I’ve been pondering over this build ever since my home server’s hard drive went belly up. I decided on a case, cooling solution and the amount of memory late last year. Now with Intel’s Haswell processors and accompanying chipsets have been unveiled, it’s time to pick the final pieces.
Processor: Intel Core i5 4670
Motherboard: ASUS H87I-PLUS
Memory: 2 x 8GB DDR-1600
Case: BitFenix Prodigy (White)
Cooling: Swiftech H220
Power Supply: SeaSonic G Series SSR-550RM
And that’s it. I will be transferring existing storage disks and graphics options from other PCs.
I wanted an Intel Core i5 4670S but that seems to be impossible to obtain through retail channels. I also considered choosing an Intel Core i7 4770S but I couldn’t justify the $100 increase.
I settled with the Intel Core i5 4670 in order to keep VT-x and VT-d options. I gave up overclocking for flexibility and I don’t mind it. This computer’s future as a server will be better served with virtualization options than a clockspeed increases.
I have already purchased the memory and I’m closing in on the purchase of other parts. However, I think I’ll wait for NCIX’s sales refresh on Wednesday, just in case.
Reviews of Intel’s 4th generation Core are out and for they are revolutionary as per usual. I’ve stopped caring about large double digit improvements on desktop CPUs since Sandy Bridge’s introduction. It was then that I noticed CPUs were not the primary limiting factor for games; the GPUs are usually the weaker links.
I’m far more concerned with features and power consumption. The lack of overclocking potential doesn’t bother me. I don’t even want the “K” series of chips because they lack features like VT-d which will be invaluable in a virtualization environment. I am planning this Haswell PC becoming my new home server in like 5 year’s time.
A handful of the major computer parts retailers are accepting pre-orders but their prices have inflated over the MSRP by several dollars. I don’t appreciate this kind of gouging. I’m also interested in the Intel Core i5 4670S which is proving difficult to locate early on. Is it not available through retail channels? I may have to settle with the regular Core i5 4670.
Waiting will also give me time to look into the latest mITX motherboards based on Intel’s brand new 8 series chipsets. I hear the first revisions have USB 3.0 issues which should be addressed in July. The issues are not show stoppers but why put up with a known fault?
A few blemishes during this launch but it hasn’t stopped me from wanting to build a new PC around Haswell.
I wrapped up Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon. A review of it should be up by midweek. I’m nearing the end of God of War: Ascension as well. Both games have underwhelmed me in different ways but I feel Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon was far more grating on me.
I started Fire Emblem: Awakening. So far, so good.
I’ve overclocked my CPU and/or GPU since my first ever computer. Pushing an Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 from 2.13 GHz all the way to 3.2 GHz was a very nice bonus. That was my last major overclock. After I acquired my Intel Core i5 750, I decided it wasn’t worth pushing for GHz since most games didn’t take advantage of it and I wasn’t willing to lose the dynamic varying of clockspeed and voltage that came with a “stock” processor.
I looked into “dynamic overclocking” a couple of years ago but the initial clockspeeds I set it at were not stable and I didn’t want to sink anymore time subjecting my brand new PC to Prime95 tests. Bored and curious I performed another search and found this wonderful “Efficiency” article from Tom’s Hardware. Apparently I was close the last time around.
Of course Apple is exploring the possibilities of utilizing their own ARM based CPUs; that’s a no brainer when you have your own CPU team. Why wouldn’t you consider it? But I also know Apple won’t go down that path if Intel keeps ahead of Apple’s own efforts.
The bullet point benefits (energy & cooling efficiency) of moving to an ARM processor for their Macbook Air is tempting but if they’re sacrificing performance for these gains. However, it’s going to be really tough for them to stand up on stage and sell the loss of x86 compatibility and performance.
Maybe it isn’t a viable option now but maybe it will be viable in a few years. Who knows? This could also be their passive aggressive way of lighting a fire under Intel’s bottoms and convincing them to be more aggressive with their pursuit to low power, high performing chips.
It’s called “Panel Self Refresh” and I’ll quote Anand who described it best:
One solution is PSR. By including a little bit of DRAM on the panel itself, the display could store a copy of the frame buffer. In the event that nothing was changing on the screen, you could put the entire platform to sleep and refresh the panel by looping the same frame data stored in the panel’s DRAM. The power savings would be tremendous as it’d allow your entire notebook/tablet/whatever to enter a virtual off state. You could get even more creative and start doing selective PSR where only parts of the display are updated and the rest remain in self-refresh mode (e.g. following a cursor, animating a live tile, etc…).
It sounds ingenious but will it operate in practice? Intel demonstrated the technology at their “Intel Developer Forum” last year.
Ingenious. I wonder when Apple will employ this idea because we all know they’re the most willing when it comes to adopting technologies that will give them a competitive edge.
Forget about AMD in the CPU performance arena — that fight has a clear winner as these reviews from AnandTech and The Tech Report clearly state. Even AnandTech agrees which was why they only spent one page talking CPU performance.
They decided to dedicate a vast majority of their review on the integrated graphics performance. The HD 4000 shows a significant improvement over its predecessor which should make for better Ultrabooks and Macbook Airs. But as significant as an improvement the HD 4000 is, it could have been even more substantial if Intel didn’t hold back and dedicated a little bit more die space for their graphics processor.
A little faster, consumes less power, improvements to the integrated graphics and all without increasing prices? A winning product all around.
OCZ Vertex 3 and other Sandforce SF-2281 solid state drives are amongst the fastest in the market, but they all share the undesirable trait of being unreliable.
Intel decided to change that by putting their engineers on the Sandforce problem and came up with a solid state drive that’s not only fast, but also reliable. The Intel 520 drives are very impressive, but they’re also very expensive. It’s $149.99 for the Intel 520 60GB drive while an OCZ Vertex 3 60GB retails for about $114.99 CAD after mail-in-rebate over at NCIX.
I’m still rocking with my OCZ Vertex 2 60GB and have no intention to upgrade yet, but it’s good to know that this market is improving on speed and reliability.