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Old 09-04-2010, 02:34 PM   #1
mosca
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thoughts and comments on new high-end hp desktop computer?


Hi, I have just started a new job and I got some money to spend on a new computer. I need a lot of memory and a fast cpu. I'm programming mostly single-core applications, but I hope to do more multicore things in the comming years. I'll probably have this computer for about three years. The comp will run Debian Testing. Any thoughts and comments appreciated!

Here's a link with the spec:
http://www.2shared.com/file/5fC7DIFN/hphtml.html

Operating system Genuine Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
Processor Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-980X six-core Extreme Edition [3.33GHz, 1.5MB L2 + 12MB shared L3 cache]
Memory 24GB DDR3-1066MHz SDRAM [6 DIMMs]
Hard drive 2TB RAID 0 (2 x 1TB SATA HDDs) - performance
Office software Microsoft Office Starter 2010
Security software Norton Internet Security(TM) 2010 - 15 month
Graphics card 1.8GB NVIDIA Geforce GTX 260 [2 DVI, HDMI and VGA adapters]
Speakers 30% OFF! HP USB 2.0 stereo speakers
Primary optical drive Blu-ray player & Lightscribe SuperMulti DVD burner
Networking Premium Wireless-N LAN card and Bluetooth(R )
Front Productivity Ports 15-in-1 memory card reader, 1 USB, 1394, audio
TV & entertainment experience No TV Tuner
Sound Card Integrated sound
Keyboard and Mouse HP USB keyboard and optical mouse
Portable Media Drives SAVE 20%! 500 GB HP Pocket Media Drive

Your additional options:
Click edit to modify. NOTE: These items are in stock and will ship immediately.
HP Care Pack Services 3-year HP Care Pack House Call Service
Headsets & webcams HP In-Ear Stereo Headset
HP Mobile Noise Canceling Headphones
Logitech QuickCam Pro 9000 Webcam
Storage devices HP v125w 8GB USB Flash Drive
Monitor HP 2710m 27-inch Diagonal Full HD Widescreen Monitor
CD/DVD media HP DVD-R LightScribe mv1.2 Media (16x, 4.7GB, 25-pack spindle)
Networking Linksys WRT160N Wireless-N Broadband Router

Last edited by mosca; 09-04-2010 at 02:36 PM. Reason: pasted spec
 
Old 09-04-2010, 03:00 PM   #2
SalmonEater
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If one is to spend that kind of money, my question is -- why not go with something like this: http://www.computerworld.com/s/artic...4TB_of_storage?

I totally dislike HP/Compaq, so I'd look to such as this, myself!

Best wishes in your endeavors,
former Boise-site Tech
 
Old 09-04-2010, 06:52 PM   #3
jay73
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Why the budget video card?
 
Old 09-04-2010, 07:14 PM   #4
mosca
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Thanks for your replies.

SalmonEater:
I think a desktop is much better suited for doing long computations running a couple of days or so.

jay73:
I simply don't need much video performance.
 
Old 09-04-2010, 07:18 PM   #5
jiml8
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I wouldn't use Norton. There are free alternatives that work as well or better.

Norton has a heavy footprint on the system. Reportedly they've cleaned that up, but that package is still very intrusive.
 
Old 09-05-2010, 12:26 AM   #6
jay73
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I'm an AVAST fan. Less of a footprint and very efficient. Both free and commercial versions are available.
 
Old 09-09-2010, 12:05 PM   #7
jiml8
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I guess I wonder why you want this system, given your intended purpose. Seems quite a waste of money and you won't be using all that capacity.

What you are specifying would be excellent as a platform for a bunch of virtual servers, or as a platform for a busy webserver. With a couple of high-end graphics cards, it would be the ultimate game machine. It also would be great if you had a lot of computational fluid dynamics work (or other heavy-duty numerical simulations) to do on your desktop.

But, unless you are doing something along one or more of those lines, it is a waste of money.
 
Old 09-09-2010, 01:40 PM   #8
H_TeXMeX_H
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How much you wanna bet Window$ 7 can bring even this uber system to its knees begging for mercy.
 
Old 09-09-2010, 02:44 PM   #9
mosca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jiml8 View Post
I guess I wonder why you want this system, given your intended purpose. Seems quite a waste of money and you won't be using all that capacity.

What you are specifying would be excellent as a platform for a bunch of virtual servers, or as a platform for a busy webserver. With a couple of high-end graphics cards, it would be the ultimate game machine. It also would be great if you had a lot of computational fluid dynamics work (or other heavy-duty numerical simulations) to do on your desktop.

But, unless you are doing something along one or more of those lines, it is a waste of money.
You're right on the spot with 'other heavy-duty numerical simulations'. I'll mostly be doing finite element methods, but currently not for CFD. And the computer is ordered - I hope it will work fine!
 
Old 09-09-2010, 10:39 PM   #10
jiml8
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Then why would you say you are going to be doing it single thread? Depends on the details, of course, but you should be able to use all of those cores for parallel computations.
 
Old 09-10-2010, 12:51 PM   #11
mosca
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Well, it is of course possible, but it depends on the competence of the programmer - which is me. In the research I've been doing there are in some cases not known how to construct an efficient parallel algorithm. Then this becomes a research project of itself.
 
Old 09-10-2010, 03:06 PM   #12
mostlyharmless
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Quote:
I totally dislike HP/Compaq
+1 on that, only thing worse would be a Dell. I'd recommend building your own machine: you'll get exactly what you want and probably spend less money. Just my two cents.
 
Old 09-10-2010, 11:34 PM   #13
Electro
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HP is OK but they are in the same boat as Dell. Dell includes cheap components, but they sell it at a higher price. Dell and HP is not good for high-end computers because of the cheap parts that are used.

The power supply for a high end system like this will not be as good as the power supply when building it yourself. I buy high quality power supplies that are costly around $100 for 300 watt and $150 to $200 for higher wattage power supplies. The optical drives that HP picks are OK if they use ASUS optical drives. Some models do and some do not, but depends on the cost of the system at the day when buying from HP. Sticking with default WiFi from HP or Dell will make you going through hell to set it up in Linux. Two hard drives in RAID is actually software RAID that only works in DOS/Windows and not in Linux. Linux does have dmraid to detect the array, but I would not use it if I were you. RAID never increases performance, RAID striping levels increase throughput or bandwidth, but this never increases overall performance. Latency rules performance. The Intel Core i7-980X is a waste of money compared AMD Phenom II X6 1090T. If pick Intel Core i7-980X, you are just being an Intel fan boy or not even thinking how much money you could save by going with AMD. The Intel Core i7-980X is only about 26% better performance than AMD Phenom II X6 1090T although the cost differences adds up to 56%. This means you are paying more than double of AMD's high -end processors to get 25% performance boost. You can litterally get two AMD computers with AMD Phenom II X6 1090T in each for the price of one Intel setup with Intel Core i7-980X.

If you are going with that system, go with Apple Mac Pro or using a quad socket Xeon motherboard.

If you are going to do any programming, I suggest pick ECC memory over non-ECC memory. It will keep the data corruption to minimum, so you can troubleshoot the program and not the whole system.

If you are going with a six core processor, go with AMD Phenom II X6 1090T. AMD desktop processors does support ECC memory. Though if you are doing "finite element methods" it is better to go with a high end graphics card like a GeForce GT 480 or Quadro (Fermi Series) and use CUDA.

Using wireless networking for desktops is a waste. Desktops should never include it unless the desktop is going to be used as an access point. Wireless for networking just sucks.
 
Old 09-11-2010, 12:47 AM   #14
jiml8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mosca View Post
Well, it is of course possible, but it depends on the competence of the programmer - which is me. In the research I've been doing there are in some cases not known how to construct an efficient parallel algorithm. Then this becomes a research project of itself.
If an efficient parallel algorithm is not known, and you are not inclined to do research into the subject, then single thread is the way to do it. But this won't be the common case with finite element analysis...except for certain aspects of discrete time programming.

Commonly you will have matrices and multi-dimensional arrays, and you can certainly program to solve these in parallel. You also can use relaxation techniques (solutions to Poisson's equation, for instance) in parallel with no trouble at all. Investigate pthreads. The compute time you save will more than justify the time spent learning how to do it.

Last edited by jiml8; 09-11-2010 at 12:48 AM.
 
  


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