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Configuration Suggestions - Fast i9 Prog/Gaming

Post Date: 2020-08-26

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ErikW View Drop Down
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  Quote ErikW Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Topic: Configuration Suggestions - Fast i9 Prog/Gaming
    Posted: 26 Aug 2020 at 7:41pm
I'm looking for suggestions to build a fast Core i9 system for programming and some gaming.

Budget: Between $7,000 to $10,000 (don't really have a limit)

Expectations:
I want a system that will not be obsolete or under powered for quite a while.

Programming:
I typically run from two to four virtual machines with either a Windows OS or Linux.  I currently need to assign about 2GB to 4GB of RAM and about 100 GB of hard disk space for each virtual machine.  Windows is usually XP, 7, or 10.  Most of my VMs use 2 CPU cores, but it would be nice to assign up to 4 to test for multi-threading problems in software.

Most of my programming is done with Visual Studio 2019 in Windows 7 or the ancient 6.0 version on XP.  I also use cross-compilers for X86 and Microsoft MASM for BIOS development.  I am starting to do more work with NetBeans and Java or C++ on Linux.

I also do development and testing of network communication software and network stacks, so a second Ethernet LAN port for a test network is a plus.  I purposely chose a motherboard with a Gigabit LAN, 10 Gigabit LAN and Wifi built-in.

Gaming:
I would like to play most MMO and shooter games at adequate (not necessarily max) frame rates with most of the graphic effects.

As a starting point I posted a configuration 3343766
- Chassis Model: Aventum X
- Processor: Intel Core i9-10980XE Extreme Edition (18-Core) (Boost Up to 4.6 GHz)
- MSI Creator X299 (Wi-Fi) (Intel X299 Chipset) (TPM Module) (Up to 4x PCI-E Devices)
- Overclock CPU - Up to 4.8GHz via Intel Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0
- Motherboard: MSI Creator X299 (Wi-Fi) (Intel X299 Chipset) (TPM Module) (Up to 4x PCI-E Devices)
- System Memory: 256GB DDR4 3200MHz Digital Storm Performance Series
- Power Supply: 1600W EVGA Supernova 1600 P2 (80 Plus Platinum)
- Graphics Card(s): 1x GeForce RTX 2080 Ti 11GB (VR Ready)
- No overclock for Graphics Card
- Storage: 1x SSD (2TB Samsung 860 PRO), 2x Storage (2TB Seagate / Toshiba / Hitachi) RAID 0 for hard disks but not SSD
- Cooling for CPU and Graphics card: H20: HydroLux PRO: Exotic Custom Cooling System (1x Graphics Card + CPU)
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 Professional (64-Bit Edition)

I have a few questions:
I've noticed some sites offering faster RAM for the motherboard I chose.  Does it make any sense to get faster RAM?  I also don't know if Digital Storm offers faster RAM.  I could reduce the RAM size to 64GB and still have plenty to assign to virtual machines  if the cost becomes outrageous.

Can anyone familiar with the Aventum X case verify if it supports an internal optical drive?  I probably want a Blu-ray recorder for backups and creating discs.  I noticed the only configuration option for a Blu-ray drive was an external USB version.

Does anyone have suggestions for different cooling solutions or what kind of chassis fans/fan control works best?  The only thing that I know about fans is that I have to keep replacing them in my current Coolermaster Cosmos case.  My current setup is all air cooled running the Core i7 CPU at 4.5 Ghz.

Current system:
My current system is an ASUS P6T motherboard with a Core i7 Quad core CPU and a triple channel memory bus.  The CPU is overclocked to 3.5 GHz. and stock speed is 3.2 GHz.  It's one of the oldest Core i7 CPUs using an X58 Chipset that just recently stopped working with Windows 10 due to a Microsoft update.  The problem is unlikely to be fixed, so I need a new system to run Windows 10.

I currently have 12 GB of RAM and that has been adequate for running virtual machines if I am judicious with assigning RAM (2GB to 4GB per. VM).  My computer is OK running two or three virtual machines but it isn't fast doing that.  I mostly use virtualBox but I may end up having to use VMWare at some point.  My current disk capacity is 4 TB organized as two RAID 0 arrays using four 1TB disks.  My BIOS prevents me from using SSDs or larger disks with RAID but I'm nowhere near filing up the 4TB.  It's less than 50% full.  I don't do a lot of large file copies but I do full backups often.  I want my disks to have fast read access and I would like a decently fast external drive interface.  I currently have to use eSATA because even USB 3.0 is too slow.  I'm hoping the USB 3.1 is faster.  If not I'll use the Thunderbolt that comes with the motherboard and fill up a PCIe slot.

I really only play one or two games at any point in time, and only run one game at a time, but sometimes with my virtual machines at the same time.  The last games I've played are World Of Warcraft, Diragon's Prophet, and Tera.  I also have played Rift and may play Black Dessert or Riders of Icarus.  I'm currently playing Bioshock and Tera.

Thanks for any suggestions or comments.

* Edit - Numbered lists seem to be broken, text color is transparent or a barely visible light grey *


Edited by ErikW - 26 Aug 2020 at 7:53pm
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  Quote ErikW Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 27 Aug 2020 at 8:21pm
I made a few changes to the storage.

- Storage Set 1: 1x SSD M.2 (4TB Sabrent Rocket Q4) (NVM Express)
- Storage Set 2: 2x Storage (6TB Seagate / Toshiba) RAID 0

I upgraded the fans too.

- Chassis Fans: Corsair ML PRO Series (14 Fans Total) (High Static Pressure) (Magnetic Levitation)

I was a bit nervous about using NVMe because it isn't supported by my current backup boot disks or Windows 7.  I decided that the extra speed is worth the hassle of building new boot disks and hopefully finding the Linux drivers for the NVMe card.

I was tempted to put an 8GB drive in there, but I don't need it, and the price is way too high.  Since I'm going to have a 4TB SSD I decided to put 12TB of RAID 0 storage for backups and other files that don't need fast access.

Does anyone have first hand experience with the 4TB Sabrent Rocket Q4?  I would feel a lot better to hear from someone who is actually using that.


Edited by ErikW - 27 Aug 2020 at 8:22pm
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Cretae View Drop Down
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  Quote Cretae Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 28 Aug 2020 at 4:23am
We are almost all simple gamers here on the Forum. Way back when, we had a wider knowledge base with a presence here, but not so much currently. It appears to me you have far more knowledge about your questions than most of us.

My experience over many years is that you can trust DS to tell you straight as long as you don't get a newbie. To assure that, I would e-mail [email protected] so he can set you up. AFIK, a lot of staff are working from home, so a random tech might not be able to hand you off to a guru.
Luck.

One thing I can tell you for sure is that we are mere days away from the latest line of GPUs from Nvidia. The announcement is supposed to come 8/31 or 9/1. Don't decide anything until you see what that could do for you.

Edited by Cretae - 28 Aug 2020 at 4:32am
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  Quote ErikW Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 28 Aug 2020 at 7:34pm
Thanks Cretae.  I also need to look at Intel's activity to see if the CPU is likely to change in price or a new design is coming out.  This will be the first computer that I haven't built myself so it helps to hear that DS is knowledgeable.
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