The perfect machine

Since early this century, I’m using a dual core Xeon machine. Sofar, no problems. In these days, 64bit machines were very expensive and I was able to get this machine, at little cost.

As a diehard fan of Linux, that was the OS installed. Initially Debian, however as this was my only machine, you tend to want the latest and greatest feature – so the next install was Ubuntu.

However, as time moves on, you install more and more applications, tools, websites. The machine now comes to a point – a ten years later – where replacement is needed. What machine should I get to be able to move on for the next 10 years or so?

So, requirements. Step 1.

It needs to have:

  • 64 bits at least
  • Plenty of memory – as my KVM project is close
  • Ability to smooth run the multiple websites which I host
  • Sufficient disk space – now 1 Tb
  • Good performance, preferably optimum
  • Capacity to hold samba shares for the family
  • Good network connectivity
  • Low noise and power friendly
  • Ability to experiment with (for me) new stuff, like GPU power

Step 2. Buy complete, or build myself?

Searching on the net gives fair matching results. Fair as in yes to a few points, but not to all. Or at least the pricing is over the top. So build myself, not only for the guarantee I have the proper build, also as a test to see if I have still “got it”.

Step 3. Which parts?

The part list of the components which would fit are listed below:

  • MotherBoard: Asus P8Z77-I De Luxe
  • Memory: Corsair 16Gb DDR3 1866 Kit (CMZ16GX3MZA1866C9 Vengeance, XMP)
  • CPU Cooler: Silverstone NT01-E passive
  • CPU: I7 3770K
  • Graphic: Asus ENGTX570
  • Case: Lian-Li PC-TU200B USB 3.0 Black
  • Power: ThermalTake ToughPower 750w Gold
  • Harddisk: 3.5″ SATA-III Seagate ST3000VX000 (2x)
  • Harddisk: SSD 2.5 SATA-III Crucial CT256M4SSD1 (M4 Slim, MLC, Trim)(2x)

Step 4. Why?

I like engineering, seeing what has been done to fit it all. Additionally, my XW6000 is power hungry and makes noise. That has to be reduced.

The motherboard is based on the 1155 socket and is able to use the I7 3770K “ivy bridge” cpu. This is the latest and greatest. The 16G memory is the largest size which will fit, running at the highest non-OC rate. I’d want liquid cooling for the CPU; the 140mm fan in the case requires non-common liquid-cooling. I need to investigate if I can get this. Video is based on the fermi core, which is the latest. So I can program the GPU – if I ever learn Cuda.

The harddisks are all sata-III, the SSD run faster – both sets of 2 will be used in Raid-1, where the SSD will be used for sql access.

This all needs power. Not that it always will run high power, however the power supply needs to be able to feed this small, but wonderful box.

Step 5. Budget

None available now; estimated costs around $ 2.000. Probably 0 by the time I can actually get it :).

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