I'd like some thoughts on the parts I have selected for my next build. I'll be using this as my everyday pc, but I will also be doing some general 3D modeling, rendering, and video editing/compositing. I understand that the mini-ITX form factor isn't exactly geared for that kind of work, but space is tight and I need a system small enough for maximum portability. I don't need top of the line or even mid range "workstation" hardware, just stuff that runs cooler and faster than what I use at home right now (AMD Phenom II x2 555).
So far here is the list I've come up with. I already have the case (to take measurments) and some thermal compound (AS5) so they're not included.
I'm choosing the ZOTAC motherboard for WiFi (It's convenient) and USB 3.0. The 6 Sata ports are also nice but I won't be able to populate them all.
I need the Silverstone CPU cooler due to height restrictions in the case. There's only ~40mm of clearance between the motherboard and the bottom of the power supply. This is the only cooler that fits those limitations.
Finally, and this is where I'm a little unsure, the Xeon X3440 because I think it'll run cooler than the i7 860, is cheaper than an i7 860, and also supports Hyperthreading (for a total of 8 cores). Sandy Bridge is...going to cost more when the new motherboards come out.
This computer might be left to render overnight for quite a long time and I'm concerned about heat. I was able to fit a standard 120mm fan snugly beside where the motherboard goes so I'm thinking a decent fan there would help. If all goes as well as I'm hoping, this'll be a pretty nice little rig.
P.S: I won't be gaming or overclocking.
you might want to get a server motherboard to support that server processor, or switch to a desktop cpu for the desktop motherboard.
here is a list of lga1156 server motherboards
Server processors these days will work find on their desktop motherboard counterparts. Google it and you'll see people use server processors all the time for workstations...not that thats why I picked it - It just has a lower clock speed than the i7 860 while maintaining Hyperthreading AND it costs less than the 860. The only thing I'm not sure about is if it'll actually run cooler because of the lower clock speed.
That info is almost impossible to get because you need to test the two CPUs on the identical board inside the same case at the same room temp. But also EACH chip different. Not all i7-860s for instance are the same. Both CPUs are 95W, have the same exact "VID range". so which is cooler FOR YOU may well change depending on whether you get a low VID chip within the range, but you cannot control that. It's a matter of luck, and I can't even find the VID distributions of those CPUs to see which one has a better chance of you getting a lower VID chip either though finding them would not guarantee you anything anyway..... So..... I"d get the i7-860 if money allows, but that's just me.
p.s. Azrael at your link says: The X58 chipset actually supports Xeon CPUs right out of the box, but not al motherboard manufacturers implement this. My gutt says makers that implement this are most likely GIGABYTE and ASUS, but proly not Zotac? that makes lotz of HTPC products?. Who knows, even some P55 boards from major makers may work with server CPUs, but the H55 chipset is mostly on "Micro ATX" boards and 'generally speaking' targeted to home / office users that don't even need a dedicated graphics... Maybe I don't know about this enough and you researched well, but.......I feel like you may be taking a bit of a risk with the Xeon on the Zotac H55 board, like this may well be a hit or miss. Don't get me wront though. I like Zotac for their creative thinking and being the only maker that really thinks specifically for the HTPC market, like small form factor, built in wifi, lotz of Atom cpu gpu combos etc.. All I'm saying is, "their focus or taget" doesn't seem to include the horse power machine or server crowd.
Here is my advice, while a chipset may support a processor when it comes to the board please check with the motherboard manufacturer to insure that it will work. I know for Intel® desktop boards using the H67 chipset we don’t support any processors over 65watts TDP. So while it is possible that that processor could work with that board I can’t promise it so we advise you to be very careful before you spend your money.
One thing I would comment on, is if this is to be a workstation for 3D modeling, then I think you would be better served with a workstation card. It will perform better for modeling and editing, use less power and run cooler then a consumer gaiming type card.
I would look into this intead of the GTS 450 you have listed.
ATI FirePro V4800 1GB DDR5 WorkStation Card
Instead of rehashing what I worte the other day about the benifits of a workstation card, I would like to direct you to that thread.
Link to Post
Just something I thought I would throw out there for your consideration.
Space is so tight you don't even have a case.
I would promote the Silverstone Sugo SG05.
But here is another thought depending upon how restricted your size really is ... normal ATX PSU and u-ATX MB form factors, which allows you more options. [mfg. support] Get a good PSU for it however.
OMG! How cool is THAT!!!!
I would soo use that for my living room HTPC!
Do you guys thing the Quadro FX 580 will be alright? I need an Nvidia GPU to make use of PhysX.
On a side note, I also noticed that there are 1155 Mini-ITX motherboards coming in - I actually completely forgot about Sandy Bridge. Would that be a better route to take for my purposes?
YES! I think we talked about Sandy Bridge in your previous thread, and it was recalled. Now its about to be back. If you can wait, Sandy Bridge offers the best performance / dollar and better power efficiency (so cooler for the same job that gets done).
If you do real 3D (like CAD, After Effects etc.) a Quadro will have advantage over a GeForce card, if you primarily do 2D on Premiere Pro or something a GeForce card will have more CUDA cores, better clock speed etc.
Anyway, I found this Quadro 600. It's newer (OpenGL 4.0 and DirectX 11 support), has three times more CUDA cores, twice as much memory as the FX 580 and only uses 40W, just to bring to your attention. It only costs 10 dollars more. Looks like a better deal to me...
Oh wow, I don't know how I never saw that card before, thanks.
You guys think a 300W Seasonic PSU will be fine for this build? I'm actually pretty happy with how this is turning out. Here's what I'm looking at now:
Somehow came out to be under my $900 budget.
Although I think a 300 watt power supply would be fine for this system, I see a potential problem with that particular Seasonic unit you have listed. A standard SFX/Micro-ATX power supply's dimentions are approrximately 4.9" wide x 2.5" high x 3.9 deep. Due to the way the fan housing is situated on that 300w Seasonic, the height is actually 3.0". So, that is an extra .5" of space you will lose in an already tight enclosure. Looking at the pictures of the case you have, it looks like that extra .5" may interfer with the motherboard rear I/O plate section.
The original Silverstone you picked is a standard size and much nicer. It is 80-plus bronze certified, has a robust +12v single rail, can be converted to a standard ATX opening via the included adaptor plate and has just about any connector you would ever need.
That said, The Silverstone has its flaws for such a small case. The sheer amount of connectors will result in a lot of unused wires that would need to find a home. Take that and factor in that the wires are sleeved, it will make for one heck of a time getting them all to fit (anyone who worked with sleeved wires knows how stiff they can be).
Perhaps you should look into this particular Seasonic power supply. It has the standard dimentions, not as many wires as the Silverstone and those wires are not sleeved (making them easy to minipulate). It also has an extra 50 watts over the one you currently have listed. The price is also a little bit cheaper and the reviews seam to be good (20 out of 21 or 98% giving 4-5 eggs with the one 3-egg review given by someone who didn't even purchase it).
SeaSonic SS-350SFE 350W SFX12V V3.1 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - OEM $44.99
Just something to consider,