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#1

KaZi61
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Posted 21 August 2017 - 09:49 AM

Hi guys, I know this forums pretty quite these days, but its always my go to for awesome advice!  Hopefully a few of you are still around to help out.

 

I am helping out a friend build a pc for some pretty intense calculations he is running on excel and python. The take upwards of 10 hours on his laptop. I put together some specs but then computer lounge put out a sale and this looks pretty good. 

 

I've always preferred building a pc but its been a few years since I've done so and I am out of the loop when it comes to whats good these days. This looks just as good and around the same price point, can anyone advise if its a good buy?

 

Cheers



#2

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 10:11 AM

The nice thing about buying a computer as a whole is that you get support from the organisation you buy from.

 

The other advantage if you are not paying much more for it, you also don't have to be tech support for every niggle that your friend has, cause a "company" made it not "my IT mate", and so they can contact the company for support.


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#3

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 10:15 AM

On another excel note, I use excel a lot at work, and it is pretty slow even with multi cores, and generally tries to lock up the PC even if it's not using 100%. So before you advise your friend you might want to pre warn them it might not make a difference...  :D

 

Also that is a nice looking gaming rig.


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#4

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 10:20 AM

Yeah good point about not making a clear cut difference, might be worth running a comparison and seeing if it will be worthwhile!



#5

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 10:55 AM

My guess is the difference will be huge, but that's not guaranteed. The laptop is probably a dual-core and thermally constrained to < 3 GHz, possibly with less memory than it really needs. So it depends on what the performance constraint is. If it was running out of memory and using swap (admittedly not likely, unless the laptop is old enough to have < 4 GB), doubling the memory might chop that down to less than 1 hour without any other changes. On the other hand, if it is single-threaded stuff taking the time it might take re-writing that (whether Python code or Excel formulae) to make a noteworthy difference. Most likely there's quite a bit of multi-threaded stuff, so two or more extra cores would be great; the extra clock speed is always useful.

 

I suggest you get the specs of the laptop, and find out as best as possible where the bottleneck is – check memory usage, CPU usage and disk activity. A CPU usage of ~50% on a CPU with HyperThreading could still be a bottleneck.

 

Does he want something for gaming as well? In other words, do you want to spend a substantial amount on the GPU?

 

The thing with that system is you're paying for a $300 case, $230 PSU, $300 mobo and $250 CPU cooler. That's unnecessary – a $100 case, $150 PSU, $200 mobo and $50 CPU cooler would be just as good from a functional perspective. Not to mention, being a gaming system it has a $700+ GPU that won't help with the calculations unless they're completely re-written to use GPGPU (and that might not be appropriate).


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I may occasionally give advice regarding (consumer) law, but it is only my opinion based on my reading – I am not a lawyer.

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#6

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 11:21 AM

Currently his laptop has an i5-5200 at 2.2ghz, 8gb ram and everything is running on 64x. When a calculation is running (excel) CPU and ram are maxed out, cant comment on disk speeds but he has an SSD if that's of any help.

 

The python stuff is not as intense at this stage but it will be getting there and the end goal for him is to have the GPU coming into play - I initially wanted to go for the 1060 but he didn't seem to mind the idea of a better GPU. 

 

I was putting some stuff together (I wasn't logged in so it didnt save) and I got around 2400 for a similar set up but using the 1060 and cheaper cooler, psu, mobo and hdd. I will try put together another list and share it here to see how I can compare!

 

Thanks for the advise and help LinuxUser! Always appreciated 



#7

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 11:38 AM

Although its quite likely I didn't pick out all the right cheap but good components, the price for all those things is rather similar to the one from computer lounge.

 

https://pricespy.co....l=254557&view=o



#8

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 12:22 PM

Currently his laptop has an i5-5200 at 2.2ghz, 8gb ram and everything is running on 64x. When a calculation is running (excel) CPU and ram are maxed out, cant comment on disk speeds but he has an SSD if that's of any help.

 

The python stuff is not as intense at this stage but it will be getting there and the end goal for him is to have the GPU coming into play - I initially wanted to go for the 1060 but he didn't seem to mind the idea of a better GPU. 

 

I was putting some stuff together (I wasn't logged in so it didnt save) and I got around 2400 for a similar set up but using the 1060 and cheaper cooler, psu, mobo and hdd. I will try put together another list and share it here to see how I can compare!

 

Thanks for the advise and help LinuxUser! Always appreciated 

 

There's probably the number one problem. If the RAM is full, then swap will be in use. And swap, even on an SSD, is slow.

 

OK, a good GPU is a good idea then. I assume he knows what he's doing well enough to know that it is suited to GPGPU. However, he may want to consider whether he wants AMD or NVIDIA. Is he working with integers, single-precision numbers, or double-precision numbers? If integers, I don't know... If single-precision, either is good. But if double-precision, AMD is definitely better.

 

Although its quite likely I didn't pick out all the right cheap but good components, the price for all those things is rather similar to the one from computer lounge.

 

https://pricespy.co....l=254557&view=o

 

You might want to consider a Ryzen 1700 or similar. For multi-threaded stuff it should be significantly faster than a quad-core i7.

 

The PSU is SFX rather than ATX, but still serves to demonstrate the price quite nicely.


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I may occasionally give advice regarding (consumer) law, but it is only my opinion based on my reading – I am not a lawyer.

Romans 3:23; 6:23; 5:8; 10:9-10,13


#9

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 12:46 PM

There's probably the number one problem. If the RAM is full, then swap will be in use. And swap, even on an SSD, is slow.

 

OK, a good GPU is a good idea then. I assume he knows what he's doing well enough to know that it is suited to GPGPU. However, he may want to consider whether he wants AMD or NVIDIA. Is he working with integers, single-precision numbers, or double-precision numbers? If integers, I don't know... If single-precision, either is good. But if double-precision, AMD is definitely better.

 

 

You might want to consider a Ryzen 1700 or similar. For multi-threaded stuff it should be significantly faster than a quad-core i7.

 

The PSU is SFX rather than ATX, but still serves to demonstrate the price quite nicely.

 

A program he is using suggests NVIDIA so I think it might be easier to stick with that. Also this way I can hijack his computer for gaming, now I just need a game that needs a strong gpu.

 

I will have a look into the Ryzen, always been interested but yet to see anyone use it. Still bit of a mystery to me so time to learn! 

 

 

Thanks again for the advise



#10

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 01:55 PM

Fair enough. Most things only need single-precision, and therefore NVIDIA is fine for most things.

 

When I recently upgraded (due to a mouse making a mess in my computer, which stopped the mobo working) I considered Ryzen, but stuck with Intel because of the particular combination of mobo features I required and the price range I wanted. Its single-threaded performance is slightly lower, but with those sorts of tasks that doesn't matter where twice the cores will be a significant advantage.


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i5 7400, Gigabyte GA-B250M-D3H, 16 GB DDR4, integrated graphics, 3x Kingston SSDNow KC380 120 GB (RAID0!), Corsair MX100 128 GB, Spinpoint F3 1TB HDD, DVD writer, all inside a wood case I built, Dell U2412M 24", U2311H 23" IPS and Philips 150B4 15" monitors, Dvorak keyboard, openSUSE Tumbleweed, Windows 8.1 Pro in a VB VM inside Linux

I may occasionally give advice regarding (consumer) law, but it is only my opinion based on my reading – I am not a lawyer.

Romans 3:23; 6:23; 5:8; 10:9-10,13


#11

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 09:36 AM

Like a vast majority of people I have built Intel machines exclusively for my last 3 or 4 builds (Since Core2Duo). When there is no real need for me to upgrade one my 6 year old processors (2600K), I think that's a bit crazy.

 

If I were needing to build a new machine now it would be Ryzen based, if only to help try maintain innovation in the CPU industry. Its sad that Intel has only improved things each year by so little, and price their products however they want because of a lack of good performing, competitively priced product from AMD. Its funny how quickly Intel were able to drop their prices when Ryzen and Threadripper launched, and how quickly Intel had their new CPUs ready to rival them. The cynic in me says Intel has been doing as little as possible to maximize their returns which I totally get, but if I can do my bit to ensure the industry doesn't stagnate like the last few years again, I'd do it. 


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#12

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 10:49 AM

Like a vast majority of people I have built Intel machines exclusively for my last 3 or 4 builds (Since Core2Duo). When there is no real need for me to upgrade one my 6 year old processors (2600K), I think that's a bit crazy.

 

If I were needing to build a new machine now it would be Ryzen based, if only to help try maintain innovation in the CPU industry. Its sad that Intel has only improved things each year by so little, and price their products however they want because of a lack of good performing, competitively priced product from AMD. Its funny how quickly Intel were able to drop their prices when Ryzen and Threadripper launched, and how quickly Intel had their new CPUs ready to rival them. The cynic in me says Intel has been doing as little as possible to maximize their returns which I totally get, but if I can do my bit to ensure the industry doesn't stagnate like the last few years again, I'd do it. 

 

You make a great point, and when I upgrade I will most likely go for the switch. But, he ended up buying it yesterday! It's crazy big, everything worked straight away. It needs a game on it asap!


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#13

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 10:51 AM

Like a vast majority of people I have built Intel machines exclusively for my last 3 or 4 builds (Since Core2Duo). When there is no real need for me to upgrade one my 6 year old processors (2600K), I think that's a bit crazy.

 

If I were needing to build a new machine now it would be Ryzen based, if only to help try maintain innovation in the CPU industry. Its sad that Intel has only improved things each year by so little, and price their products however they want because of a lack of good performing, competitively priced product from AMD. Its funny how quickly Intel were able to drop their prices when Ryzen and Threadripper launched, and how quickly Intel had their new CPUs ready to rival them. The cynic in me says Intel has been doing as little as possible to maximize their returns which I totally get, but if I can do my bit to ensure the industry doesn't stagnate like the last few years again, I'd do it. 

 

I wouldn't say Intel hasn't been doing anything, rather they've been emphasising efficiency and power consumption instead of performance. Obviously that definitely isn't what we want, but it's very important for both mobile and server – each of which would be larger markets than desktop. But that's definitely not to say that Intel hasn't been maximising their profits as you suggest – they almost definitely were, and still are for that matter but with a different situation now there's something competitive.

 

You make a great point, and when I upgrade I will most likely go for the switch. But, he ended up buying it yesterday! It's crazy big, everything worked straight away. It needs a game on it asap!

 

That sounds great. How well does it do for is number crunching?


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i5 7400, Gigabyte GA-B250M-D3H, 16 GB DDR4, integrated graphics, 3x Kingston SSDNow KC380 120 GB (RAID0!), Corsair MX100 128 GB, Spinpoint F3 1TB HDD, DVD writer, all inside a wood case I built, Dell U2412M 24", U2311H 23" IPS and Philips 150B4 15" monitors, Dvorak keyboard, openSUSE Tumbleweed, Windows 8.1 Pro in a VB VM inside Linux

I may occasionally give advice regarding (consumer) law, but it is only my opinion based on my reading – I am not a lawyer.

Romans 3:23; 6:23; 5:8; 10:9-10,13


#14

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 10:54 AM

That sounds great. How well does it do for is number crunching?

 

No idea, he hasn't installed anything yet, it was really anticlimactic... I think we will do all of that stuff tonight and do a side by side comparison to see how it all goes. Will update you guys on the results! 

 

Thanks again for the help and advice. 


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#15

lvmarv
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Posted 22 August 2017 - 11:39 AM

I wouldn't say Intel hasn't been doing anything, rather they've been emphasising efficiency and power consumption instead of performance. Obviously that definitely isn't what we want, but it's very important for both mobile and server – each of which would be larger markets than desktop. But that's definitely not to say that Intel hasn't been maximising their profits as you suggest – they almost definitely were, and still are for that matter but with a different situation now there's something competitive.

 

 

Yep that is totally valid, but I couldn't care less if my CPU is using 30W less than my CPU from 2011. Gimme more power and a compelling reason to upgrade!!! Haha.


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#16

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Posted 23 August 2017 - 10:05 AM

I'd love to see a scientific style comparison, like running the same files at the same time, and then having a macro or something save the file on completion. then you could use the file save time to see how long it's run for.  :D


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#17

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 08:13 AM

Did you ever run a side by side? To see what difference it makes? It might make a good case for me to get a new work computer!  :D



#18

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 08:19 AM

Hey sorry I never got around to posting an update. It was roughly 75% faster which made a big difference when doing 10 hour calculations! The GPU was not integrated into these calculations and it was just running from excel. 

 

Hope that helps your case! 


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