Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Please comment on mid/Budget workstation

Last response: in Systems
Share
January 31, 2012 4:04:53 PM

I've already purchased all these parts, but am willing to return/exchange if there's a strong argument to do so. So don't hold back!

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3 LGA 1155 Z68 ATX Intel Motherboard $150

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000 BX80623I52500K $230

RAM: Patriot Signature DDR3 8 GB (2 x 4 GB) CL9 PC3-12800 (1600MHz) 240-Pin DDR3 Desktop Memory Kit with Heatshields PSD38G1600KH $39

GPU: XFX HD-685X-ZCFC Radeon HD 6850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card (I will use Virtu for transcoding) $135

Case: BitFenix Outlaw ATX Mid Tower Computer Case $55

USB3.0 for case: Biostar CABLEUSB3.0 USB 3.0 Cable Bracket $12

PSU: CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650 V2 650W ATX12V v2.31/ EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC High Performance Power Supply $90

SSD: Crucial M4 CT064M4SSD2 2.5" 64GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) $105

HDD: Cannibalize 1TB Samsung from current computer $0

Optical drive: ASUS Black Blu-ray Burner SATA BW-12B1ST/BLK/G/AS $80

Total $896

Now the questions:
1) Is my power supply sufficient?
2) Will I have sufficient cooling (all stock)? I don't plan to overclock.
3) Will I have sufficient cooling if I were to do some modest OC'ing?

I really want a QUIET workstation, so if I have to add a bunch of fans for any reason I may re-configure.

I plan to use this system for a little bit of everything... including: CAD, Blu-ray transcoding (putting my movies on my server), some gaming, standard Office/web stuff, testing XBMC builds, streaming HD video to my big screen... etc.

I may actually return the GPU and just use the Intel HD3000 graphics in the i5 cpu for a while. I don't do any gaming at the moment (but think I may want to get back into it ... it's been about 6 years since I gamed at all), and very little CAD (I have a work laptop for that). Thoughts on getting the GPU now or waiting? Thing is I have spousal approval for spending now.... individual items get lost in the overall cost. :)  An individual upgrade later needs justification! :D  My current monitor is 1920x1080 and I'm happy with that. The other "nice to have" features of a dedicated board is the HD audio bitstreaming, HDCP, 3D Blu-ray output capability, etc. I'm a home theater buff. Although I primarily use a dedicated nettop HTPC running XBMC, I would occasionally use this for HT also (it's located on the opposite side of the wall where my TV is, and will have a permanent HDMI connection to the HT).

Overall, I wanted a quiet system built around a case and motherboard that would last and allow for some upgrading. My current (dying) PC's motherboard is 11 years old, to give you an idea of how long I like to drag my feet on full system upgrades. I did however upgrade that system piecemeal many times over the years, including 2 cpu's, ram, 2 gpu's, 3 hdd's, 2 optical drives, a new PSU, etc.

As I see it, I have room for upgrading the cpu at least once (to an i7) the GPU probably many times, lots of room to add RAM and storage over the years, etc.

Thanks for any comments, suggestions, and/or feedback.
January 31, 2012 5:17:00 PM

Quote:

1) Is my power supply sufficient?
2) Will I have sufficient cooling (all stock)? I don't plan to overclock.
3) Will I have sufficient cooling if I were to do some modest OC'ing?


1. Yes

2. Yes.

3. Yes but you'll want to invest in a good aftermarket cooler. You can get something like the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo for $34 or you can pay a bit more and get the EVGA M020 for $50 - both are really solid coolers.

Quote:
I may actually return the GPU and just use the Intel HD3000 graphics in the i5 cpu for a while. I don't do any gaming at the moment (but think I may want to get back into it ... it's been about 6 years since I gamed at all), and very little CAD (I have a work laptop for that). Thoughts on getting the GPU now or waiting?


Get the GPU. You'll need it for any sort of multiple monitor use. And the Radeon 6850 that you purchased will be excellent for setting that up.

Quote:

USB3.0 for case: Biostar CABLEUSB3.0 USB 3.0 Cable Bracket $12


I'm not sure what this is for - you can return this and maybe even the case and get a better case that will have that built in - you could get a HAF 912, or pay a few bucks more and get something like a Corsair Carbide or Arc MIDI.
January 31, 2012 6:00:43 PM

g-unit1111 said:


Quote:

USB3.0 for case: Biostar CABLEUSB3.0 USB 3.0 Cable Bracket $12


I'm not sure what this is for - you can return this and maybe even the case and get a better case that will have that built in - you could get a HAF 912, or pay a few bucks more and get something like a Corsair Carbide or Arc MIDI.


Thanks for the feedback!

I like the reviews of this case. (e.g. Anandtech's review) It's very quiet (more quiet than the Arc Midi and Corsair 400R and ~$45 less) and very affordable. $55! I am trying to keep costs down despite appearances! :D 

For the cost of the Outlaw plus the USB3.0 face plate (total $67) I couldn't find a better reviewed quiet case.
January 31, 2012 6:21:23 PM

I did post a request for case suggestions (in the case sub-forum), and didn't get a lot of hits. So I just went with the reviews. I'm willing to spend up a bit on the case, but only if it's worth it. Noise is a big factor for me, and the Bitfenix Outlaw seemed to have the best bang/buck of all the reviews I could find. I don't know of a case for under say $110 that's more quiet than the Outlaw, or is the same on noise but better in other areas (quality construction, i/o connections, ease of use for building, etc.) I'm still open to suggestions though!
!