ASUS Xtreme Design contest: stage 2 build - ottoyu34

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ottoyu34 Posted: Tue, Nov 3 2009 6:04 PM

submission by ottoyu34

Introduction:

My design is the transforming cube. As a computer enthusiast, I always feel that computer cases always limits users from achieving better performance. For instance, Gamers might be satisfied with a mid-tower case; High-end enthusiast might want a full-tower for water-cooling and flexibility; Extreme overclockers with opt with bench setups. There are always tradeoffs between features. I would like to introduce my design allowing usability for any users by satisfying their needs, while having all the features in one case.

 

Design concept:

The first prototype was to build the acrylic cube case from scratch. But after many considerations, I’ve found the perfect case which is available on the market. Think of it this way, how many cases on the market have designed with gamers, enthusiast and extreme overclockers in mind. I can’t find many. What if, you’re just new to computer hardware, but you would plan to be an enthusiast and overclocker? You won’t need to upgrade cases along your way if you have this one. Also, many of us are not lucky enough to be sponsored. But we would still want to enjoy the fun of extreme overclocking while using the same system for regular usage and gaming, since many won’t buy two core i7 systems for each task. Hence, with this case, you could be fraging at a lan party one day and extreme overclocking the other day with the same hardware with this case ; maximizing the hardware.

 

Design detail:

This case could be among a few in the world with a convertible top, which allows quick easy access to the entire motherboard and connections. An opened top also means that user won’t be limited by any cooling method. They could snap on an air cooler, water block or even liquid nitrogen cooling. The possibilities are limitless. The motherboard tray below the northbridge and CPU area will cut out allowing quick access to mount aftermarket coolers accordingly. A horizontal orientation of the motherboard tray allows users to swap hardware quickly without rotating case from vertical position when using a traditional case. When the convertible top is closed, it maximizes protection from elements. The convertible top will be added with a 200mm and/or 120mm from additional cooling. Also, the xtreme design logo is will be on the top. Two 120mm LED fans for ventilation across the motherboard, much like what extreme overclockers do. Another extreme overclocking feature is using modified motherboard standoffs allowing quick swap of motherboard. Samsung SSD will be mounted along the drive bays to show off its present. This case is a bench system and an everyday case, depending how users use it.

 

Samsung SSD mounted and motherboard tray cut-out.

Hardware (adding):

-          Choice of best air-cooler and water-cooling at the time of purchase.

-          High performance silent fans(120mm&200mm)

-          Sunbeam UFO acrylic cube case

-          Special motherboard standoffs

Hardware (already supplied):

-          A transparent case fully demonstrates the eye catching Asus motherboard while Antec power supply keeps cables at minimum.

-          G.skill providing highest performace memory kits with ram cooling fan ensures maximum benchmark results.

-          Nvidia Geforce GPUs provides best gaming and benchmarking performance.

-          Samsung SSD equips with the latest hard drive technologies and 6Gb/s SATA3 is futureproofing.

-          Razer gaming devices allow users to have an edge in games and maximize gaming experience.

-          Antec power supply making sure hardware has enough juice.

-          Intel Core i7 is the fastest cpu achieving highest FPS in games and best scores in benchmarking.

Rear view of the case. The top cover with xtreme design logo.

Goals:

-          Proving the cooling abilities of this case, our main goal is to rank top 20 fastest core i7 860 CPU  (according to HWbots.org).

-          Achieve maximum overclock for CPU & GPU for everyday and benchmark purpose.

-          Demonstrate the lightness of the case for ease of transport.

-          Demonstrate the benefits SSD comparing to traditional HDD.  

Front view with sponsors logo, letting others know what inside.

Challenges:

-          After initial calculations the Geforce 260 video card will have tight fit with the case.

-          Modifying the acrylic case without disturbing main structures and weaken strength.

How ASUS' "Xtreme Design" motherboard features help your system and daily life?

With Turbo V and Turbo V remote: I will be able to switch between my overclocking profiles. I could use a lower overclock for regular usage such as web surfing (to conserve energy) and use a higher overclock for gaming. I won’t have to record down my settings on paper anymore. System stability and longevity heavily depends on the quality of components used on the motherboard. Asus always build with the highest quality capacitors and VRM allowing maximum overclock and stability. Asus’ hybrid phase will monitor and control the VRM, so I won’t have to worry about during overclocking. MemOK function allows me to get my system startup quickly in case of a Ram issue. Q-design is one of the best functions here and allows me to swap out components quickly and get back to tuning. 6Gbps SATA capability ensures this system will support the latest hard drives. Asus has packed everything a High-End motherboard should have allows users to push the system to the maximum. Small details such as eSATA at the I/O panel show that even small details are taken care of.

 

Anything else that convinces us to pick your idea from the participating forums?

I have been building computers for more than 10 years and I demand the highest performance computing experience through overclocking and quality components. I joined HWbot.org recently and currently I rank #79 in Canada. I will continue to gain positions with more overclocking planned coming up. I love to build unique computers with high-performance and good looks. This passion has made me a computer builder building many computers over the years. Other than pushing hardware; I also push myself to learn more daily about hardware tuning such as Extreme overclocking (LN2), watercooling and craftsmanship. Other than that, I’m an active member in many forums including Xtremesystems.org, Guru3d.com and hothardware.com. I always enjoy sharing experiences and helping others. 

 

Conclusion:

Thanks for reading and the chance to take part of this event. Hopefully I could demostrate how xtreme the hardware is. Good luck to everyone!

 

 

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ottoyu34 replied on Tue, Nov 17 2009 11:03 AM

Thanks once again to Asus, Intel, G.Skill,Nvidia,Samsung,Antec and Razer.

Without you everything won't be possible.

So I got my gear and first thing is some pictures.

Intel i7 - 860

 batch: L933B451 (we will see if these guys are better at OC)

Core i7 860 of LGA1156 on its own

Samsung 128GB SSD

Extremely high speed G.skill DDR3 memory

Asus P7P55D Premium motherboard

Nvidia Geforce GTX260

Antec Quattro 850 Power Supply

Razer gaming gear

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ottoyu34 replied on Tue, Nov 17 2009 11:33 PM

Update(17/11) - Intro & ordering parts:

saw my name on facebook yesterday. I almost screamed at the computer lab.

First of all, Thank you Asus,Intel,G.Skill,Nvidia,Samsung,Antec,Razer (not in order) for such a great event and allowing me to represent your products. I will try my best to share my thoughts on them.

Secondly, I started purchasing parts for this build. The case I planned to use is the Sunbeam acrylic cube case. In summary of the reviews I read, its cooling performance is surprizingly good comparing to other acrylic cases, due to the fan placements. The fans direct airflow across the motherboard more directly. So, I ordered the case yesterday and newegg.ca shipped it out today which is very fast. I've seen acrylic cases in person and they do show off components very well. Now, I will be owning my first and modding it.There are still parts to come, such as cooling,fans,etc.

Lastly, I will be updating this log in three different types of information: Case mod update, Overclocking update, and Review update. I believe this will make you guys easier to keep track. Let me know if you have any suggestions.

 

Links to the sunbeam case:

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811166042

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Danger Den cases are actually the best acrylic cases bar none. I am sure you can work magic with this though as you are a modder and this is merely your canvas.

 

If you want to see mod acrylic builds head over to my blog, then look me up if you need help as I have done dozens of acrylic builds (I get all my stuff custom cut at Danger Den). Heck if you chose to use a Danger Den case as a base instead of the Sunbeam maybe I can help you get one at a good 'discount' ;)

Check out my modding blog: www.outoftheboxmods.com

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ottoyu34 replied on Wed, Nov 18 2009 5:07 PM

Thanks for letting me know. I will go with DD next time.

can't wait to see your build.

cheers

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Hey Ottoyu. Have you thought about what you were going to use to stabalize the top. If not I had an idea. If you could get your hands on a pair of hydraulic arms to put on each side you could essentially have the lid open intself. You would just need a latch on the front and once you open the latch the hydaulic arms would slowly raise the lid. Just a thought.

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ottoyu34 replied on Thu, Nov 19 2009 11:40 PM

I had that idea too, But due to the limited room inside the case. I might for a external spring loaded system. If you come across any hydralics arms. please let me know.

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Manduh replied on Sun, Nov 22 2009 8:51 AM

Good luck in Stage 2!!  This is a really great entry!

PCAudioLabs Rok Box MC 7xs - Intel Core i7-2600K - Cooling: PCAL Quiet Operation - Gigabyte Z68 Motherboard - 16GB DDR3-1333 - AMD Radeon HD 5450 - Power Supply: 600 Watts - SRT Drive: Intel 311 SSD (20GB) - Primary Drive: 500GB, 7200RPM, 16MB cache - Audio Drive: 1TB, 7200RPM, 32MB cache - Sample Drive: 2TB, 7200RPM, 64MB cache - OS: Windows 7 Professional x64

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ottoyu34 replied on Wed, Nov 25 2009 11:38 PM

25/11 - #1 Overclocking Update

I built the system and installed windows 7 Pro x64 on it. Ran a few standard benchmarks are here are the screenshots.

The system is running on all stock setting and this will be a baseline performance for overclocking comparison.

Also, I will have the edited unboxing videos coming soon.

Vantage: P10488 ,GPU:9212 , CPU:17953 (PhysX Off)

3Dmark06: 16437, SM2: 6804, SM3: 7124, CPU: 4993

SuperPI 1M :12.62sec

SuperPI 32M: 11M 47.583sec

wPrime: 38.049sec

Cinebench R10 x64:     1 CPU :4465   X CPU: 16738 (0:52sec)

HD tune : 177MB/s Max & 0.1ms access time

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nelsoncp21 replied on Thu, Nov 26 2009 12:29 AM
You have everything installed in the case or open bench? Did you see the problems I discovered with the case
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ottoyu34 replied on Thu, Nov 26 2009 12:48 AM

I have everything installed except the top and side panels which conflicts with the 260.

I was concern about this issue if you could remember. Now it actually came true.

Can you do a benchmark of the SSD in HD tune and compare it to mine.

Because I've seen another winner got way better results with ICH10 (X58).

I wonder if this is caused by the P55. Thanks!

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ottoyu34 replied on Fri, Nov 27 2009 1:15 AM

27/11: #1 Review update

unboxing videos are all uploaded.

just head over to the landing page and you will see. check it out!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qM2_5olQ8Eo

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Sfanatics replied on Fri, Nov 27 2009 6:13 AM

i was able to achieve 213mb/s transfer rate on hdtune:



did you update the bios and drivers?  are you in sata 6 marvell controller or the ich sata3 controller?

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Sfanatics replied on Fri, Nov 27 2009 6:16 AM

btw whats up with your core speed?

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ottoyu34 replied on Fri, Nov 27 2009 12:24 PM

If you mean the 860 clocks. It is cause of Intel's power saving functions. The multiplier will change according to the usage , from (9-21)

 

Im connecting the SSD to the southbridge and Im running on the latest BIOS.

I might give it another try today. You have dips for your benchmark Tongue Tied

maybe the SSD needs firmware update

Thanks

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ottoyu34 replied on Fri, Nov 27 2009 1:49 PM

 27/11: #2 Review Update

I made a walkaround video of the Asus Xtreme system.

It's up on youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rzxdn5hfWWM

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ottoyu34 replied on Sun, Nov 29 2009 1:27 AM

29/11: #2 Overclocking Update

I tried out the Auto tuning functions of Asus P7P55D Premium motherboard. The CPU is equipped with Stock intel cooler and stock TIM.

after a few testing the system has settled with a overclock of Bclk frequency of 144Mhz , which means 144Mhz X 21 multiplier = 3024Mhz, 3.02Ghz.

that is quite impressive for a self-overclocking system. All of the benchmarks showing increase in performance. I will test the autotune function

again when I install the Corsair H50 watercooling system and before TIM with stock cooler (see if that helps).

144 Bclk with a vcore of 1.136v

 

Benchmark results with auto tune Overclocking of 3.02Ghz

Vantage: P10666 ,GPU:9290 , CPU:19183 (PhysX Off)       

stock was:

Vantage: P10488 ,GPU:9212 , CPU:17953 (PhysX Off)

 

 

3Dmark06: 17018, SM2: 7024, SM3: 7257, CPU: 5355   

stock:

3Dmark06: 16437, SM2: 6804, SM3: 7124, CPU: 4993

 

SuperPI 1M :13.384sec

stock was: SuperPI 1M :12.62sec

 

SuperPI 32M: 11M 57.710sec

stock: SuperPI 32M: 11M 47.583sec

 

wPrime: 39.715sec

stock: wPrime: 38.049sec

 

Cinebench R10 x64:     1 CPU :4445   X CPU: 18023 (0:49sec)

stock: Cinebench R10 x64:     1 CPU :4465   X CPU: 16738 (0:52sec)

 

In conclusion, CPU overclocking with the current hardware configuration increased performance in multi-thread applications.

On the other hand, single thread application seems to be losing steam.

The situation is mostly caused by high cpu tempertures with stock cooler and the Turbo mode is not as engaged comparing to stock clocks.

 I will update this when I get some hard proof. While I will suggest better cooling for any type of overclocking to ensure long lifespan of your hardware.

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ottoyu34 replied on Sun, Nov 29 2009 1:44 AM

29/11: #2.1 Overclocking update

All I have been waiting for is the old-fashioned manual BIOS

once again, everything running on stock cooler

I managed to 3.26Ghz with vcore of 1.16V. I could be too much for that clock speed.

the screenshot below is showing the system running Prime95 (64bit).

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ottoyu34 replied on Sun, Nov 29 2009 2:45 AM

A great to give back to the community is to join Folding@home for medical research.

donate your spare CPU/GPU cycles and making the most powerful distrubuted supercomputer.

I have been folding with the Xtremesystem and the following is a clips of Folding@home running.

URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KsqWgyH6AV8

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ottoyu34 replied on Mon, Nov 30 2009 1:41 AM

30/11: #3 review update

I have been testing various features that the Asus motherboard has built-in, such as the expressgate SSD, auto-tunning OC, V-remote and EPU-6.

The EPU-engine is a tiny chip which is near the CPU and power regulator area and controls the power consumption and controling in power phase.

It actually work seamlessly with the Intel's built-in power saving functions. Once installed the Asus EPU-6 engine software, it will control the power

according to the system usage. There are few energy levels including high-performance , auto, max. power saving,etc. While I find auto will maximize power

saving without having a performance drawback. Overclocking your CPU will automatically forces the setting to high-performance. The software has

a saved CO2 consumption meter for both the system. Any supported video cards could also work with the EPU to build a greener machine.

Belowing is a clip of the interface of the EPU-6 engine software.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=853BnlLuaxM

 

Also, I didn't have much time to push the overclock on the CPU and I wanted to change the TIM and overclock on GPU. But it will be very soon.

My 1156 bracket for the Corsair H50 should be here in days, then we will see some overclock we have been waiting for.

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I have ran HD tune on the Samsung SSD again. This time we have much better

results. The speed is consistant at >200Mb/s and obly small dips to 160Mb/s. I will

upload the screenshot soon. Also, over the past week using the SSD. There are aalready

noticable difference between SSD and HDD. With the SSD, there is much faster startup and

shutdown, lighting fast reactions from the system and low loading times. I will test it out

some more when I get more games loaded on it. For now, I made a video showing how

fast is the startup and shutdown.

 

 URL:   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDGhRfnU3es

See it for yourself!

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ottoyu34 replied on Wed, Dec 2 2009 11:55 PM

2/12: #3 Overclocking update

I have looking into the reason why would a stock Intel i7 860 would perform better than the auto tuned one in single threaded app. The reason is

waht we have guessed. According to the info. supplied by Intel FAQ. The CPU has a Turbo boost of 5X multiplier could be added, making it 26X.

It is be used during a single threaded work load. The CPU will be OC to 3.47Ghz by turbo boost. On the other hand, auto tuned(and manual) overclocked

CPU will be stuck at 21X and won't benefit the turbo boost function. In our case, the CPU is at 3.26Ghz. Therefore, single thread benchmark results are better

on stock. But until we have better cooler and push the CPU even further. The following is some proof of my findings.

 

 

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ottoyu34 replied on Thu, Dec 3 2009 12:08 AM

3/12: #3.1 Overclocking update

I gave the SSD another try and benchmark it with HD tune.

It has better results this time.

 

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ottoyu34 replied on Thu, Dec 3 2009 12:15 AM

3/12: #4 review update

I wanted to changed the thermal paste on the Geforce GTX260 and see if it make a difference.

I will update after the paste has been settle down. Initially, I see a 2C difference in idle tempertures.

So here it is.

 

260 is waiting...

 

 Naked.

 Gave the GPU some cleaning

 and apply a thin layer of high-performance thermal compund.

cleaned the heatsink too.

 

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did you update the drivers?  what made the numbers go up?

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To be honesty, I gave it again try and that is it.

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ottoyu34 replied on Sat, Dec 5 2009 12:48 AM

5/12: #1 case mod update

today I have recieved my bracket for the Corsair H50 watercooling kit. The CPU has been screaming for better cooling for a while.

The bracket can be installed onto 775,1366 & 1156 sockets. It also comes with a back plate , double-sided tape and 4 screws.

I quicky swap out the stock cooler and see how much better it is.

 

Intel sockets bracket for H50.

She's all clean

A even spread of high-performance thermal paste is installed.

All the brackets has to be installed first.

fire her up.

 

Let's see if the new cooling system do any good.

This is a comparison of stock clocks with H50 and intel stock cooler, & overclocked with H50.

Idle:

Stock cooling (idle): 37 31 34 38

H50 cooling (idle): 28 23 30 27

H50 cooling OC - 3.26Ghz (idle):  32 26 34 29

 

load:

stock cooling (load): 76 75 74 76 

H50 cooling (load): 51 47 51 49

H50 cooling OC - 3.26Ghz (load ):  59 55  58 57

 

 For more screenshots please visit: http://picasaweb.google.ca/ottoyu10/AsusContest#

 

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5/12: #4 Overclocking update

With the increased cooling performance. I was able to further overclock the cpu to higher frequencies.

I was able to easily push it to 3.8Ghz with a few bumps of voltages here and there.

 I didn't spent much time messing around with settings, but I wanted to make sure it is a stable setting for the moment.

So I started to stress it with prime95 64bit. It passed an hour with ease and I will continue to push it.

 

 

 

screenshot pirming for an hour.

 

So, shall we check out the benchmarks how the 860 will perform.

Vantage: P10977 ,GPU:9367 , CPU:22670 (PhysX Off)

the CPU has gain a lot of score at CPU benchmarks, awesome scores.

 

3Dmark06: 17676, SM2: 7122, SM3: 7312, CPU: 6430

CPU scores has greatly increased here too.

 

SuperPI 1M :11.279sec

SuperPI 32M: 11M 13.984sec

 

wPrime: 33.366sec

 

Cinebench R10 x64:     1 CPU :5284   X CPU: 21347 (0:41sec)

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3/12: #5 review update

Whenever the xtreme system is sitting around idle. The spare clock cycles and computing power are donated towards Folding@home.

Currently, I added a CPU SMP client for the CPU. But since the CPU has 8 instance of virtual cores and the SMP client only can

access 4 of them. That's why it is only utilized only 50%. But there are always ways to bypass it.

The CPU is folding at stock clock speeds.

Now this Xtreme system also gives a hand to medical research!

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5/12: #1.1 case mod update

According to the design, Im going to mount the SSD in the front of the case where it could show off itself.

The more I used this SSD, the more I fall in love in its benefits.

first off all, It has to be taken off from the brackets.

In no time, She's mounted on the case with style.

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6/12 mini-update:

I have been overclocking the GTX260 over the weekend and increased the shader clock for Folding.

Using FurMark & 3rd party overclocking tool, I was able to achieve a great performance increase.

I would say the performance is around the range of a GTX275. Overclocking the GPU for folding only

requires increasing the shader clocks as other clocks will not affect the performance, but add heat.

It was able to achieve arouund 8,000ppd with the overclocked GTX260 with shader clock of

 1450mhz.

Stay tuned and I will post up screenshots soon!

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lol> I did something similar with my SSD. I actually installed it on the other side of the 5.25" cage though.

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7/12: #5 Overclocking Update

I have finally finished tweaking the GTX260 over the weekend.

 I have to say it was a enjoyable thing to do as the card is has a large overclocking margin.

Heat and noise are not an issue due the the 55nm GPU.

The Asus aftermarket cooler also performs perfectly with my bench setup since it could

easily intake cool air and heat can be exhausted faster.

 I am using a 3rd party overclocking software with tweaks done to the auto fan curves.

 I made the fan speed kick-in more sooner and faster so it could keep the card cooler during overclocked usage.

 Furmark was also used in together during the process. I overclocked the core/shader first, then then the memory.

 In between the process, I benchmark the performance with 3Dmark Vantage to see what we achieved.

So lets take a peek. (just a reminder stock vantage scores was P10977, GPU 9367)

 

overclocked the core and shader to 690mhz/1488mhz linked. Vantage score is P12189 , GPU is 10565

Great boost already. Lets OC the mem!

 

same core speeds but overclocked the memory to 1090mhz! not bad at all, we're still half way there.

 

Final overclock. core 690 / shader 1488 / memory 1170!

Great results and we are looking at performance from a GTX275.

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7/12: #6 Review update

So far overclocking on the GPU is done, CPU is half way. But it doesn't stop the system from folding.

We can increase performance greatly by overclocking the shaders of the GPU. My GTX260 was

overclocked from 1242mhz to 1450mhz The card's ppd has jumped from 6000ppd to around 8000ppd.

It's very impressive indeed!

With untilization of 50% on the overclocked CPU running SMP client and overclocked GPU running its client.

I am able to achieve a total ppd of over 10,000ppd! 

 

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ottoyu34 replied on Wed, Dec 9 2009 12:16 PM

9/12 update:

I have been overclocking, pushing the 860 over the past two days or so.

But the cpu seem to be hitting a wall with Bclk of 190 (multiplier of 21X).

stable with 3.9Ghz is easy. But the cpu seems to want a lot of voltages with 4Ghz.

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ottoyu34 replied on Thu, Dec 10 2009 12:12 AM

10/12: #7 Review update

I've been trying to stable the CPU on 4Ghz by running prime95. still no luck. Set it back to 3.9Ghz for now and continue on Folding!!

So I'm going to present you all with a new video showing PhysX from Nvidia!

 

URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jL6IPZcG5NU 

Enjoy. more to come with PhysX in games and apps.

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ottoyu34 replied on Thu, Dec 10 2009 11:46 PM

10/12: #2 case mod update

I have gathered some material for my mod. I have changed the design instead of a convertiable top,

 I'm going to a 200mm or so huge fan pulling hot air up. But at the same frame could be opened.

Allow me to show you guys the material for now. More to come!

Acrylic piece (about 2mm X 12mm)

 

The top fan

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ottoyu34 replied on Mon, Dec 14 2009 12:58 PM

14/12: #8 Review Update

Intel has just released a nice widget for windows 7 and vista. It will sit at your sidebar and displays the highest clock speed of your i7 processor.

The bar indicator is showing how much the tubro boost function "overclocking" on the cpu depending on the usage. I made a video

showing it in action and the following is a screenshot of it. Please feel free to download it as it is free!

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ottoyu34 replied on Mon, Dec 14 2009 1:06 PM

Quick update:

I will be showing how much progress I made at Folding@home with the GTX260 GPU and i7 860 processor. I have been folding with them as soon as

I recieved my hardware and I recieved a huge boost in ranking in my team! Thanks to the GTX260 video card which is perfect for folding and gaming

as well. I achieved around 60,000 points with this machine folding 12hours a day for the duration of this contest. It's quite amazing as the GPU is like

a supercomputer by itself, not to mention after overclocking.

 

Also, I will be posting videos of the Turbo boost widget, Expressgate and overclocking in BIOS very soon.

I will update more often as I get not as busy.

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ottoyu34 replied on Mon, Dec 14 2009 4:34 PM

14/12: #9 Review Update

I wanted to finish this video for a while but it take a while to film all the process of my benchmarking tools.

During the video I will be benchmarking the i7 860 CPU, GTX260 GPU and Samsung 128GB SSD

Hope you like it

URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JfU6cHWuaeA

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