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Planned New Workstation Build

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August 6, 2013 8:08:03 AM

I'm in the process of planning a new workstation build to replace my 5 or 6 year old machine. The plans take into account the lessons learned from the previous build and also from my work flow / work pattern (this will primarily be a working machine rather than a gaming rig, but games WILL happen without any doubt...)

The current spec is looking like this:-

CM Cosmos 2 Case
OCZ ZX 1250w PSU

Asus P9X79 Pro
Intel i7 3930K
Corsair Vengeance DDR3 8x8Gb
Gigabyte GTX770 4Gb x 2 (SLI)

Seagate 1Tb Hybrid SSD (Boot)
Hitachi 7K4000 4Tb x 7
(1 Program Drive; 2 as Dynamic drive - Photo Archive; 2 as Dynamic drive - Photo Backup; 2 as Dynamic drive - Export) (for those concerned about backups - the photo archive will be backed up to 2 external NAS units - one of which is offsite - as well as at least 1 external USB drive unit)

I'm looking at adding a couple of Lightscribe drives too, although looking at the MB spec, I think they'll need to be external eSATA units (something like the LG BE12LU30).

So... my questions are:-

is the PSU up to the job or do I need a 1500w unit?

bearing in mind that I don't want to go down the water cooling (or indeed overclocking) route, what is the best cpu cooler that will fit and work effectively?

Should I be looking to change any of the components?

Thanks :) 

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August 6, 2013 8:30:36 AM

no you dont. watercooling is for asthetic purposes more than anything else. a if you are getting a piece of junk AIO unit, you may as well just get a heatsink

this is how id do it
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1oTBG

-i have yet to hear of someone actually maxing out 32gb of ram by itself
-you should be using a solitary SSD for boot and possbily one or 2 hard drives on the side. if you can use more than 6tb in one system, you should be throwing more storage onto a nas instead
-workstations will not take advantage of higher end video cards nor will SLI do anything.
-definitely dont need a ridiculous PSU nor a waste of space case
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August 6, 2013 8:31:47 AM

also note, if you can wait a month, ivy bridge -e is coming out. more performance for roughly the same cost. sandy bridge e isnt worth it when you consider haswell is 400 bucks cheaper while only being 5 seconds slower
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August 6, 2013 8:35:24 AM

IownaLAPTOP said:

with a build as high end as this, YOU NEED WATERCOOLING. A corsair h80i or h100i is fully done. meaning no manually putting it together, just screw it down and the radiator then ur done. also find the most highest wattage psu out there, a build like this needs as much raw power as possible.


I have no experience of building with Water Cooling. Is there anything I need to be wary of or anything that I should bear in mind when putting this together? Is the coolant fluid corrosive? Will it damage the PC if it leaks? Would the components be covered by any warranty in this event?

If I go down the water cooling route, are there any ways of using water to cool the drives too? (or is that a stupid question)?

Thanks :) 
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August 6, 2013 8:39:07 AM

a AIO unit (all in one) doesnt really require maintenance. you plop it on like a heatsink and it performs as well as a heatsink, while doubling the cost

there is no point of watercooling hard drives. they dont kick out enough heat
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August 6, 2013 8:50:41 AM

corsair doesnt make them. coolit and asetek make them. warranty is irrelevant as when it does fail or leak, the warranty is meaningless as it doesnt cover the things that the pump can knock out int he process
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August 6, 2013 9:54:38 AM

TheBigTroll said:
no you dont. watercooling is for asthetic purposes more than anything else. a if you are getting a piece of junk AIO unit, you may as well just get a heatsink

this is how id do it
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1oTBG

-i have yet to hear of someone actually maxing out 32gb of ram by itself
-you should be using a solitary SSD for boot and possbily one or 2 hard drives on the side. if you can use more than 6tb in one system, you should be throwing more storage onto a nas instead
-workstations will not take advantage of higher end video cards nor will SLI do anything.
-definitely dont need a ridiculous PSU nor a waste of space case


I have no doubt that you're right about maxing out the memory, however, I'm looking to add in a degree of future proofing here - my last build lasted me around 5 or 6 years & the hope is that with a little tweaking that this one will too. I'll be using both Photoshop & Lightroom (along with other Creative Suite apps) and from my experience of these, they are horrifically memory intensive.

With regard to the drives - Lightroom references my image library, which I do not want to split across multiple drives (although I'm happy to back this up in multiple places, as I do this already) and which is already rapidly approaching 3Tb. At present, as my main workstation is out of action, I'm accessing these directly from one of the NAS units - the performance difference between accessing this locally and via the NAS is very very noticeable, hence the requirement for a bucket load of storage. Also the SLI config will be driving multiple screens (currently a pair of 24" screens, but shortly to become 3 24" screens - SLI mode should provide reasonable performance in supporting these - or at least that is what I am hoping).

The case was chosen simply to allow for decent air flow, cable management and drive capacity & the PSU was chosen to cope with the overall build. Is the PSU sufficient to drive this? Or is it overkill?
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August 6, 2013 11:46:47 AM

if you actually feel the need for 64gb of ram, id suggest splitting at least 16gb of it for a ramdisk for super quick access

SLI still wouldnt do anything. you are merely driving screens. i can do that with a 5450 if need

a large case doesnt mean that you get great airflow. a arc midi r2 is more than fine for what you are doing

your psu is beyond overkill. a 550w will easily drive the rig provided. if you feel that you want a little more wattage, id get a 650w unit like this. either way, a 1250w is ridiculous
http://www.microcenter.com/product/404601/SuperNOVA_NEX...
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August 6, 2013 3:06:30 PM

TheBigTroll said:
if you actually feel the need for 64gb of ram, id suggest splitting at least 16gb of it for a ramdisk for super quick access

SLI still wouldnt do anything. you are merely driving screens. i can do that with a 5450 if need

a large case doesnt mean that you get great airflow. a arc midi r2 is more than fine for what you are doing

your psu is beyond overkill. a 550w will easily drive the rig provided. if you feel that you want a little more wattage, id get a 650w unit like this. either way, a 1250w is ridiculous
http://www.microcenter.com/product/404601/SuperNOVA_NEX...


Without wishing to sound rude or cast doubt on your suggestion, may I ask how you work out the PSU requirement to be so low when the online PSU calculators suggest nothing less than 924W and in one case 1450W? (Genuine question - I'm not trying to suggest that you are wrong, as I understand that the calculators err on the side of caution, it's just that there is such a large discrepancy that I'm sure I must be missing something - I really have no clue about sizing PSUs, hence the reliance on the online calculators)

Thanks for the comments and suggestions - greatly appreciated
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August 6, 2013 4:37:09 PM

online psu calculators are total junk. they always overestimate the wattages

for pretty much every single GPU system, you are looking at a 450w to a 550w psu. if you are to use a high powered GPU or you are running more than 5 hard drives (not SSDs) or a video card that has a TDP above 230w, you are to look at a 650w psu

for 2 GPU systems, you should be looking at a 750w unit. for 2 higher powered GPU systems, you are looking at a 850w psu

for 3 GPUs, you are looking at around 1000w or 1200w depending on whether the TDP is above 230w or not

for 4 GPUs (you are stupid if you think 4 GPUs are the way to go), a 1500w unit is required
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August 6, 2013 5:23:12 PM

TheBigTroll said:
online psu calculators are total junk. they always overestimate the wattages

for pretty much every single GPU system, you are looking at a 450w to a 550w psu. if you are to use a high powered GPU or you are running more than 5 hard drives (not SSDs) or a video card that has a TDP above 230w, you are to look at a 650w psu

for 2 GPU systems, you should be looking at a 750w unit. for 2 higher powered GPU systems, you are looking at a 850w psu

for 3 GPUs, you are looking at around 1000w or 1200w depending on whether the TDP is above 230w or not

for 4 GPUs (you are stupid if you think 4 GPUs are the way to go), a 1500w unit is required


Thanks for the clarification :) 
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