Home Workstation Build Plan

Deezus

Gawd
Joined
Jan 16, 2001
Messages
859
So it's been some years since I've had to seriously research hardware, even more years since I've upgraded my rig. There are some drafting titles that I'd like to learn and I need a machine that's more than able to play with them.

I'll do the "Asking for help" copy and paste and then post the build I'm thinking about, to get an opinion on it, and also questions if anyone has them.

1) What will you be doing with this PC? Gaming? Photoshop? Web browsing? etc
Autocad 3D modeling and general drafting (been doing it for the past 10 years). I'd like to learn Autodesk Plant 3D, MEP, Mechanical and maybe Civil. Rendering of 3D models.
Machine will also be used for Transcoding movies, Reincoding movies, Porn boxing, General usage stuff. Web, email, etc. Not much gaming at all.
2) What's your budget? Are tax and shipping included?
Max is $4 grand for hopefully everything.
3) Which country do you live in? If the U.S, please tell us the state and city if possible.

Anchorage, AK.
4) What exact parts do you need for that budget? CPU, RAM, case, etc. The word "Everything" is not a valid answer. Please list out all the parts you'll need.
Everything? :) Build idea will be after the Q&A
5) If reusing any parts, what parts will you be reusing? Please be especially specific about the power supply. List make and model.
Nothing will be reused.
6) Will you be overclocking?
If I do it would be a light OC. Possibly higher in the late future as I plan for this to be a 3-5 year machine.
7) What is the max resolution of your monitor? What size is it?
I haven't figured out which monitor to get yet. Something in the 27" range. Probably 2 of them.
8) When do you plan on building/buying the PC?
Within 6 months, or as soon as I pay off this credit card.
9) What features do you need in a motherboard? RAID? Firewire? Crossfire or SLI support? USB 3.0? SATA 6Gb/s? eSATA? Onboard video (as a backup or main GPU)? UEFI? etc.
RAID-0, SLI, USB 3.0, SATA 6, onboard sound and NIC
10) Do you already have a legit and reusable/transferable OS key/license? If so, what OS? Is it 32bit or 64bit?
No, will be getting Win 7 64 Pro.


So this is what I've come up with so far. A few "minor" items missing. But the meat of it is this...

CPU
Intel Core i7-4960X Ivy Bridge-E 3.6GHz (Turbo 4GHz) LGA 2011 130W 6-Core Desktop Processor BX80633i74960X. $1049.00
Video Card
NVIDIA® Quadro® K4000 VCQK4000-PB 3GB GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 Workstation Video Card. $799.00
Memory
G.SKILL Ripjaws Z Series 32GB (4 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2400 (PC3 19200) Desktop Memory Model F3-19200CL10Q-32GBZHD. $369.00
Hard Drives
(2 in Raid 0 for OS and Programs) SAMSUNG 840 EVO MZ-7TE250KW 2.5" TLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD). $349.98
(1 for file storage) WD AV-GP WD20EURX 2TB IntelliPower 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive. $99.99
PSU
RAIDMAX RX-1000AE 1000W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular. $159.99

Still undecided is the case, mobo, BR drive... cooling solution for the CPU... Anything else? Mobo is starting to tick me off. I'd like quad channel support of course.

Thoughts?
 

af22

Gawd
Joined
Jun 21, 2010
Messages
610
The current gen intel processors are so good, is there any reason you need to go enterprise grade and spend the money on X79? Tell me what features you need on X79 that are not going to work with Z87. The price difference with X79+Ivy Bridge-E is so great, you can buy i4770k+z87 and upgrade in 12 months to next gen and probably still come out on top.

I'm not familiar with autocad and 3d modeling software and how they utilize the GPU. Do they require a workstation video card?
 

Deezus

Gawd
Joined
Jan 16, 2001
Messages
859
The current gen intel processors are so good, is there any reason you need to go enterprise grade and spend the money on X79? Tell me what features you need on X79 that are not going to work with Z87. The price difference with X79+Ivy Bridge-E is so great, you can buy i4770k+z87 and upgrade in 12 months to next gen and probably still come out on top.

I'm not familiar with autocad and 3d modeling software and how they utilize the GPU. Do they require a workstation video card?

I want the 2 additional cores. That's really my only reason. Autocad will utilize half of whatever cores are available. I'd like to go with Xeons, but I don't want to dump that sorta cash into the CPUs, mobo and memory.

As for the GPU, you "can" use whatever you want, workstation cards tend to render 3D content faster and more accurate though.
 

rastaban

Gawd
Joined
Jul 30, 2011
Messages
818
Half a year is a while away and there is a good chance your hardware options will change by then. You should come back to this thread within 2 weeks of deciding to build.

Other than that, the PSU should be reconsidered in light of this review. 650W is more than enough to handle that system with 2x K4000's and an overclocked IVB-E. The K4000 only has a TDP of 80W. The RAM is also overkill. You will never see the returns on 2400 MHz memory for the extra cost.
 

Dangman

Ninja Editor SuperMod
Joined
Dec 15, 2005
Messages
46,062
As Rastaban pointed out, you're planning a bit too early. Besides, six months is pretty damn close to the release of Haswell-E. Considering that you're willing to overspend on the RAM and CPU, you might as well wait for Haswell-E with eight-core CPU options and DDR4 RAM.

Though, even if you were buying today, the CPU, RAM, and PSU are all poor choices. No way is that Core i7 i7-4960X worth the extra $400 over the Core i7 4930K. At least with a $1000 Haswell-E CPU, you know it's going to be an eight-core model. So there's some slight justification there for a $1000 CPU. For current Intel platforms, they really don't benefit that much from high speed RAM. As such, you can get significantly cheaper DDR3 1600 RAM and still get the same feel and perceived performance as a higher frequency set. With that said, optimistically, that DDR3 2400 set might cost the same as entry level DDR4 RAM set in the future. The PSU is a Raidmax so it's an automatic fail. In all my computer hardware years, I've never ever heard of a good Raidmax PSU. They're just terrible all around.
 

Deezus

Gawd
Joined
Jan 16, 2001
Messages
859
I appreciate the input.

I'll admit, the PSU was something I was going to revisit when it was closer to ordering time. I was getting too much of a headache trying to find a dang mobo and deciding on that K card, so I just dipped into the PSU area for a breather. lol

Good points on waiting for the latest and greatest CPU's coming out. But... Isn't that always the case? I don't mean that as a knock towards the advice. At what I'm willing to spend, something like that should really be considered, and it will be. Thank you.

As for the memory, I came across it while looking for supported dimms on some mobo manufacturers website. It was another thing to revisit when the time came.

Alright... So it looks like I've got a video card to build a system around. :)
 

af22

Gawd
Joined
Jun 21, 2010
Messages
610
Your reasoning of wanting to have a few extra cores hardly justifies spending an extra $1000+ on enterprise grade everything. Additionally if your CAD/3D software works with regular gaming graphics cards, it would be a much better purchase not to buy a workstation card for resale simplicity.

Have you looked at any benchmarks to see how much of a performance gain you will really get? IMO, I would rather build a top of the line consumer grade i7 4770K Z87 and upgrade more frequently.
 

Deezus

Gawd
Joined
Jan 16, 2001
Messages
859
Your reasoning of wanting to have a few extra cores hardly justifies spending an extra $1000+ on enterprise grade everything. Additionally if your CAD/3D software works with regular gaming graphics cards, it would be a much better purchase not to buy a workstation card for resale simplicity.

Have you looked at any benchmarks to see how much of a performance gain you will really get? IMO, I would rather build a top of the line consumer grade i7 4770K Z87 and upgrade more frequently.

I'm not trying to get enterprise grade everything, really. I'm trying to build something a little "future proof", at least for some years (3-5). Resale value is not even in the equation, either it dies on me, or gets used in another family members computer, just like most of my other pieces and parts.

I want to build a workhorse. I can overwork my decent 16 gig i7 4(something) with an entry level quadro at my job. I don't want to wait while I'm at home. And I'm planning on learning some really neat programs that will work a system even harder. I want the HP.
I've seen the K card against a fair number of "game" cards in tests. In certain areas (seems to be paintshop type products) a fast game card would work fine. But I need precision. ... hard to explain unless you work with the stuff daily. It's the K4000. Nothing else.
 
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