AOA Forums AOA Forums AOA Forums Folding For Team 45 AOA Files Home Front Page Become an AOA Subscriber! UserCP Calendar Memberlist FAQ Search Forum Home


Go Back   AOA Forums > Hardware > General Hardware Discussion

General Hardware Discussion Hard drives, CD, DVD Monitors, All hardware questions not better served by our other Topics


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Rate Thread
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 2nd September, 2007, 08:51 AM
Member
 
Join Date: April 2005
Posts: 79
Send a message via MSN to acgraham

a small quiet and powerful machine for graphics and audio, live on stage

hello, I've decided to post this here and on aoaforums to see what advice i can get. this is going to be my most ambitious setup i've tried yet but i honestly have no idea where to begin or if im realy just dreaming...

im trying to build the smallest and quietest (more important) rackmount machine for audio production. it needs to be able to fit in top of the line geforce cards in it with appropriate pci express speeds.

I want it to be the smallest formfactor possible since i have to cart it around and stack it in a rack ontop of my rackmount rme fireface 800 soundcard. its going to be used both for recording and live performance and its going to need ti chipset firewire 400 and 800 ports.

im thinking a standard quadcore chip will be used, but am open to the possibility of going 8 core xeon (though i dont know how quiet that could be)

i know that rackmount machines are very very noisy, but is there anything out there that fits what i want in even a 2u size? what modifications could i possibly make to get it quiet?

I have to get it right. it has to be rocksolid and cost is not of the greatest concern for me to be able to achieve it. i dont want to compromise my audio latency or cause stability problems because if it isn't stable i may as well sell it. i tried to do this with a laptop but the cpu power just wasnt there, and the shortcuts taken in some of the components have given me huge problems.

thanks alot guys for any ideas guys, i really appreciate any help or advice you can offer.
__________________
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 2nd September, 2007, 03:24 PM
robbie's Avatar
AOA Staff
 
Join Date: November 2001
Location: Out in the desert of Ca.
Posts: 12,548
Send a message via AIM to robbie Send a message via MSN to robbie Send a message via Yahoo to robbie Send a message via Skype™ to robbie

If it's going to be just an audio box it I would recommend you just use the on board video that they usually come with. One less fan to worry about getting in your mix.

**edit** not sure about the rack mount features of it but if you want a small quit box you can try a Shuttle box.
__________________
Taking each day as it comes
Grow, learn and OVERCLOCK. Need help?? Ask me.
Your Mommy!! (Aug/02) Welcome to the fold.
Buy it, Sell it, or Trade it in the AoA classifieds!!
AOA Team fah

Last edited by robbie; 2nd September, 2007 at 03:29 PM.
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 3rd September, 2007, 09:32 AM
Chief Systems Administrator
 
Join Date: September 2001
Location: Europe
Posts: 13,075

Traditionally, rackmount systems have been either noisy or very noisy, as data centers don't really care about the noise level. A 2U case is fairly small, and my concern would be ensuring that a suitable level of cooling is taking place, especially with quad core and high end graphics card.

Most rackmount cases work by having a series of fans across the centre of the machine to move air from the front to the back.
__________________
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 3rd September, 2007, 10:48 AM
Member
 
Join Date: April 2005
Posts: 79
Send a message via MSN to acgraham

thanks for the replys guys. i need a decent graphics card because it may be called up for running visuals at high res, and also for 3d rendering when im at my day job.

what about modifying the box for liquid cooling? could that possibly help? would any rackmount allow me to do that?

im just amazed that theres nothing out there really. everyone on stage is using macbook pros (not powerful enough), or those cases from swee****er.com, which are sooo big and overpriced.
__________________
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 3rd September, 2007, 12:00 PM
Chief Systems Administrator
 
Join Date: September 2001
Location: Europe
Posts: 13,075

The basic problem is that a 2U chassis doesn't fit well with the way that PC components are designed. For example, they require the use of a PCI Express riser card in order to mount the graphics card horizontally, rather than vertically. I suspect this would also mean that the firewire interface would need to be integrated with the motherboard, as I'm not aware of any PCI Express riser cards that can provide two slots (like PCI could do).

You could move to liquid cooling, but it'll be a very tight squeeze to get the bits into the case. Dissipating the heat is an issue - a Geforce 8800 GTX can kick out 145W, a Q6600 kicks out ~100W, giving you about 250W of heat to handle, within a 2U space. Liquid cooling also adds to the weight, and you're limited to 80mm fans, as 120mm fans are larger than 2U high. There are radiators that would just about fit, but probably not dissipating 250W of heat. It's also a lot of custom work in order to fit it in the 2U rack case.
__________________
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 3rd September, 2007, 12:43 PM
Member
 
Join Date: April 2005
Posts: 79
Send a message via MSN to acgraham

thanks for the comprehensive information aedan. its odd that a laptop can fit pretty powerful graphics in them and yet there isn't something that can fit into a 2u chassis. i know quad lappy's do exist, but i dont trust them one bit because youre asking for heat problems putting desktop cpus in them

looks like ill have to accept a 2u without decent graphics, or 3u with graphics, though im still not too sure how to deal with the noise problems there.

those other shuttle cases look quite good except i couldn't find anything with pci express x16 for intel quads (only amd).
__________________
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old 3rd September, 2007, 02:44 PM
Chief Systems Administrator
 
Join Date: September 2001
Location: Europe
Posts: 13,075

It is very rare to come across a laptop that has a true high end graphics card in it. The laptop versions of the GPUs is usually pretty cut down compared to the desktop version. If you're willing to drop the specification of the graphics card, things look a bit better. Without knowing about the level of performance you're looking for, it's hard to say much more. What kind of GPU had you been looking at?

Mobile GPUs are generally lower performance than desktop ones - which is one reason they don't throw out so much heat. A high end mobile GPU is roughly around the same capability of a mid range desktop GPU.
__________________

Last edited by Áedán; 3rd September, 2007 at 02:44 PM.
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Old 4th September, 2007, 12:12 PM
Member
 
Join Date: April 2005
Posts: 79
Send a message via MSN to acgraham

to be perfectly honest i haven't even decided on one. as a 3d animator i usually buy 1 back from the best, because i know i will use whatever graphics power i can get. but i guess i could accept anything from a 7600gt up to an 8800 gts if its possible

if rackmount isn't an option this case looks pretty attractive -
Barebone | XPC @ Shuttle ® - Product

though it doesn't have firewire 800 which is important. i can alway use up the pci slot with a fw800 card but that starts to limit my options for expandability later.

pci express x 16 is great though and it takes quad cores so thats a plus.

i would question the architecture of these boards for audio production too since any slight shortcuts can greatly affect audio performance that would be other unoticable with other operations.

thanks again guys.
__________________
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
  #9 (permalink)  
Old 4th September, 2007, 01:12 PM
Chief Systems Administrator
 
Join Date: September 2001
Location: Europe
Posts: 13,075

The two things I think would be a problem with a 2U rack case are:
  • Quiet cooling.
  • Suitable Risers for PC-Express x16
__________________
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
  #10 (permalink)  
Old 4th September, 2007, 01:52 PM
Samuknow's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: September 2001
Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
Posts: 8,941
Send a message via MSN to Samuknow

The shuttle would be a way to go. Since you are 3D modeling instead of gaming, you should look at the quatro based cards from nVidia. Very power bandwidth but not all the GPU heat of a gaming card. It will still put out great graphics. I have seen water cooling in the shuttle cases. I think Spode did one on here a long time ago.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel ~ View Post
It's OKAY WE accept you as you think you are here! ":O}
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
Reply



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Gates and Jobs on stage danrok Random Nonsense! 4 2nd June, 2007 09:24 PM
Is my PSU powerful enough? Exile69 General Hardware Discussion 6 6th August, 2005 06:06 AM
Quiet PSU - a quiet power system stigweed General Hardware Discussion 7 1st September, 2003 07:27 PM
The next stage of developement Random Nonsense Cooling & Temperature Monitoring 28 20th February, 2003 07:45 PM
Upgrading older SB Live! cards to SB Live! 5.1 Áedán Hardware Hacking 3 19th February, 2002 06:46 AM


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 08:37 AM.


Copyright ©2001 - 2010, AOA Forums
Don't Click Here Don't Click Here Either

Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.3.0