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10-29-2019 05:30 PM  13 months ago
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wjvail

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Meridian, Mississippi

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Computer Build Thread and Other Related Topics...
A couple of months ago I build a new desktop computer. The last one was still functioning and still serving its purpose. I built that machine in 2011. Unfortunately one of the DIMM slots had failed and there were indications that the operating system would benefit from a complete reinstall. That is easier to do if you have a second machine already running and ready to take it's place.

So, long-story-short, I built a new machine. The old machine got refurbished and is in my shop as media player and resource for shop projects (PDF instructions, YouTube how-to, etc)

Lately I've been wondering, how many of us here build our own systems? It seems like there could be considerable overlap between models and computer building. Modelers are generally "doers" and happiest souring and assembling our own stuff.

Has computer building faded like modeling? Did you build your own system or buy a system pre-assembled? I'm I the only one that still uses a full size desktop or has everyone migrated to laptops, phablets and/or tablets?

If you built one, what'd you build?
"Well, nothing bad can happen now."
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10-29-2019 05:52 PM  13 months ago
Mark Ryder

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Ann Arbor, Michigan

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It depends on the application. RR servers were hand built using best of class components. It makes a difference on longevity and speed. Five years ago, I purchased a Dell Precision M4800 (workstation laptop) replacing previous hand-built office desktop boxes. To this day, the Dell laptop takes care of business with no urge to upgrade. I run the gamut of apps with video editing consuming the most power. Now if I ever get into gaming, I will probably go back to hand built getting the GPU part tricked out.

In the office the laptop is docked with 30" monitor and mechanical keyboard connected. Undocking is nice when travelling.
Mark Ryder
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10-29-2019 07:08 PM  13 months ago
sjgusmc21

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San Antonio, Texas

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I haven't bought a ready built PC in years. I build my own, as I find my work more reliable. And I absolutely love water cooling. All five of my home's pc's are water cooled, to one degree or another. I can't quite explain the excitement of building one from scratch..I guess about as much as putting together a new heli. Except I don't crash my PC's.....
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10-29-2019 08:43 PM  13 months ago
AWittleWabbit

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O.C., CA

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I build but very infrequently. I just replaced my 10+ yr old i7-920 with a $30 Xeon 5670. Haven’t had time to overclock it yet. I don’t game much anymore because of family duties so it will be a couple more years before I build another.Heli-itis sufferer.
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10-30-2019 12:58 AM  13 months ago
wjvail

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Meridian, Mississippi

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sjgusmc21 And I absolutely love water cooling. All five of my home's pc's are water cooled, to one degree or another.
Curious. I have built several computers but I have never experimented with water cooling. I tend to built a lot more computer than I need (at the time of the build) and then run it at its stock speeds. For instance, the computer I build a few months ago was built around an i9 7940 chip and 2066 socket. It idles at about 25C. With effort I can get it to 60C. For cooling I'm using a single fan Thermaltake cooler. At the moment the fan is barely running if it's running at all. It possible that it is currently functioning as a passive cooler and just using the case fans for airflow. Admittedly there are no less than 6 good sized case fans.

You seem pretty happy with liquid cooling. Can you point out some of the pluses?
sjgusmc21 I can't quite explain the excitement of building one from scratch. I guess about as much as putting together a new heli. Except I don't crash my PC's.....
I completely agree. There is the same enjoyment in building something you can call your own. I get similar satisfaction out of a new heli build as a computer build. It is in part why I started this thread. I'm curious if there are others of us with a similar interest.
AWittleWabbit I just replaced my 10+ yr old i7-920 with a $30 Xeon 5670. Haven’t had time to overclock it yet.
That's funny. The computer I just moved to the shop is an i7 970 in a 1366 socket. As I mentioned in the first post, I didn't retire the computer because it wasn't fulfilling its intended purpose. I retired it because hardware was failing.
Mark Ryder Five years ago, I purchased a Dell Precision M4800 (workstation laptop) replacing previous hand-built office desktop boxes. To this day, the Dell laptop takes care of business with no urge to upgrade. I run the gamut of apps with video editing consuming the most power.
It didn't take long to get to the subject of how much computing power is enough. My new computer is certainly more snappy than any machine I've worked with in the past. The bottle neck is still the hard drives. The operating system and programs are installed on a 1TB NVMe M.2 SSD drive but most of the data storage is on a conventional 6TB 7,200rpm hard drive. It is a sign of the time when a laptop can fill in for a desktop. It used to be that a laptop was only really purposeful for its mobility.
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10-30-2019 04:22 AM  13 months ago
sjgusmc21

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San Antonio, Texas

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wjvail
sjgusmc21 And I absolutely love water cooling. All five of my home's pc's are water cooled, to one degree or another.
Curious. I have built several computers but I have never experimented with water cooling. I tend to built a lot more computer than I need (at the time of the build) and then run it at its stock speeds. For instance, the computer I build a few months ago was built around an i9 7940 chip and 2066 socket. It idles at about 25C. With effort I can get it to 60C. For cooling I'm using single fan Thermaltake cooler. At the moment the fan is barely running if it's running at all. It possible that it is currently functioning as a passive cooler and just using the case fans for airflow. Admittedly there are no less than 6 good sized case fans.

You seem pretty happy with liquid cooling. Can you point out some of the pluses?
WJVail: My main reason for starting off in water cooling was simple. I had never done it before. Of course, like anything, I really went overboard on it, but, I found most of the parts on sale, so it was worth it. My PC has been running now for 5+ years and I have only drained the water once and killed off a small amount of algae growth. I wanted to get the most out of my AMD processor and my 290X video card. I succeeded. I have a AMD 8350 4.01 GHz, and I have had it OC'd at 5 GHz for that amount of time. AND, this was my first adventure into overclocking as well. I wanted my 290X to run 3 monitors at their highest settings (gaming) as well, so it is water-cooled also. As you know, the VRM's get very hot, so that was a challenge by itself. I have 4 pumps, 2 power supplies (redundancy-sort of) 4 radiators, 5 reservoirs of various sizes. It works, and it works well. It is not quiet, and I wasn't aiming for low noise, though I could if I redid some plumbing on it. I have it in a Fractal Design's case, and couldn't be happier. I will eventually upgrade it to a Ryzen, just no need at this time. I do not buy intel simply because they are far to many $$$ IMO then I am willing to spend. But they are great Chips. Are there benefits of water cooling vs air cooling? I think so, if you are really wanting to get the high heat down, then yes. But it is also like asking someone which is better, AR-15 or AK-47. I have both and still can't decide.
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11-01-2019 11:32 PM  13 months ago
wjvail

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Meridian, Mississippi

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Thanks for the reply. I've been tempted to try water cooling if for no other reason than to find out what it's all about. People that know a lot about getting the maximum from a computer all water cool.

While I tend to build computers that have more performance than I could possibly justify, they still are just work machines for me. As such, my goal after having built a machine has never been to see if I can stretch it to it's maximum.

My latest build is an example... By most standards it is a capable machine. Because of its performance, I haven't overclock any part of it. I've only been running the memory, GPU and CPU at their design clock speeds and voltages.

There are several reasons for this. High on the list is that since nothing is being stressed, everything last quite a while without failure.

Second on the list is... I don't have to overclock. Because this machine is more than required for almost any job, there is never a time when I say I wish it had more. Oddly, I'm not much of a gamer. About as close as I come is RealFlight. This machine, with its Intel i9 7940 CPU and Nvidia RTX 2080 video card, renders RealFlight on a 75" 4K TV at about 120 FPS (worst case). The GPU temp maxes out at around 60C and the 3 GPU fans spin up to about 50% at their peak. Obviously this isn't a CPU intensive application and it maxes out at about 40C. At the moment I don't see a need for more cooling.

Going on... quite is critical to me. Years ago I owned a Gateway that had more fan noise than a Mississippi tornado. I told myself I'd never put up with that again. Each of my computers since then have been quiter than the last and this latest build just makes a quiet purr. The hard drives are louder than the 11 fans installed.

Finally, I don't really know how to overclock. In time I'm sure I could figure it out. Like water cooling, I've never explored it.

Bill
"Well, nothing bad can happen now."
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