Hey guys, I've finally decided to submit my build here. This thing took quite a while to get going and I still feel is a work in progress but at least it's at a stage where I think the components I've chosen are working the best they can. I'm greedy and wanted this machine to do a bit of everything, which made finding suitable components tricky.
I'd like to thank braindeadmac and PunkNugget for their help in setting me on the right path for overclocking and choosing components. There's another guy out there called Tutor who also contributes a lot to these style of builds and I can't forget firstname.lastname@example.org who I first approached about the build in the first stage. RampageDev has also contributed to troubleshooting and I hope he'll work his magic in tidying up my system files soon as well
Also I'm going to submit while I'm at the top of the Geekbench 3 list for highest OSX multi-core score... but now that I've said this I doubt it'll last very long!!
EVGA SR-2 motherboard
2 x X5679 CPU with Noctua DH14 coolers
48GB G.Skill Ripjaws Z 1600MHz RAM
MSI GTX570 Twin Frozr II GPU driving a 30" Apple cinema display
Silverstone Strider ST1500 PSU
OCZ 240GB 6Gb/s SSD - OSX 10.8.4
OCZ 120GB 6Gb/s SSD - Media Cache
OCZ 240GB PCIe SSD - Windows 7
Areca 1213-4i 8TB RAID 5 - Media Storage
Firewire 1394a/b card - Backup HDDs and Edirol FA-66 audio interface with Yamaha HS50M audio monitors
Lian Li PC Z-70 tower case
I don't always run overclocked but I've spent a bit of time seeing what the machine was capable of. I was quite happy with the results, even in comparison to what others achieved with higher clocked CPUs like the X5680 and X5690. Note I never torture tested for extensive amounts of time, but did let it run through prime95 OSX for a while and things were cruising along ok. Out of interest I smashed it with prime95 and a demanding Cinema4D render at the same time and not surprisingly that set things crashing down after about 20 minutes or so - both these processes were fighting over 100% resources on all cores simultaneously! Temps never broke 60°C which I thought was great for a system without liquid cooling.
The guys with the top OSX Geekbench scores use a method called underclocking, which provides greater CPU performance but limits you to OSX 10.7.3 as the latest operating system. I prefer OSX 10.8 so I went the traditional overclocking route. I also think higher clocked memory would have enabled me to push things further as I had to stay within 1600MHz limits.
The scores are:
Cinebench 11.5 = 21.96
Geekbench 3 = 35,739 (current highest OSX score)
Geekbench 2 = 33,182 (second highest score to braindeadmac using overclocking and latest OSX version, 6th highest overall OSX score)
Note: I'm nowhere near patient enough to sleeve cables to nice colours as my case is closed up and windowless... so some photoshop may have been to make things look a bit nicer for display here Also the tan colour of the Noctua fans leaves a lot to be desired!
Anyway I hope you guys like the build. If anyone is thinking of doing the same thing I would suggest doing a lot of research on compatible hardware first. I had a lot of trouble with RAM, firewire and RAID cards at first. The other thing is these SR-2 boards can be difficult to deal with and I'm still convinced I got one with extra demons inside so make sure you have a lot of patience!
Thanks for looking.