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Thread: Meet the REAPER

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    ピュア&イノセント Checkmate's Avatar
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    Post Meet the REAPER

    During planning the Kii.re Project, I noticed something - it would consume loads of storage and computing power. For example, a typical eroge HCG rip contains thousands of CGs, all output as BMPs, and those can take up anywhere from 10GB to 100GB of space. And that's just a single game. But wait, it gets worse... if the game stores bodies, faces, and all manners of inorganic/organic accessories separately, storage can easily take up thrice of what I said before! When all's said and done, there's up to a TB in several thousand files to be converted into a more storage friendly format (PNG). And that's just for a single eroge.

    I tested the whole process on my old Intel Core i5 Nahelem. I was quite shocked to find out that on average it takes five days for a game, with some taking as much as eighteen (!) days to finish. With between nine and twelve eroge to rip a month, even doubling my computing power wouldn't get me halfway there. Clearly this is calling for more drastic measures: The Reaper.

    The Reaper is designed with three main tenets in mind: Very fast multithreaded computing, extreme HDD I/O with small files, and effective heat dissipation to run at full load all year long.

    And this brings me to the AMD Vishera FX-8350 8 core CPUs clocked at an impressive 4.0 Ghz. It may use as a much electricity as a small factory, but in return I get the performance I need without having to sell a leg for it. Even better, the FX-8350 is unlocked, meaning I can easily overclock it to squeeze out even more power as long as I can keep the beast cool. And since running it 24/7/365 requires superior cooling anyway...
    Oh, and since AMD doesn't change it's socket every year (unlike a certain other CPU manufacturer), CPU upgrades are also a possibility.



    The FX-8350 will be seated on an economy-class MSI 970A-G46, which in turn uses the 970 chipset. It may not have all the bells and whistles of a 990FX based board, but it should do well enough. Besides, I was able to source the mainboard for $50, leaving me more budget for the important parts.



    Now for something cool - well, sorta. Using the stock cooler obviously would've caused the CPU to melt through the chassis in record time, so I slapped a twenty-bucks CNPS14X cooler on it. It may be cheap, but it's still among the best. In addition, two more push-n-pull fans can be added, increasing performance even further. For now that's not going to happen, though, since I'm not currently planning on overclocking the Vishera. For now having it run silent takes priority.



    Next up is RAM. Ah, how I love three - making everything run fast and smooth. While more RAM is always better, it should be from a reputable brand - so no-names, OCZ and Corsair are out. I decided to go with the Mushkin Enhanced Silverline 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3 1600 instead. Might not be the fastest, but at least they don't go down as often as imouto pantsu in my bedroom. Matter of fact, the ones I used so far haven't caused any crashes at all - despite running continuous for 400 days. And with four sticks (total of 32GB for the math-challenged), speed isn't that critical anymore. And at $120, they're a steal.



    While I can skimp in the graphics department, some sort of GPU is still needed. Some of the Photoshop scripts involved are used for thousands of tasks, and several of those rely on OpenCL (e.g. GPU power) to reduce CPU load. So the MSI N640GT-MD2GD3/OC with an Nvidia GT 640 chipset it is. Again, stability was one of the core aspects in this choice. By now AMD's drivers instability has reached legendary levels. Having CUDA is another bonus. And the Kepler Architecture uses significantly less power than it's AMD equivalent, so PSU and case cooling don't need to be upgraded much beyond what the monstrous CPU requires. Less heat, less noise, lower cost, higher efficiency, and a more stable system made this a no-brainer. Last, but not least, the chosen GPU has two fans, which means better heat disspation (remember, the system will be at full throttle all-year long), and less potential for hardware failures or overheating.




    Talking about PSUs is pretty boring. It's a Corsair CX430, for $30. It does its job and shouldn't blow a fuse at the drop of a pin, so there you go.




    Back to the juicy parts: SSDs. There'll be four of them - a SATA2 Intel 330, providing unmatched reliability will be used for the OS and programs. The processing itself will take place on three SATA3 Crucial M4 256GB disks. They may not be as reliable as the Intel disk (they're by no means bad, though), but the SATA3 connection means some serious I/O behind 768GB of sheer awesome. At $850 the SSDs are quite pricey, but they're worth it.




    Anyway, SSDs aren't really good for storing data - mostly because they're loli-sized, but not in a good way. That's where Seagate Barracuda 2TB ST2000DM001s and Toshiba 3TB DT01ACA300s come in. While Seagate drives sometimes hav dodgy firmware causing a plethora of problems, the ST2000DM001 is a pretty mature drive, so all the kinks in that line have been ironed out. I mostly added the DT01ACA300s because I got them for cheap and the specs are decent enough. In total, there'll be five 2TB Seagate disks and three 3TB Toshiba disks. Those eight cost a pretty penny: $800. The storage disks will be set-up in simple RAIDs (RAID10 for the Seagates (one's a hot spare) and RAID5 for the Toshibas.)




    Since I already mentioned the RAID, I may as well talk about the RAID controller for a bit. The IBM M1015 offers outstanding performance on RAID10 and costs only $100. Matter of fact, it's a rebrand version of the LSI 9220-8i (using the LSI 2008 chip), an enterprise-grade solution. For those readers that don't know what that means: enterprise gear is beyond stable. Add another $50 for the RAID5 key, and a $150 SAS 6Gbps enterprise RAID controller (from a trusty brand. Not some RocketRaid garbage - I avoid that crap like the plague it is.), and we're set.



    Next up in the boring-yet-reliable department: a $20 Intel NIC providing a stable uplink to my local storage server, a 120TB backup server (though I still need to add some more disks to actually reach it's full potential). Better than those cheapo Realtek chips you find on mainboards, but that's about all.



    I only ever use two types of cases: mini towers and full towers. Since all that gear obviously won't fit into a mini, I went for a full-sized one. The Define XL R2 from Fractal, to be precise. By default the case is geared to be silent, but it can easily be converted into a performance-oriented build. It also happens to be very sturdy and comes at the low, low price of $100. Made of win (and steel).

    But all the above together, and you'll get a true beast fit for it's task. The Reaper should be able to get its job done, quick and efficient. Just make sure not to omit the first "e" - we're dealing with pure and innocent matters only, thank you very much.

    By the way, I saved the best for the end.





    You're looking at two of them.

    Over and out!



    Specification Summary:

    CPU AMD Vishera FX-8350 8 Cores @ 4.0Ghz (4.2Ghz Turbo)
    Cooler ZALMAN CNPS14X 140mm Ultra Quiet Tower Cooler
    RAM Mushkin Enhanced Silverline DDR3 1600 8GB. Total 4 Sticks = 32GB
    Motherboard MSI 970A-G46 AMD 970 UEFI BIOS
    GPU MSI N640GT-MD2GD3/OC Nvidia GT640 Kepler 2GB DDR3 DUAL FAN
    PSU Corsair PSU CX430 430W
    OS SSD Intel 330 Series 240GB SATA2 3Gbps
    SSDs Crucial M4 256GB SATA3 6Gbps x 3
    HDD Seagate Barracuda 2TB ST2000DM001 x 5
    HDD Toshiba 3TB DT01ACA300 x 3
    RAID Controller IBM M1015 LSI 9220-8i SAS2008 SAS 6Gbps
    NIC Intel Desktop Gigabit CT
    Fractal Design DEFINE XL R2 Ultra Silent Chassis

    Update 17 Jul 2013
    HW Revisions:
    - Replace the MSI 970A-G46 with a Gigabyte GA-990FX-UD3. Reasons here 150$
    - Swap the IBM M1015 with an LSI 9625-8i w/ BBU & CacheCade Pro 2.0 & FastPath. Nothing wrong with the M1015, just swapping out spare hardware. 1200$
    - Swap the PSU 430W to 550W, because of the changes. 50$
    Last edited by Checkmate; September 30th, 2013 at 09:59 PM.

    I only post what I bought. My uploads are for those who share the same taste but could not easily import them. If you can buy the game, please do it to support the company.
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    Destiny Awaits. HatoriTakaya's Avatar
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    Re: Meet the REAPER

    ... Well if you have the money, why the hell not. I assume you're at least intermediate to advance in computers so you should know where the parts are compatible or not. I haven't able to make a computer that can run without running into some occasional BSOD which is caused by some old hardware (pretty sure it's the HDD but it can also be the mismatch in hardware). Longest time I kept a computer up is 3 days before BSOD. If I ignore BSOD, during normal seasons I can run it 24/7 for a long period of time unless I want to do some cleaning.

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    Senior Member Ren Nanase's Avatar
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    Re: Meet the REAPER

    Checkmate i see one issue with this.
    I dont have one its the biggest issue lol
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    Re: Meet the REAPER

    If we ever had donations going on, this is exactly were all the money would go to.
    Ignis, gershy and T-ELOS like this.
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    Re: Meet the REAPER

    Quote Originally Posted by Tessu View Post
    If we ever had donations going on, this is exactly were all the money would go to.
    Sounds like a worthwhile investment, if you ask me.
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    Re: Meet the REAPER

    Quote Originally Posted by Lavo View Post
    Sounds like a worthwhile investment, if you ask me.
    Considering where things are going, I would have to agree too.

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    Senior Member Ren Nanase's Avatar
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    Re: Meet the REAPER

    I would donate but check wont let me
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    ピュア&イノセント Checkmate's Avatar
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    Re: Meet the REAPER

    Tests shows some problem, so a following revision was made to the build:

    Upgrade the PSU to 550W. The previous PSU is fine. This is just because I want to swap my spare hardware around.

    The Motherboard MSI 970A-G46 is replaced by the Gigabyte GA-990FX-UD3. The MSI board has serious problem in its VRM Phase Power design that can seriously overheat and kill itself along with any CPU that has a 125W TDP rating.

    I only post what I bought. My uploads are for those who share the same taste but could not easily import them. If you can buy the game, please do it to support the company.
    Bugs report belong to the Site Support, not my inbox.

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    Re: Meet the REAPER

    Oh this looks rather fun. And with twins you should be powering through like nobody's buisness XD.

    Not sure why the potshot at corsair RAM, since I've never had any problems, but I did just grab what had a good sale at the time.

    I wonder if this is the kind of thing I will be up to in 5 years or so, since I might not have much else to spend money on after a few years of settling somewhere.
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    ピュア&イノセント Checkmate's Avatar
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    Re: Meet the REAPER

    Preliminary test run shows a REAPER can process one image per 30s. Comparing to 85s of my Nehalem test box. Idle temperature is 50°C, with all fans at 50% power and the entire system consume 270W at max load, as designed. With that said, one reaper can rip 1 regular-size eroge per 24 hours or 4 days for larger-size one.

    It's not that awesome but it will have to do.

    I only post what I bought. My uploads are for those who share the same taste but could not easily import them. If you can buy the game, please do it to support the company.
    Bugs report belong to the Site Support, not my inbox.

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