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WD Dream Machine for Good

WD Green

Novice Member
Hey everyone,
This holiday season, we’re inviting passionate DIYers from around the world to help design a Dream Machine for a good cause.

We all know high-capacity hard drives—like the WD Green line—paired with an SSD boot drive make a great team. Well we think another great team would be you and our friends from TastyPCtv. We’re asking you to join forces to build the ultimate Dream Machine. You design it. She builds it. And all for a good cause.

What We’re Doing:
We’ll donate the Dream Machine you helped design to schools, so students have the digital media tools they need to develop their skills as videographers, photographers, digital artists, musicians, designers, animators, writers, and more.

They’ll need a fast machine with plenty of RAM, a nice monitor, speakers, a huge storage array—and anything else you can dream up.

How it works:
Simply share your Dream Machine specs here in this thread. Be sure to make it a complete system—from hard drive, to monitor, and everything in between.

The rig must feature one or more WD Green drives and an SSD boot drive of your choice. But don’t worry about the budget. We want to build the best rig to help support the talent and imagination of the students.

All submissions must be received by 3 December, 2014 at 11:59PM PST.

We’ll review your submissions and pick one to be brought to life by our friend at TastyPCtv. Then she’ll share a behind-the-scenes video of the Dream Machine being built.

Feel free to ask any questions if you have them. And looking forward to seeing your submissions.

— Your friends at WD

 

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Theydon Bois

Distinguished Member

Razor

Distinguished Member
Cheers for the mention Theydon but my dream machine wouldn't have a mech drive in it. :D
 

Foster

Distinguished Member
No budget, its the dream!
 

EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
Cheers for the mention Theydon but my dream machine wouldn't have a mech drive in it. :D
Yeah, it is difficult to understand why you'd want a hard drive in a money no object build. Now we've got 2TB SSDs even the density benefit is dubious. If you placed them side by side you'd get 3.88 2.5" drives per 3.5" drive and, while you're probably looking a more framework space to mount 2.5" drives, it's difficult to see that eating into the margin enough that an array of 6TB hard drives has significantly more disk space than the same frontal area of 2.5" SSDs.

I suppose your startup would be faster because you're using fewer controller cards (I assume they initiate serially, I've never had more than one) but that's a minor benefit for a work machine.

Granted, spending £100,000+ on SSDs for one computer would be silly and probably beyond the budget allocated by WD's PR department but it's not exactly a dream machine if you're worried about value for money.

Any input from the WD guys on this? It would be nice to produce a system that couldn't have been done with SSDs as a last hurrah for the hard drive.

Failing that I'm guessing the best option is one of the large cases for small form factor motherboards so you have lots of drive bays but limited SATA/SAS ports. Unfortunately that may restrict the use of high end processors and it'd have to settle for a single 8 core i7-5960X rather than a pair of Xeons.
 

Sebastalona

Distinguished Member
Money no object? We've got to build this baby on the Moon!
 

WD Green

Novice Member
@EndlessWaves, good question! While the budget for the build is open, we're really looking for a machine that's a best fit for the purpose: in this case, the Dream Machine will go to a school where kids will use it to bring their creative digital projects to life.

Since students in multimedia programs at schools shoot a lot of video footage and take a lot of photos for their projects, we think a natural fit would be a system with fast processor, plenty of RAM, and a nicely-sized array of WD Green hard drives, so they can store and edit all those video files and photos.

We'd love to see everyone's ideas for a machine built for a use case like this—we won't necessarily pick the most expensive machine humanly possible since that might not be the best fit for a scenario like this, but we'll looking forward to see what you guys come up with!
 

Greg Hook

Moderator & Reviewer
I'll have a go at this.

Do we get to meet the lovely Lauren if you pick one of our designs? :)
 

boltlock

Distinguished Member
Ok, so here's my kick-ass workstation. :thumbsup:

Lian Li PC-A76X Full Tower Case
Asus Z9PE-D8 WS Dual Socket C602 Chipset Socket 2011 DDR3 Motherboard
2 x Intel Xeon E5-2670v2 2.50GHz 10-Core with Hyperthreading & Turbo Socket 2011
2 x Phanteks PH-TC14PE CPU Cooler
Corsair Vengeance Pro Red 64GB 8x8GB DDR3 PC3-17100C11 2133MHz Quad Channel Memory Kit
2 x NVIDIA Geforce GTX TITAN Black Edition 6GB SLI
2 x Samsung 500GB SSD 840 EVO SATA 6Gb/s RAID 0
4 x WD Green 4TB RAID 10
LG BH16NS40 16x SATA Internal BDRW Optical
SuperFlower Leadex Platinum 1000W Fully Modular 80 Plus Platinum Power Supply
Logitech Z623 2.1 Speakers
Gigabyte K7100 Keyboard
Gigabyte M6900 3200DPI Mouse
Wacom Intuos Pro Small
BenQ BL3201PT 32" 4k 60Hz Professional Widescreen LED Monitor
 
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Greg Hook

Moderator & Reviewer
Yeah, as I thought no point offering a system, can't do better than the one above. :)
 

Greg Hook

Moderator & Reviewer
only thing that crosses my mind is some poor little African school affording the electric bill :(
I assumed this would be for a UK school?
 

mdbarber

Active Member
I assumed this would be for a UK school?
maybe, was just going off Stuarts post
"This holiday season, we’re inviting passionate DIYers from around the world to help design a Dream Machine for a good cause.
WD Green will donate the Dream Machine you helped design to schools"

sort of implied multiple systems, schools. and i know we like to think of uk schools as under financial pressure but compared to most 3rd world places they thrive in luxury ;)
 

mdbarber

Active Member
also a few points as to boltocks post,
1. a quick glance makes me think those coolers won't fit onto that board, of course asus like many other manufs seem to make board layout measurements hard to find so would actually need one in hand to check.
2.There's no actual make of GPU mentioned, just the reference name, no preferences? and why stick to only two in sli?
3. not sure i'd pick a case with a door, seen a few get damaged when youngsters are near by.
4. WD now do 6tb green drives, though for many reasons i'd personally put some in a nas for overnight backups away from the main box with a ups fitted at both ends
 

EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
Yeah, as I thought no point offering a system, can't do better than the one above. :)
Wouldn't even boot up, it's the wrong processor for the motherboard and the wrong memory for the processor. Some odd choices on the other components too, why go for 4TB drives when 6TB ones are available? And analogue speakers with no analogue sound device other than the onboard sound on a workstation board?

a natural fit would be a system with fast processor, plenty of RAM, and a nicely-sized array of WD Green hard drives, so they can store and edit all those video files and photos
On an open budget the natural fit would seem to be an array of SSDs. I'm far from an expert though and I'm sure there are some advantages that hard drives hold. As you're the marketing department of a hard drive manufacturer then you're in an excellent position to educate us on what benefits hard drives bring so we can select a good mix for of drives this system.


Currently I'm thinking a good approach would be to fill up the expansion slots on the board so there's only room left for one SATA/SAS expansion card, allowing you to hit a nice 100TB of storage space (uncompressed video) with 17 6TB hard drives with a some ports left over for a few terabytes worth of SSD.

So 1x dual slot graphics card, 1x SATA HBA and I'm guessing some sort of high speed capture card is useful for the video folks. Do professional sound cards use PCI-E any more or are the external ports preferred because they don't need the bandwidth?

What about a second graphics card? I know nVidia offers Quadro SLI but only on certified systems . What does the software support?

And speaking of software, is that required too?
 

boltlock

Distinguished Member
also a few points as to boltocks post,
1. a quick glance makes me think those coolers won't fit onto that board, of course asus like many other manufs seem to make board layout measurements hard to find so would actually need one in hand to check.
2.There's no actual make of GPU mentioned, just the reference name, no preferences? and why stick to only two in sli?
3. not sure i'd pick a case with a door, seen a few get damaged when youngsters are near by.
4. WD now do 6tb green drives, though for many reasons i'd personally put some in a nas for overnight backups away from the main box with a ups fitted at both ends
1. Yeah without having the mobo to hand I cannot determine the right cooler so just used the best one I thought would fit, otherwise I'd have gone for the Noctua's. I'm sure the system builder would find an appropriate alternative if that was the case.

2. As it's a multimedia machine rather than a gaming machine, I felt 2 Titans would be sufficient as there isn't any point in having more just for the sake of it. The manufacturer can be left to the builder too as performance wise, they're all pretty much the same even down to the cooler. A few extra clocks aren't going to make a vast difference in the grand scheme of things. You won't go far wrong with any of the big hitters but I do tend to favour Asus or EVGA.

3. Lian Li cases normally have a locking mechanism (for a padlock at least) on the rear so not an issue.

4. As 2 really. Having something just because it's there isn't necessarily the best way. I too would rather have a NAS solution, but that's not what's required here.

Bear in mind this build is only my opinion and as such, won't be to everyone's choosing.
 

boltlock

Distinguished Member
Wouldn't even boot up
I don't think so. I specifically chose those components just because they would work.

CPU
- Intel® Socket 2011 Processors
- Dual Intel® Xeon® processor E5-2600 product family
- Supports Intel® Turbo Boost Technology 2.0
* Refer to ASUS for CPU support list

Memory
- 8 x DIMM, Max. 64GB, DDR3 2133(O.C.)/2000(O.C.)/1866(O.C.)/1600/1333/1066 MHz ECC, Non-ECC, Un-buffered Memory
- Quad Channel Memory Architecture
 

mdbarber

Active Member
its a shame WD haven't been a lot more specific here, having done work for a few schools (hence the comment about the case door) there's a lot more to these builds than meets the eye, so many factors need to be taken into account, ergonomics and locations play a much bigger part in specialist system design for situations like this.
 

boltlock

Distinguished Member
its a shame WD haven't been a lot more specific here, having done work for a few schools (hence the comment about the case door) there's a lot more to these builds than meets the eye, so many factors need to be taken into account, ergonomics and locations play a much bigger part in specialist system design for situations like this.
I understand where you're coming from and WD probably could have given us more info but as I said, this build is to be a 'jack of all trades' rather than say, just a 3D machine, where the likes of Fire or Quadro cards would be a better bet.
 

Greg Hook

Moderator & Reviewer
I don't think so. I specifically chose those components just because they would work.

CPU
- Intel® Socket 2011 Processors
- Dual Intel® Xeon® processor E5-2600 product family
- Supports Intel® Turbo Boost Technology 2.0
* Refer to ASUS for CPU support list

Memory
- 8 x DIMM, Max. 64GB, DDR3 2133(O.C.)/2000(O.C.)/1866(O.C.)/1600/1333/1066 MHz ECC, Non-ECC, Un-buffered Memory
- Quad Channel Memory Architecture
That V3 CPU says it only supports DDR4 though?
 

Trollslayer

Distinguished Member
One point - for the PC to be used will this include some software?
 

EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
My bad. I meant to cnp the V2 version but picked the one above it by mistake. It was late. :blush:
Yeah, they changed the socket for the current generation (Haswell). It unfortunately still has 2011 pins and is called LGA2011-3 but isn't compatible with the older LGA2011 so as you say you'll need to go for the older Ivy Bridge V2 if you want to use that motherboard and DDR3.
 

captaindomokun

Novice Member
Her is my suggestion for this build, i was thinking about this pc not as a all rounder, but more of a professional pc and as i have worked with a some of these components i think this will be a great build. i tried to make this build as cost efficient as possible but this is a professional pc so its not what you call "cheap"

CPU
i was think of a i7 for this build, but i think a xeon would be used more effectively as this isn't going to be much of a gaming pc, so i chose the Intel Xeon E5-2690 v3 as its a reasonable balance between average clock speed and lots of cores which should churn through video and music editing.

PSU
Best option is the Corsair AX860i, even though this is slightly overkill but for a quiet, reliable and efficient build, there is no real alternative

Cooling
as this isn't a over clocking pc and more of a workstation pc, the Noctua NH-D15 is a incredibly silent cooling solution that should keep things very cool and quiet

Motherboard
Asus X99-E WS,
there was nothing that could contend for its WS components and support for Xeon's and Tesla cards. i would of chose the double socket version of this motherboard but very few programs can utilize dual cpu technology.

RAM
To best utilise the Xeon, i chose 64GB (8x8GB) Samsung ECC memory for its stable reliability and i chose 64gb for best core/memory ratios

GPU
personal taste for GPU's is a large part of the decision, but in my humble opinion (don't start any fan boy arguments!) i chose the Nvidia Quadro K5000 because of its great power consumption and as it works with CUDA, Adobe programs gain greater boosts from CUDA rather than AMD cards.

Hardrive
for the hard rive i code the seagate baracu….. I'm just kidding i chose 4x4tb Western Digital Greens in RAID 10, I chose this because it would have the speed of RAID 0 and the reliability of RAID 1 and would not need a expensive RAID card to write and read data quickly.

Optical drive
Because why not, the LG BH16NS40 16x should make this pc the master of all trades

SSD
there is a lot of brand bias for ssd but the 2xSamsung 840 EVO 500gb in RAID 0 in order to get 1tb of fast storage for programs and a couple of projects

Case
Again a LOT of personal taste in this one, but the Phanteks Enthoo Luxe is a phenomenal case for price, practicality, size and build quality and with its excelent room with expansion, you can't go wrong

Monitor
i was planning on 4K but it isn't quite ready yet as lots of programs don't scale well on such high resolutions so i chose the LG Flatron 34UM95-P for its massive size for great productivity use in Premiere and others, it also is a IPS panel so it has great viewing angles and colour accuracy, a must have.

Head phones
Audio technica ath-m50
… enough said

Keyboard & mouse
plenty of personal taste here but because this isn't much of a gaming build i chose the Corsair k65 Keyboard for its overall size and mechanical key switches and the Corsair M65 Mouse for its comfortable use and programable buttons. also I'm adding the Cintiq 13hd for people who want to do some photoshop/fireworks kinda work

Overall this build should perform great in a creativity workspace. its not cheap as the list shows:
Intel Xeon E5-2690 v3 = £1264.99
Corsair AX860i = £169.99
Noctua NH-D15 = £77.99
Asus X99-E WS = £379.99
64GB (8x8GB) Samsung ECC memory = £799.99
Nvidia Quadro K5000 = £1614.95
4x4tb Western Digital Greens = £479.99
LG BH16NS40 16x = £62.95
2xSamsung 840 EVO 500gb = £371.99
Phanteks Enthoo Luxe = £119.99
LG Flatron 34UM95-P = £679.99
Audio technica ath-m50 = £109.99
Corsair k65 Keyboard = £79.99
Corsair M65 Mouse = £52.99

Total Price = £6253.61

 
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EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
i was think of a i7 for this build, but i think a xeon would be used more effectively as this isn't going to be much of a gaming pc, so i chose the Intel Xeon E5-2690 v3 as its a reasonable balance between average clock speed and lots of cores which should churn through video and music editing.
I'm not very familiar with Xeons, looking at the range I'm not clear why you picked the E5-2690 v3 over the E5-2697 v3 which is the same base clock speed (2.6Ghz) but has two more cores, 5MB more cache and 0.1Ghz faster turbo when 1-5 cores are in use. It does have a marginally higher TDP (135 vs. 145) but I can't find any other downsides.


I don't really know what the best internals for the system would be, so mine is based on domokun's with the following changes:

Hard drives
17x WD Green 6TB (total: 102TB) in a software-based spanning system so they appear as a single volume. This avoids nasty situations where your motherboard breaks and you have to hunt one down with the same chipset to recover your data. And an HBA card.

SSD
Surely it's got to be NVMe? A 2TB Intel DC P3700 would be a good choice, two would be an even better one :D

Case
Nanoxia Deep Silence 6. With a 3x5.25" to 4/5x 3.5" drive bay converter.

Monitor
The 34" 3440x1440 is a nice size and resolution for general use, and being sRGB will help there too. Depending on the exact audience a 30" NEC Spectraview or Eizo Colouredge monitor with better quality control and the Adobe RGB gamut may be more appropriate.

Sound
External sound card of some sort with speakers and headphones. I'd second the Audio Technica, I've been very impressed with my lowly ATH-AD700s.

Keyboard & Mouse
On a system like this you have to go for the best. Torpe Realforce is the obvious choice for the keyboard (UK layout here. Mouse is more difficult and there don't seem to be any proper high end manufacturers, maybe steelseries. I would definitely throw in an CH products/APEM DT225 trackball though and probably some sort of 3D controller (SpaceNavigator?). As mentioned above a drawing tablet is a good idea but I wouldn't know where to start.
 

captaindomokun

Novice Member
I'm not very familiar with Xeons, looking at the range I'm not clear why you picked the E5-2690 v3 over the E5-2697 v3 which is the same base clock speed (2.6Ghz) but has two more cores, 5MB more cache and 0.1Ghz faster turbo when 1-5 cores are in use. It does have a marginally higher TDP (135 vs. 145) but I can't find any other downsides.


I don't really know what the best internals for the system would be, so mine is based on domokun's with the following changes:

Hard drives
17x WD Green 6TB (total: 102TB) in a software-based spanning system so they appear as a single volume. This avoids nasty situations where your motherboard breaks and you have to hunt one down with the same chipset to recover your data. And an HBA card.

SSD
Surely it's got to be NVMe? A 2TB Intel DC P3700 would be a good choice, two would be an even better one :D

Case
Nanoxia Deep Silence 6. With a 3x5.25" to 4/5x 3.5" drive bay converter.

Monitor
The 34" 3440x1440 is a nice size and resolution for general use, and being sRGB will help there too. Depending on the exact audience a 30" NEC Spectraview or Eizo Colouredge monitor with better quality control and the Adobe RGB gamut may be more appropriate.

Sound
External sound card of some sort with speakers and headphones. I'd second the Audio Technica, I've been very impressed with my lowly ATH-AD700s.

Keyboard & Mouse
On a system like this you have to go for the best. Torpe Realforce is the obvious choice for the keyboard (UK layout here. Mouse is more difficult and there don't seem to be any proper high end manufacturers, maybe steelseries. I would definitely throw in an CH products/APEM DT225 trackball though and probably some sort of 3D controller (SpaceNavigator?). As mentioned above a drawing tablet is a good idea but I wouldn't know where to start.
i do agree with your choices,I didn't see the xeon you mentioned where i was selecting the parts so my bad but it does cost £2000 compared to £1200 and I'm not sure how much they would feel the difference

the 2tb ssd is great but it would double the cost of this build, and I'm not sure how much ssd you should use

don't get me wrong i was about to go with the 107tb option as well but i don't think its necessary, i would love to include but even the NAS server we have at our work office doesn't have that much space and we have over 60 people working there on different projects.

im not really a sound professional so i can't give my opinion on sound cards but for a drawing tablet the Cintiq 13hd is a solid choice which I'm going to add to my build
 

WD Green

Novice Member
its a shame WD haven't been a lot more specific here, having done work for a few schools (hence the comment about the case door) there's a lot more to these builds than meets the eye, so many factors need to be taken into account, ergonomics and locations play a much bigger part in specialist system design for situations like this.
We definitely understand there are many factors involved. Since we want a variety of students to benefit from this build, we would rather keep the build a bit more broad. Building a very specialized machine will limit the number of students who would be able to use it.
 

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