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OpenSource Solutions for Computer Aided Engineering

The OpenSource Solutions for Computer Aided Engineering Blog is the place for conversation and discussion about OpenSource Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) resources available for modern personal computers. There are a myriad of solutions available in the marketplace for a number of different engineering and scientific applications, but it is not always easy to find the most appropriate solution for a particular circumstance, because many of the packages emanate from University research departments or Government development projects that do not have access to sufficient resources to publicize their products adequately. While the primary focus will be on numerical analysis solutions (FEA, CFD, Signal Processing, SPICE electronic simulation, etc.), we will occasional touch on other aspects of CAE such as Computer-Aided Drafting (CAD), 3D modeling, data acquisition (Test and Measurement, etc.), and other such technologies that can add value to the engineering process.

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Building a Fully Functional Box for a Few Hundred Bucks

Posted October 25, 2010 9:00 AM by cwarner7_11

Now, let us dream a little. Say your old faithful computer has crashed, and you only have a couple hundred dollars to spend on coming up with a new system that's as close as you can get to the state-of-the art. (This isn't part of the dream; this is the reality that makes the dream attractive). You spend a few days at the local Internet Café, picking and choosing all of the components that you can afford. You then buy the parts and put the box together.

Let's say that you wound up with an Intel Quad Core 64-bit with about 8 MEG of memory. (Actually, I wound up with a dual core with only 3 MEG, but, hey, this is a dream! Besides, I don't know if you can still buy a dual core these days.) You put off the fancy graphics and sound cards due to budget constraints, and your old monitor is still working. It's now time to test, but first you have to load the operating system and all of the rest of the software you need to actually DO something with the computer. So, you insert your Live DVD and hit the power button. There are flashing lights, a little whirring noise, etc., and now you have a desktop on your computer.

But wait – we're not finished yet!

There is an icon on the desktop labeled "Install Now!" (It's just below the "Getting Started" icon; we'll read the instructions later). Answer a few questions, and within 15 minutes you're surfing the Web (wireless connection, of course), composing a textbook in LaTeX and writing a letter to your mother-in-law with your word processor, all while grabbing some old data in your spreadsheet program from your thumb drive (which is probably infested with viruses from your latest visit to the Internet Cafe, but not to worry). It's then that you plan to run through some signal analysis software as soon as the load lightens. Meanwhile, you have a finite element analysis (FEA) study running in the background (a pretty fine mesh with maybe 16 hours of run-time).

Do You Feel Lucky?

Let's push our luck a bit. Let's plug in the legacy scanner/printer. (We can no longer get updated drivers from the manufacturer because the machine is, what, 3 years old?). It works and may even have features you didn't know about. Next, let's play a little music. (Remember, we didn't have enough money for an exotic sound card, but we are using cheap speakers anyway). The music sounds about as good as can be expected, and we did not have to chase down the drivers. Essentially, we can do virtually anything we want to do except for serious gaming (but, then, a serious gamer isn't going to build a box for a couple hundred dollars). Sure, there are a few games available: Freecell, Solitaire, Mines, and a few others for which I have little interest. This isn't serious gaming stuff, but it's sufficient to occupy the mind while waiting for that phone call.

And, we did not once have to drop down in to the command line mode to get any of this functioning.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is not a dream. Unfortunately, you cannot buy this package at your local software dealer, or Amazon.com, or your university book store. No, the only way to get it is to download it from http://www.caelinux.com/CMS/. For free.

Disclaimers and Dollars

Disclaimer: I have absolutely no financial interest or commercial relationship with the developers of this package. Well, OK, I generate a little revenue for myself by using this stuff (fortunately, it is distributed under the GPL license, which allows me to use it for my own commercial pursuits).

You would be talking $15,000 or more (USD) had you gone the "commercial" route to access the capabilities you've garnered for the price of the hardware (and the blank DVD you had to burn, unless you really splurged and bought a ready-to-use one from the originator).

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#1

Re: Building a Fully Functional Box for a Few Hundred Bucks

10/25/2010 10:40 AM

Sorry, but not even Linux will run on 3 MEG.

You probably meant GB.

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: Building a Fully Functional Box for a Few Hundred Bucks

10/25/2010 11:01 AM

Stevem-

You are right. I sometimes have trouble keeping track of all those zeros. Exponential format is SOOO much easier than prefixes!

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#3

Re: Building a Fully Functional Box for a Few Hundred Bucks

10/26/2010 8:53 AM

The new i7 quad has some good reviews ans it has Hyperthreading that helps a bit (sarc) with precessing...Hope this helps

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#4

Re: Building a Fully Functional Box for a Few Hundred Bucks

10/27/2010 12:36 AM

Here's one to watch [2D cad]

they promise linux soon

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#5
In reply to #4

Re: Building a Fully Functional Box for a Few Hundred Bucks

10/27/2010 2:02 AM

Garthh-

DraftSight, as you recommend, is on the list, and Wine lists it as fully functional under Wine- but I was unable to get it to work there. Also, since my VirtualBox is set up with Windows 98SE, it looks like DraftSight won't run on that setup either. I have an XP dual boot setup that I may use to explore DraftSight later on...

DraftSight comes to us from Dassault Sytemes of France, and I do believe they also are behind Catia and SolidWorks these days, although Catia was originally an IBM product. I also encounter them in the OpenSource community on occasion.

Definitely bears watching, but when is "soon"?

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#6

Re: Building a Fully Functional Box for a Few Hundred Bucks

10/27/2010 9:56 AM

Is the CAE Linux the Operating System with the CAD programs included?

Looks very interesting.

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#7
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Re: Building a Fully Functional Box for a Few Hundred Bucks

10/27/2010 11:44 AM

CAELinux is essentially the complete Ubuntu 10.04 release (including operating system, office suite, web browser, hardware drivers, compilers, and all of the other various applications normally bundled with a Linux distro) to which specialized engineering, mathematical and scientific packages have been added.

Whoops. too wordy. The short answer is, Yes. CAELinux includes the complete operating system.

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#8
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Re: Building a Fully Functional Box for a Few Hundred Bucks

10/27/2010 12:18 PM

Alright - Great!

I've got a Win7 OS on a 3GHz Dual core 64-bit I've been thinking of setting up as a dual-boot machine.

I've also got an XP station that I'm thinking of doing the same with if there are issues with the Win 7 machine.

I haven't done much research on Linux OS / hardware compatibility. Do you think there would be stability issues on the Win 7 computer?

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#9
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Re: Building a Fully Functional Box for a Few Hundred Bucks

10/27/2010 12:56 PM

My experience tells me that there are stability issues with ANY version of Windows

I have no experience with Win7, but the literature speaks of some intriguing virtualization options- you may be able to set up a virtual machine in Windows that is running your choice of alternative operating systems (have a look at VirtualBox or VMWare, among others). I do believe MS has a native virtualization system in Win7 (making it possible to run legacy Win XP apps), but I don't know the details...

I have encountered reports of issues with dual booting with newer Windows versions see this thread), but I have not experienced this. From what I have read of the issue, it would appear that newer versions of Windows do not necessarily respect the sector boundaries you think you have set up (there are some malware attacks that actually seem to take advantage of this "feature". this also seems to be something desired by commercial software houses, since they seem to like to hide software keys in inaccessible sectors so you can not run a pirated copy). These impressions are mostly speculation, and I suggest you consult with a real expert (i.e., DrMoose here on CR4) on this subject before taking my word for it. I have been running a dual boot machine with Windows XP and several generations of Ubuntu with no issues whatsoever (of course, I never EVER let my Windows partition talk to the Internet!). Windows does insist that it be installed on the first bootable sector on your hard drive, which, in your case, does not appear to be an issue. I can access the files on the Windows XP partition from Ubuntu (although I cannot access the files on the Ubuntu sector from Windows).

One alternative that seems to have a lot of support is to actually use two different hard drives, rather than splitting one up.

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#10
In reply to #9

Re: Building a Fully Functional Box for a Few Hundred Bucks

10/27/2010 8:12 PM

Hi again cwarner7_11,

Thank you for the advice and help. Great blog!

I'm downloading the CAElinux2010 right now. As soon as I create a live disk, I'll check out the OS. If it checks out, I'll go with a dual HD boot system.

I am actually quite pleased with, and quite astonished at, how well Win7 works. Yes, it does handle older programs. I am running Office 2000 and CorelDraw 12 Suite and have had no issues. Not one lockup/crash since I put this system together about 6 months ago. I am also using MS Security Essentials (freeware) which seems to be working quite well.

I'm not trying to make this sound like an endorsement, but maybe they've finally got a decent product. <Jaw drops to floor>

Anyway, I'm looking forward to getting into some FEA and maybe even some fluid flow problems.

Thanks again, and I'm looking forward to more installments!

Mike

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#11
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Re: Building a Fully Functional Box for a Few Hundred Bucks

10/27/2010 8:31 PM

Keep us posted on your progress. I would suggest that you start by working through the tutorials that are packaged with the distribution to get familiar with the basic operation- there are some pretty good, basic tutorials included. I halso have some links to some additional tutorials and helpful resources that I will be posting from time to time...And some good traditional Fluid Dynamics texts (Open Source) that can help with some basic refreshers if it's been a while since you have worked with fluid dynamics. And the forums are very, very helpful as you are getting started (and, from reading some of the forums, even if you are well-versed in the techniques, there are valuable pointers!).

I am especially curious about how the dual boot setup works with Win7, since I don't have the resources to set something like that up...

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#12
In reply to #11

Re: Building a Fully Functional Box for a Few Hundred Bucks

10/27/2010 10:24 PM

Hi cwarner7_11,

Well, here goes:

  1. Downloaded the .iso file.
  2. Ran the checksum utility. Pass.
  3. Burned the .iso file to make the Live DVD. Burn successful.
  4. Restarted computer.
  5. Got into BIOS and changed first boot device to the DVD drive.
  6. Saved changes.
  7. And it boots to Win7.
  8. Restarted computer again.
  9. When prompted pressed <esc> to enter boot menu.
  10. Selected DVD drive.
  11. Pressed <enter>.
  12. And it boots to Win7 again.

Looks like I may have to disconnect my HD to do this. And what I said about Win7 may be true, but it looks to me that MS are still a$$holes.

I'm getting a beer .

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#13
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Re: Building a Fully Functional Box for a Few Hundred Bucks

10/27/2010 10:45 PM

Very important data point for me. Others have reported they can dual boot from windows 7, but I have never tried it...

It shouldn't be necessary to disconnect the hard drive, but there's no telling for sure.

How about running in a Virtual machine? Check out VirtualBox- I believe they have a good Windows package- or supposedly, Windows 7 has built-in virtualization capabilities (thoat's why you can run XP programs in Win7).

Maybe take the DVD to a different computer (Internet Cafe if your friends are too nervous to experiment) and see if it will boot there?

Got an extra beer for me?

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#14
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Re: Building a Fully Functional Box for a Few Hundred Bucks

10/27/2010 11:15 PM

Just throw the dvd in while windows is running, you should get to run it as a live dvd, from there you should get the option to install

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#15
In reply to #14

Re: Building a Fully Functional Box for a Few Hundred Bucks

10/27/2010 11:31 PM

Hi Garthh.

I tried that and all it did was open up windows explorer and show me the caelinux2010.iso file as the only file on the DVD.

I'm wondering if I even have a Live DVD.

Any thoughts on this?

Thanks for your input.

Mike

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#17
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Re: Building a Fully Functional Box for a Few Hundred Bucks

10/27/2010 11:53 PM

Dispense with changing the boot device. Just insert DVD then reboot and a choice of boot devices should be available by pressing any key when prompted.

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#21
In reply to #17

Re: Building a Fully Functional Box for a Few Hundred Bucks

10/28/2010 12:05 AM

Doesn't work. Read post #12.

I say again: I wonder if I even have a live DVD. In windows explorer, all I see on the disk is caelinux2010.iso. Is this what I'm supposed to be seeing? Is there a chance that, even though I chose "burn to disk" (using Nero), it just copied the file and didn't make an image?

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#23
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Re: Building a Fully Functional Box for a Few Hundred Bucks

10/28/2010 12:07 AM

that would be your problem, it's an image file, see link from my last post

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#26
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Re: Building a Fully Functional Box for a Few Hundred Bucks

10/28/2010 12:11 AM

see post #24

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#29
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Re: Building a Fully Functional Box for a Few Hundred Bucks

10/28/2010 12:34 AM

Try "Infra-Recorder" infrarecorder.org/ It's junk for everything but ISO files or "Express Burn" express-burn.en.softonic.com/ instead of NERO

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#30
In reply to #29

Re: Building a Fully Functional Box for a Few Hundred Bucks

10/28/2010 12:54 AM

I thought ISO capability was built into 7?

Infra corder will do it

once Mike gets linux working, all that kind of stuff is built in :D

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#31
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Re: Building a Fully Functional Box for a Few Hundred Bucks

10/28/2010 12:57 AM

Distinct possibility all you did was copy the *.iso file to the DVD, rather than building a bootable disc. If all you see with Explorer is the *.iso file, it is unlikely it is burned correctly...It has been so long since I have done this in Windows, I am not sure of the proper procedure. Linux is sooo much easier to use...

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#38
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Re: Building a Fully Functional Box for a Few Hundred Bucks

10/29/2010 7:39 PM

Hi cwarner7_11,

Picked up new disks after work tonight. Made the Live DVD using Infra-recorder, rebooted, and here I am using the ubuntu OS from the DVD!

I have a 20GB hard drive. Do you think that would be sufficient for just learning the CAE apps? As long as I don't need to save a lot of file, I would think it would work quite well.

I will most likely be having questions in the weeks to come, as I learn to use the apps.

Again, thanks for taking the time to give answers and advice

I am liking this a lot already

Mike

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#40
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Re: Building a Fully Functional Box for a Few Hundred Bucks

10/29/2010 7:52 PM

20 GB might be a bit light for serious work, especially since you also need a 4GB swap partition, but it should work OK for starters. More important is a minimum of 1G of RAM, preferably 2G...One can never have too much RAM...

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#41
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Re: Building a Fully Functional Box for a Few Hundred Bucks

10/29/2010 8:16 PM

I have 3G. I will probably go up to 4 within the next 3 months. Alas, that is the limit of RAM for my MB. I am seeing in my future an upgrade within the next year.

Thanks for the input!

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#19
In reply to #15

Re: Building a Fully Functional Box for a Few Hundred Bucks

10/28/2010 12:01 AM

Burning the iso on a windows box can be tricky, what program did you use?

Did you do something like this

I like bit torrents, as you always get a good file

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#24
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Re: Building a Fully Functional Box for a Few Hundred Bucks

10/28/2010 12:09 AM

Hi there, I think I think Mike didn't choose a bootable ISO file to download eh?

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#32
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Re: Building a Fully Functional Box for a Few Hundred Bucks

10/28/2010 12:59 AM

I believe the only download possibility for CAELinux is the LiveDVD option...

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#37
In reply to #19

Re: Building a Fully Functional Box for a Few Hundred Bucks

10/29/2010 7:30 PM

Hi again Garthh,

For some reason, when I clicked <BURN> in NERO, it merely copied the file to the DVD.

This time, I used Infrarecorder and got to the Burn Image dialog.

It wasn't the file, because I am using FireFox in the ubuntu OS as I write this! I haven't installed the CAElinux on a hard drive yet, but it I am still very impressed.

Now I've got a lot of learning to do - I will probably be asking questions both here and on the CAE forum.

Thanks everyone for the help.

Mike

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#39
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Re: Building a Fully Functional Box for a Few Hundred Bucks

10/29/2010 7:46 PM

Excellent! Now, I reiterate- work through the tutorials! These are very, very sophisticated packages, and the tutorials are (for the most part) very, very helpful in getting started. Also, there is a LOT of excellent documentation included in the package (and some a bit obscure, unfortunately), but mostly helpful. On the desktop, you will see an icon, "Getting Started" (a splotch with an exclamation point) that has a lot of good information about the various packages, where to find the documentation, web sites, etc. Oh-yes- the documentation that is included is not always easy to find- when I need something, after I find it, I usually copy it to a folder where I know I can find it later when I need it again...

I have some additional forum sites that you may find useful, depending on your interests. Keep us posted!

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#16
In reply to #12

Re: Building a Fully Functional Box for a Few Hundred Bucks

10/27/2010 11:50 PM

Hi there, Changing the boot device only works for (1) one reboot, then it will return to default value.

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#18
In reply to #16

Re: Building a Fully Functional Box for a Few Hundred Bucks

10/28/2010 12:00 AM

But I set in the BIOS too. (Maybe you should read my post #12 a little more closely.)

It should always boot to the (BIOS) selected device no matter how many times you reboot.

I understand what you say if I only pressed <esc> to enter the boot menu on bootup.

Sorry, getting cranky. Roadblock after roadblock after roadblock.

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#20
In reply to #18

Re: Building a Fully Functional Box for a Few Hundred Bucks

10/28/2010 12:04 AM

I read that you set it to boot for optical drive in the BIOS but it will only remain for one reboot.

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#22
In reply to #20

Re: Building a Fully Functional Box for a Few Hundred Bucks

10/28/2010 12:06 AM

Why would it do that?

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#25
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Re: Building a Fully Functional Box for a Few Hundred Bucks

10/28/2010 12:09 AM

It's Windows it doesn't need a reason, it decided what's in your best interest & won't let you deviate

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#28
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Re: Building a Fully Functional Box for a Few Hundred Bucks

10/28/2010 12:22 AM

BIOS isn't dependant upon windows for anything

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#27
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Re: Building a Fully Functional Box for a Few Hundred Bucks

10/28/2010 12:16 AM

That's the way it's configured to work. So you don't need to go back an reset it. For security too...

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#33
In reply to #12

Re: Building a Fully Functional Box for a Few Hundred Bucks

10/28/2010 6:06 AM

You have copied the iso file to the disc: not burned the image.

This link includes a link to free burning software and instructions:-

http://pcsupport.about.com/od/toolsofthetrade/ht/burnisofile.htm

I haven't tried it, so I can't vouch for it.

Or try just googling how to burn an iso image.

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#34
In reply to #33

Re: Building a Fully Functional Box for a Few Hundred Bucks

10/28/2010 8:55 AM

I'll have to check my software tonight when I get home. I did click on the burn button. I think that what I did was burned the file to the disk, not the image. That was the last of my DVD-Rs too.

Thanks for your input.

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#35

Re: Building a Fully Functional Box for a Few Hundred Bucks

10/28/2010 11:19 AM

According to my research, it is not necessary in Windows 7 to resort to alternative software to create a bootable CD/DVD. Apparently, this function is built in to Windows 7. According to the instructions I have read, all one needs to do is click on the *.iso file, and Windows knows what to do (you supposedly get a pop-up window with additional instructions). I haven't tried this because I have not downgraded to Windows 7 yet, but it's worth a try...

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#36
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Re: Building a Fully Functional Box for a Few Hundred Bucks

10/28/2010 11:39 AM
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#42

Re: Building a Fully Functional Box for a Few Hundred Bucks

11/01/2010 9:25 AM

Here is a description of a system built by MRH620, which he shared with me in a private message, (for which he has also given me permission to share here. Of special iinterest are the analyses of why he selected the various components that he used to build the system:

"In response to your request, here goes.

I was wanting to upgrade my system so that it had a little more speed. I was working with an old Q6600 (SLACR) that was overclocked from 2.4GHz to 3.2GHz. I started pricing the new Core i7 processors knowing I would have to replace the motherboard and RAM. Here is what I came up with:

Intel Core i7-950 for $284.99 (on sale), ASUS Sabertooth X-58 for $199.99, and 6GB G.Skill PI (6-8-6-20-2T) RAM for $164.99. Using my existing case, HDD, DVD writer and OS (Win7 x64), this kept the cost to under $700.00 for the entire upgrade. The performance increase is amazing. I have overclocked the processor to 3.6GHz easily and bumped up the RAM speed and QPI bus a modest amount as well.

Video editing can be a slow and tedious process, but with the Hyperthreaded cores of the i7-950, and really fast bus (and HDD's), the system clips along at a very astonishing pace. Using Microsoft's Expression Encoder 4 which can use all active cores/threads, the CPU jumps to about 87% and finishes a CBR 2-pass video conversion in about a third of the time as compared to my previous setup.

The reason for purchasing the Core i7-950 was price/performance. Doing an online comparison of the 900 series processors, I couldn't find a better deal. For the ASUS motherboard, the price point was the key reason I selected it. It had the SATA 6G connections (x2) I wanted, as well as other amenities, for a lot less than other X58 based boards. The RAM was selected purely for speed. The 6-8-6 timings made it very attractive for the price.

If anyone is wanting to do their own upgrade, I will give (2) points of advice. First, do the research. Find what you want for your price range, and make sure you know what it needs to work (compatibility). Second, do more research. Try to find the items on sale, or see if a store will give a discount for multiple items.

After having built many systems, both for myself and others, this was by far the most rewarding build. I got top of the line performance at a budget. Being able to use my older existing hardware gave me more benefit, and dropped the outlay by a large margin.

Regards, and happy upgrading!

MRH620"

Note that "video editing" was MRH620's primary driving functionality, and his choices might not coincide with appropriate choices for other applications, but the description of the system, the price information, and the reasons for selecting particular options are, to me, very valuable information.

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#43
In reply to #42

Re: Building a Fully Functional Box for a Few Hundred Bucks

11/01/2010 6:52 PM

Hi cw,

Nice entry! I have not gotten that involved when upgrading, but MRH620 give a great argument for doing so. GA, MRH620!

I am getting ready to install the CAELinux on a hard disk. I actually have an 80GB IDE drive.

A question: Will the Install CAELinux command prompt me through the process, allowing me to select the drive, and formatting it to what it needs, or do I need to preformat it? If I need to preformat, what file system does it use?

Mike

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#44
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Re: Building a Fully Functional Box for a Few Hundred Bucks

11/01/2010 7:13 PM

The CAELinux install is fully automatic - it will examine your hard drive, give you the option to accept their partitioning scheme (for dual boot, if that is what you are doing), then do all the partitioning and formatting automatically. This is the same Install (I think it is called Wubi, but I am not sure) used by Ubuntu 10.04. You will also be given the opportunity to chose between ext3 or ext4 file systems. Obviously, ext4 is the newer, and I have no problems with it on my machines. After everything is set up to your liking, the installation program gives you one last chance to make any changes, before it does anything to your hard drive...

Before installing, especially if you are doing a dual boot with Windows, I highly recommend you clean all the garbage off your Windows install (empty the trash, delete temporary files, etc. CClean is a good, free package for cleaning up a Windows install- I don't know if it is available for Win 7 yet). Then defrag the Windows partition. These two operations will have the effect of making more space available on the hard drive.

In the install program, you will actually have a graphic showing you how much of each partition any existing partitions are actually using, so you can set your partition sizes such that you still have enough extra space left in the Windows partition so that you can still use it (Windows tends to get excited if more than 50% of its partition is used, for some reason).

On your LiveDVD, you should have a file, /opt/caelinux/docs/HowToInstallUbuntu.pdf, that gives very good detailed instructions on installing Ubuntu (which is what you are doing, essentially- CAELinux is Ubuntu on Steroids). Or, you can go to https://help.ubuntu.com/ for the same information. For newbies to Ubuntu, there is some very good documentation at https://help.ubuntu.com/

Although a lot of the information already exists on your computer.

Let us know if you need additional information.

Charlie

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#46
In reply to #44

Re: Building a Fully Functional Box for a Few Hundred Bucks

11/01/2010 8:12 PM

Thanks for the reply... I just got it up and going. The dual HD boot is working perfectly so far.

I had to disconnect my 320GB win7 hd - it wouldn't recognize the 80GB drive until I did so, perhaps because the win7 disk is SATA and the 80GB disk is IDE.

After that the install went well and all is back in order.

Again, thanks for taking the time to help me.

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#45
In reply to #43

Re: Building a Fully Functional Box for a Few Hundred Bucks

11/01/2010 8:00 PM

As I understand it you have a dedicated HDD for CAE, which is the preferred way

you shouldn't have any problems, just by the size you can tell which drive is which, the install process will reformat the 80g HDD, you will be given some options as to where to install CAE

if you have any concerns, you can unplug the drive with w7 on it, removing any possibility of mistakes

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#47
In reply to #45

Re: Building a Fully Functional Box for a Few Hundred Bucks

11/01/2010 8:15 PM

Thanks Garthh,

It went just like that. I HAD to disconnect my win7 disk because it didn't give me any options but to partition the win7 disk. Once I disconnected it, it recognized the 80GB drive, and I was in business.

Thanks again!

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#48
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Re: Building a Fully Functional Box for a Few Hundred Bucks

11/01/2010 8:28 PM

That's a new one for me- I have never worked on a machine with mixed SATA/IDE drives, and I have never worked with Win 7. Valuable insights, here...

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#49
In reply to #48

Re: Building a Fully Functional Box for a Few Hundred Bucks

11/02/2010 9:25 PM

Hi cwarner7_11,

I am currently in the process of installing updates on my Linux drive. About 20 minutes ago, I selected "91 security updates" and clicked <Apply>. It brought up a dialog box with the title "Simulating the update - KPackageKit" and it is saying that it is "Loading cache". <Details> and <Cancel> are disabled and <Hide> is enabled. Is this normal? Does it usually take this long?

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#50
In reply to #49

Re: Building a Fully Functional Box for a Few Hundred Bucks

11/02/2010 10:59 PM

91 Updates is a lot, but the CAELinux Ubuntu is a bit dated. The time it takes will be cependent on the transfer rate. I have never seen the "Simulating the update- KPackageKit" message- I suspect KPackageKit is an alternative update manager (I use Synaptic, and I thought that was the default in Ubuntu). What will likely happen, based on the messages, is all the updates (and there are likely to be a lot of big files for the first update) will be stored in a cache, and when the download is finished, it will start up dkpg to actually install the updates. Then you most likely will have to restart the computer. Then you most likely will have to update again, because some of the updates have to be done in order, so you do the old ones first, then subsequent ones. Let me check on this KPackageKit thing...OK, you are apparently using KDE instead of Gnome...

If you have a very slow connection, what you can do (at least in Gnome) is select only a few updates at a time, then repeat the process at convenient times until you get them all. Once the system is updated, I would suggest checking once a week or so for updates, just so you don't have to go through a long update process in the future.

If you select "Details", you should get a running list of the packages as they are being downloaded...

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