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What Does a $16,000+ PC Look Like, Anyway?

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 5 years ago | from the half-the-cost-was-windows-server-liceses dept.

Hardware 495

justechn writes "Tom's Hardware has an article about custom PC maker Puget Systems, who had just finished a custom $16,000 PC for one of their clients. So what exactly goes into a $16,000 system? How about: Four quad-core Opteron processors, 32 GB of memory, Windows Server 2008, Asus Xonar DX PCI Express sound card, 3Ware 9550SX-8LP SATA 3 Gb/s RAID controller, Two Western Digital 300 GB VelociRaptor hard drives in RAID 1, Two 1 TB Samsung SpinPoint F1s also in RAID 1, and Four 1 TB Samsung SpinPoint F1s in RAID 5. Puget went with MagiCool's Xtreme Nova 1080 radiator, Nine 120 mm fans, Four Koolance CPU blocks, Koolance combined pump and reservoir unit, and Cooler Master Stacker 810 case. In addition to all that hardware, it also runs very quiet and very cool. The temperature of the CPUs is 36 C at idle, 45 C at load."

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Where have I seen this before? (5, Funny)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#27186251)

Four quad-core Opteron processors, 32 GB of memory, Windows Server 2008, Asus Xonar DX PCI Express sound card, 3Ware 9550SX-8LP SATA 3 Gb/s RAID controller, Two Western Digital 300 GB VelociRaptor hard drives in RAID 1, Two 1 TB Samsung SpinPoint F1s also in RAID 1, and Four 1 TB Samsung SpinPoint F1s in RAID 5. Puget went with MagiCool's Xtreme Nova 1080 radiator, Nine 120 mm fans, Four Koolance CPU blocks, Koolance combined pump and reservoir unit, andCooler Master Stacker 810 case. By a remarkable coincidence, these are almost exactly the hardware requirements for Windows 8!

But can it play Crysis? (5, Funny)

Ninnle Labs, LLC (1486095) | more than 5 years ago | (#27186295)

I thought those were the bare minimum specs for the Crysis sequel?

Re:But can it play Crysis? (5, Funny)

Creepy (93888) | more than 5 years ago | (#27186681)

Sorry, but while most of the gear meets the spec, the graphics card (a GeForce 8800 GTS 640 MB) is far below the quad SLI triple GPU-on-a-card, 32GB of shared GDDR8 RAM (for Ray Tracing, of course) on a special bus with 120TB/sec throughput minimum spec for the next version of Crysis.

Re:But can it play Crysis? (1)

Tr3vin (1220548) | more than 5 years ago | (#27187141)

Next version? What about the current version?

Re:Where have I seen this before? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27186345)

By a remarkable coincidence, these are almost exactly the hardware requirements for Windows 8!

I must say FAIL!

Windows 7 is out next. Windows 8 will probably be 5 or 6 years from now so that may very well be the specs and it may very well not be much processing power and storage space for the time.

Re:Where have I seen this before? (1)

Niris (1443675) | more than 5 years ago | (#27186583)

Woosh!

Re:Where have I seen this before? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27186879)

SNIKT!

Re:Where have I seen this before? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27186357)

Really makes you wonder, what's that sound card for, considering they're running windows server and all.
Oh I'm sorry, it's there because it's expensive. My bad.

Re:Where have I seen this before? (5, Informative)

roblarky (1103715) | more than 5 years ago | (#27186399)

Instead of what does it look like to build a $16,000 PC, how about the final product. $16,000 PC [tomshardware.com]

Re:Where have I seen this before? (1)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 5 years ago | (#27186831)

What the hell? It's not coated in platinum? Weak.

Re:Where have I seen this before? (0, Redundant)

causality (777677) | more than 5 years ago | (#27186405)

Four quad-core Opteron processors, 32 GB of memory, Windows Server 2008, Asus Xonar DX PCI Express sound card, 3Ware 9550SX-8LP SATA 3 Gb/s RAID controller, Two Western Digital 300 GB VelociRaptor hard drives in RAID 1, Two 1 TB Samsung SpinPoint F1s also in RAID 1, and Four 1 TB Samsung SpinPoint F1s in RAID 5. Puget went with MagiCool's Xtreme Nova 1080 radiator, Nine 120 mm fans, Four Koolance CPU blocks, Koolance combined pump and reservoir unit, andCooler Master Stacker 810 case. By a remarkable coincidence, these are almost exactly the hardware requirements for Windows 8!

You beat me to it :-). So, I'll say that maybe Vista will be snappy and responsive on this machine.

Re:Where have I seen this before? (5, Funny)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#27186551)

...maybe Vista will be snappy and responsive on this machine.

Maybe... but only if you disable Windows Aero.

Biggest laugh ever. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27186253)

'nuff said.

Good thing the sound card is on PCI-express (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27186261)

Need all that bandwidth for 5,000 channel audio I guess.

Also... Windows? Really?

For my fellow USians.... (1, Informative)

phillymjs (234426) | more than 5 years ago | (#27186271)

...that's 96.8 and 113 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively.

~Philly

Re:For my fellow USians.... (3, Funny)

tsalmark (1265778) | more than 5 years ago | (#27186979)

I like to assume most Burmese, Liberians and Yankees can figure out the rough conversions themselves.

But will it blend? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27186273)

But will it blend?

Re:But will it blend? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27186305)

you win :) At least it was not a Duke Nuken: Forever joke.

cool maybe, but not very quiet (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27186285)

With all those fans and drives, it can't be very quiet unless it is in another room.

Re:cool maybe, but not very quiet (2, Funny)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 5 years ago | (#27186701)

Some of us don't care for quiet. Once you work in a server room for more than a day, you learn to block it out. Much like a wife's nagging...

Re:cool maybe, but not very quiet (2, Funny)

mOdQuArK! (87332) | more than 5 years ago | (#27186775)

And once you get out, you wonder why you haven't heard anything except ringing in your ears...

Re:cool maybe, but not very quiet (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27187123)

what?

Re:cool maybe, but not very quiet (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 5 years ago | (#27186795)

Well, if you read TFA you'd know that they put all those fans in there so they could run them on their lowest settings, and thus be quiet.

You'd also know that the PSU they bought is loud as hell, and that they didn't mod the graphics card to do water cooling, so it's going to be howling like a little buzzsaw.

For my money, air cool the mofo with the fans running full out, and then blow 500 bucks on the best pair of noise cancellation headphones money can buy. Or just put it in a server cabinet.

I remember when.... (4, Interesting)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 5 years ago | (#27186287)

$16,000 bought you a high-end Compaq desktop. Not a server, only one CPU, one disk, etc.. And that was when $16k was real money!

I remember when.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27186761)

$16 bought you a high-end draft horse. Not a show-pony, only one bridle, one carriage, etc.. And that was when $16 was real money!

Now git offa my lawn!

Why? (1)

Mr. DOS (1276020) | more than 5 years ago | (#27186297)

That's one heck of an audio editing machine*. Any pros want to fill the rest of us in on why they'd need that much power? Is ProTools really that demanding?

      --- Mr. DOS

* To me, a DAW is the only thing I can really see this being useful for from a spec perspective - no video cards, and yet a good sound card and extremely quiet.

Re:Why? (2, Interesting)

PTBarnum (233319) | more than 5 years ago | (#27186373)

If I recall correctly from the comments on Tom's website, the buyer is using the machine to generate fractal art.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27186635)

You need that much power to get the volume up to 11.

But does it run... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27186307)

But does it run.........

Yeah mod me to hell and back.

And it runs Windows (4, Funny)

Hawthorne01 (575586) | more than 5 years ago | (#27186327)

Now can we PLEASE get rid of that "Macs cost more than Windows" meme? :)

Re:And it runs Windows (5, Informative)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 5 years ago | (#27186693)

No.

$14,746
# Two 2.93GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon
# 32GB (8x4GB)
# Mac Pro RAID Card
# 1TB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s
# 1TB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s
# 1TB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s
# 1TB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s
# ATI Radeon HD 4870 512MB
# One 18x SuperDrive
# None
# None
# Apple Mighty Mouse
# Apple Keyboard with Numeric Keypad (English) and User's Guide
# None
# None
# None
# None
# None
# None
# None
# Mac OS X Server (10-Client)
# None
# None
# Mini DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI Adapter
# None
# None
# AppleCare Protection Plan for Mac Pro (w/or w/o Display) - Auto-enroll

... So $7000 in 2 years? (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 5 years ago | (#27186341)

(Re: another poster, maybe they forgot to mention the video card, because it would be be ordinary.)

I get a kick out of the Time Value of computers. $16,000 feels like a high flown retail price that will tank.

Re:... So $7000 in 2 years? (3, Interesting)

je ne sais quoi (987177) | more than 5 years ago | (#27186607)

Actually, I was thinking that for four quad cores, i.e. 16 cores, and 2 GB memory per core, $16k is pretty damn cheap. Consider that 5 years ago if you wanted that kind of computing power you had to buy dual opteron boards and have eight of them communicate over gigabit ethernet (cheap but slow) or infiniband (fast but ~$1k per node, so add $8k to the price, that's half the price of this cluster just for the interconnects). I use a cluster of similar configuration and it sure cost more than $16k when it was new. Granted, with separate cores you get to bypass the interconnects but you have to use a shared memory bus which can saturate and form a bottleneck. As far as I know, whether you want a separate core or multi-core system depends on your application, but shit, $16k for what amounts to a small cluster is still a great deal especially since they preassembled it.

Meme-A-Holic (0, Redundant)

senorpoco (1396603) | more than 5 years ago | (#27186353)

But will it run Crysis?

Re:Meme-A-Holic (1)

Polarina (1389203) | more than 5 years ago | (#27186419)

No, unfortunately it doesn't meet the system requirements for Crysis.

Why the 300GBx2 drives (1)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 5 years ago | (#27186369)

Two Western Digital 300 GB VelociRaptor hard drives in RAID 1, Two 1 TB Samsung SpinPoint F1s also in RAID 1, and Four 1 TB Samsung SpinPoint F1s in RAID 5.

What is the point of the two WD 300GB drives? They provide 300GB usable disk space, while the system has another 4TB of usable space. They are RAID1 -- just like the pair of Samsung drives. Are they just for show? Or to fill more of the available drive bays? Perhaps the builder could have covered the case with diamonds to make it more expensive?

Re:Why the 300GBx2 drives (4, Informative)

CaptainPatent (1087643) | more than 5 years ago | (#27186449)

Because they're Velociraptors - they're extraordinarily fast... much more so than the Samsung drives. If you have a segment of data that has a much higher access frequency, that space would be a great place to put it.

Re:Why the 300GBx2 drives (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27186499)

You'd think that for $16,000 they could have put a couple SSDs in there.

Re:Why the 300GBx2 drives (5, Funny)

Niris (1443675) | more than 5 years ago | (#27186623)

Super Star Destroyers?...*goes back to watching ESB*

Re:Why the 300GBx2 drives (1)

Killjoy_NL (719667) | more than 5 years ago | (#27186603)

I've ordered my own new comp, it has a 150GB Velociraptor as bootdisk and 4x1.5TB Seagate as storage.

Faster bootdisk FTW :)

Re:Why the 300GBx2 drives (1)

ckthorp (1255134) | more than 5 years ago | (#27186727)

Fast boot and actually unlimited storage on the 1.5TB Seagates..... Unfortunately there are some firmware revisions of the Seagate that appear to just be rather braindead. Data loss city, but unlimited space, especially of you RAID 0 4 of them!

Re:Why the 300GBx2 drives (1)

Barny (103770) | more than 5 years ago | (#27186847)

Just RMA em, seagate will send you shiny new non-fucked ones :)

Re:Why the 300GBx2 drives (1)

Killjoy_NL (719667) | more than 5 years ago | (#27186915)

I'll check the firmwares before I start using them of course ;)

Re:Why the 300GBx2 drives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27186695)

Because they're Velociraptors - they're extraordinarily fast... much more so than the Samsung drives. If you have a segment of data that has a much higher access frequency, that space would be a great place to put it.

Then use 15K SAS drives. Or SSDs.

It's not as if price is any object here.

Re:Why the 300GBx2 drives (1)

Ravenscall (12240) | more than 5 years ago | (#27186459)

Speed, plain and simple. They use the faster drives for whatever regular disk access they need, and stuff that does not get used as much or just does not need that much speed get shuffled off to the slower but larger drives.

Re:Why the 300GBx2 drives (2, Informative)

Dude McDude (938516) | more than 5 years ago | (#27186503)

I'm guessing the answer's "speed". The VelociRaptor's are 10,000rpm, whereas the SpinPoints are 7200rpm.

Re:Why the 300GBx2 drives (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 5 years ago | (#27186569)

I suspect this is the system drive, where the OS will be installed. They are way faster than the Samsung, and can be configured for smaller block sizes.

Since it is Windows, you want to keep the OS on separate space since you know it is going to need reloading fairly often as viruses strike and new versions filter out.

The other RAID1 is probably working disk space, and will probably have some rather large blocking factors.

The RAID5 is probably planned for longer term bulk storage since it can be a tad slower than Raid1.

We be guessing...

Re:Why the 300GBx2 drives (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 5 years ago | (#27186659)

Nah, it's the reverse. No one would pay the premium for those velo's if they were just going to put the OS on them...The OS would go just as fast if it was in the other RAID 1 volume.

Well, unless the moron just wants windows to boot AS FAST AS POSSIBLE...Still FTFA it's going to be running 2008 Server, and Windows Server doesn't boot all that fast.

Re:Why the 300GBx2 drives (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 5 years ago | (#27186615)

The velociraptors are 10k rpm vs the more usual 7200rpm for the spinpoints; so they should be noticeably faster. (just as a 7200rpm desktop drive is noticeably faster than a 5400rpm or 4200rpm laptop hard drive.

Still, why not just drop in an SSD.

That aside I can't imagine there really being a point to the 3 sets of RAID drives here or than 'because I can'.

Re:Why the 300GBx2 drives (1)

causality (777677) | more than 5 years ago | (#27186627)

Two Western Digital 300 GB VelociRaptor hard drives in RAID 1, Two 1 TB Samsung SpinPoint F1s also in RAID 1, and Four 1 TB Samsung SpinPoint F1s in RAID 5.

What is the point of the two WD 300GB drives? They provide 300GB usable disk space, while the system has another 4TB of usable space. They are RAID1 -- just like the pair of Samsung drives. Are they just for show? Or to fill more of the available drive bays? Perhaps the builder could have covered the case with diamonds to make it more expensive?

I have not personally had any Microsoft software on my own computers for close to ten years, so I am not sure how much of what I am about to say would apply to Windows Server 2008. Having said that, the 300GB RAID-1 sounds like a good boot/system volume (on Linux, I would probably mount it at /, as the root partition) while the four 1TB drives in RAID-5 would be a good user data volume (i.e. /home in Linux) and maybe the 1TB RAID-1 volume would be good for supplementary storage (perhaps /usr or possibly for the contents of a fileserver or a Web server).

I am not sure if Windows has such capabilities, but on Unix-like systems, this would give several advantages other than organization and reliability. One that comes to mind is that you can place restrictions on those separate partitions that you may not want to have throughout the system. For example, you would probably want to use the "nodev" and "nosuid" and perhaps also "noexec" on /home but obviously this won't work system-wide.

Re:Why the 300GBx2 drives (1)

Ninnle Labs, LLC (1486095) | more than 5 years ago | (#27186729)

Perhaps the builder could have covered the case with diamonds to make it more expensive?

I prefer rubies you insensitive clod!

Re:Why the 300GBx2 drives (1)

SupremoMan (912191) | more than 5 years ago | (#27186893)

It could be the RPM. I have a pair of few year old 30 gig WD HDs that are 10k rpm, I use them in raid 1 and put stuff on it that I want to run the fastest.

I start with this motherboard ... (1)

Krishnoid (984597) | more than 5 years ago | (#27186371)

From SuperMicro [supermicro.com] and price what it would be like to max it out on RAM and processors. You'd need a custom case for it to make it a workstation pc rather than a rackmount. Comes to about $20k with 96G of RAM and 4 6-core Xeons -- still less than what Dilbert spent for his dream system [imdb.com] .

Just to get it out of the way (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#27186379)

sigh I guess it's my turn for the mandatory crap posts.

Beowulf cluster... Vista... Crysis...

Seriously? What would be the point of a system like that? Rather, what is the purpose of a system like that that can't be served by a cheaper alternative?

Re:Just to get it out of the way (2, Insightful)

Ninnle Labs, LLC (1486095) | more than 5 years ago | (#27186411)

Rather, what is the purpose of a system like that that can't be served by a cheaper alternative?

Bragging rights over throwing away 16k on a computer?

Re:Just to get it out of the way (2, Insightful)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 5 years ago | (#27186599)

I'm just trying to figure out what sort of moron expects 16 cores and 8 hdds to be quiet?

You could save yourself thousands just by ditching the "near-silent" requirement, and investing in some good earphones.

I'm going to agree with Ninnle; it's all about ostentation.

Re:Just to get it out of the way (2, Insightful)

Xtravar (725372) | more than 5 years ago | (#27186967)

It could be for a music studio. That doesn't quite explain the soundcard... but hell, throw it in for backup if we're already up to $15,800.

I could easily see a song with 50 tracks with filters needing the horsepower... to run comfortably.

Re:Just to get it out of the way (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 5 years ago | (#27187077)

Mmm. Near-silent could be something having to do with recording audio. Extreme power could have something to do with real-time digital processing of a lot of audio at once. Something like that.

Re:Just to get it out of the way (1)

hemplebr (469713) | more than 5 years ago | (#27186601)

Thank you. You've restored my faith in slashdot. I can't believe I read this many posts as I did with NO mention of a Beowulf cluster.

A Mac Pro! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27186389)

With dual 30" screens and a massive amount of storage!

What a waste (-1, Troll)

icebike (68054) | more than 5 years ago | (#27186397)

Windows Server 2008 Standard was installed, so the Four quad-core Opteron processors (appearing as 16 processors) will yield about the same performance as four single core processors.

Windows simply can't make effective use of that many processors. Oh, it will keep them busy, mostly chatting among themselves.

Anything over 4 on a windows platform is mostly a waste unless you go to the trouble of setting affinity of specific cores to specific virtual machines. (Which windows does not make trivial).

Re:What a waste (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27186595)

Proof?

Oh, that's right, you don't have any because you're talking out of your ass.

Re:What a waste (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27186663)

Proof?

Oh, that's right, you don't have any because he's right.

Re:What a waste (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27186909)

what do you call it when cowards argue vaguely with each other?

Re:What a waste (5, Informative)

thesandbender (911391) | more than 5 years ago | (#27186637)

This is common FUD and the same was said of Linux until a few years ago. Don't confuse application scalability with OS scalability. Windows 2003 and 2008 server scale well and properly support NUMA systems (2000 and NT did not)... however most applications are not written or run in a scalable manner. The OS has no knowledge of an applications threading or memory access patterns and unless the application takes some proactive measures, performance will suffer on any platform. And.. I don't see what's so hard about right clicking an app in program manager and clicking "set affinity". Affinity can be permanently set with the imagecfg utility.

Re:What a waste (1, Interesting)

icebike (68054) | more than 5 years ago | (#27186981)

No, unfortunately, its not just FUD.

You can bench it yourself. With Windows, doubling the processors gives about 1.4 times a single processor's performance.

With almost any flavor of nix, its much closer to 1.9. With some kernel options in linux its even higher.

Adding processors beyond 2, the return diminishes, but much more quickly on Windows than Linux.

Microsoft has continually been spinning the story that they scale well into huge processor/core counts but in every instance comparative tests show that they don't.

I thought they had made progress on this front. But when benching 2008 Server against OpenSuse on a quad core machine I was blown away by the difference. And further tests reveal that Windows 7, running two cores outperforms Vist ultimate running 4 cores.

You can't handwave this away by reading Microsoft fud papers.

Windows Server 2008 ? (1)

lbalbalba (526209) | more than 5 years ago | (#27186429)

But how about running Linux on that machine ? Can we see some benchmarks on that please ?

Re:Windows Server 2008 ? (2, Funny)

Ninnle Labs, LLC (1486095) | more than 5 years ago | (#27186491)

They started to install Gentoo on it but unfortunately they are still compiling the system.

*FOUR* drives in a RAID-5?!?!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27186471)

Geez, for $16K you'd think they'd be smart enough to do RAID-5 in 2**n + 1 disks - as in 3, 5, 9, etc.

Re:*FOUR* drives in a RAID-5?!?!! (2, Informative)

ak_hepcat (468765) | more than 5 years ago | (#27186559)

Oddly, Raid-5 (2D+1P) + an online hot spare == 4.

But, you know, that's just new math.

Re:*FOUR* drives in a RAID-5?!?!! (1)

Barny (103770) | more than 5 years ago | (#27186931)

No, for $16k I would be either using raid6 or using some sort of drive clustering (check out how windows home server does it).

I guess it's good to see.... (1)

SIR_Taco (467460) | more than 5 years ago | (#27186505)

at least some end product of the Billions of dollars in bail-out money....

Re:I guess it's good to see.... (2, Funny)

ruiner13 (527499) | more than 5 years ago | (#27186817)

The worst part is they need a machine this powerful to keep up with how fast the national debt is increasing.

Re:I guess it's good to see.... (1)

SIR_Taco (467460) | more than 5 years ago | (#27187027)

ah touche sir, touche

(if only slashdot didn't do this: touché)

Improve it and save money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27186515)

Wow, 16 cores. Finally a box fit for Gentoo! Therefore, step one: lose the Windows Server.

Step two: Lose the hardware RAID card. Software RAID is way better.

And no SSD? (1, Redundant)

MartinSchou (1360093) | more than 5 years ago | (#27186521)

Tom's Hardware have been swooning over SSDs, partly Intel's SLC editions, partly IoFusion's PCI express monster, showing several times that one of Intel's SSDs can easily keep up with a pair of harddrives in RAID0 - and yet when they go all out on a system like this, they don't even choose one as the system drive?

How very inconsistent.

Re:And no SSD? (4, Informative)

Ninnle Labs, LLC (1486095) | more than 5 years ago | (#27186593)

and yet when they go all out on a system like this, they don't even choose one as the system drive?
How very inconsistent.

Except Tom's Hardware neither designed this system nor was it the purchaser of the system. So I don't see what the inconsistency could possibly be.

Re:And no SSD? (4, Insightful)

MartinSchou (1360093) | more than 5 years ago | (#27186617)

Well, who has time to read the summaries anyway?

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27186541)

Imagine a beowulf cluster of these
scnr

That's nothing, I've got a 150k PC one room over (1)

scubamage (727538) | more than 5 years ago | (#27186575)

Seriously. 4-6MP Barco Mammography monitors at $30,000 a piece. Then add an additional 2 21" NEC Color Displays powered off a high end Quadro card. All of this is connected to an HP xw8600 with 8GB ram, quad core Xeon, etc. All in all it came to a bit over 150k when it was all said and done considering the monitors had to be ordered factory direct from Korea and we had to pay importation fees.

Sadly you can't use it to run much of anything except PACS software. I'd love to give flight sim a whirl if quadro cards were good for something besides rendering.

giving up mod rights to comment here (5, Informative)

Lookin4Trouble (1112649) | more than 5 years ago | (#27186625)

As a former enthusiast in the liquid and vapor phase-change cooling market, I can point out a multitude of things gone wrong here.

1) Single Cooling Loop - with 4 quad-core processors, this machine could net much better bang-for-the-decibel out of a dual loop system - one loop handling one pair of processors, second loop handling the other pair. Optimally speaking, a quad-loop system (individual loops per processor) would net even better results.
2) Video cards have fans, too! - Find yourself a video card that uses cooling pipes or similar technology, rather than fans. Those little fans spinning really fast make _LOTS_ of noise.
3) Speaking of noise - WD300 Raptors? Congrats, you just put the noisiest modern hard drives in a machine "built to be quiet" - if no expense was to be spared, why is this thing not outfitted with Solid State Disks???
4) Problems with the liquid - in addition to number one above, the reservoir is mounted at the bottom of the case? That's an amateur mistake right there. Reservoir at top of case = any air infiltration gets trapped at the reservoir. Additionally, the "angled barbs" are 90-degree bends - not exactly what you want in a low-flow system, backpressure is going to kill that pump, or at least cause it to whine incessantly, even at lower flow settings.
5) PSU - Corsair HX 1000W PSU - why not a PC Power and Cooling ultra-quiet unit, or a SilenX-modded solid cap PSU? Instead, they opt for a PSU rated at 57dBm?

Amateur job, Puget, very amateur. If anyone feels the need to build a super-quiet box, they really should shop around and look into these type of issue, or suffer sever disappointment.

E

Re:giving up mod rights to comment here (2, Insightful)

ruiner13 (527499) | more than 5 years ago | (#27186917)

I don't think the machine was built for quiet, I think liquid cooling was used to get more cooling (and this more overclockability) than fan cooling alone would. The machine was built for speed, not noise reduction. Otherwise, why would there be so many fans in addition to the liquid cooling?

Re:giving up mod rights to comment here (1)

Lookin4Trouble (1112649) | more than 5 years ago | (#27187075)

I don't think the machine was built for quiet, I think liquid cooling was used to get more cooling (and this more overclockability) than fan cooling alone would. The machine was built for speed, not noise reduction. Otherwise, why would there be so many fans in addition to the liquid cooling?

From TFA:

We asked Puget what its goals were in building this thing and, perhaps more important, what was their customer hoping to get out of it. They answered with the following:
"Our client came to us with a need we hear often: he wanted a high performance machine, but wanted it quiet. Of course, "quiet" is a subjective term...

24 Samsung SSD's (1)

wjh31 (1372867) | more than 5 years ago | (#27186641)

for those whom have seen this, im sure many of you, the rig for that reportedly cost £24k, as was said in the b3ta thread where it was posted, i dont know if this was mentioend elsewhere where the video was posted, ill try and dig it up

Vista? (0, Redundant)

mr bms (1500083) | more than 5 years ago | (#27186691)

does it run windows vista ok ?

Re:Vista? (1)

HannethCom (585323) | more than 5 years ago | (#27187031)

Windows 2008 Server is the server version of Windows Vista.

Its good to know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27186707)

Well it's good to know that WOW must be compatible with windows 2008 server. But does it really take that much space to install?

I inherited a $10,000 PC in 1999... (4, Interesting)

merreborn (853723) | more than 5 years ago | (#27186717)

It was purchased in the late nineties for a 3D artist at a dotcom; the company folded a year or so later. The few employees that stuck around received hardware in lieu of their final paychecks.

Dual 333 MHZ P3s. Nvidia Riva 2. Half a gig of ram. Dual 10k RPM 14GB U160 SCSI drives attached to a Adaptec 19160 (The 19160 *still* sells for at $100, 10 years later. Who knows how much it cost at the time...). High speed (for the time) Plextor SCSI CDRom reader and writer.

With a few minor upgrades here and there (video card, a little more ram, a few replaced power supplies), it remained my main system til about 2005. Even played WoW on it. The only real reason I don't use it anymore? Lack of 48-bit LBA support -- couldn't stick a drive larger than 137 gig on it, which in this day and age, just doesn't quite cut it for a desktop.

Replaced it about a year ago -- picked up $300 worth of parts at Fry's, and built a machine that out-spec'd the original in every way, except drive speed.

Those SCSI drives would still be sweet, if they weren't so damn small.

A Cooler Master case? (1)

willoughby (1367773) | more than 5 years ago | (#27186759)

For my sixteen grand I want it in a nice wooden cabinet, or to look like the bridge of the Enterprise, or... *anything* but an off-the-shelf case.

Sounds about right (1)

shaitand (626655) | more than 5 years ago | (#27186773)

'Four quad-core Opteron processors, 32 GB of memory, Windows Server 2008, Asus Xonar DX PCI Express sound card, 3Ware 9550SX-8LP SATA 3 Gb/s RAID controller, Two Western Digital 300 GB VelociRaptor hard drives in RAID 1, Two 1 TB Samsung SpinPoint F1s also in RAID 1, and Four 1 TB Samsung SpinPoint F1s in RAID 5. Puget went with MagiCool's Xtreme Nova 1080 radiator, Nine 120 mm fans, Four Koolance CPU blocks, Koolance combined pump and reservoir unit, and Cooler Master Stacker 810 case.'

The specs needed to make windows perform just go up and up eh? Could this handle vista or just the trimmed down server platform?

Anyone else remember the old days.. (1)

2phar (137027) | more than 5 years ago | (#27186829)

before the same dorks that are impressed by installing 10 KW audio amplifiers in cars decided to bring the same thinking to PC building?

I just bought an 8core Xeon w/64GB RAM (5, Interesting)

maynard (3337) | more than 5 years ago | (#27186849)

No, not for personal use or gaming. It will run Linux with a Xen kernel and is intended to replace nearly all of our old individual servers. Everything from the piddly servers like DNS, LDAP, Kerberos, and our minimal web services to the AFS db servers. No file services on that beast though, I'm not crazy - no disk I/O-RAM access contention please. My plan is to copy an entire OS image of /usr into a RAMFS filesystem in the top level Dom 0 domain and then cross mount that as RO in each Xen instance. We'll also stick small SQL server and other dbs copies in local tempfs RAMdisks too. Everything in RAM will be snapshotted and saved to physical disk periodically. Those deltas will then be copied to a remote fail-over server periodically as well.

It should be both reasonably stable and blindingly fast.

Another machine will handle AFS and some NFS file services, which has up to sixteen SATA disks attached to two 8 port 3-Ware RAID cards, thus spreading I/O load across two PCI buses. No, we don't need all that disk space - we need the I/O performance. It too should be reasonably fast. We're gearing up to connect that either by several channel bonded 1Gb to a CISCO 6509, or - if we're lucky - we'll just go 10Gb optical. We'll see how the finances work out there.

This is how departmental IT is done. Or, at least, it's how it *should* be done. I spent less than $25K on these two computers and they will replace well a couple hundred thousand dollars worth of accumulated hardware purchased over the last ten years and now fully depreciated.

Run Puppy Linux on it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27186945)

...and go back in time!

Apple Store (4, Insightful)

tylersoze (789256) | more than 5 years ago | (#27186969)

If you want to see a $16,000 computer why not just go to the Apple online store? You should be able to get there pretty easily by maxing out a Mac Pro. :)

All that cash (1)

BlackSnake112 (912158) | more than 5 years ago | (#27187045)

One would have thought after that much cash and research that he would have ran the CPU cooling in parallel rather then in series. I know water cooling is better then air, but the last CPU in the series will be getting all the heat from the other three CPUs. More tubing would have been needed and it wouldn't have looked as clean, but the CPUs would be getting roughly the same cold water in. the article says that he can adjust the pump speed. They like it at 30% so it is not loud. The over all temps do not look that bad. I did not see what each CPU individual temps were in the article. Cool mod though.

WHAT A WASTE OF \. SPACE!!! (1)

uslurper (459546) | more than 5 years ago | (#27187053)

What a complete waste of slashdot space!

WTF is this article trying to get at anyway? It is certainly not the most expensive machine you can buy.. 2 minutes on dell website gets you into the $50,000+ range. It is certainly not the fastest. So what the F*** is the author getting at?

NOTHING!

I am not impressed at all!

Re:WHAT A WASTE OF \. SPACE!!! (1)

uslurper (459546) | more than 5 years ago | (#27187127)

Put this power into a laptop with a 12 hour battery and then I will be impressed!

VelociRaptor hard drives (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 5 years ago | (#27187117)

Ohshitohshitohshit---

RUN!

Like old times (1)

hcdejong (561314) | more than 5 years ago | (#27187137)

In the early '90s, $20k wasn't an unusual price for a tricked-out Mac. Machines like the IIfx and Quadra 950 cost damn near five figures in base spec; high-end video cards and accellerators weren't cheap either.

6 years later, I got such a machine for free...

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