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Member Since 10 Sep 2008
Offline Last Active Nov 20 2017 11:01 AM

Topics I've Started

iNeed to upgrade - which Intel socket 2066 motherboard?

07 November 2017 - 09:25 PM

Upgrading soo - which motherboard would folks suggest and why? Such variety and price ranges!  e.g. https://www.scorptec...tel-Socket-2066

Main PC took 6 hours - 8 attempts to boot...

07 November 2017 - 03:51 PM

WOnder if anyone has ever experienced this - my main PC BSOD this morning - Kernal Exception - wouldn't reboot clean despite multiple attempts, safe mode wouldn't work, Auto system repair hung... basically total freeze.


Rebooted off Win 10 Install DVD - hung saying a driver was needed - WTF?  Tried again and after 4 hours with the WIndows logo and the six spinning white dots it let me in normally - and I am now backing up files like crazy!


What does it do that takes hours to get to the Windows password screen with no status or warning?  Why wouldn't safe mode boot work nor System repair?  Memry check was all I could do - it worked fine.


Now my search for a new PC is on steroids - will porbably go down the Intel I7 8720X route and do a start from scratch build 32 GB RAM, 1100W PSU 1080 ti as main video card with a 500 GB 960 Pro as the main boot drive and add one or two large HDDs and transfer all the files I wish to keep across.


Glad at least I could log in today!


PS WOndering if I should try a windows restore or not - hate it if it BSOD half way thru...  Note when I tried to run CPUID today - it only gets 80% thru the load - halting on Storage services check!

Pondering morph a HP Z620 workstation into a work / gaming rig

13 October 2017 - 10:03 AM

I have been toying with building a workstation rig based around dual Xeon 2670 processors and a modern GPU for a while now - when I came arcoss many Youtube videos of the HP Z620 workstations - and see many listed on Gumtree or ebay - with rather large numbers of cores, modest to lowprices and a lof of RAM.  Compared to todays multi core CPUs these older CPUs run hotter, slower and draw a lot of power, on the upside they are workstation grade materials - motherboards, cases, RAM and power supplies.  I sure if I throw in modern high end NVidia card they could play any game I wished at a decent resolution; but I am well into my 50s now and when I do game its tend to be with titles that were HUGE around 3-5 years ao - the old favourites.  My needs for multicore madness lean towards compute capacity with software that tends to multcore aware - think astrophotograpy and stacking and processing hundrds of large images to boost signal to noise ratios.


I am very curious in this research stage what experiences folk have with re-purposing an old workstation rig - what pleasure, pain and surprises await?  I see old workstations - dual CPU with core counts from 16 - 24 cores that can also hyperthread and typically dome with 64 - 128 GB RAM.  Alternately there are companies like Z Wokstations that custom build these sorts of rigs. e.g  https://zworkstations.com/


Many thanks - Matthew

Windows 10 Pro crash - BSOD DPC - suddenly and consistently after months of being stable

11 August 2017 - 11:14 PM

This is irrating.  I haven't changed anything on my main PC for ages.  Now suddenly since yesterday I am getting BSOD multiple times per day - usually saying DPC failed occasionally on boot splash screen saying Kernal switch mode exception.


As far as I am aware all my drivers are totally up to date.  Windows integrity scan elevated sfc /scannow returns no errors.  But if I go away and leave my PC for 20 - 30 minutes a crash DPC is almost certain to happen.  I haven't chnaged my power settings in ages.  My main UPS just had new batteries installed and seems rock solid.  Windows last did a major update about 1-2 weeks ago.


Any suggestion greatly appreciated!

Pondering a workstation build to process astro images + occassionally play games

28 January 2017 - 10:56 PM

I sometimes imagine I have the most long lived equipment of anyone here.  I must have built over 20 PCs since right back when Atomic first started (or even well before actually).  My current rig is still powered by a Conroe2 Quad core 2.4 Ghz chip, powering a 1070 GTX - which can still play games fluidly on my 30" Dell screen (plus I use 2 * 24" Screens in Portrait mode surrounding the Dell - but only for work purposes) - my priorities have been elsewhere for many, many years.


But this year I would like to build a rig to handle astro-photography image processing workloads that can also handle games.  Astro image processing can require stacking of 100s of shots per night - each shot could be 10 - 40MB - and there is a lot of mathematical processing (that no software that I know of off loads to the GPU).  So I was pondering getting a 10 Core Intel beast and doing a rig built for Astro first and games second.... when a thought hit me that I first entertained a decade or two ago but never acted on... what about a dual CPU server board?  Then a simple google and youtube search showed me several folk have gone down this path and got great results - at a fraction of the price I was expecting - simply because old Xeon chips sell for about $200 for a 8 core 2.4 GHz chip.


Now I only remember high end Tyan motherboards (like the S7070) being dual cpu - but a simple search shows many people are using the Asus Z10PE-d16 https://www.asus.com...ds/Z10PED16_WS/ - which surprisingly supports DDR4 RAM (16 slots - up to a Terabyte of RAM) and has 6 PCI-E Gen3 x16 slots and can support NVidia in 3 way SLI or AMD in 4 way cross fire.


These boards sell in Australia for about $850 - or you might find dated rigs on Gumtree build on these boards (variant unknown) between $300 to $2000.


So a check on youtube and gumtree shows folks selling old Xeon CPUs that are 8 core, 16 thread, meaning this sort of build will give you a 2.4 - 2.6 GHz CPus with 16 cores and 32 threads to handle workloads that like many core solutions.  I am yet to see if anyone astronomer has used the programs I like Deep Sky Stacker (freeware) or CCDStack on a multi core monster - but DSS does seem to keep all 4 core on my (or my kids latest i7 quad core machines) maxed out.


So my long winded question.  What advice would folk have.  I can guess that this rig could play games - but it would act much like a 4 core machine throttled at 2.4 - 2.8 Ghz even if it was running sat a pair of 1080s in SLI.  I would have to check everything - OS (win10 x64 is supported) - memory types, Powersupplies, drivers - absolutely everything would work.  Again there are folks building these rigs and they scream on 3d rendering that can use all the cores and they are decent at games (paired with a NVidia 980 or Titan card/s normally).  Youtube has many examples of this working - e.g.:





Will it be the build of a life time or will it end in tears?  Interested in folks thoughts!