Description

Build goals

My needs with this build were fairly specific -- I wanted something for parallel scientific numerical work (Fortran / C++) over SSH in a smallish form factor that I could use as an another workstation if needed by adding a decent graphics card. The jobs I'm running on this parallelize roughly, so clock speed is more important than the raw number of cores (I run highly parallel jobs on other machines).

Notes on part choices

  • Xeon E5-1650 v3; this is a really nice processor - it's very similar to an i7-5930k (it's even unlocked!) at a good price point (especially compared to most Xeons), but it gives me a lot more flexibility down the road. I can easily pull this and toss it in a server with ECC RAM down the road if I want.

  • EVGA Micro 2; ideally, I would have preferred to go with the upcoming Supermicro X10SRM boards (IPMI is really nice, Supermicro is my go to for server boards, and I usually opt for ECC RAM), but I don't know when they're actually going to be available and I didn't want to wait. There aren't that many consumer LGA2011-3 Micro ATX boards out there, and this seemed like a decent choice. I went with EVGA over other manufacturers in large part because I've always had great experiences with EVGA support.

  • Corsair Air 240; I love the cube design aesthetic and the emphasis on airflow. I've also worked with the Air 540 before and really enjoyed that experience.

  • Corsair HX750i; yes, this is overkill for the build as is. I got this for a few reasons: (a) if I decide to put in a higher end graphics card down the road this will work, (b) I can definitely use this in another build if needed, (c) you don't skimp on power supplies for 24/7/365 usage, and (d) I really don't like non-fully modular power supplies.

  • GeForce GT 610; unlike most builds on this site, I'm not using this for gaming. I just needed something basic to output video to get Debian installed and (if needed) troubleshoot on hand. This card does just that, has a low power and heat profile, and is dirt cheap.

Build notes

Build went off to a rough start; had to RMA the first EVGA motherboard as it was shorting out of the box. That said, EVGA's phone customer support was fantastic. 10/10, that's why I went with an EVGA product. The second board worked fine.

The Air 240 was a nice case to work in. If I have any complaints, it's that the cleanliness on the motherboard side of the case really comes with a compromise in cable management in the back; the power supply and drive bays mean you really don't have much room back there.

Log in to rate comments or to post a comment.

Comments

  • 45 months ago
  • 3 points

+1 for well thought build (I actually like "work" builds more than gaming ones, perhaps because it allows me to learn something). More pictures would be appreciated though :D

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Added more pictures.

  • 45 months ago
  • 3 points

I love this Xeons-Low-end-GPU builds! Also that EVGA mobo is very nice.

+1!!!

  • 45 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks! I like the EVGA board quite a bit so far -- it looks really nice, the BIOS seems good so far, and the built in reset/powerbuttons and post code LEDs were definitely useful for testing components. I'm not sure I'd recommend the board to everyone, though, since there are some potential layout issues. For instance, the horizontal fan headers at the bottom might be inaccessible in some smaller cases and the USB 3.0 header location would likely make it difficult to put a larger GPU in the bottom PCIe slot without an extension cable. These aren't issues for me, though.

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

EVGA mobos are the best

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Looks to be the proper length if someone were to use the smaller PCIe slot for a wireless adapter though. Good thing to watch out for either way.

  • 45 months ago
  • 2 points

+1 for using Debian and not a proprietary operating system. Great work!

  • 45 months ago
  • 3 points

Thanks! I haven't touched Windows / OS X in ages. Also helps that scientific computing in my field (physics) is almost entirely done on Linux machines.

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Very interesting build indeed. It should serve you well. I'd love to see more pictures though.

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Added more pictures.

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm posting this to hopefully save you from people being all "One picture and it's blurry" which happens a lot on this site :/

But other than that, nice build. I'd recommend checking out Asrocks line of 2011-v3 motherboards (Server grade) they're green but they've got an IPMI and dual/quad LANs. I'm surprised you've said Supermicro is your go to, I find supermicro's IPMI weak in security and pretty trash to work with in comparison to Asrocks IPMI, it's like supermicro put zero thought into their IPMI at all mostly pointing at the stupid "java version" error you get which I've not been able to resolve on any servers we've used.

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

I haven't used the ASRock server boards before, I'll check them out. You're definitely right that the Supermicro IPMI could definitely be improved. I just use the Supermicro IPMI utilities instead of the web browser (IPMIView, etc.) and that makes it slightly less painful.

And I've added more / less blurry pictures :)

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Very unique and well though out build. +1 Also, what is special about the WD Red drives? I know that Green drives are power efficient and Black drives provide amazing performance, but what does the Red drive do?

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

The Red Pro drives are server / NAS drives designed for business use. They're very reliable, come with longer warranties (5 years), burn-in testing, vibration compensation, etc. I'm running this 24/7/365, so it's worth it to me to pay extra for a (usually) higher quality drive.

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Ah, understood. Thanks.

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Beastly CPU

+1 nice build and nice aesthetics

  • 45 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks! The CPU is really nice. It's expensive (compared to most consumer chips) but still much cheaper than most of the Xeon chips my research group buys for highly parallel work (dual sockets, $2000+ per CPU).

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

What no 980 ti Hybrids in SLI?

Nah just kidding. A physics computational machine running FOSS friendly Debian?! I like you. Keep it up!

  • 45 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks! I run Debian (Sid) on all my personal machines, and manage Debian (Testing) installs on my research group's servers. Haven't used Windows outside of a VM in years.

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Awesome build - I'm going to go with that case and mobo next. How are the temps with the Noctua cooler?

  • 45 months ago
  • 2 points

33ish deg C idle, 54ish deg C under full load during stress testing.

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for the quick reply - those numbers are very good for an air cooler! Cheers.

[comment deleted]