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Beefy and stable workstation rig (programming/graphics/3d/animation)

Last response: in Systems
September 18, 2013 12:53:23 PM

Hello. I'm trying to put together a proper system for game development, and could use a little help :) 

Approximate Purchase Date: As soon as possible
Location: Norway
Budget Range: No limit, but should still be cost-effective.
System Usage from Most to Least Important:

  1. Programming (C#/Visual Studio)
  2. Unity3D
  3. Photoshop / Illustrator
  4. 3dsmax / Adobe After Effects
  5. Ubuntu in a VM for testing purposes
  6. And more..

  • Are you buying a monitor: Yes, haven't decided on a setup yet, most likely 3x24" monitors horisontally on Ergotron arms or similar. Also quite fond of this setup.

    So this is what I have so far:

  • A few comments..

    CPU: I tend to run several demanding applications simultanously, and most of them require a fair share of CPU power and support hyperthreading. I'm pretty sure I'll get a lot of use from the 4930K. Only component I feel reasonably sure of :) 

    GPU: GTX770 is probably over the top for my (work) requirements. I was considering getting a pro card (quadro), but in all honesty I don't think I'd benefit a lot from that either. Most of my 3D scenes and animation/video projects are rather small. The rendering time is what I would like to cut down on mostly, and from what I've gathered that's mostly work for the CPU (and GPU with CUDA cores). Photoshop, which I use daily, benefits somewhat from the GPU (mostly just the MGE, which I use very little), and is mostly CPU-intensive. Please correct me if I got anything wrong.

    HDDs: Fast build times and application load times is very important. I was thinking the Samsung as system disk and the Kingston as storage for work files. The high read/write speeds is what I'm prioritizing here. Considering the amount of writing and rewriting happening each day, it should also be pretty robust. I'll also add a third disk (s-ata) just for plain storage / backup.

    Overclocking: I prefer a cool, silent and most importantly - a stable system with a long life, thus I wasn't planning on OC-ing.

    Cooling: The 4930K generates a lot of heat, and the GPU too under load. I've been considering water cooling as I loathe fan noise, but I haven't done it before. Also considered those closed water cooled cpu-coolers (e.g. Corsair H100i Hydro), though there's still a fan. Any suggestions here is welcome.

    Mainboard/cabinet: Just picked a MB based off of reviews really. Don't know how well the MB matches the cabinet, but it's supposed to be very roomy. Again, suggestions are welcome.


    Edit: Updated list. New MB, GPU, case, RAM and hdds.
    Edit2: Updated list. New PSU and SSDs.
    a b C Monitor
    September 18, 2013 4:04:44 PM

    Looks pretty good. Lets make it better?

    First MoBo. Asus PRO or Gigabyte UD4 or Gigabyte GA-X79S-UP5-WIFI this last is EATX so you need fulltower to fit it in.
    Mamory. 1866MHz is good. Corsair are just expensive. For example Gskill is cheaper and better quality. Corsair platinum just looks sexy :) 
    SSD 256GB or bigger. One samaller you can for cashing this can be 32-128GB faster write speeds are better.
    Noctua NH-D14 is old modell this is new and better.
    This is bit smaller but good cooler.
    For videocard my suggestion is GTX 760 or cheap GTX 680 if you have money then GTX 780.
    This is now on sale so
    All other 680 are over 500 :)  Do not think long :) 
    Corsair TX is maybe OK but better is HX? Look here.
    Other good psu are seasonic
    Rosewill full 1000w for 100 price :)
    95 $ rosewill gold 750w
    What I know all are really good psu. So you can pick what you like best :) 
    Just notice that you did have SSD in build. Make it otherway round. Samsung bigger for windows and Kinston for cashing (smaller)
    Or buy two sandisk ultra plus 256GB and make RAID 0
    So my build suggestion looks like this.
    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i7-4930K 3.4GHz 6-Core Processor ($576.99 @ NCIX US)
    CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-U14S 55.0 CFM CPU Cooler ($74.99 @ Amazon)
    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-X79-UP4 ATX LGA2011 Motherboard ($236.98 @ SuperBiiz)
    Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-2133 Memory ($137.99 @ Newegg)
    Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-2133 Memory ($137.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Sandisk Ultra Plus 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($169.99 @ Microcenter)
    Storage: Sandisk Ultra Plus 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($169.99 @ Microcenter)
    Storage: Seagate Barracuda 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($119.82 @ Amazon)
    Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 680 2GB Video Card ($363.98 @ Newegg)
    Case: Fractal Design Define R4 (Black Pearl) ATX Mid Tower Case ($79.99 @ Newegg)
    Power Supply: Rosewill Capstone 750W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($94.53 @ Amazon)
    Optical Drive: Samsung SH-118BB DVD/CD Drive ($13.99 @ Newegg)
    Total: $2177.23
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-09-18 18:52 EDT-0400)

    About that fan noice H100 is making lot more noise than silent air cooler.
    if you want silent water cooling only way to is cuostom loop.
    Then you need batter case. Maybe best to do nice silent water coolin build is silverstone this model
    You cn find black too :)  There goes 3*180mm rad to cool your cpu + videocard. Some minor modding needs bot much.
    Silverstone TJ11 is maybe bestor Corsair 900D for custom loop.
    I have Enermax Fullmo GT Rosewill Blackhawk ultra is near sama case.
    Benefit is lots room and 420-560mm rad can be fitted to top of the case.
    Rosewill do have cheap one about 145$ this one.

    Corsair Air 540 is nice cube case.

    Hehe. Try to make good build :)  Good luck :) 

    September 19, 2013 2:13:02 AM

    Hey! Thanks for your input. I went ahead and updated the list above with new considerations in mind. I will run 2xSSDs in RAID0 as you suggested, as I read it will help with build times. For most things you apparantly won't notice a difference, but build times is very important to me (source).

    I should also add that I have a limited range of hardware to choose from - as I need to use specific shops - so not all suggestions are available to me :)  E.g. Rosewill doesn't seem to available at all. Nor Gskill. Actually the only RAM 1866+ available IS Corsair Dominator / Vengeance, so I'll have to live with paying over the top for RAM.
    Related resources
    a b C Monitor
    September 19, 2013 2:34:48 AM

    1600MHz memory is fast enough.
    Look good brands like Gskill Crucial What is cheap and good. Look Cl9 or Cl8 memory kits.
    If you live in EU then maybe best order from german store.
    Like HWversand they will shipp to 20 country or so. And prcie are good.
    Big plus is that they sell super flower psu. same as the rosewill. just re branded.
    September 19, 2013 3:16:52 AM

    Well, I'm not paying for the rig, my job is. And they prefer to use those shops as they have deals with them for reduced prices. Additionally, when ordering products abroad you have to pay 25% in taxes on items above ~€25. So take the 4930K CPU for instance, it costs €526.20 inc VAT at €526.20 = 4123NOK. + 25% = 5153.75 NOK. Plus delivery from Germany. Same CPU cost 4600 NOK in the webshop I used. Minus the discount my job has.
    a b C Monitor
    September 19, 2013 3:37:47 AM

    Then Samsung PRO is good buy.
    Look if they have corsair new RM PSU. Thay seems to be really good. (new model)
    Seasonic is good psu too.
    It seems like you have good build coming up :) 
    September 19, 2013 3:44:49 AM

    Like these? Samsung PRO 250GB and Corsair RM750, 750W PSU (also 850W, 1000W). 750W should be enough though shouldn't it? I've read that the 4930K uses up to 273W under load, but I dont need much GPU power.
    a b C Monitor
    September 19, 2013 3:51:28 AM

    I think samsung pro is 256GB
    Yes. Corsair RM 750 is good pick. But id do not harm to have that 100w more.
    So better buy is maybe that 850w.
    In 40% load RM fan is not spinning. So it is really silent.
    September 19, 2013 5:10:32 AM

    Right. Updated the list :) 

    I think I will put this one to an order, unless somebody chimes in with additional tips soon :) 

    Best solution

    a b C Monitor
    September 19, 2013 5:20:18 AM

    Looks good to me! :) 
    Bigger HDD like 3TB seagate barracuda is cheaper $ /GB and "better" buy :)