What? I can't hear you over the sound of the CPU fan!
October 21, 2011 2:54 PM Subscribe
The target: massive data-sets requiring week-long number crunching. The need: serious desktop processing power with fat memory pipelines. The catch: must be rigged for silent (or near-silent) running.
For my brother, working on his PhD dissertation in economics:
I'm looking to build a stripped-down but potent system for some heavy compute tasks. This machine should have a quad core chip, probably Core i7 to get solid performance and reasonable TDP (thermal design point - the maximum amount of power the cooling system in a computer is required to dissipate.)
I don't need a graphics adapter beyond the onboard, bottom-of-the-line, please-just-let-me-see-my-desktop variety (I'm debating whether to run this machine headless or not). I'm hoping that my compute tasks will not be memory-intensive enough to require paging memory to disk, but there won't be a lot of IO.
The tasks that I'll be running are compute-bound statistical simulations and are likely to run for about a week at a time and peg all four cores for the duration. With that kind of CPU load, I'm guessing keeping air flowing is going to be important.
The trouble is that I live in a small apartment with my wife, and having a machine roaring like a jumbo jet for a week at a go is (dramatic pause) not going to work. So, I need to set up a machine that can run the tasks I need while being as close to whisper-quiet as I can get.
With a CPU that has 95W TDP , and no graphics adapter, this seems like it shouldn't be too difficult, but I've been wrong before.
Also, given the long compute times, is there anything I should be made aware of in regards to the longevity of this system?
Thanks for any ideas.