Project BRUTE - PC Build

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eire1274
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The build started today. I have some video, but no system rigged for video editing (that is what the BRUTE is being built for). How ever, I did break out the camera app on my phone and got some shots for you, which will follow.

Nick McDermott

eire1274
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One of my boys. Yes, I used extra hands today.

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Nick McDermott

eire1274
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Fans installed, so in goes the drives.

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eire1274
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Good stuff.

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eire1274
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Prepping for motherboard install. The HAF Stacker 935 is ROOMY!

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Nick McDermott

eire1274
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Time for the CPU. So little, for the best AMD CPU out right now.

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Nick McDermott

eire1274
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Motherboard in, CPU slotted, and H105 cooler mounted.

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eire1274
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Wiring in place, and this is the first power test. Looking nice!

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eire1274
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The video card, a Sapphire Vapor-X R9 280X, will be delivered and installed tomorrow... so I can actually start loading software!

Expect more soon!

Nick McDermott

eire1274
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Some updates today:

1st is the video card in all it's glory.
2nd is the UEFI Internet Update. My 990FX Extreme 9 came with the latest firmware on-board already, FX-9590 ready.
3rd is the Corsair K70 Vengeance with Cherry MX-Red keyboard. Simply amazing.
4th is the Windows 8.1 install. A complete install to the SSD was done in less than 5 minutes.

There are a LOT of things I will go into in depth as I use them, but in general the machine is rock solid and stable. The CPU at idle is ice cold, but I haven't gotten things loaded to push it yet.

One note, despite the memory being read via XMP as DDR3 2133Mhz, the board immediately set them to 1333Mhz, and I had to manually adjust the speed. I opted for 1866 as this is the highest non-OC level for the FX-9590. I may try 2133 in the future as I tweak the system, but for the time being this is WAY faster than what I was running before (DDR2 800Mhz).

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Nick McDermott

3dGameMan
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'From the ground up' builds are sweet :) Enjoy

Rodney Reynolds,
Register: http://www.3dgameman.com/user/register

Tivon
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My God that HAF Stacker 935 is one sexy beast. Excellent work on that PC Build. Promoted to FrontPage.

° º ¤ ø . ¸ . ø ¤ º ° º ¤ ø . ¸ ¸ . ø ¤ º ° º ¤ ø . ¸ . ø ¤ º ° º ¤ ø . ¸

Don't test my skills, I was trained by myself! Check out my Gaming Videos!

eire1274
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AMD was nice to offer a bundled Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon key in, delivered with the other parts from Newegg. And, the one thing everyone wants to know, how does it play?

Well, running 1920x1080 120Hz, I'm not seeing a lick of tearing, and the framerate is SMOOTH like butter. Even at Ultra HD (or 4K) I have to limit it via VSync (as the Seiki display can't refresh faster) and have seen LOWER GPU temps at 4K than at HD, meaning the GPU is liking the reduced refresh more than the workload for 4K generates.

I'm building the first video tomorrow, which is mostly stuff my boys shot over my shoulder during the build, and we'll see what can be done there. I'm expecting incredible number crunching.

For the record, parts inside (for those who haven't seen the initial build thread):

ASRock 990FX Extreme 9 motherboard
AMD FX-9590 8-core 64-bit CPU at 4.7/5Ghz
Corsair Hydro Series H105 CPU cooler kit
G.Skill Sniper 8Gbx4 2133Mhz clocked at 1833Mhz
Sapphire AMD R9 280X Vapor-X (manufacturer OC to 950/1070Mhz)
Corsair RM1000 80-Plus Gold PSU
Corsair GS 240Gb SSD
2x WD 2Tb Black HD
Asus BR and DVD Writers
NZXT Sentry MIX2 fan controller
And the whole rig is bound in the Cooler Master Stacker 935 with a boat-load of Corsair fans.

With all fans at low (except the primary fans on the cooler itself, which are motherboard controlled) the CPU doesn't exceed 36°C and the GPU doesn't exceed 42°C at load. I have yet to hear the CPU fans speed up yet, the GPU does but it is absolutely inaudible when playing a game. I will say that considering the fact that I have 15 fans (if you count the memory cooler as two) running, yet the sound level is incredibly low.

When I have the video ready to do, I will also get the good camera out and get some nice quality system shots to show off.

Nick McDermott

eire1274
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We had an issue, it seems. One of the 2Tb Black hard disks failed yesterday, and essentially fragged up the computer horribly. Thankfully, I was able to save the critical data, so the only thing lost was time.

Sadly, one of the drives for the server also was bad, refused to fully initialize. It was a 2Tb Green, also from Western Digital. That was replaced (4 2Tb drives in ZFS, providing 5.2Tb space with failure redundancy), but it strikes me as scary that I've had two new WD drives pop on me. I've always preferred them to Seagate drives, especially with the recent reviews, but to have fully a third of the drives I ordered fail is frightening.

Video will still be coming, don't worry. But I was set back a bit.

Nick McDermott

Tivon
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Most assuredly that's an above normal rate of failure for WD drives. Maybe they suffered the foul hands of very rough transit. Looking on the bright side of things it's better they fail now while under warranty. :)

eire1274
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I totally agree. One has already been replaced, and the other is on it's way. I've never had this many go bad at the beginning before.

I'm syncing video files with the server now, tomorrow we will take a crack at video production.

Nick McDermott

eire1274
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Sorry about my lack of work. I've been dealing with an on-again off-again stability problem, which I was very much blaming on the video card, until I finally found it... the memory. Before the hard drive disaster, I had bumped the memory up to 2133Mhz. I wasn't expecting the G.Skill product to be problematic as I have used their memory with great success with both AMD and Intel builds in the past, and it turns out it wasn't the memory itself that was the root of the problem.

Yes, the increase from 1866Mhz to 2133Mhz (which is technically the stock speed of the DIMMs) did bump up the temps a little, but with active memory cooling this wasn't a trouble zone. Likely it would run OK without the memory cooler at that frequency.

The trouble seems to be rooted in the memory controller on the Piledriver CPU. By it's spec, it can handle memory speeds up to 1866Mhz, and can then be overclocked for higher speeds. However, having done some reading, while my CPU happily OCs to 5Ghz with the liquid cooling, it seems to generate a hotspot on the memory cooler that the liquid cooling system can't dissipate quickly enough, and this seems to be a trouble spot on the FX-9xxx processors. Some can do it, others have issues.

So, the memory is back to the 1866Mhz clock, and everything seems to be rock solid. In truth, faster memory does help the Piledriver in overall scores, to a degree, and I noted that where 1066 to 1333 is a huge gain, the performance gain drops every level to where 1866-2133 is nearly negligible. Which is probably good for me, because I'd rather have stability over that last tenth of a percent.

Video test will be coming soon. I may not be able to use Sony Vegas Pro anymore as I am having licensing issues, but I will be ready to go hopefully before the weekend is over.

Nick McDermott

eire1274
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Newegg just got the bad drives processed today. I'm expecting that I should have them by Friday at the latest. I'm holding off on the video until then.

Nick McDermott

eire1274
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I am in the process of building the video. Sorry for the continued delays, but I have been quite sick and rather off my game.

The new drive arrived in perfect condition, and the partition swapped over simple enough, so we are running at full speed and capacity.

I have moved fully over to Corel VideoStudio X6 Ultimate. It is still a little iffy with .MOV formatted files, but simply reporting them over to MP4 format via Handbrake makes them perfectly usable immediately without losing a bit of quality, and I will tell you it is an absolute joy to have all 8 cores rendering a file with enough overhead that the machine is still totally usable for web use or even watching a video. You wouldn't realize what is going on in the background aside from the fans speeding up on the watercooler.

I am still seeing an issue with the GPU (or something related) overheating and locking up the system. Full CPU usage, either by a burn in tool (I use OCCT for in-Windows burn-ins) or by multi-threaded video rendering maxes out at 68°C as I am not fully powering the fans, but it is rock solid and never creeps past it. The GPU, alternately, was pushed to 79°C by Bioshock Infinite's benchmark utility, which is still a safe temp, but the system still managed to freeze with an audio tone (also being generated by the video card as it is providing audio via HDMI). I have heard that the video RAM is sometimes unstable on newer Sapphire R9 280X Vapor-X OC cards with the latest BIOS, so there is a little more work to be done with the OC values in terms of de-OCing the memory to see if I can generate a cleaner operation at load. I'm reluctant to load the old BIOS as the card came loaded with the newest out of the box.

I'm also going to try the newest Catalyst 14.2 beta driver from AMD, as there is some talk that it seems to go easier on this particular part. I don't usually like using beta drivers, but in this case I'm far enough up the line that I'm using parts that are still in driver development, so wish me luck!

I will place the video in the top when I have it done. Soon, but no promises for a deadline.

Nick McDermott

eire1274
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The problem seems to have been properly handled. I reduced the on-card memory voltage (thank you Sapphire for making this an unlocked voltage device) from 1.161V to 1.150V (I got this voltage from a Bitcoin mining group). The earlier versions of the cards used Hynix memory which needed the extra voltage to hit 6000MT or 1500MhzX4. The newer ones come with Elpida GDDR5 which overheat at the higher voltage.

Sapphire supplies their TRIXX utility which makes recording and saving the value a snap.

I'm running stability tests right now, and should have a totally stable machine going forward.

Nick McDermott

eire1274
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End of day report: 100% stability. I bumped the CPU and GPU up to full load with heavy memory usage on both the main and graphics banks, and let is push for 6 hours. Zero faults or errors.

This took longer than expected, but bad parts and just feeling like crap can really make it a tedious and painful process.

Nick McDermott

turixant
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WOW, awesome stuff. Thanks for sharing!

*Asus P8Z68 DeLuxe/Gen3___ *Intel core i7 2600k @ 4.7GHz___ *SLI 2x MSI NGTX560Ti Hawk___ *G-Skill RipJawsX 2133MHz C9 (4x4GB)___ *ProlimaTech SuperMega + CM JetFlo pwm (800-2000rpm)___ *Lian-Li PC-9FB (Mod Caseking) + 4 Be Quiet! SW2 USC___ *OCZ Vertex3 120GB + WD Caviar Black 2TB Sata3___ *SeaSonic X series 760w___ *Grabadora Blu-Ray LG BH10LS30.

zerate
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That 9590 is too much man an overclocked 8530 will do the trick :)

eire1274
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Thanks for the compliments.

zerate, as this system is being used for video processing, I wanted the fast 5Ghz clock speed without stressing the CPU. The FX-9590 is functionally comparable to the FX-8350, however, there are two things to look at: longevity and warranty.

Longevity: not all FX-8350 CPUs will stably hit 5Ghz, and there is no way to guarantee that those that do won't burn out in a few months. The FX-9590 is certified to work at 5Ghz, by AMD, and I have actually seen zero watts draw change since March. My last build was an overclocked Phenom II 1100T (for a friend) and after three months he started seeing lock-ups... turned out his peak wattage draw went from 139W to 151W. The Asus Crossfire motherboard was only certified to 145W, but the CPU was pulling more than that and causing a power flutter on the VRM, which made the lockup happen. Downclocking to stock speed worked for a while, but the damage was done and the wattage continued to rise until the VRM on the motherboard blew. Out of warranty covered reasons.

Warranty: AMD warrants their CPUs for 1 year, unless overclocked. Even though they make most FX parts as Black Edition unlocked CPUs, their warranty expresses that overclocking is an expert task, and at the user's risk. In this case, if the CPU or motherboard blow, as I am not overclocking, I am fully covered by warranty.

------

Oh, to clarify, the Sapphire card I got has the Hynix memory. I found that the clock rate error was not due to the card, but due to an incompatibility with the ASRock Extreme Tuner software, and still exists even under the latest build. I opted to just remove it and set my controls in BIOS (I really didn't need to work with it live), and removing that nailed down my stability. Memory is at full 2133Mhz and GPU is at 1100/1550Mhz (tiny overclock) and works great, but at full power sits near 80°C so I don't intend to boost that anymore. I eliminated TRIXX and opted to make changes directly through the Catalyst tools.

I'm running Alien: Isolation at 4K, every option maxed out, and it plays like it was made for my config. Smooth as warm butter. And I love that I am now rendering vids at 20 times the speed as my last editing machine. Incredible.

Nick McDermott