Gaming HTPC Page 2

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  • Deleted user 12 September 2012 15:27:42
    @futileResistor

    I disagree, he was already putting a GTX 660 and SSD in the machine, and that means it needs a big case and power supply, and probably spending £1000 on parts, so calling it a HTPC was probably a synonym for Gaming PC that is stylish and quiet by the TV.

    The Dell Precision is actually a better fit for the task and would carry many games longer by virtue of the 60% OpenCl efficiency on the 4 core 8 threaded Xeon, and the higher performance graphics card driver support, memory speed and stability. It is also lower power to run, and quiet, because of better airflow through the case, has good looks and awesome build quality. It just sort of proves how bad value the alienware stuff is.
  • mikew1985 12 Sep 2012 15:31:31 13,030 posts
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    Why does he need a big case and a big power supply for an SSD and a 660?

    660 will run on a 500w PSU easily and runs quite cool and extremely quitely.

    A small case into which a 660Ti fits is easily possible.

    Edited by mikew1985 at 15:31:53 12-09-2012
  • Deleted user 12 September 2012 15:56:49
    @mikew1985
    It is possible to go small case, but he linked to a case that was of similar foot print volume (W) 445mm x (H) 182mm x (D) 410mm , to the Dell Workstation, probably with the intention of taking a bigger GTX 690 in the future (in the 270mm space) with big slow turning fans, for quiet/cool operation, and to take more hard drives. Also the PSU doesn't represent the operational power used by both systems, just the headroom needed.

    When you factor in Gaming PC shelf life, a larger case always comes into play, and as I said originally, the workstation is better in the long run for upgrading and motherboard/ driver support, hence why developers use these type machines for developing games. But it comes down to cost at the end of the day for a Gaming HTPC, and the workstation is probably £350 more than can be justified.
  • Ginger 12 Sep 2012 16:07:00 6,916 posts
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    interesting approach to spam - maybe they should c/p from a couple of pages back though...

    London open taekwondo champion

  • mikew1985 12 Sep 2012 17:10:21 13,030 posts
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    It is bizarre isn't it?
  • FutileResistor 12 Sep 2012 21:27:01 1,238 posts
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    @vizzini

    Professional Graphics cards like the Quadro and or AMD FirePro, although based on the same GPU architecture as consumer cards are not the same.

    The cards are built for CAD and creating 3D content in professional packages like MAYA, Lightwave, 3DS MAX etc... Both the hardware and drivers are optimised for this work and not for games.

    AMD and Nvidia don't even take games into account in writing their drivers for these cards.

    In short, for gaming, an £80 radeon 6850 would probably perform better than the the £250 Quadro 2000 in the Dell workstation in your link. A £250 GTX 660Ti would wipe the floor with the Quadro in games.

    Unfortunately this isn't like kitchen equipment where the professional version of the tool is a higher quality version of the consumer product.

    Consumer GPUs and Professional GPUs are designed to do different things.
  • richardiox 12 Sep 2012 22:53:32 5,732 posts
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    Vizzini proving himself to be just as big a moron in the forum as in the comments threads. He of classic "if god had created a console he would have called it PS3" infamy

    Suggesting a £1300 workstation with a Xeon and a Quadro would "carry many games for longer" than a i5/660ti machine which is not only cheaper but will offer superior gaming performance.

    Ecosse is clearly after a gaming machine not a rendering workstation.
  • Armoured_Bear 12 Sep 2012 23:15:50 11,878 posts
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    So, what about thermal paste?
    Any special recommendations?
    Blu-Ray Recommendations?

    Will this be effective? -

    XBL : ecosse011172
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  • Deleted user 12 September 2012 23:36:17
    @FutileResistor

    No, that isn't true at all. The professional cards are designed and cost thousands to begin because of reliability, lower power consumption, that needs more expensive fabrication, which is the starting point for the cheap unreliable consumer cards.

    Cards like FireGL X2-256 and ATI Radeon 9800 were different by almost nothing in electrical engineer, hence why so many people used the bios hack to use the high performance FireGL drivers on their 1/4 priced consumer card. Quadros aren't much different either. They get all the R&D first, all the driver support first and graphics extensions first, all the power saving first, and cost significantly more for those benefits.

    They also support a great percentage of OpenGL/OpenCL features in the driver, making them better suited to niche software to, but they are still more compliant for gaming than buggy consumer drivers at day one. Rage being a great example of a recent problem not affecting the Professional quite the same.

    If you'd ever been a consumer of both types of card, we wouldn't be having this discussion.

    @richardiox
    Workstations produce more performance per watt and per dB than Alienware and self builds. Even the operating system pre-installed by the OEM is performance tuned with OEM customization to get closer to the metal. By price they are very expensive, but they are the pinnacle systems you can buy and customize.
  • FanBoysSuck 13 Sep 2012 13:48:01 1,538 posts
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    @vizzini Nope, my 6870 kicks the shit out of my girlfriends Quadro 2000 when it comes to gaming. It's the other way around when doing work in Maya.

    Also why on earth are you bringing massive workstations into a discussion about HTPCs?

    For the emperor!

  • Razz 13 Sep 2012 13:58:52 61,650 posts
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    Anyone used the nVidia range of low profile graphics cards? I have a 5570, it does the business but I wouldn't mind a little more power, So I'm looking at a Radeon 6670 or nVidia GT 630.

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  • Deleted user 13 September 2012 14:09:20
    @FanboysSuck

    That is not a one to one test of the consumer card of a Quadro 2000. What about a one to one test with a FirePro equivalent?

    The AMD card you have chosen has about 4x times the Steam Processors, but still only about 3x the memory bandwidth, and should beat the Quadro 2000 in all performance tests by 2 or 3 to 1 if everything else was equal. The fact that it loses on Maya test shows just how throttled or poor the graphics drivers are for non professional cards today.
    I also suspect the Quadro is permanently using 30bit colour and the AMD 6870 is using just 24bit in games which means the tests aren't quite an exact match.

    Gaming HTPCs imo should be quiet, cool, reliable and powerful. Workstations are probably the best fit for the task if price isn't the deciding factor.
  • Deleted user 13 September 2012 14:11:53
    Always wondered how pro graphics cards perform in games.
  • FutileResistor 13 Sep 2012 19:42:40 1,238 posts
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    Armoured_Bear wrote:
    So, what about thermal paste?
    Any special recommendations?
    Blu-Ray Recommendations?

    Will this be effective? -
    Thermal paste? Rice-grain sized blob, smeared as thinly as possible over the CPU die.

    The Kama cross is a few years old now. Maybe try water cooling. One of the lower end Corsair H series? Check out the frosty tech site. They specialise in heat sink reviews and have a top 10 heat sinks by noise.

    Blu ray? Isn't everyone on here using their PS3s? You should be able to get a blu ray drive for about £45 and Blu ray writers for about £55.

    Noise dampening? For an HTPC you're typically sitting about 10 plus feet away from the PC. See if you can hear the PC from where you sit before spending a load of money on foam.

    Edited by FutileResistor at 19:44:36 13-09-2012
  • Armoured_Bear 13 Sep 2012 19:52:13 11,878 posts
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    FutileResistor wrote:
    Armoured_Bear wrote:
    So, what about thermal paste?
    Any special recommendations?
    Blu-Ray Recommendations?

    Will this be effective? -
    Thermal paste? Rice-grain sized blob, smeared as thinly as possible over the CPU die.

    The Kama cross is a few years old now. Maybe try water cooling. One of the lower end Corsair H series? Check out the frosty tech site. They specialise in heat sink reviews and have a top 10 heat sinks by noise.

    Blu ray? Isn't everyone on here using their PS3s? You should be able to get a blu ray drive for about £45 and Blu ray writers for about £55.

    Noise dampening? For an HTPC you're typically sitting about 10 plus feet away from the PC. See if you can hear the PC from where you sit before spending a load of money on foam.
    I know what thermal paste is, I wondered if there was a significant difference between brands.

    Thanks for the link, not sure I can be arsed with water cooling and unsure if it'll fit in my case.

    I want Blu-Ray mostly for ripping not watching.

    XBL : ecosse011172
    PSN : ecosse_011172
    NNID : armoured_bear

  • heyyo 13 Sep 2012 19:54:04 14,369 posts
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    Perhaps a couple of degrees between the different brands.
  • FutileResistor 13 Sep 2012 20:10:53 1,238 posts
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    vizzini wrote:
    @FanboysSuck

    That is not a one to one test of the consumer card of a Quadro 2000. What about a one to one test with a FirePro equivalent?

    The AMD card you have chosen has about 4x times the Steam Processors, but still only about 3x the memory bandwidth, and should beat the Quadro 2000 in all performance tests by 2 or 3 to 1 if everything else was equal. The fact that it loses on Maya test shows just how throttled or poor the graphics drivers are for non professional cards today.
    I also suspect the Quadro is permanently using 30bit colour and the AMD 6870 is using just 24bit in games which means the tests aren't quite an exact match.

    Gaming HTPCs imo should be quiet, cool, reliable and powerful. Workstations are probably the best fit for the task if price isn't the deciding factor.
    Of course the Quadro 2000 is going to beat the consumer card at Maya, as I pointed out earlier, that's what the hardware and software drivers for the Quadro are designed to do. I even mentioned Maya by name.

    The drivers and CAD packages are extensively tested and certified for the Pro cards so that architects don't have to worry that inaccurate designs will lead to buildings and bridges collapsing.

    Conversely consumer cards and drivers are designed to play games.

    GTX 285 v Quadro 2000 Crysis Benchmark scroll down to the "But can it play Crysis?" benchmark. At 1920x1080, No AA, Very High Quality. The GTX 285 average FPS is 24.6, the Quadro average FPS is 12.1. To nobody's surprise a card designed to play games beats a card not designed to play games at playing a game.

    To put this into perspective, the GTX 285 is a getting on to four years old card now. GTX 285 v GTX 660Ti.

    So for the same £250 for both cards, a 660Ti would be about 6 to 8 times faster in most games if the Crysis benchmark is indicative.

    It's an easy mistake to make, you would expect a pro card to be a higher quality version of the consumer card but they are built to do completely different things.

    The same goes for the Xeon CPU compared to the Ivy Bridge but I don't wish to derail the thread further.

    Edited by FutileResistor at 20:12:40 13-09-2012
  • richardiox 13 Sep 2012 20:13:08 5,732 posts
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    So Vizzini chatting uninformed drivel as always then. Quelle surprise.
  • FutileResistor 13 Sep 2012 20:18:38 1,238 posts
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    heyyo wrote:
    Perhaps a couple of degrees between the different brands.
    It's just supposed to ensure proper contact between the CPU and heat sink surfaces with no air gap.

    I don't think there's been enough testing between branded and generic to draw firm conclusions and the differences seem minimal where tests have been done.
  • Deleted user 13 September 2012 22:22:50
    @FutileResistor
    The difference between opengl or directx for games or cad is marketing and driver compliance and settings.

    “Quadro Drivers are a little different than any Gerforce one. The options under “Global Settings” has expanded greatly for every sort of 3D and 2d Professional app. Gone is presets for video games, but that is expect since Quadros aren’t meant to be gaming on.”

    Completely glossing over the graphics card driver profile for “game development” in the picture, or that it was using 30bit colour for all the benchmarks, hence why it did comparatively better when the fillrate was reduced to a HD-ready resolution.

    As I already said, game developers don't tend to use retail consumer equipment that might not have fully compliant opengl or directx drivers, they let the QA team test on cheap, power draining consumer equipment.

    But the point still holds true. If you want premium performance, low power consumption, reliability and top end opengl/directx/opencl/directCompute driver compliance, the best workstation GPU and systems are the answer.

    As for the Xeon processors, compared to Core iX chips, the difference is about 40% loss in efficiency to cache misses, versus 60% loss in performance.
  • richardiox 13 Sep 2012 22:29:58 5,732 posts
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    Even despite benchmarks proving otherwise you're still saying workstation GPUs are better for gaming than mainstream gaming GPUs which are cheaper and have better drivers for gaming?

    Can you provide links to some gaming benchmarks to prove what you're saying? I'm not talking 30bit vs 24bit colour - I'm talking framerates.
  • Deleted user 13 September 2012 22:55:51
    @richardiox

    I'm saying when you take money out of the equation to buy the pinnacle workstation boards they are better. But specifically about the GPU, the costs do get stupid hence why fair benchmarks will be hard to find. It does seem like even ebaying the Quadro 2000 in the precision system, for a modest 560ti would yield cheaper and great performance when combined with the excellent base of the precision workstation hardware. People are doing this with Lenovo Thinkstation S30s and C30s (and HP workstations) also, as they want a great base system(bios, driver, hardware raid support) with the cheap performance benefits of consumer GPUs.

    And I already did give you an example from the past I knew. The FireGL-X2-256t versus ATI Radeon 9800 Pro. Carmack himself used the FireGL-X2 in the Doom3 test rig(as was specified), right up until the doom3 alpha leak, which they blamed Ati for, which he then used the Quadro edition of what the GeForce 6600 GT was based on (iirc).
  • richardiox 13 Sep 2012 23:08:24 5,732 posts
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    Using the 9800pro as your argument, LOL megafail. How about the much more recent link futile resistor provided where a 285gtx toasts the Quadro2000 on Crysis benchmarks. A 660ti would destroy it.

    The bottom line - if in 2012 you want a PC for gaming, which Ecosse clearly does hence this thread - it 110% isn't the best option to get a workstation either in terms of price OR gaming performance.

    I can't fathom why you're in here blathering about how it would be better to spend twice as much in a workstation.

    But then after your embarrasing and delusional "if god created a console he would call it PS3" rants and the fact that in all the Digital Foundry face offs you straight up call the results either "lies" or "bias" if PS3 versions are inferior you literally have zero credibility.

    The icing on the cake being you claim you make your living as a games developer which is pure BS.
  • Deleted user 14 September 2012 00:26:41
    @richardiox

    I think you've forgotten that the requirement was for a Gaming HTPC. You are only describing a Gaming PC, as the sound from that self build system (GPU fan, PSU fan, CPU fan, DVD/Blu-ray noise) when combined will far exceed the noise level of a expertly designed quiet workstation with a case designed for excellent airflow and low power consumption.

    I guess he can just turn up the volume on the amp and lose all the low end sound in home theatre to drown out the Gaming PC, as I bet that's what you already ;)
  • richardiox 14 Sep 2012 00:35:19 5,732 posts
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    No you idiot, his requirement is for a GAMING htpc. Yes, low noise levels are important but performance is equally important.

    You keep changing your argument as always. Are you now saying your point is simply that workstations are the quieter option as opposed to offering better gaming performance? Nobody ever disputed that although you can obviously build a very quiet HTPC with the right parts.

    Previously you were saying how a Quatro2000 would outperform a 660ti for mainstream gaming.

    Don't think Ecosse would be happy spending £1000+ on what you recommended "the drivers and framerates are shit but at least it's slightly quieter than the superbly specced HTPC I was going to build"

    Sometimes I swear you are just on a trolling windup and your actually a sock.
  • Armoured_Bear 14 Sep 2012 01:52:38 11,878 posts
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    vizzini wrote:
    @richardiox

    I think you've forgotten that the requirement was for a Gaming HTPC. You are only describing a Gaming PC, as the sound from that self build system (GPU fan, PSU fan, CPU fan, DVD/Blu-ray noise) when combined will far exceed the noise level of a expertly designed quiet workstation with a case designed for excellent airflow and low power consumption.

    I guess he can just turn up the volume on the amp and lose all the low end sound in home theatre to drown out the Gaming PC, as I bet that's what you already ;)
    How do you design a case for low power consumption?

    XBL : ecosse011172
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  • Dirtbox 14 Sep 2012 02:15:07 79,170 posts
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    Useful info when dealing with vizzini; he's a linux nut. He's unaware of games that don't require compiling.

    +1 / Like / Tweet this post

  • Deleted user 14 September 2012 08:31:05
    @richardiox

    No I didn't mean that about the 2000, I'm still talking performance per watt, and per dB, a characteristic that is important when building a Gaming “HT” PC, is it not?

    It sounds like you are all still talking about a power hungry, quite noisy(+30dB) Gaming PC, as no one has even mentioned water cooling from what I recall.

    There are major competing factors for a Gaming HTPC system; cost, running cost, noise and performance.

    If you take price out of the equation then a fully customized workstation or highly expensive system specific water cooled (PSU, GPU, CPU, Memory) system that costs a lot to run in power are the two obvious options. As both can do high performance, low noise.

    I stated at the beginning, that staying a generation behind with lower power GPUs that are ultra efficient would be my compromise (for performance versus price). The Quadro has excellent driver graphics support and will run games better than that benchmark (certainly when supplemented with a four core eight threaded Xeon with 10MB l2 cache, clocking at 3.6Ghz, and with memory performance above 7.9 on windows 7's index).

    You think that is a crackpot idea, and you are entitled to that opinion, but you are refusing to make any compromise to get noise levels to a suitable level for a “HT” PC, or making an defence for the much higher running costs of a gaming rig when used as a gaming HTPC left on with the TV.
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