Question 1 — System Architecture
Question 1 — System Architecture (30 Marks)
The pictures below are of a modern desktop PC motherboard: the Gigabyte “GA- Z170X-Ultra Gaming (rev. 1.0)”, both the main circuit board and the back panel. The questions in this part refer to THIS board and the labeled components.
1019175206375Main Circuit Board
Answer the following questions in your own words, and in the context of this specific motherboard make and model. Where explanations are required as part of an answer, they need not be longer than a paragraph (2-4 sentences), or summarised as dot points.
(20 marks) For each labeled component in the given main circuit board, what is the name general given that component?
ATX12V_2X4 (8 pin ATX Power Connector)
Connects to the motherboard by providing power to the CPU.
The CPU processes the stored instructions of a program through executing it.
Intel GbE LAN (LAN)
LAN chips provide connectivity and is used to enable ethernet port to be functional. Moreover, it also enables the computer to handle advance networking tasks.
PCIEX1_1 (Graphics Card)
The Graphics Card is responsible for providing a perceivable image on our computer screen.
The battery in the motherboard is needed to power the CMOS chip and to show the real time clock from the computer.
PCIEX16 (Expansion slots)
Expansion slots allow for connecting a computer to additional add on or small devices.
SATA3(32) (SATA 6gb/s Connectors)
They are used to power hard drives and optical drives.
SATA EXPRESS (SATA Express connector)
They are used to connect storage devices to the motherboard
ATX (24Pin ATX power connector)
Main power connector for the motherboard.
DDR4 (Memory Sockets)
A memory socket allows the memory ram to be inserted into the computer. For e.g. 4gb ram
(3 marks) What is the difference between PCIEX4, PCIEX8, and PCIEX16? For the given motherboard, what is the maximum bandwidth of each of them?
The difference between PCIEX4, PCIEX8 and PCIEX16 are there size. For instance, the PCIEX4 has a smaller component size compared to PCIEX 8 and PCIEX 16, this allow for different numbers of simultaneous data pin connections to the motherboard: the larger the port, the more maximum connections on the card and the port and hence the faster the speed will be resulting in better performance.
PCIe 1.0 x4 1,000 MB/s
PCIe 1.0 x8 2,000 MB/s
PCIe 1.0 x16 4,000 MB/s
PCIe 2.0 x4 2,000 MB/s
PCIe 2.0 x8 4,000 MB/s
PCIe 2.0 x16 8,000 MB/s
PCIe 3.0 x4 4,000 MB/s
PCIe 3.0 x8 8,000 MB/s
PCIe 3.0 x16 16,000 MB/s
(4 marks) The fan header (CPU/SYS fan) on this motherboard has a 4-pin connector (as shown below).
Briefly explain the role of each of these four pins for CPU_FAN and SYS_FAN3, respectively, as part of the computer system’s thermal solution.
The 4pin fan connectors have PWM shortened for pulse width modulation which constantly turns on and off as well as automatically adjusting its speed depending on temperature.
In general, SYS_FAN3 help move air through the case, usually bringing in cool air from outside and moving the hot air out of the case. The CPU fan is similar in role but is responsible only for the main component so that it does not overheat and potentially damage the computer parts.
(1 mark) What is the best price (approximately) of this motherboard, from eBay or other online computer shops? If you choose an international seller, please include shipping/handling costs, tax, and duties. Please cite any references on how you arrived at your price.
(2 marks) If you were to buy 64 GB of DDR4-2666 UDIMM memory to upgrade this motherboard, what type of modules would you purchase from Crucial ( HYPERLINK “http://www.crucial.com” http://www.crucial.com)?
Provide the full specifications for the module you selected. Please make sure that the selected memory is fully compatible to the motherboard GA-Z170X-Ultra Gaming.
Crucial 64GB Kit (4 x 16GB) DDR4-2666 ECC UDIMM
Form Factor EUDIMM
Total Capacity 64GB kit (16GBx4)
Warranty Limited Lifetime
Specs DDR4 PC4-21300 • CL=19 • Dual Ranked • x8 based • Unbuffered • ECC • DDR4-2666 • 1.2V • 2048Meg x 72 •
Module Qty 4
Speed 2666 MT/S
DIMM Type Unbuffered
Question 2 — Process Architecture (4 + 4 + 2 + 2 + 2 = 14 marks)
Mobile phones are being used as computers by more people and for more purposes in the modern world. A mobile phone has CPU, GPU, and other chipsets for telecommunication, GPS, memory, input/output wireless or wired. What’s more, a specific operating system has been designed for mobile devices. New products are launched every year. All the vendors claim that the performance of their products have been improved with benchmark.
(4 marks) Please select four models of mobile phone with different configuration specified as follows,
Model A: Dual-core 32-bit CPU (Samsung Galaxy S2)
Model B: Dual-core 64-bit CPU (Apple Iphone 5S)
Model C: Quad-core 64-bit CPU (Huawei Honor 4X)
Model D: Octa-core 64-bit CPU (Coolpad Note 3 plus)
and (4 marks) Benchmark for each model need to be compared to answer the following question:
(2 marks) What does 32-bit and 64-bit Mean?
32-bit systems can only process data in 32-bit pieces while 64-bit systems does it in larger scale so in 64-bit pieces. In general, the more data that can be processed at once, the faster the system can operate, hence 64bit system is faster and more efficient than the 32 bit system.
(2 marks) What difference does 32-bit and 64-bit make regarding processor, RAM, and Apps?
In comparison to the 32-bit system the 64 bits can process and store more instruction and information. This essentially means that the 64bit system can work in larger scales of data in the same time as the 32bit. The 64-bit system allows more RAM to be used in a device compared to the 32-bit system. The 32-bit is only able to allow 4GB of memory at its maximum limit however by having a 64bit It enables us to install and use up much more sufficient amount of RAM on our devices. Ultimately, this means more data can be processed and multi-tasking will be smoother. Depending on the developer, when making apps they could have designed it to be compatible to only 32bit system hence, having a 64bit processor system would be redundant in this case. However, if both app were able to be operated on 32bit and 64-bit, the 64bit would be much better at running the application.
(2 marks) How does the number of cores improve the mobiles performance? Do you think the performance increases linearly?
If a CPU has multiple cores they will have more power to run multiple programs at the same time. This is because the more core processors it has then when running a program, the cores are able to divide the parts up according to how many cores it has and hence instead of having one core processor doing all the work a multiple core processor will be able to share the workload and complete the task in a much timely and effect way. Thus, reading and execution instruction will be quicker.
However, I do not believe that the performance will increase linearly as the cores correspondingly increase due to the knowledge that not all programs are able to use multiple cores and when this is the case, it can be redundant. Overall, it is when an application can do multi-threading that having multiples core will impact the performance over a small number of core.
Marks will be awarded based on how convincing the argument is and the use of relevant benchmark data.
Question 3 — Building a Recommended Platform Machine (36 marks)
System Categories Description
If you’re going to build a computer from scratch for a specific purpose, you’ll want to keep that purpose in mind when choosing your components; don’t just go to the store or an online shop and start buying.
Different configurations suit different purposes. The cost implications of choosing between these uses are huge. A cheap work computer might cost only two or three hundred dollars. A server can reach tens of thousands of dollars.
This task will have your sourcing parts for two different computer systems. Spend no more than is required for your usage.
Here are some general system categories:
Office computer (Basic System) — An office computer can be expected to do word processing, spreadsheet and database work, network access, e-mail and a little light development of spreadsheets, database, and presentations.
Gaming computer (A Gamer’s Rig) — Playing the latest video games places heavy demands on a computer, both in terms of graphics and processor performance. To ensure you have the best platform for your digital adventures you’ll need a machine that has a powerful graphics processing unit, fast internal storage, and a display that can keep up with everything that is going on in the game.
Home theatre PC (Video Editing Suite) — A desktop PC for playing HD movies, streaming HD videos, and doing lots of video editing. You need a graphics card good enough at rendering what you need done. Your machine needs to support multithreaded codecs. A large hard drive will be needed.
Database server (Server System) — A computer is going to be performing complex tasks (such as using the PHP programming language, database storage, and database retrieval). It holds the database management system and the databases. Upon requests from the client machines, it searches the database for selected records and passes back the results. It needs multiple CPUs, as much RAM as possible, and massive storage.
The parts should be chosen for being affordable, economic, without over spec based on the purpose described above. Network device (router, cable, firewall) and network access (internet and intranet) are not in the scope of this assignment and the assumption is you have them set up already.
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Select two categories using the last digit (d) of your RMIT student number:
d Categories to select
4 or 7 Gaming computer and Database server
8 or 6 Gaming computer and Home theatre PC
2 or 5 Office computer and Home theatre PC
3 or 9 Office computer and Database server
0 Home theatre PC and Database server
1 Office computer and Gaming computer
(20 marks) Fill out the following tables — part model/name, cost, and store page
— for each of the categories. Please make sure all combinations of parts are compatible (use https://au.pcpartpicker.com/ as a compatibility checker and provide a screenshot of your compatibility test in your report).
Your aim is to build a system that is fit for purpose, at least cost.
You must select components that can be seen as available online.
You may wish to provide screenshots of product store page
Build A: Gaming Computer
Parts Model Cost Link
Motherboard AS Rock-x299 Taichi ATX LGA2066 $345 https://au.pcpartpicker.com/product/kjTrxr/asrock-x299-taichi-atx-lga2066-motherboard-x299-taichi
CPU Intel Core I7-8700K $498 https://au.pcpartpicker.com/product/sxDzK8/intel-core-i7-8700k-37ghz-6-core-processor-bx80684i78700k
Memory Corsair – Vengeance Pro$204 https://au.pcpartpicker.com/product/7x7wrH/corsair-memory-cmy16gx3m2a1600c9r
Storage Crucial-MX500 $324 https://au.pcpartpicker.com/product/h3tQzy/crucial-mx500-1tb-25-solid-state-drive-ct1000mx500ssd1
Graphics MSI-GeForce GTX 1050 Ti$289 https://au.pcpartpicker.com/product/H97CmG/msi-geforce-gtx-1050-ti-4gb-gaming-x-4g-video-card-gtx-1050-ti-gaming-x-4g
Display Benq- BL2420PT 23.8″ $379 https://au.pcpartpicker.com/product/Qjp323/benq-monitor-bl2420pt
Build B: Database Server
Parts Model Cost Link
Motherboard AS Rock-x299 Taichi ATX LGA2066 $345 https://au.pcpartpicker.com/product/kjTrxr/asrock-x299-taichi-atx-lga2066-motherboard-x299-taichi
CPU Intel Core i7-7820X $779 https://au.pcpartpicker.com/product/C2dFf7/intel-i7-7820x-36ghz-8-core-processor-bx80673i77820x
Memory Corsair-Dominator Platinum $1299 https://au.pcpartpicker.com/product/CY98TW/corsair-memory-cmd64gx4m4b3466c16
Storage Seagate-Barracuda Pro $749 https://au.pcpartpicker.com/product/FZfhP6/seagate-barracuda-pro-12tb-35-7200rpm-internal-hard-drive-st12000dm0007
Graphics Asus-Radeon RX550 $145 https://au.pcpartpicker.com/product/wcKhP6/asus-radeon-rx-550-2gb-video-card-rx550-2g
Display LG-25UM58-P 25.0″ $229 https://au.pcpartpicker.com/product/wNcMnQ/lg-monitor-25um58p
(6 marks) Compare and contrast each part with that of the other build. Explicitly describe the reason of your choices.
The motherboard I have selected for both computer types are identical. I chose this model because it supported a high storage memory of 128GB which was necessary in both gaming and Database server computers. As well as fast SATA 6GB/S of 8, hence powering hard drives and optical storage would be benefited from this.
The CPU I chose were I7-7820X for the Database server computer and i7 8700k for the gaming pc. There was quite a price difference in these two products of approximately $300 dollars however with the database server computer I thought that 8cores were necessary and a high clock rate of up to 4.5ghz to run the program that takes up a lot of storage and memory. On the other hand, the CPU I chose for the gaming pc had 6 cores with 3.7ghz at its operating clock speed which according to most gaming requirements, it was sufficient enough to run at max specs.
The memory and storage for both computers had a big price difference. Firstly, the ram for the database server computer had to be large and therefore I chose the 64gb ram. This is comparable to the gaming PC ram which had 16gb ram to run the programs which was more than enough to run most PC games today. The storage for the database server computer had a much bigger capacity of 12TB compared to 1TB for the gaming PC. This selection was made because database server computers require lots of space to store confidential information. However, as a gamer myself I installed a 1TB hard drive and found it plentiful to store games and run them.
The graphic card for the gaming PC was more expensive and better in specification due to the fact that games require images that need to be rendered for the users to be able to watch and play the game. However, for database server computers there is not much graphics involved hence no high performance graphic card was necessary.
The display I chose for both computers were relatively similar but for the gaming PC I thought that a high-resolution display and fast response time was necessary to run the game smoothly and support the image resolution. On the other hand, Database server computers do not require as much graphics therefore I chose a budget display that would be able to display all the basic information smoothly.
(5 marks) Provide key technical specifications for each part you have chosen, such as access times, speed, latency, and throughput.
Database Server Computer
Motherboard= On board ethernet: 2x 10/100/1000MBPS/ SATA 6GBS: 8
CPU= 3.6GHZ to 4.5GHZ with turbo boost/ 8 cores/ 64bit / 8 x 32KB Instruction8 x 32KB Data
Memory= 288pin-DIMM / CAS latency:16 / Speed : DDR4-3466
Storage = Cache: 256mb / interface: SATA 6Gb/s / RPM: 7200
Graphics= Core clock: 1.1GHZ / Boost clock: 1.18GHZ / TDP:75 watts
Display= response time: 5ms / Refresh rate: 60HZ
Motherboard= On board ethernet: 2x 10/100/1000MBPS/ SATA 6GBS: 8
CPU: 3.7GHZ to 4.7GHZ with turbo boost/ 6 cores/ 64bit / 6 x 32KB Instruction6 x 32KB Data
Memory: 240pin-DIMM / CAS latency:9 / Speed : DDR3-1600
Storage: Cache: 256mb / interface: SATA 6Gb/s / RPM: 7200
Graphics: Core clock: 1.29GHZ / Boost clock: 1.49GHZ / TDP:75 watts
Display: response time: 5ms / Refresh rate: 60HZ
(5 marks) Show published benchmark for each CPU, Memory, Storage, and Graphics and explain why it is a good fit to in the system you have specified.
Intel Core I7-8700K
http://cpu.userbenchmark.com/Intel-Core-i7-8700K/Rating/3937For the gaming computer. I chose the Intel Core i7-8700K processor as it wasn’t too over expensive and had multiple (6) cores to run games that may have multi-threading enabled in a much faster and smoother performance.
Corsair – Vengeance Pro
http://ram.userbenchmark.com/SpeedTest/89568/Corsair-Vengeance-Pro-CMY16GX3M2A2400C11-2x8GBI chose the 16Gb ram because I though that having sufficient amount of memory was necessary to match up to today’s high-performance gaming and also because the ram was on a budget price.
http://ssd.userbenchmark.com/Crucial-MX500-250GB/Rating/3951I selected the 1TB solid state drive as the suitable storage choice for the gaming PC as having a solid state drive would make the overall computer more responsive and quick compared to a normal hard drive. It was also large enough to store multiple games on the PC.
MSI-GeForce GTX 1050 Ti
http://gpu.userbenchmark.com/Nvidia-GTX-1050-Ti/Rating/3649I opted for this graphic card specifically because gaming PC requires a lot of rendering of images to enable the monitor to show the best graphics possible. It was also 4gb of graphics memory which would be sufficient enough to run most games.
Intel Core i7-7820X
http://cpu.userbenchmark.com/Intel-Core-i7-7820X/Rating/3928Although the CPU was expensive, as a Database server computer I though that having a lot of CPU cores was necessary therefore I decided to choose one with 8 cores. This would ensure that processing information would be quick and snappy as well as executing information between the servers.
https://au.pcpartpicker.com/product/CY98TW/corsair-memory-cmd64gx4m4b3466c16As Database server computers require lots of rams to process and analyze data and information, I though that purchasing a 64gb ram was necessary. Although it was expensive, as referred by the guideline having as much ram as possible was required to operate a database server computer at its optimal performance.
http://hdd.userbenchmark.com/Seagate-Barracuda-Pro-12TB-2016/Rating/3901When operating a Database server computer, lots of ram as well as storage is needed to store data from a wide variety of users. Hence, I chose the 12TB hard drive as a choice to hold confidential information.
http://gpu.userbenchmark.com/AMD-RX-550/Rating/3925I chose this graphic cards as the option for the Database computer. It wasn’t expensive and also because database server computers are usually not required to run high graphic images. All in all, a cheap and standard graphic card was selected as the model.
Again, marks will be awarded based on how convincing the argument is and the use of relevant benchmark data.
Question 4 — Advanced question (20 marks)
Please do your own research using the Internet and answer the following questions about Bitcoin mining.
What is Bitcoin mining? What does Bitcoin hash rate mean and how is it measured?
Bitcoin mining is a procedure in which any transaction information is verified and validated within the Bitcoin network and stored on the blockchain.
Bitcoin hash rate is the measurement used to calculate the intensity or amount of computer power the bitcoin system is needing to operate. Moreover, finding the bitcoin hash rate is done by finding how long it takes for a block to be mined and added to the blockchain in the average timeframe of ten minutes.
Describe and compare the main Bitcoin mining hardware types: GPU, FPGA, and ASIC.
ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuits) was specifically designed with the purpose of mining Bitcoins. They are extremely fast and consume relatively low power compared to GPU and FPGA.
FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) was designed for customizing the chips after building. In comparison to its peers it was more efficient than the earlier GPU but not as good as the ASIC.
GPU (Graphic Processing unit) was designed for the purpose to render images.GPUs were one of the earlier bitcoin mining hardware and were used extensively because of their ability to perform mathematical computation that is used to mine bitcoins.
What are the minimum system requirements for Bitcoin mining? How important are CPU and RAM for Bitcoin mining? What are the major costs of Bitcoin mining?
The minimum requirements are at least 145GB Disk space available as well as 1GB of memory and chipset of 1GHZ and greater. Also, the operating system of the computer should be windows 7 and above or Mac OS X or Linux.’
The CPU and RAM are not too important for bitcoin mining. Having a powerful CPU is not important because if the operating system can be run no extra performance power is needed. Likewise, a big memory is not needed as mining is not RAM intensive.
The major costs of investing in bitcoins is that the value of bitcoins is extremely volatile and therefore they can rapidly increase and decrease in value. There is also some instability regarding protection in which someone may accept your bitcoins but not give back the right value. Also,, there is no way to reverse a bitcoin transaction. Furthermore, the cost of electricity expended to mine bitcoin using high power technology is very consuming.
What is a Bitcoin mining pool? What are the pros can con of joining a pool?
a mining pool is when a group of people share their earnings equally among the mining pool, relative to the amount of workload they have done and contributed to the group.
The Pros and Cons of joining a bitcoin mining pool is that you have to share equally with the group of all the earning you have made, however, if your pool is very good at mining bitcoins and lucky you may earn a lot more than working solo.
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