Help to build a New High-end Workstation for $3400

Firstly, thanks for your valuable time and assistance. Many thanks to
FinneousPJ for the following template and members who answered my previous queries.

Approximate Purchase Date: within five days
Budget Range: $3400
System Usage from Most to Least Important: 3d modeling, animation, rendering / video editing
Are you buying a monitor: No, own the BenQ GW2450HM
Parts to Upgrade: Not worth it. My old but faithful build: Q9550 processor, Rampage Formula X48 Mobo, GeForce 9800GT graphics card, G.Skill 4 GB DDR2 RAM, Corsair VX450W power supply, TRUE 120 rev C heatsink
Do you need to buy OS: Yes, Windows 7 Professional
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: directcanada,,, tigerdirect
Location: Montreal, Canada
Parts Preferences: Intel, Nvidia Quadro (much as I would like to go for Firepro, I have gone through a lot of articles and industry people advising me to go for Quadro)
Overclocking: Yes, OC the 3930K to 4.8 GHz if stable
SLI or Crossfire: Yes, though I won't be purchasing more than one card soon due to budget contraints
Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080
Additional Comments: want fast rendering
Why Are You Upgrading: usage as stated above is hardware demanding
Kindly advice if the parts are compatible, best price, and to make this build as powerful as possible.

Processor: Intel Core i7 3930K
Motherboard: Asus P9X79 WS / Asus P9X79-E WS
Cooler: Corsair H100
SSD: Samsung 840 Pro Series 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR3-1866 Memory
Video Card: PNY Nvidia Quadro K4000
Chassis: ???
Power Supply: ???

I have substituted the Quadro K4000 with Quadro 4000 because the former is not available on I read that the future versions of Adobe would benefit from OpenCL of Firepro W, but the W series is pricey and reviews not so good.
11 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about build high end workstation 3400
  1. I love that build so far.

    For the case, I'd get a Corsair 800D:

    I'm guessing you'll be adding 4000s at some point to this build? How many? That will help with the PSU decision.
  2. For a chassis I plan to spend somewhere around $150, and 'maybe' (big maybe) squeeze in another Quadro K4000 to SLI. My guess is that the P9X79-E WS, if available, may cost $500 or more and I could do with the extra cash.
    Plan to add new Quadros 8-10 months later if I can afford them.
  3. mental2013,

    Here is an idea for your 3d modeling, animation, rendering / video editing workstation. The components are selected based on the highest rated systems of these uses in the Passmark Performance Test and for cost/performance ratio. The Xeon 6-core E5-1650 (3.2/3.8) is particularly good in cost /performance being rated No. 15 in the Passmark CPU benchmarks at $600. This system also uses 1600 ECC RAM of the lowest latency and 32GB as video editing file size and number of simultaneous applications are likely to be demanding. The OCZ RevoDrive is amazingly fast and seen in some of the fastest systems. Your idea of using the new Quadro K4000 is a good one!

    An alternate system could use an i7-3970X CPU and would be faster- and higher clock speed is important for single-threaded applications, but also over the budget by about $300- which might be saved here and there. Still, with workstations, to me reliability is as important as shear speed and while it may well work perfectly forever, I for one would resist the temptation to have all-out benchmark performance using overclocked gaming components as the highest priority. Real time frame rates are not as critical as error free computational power and reliability. As an attempt at frugality, I tried a GeForce GTX 285 in my CAD workstation and it returned bizarre shadow artifacts, rendering crashes, Sketchup "Bugsplats", and inoperable Solidworks viewports that disappeared with a Quadro FX4800. The Passmark rating dropped form 1909 to 1866 with the Quadro, but the difference in reliability raised it's usability rating by a factor of 3.

    3D Modeling, Animation, Rendering / Video Editing Workstation_ 4.12.13

    1. Intel Xeon E5-1650 Sandy Bridge-EP 3.2GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 2011 130W Six-Core Server Processor $586.99

    2. Noctua NH-D14 120mm & 140mm SSO CPU Cooler $81.99

    3. SUPERMICRO X9SRI-F ATX Server Motherboard LGA 2011 DDR3 1600 339.99

    4. G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 32GB (4 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM ECC 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-1600 $244.99
    a. Latency = 9

    5. OCZ RevoDrive OCZSSDPX-1RVD0230 PCI-E 230GB 4 x PCI Express MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) $219.99
    a. OS and Applications > Very, very fast!

    6. 2X Western Digital WD Black WD2002FAEX 2TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive $329.98 ($164.99 each)
    a. Data > RAID 1

    7. NVIDIA® Quadro® K4000 VCQK4000-PB 3GB GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 Workstation Video Card $809.99

    8. 2X ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM $40

    9. LIAN LI PC-A75 Black Aluminum ATX Full Tower Computer Case $181.99

    10. Seasonic SS-760XP2 ATX 12V/EPS 12V, 760W, 80 PLUS PLATINUM Full Modular certified Active PFC Power Supply $179.99

    11. Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit - OEM $140.00

    Subtotal: $3,155.



    [Dell Precision T5400 > 2X Xeon X5460 @ 3.16GHz, 16GB DDR2-667, Quadro FX 4800, WD RE4 / Segt Brcda > Win 7 Ult > AutoCad, Revit, Solidworks, Sketchup, Adobe CS4,
  4. Are you going for a professional or gaming/techie look with the case or does it matter?
  5. ubercake said:
    Are you going for a professional or gaming/techie look with the case or does it matter?

    No, doesn't matter at all. Anything for efficiency over aesthetics. Considering I might overclock, the case must be have good airflow and cooling
    Correction: Quadro K4000 is not SLI capable
  6. mental2013 said:
    ubercake said:
    Are you going for a professional or gaming/techie look with the case or does it matter?

    No, doesn't matter at all. Anything for efficiency over aesthetics.
    Correction: Quadro K4000 is not SLI capable

    Ah. That's the K5000. So do you still need the motherboard with all the PCIe slots?
  7. ubercake said:
    Ah. That's the K5000. So do you still need the motherboard with all the PCIe slots?

    Yes, I will definitely make use of the extra PCIe slots in the near future. Are you suggesting another mobo?
    I will need the extra GPU power in the near future with one CPU.
  8. Best answer
    If you'll use the slots, that's a great board. I wouldn't change it unless you decide to use a Xeon as Bambiboom suggested.

    Here's an excellent power supply for whatever you might be doing on that workstation (agreeing with Bambiboom):

    If you're looking for something a little less expensive:

    You're going to need a case with 7 expansion slots to work with that Asus WS motherboard:

    It doesn't have USB 3.0 ports on the case, but that's what hubs are for. It's great case for the money. Not too conservative, but good for the money.

    This is what i would do with $3400

    Little different than the things above. but you get a k5000. no need to SLI or add to that

    EDIT: Didn't mean to link the K5000 MAC edition. Obviously just the standard K5000
  10. Great recommendations from ubercake and bambiboom for the Case and PSU.
    Even the Antec Twelve Hundred V3 is worth considering.
    Rig updated:
  11. bikeordie1 said:
    This is what i would do with $3400...

    Thanks bikeordie, the $3400 build you recommended is very much worth considering.
Ask a new question

Read More