My New Homebuilt PC + Mac setup (inspired by the New Mac Pro)

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by slughead, Jun 30, 2013.

  1. slughead, Jun 30, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2013

    slughead macrumors 68040

    slughead

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    #1
    My current 5,1 hexcore is satisfactory in terms of GPU and CPU power for my productivity needs. I have tons of external storage purchased on the cheap--something the new Mac Pro will be unable to accomplish. With this aspect of my computing needs covered, my gaming needs are still left wanting.

    I therefore decided to go the dual computer route, being as how I had a PC case anyway I was using as my external RAID. I couldn't be happier, and it was a fraction of the cost with markedly more upgradability than the New Mac Pro.

    PC:
    -Haswell 4770K i7
    -EVGA Superclocked GTX780 w/ACX cooler
    -16GB RAM
    -128GB super-fast SSD setup as a "Fusion Drive" (SSD Cache) through intel SRT
    -1TB WD Caviar Blue
    -Asus Z87 Pro (no thunderbolt, OMG NO!)
    -Corsair H60 CPU watercooler
    -Corsair HX750 PSU
    -Dual Link DVI KVM (For when I get a 1440p monitor someday).
    -No optical drive (I have an extra optical I hooked up externally via eSATA and an extra power connector I used to install Windows 7)

    It also has Two x 5 hard drive backplanes and 2 port multipliers I'm still using as my RAID for my Mac (this aspect has an external PSU). This is just for storage, not for speed. I have all my internal HD bays and the optical bays full in my Mac Pro.

    Mac Pro
    -3.33ghz Hex-Core Xeon
    -16GB 1333mhz DDR3
    -SSD boot drive + 3 internal platter drives
    -Radeon 5870
    -Gigabyte "Windforce" Geforce GTX670 *Highly recommended!
    -Rosewill 500Watt 80 PLUS certified External PSU for GTX670
    -BluRay reader & DVD burner
    -4 port eSATA II controller
    -eSATA RAID inside above PC case - 8 drives, one RAID 10, one RAID 1, one TM backup for all other data (total redundancy)

    Monitor: ASUS VG278H 27" 120hz x 1980p (3D) & 24" 1980p
    Sound: Sony receiver with 5-disc DVD changer (what can I say? it has good sound)

    Pics:

    What it looks like from the front (where's the PC? It's being sneaky). Keep in mind the PC is QUIETER than my Mac Pro even on full load (with the desk compartment closed)
    [​IMG]


    Here is the compartment. The drawer has to be removed before anything can be tinkered with, but this was the best of a short list of options (like getting rid of the drawer and just using hinges).
    [​IMG]

    I built a remote for my KVM (additional buttons for volume control/mute on my receiver):
    [​IMG]

    Just like christmas!
    [​IMG]

    Desk compartment. Top left is a 450Watt PSU for the desk compartment fans AND the RAID inside the PC case. The bottom has a 200mm fan and two 120mm fans, in the back there are two additional 120mm fans that go up to 120CFU each. I use a fan controller for the top fans. Ambient temperatures in this compartment are about 3 degrees C above room temp under full load!!
    [​IMG]

    Here's a better view of the fans in the base.
    [​IMG]

    Those metal things? Drawer slides! The case weighs 50 pounds, these slides handle them easily (had to reinforce the desk).
    [​IMG]

    I had to build some of my own power cables to rig the external PSU to the two backplanes
    [​IMG]

    Finished internal component placement (whew!). There is a 130CFU sidefan. Ambient temperatures remain below 35 degrees C at max load (GPU below 70, CPU below 50)!!
    [​IMG]

    Pretty darn heavy. The cables on the top are external power for the hard drives.
    [​IMG]


    Aftermarket fan and temperature monitor for the compartment
    [​IMG]

    View from side, KVM is mounted where I can barely see the indicator from where I sit. I never need to hit the switch button on the box because I built a remote (see above). I have a retro-fitted 120mm fan in the Mac Pro with a fan controller I built myself.
    [​IMG]

    The back is not so pretty (but who cares). It's been consolidated a lot since this pic was taken, the router was remounted in a better way too. This is probably made worse by the external PSU I use for my GTX670 in my MP. I consolidated a few of the cables since then, all this is basically invisible from the front.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #2
    Maybe I'm not understanding how this is all inspired by the new Mac Pro, but there is a thread devoted to setups and this fits the bill.

    As for the dual rigs, very nice. Other than gaming, what so you use this power for?
     
  3. slughead thread starter macrumors 68040

    slughead

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    #3
    I just built it, so nothing yet. I do use some windows-specific apps sometimes that I'll have it for (nothing that requires this much computing power though, VirtualBox was fine).

    The "inspired by The New Mac Pro" part was a joke, by the way.
     
  4. samiwas macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2006
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #4
    A part of me just died looking at the last photo.
     
  5. GermanyChris macrumors 601

    GermanyChris

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2011
    Location:
    Here
    #5
    It’s inspired by the mess of cables that the new MP will be ;)
     
  6. slughead thread starter macrumors 68040

    slughead

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    #6
    At least someone got the joke. I had someone tell me the new mac pro is "just as good" because you can simply have another box with hard drives, optical drives, and GPUs --then hook it up via Thunderbolt.

    My point was: Why not put the whole thing in the same box and call it a personal computer?
     
  7. Peace macrumors P6

    Peace

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2005
    Location:
    Space--The ONLY Frontier
    #7
    If one uses thunderbolt as intended there won't be a mess of cables behind the new Mac Pro .
     
  8. brand macrumors 601

    brand

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2006
    Location:
    127.0.0.1
  9. tech4all macrumors 68040

    tech4all

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2004
    Location:
    NorCal
    #9
    That isn't a color so please pick a new one...

    [​IMG]

    Can't believe you actually commented a nearly month old thread just to say you were unimpressed. :rolleyes:
     
  10. jav6454, Jul 24, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 25, 2013

    jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
    Location:
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    #10
    Then why bother posting? Seriously...

    Back on subject, nice computer OP. By the way, I do believe having so many Thunderbolt peripherals will make it a headache in time.
     
  11. slughead thread starter macrumors 68040

    slughead

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    #11
    Thanks!

    I think it'd be hilarious to throw a couple Thunderbolt -> PCIe converters, a TB -> FW + USB controller, a USB sound-card, a SATA controller, and an optical drive into an otherwise empty mac pro case, somehow rig it to a single PSU, and sell them to nMP owners. The problem is it'd be $1,800-2000 for the parts alone.
     
  12. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    The Misty Mountains
    #12
    You should of used this ;):
    [​IMG]
     
  13. odinsride macrumors 65816

    odinsride

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2007
    #13
    What KVM are you using, and how well does it work? Can you post a link?
     
  14. MattG macrumors 68040

    MattG

    Joined:
    May 27, 2003
    Location:
    Fletcher, NC
    #14
    I wouldn't be able to sleep at night if mine looked like that. Seriously.

    No offense, OP.
     
  15. FireWire2 macrumors 6502

    FireWire2

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2008
    #15
    New PM bridge

    You should look at this bridge:
    http://www.amazon.com/multiplier-hardware-RAID0-CLONE-Controller/dp/B004JPUZWU

    It's a hardware RAID5, i replace my SiI-3726 with it

    [​IMG]

    I can get about 235~240MB/s xfer rate when I connect to SATA II host (3Gb/s), and 250~265MB/s with SATA III host

    I like it because it works with ANY SATA host supported PM or not

    I hear DATOptic gonna release a SATA III (6Gb/s) Port Multiplier bridge soon
     
  16. Xerotech macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2011
  17. bradl macrumors 68040

    bradl

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    #17
    Wow.. you can get nearly all of that into a Mini-ITX build, drop it into a Bitfenix Prodigy, and have it look like the previous Mac Pro.

    http://gizmodo.com/5955172/how-to-build-a-small-gaming-pc

    http://www.tonymacx86.com/golden-bu...ip-build-ga-z77n-wifi-i5-3570k-hd-6870-a.html

    I built this with an Ivy Bridge CPU (Core i5-3570K), and it is just as quiet, and takes up no more space than a mATX box would.

    This was truly the last PC I was ever going to build. Specs:

    Core i5-3570K
    16GB DDR3-1866
    Sapphire RadeonHD 6950 2GB (unlocked to 6970)
    OCZ Vertex 4 256GB SSD
    3TB 7200RPM SATA HDD
    DVD+/-RW
    Antec Kuhler H2O 620 Closed loop Water cooler
    Antec TruPower 750 Blue 750W PSU
    Gigabyte Z77N-WIFI mITX motherboard

    This is sharing a DVI KVM with my Hackintosh Mini, which is a Core i3-2105. The PC is going to a 20" and a 20" widescreen monitor.

    Any new machine I'd get would either be a true Mac Mini or iMac, and I'd lean toward iMac if there were a way to use it as a second monitor to the PC. But I figured that with the fact that PC sales have been almost free falling the past couple of years, I only use Linux pretty much at work, and the only gaming I do would be on old school FPS games (read: Doom, Duke Nukem 3D) and the occasional Leisure Suit Larry (which I can do on a Mac), I no longer need the huge ATX build, let alone a PC build anymore. So this was my last PC build. Mac from here on out.

    heh.. just for grits and shiggles, if the parts were available and unfortunately not soldered on, I'd try for an Apple ][e build! I miss Zaxxon, Spy Hunter, Lemonade Stand, and Choplifter. :D

    BL.
     
  18. slughead thread starter macrumors 68040

    slughead

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    #18
    I'm using this dual-link DVI KVM: "StarTech.com 2 Port High Resolution USB DVI Dual Link KVM Switch with Audio"

    I am not using 1440p, but like one reviewer said: It works with 120hz so that's what I'm using.

    It works GREAT, but has some limitations that you're going to find with any KVM that switches USB (you can read the reviews on Amazon).

    ----------

    Nice.
     
  19. slughead, Nov 1, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2013

    slughead thread starter macrumors 68040

    slughead

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    #19
    I revised the above to show the new changes (added a 200mm fan to the compartment and sealed it better to create more flow).
     
  20. nateo200 macrumors 68030

    nateo200

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2009
    Location:
    Northern District NY
    #20
    Umm I'm sort of necro-posting don't call the mods on me :D This thing is fricken awesome!! Love it! Hehe I got the joke right away, especially looking at the back of the whole set up, BUT thats how all of my rigs eventually looked when I upgraded past what would fit inside of one or two cases (although I haven't built a nice PC rig in a while, might cash in on hopefully lower priced Ivy Bridge CPU's). Honestly though power doesn't need to be pretty by any means (although Apple would spit their coffee all over their screens and keyboards if they read this). My first built computer came with only a 300watt PSU and so as I gradually filled the entire computer up with hard drives, dual GPU's, and suddenly that 300watts was even more of a joke, 2 external PSU's later and some extra fans with dual displays...yeah. So all in all I admire your work!
     
  21. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    The Misty Mountains
    #21
    Did you mention what your build cost was (and I missed it)?
    Thanks!
     
  22. slughead thread starter macrumors 68040

    slughead

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    #22
    PC costs:
    -$1800-1900 for the case and PC components (incl. PC's SSD and 1TB drive)

    RAID components:
    - $200 for the 2 backplane
    - $120 for the 2 port multipliers
    - 450Watt PSU - free to me, but probably $30

    KVM: $160

    Monitors: $500 for the 27" 120hz, $200 for the 24"

    Mac Pro: I don't even want to remember :)
     
  23. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    The Misty Mountains
    #23
    Thanks for the info. Recently I built a gaming PC for $1200. For my info, not intended as an adversarial question, but from a performance standpoint what did you get for the extra $700? You can reference this thread, reply #29.
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1637303&page=2
     
  24. slughead, Nov 2, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2013

    slughead thread starter macrumors 68040

    slughead

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    #24
    It looks like most of the difference is with the GTX670 Vs the 780. I bought the 780 when it came out so I paid the full $650. It's the Superclocked version which puts the performance at around the level of a Titan. Now they're down to $500. the 780 is significantly faster than the 670--about 25% faster FPS on average, according to the few benches I looked at. The biggest advantage is with 1440p, but I have no 1440p monitor and wont be getting one until they go up to 120hz. $400 faster? Maybe not.

    The GTX670 is an amazing card, I have one in my Mac Pro and played borderlands 2 to death on it.

    The i7 I got does not have much performance boost over an i5.

    I contemplated getting mid-range components, but I had the money at the time to get the top of the line, so I decided to go for it.

    Nice setup! Happy gaming. I just got BF 4 which I am really loving--has the charm of BFBC2.
     
  25. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    The Misty Mountains
    #25
    Before i built this PC I was relying on my MBP for PC gaming. It was functional and the perfect hardware for travel because I'm Mac centric. But this gaming computer, from a frame rate perspective runs circles around my laptop. But it's my MBP going with me on my next trip. :)
     

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