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Up Topic Rybka Support & Discussion / Aquarium / Give me some ideas for upgrading....
- - By ChiefPushesWood (**) Date 2019-02-20 02:37 Edited 2019-02-20 02:46
Well, in spite of my periodic boredom, I’m considering and looking at ways to get more out of my gear with somewhat limited funds.

In particular, after reading pawnslingers current adventure. So here’s my question... what is the most efficient (read: least expensive) way to upgrade my gear? Basically, I’d like to double my cores for analysis. I’m currently running a Ryzen 7 1700x so I have 8 cores and run 12-14 engines in IDEA. I’d like to get that number to 25-30?

Please keep in mind, I’m not a techie. I didn’t understand half the stuff that ‘Slinger said in his networking thread. I did, however, build my last 3 PC’s... so I’m not a total lost cause.

I’m disabled so I don’t have unlimited $ to play with. But I’m looking at possibly a $2k investment into this project. Is upgrading the cpu (and I suppose the motherboard would necessarily be required as well? MB is a B350 tomahawk) to a Ryzen 16 core the best path? Ie... I’m thinking Ryzen Threadripper 1950x w a x399 mb.... thoughts?

Please help... and talk normal... haha

Parent - - By pawnslinger (****) Date 2019-02-20 07:23
Hi Chief:

My funds are even more limited than yours.  I added 12 cores to my previous 8 for around $600 all in.

I purchased a refurbished Dell Precision T5500, 2x Xeon X5675, 24gb DDR3 ram, 2x 500gb 7200rpm HDD, and Win 10 pro... for $405, Buy-it-now off eBay.  I added some misc stuff like wi-fi dongle, fit-headless, extra case fans, fan controller, 1TB SSD, for something less than $200.  So I am all-in for less than $600 actually.

The Xeons that are in this system are old, Westmere variety, kind of Core 1.5 (I guess), but they run Stockfish faster than my Ryzen 1700X by at least 25%, so they are not slow cores by any stretch. 

If I had had $2000 to spend, I think I would have built a system based on one of the threadripper chips (maybe waited for the 3rd gen to come out sometime in the 2nd half of this year).  But I just don't have that kind of money, and there is not much chance of me having it anytime soon.

If you look at refurbished workstations on eBay, you will find them for less than $1000 with 16 cores (and better Xeons than I could afford).

The only downside I can see with what I did is my electric bill.  I figure it will cost me around $300 per year to run the T5500.  Probably more than a threadripper system.  But not enough to make-up the difference in cost over a short time frame (say 2 or 3 years).  So I am happy, having fun, learning new stuff and more than doubled my cores for running Chess Analysis.

Oh, I didn't have to buy a monitor or keyboard/mouse, because I borrowed a monitor from my wife to setup and now I am running it "headless".  And I had a spare keyboard mouse just sitting around in the garage.  If you need to add the cost of those, it would probably add around $150 to the system, my wife's monitor that I borrowed is a refurb that cost about $110 also off eBay... and the keyboard/mouse cost about $20 new (they are really cheap ones that I keep handy just for setting up systems - which I do for my relatives fairly often).
Parent - By Ozymandias (****) Date 2019-02-20 13:48

>(maybe waited for the 3rd gen to come out sometime in the 2nd half of this year)


>The only downside I can see with what I did is my electric bill.  I figure it will cost me around $300 per year to run

That's like my winter bill, but then again, the computers used for chess also provide heating for the leaving room, so I consider the actual cost as much lower.

>and now I am running it "headless"

Only two cables coming out the rear in mine, the power cord and the ethernet cable. Only the master is fully outfitted.
Parent - - By pawnslinger (****) Date 2019-02-20 09:14 Edited 2019-02-20 09:16
Hi Chief:

I did a quick search on eBay for "16-core workstation" and here is what came out on top of the list:

Not bad.  I think you could do better, but for not looking very hard, that looks like a pretty sharp system to me.

Anyways, you get my drift.  There seem to be a lot of nice cheap systems on the market.
Parent - By ChiefPushesWood (**) Date 2019-02-20 14:04
Thanks 'Slinger.. I'll take a look at those. Decisions decisions.

Parent - - By ChiefPushesWood (**) Date 2019-02-20 14:40
So... I'm thinking of adding one of these (give me up to ~30 additional engines to play with) and upgrading my AMD gfx card to a 2080Ti to play with Leela. Hmmmmmmmmmm....

Parent - By pawnslinger (****) Date 2019-02-20 19:00 Edited 2019-02-20 19:37
Hi Chief:

One thing to consider, the system I picked up is okay, and given my limited monetary fund, I would probably do it again.  But if you read my notes carefully, you will get the idea that I am having to struggle with thermals.  I have got it under control, I think, but these systems were not built with the idea of running nearly full load for extended periods.  So I have been doing things to mitigate that problem.  Adding the case fans and fan controller was, I hope, the last piece of the puzzle.  I won't know for sure until I get some more testing and experience with the system under my belt.

Because of the fans, I will definitely be cleaning dust out of the system more often than I had anticipated!
Parent - - By pawnslinger (****) Date 2019-02-20 19:24
One other thing to think about... many of these systems have limited space for full sized GPU, so do your research before you buy.  I didn't want to upgrade the GPU, so I didn't worry about it.  But I looked at plenty of "gaming upgrade" videos on YouTube, in which folks had to struggle to get large GPU into these systems.  Usually it may be possible, but there are lots of potential gotchas.  The system I purchased, T5500, needs some mods to fit even regular size GPU.  Some internal shrouds have to be moved or removed.  And in extreme cases I have seen folks forced to rearrange the hard drive placement.  Didn't bother me, because I am shooting for headless operation anyway.  But an RTX 2080 is a BIG GPU.

I saw one video last night, where a guy that had my system was forced to run the T5500 without closing the side panel, because the GPU was so big it wouldn't allow it.  The system worked and played games great, but he kept the side panel leaning  against his computer, there was an inch gap keeping it from closing properly.  It would not have bothered me, but he disliked it.  It wouldn't bother me, because I tinker so much, I just always leave the side panel off!!!  I can't recall the last time I put the side panel back on my computer (come to think of it, I am not sure where it is).  :cool:
Parent - By ChiefPushesWood (**) Date 2019-02-20 23:55
Thanks 'Slinger. Speaking of the 2080, that wouldn't go in the new (used) computer. That would replace the card in my current Ryzen build. So no worries about it fitting in that tower. But thanks for the heads up and for the other information.

Up Topic Rybka Support & Discussion / Aquarium / Give me some ideas for upgrading....

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