots, so eventually when they are maxed out, all cores will be used. Might as well get it now, than replace it later.

Quote:Edit: Also, Xeon CPUs tend not to come with heatsinks included, remember to buy aftermarket 2011-3 heatsinks to cope with the specified TDP of the CPU!

I suspected as much. Those CPU boxes didn't look large enough to contain a HSF within.
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#22
Shame about the Pride of Hiigara, but at least it has sort of been reborn here.

Also, I've heard about overheating reports regarding EVGA cards.  Specifically the FTW Line of 1080 and 1070 cards.  Is your EVGA 1080 a FTW?  It's mainly when it's inordinately stressed with a programe like Furmark, but still something to worry about.
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#23
(2016-10-27, 11:09:49 AM)ShadowOfDeath Wrote: Shame about the Pride of Hiigara, but at least it has sort of been reborn here.

Also, I've heard about overheating reports regarding EVGA cards.  Specifically the FTW Line of 1080 and 1070 cards.  Is your EVGA 1080 a FTW?  It's mainly when it's inordinately stressed with a programe like Furmark, but still something to worry about.

They don't overheat unless placed under crap conditions in benchmarking scenarios, and even if you wanted to run them full blast in a fireplace they offer a free thermal pad to help.
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#24
Right, so the next hurdle to overcome will be the final shipping to Dubai. Like everything else, this gets complicated. Here are my options:

1: Pay for international shipping. Now, we all know that shipping out of the US comes with a hefty price tag. After visiting DHL and FedEx offices, they calculate their prices on what is known as volumetric shipping. The formula they gave me was L*W*H/5000, where the dimensions are in cm. That means that a package with a cubic meter volume would be considered a 200 kilo package, even if the contents are probably only about 30. Adding a 5% import duty, and I would be looking at almost 2500 USD in shipping. And that's after my crew discount!

2: Book a personal ticket and fly back to Seattle, pick up the parts, and return home the next day. This is actually rather doable, since I have about 15 days of holiday leave. The entire process wouldn't take more than two or three days from start to finish, and not only would I avoid the shipping costs, but I would likely get away with having to pay for the import duty as well. On a standby ticket, it would cost me about 400 USD for a return fare. The potential issues involved with this are a lack of suitcase space to store all items, mishandled bags by ground staff, and TSA breaking in to my suitcase to check why someone has so many electronics in his bag.

3: Try and swap one of my duty flights for a Seattle flight. This method would be free, as I would be traveling for work, and is the most preferable option. I still have the same potential issues of the above method though. It is likely not going to be possible to do this however, as I need to actually get another crew to agree to the swap. Only five crew would be able to say yes, and in all likelihood, they would prefer to fly to Seattle over Dallas.

Doing some quick measurements and math, I would have just enough room in my cabin bag to fit all 10 cards. If I flew out on duty, no problems, but with a 7 kilo weight limit for passengers, I could only take half of those, unless I hid the other five cards on me somehow. I'd probably be able to fit the CPUs, RAM and SSDs in as well, regardless of which option I go for.

That would then leave the following in my suitcase:

- 1x Motherboard and PSU in a case
- 2x Motherboards in original packaging
- 2x PSUs in original packaging
- 1x Monitor in original packaging
- 3x HSFs in minimum protective packaging (newspapers, bubble wrap, whatever)
- 1x Keyboard and mouse in minimum protective packaging
- 1x HDD in original packaging

Looks like a tight fit, but it might be possible to pull off, with enough room to spare for packing peanuts, and a couple of scrap wood pieces as bracing to reduce the risk of hardware damage from crushing.

Now to play the waiting game...
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#25
Transporting so much expensive and fragile kit via air would scare the life out of me. No disrespect to your employer but we've probably all seen our fair share of airport baggage handlers chucking stuff around.

If you went with option 3 you might have to cajole one of your colleagues into sharing some of their luggage space.
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#26
Hey, no disrespect taken. The airlines aren't the ones dealing with bags anyway. Ground staff are generally third parties hired to do all the behind the scenes stuff, like breaking our stuff. And yes, it happens even to the crew bags.

EDIT: Right, in a stroke of luck, I managed to get that Seattle flight as duty. Now I just have to hope I can bring everything safely back, and that the TSA don't decide to swipe anything!
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#27
Two more weeks until the hardware comes to Dubai (hopefully intact)! Now seems like a perfect time to begin working on the case.

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Diving into my scrap material, I believe I should have a sufficient amount of 10mm acrylic to construct the core of the case, so the first thing to make is the motherboard mounting plate.

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Had to do a bit of measuring to ensure that both the lengths were correct, and that the sides were parallel, so pardon all the scribbling on the protective sheet. You can however see what I plan to do with the mounting plate. Given that the motherboard dimensions are 12" x 10.5", I've marked off the left and right sides of the plate and labeled them as MB1 and MB2, along with a gap between them for cables.

Currently, this is the arrangement I think I will go for. The plate will be horizontal, as I believe it would put the least amount of strain on the mobo, what with the HSF and all the cards weighing it down. Both boards will be oriented in such a way that their I/O side (where you plug in all the cables) faces inwards, meaning one board will be rotated 180 degrees. The idea is to have all the cables in one place, then moving the bundle towards the back of the case (in the photo, the back is the left side). This will also mean that the arrangement of video cards will be towards the back on MB1, and towards the front on MB2. All that said, I have not drilled any holes for the standoffs just yet, in case I get the locations wrong. This will be done once the motherboards arrive.

Now with the mobos, CPUs, RAM and video cards up top, the PSUs and drives will be located on the underside of the mounting plate. I'll still need to figure out what the best way will be to mount them there, since I will need some sort of mounting brackets to hold them in place. After all, gravity is kind on an issue on the underside. I'll probably use my threaded rods to bolt things in place.

A design consideration I must have here is that I need to be able to create something that can eventually be made airtight, since I'm quite set on the chillbox idea. However, the conversion from standard air cooling to chillbox will be done at a later stage. So, I need to make something with a decent airflow right now, but in a way that will minimise the amount of work needed to make the conversion later.

That brings me to the airflow. Where will the intake be? Where will the air go? Where is the exhaust? At the moment, I know that the video cards use the standard blower type fans, which will take air from the bottom of the mobo, and exhaust it on the I/O end. Going back to how the boards will be arranged, that means that air intakes will be at the aft left and forward right sections, with exhaust being sent to the middle where the cables are.

As a chillbox, everything above the mounting plate would need to be airtight, and a radiator would need to be located at the bottom of each motherboard. At the moment, I need to make the airflow reasonably decent, so perhaps I will mount a fan on the left and right of the case for the time being.

Now as for the entire unit, a bottom will need to be made, just underneath the PSUs and drives, and then add some caster wheels. This will not make the unit very tall. However, the chillbox will require a compressor, and several other bulky parts. Once work begins on the chillbox, the wheels will be removed, another box layer will be installed below everything, and then the wheels will go under the compressor section.

Confusing, I know. Basically there are three levels, or sections here. The airtight hardware section, the non-airtight hardware section, and eventually the compressor section. For the exterior, I plan to make the top acrylic, so that you can see into the airtight section (partly to ensure no condensation, which indicates an air leak), and every other side some high quality wood. I haven't thought that far ahead on what I will do with the wood though.

That's all for now. Feel free to make suggestions on the design. Once again, I am diving into the unknown.
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#28
I wish I was as handy as you.

BUILD ME NICE THINGS, HANDS
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#29
Honestly, I'm not really being original with most of the stuff I'm doing, anyway. I just take ideas from the construction processes of other projects and combine them. If you invest a few hundred dollars in some tools, you'd be doing the same thing.

Then it becomes a habit. It first starts out with you repairing a faulty power plug. Before you know it, you're already building furniture!
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#30
(2016-11-11, 05:35:30 PM)hiigaran Wrote: Honestly, I'm not really being original with most of the stuff I'm doing, anyway. I just take ideas from the construction processes of other projects and combine them. If you invest a few hundred dollars in some tools, you'd be doing the same thing.

Then it becomes a habit. It first starts out with you repairing a faulty power plug. Before you know it, you're already building furniture!

Nah, I set easy things on fire. :P
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