New workstation build for 1500-1800$

Hello everyone!

Let me begin with saying that I absolutely love this community. I just registered an account but have been following several forum sections for a few months now. Never have I've seen a rude or insincere reply. Everyone seem to have a genuine interest in PC hardware and are willing to help and share their knowledge with other forum members. I like it a lot!

I on the other hand is more of a software guy. Don’t get me wrong, I love hardware and building. There is nothing sweeter than the smell of new hardware (not kidding, I actually do like the smell). I tend to buy a new rig every 5 years and feel now is the time to take the old one down.

The reason why I’m not a hardware guy is the fact that the technology is changing so rapidly. Combining work, hobby, family and some occasional gaming leave me little to no time at all to follow what is going on the hardware market. That was something I used to be able to do a couple of years ago. Having said all that, this is the reason I am kindly asking for your help and guidance in building my new rig. So thank you in advance!

First of all, I am not building a gaming system. I do all my gaming on consoles. The rig I want to build is a stable workstation that will last me for at least 5 years. The machine will be used primarily for my hobbies, which include digital photography, photo manipulation/retouching and 2D graphics. I will therefore work a lot in the Adobe CS6 suite and future versions of it. Occasionally I do some video editing in Adobe Premiere Pro as well, but noting advance and definitely not full time. I work as an IT technician and administrator which means I will also run a virtual lab environment based on VMware Workstation. I tend to run about 4-5 virtual machines with server OS installed on them. My budget is 1500-1800$ (USD). I know it is a lot to ask for but I am not asking for a super-machine and with that kind of budget there will always be a tradeoff when it comes to speed.

Approximate Purchase Date: This or next month.
Budget Range: 1500-1800$ (USD)
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Running Adobe CS6 Suite (mostly Photoshop, Bridge & Illustrator), running virtual machines with server OS installed in VMware Workstation, surfing, occasional video editing in Premiere Pro.
Are you buying a monitor: No
Parts to Upgrade: CPU, cooling for CPU, motherboard, memory, video card, HDD for host OS, HDD for storage, power supply.
Do you need to buy OS: No
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: None
Location: Sweden
Parts Preferences: Intel based system.
Overclocking: No
SLI or Crossfire: No, do I really need it? System is not for gaming as I mentioned earlier.
Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1200
Additional Comments: No need for chassi, already own Lian-Li PC-A71: No need for speakers and/or audio card.
And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: Old rig is 5-6 years old, time for a new and up-to-date one.

Questions/Thoughts I have:
• Intel Core i7-3770K with Z77 or i7-3930K with X79?
• Cooling for CPU. Can be heatsink but also looking at water cooling, i.e. Corsair Hydro Series:
• SSD for OS. I’ve red there are different options, some have longer life expectancy(?) Need stability and run for long time as the computer is on almost 24/7.
• Memory, any reason to run DDR3-2800 instead of 1600?

I see now this has become a long post with a lot of questions. Sorry about that. Last thing I want to mention is that I live in Sweden. But that doesn’t matter what you use, Amazon, NewEgg, PCPartPicker et.c.
Once again, thank you all in advance.
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More about workstation build 1500 1800
  1. Thank you for the reply (tackar).

    The link does not work unfortunately.

    I will have a look on the site and the two suggested setups. It will take me some time since the site you've used is in German.

    More suggestions are welcomed. :-)
  2. Hello again. Sorry for the late reply. Took me some time to look through all the different components in your suggested setups.

    I can start by saying no need for fan controller or extra fans, already have what I need. No need for optical drive, don’t use them. Also no need for Windows/OS, already have that via my workplace.

    I am not completely convinced by the Intel Xeon setup. Any particular reason why you suggested it? Was price the only reason, or is Xeon better for my type of use?

    I’ve realized that the Intel Core i7 3930K setup will be too expensive in the end. So I’ve taken Intel Core i7 3770 and made a suggested setup with some inspiration from yours. Here’s what it looks like:

    1 x Intel Core i7-3770
    1 x Samsung 840 Pro Series SSD 256GB SATA3 Basic Kit (MZ-7PD256BW)
    2 x Western Digital Red 3TB SATA III (IntelliPower / 64MB Cache / WD30EFRX)
    1 x G.Skill Ares 16GB DDR3 PC-14900 1866MHz CL10 (F3-1866C10D-16GAB) (2x8GB)
    1 x Gigabyte Geforce GTX 670 2GB (GV-N670OC-2GD) - PCI-E
    1 x Corsair Hydro H80i
    1 x Corsair PowerSupply (PSU) HX650 650W 80+ Gold

    One component is missing though, the mobo. I’m think ASUS or GIGABYTE. Either the ASUS P8Z77-V* or GIGABYTE GA-Z77* series. Also the question is which model to choose:

    • GA-Z77X-UD3H
    • GA-Z77X-UD5H
    • GA-Z77X-UD5H-WB WIFI
    • GA-Z77X-UD4H
    • GA-Z77-HD3
    • GA-Z77-HD4
    • GA-Z77-D3H
    • GA-Z77-DS3H
    • GA-Z77X-D3H
    • GA-Z77X-UP4 TH
    • GA-Z77X-UP5 TH
    • GA-Z77P-D3
    • GA-Z77X-UD3H-WB WIFI

    • P8Z77-V DELUXE
    • P8Z77-V PRO
    • P8Z77-V PREMIUM
    • P8Z77-V LE PLUS
    • P8Z77-V LK
    • P8Z77-V LX
    • P8Z77-V
    • P8Z77 WS
    • P8Z77-V LE
  3. Ok, this is my current setup. Any thoughts and/or comments?

    1 x Intel Core i7-3770
    1 x ASUS P8Z77-V
    1 x Samsung 840 Pro Series SSD 256GB SATA3
    2 x Western Digital Red 3TB SATA III
    1 x G.Skill Ares 16GB DDR3 PC-14900 1866MHz CL10 (2x8GB)
    1 x Gigabyte Geforce GTX 670 2GB (GV-N670OC-2GD)
    1 x Corsair Hydro H80i
    1 x Corsair PowerSupply HX650 650W 80+ Gold
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