Recommendations for PC


S

Scott

Hi, I'd like to create a fairly high-end PC. I do a lot of database
work, so I'd like to set up RAID in the following configuration:

2 drives mirrored for my "secure" data (pictures, files, etc.)
4 drives striped for performance / goofing around with test data, etc.

To do this, I need a motherboard that will allow me to set up 6
different SATA 2 drives in the configuration above (I'm planning on
going Intel Core Duo). Also, can anyone recommend a case that would
handle all 6 drives, in addition to the usual 1 or 2 CD / DVD drives?

Thanks in advance!
Scott
 
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J

johns

I just finished building an Intel Pent D duo. Man, that
was a frustrating piece of work. Loud fan if you set
the BIOS control wrong .. or to Auto on the fan. It
sure dosn't like IE7 .. you'll need to disable the
Phishing Filter for IE7 to run well. Constant hard
disk access ... I think maybe 2 gigs ram minimum.
Weird DVD speed problems ... think Hurricane
Katrina. If I was going to use that many hard
drives, I would consider an external disk stack
... with case and psupply.

johns
 
P

Paul

Scott said:
Hi, I'd like to create a fairly high-end PC. I do a lot of database
work, so I'd like to set up RAID in the following configuration:

2 drives mirrored for my "secure" data (pictures, files, etc.)
4 drives striped for performance / goofing around with test data, etc.

To do this, I need a motherboard that will allow me to set up 6
different SATA 2 drives in the configuration above (I'm planning on
going Intel Core Duo). Also, can anyone recommend a case that would
handle all 6 drives, in addition to the usual 1 or 2 CD / DVD drives?

Thanks in advance!
Scott
The P5B-E has ICH8R Southbridge and 6 SATA ports. And it doesn't have
the EZRaid function which you don't want (EZRaid was used on some
of the earlier Asus Core2 Duo compatible boards). EZRaid (SIL4723) adds
no value to the boards it is used on, especially as it is a performance
limited device. (If it was placed on a removable assembly, then it would
have been fine.)

http://www.asus.com/products.aspx?l1=3&l2=11&l3=307&model=1347&modelmenu=2

For a case, you could try this. But this isn't everyone's "cup of tea".
Comes with no power supply. Power supply cabling must be sufficiently
long, as power supply sits in the *bottom* of the case.

Antec Performance One P180 Silver $130
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16811129154

(A review)
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article255-page1.html

There are 100's of cases on Newegg, and plenty of pictures
to look at. It shouldn't take more than an hour to find
something you like. Once you see something you like, you
can price around, or look locally. A local purchase gives
easy options if the box or case are damaged.

If you select a $100+ power supply, one with 80%+ efficiency,
then the power supply should also remain quiet.

There are also more boards with ICH8R on them:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.asp?Submit=ENE&N=2010200280&Subcategory=280&description=&Ntk=&srchInDesc=ich8r

HTH,
Paul
 
M

Mike T.

Scott said:
Hi, I'd like to create a fairly high-end PC. I do a lot of database
work, so I'd like to set up RAID in the following configuration:

2 drives mirrored for my "secure" data (pictures, files, etc.)
4 drives striped for performance / goofing around with test data, etc.

To do this, I need a motherboard that will allow me to set up 6
different SATA 2 drives in the configuration above (I'm planning on
going Intel Core Duo). Also, can anyone recommend a case that would
handle all 6 drives, in addition to the usual 1 or 2 CD / DVD drives?

Thanks in advance!
Scott
Just about any mid-tower case should do, as long as it has a FRONT case fan
with a reasonably unobstructed inlet. The following has 6 slots for hard
drives, unless you use one of those for a floppy drive. But even then, you
can get cheap adapters to mount one or two hard drives 'hidden' in the 5.25"
drive bays, and STILL have plenty of room for an optical drive or two. Note
this case also has wide-open case fan sitting right in front of where most
of the hard drives would be mounted. (that's a good thing, keep your drives
cooler). If you don't like the window, I'm sure you can find a case without
one. Shouldn't be hard. Like I said before, just about any mid-tower case
with (6) 3.5" drive bays will work, even if some are listed as "external",
as you don't have to use them as external. Just watch for the front cooling
fan, and make sure it is relatively unobstructed so that it can suck in a
lot of cool air from outside the case.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16811138060

The only motherboard I'd consider for that rig would be an Abit AB9 pro:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16813127004
Note the 8 SATA 3.0 (SATA2) connectors onboard, plus one IDE connector (for
a couple of optical drives)

Power is going to be a unique challenge. I'd look at something like an
enermax liberty 620. From reviews, it seems this is a modular power supply
that will power up to 12 SATA drives, as well as everything else you are
likely to throw at it.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817194004

Good luck, -Dave
 
O

OSbandito

Just about any mid-tower case should do, as long as it has a FRONT case fan
with a reasonably unobstructed inlet. <...>

I'm afraid I couldn't disagree with Dave more. AMD, in their design
guidelines, makes clear a front case fan is a bad idea. They (AMD)
instruct sys builders to use a high-quality rear exhaust fan of at least
80mm dia. It's also worth remembering to check that your power-supply
has an intake vent above your processor. Some better supplies even have
an intake fan on the bottom to ensure critical processor cooling.

http://www.amd.com/us-en/assets/content_type/white_papers_and_tech_docs/23794.pdf

(see bot. page19)
 
M

Mike T.

I'm afraid I couldn't disagree with Dave more. AMD, in their design
guidelines, makes clear a front case fan is a bad idea.
AMD is wrong, then. Not only is their recommendation wrong, but the
reasoning behind that WRONG recommendation is utterly bizarre. AMD
recommends against a front case fan based on the worry that a front case fan
will draw HOT air in the front of the case. But that leads to the question,
what is directly in front of your computer case that is generating all this
supposed hot air?!?

My last build was an AMD Athlon 64 system. The only case cooling fan
(besides the power supply) is in front. The power supply has two quiet fans
on it. The mainboard is passively cooled, and so is the video card.
Average temperatures under load:

Chipset: 25C
Processor: 35-40C
Video card: 49C

This is in a room that fluctuates from 68-70F, so those temperatures are not
significantly above ambient.

As you can see, the processor is staying nice and cool. In fact, the
cooling fan on the processor usually runs -very slow-, and sometimes shuts
down completely. That's by design. The mainboard controls the CPU fan
based on CPU temperature, so the CPU fan isn't always running. (kinda
freaky, until you get used to it, as the case has a side window . . . the
first time I glanced over and saw the CPU cooling fan stopped, I just about
shit my pants, not realizing that the mainboard was programmed that way)

The video card is a little warm, but that temperature is right in the middle
of the safe operating zone, so I can live with that. It's nice and quiet,
obviously.

Besides, there is no law against using both a front and rear cooling fan.
But the rear one would be redundant. -Dave
 
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O

OSbandito

Mike T. said:
AMD is wrong, then. Not only is their recommendation wrong, but the
reasoning behind that WRONG recommendation is utterly bizarre. AMD
recommends against a front case fan based on the worry that a front case fan
will draw HOT air in the front of the case. But that leads to the question,
what is directly in front of your computer case that is generating all this
supposed hot air?!?

My last build was an AMD Athlon 64 system. The only case cooling fan
(besides the power supply) is in front. The power supply has two quiet fans
on it. The mainboard is passively cooled, and so is the video card.
Average temperatures under load:

Chipset: 25C
Processor: 35-40C
Video card: 49C

This is in a room that fluctuates from 68-70F, so those temperatures are not
significantly above ambient.

As you can see, the processor is staying nice and cool. In fact, the
cooling fan on the processor usually runs -very slow-, and sometimes shuts
down completely. That's by design. The mainboard controls the CPU fan
based on CPU temperature, so the CPU fan isn't always running. (kinda
freaky, until you get used to it, as the case has a side window . . . the
first time I glanced over and saw the CPU cooling fan stopped, I just about
shit my pants, not realizing that the mainboard was programmed that way)

The video card is a little warm, but that temperature is right in the middle
of the safe operating zone, so I can live with that. It's nice and quiet,
obviously.

Besides, there is no law against using both a front and rear cooling fan.
But the rear one would be redundant. -Dave
D--Thanks for the solid reply. My bet, though, is that you're having
such good luck with this approach because you are highly experienced and
know to keep obstructions out of the way and to keep a good airflow up
through the pwr. supply. I know you're picky about the quality of your
PS, as well. I think AMD's reference to front fans blowing hot air
around had more to do with pushing around air that's already in the box,
rather than sucking in hot air from outside.
 
W

w_tom

One chassis fan (in power supply) should be more than sufficient. A
standard 80mm fan (not a low noise version that has lower CFM) blowing
out rear is sufficient. A front fan blowing in would operate as backup
- maintain airflow if rear fan failed.

Do the numbers. Given wattage consumed. Get CFM for the fan. Even
if chassis radiates no heat, still, system airflow must be sufficient
in a 100 degree F room. And yes, all properly constructed computers
work just fine (operate within component meanufacture temperature
limits) when room is over 100 degrees F. Concern is if, for example,
ribbon cables create a hot spot (dead airflow).

So what happens if we add a second fan in parallel? Again, do the
numbers. Chassis temperature might drop a single digit degrees due to
a second fan - totally irrelevant and just more noise. We do the
number. Then experience confirms those numbers. Second fan in
parallel should provide no advantage. Second fan in series only for
increased reliability.

Finally, learn about fans. Generally, as CFM increase, then so does
noise. However some fans can slightly increase CFM without as much
noise. But again, it means first getting numbers.
 
R

Rod Speed

w_tom said:
One chassis fan (in power supply) should be more than sufficient.
Wrong if all those drives are mounted adjacent in the 3.5" drive bay stack.
A standard 80mm fan (not a low noise version
that has lower CFM) blowing out rear is sufficient.
Wrong if all those drives are mounted adjacent in the 3.5" drive bay stack.
A front fan blowing in would operate as
backup - maintain airflow if rear fan failed.
And might cool the drives adequately if there is some
space between the drives and it blows over them.
Do the numbers.
Not even possible with hard drive cooling.
Given wattage consumed. Get CFM for the fan. Even if chassis radiates
no heat, still, system airflow must be sufficient in a 100 degree F room.
Wrong if all those drives are mounted adjacent in the 3.5" drive bay stack.
And yes, all properly constructed computers work
just fine (operate within component meanufacture
temperature limits) when room is over 100 degrees F.
Concern is if, for example, ribbon cables create a hot spot (dead airflow).
So stupid it hasnt even noticed that he's talking about sata drives.
So what happens if we add a second fan in parallel? Again, do the numbers.
Not even possible with hard drive cooling.
Chassis temperature might drop a single digit degrees due to a second fan
Wrong if that fan blows over the hard drives.
- totally irrelevant and just more noise.
Wrong if all those drives are mounted adjacent in the 3.5" drive bay stack.
We do the number. Then experience confirms those numbers.
Wrong if all those drives are mounted adjacent in the 3.5" drive bay stack.
Second fan in parallel should provide no advantage.
Second fan in series only for increased reliability.
Wrong if all those drives are mounted adjacent in the
3.5" drive bay stack and that fan blows over the drives.
Finally, learn about fans. Generally, as CFM increase, then so does noise.
However some fans can slightly increase CFM without as much noise.
And plenty can move enough air when slowed down so they arent noisy too.
But again, it means first getting numbers.
Not even possible with hard drive cooling.
 
M

Mike T.

D--Thanks for the solid reply. My bet, though, is that you're having
such good luck with this approach because you are highly experienced and
know to keep obstructions out of the way and to keep a good airflow up
through the pwr. supply. I know you're picky about the quality of your
PS, as well. I think AMD's reference to front fans blowing hot air
around had more to do with pushing around air that's already in the box,
rather than sucking in hot air from outside.
You could be right about the AMD reference. When I read it, it made less
than zero sense. :)

I don't seem to have any hot spots in that AMD system I built, though.

And you're right about the power supply. I picked up a couple of Enhance
brand power supplies recently, and used one of those. Based on expert
reviews and personally observed build quality, I believe these PSUs are
probably the highest quality I've ever touched. That's saying a lot,
considering I usually favor Seasonic. :) -Dave
 
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S

SteveH

Mike T. said:
AMD is wrong, then. Not only is their recommendation wrong, but the
reasoning behind that WRONG recommendation is utterly bizarre. AMD
recommends against a front case fan based on the worry that a front case
fan will draw HOT air in the front of the case. But that leads to the
question, what is directly in front of your computer case that is
generating all this supposed hot air?!?

My last build was an AMD Athlon 64 system. The only case cooling fan
(besides the power supply) is in front. The power supply has two quiet
fans on it. The mainboard is passively cooled, and so is the video card.
Average temperatures under load:

Chipset: 25C
Processor: 35-40C
Video card: 49C

This is in a room that fluctuates from 68-70F, so those temperatures are
not significantly above ambient.

As you can see, the processor is staying nice and cool. In fact, the
cooling fan on the processor usually runs -very slow-, and sometimes shuts
down completely. That's by design. The mainboard controls the CPU fan
based on CPU temperature, so the CPU fan isn't always running. (kinda
freaky, until you get used to it, as the case has a side window . . . the
first time I glanced over and saw the CPU cooling fan stopped, I just
about shit my pants, not realizing that the mainboard was programmed that
way)

The video card is a little warm, but that temperature is right in the
middle of the safe operating zone, so I can live with that. It's nice and
quiet, obviously.

Besides, there is no law against using both a front and rear cooling fan.
But the rear one would be redundant. -Dave
Similar temps to those I get:
mobo 24-26c
cpu 28-40C
gpu ~50c

This is with an A64 X2/4600, GT7300 video, 2hdd's, 2 opticals and480w PSU in
an Antec P180.
Except to see what a CPU's maximum temperature is supposed to be, I don't
think I've ever paid much attention to the CPU makers websites, but they
presumably only give the minimum specs required.

SteveH
 
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