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[Worklog] The Beast Slayer
#76
So, remember when I said that BS2 could only run 3 video cards because a 4th one would block what little access there was to the power button the motherboard? Managed to solve that little issue, so now BS1 and BS2 are running 4 GPUs each. Ideally, I would have liked to install a standard front panel power switch on the header, but I did not have the appropriate cable (those twisted ones that look like oversized jumpers). At least, not one that was more than 5cm in length. I did however have something similar for the PC speaker. Problem with that one is that it is 4 pins wide, rather than two, and the contacts are at the ends, so I couldn't just cut the speaker off, wire a button up in its place, then connect it to the power pins on the motherboard. I decided to cut the plastic in half and put the pieces in a square formation, with the contacts side by side. That seems to work just fine. Didn't take more than five minutes to do, actually.

So in the two days I've had free to work on this system, I only invested 5 measly minutes. Why? Because like an idiot, I decided to go on a binge gaming spree. Not too bright, hiiggy. Not too bright.
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#77
Oh good! Now you can actually fill out the boards.

What games have been distracting you?
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#78
(2016-12-21, 02:26:13 AM)Ruthalas Wrote: Oh good! Now you can actually fill out the boards.

What games have been distracting you?

Minesweeper at 12K and 240 FPS Rainbowkiss

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#79
Don't you be talking about my minesweeper!

As for the games, that would be the following so far:

Homeworld Remastered Collection (this was going to be the obvious first choice!)
Fallout 4
Skyrim Special Edition
Team fortress 2 (though choices for servers in the gulf region suck)

I've also been playing around with SpaceEngine because it's neat. I'm planning on adding some more games to that list. I'll probably put Silent Hunter on that list next.

Also, you guys are going to hate me for this, but I have a 5 day trip in a few hours, and I will be shutting the BS down while I'm away. Like I've mentioned before, I want to go through at least a month of no complications, before I'd feel comfortable running this thing completely unattended. I'll probably also need to give my roommates some way of remoting in to the systems, in case they ever need to shut them down while I'm away. As much as I'd love this to be a 24/7 rig, I also need to be considerate. It's right next to the TV in the living room.
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#80
(2016-12-21, 12:30:54 PM)hiigaran Wrote: Don't you be talking about my minesweeper!

As for the games, that would be the following so far:

Homeworld Remastered Collection (this was going to be the obvious first choice!)
Fallout 4
Skyrim Special Edition
Team fortress 2 (though choices for servers in the gulf region suck)

I've also been playing around with SpaceEngine because it's neat. I'm planning on adding some more games to that list. I'll probably put Silent Hunter on that list next.

Also, you guys are going to hate me for this, but I have a 5 day trip in a few hours, and I will be shutting the BS down while I'm away. Like I've mentioned before, I want to go through at least a month of no complications, before I'd feel comfortable running this thing completely unattended. I'll probably also need to give my roommates some way of remoting in to the systems, in case they ever need to shut them down while I'm away. As much as I'd love this to be a 24/7 rig, I also need to be considerate. It's right next to the TV in the living room.

I run all my systems headless.  Then I can keep an eye on them with remote desktop.  I use Splashtop for like $3 a month, although you can get free options.  I'd personally run them with an underclocked profile when I'm away for days if I were worried.  I can totally understand the concern, but it pains me to leave my computers off  Pinkiesad2 

As far as gaming, now that BestPony has somehow convinced me to get those high quality risers, I may throw four of them together and try gaming on it.  nVidia no longer officially supports more than 2way SLI, but it's still possible.  But I'm also told GTA V will fail to boot with a 4way SLI.  Sounds like a fun challenge  Twilightblush

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#81
What is your definition of headless though? If you remote in, do you see a GUI, or is it all command line?
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#82
(2016-12-22, 08:18:44 PM)hiigaran Wrote: What is your definition of headless though? If you remote in, do you see a GUI, or is it all command line?

Basically, no monitors, keyboards or mice.  When you 'remote' in, your remote PC or smartphone becomes the monitor, keyboard and mouse.  I can view any of my devices on any of my devices.  Here's a view of one of my rigs from my Galaxy S7 edge:

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Rainbowhuh

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#83
Since I'm on the road so much, and my computer likes to restart itself (screw you Win10), I just use Teamviewer to remote in. Completely free, cross-platform, and has been around forever so I know it's efficient and as bug free as is reasonable. Built in file transfer is a great bonus, too.
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#84
Yeah, that's pretty much what I'm doing then. TV to a GUI, no peripherals attached.

As viewed from my personal rig:

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#85
(2016-12-23, 09:09:27 AM)pinormous Wrote: Since I'm on the road so much, and my computer likes to restart itself (screw you Win10), I just use Teamviewer to remote in. Completely free, cross-platform, and has been around forever so I know it's efficient and as bug free as is reasonable. Built in file transfer is a great bonus, too.

I need to find out if I have file transfer.  I download several podcasts over remote desktop, then upload them to Google Drive, and then download to my android.  But if I could direct transfer, It'd be friggin sweet  Twilightsmile

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#86
So, some updates on the general running of the system thus far:

After the initial installation and running the systems just fine in the living room via direct ethernet connections to the router, I moved it into my bedroom. Not particularly happy about the noise, but...science!

Of course, this introduced a problem. The router is in the living room, and now I have three computers in my bedroom. Originally, I used an old external USB WiFi device to connect my personal rig to the router, but I purchased a 30m cable and wired it up directly. Primarily to reduce ping on games. However, I didn't want to buy two more cables for BS1 and BS2, so instead, I hooked up the wireless device to BS1, then shared the connection via the ethernet port and connected BS2 to BS1 via ethernet.

For the time being, I'm happy with this setup, as it reduces a bit of the clutter. However, it's not without issues. The obvious one is that if BS1 loses connection, BS2 will obviously lose it as well. This is generally only a problem if I need to do the occasional restart of BS1 for updates, or BIOS tinkering. Even so, a brief loss of internet won't affect computation,as the work units are already downloaded. It does make TeamViewer usage annoying though.

At present, I seem to have an issue with BS2 and the shared connection. After a restart, I need to disable internet sharing on BS1, then enable it again to allow BS2 to get a connection. I have no idea why this is necessary, and if anyone knows of a solution, I'd love to hear it.

Each system is running EVGA Precision for card control, and I'm also running Open Hardware Monitor, as it allows me to view temperatures more easily than EVGA Precision. Once again, if people have suggestions on a lightweight, all-in-one tool with fan curve, power control, and temperature monitoring features, let me know.

I had a bit of a scare a few days back, when I looked away for a few minutes, then found one of the video card temperatures being reported at 92 degrees on BS1. I had to pause and run each F@H slot individually to determine which video card was overheating, and I tracked it down to the MSI card in the first PCI-e slot. I swapped it with the last card, so that the MSI card could have the most unrestricted airflow, and now the temperatures are more balanced across the board.

So for you folks interested in purchasing a 1080, don't bother with MSI. Their cooling is shit. I'm actually surprised by this, because it is the only model out of four different brands/models I have, where exhaust is expelled from both ends of the cards. I'd have thought with a more unrestricted path, it would have been the better of the cards at cooling. Guess not. The Gigabytes take the lead there, followed by EVGA, then ASUS, then MSI.

Of course, each brand has multiple variants of 1080s, but I'm too lazy to find the exact models right now. I'm currently on layover and recovering from three consecutive days of binge gaming from the days prior. How I managed to do a 26 hour session of TF2 and Skyrim, I'll have no idea, but I'm obviously feeling the effects now, and I'm just sleeping away my 24 hours in Perth.

The sad part is that like an idiot, I'm going to do it again when I get back. I think this is just my way of catching up on three years of lost gaming.

Anyway, what are my future plans as far as the Beast Slayer is concerned? On the software end of things, I do wish to further tweak everything. I have the overclocking software limiting card power, so that it throttles to a target temperature of 75 degrees. From the temperature range I mentioned above, it obviously doesn't do a very good job of keeping the cards at this mark. I've also set the fan curves to ramp up from 40% at 50 degrees, to 100% at 75 degrees, updating at 1 second intervals. Both the power and fan settings are the same across all cards, which is not the most effective thing to do, since the cards are so different in their operating temperatures. Eventually, I plan to have individual settings for every single card, so that they are all closer to their best potential operating conditions. This will take some time to do obviously, but I first need to look into seeing if there are better programs than the EVGA tool.

At this stage, video card overclocking is out of the question. That much is quite obvious from the need to throttle. CPU overclocking is definitely possible though. Temperatures at load have never exceeded 40, so I feel I can get that up to 60 quite comfortably. My dilemma is that taking the time to overclock the CPU will cut into GPU processing. I'll do it eventually, but it isn't a big priority at the moment.

On the hardware side of things, I need to do some cable management. And desperately. I briefly touched on the topic earlier on, but the first thing I want to do is to get some spare cable trunking, and run it across the tops of the video cards, from BS1 to BS2. Mark some holes, Dremel out the trunking so that there is just enough space to fit PCI-e power cables though, and route the cables inwards to the center, then downwards to the PSU. Likely, I will need another equal length of trunking running parallel to the first at the edge of the motherboards, to route the SATA data cables, 24 and 8 pin mobo power cables, and the PCI-e auxiliary power cables. Once that is done, I would need to come up with a solution to the mess of cables actually coming out from the PSUs themselves. Most likely some sort of box to hide all the cables in. Something the trunking can be attached to.

Equally important which I have yet to do are some mounts for the hard drives. Still just have them lying around near the entire assembly.

I'd also need a third length of trunking at the back edge of the mobos to route the few cables behind. This should be simple enough to do. I can get the I/O panel, and push it through a section of trunking that I've cut a hole through to fit the panel in.

Finally, I need to make another power switch for the BS1. While BS2 was the one with the inaccessible power button, and the only one that was absolutely necessary to make a switch for, I'd rather not have to power BS1 on with a knife all the time.

Now, if I can get everything here done, I can then start looking into preparing for the next stage of the build, which is the chillbox. But that's still far away from now.
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#87
Regarding the cable from your computers to your router in the other room, just buy a cheap switch. They cost next to nothing, you can plug all three computers into it and that will solve that issue.
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#88
(2016-12-30, 07:38:15 PM)BestPony Wrote: Regarding the cable from your computers to your router in the other room, just buy a cheap switch. They cost next to nothing, you can plug all three computers into it and that will solve that issue.

^This is the setup I use in my office as well. An inexpensive gigabit switch makes that situation a lot more tenable.
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#89
Because I hate cables strewn everywhere, I went a step further with my "office". Router is in the living room, so I put an AC bridge in my office. Killer speeds and no wires from room to room, unfortunately isn't cheap.

(2016-12-23, 03:11:04 PM)PoNyePiC Wrote: I need to find out if I have file transfer.  I download several podcasts over remote desktop, then upload them to Google Drive, and then download to my android.  But if I could direct transfer, It'd be friggin sweet  Twilightsmile

If you have TeamViewer, you have file transfer; it's built in. If you're moving so much media, why not set up a media server through Plex or something? Or use Dropbox so it automagically downloads onto your phone when you upload the file.
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#90
Well, it's been a little over three weeks since I've moved in to my new place. Air con seems to be working well. I'm freezing my ass off when I go to sleep, so that's good. Had a little bit of a scare during the move. While the majority of my stuff was placed into a mover's truck, I took the BS hardware with me in a taxi. The acrylic base and mobos were in my lap the entire time, while everything else was once again padded to hell and placed in the back. The scare came from when the taxi driver decided to spray water over the windshield while the window was open, and some drops made it onto one of the boards. That's one of the reasons it took so long for the BS to come back online. Wanted to be absolutely certain that the water had evaporated.

But that was a long time ago. More recent updates are regarding finally switching from the Windows 10 OS to Linux Mint. Was a bitch to set up, because Linux, but I got there eventually. I've also gone Leeroy Jenkins on the cooling and set the fans all to 100%, partly because MOAR POWAH, but mostly because I couldn't be bothered going through the hassle of figuring out how to set fan profiles. I'm truly surprised that there's no easy solution for Linux systems. Haven't seen anything similar to Afterburner or PrecisionX so far.

Before making the switch, PPD was approximately 2.5 million per system. After the switch, it seems to be varying between 2.8 and 3.2. Granted, the increase in PPD isn't entirely from switching the OS. I had the fan profiles set to limit noise, and then had throttling set to maintain 75C. Since my bed is a little bit further away from the hardware (and by 'further', I mean one entire meter!), I figured I'll crank it up. Plus, I'm using a thicker blanket, which helps block out some of the noise when I burrito myself.

I still haven't set up the fourth computer. The junk parts that I wanted to use as a media server, plus the final 1080 would add 700K PPD I'd guess. I realised too late that I ran out of standoffs, so I couldn't build it. I'll probably have them in a few weeks at the latest.

No news on when I'm going to continue with the overpowered cooling system for the BS though. That one will require extensive planning, and a big reason I haven't done much in that regard is that it would mean downtime for the BS. That being said, I noticed something when I moved in to this apartment. See, there's this shelf thing above the toilet, where I could mount the hardware vertically. Why did I get the idea to put the parts there? In this country, a very popular alternative to wiping your ass with toilet paper is to use this handheld thing that sprays water. I don't care much for this. Now theoretically, I could get myself a bunch of waterblocks and hook their inlets up to this spray, and then install piping to the sink drain. No pumps required. No reservoirs. No radiators.

...Just sayin'...

But anyway, back to the current situation. I think I'm going to let my MintSlayers run for a little bit longer, then start looking into overclocking them a little.

And then 3 minutes later:

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