Computer

2013-09-05

2013-09-08.01.Case.jpg 2013-08-29.10.Computer.jpg 2013-08-29.11.Computer.jpg 2013-09-08.02.Inside.jpg

I've been using laptops for the last half decade and decided to return to the desktop world. This was inspired by two factors: first, that I already use a separate monitor and separate keyboard, and second that I've been doing some photo and video editing, which are processor-intensive tasks that strain the abilities of the average laptop and correspondingly my patience.

2013-08-30.13.i7-4770.jpg

Processor

This is a i7-4770 chip, which is in Intel's i7 line of LGA1150 processors. It runs at 3.4 GHz and has four cores.

2013-08-30.12.GA-Z87N-WIFI.jpg

Motherboard

This is a GA-Z87N-WIFI motherboard manufactured by Gigabyte. It's an LGA1150 type. It's also Mini-ITX, which means it's very small. There is a PCI-Express 16 slot. It can hold two DDR3 memory sticks. It has on-board Bluetooth and WiFi. In this age, unlike a decade ago, almost all motherboards — including this one — have on-board audio and LAN. At the moment I'm using the on-board video. It's an Intel grahics driver, which is open source and well-supported on Linux. For speed reasons, it might be good to upgrade to a separate graphics card later, particularly for video and possibly for photo work.

2013-08-30.15.SilverStone.AR01.jpg

Heat sink

This is a AR01 heat sink made by SilverStone. It's a mid-range, price-wise. In this case, that means it's pretty decent at cooling and relatively quiet. Cheap cooling systems are loud and cool poorly, and expensive ones are either great at cooling, quiet, or both.

2013-09-08.03.Cooler Master.Fan.jpg

Old CPU fan

The SilverStone fan started making noise not long after I installed it, which probably means the bearings were doing bad things. I replaced it with this, a Cooler Master 120mm fan. The model number is DF1202512SEHN. According to the Internet, this fan runs at 600-1600 RPM ±10%, has an air displacement of 24.9-66.3 CFM ±10%, has a noise range of 9-31 dBA, and has a projected life of 40,000 hours. It's not exactly quiet, but it's not too noisy either, and there's no use worrying excessively about noise from cooling the CPU. The case itself can absorb some of the noise, and undercutting power on one cooling fan often leads to overworking the others.

2013-09-15.01.Kaze-Jyuni.jpg 2013-09-15.02.Kaze-Jyuni.jpg

New CPU fan

In a successful effort to make the machine run a little quieter, I switched to this cooling fan. It's a SY1225SL12L by Scythe. It has an air displacement of 40.1 CFM, runs at 800 RPM, makes 10.7 dBa of noise, and has a projected life of 30,000 hours. This fan is definitely slower and quieter than the previous fan, and if CPU temperatures get too high, I'll need to either get a second fan or switch back to the old one. My heat sink is made for use with one or two fans, and because noise is awesome and doesn't scale like you might expect, using two quieter fans might be more more effective than using a single louder one. For reference, it's about 29°C in my room now, and my CPU temperature while idling is around 37°C.

2013-08-30.11.Elixir.W3U1600HQ-8GC11.jpg

Memory

This is CFD-Elixir DDR3 1600 Long DIMM 8GB x2. The manufacturer is Elixir, and as the name suggests, there are two 8GB chips of DDR3 1600 PC3-12800 memory. My motherboard only has two memory slots, and perhaps it only supports 16GB of RAM. I looked at getting the faster DDR3 2133 memory, but I decided that the 95% increase in price was not worth the less than 5% general performance increase.

2013-08-30.16.Toshiba.SSD.jpg

First hard drive

This is a CSSD-S6T128NHG5Q, which is a 128MB solid state hard drive made by Toshiba. This, like most solid state drives that I found, is a 2.5" drive that comes with a bracket so I can use it my desktop's 3.5" hard drive slot. The size is small, by modern hard drive standards, but it's more than large enough for my operating system and software. Solid state drives are expensive and small, but they're also really fast. My goal here is to have the operating system on this drive. I'll store my personal files on the second hard drive. This is what I've been doing for years with my laptop and USB hard drive, and I think it will make my system fairly responsive.

2013-08-30.17.Seagate.Barracuda 3000GB.jpg

Second hard drive

This is a Seagate Barracuda 3000GB hard drive. It's a SATA3 drive that runs at 7200 RPM and has a 3.0 TB capacity. This drive is twenty three times larger in size than my solid state drive and yet it cost ten percent less. The trade-off is that it's a lot slower.

2013-08-30.10.Bitfenix.BFC-PRO-300-WWXKW-RP.jpg

Case

This is a BFC-PRO-300-WWXKW-RP made by Prodigy / BitFenix. The case is about the size of a mid-tower, but it's made for a Mini-ITX board like I have. Generally speaking if you get a Mini-ITX board you put it in a small case, but there are some advantages of using a relatively large case like I am. It is fairly easy for me to change out components, because nothing is overlapping with anything else. The case is wide, so I can put a large cooling fan in it. Also, air moves well through the case. The power supply is on the bottom in the back, the motherboard and processor are above it, and there are large case fans at the top of the back and bottom of the front. There's also room for a 5.25" drive, though right now I have no plans to get one. I'm hoping that I can get by without a DVD drive ... in a pinch I can use my old laptop to access CD and DVD data.

2013-08-30.14.Seasonic.560W.jpg

Power supply

This is a 560W 80PLUS GOLD SS-560KM power supply made by Seasonic and OwlTech. It's 560W, which is less than what a hardcore gamer would want. My machine has very little hardware, so I should be OK with this level of power. One of the features is that, like most decent power supplies in the last few years, the cables are detachable. That is to say, old power supplies had a big bundle of cables coming out of them, and you used the half that you needed. The other half just hung out in the corner of your case looking ugly and messing with the airflow. Newer power supplies like this have plugs on the side, and you only plug in the cables you need.

2013-09-08.04.Enermax.Fan.jpg

Case fan

The case came with a 120mm case fan, but I wanted a bigger and quieter fan. So I replaced the stock fan with this, a UCTB14 by Enermax. According to Enermax, it spins at 750 (±10%) RPM, has an air displacement of 45.4 CFM, and makes about 15 dBA of noise. This 140mm fan is very quiet.

Device drivers

Here is some information on the device drivers in my box. I got this from kmuto.jp.

PCI IDWorks?VendorDeviceDriverKernel
80860c00Intel CorporationHaswell DRAM Controller
80860412Intel CorporationHaswell Integrated Graphics Controller
80860c0cIntel CorporationHaswell HD Audio Controller
80868c31Intel CorporationLynx Point USB xHCI Host Controller
80868c3aIntel CorporationLynx Point MEI Controller #1
8086153bIntel CorporationEthernet Connection I217-V
80868c2dIntel CorporationLynx Point USB Enhanced Host Controller #2
80868c20Intel CorporationLynx Point High Definition Audio Controller
80868c10Intel CorporationLynx Point PCI Express Root Port #1
80868c16Intel CorporationLynx Point PCI Express Root Port #4
80868c18Intel CorporationLynx Point PCI Express Root Port #5
80868c26Intel CorporationLynx Point USB Enhanced Host Controller #1
80868c44YesIntel CorporationLynx Point LPC ControlleriTCO_wdtv3.2.35-
80868c02Intel CorporationLynx Point 6-port SATA Controller 1 [AHCI mode]
80868c22YesIntel CorporationLynx Point SMBus Controlleri2c-i801v3.2.35-
19691091Atheros Communications Inc.AR8161 Gigabit Ethernet
80860887YesIntel CorporationCentrino Wireless-N 2230iwlwifiv2.6.39-

Extra Information

Here's system information.

$ uname --all Linux white 3.16.0-4-amd64 #1 SMP Debian 3.16.7-ckt2-1 (2014-12-08) x86_64 GNU/Linux

Here's memory information.

$ free --human total used free shared buffers cached Mem: 15G 14G 1.4G 287M 359M 12G -/+ buffers/cache: 1.8G 13G Swap: 15G 75M 15G

Here's hard drive information.

$ df --human-readable | grep /dev/ | grep --invert-match tmpfs /dev/dm-1 101G 33G 64G 34% / tmpfs 7.9G 992K 7.8G 1% /dev/shm /dev/sda2 229M 55M 162M 26% /boot /dev/sda1 487M 132K 486M 1% /boot/efi /dev/mapper/seagate 2.7T 737G 1.9T 29% /media/seagate

Here's PCI bus information.

$ lspci 00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation 4th Gen Core Processor DRAM Controller (rev 06) 00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Xeon E3-1200 v3/4th Gen Core Processor Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 06) 00:03.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation Xeon E3-1200 v3/4th Gen Core Processor HD Audio Controller (rev 06) 00:14.0 USB controller: Intel Corporation 8 Series/C220 Series Chipset Family USB xHCI (rev 04) 00:16.0 Communication controller: Intel Corporation 8 Series/C220 Series Chipset Family MEI Controller #1 (rev 04) 00:19.0 Ethernet controller: Intel Corporation Ethernet Connection I217-V (rev 04) 00:1a.0 USB controller: Intel Corporation 8 Series/C220 Series Chipset Family USB EHCI #2 (rev 04) 00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 8 Series/C220 Series Chipset High Definition Audio Controller (rev 04) 00:1c.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 8 Series/C220 Series Chipset Family PCI Express Root Port #1 (rev d4) 00:1c.3 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 8 Series/C220 Series Chipset Family PCI Express Root Port #4 (rev d4) 00:1c.4 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 8 Series/C220 Series Chipset Family PCI Express Root Port #5 (rev d4) 00:1d.0 USB controller: Intel Corporation 8 Series/C220 Series Chipset Family USB EHCI #1 (rev 04) 00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation Z87 Express LPC Controller (rev 04) 00:1f.2 SATA controller: Intel Corporation 8 Series/C220 Series Chipset Family 6-port SATA Controller 1 [AHCI mode] (rev 04) 00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corporation 8 Series/C220 Series Chipset Family SMBus Controller (rev 04) 02:00.0 Ethernet controller: Qualcomm Atheros AR8161 Gigabit Ethernet (rev 10) 03:00.0 Network controller: Intel Corporation Centrino Wireless-N 2230 (rev c4)

Here's USB bus information.

$ lsusb Bus 004 Device 002: ID 8087:8000 Intel Corp. Bus 004 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub Bus 003 Device 002: ID 8087:8008 Intel Corp. Bus 003 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub Bus 002 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0003 Linux Foundation 3.0 root hub Bus 001 Device 004: ID 046d:c01a Logitech, Inc. M-BQ85 Optical Wheel Mouse Bus 001 Device 006: ID 05f3:0007 PI Engineering, Inc. Kinesis Advantage PRO MPC/USB Keyboard Bus 001 Device 003: ID 05f3:0081 PI Engineering, Inc. Kinesis Integrated Hub Bus 001 Device 002: ID 14cd:8168 Super Top Bus 001 Device 005: ID 8087:07da Intel Corp. Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub

Here's the onboard graphics card information.

$ lspci -vnn | grep VGA -A 12 00:02.0 VGA compatible controller [0300]: Intel Corporation Xeon E3-1200 v3/4th Gen Core Processor Integrated Graphics Controller [8086:0412] (rev 06) (prog-if 00 [VGA controller]) Subsystem: Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd Xeon E3-1200 v3/4th Gen Core Processor Integrated Graphics Controller [1458:d000] Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 32 Memory at f0000000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=4M] Memory at e0000000 (64-bit, prefetchable) [size=256M] I/O ports at f000 [size=64] [virtual] Expansion ROM at 000c0000 [disabled] [size=128K] Capabilities: Kernel driver in use: i915 Kernel modules: i915

Finally, here's processor information.

$ cat /proc/cpuinfo processor : 0 vendor_id : GenuineIntel cpu family : 6 model : 60 model name : Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-4770 CPU @ 3.40GHz stepping : 3 microcode : 0x1c cpu MHz : 3876.531 cache size : 8192 KB physical id : 0 siblings : 8 core id : 0 cpu cores : 4 apicid : 0 initial apicid : 0 fpu : yes fpu_exception : yes cpuid level : 13 wp : yes flags : fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic sep mtrr pge mca cmov pat pse36 clflush dts acpi mmx fxsr sse sse2 ss ht tm pbe syscall nx pdpe1gb rdtscp lm constant_tsc arch_perfmon pebs bts rep_good nopl xtopology nonstop_tsc aperfmperf eagerfpu pni pclmulqdq dtes64 monitor ds_cpl vmx smx est tm2 ssse3 fma cx16 xtpr pdcm pcid sse4_1 sse4_2 x2apic movbe popcnt tsc_deadline_timer aes xsave avx f16c rdrand lahf_lm abm ida arat xsaveopt pln pts dtherm tpr_shadow vnmi flexpriority ept vpid fsgsbase tsc_adjust bmi1 avx2 smep bmi2 erms invpcid bogomips : 6784.80 clflush size : 64 cache_alignment : 64 address sizes : 39 bits physical, 48 bits virtual power management: processor : 1 vendor_id : GenuineIntel cpu family : 6 model : 60 model name : Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-4770 CPU @ 3.40GHz stepping : 3 microcode : 0x1c cpu MHz : 3892.335 cache size : 8192 KB physical id : 0 siblings : 8 core id : 1 cpu cores : 4 apicid : 2 initial apicid : 2 fpu : yes fpu_exception : yes cpuid level : 13 wp : yes flags : fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic sep mtrr pge mca cmov pat pse36 clflush dts acpi mmx fxsr sse sse2 ss ht tm pbe syscall nx pdpe1gb rdtscp lm constant_tsc arch_perfmon pebs bts rep_good nopl xtopology nonstop_tsc aperfmperf eagerfpu pni pclmulqdq dtes64 monitor ds_cpl vmx smx est tm2 ssse3 fma cx16 xtpr pdcm pcid sse4_1 sse4_2 x2apic movbe popcnt tsc_deadline_timer aes xsave avx f16c rdrand lahf_lm abm ida arat xsaveopt pln pts dtherm tpr_shadow vnmi flexpriority ept vpid fsgsbase tsc_adjust bmi1 avx2 smep bmi2 erms invpcid bogomips : 6784.80 clflush size : 64 cache_alignment : 64 address sizes : 39 bits physical, 48 bits virtual power management: processor : 2 vendor_id : GenuineIntel cpu family : 6 model : 60 model name : Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-4770 CPU @ 3.40GHz stepping : 3 microcode : 0x1c cpu MHz : 3879.187 cache size : 8192 KB physical id : 0 siblings : 8 core id : 2 cpu cores : 4 apicid : 4 initial apicid : 4 fpu : yes fpu_exception : yes cpuid level : 13 wp : yes flags : fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic sep mtrr pge mca cmov pat pse36 clflush dts acpi mmx fxsr sse sse2 ss ht tm pbe syscall nx pdpe1gb rdtscp lm constant_tsc arch_perfmon pebs bts rep_good nopl xtopology nonstop_tsc aperfmperf eagerfpu pni pclmulqdq dtes64 monitor ds_cpl vmx smx est tm2 ssse3 fma cx16 xtpr pdcm pcid sse4_1 sse4_2 x2apic movbe popcnt tsc_deadline_timer aes xsave avx f16c rdrand lahf_lm abm ida arat xsaveopt pln pts dtherm tpr_shadow vnmi flexpriority ept vpid fsgsbase tsc_adjust bmi1 avx2 smep bmi2 erms invpcid bogomips : 6784.80 clflush size : 64 cache_alignment : 64 address sizes : 39 bits physical, 48 bits virtual power management: processor : 3 vendor_id : GenuineIntel cpu family : 6 model : 60 model name : Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-4770 CPU @ 3.40GHz stepping : 3 microcode : 0x1c cpu MHz : 3899.242 cache size : 8192 KB physical id : 0 siblings : 8 core id : 3 cpu cores : 4 apicid : 6 initial apicid : 6 fpu : yes fpu_exception : yes cpuid level : 13 wp : yes flags : fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic sep mtrr pge mca cmov pat pse36 clflush dts acpi mmx fxsr sse sse2 ss ht tm pbe syscall nx pdpe1gb rdtscp lm constant_tsc arch_perfmon pebs bts rep_good nopl xtopology nonstop_tsc aperfmperf eagerfpu pni pclmulqdq dtes64 monitor ds_cpl vmx smx est tm2 ssse3 fma cx16 xtpr pdcm pcid sse4_1 sse4_2 x2apic movbe popcnt tsc_deadline_timer aes xsave avx f16c rdrand lahf_lm abm ida arat xsaveopt pln pts dtherm tpr_shadow vnmi flexpriority ept vpid fsgsbase tsc_adjust bmi1 avx2 smep bmi2 erms invpcid bogomips : 6784.80 clflush size : 64 cache_alignment : 64 address sizes : 39 bits physical, 48 bits virtual power management: processor : 4 vendor_id : GenuineIntel cpu family : 6 model : 60 model name : Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-4770 CPU @ 3.40GHz stepping : 3 microcode : 0x1c cpu MHz : 3746.242 cache size : 8192 KB physical id : 0 siblings : 8 core id : 0 cpu cores : 4 apicid : 1 initial apicid : 1 fpu : yes fpu_exception : yes cpuid level : 13 wp : yes flags : fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic sep mtrr pge mca cmov pat pse36 clflush dts acpi mmx fxsr sse sse2 ss ht tm pbe syscall nx pdpe1gb rdtscp lm constant_tsc arch_perfmon pebs bts rep_good nopl xtopology nonstop_tsc aperfmperf eagerfpu pni pclmulqdq dtes64 monitor ds_cpl vmx smx est tm2 ssse3 fma cx16 xtpr pdcm pcid sse4_1 sse4_2 x2apic movbe popcnt tsc_deadline_timer aes xsave avx f16c rdrand lahf_lm abm ida arat xsaveopt pln pts dtherm tpr_shadow vnmi flexpriority ept vpid fsgsbase tsc_adjust bmi1 avx2 smep bmi2 erms invpcid bogomips : 6784.80 clflush size : 64 cache_alignment : 64 address sizes : 39 bits physical, 48 bits virtual power management: processor : 5 vendor_id : GenuineIntel cpu family : 6 model : 60 model name : Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-4770 CPU @ 3.40GHz stepping : 3 microcode : 0x1c cpu MHz : 3761.648 cache size : 8192 KB physical id : 0 siblings : 8 core id : 1 cpu cores : 4 apicid : 3 initial apicid : 3 fpu : yes fpu_exception : yes cpuid level : 13 wp : yes flags : fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic sep mtrr pge mca cmov pat pse36 clflush dts acpi mmx fxsr sse sse2 ss ht tm pbe syscall nx pdpe1gb rdtscp lm constant_tsc arch_perfmon pebs bts rep_good nopl xtopology nonstop_tsc aperfmperf eagerfpu pni pclmulqdq dtes64 monitor ds_cpl vmx smx est tm2 ssse3 fma cx16 xtpr pdcm pcid sse4_1 sse4_2 x2apic movbe popcnt tsc_deadline_timer aes xsave avx f16c rdrand lahf_lm abm ida arat xsaveopt pln pts dtherm tpr_shadow vnmi flexpriority ept vpid fsgsbase tsc_adjust bmi1 avx2 smep bmi2 erms invpcid bogomips : 6784.80 clflush size : 64 cache_alignment : 64 address sizes : 39 bits physical, 48 bits virtual power management: processor : 6 vendor_id : GenuineIntel cpu family : 6 model : 60 model name : Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-4770 CPU @ 3.40GHz stepping : 3 microcode : 0x1c cpu MHz : 3757.929 cache size : 8192 KB physical id : 0 siblings : 8 core id : 2 cpu cores : 4 apicid : 5 initial apicid : 5 fpu : yes fpu_exception : yes cpuid level : 13 wp : yes flags : fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic sep mtrr pge mca cmov pat pse36 clflush dts acpi mmx fxsr sse sse2 ss ht tm pbe syscall nx pdpe1gb rdtscp lm constant_tsc arch_perfmon pebs bts rep_good nopl xtopology nonstop_tsc aperfmperf eagerfpu pni pclmulqdq dtes64 monitor ds_cpl vmx smx est tm2 ssse3 fma cx16 xtpr pdcm pcid sse4_1 sse4_2 x2apic movbe popcnt tsc_deadline_timer aes xsave avx f16c rdrand lahf_lm abm ida arat xsaveopt pln pts dtherm tpr_shadow vnmi flexpriority ept vpid fsgsbase tsc_adjust bmi1 avx2 smep bmi2 erms invpcid bogomips : 6784.80 clflush size : 64 cache_alignment : 64 address sizes : 39 bits physical, 48 bits virtual power management: processor : 7 vendor_id : GenuineIntel cpu family : 6 model : 60 model name : Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-4770 CPU @ 3.40GHz stepping : 3 microcode : 0x1c cpu MHz : 3872.546 cache size : 8192 KB physical id : 0 siblings : 8 core id : 3 cpu cores : 4 apicid : 7 initial apicid : 7 fpu : yes fpu_exception : yes cpuid level : 13 wp : yes flags : fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic sep mtrr pge mca cmov pat pse36 clflush dts acpi mmx fxsr sse sse2 ss ht tm pbe syscall nx pdpe1gb rdtscp lm constant_tsc arch_perfmon pebs bts rep_good nopl xtopology nonstop_tsc aperfmperf eagerfpu pni pclmulqdq dtes64 monitor ds_cpl vmx smx est tm2 ssse3 fma cx16 xtpr pdcm pcid sse4_1 sse4_2 x2apic movbe popcnt tsc_deadline_timer aes xsave avx f16c rdrand lahf_lm abm ida arat xsaveopt pln pts dtherm tpr_shadow vnmi flexpriority ept vpid fsgsbase tsc_adjust bmi1 avx2 smep bmi2 erms invpcid bogomips : 6784.80 clflush size : 64 cache_alignment : 64 address sizes : 39 bits physical, 48 bits virtual power management: