Your Top Picks: Tom's Hardware Forums' Q4 2013 BestConfigs

High-End Workstation

Five builds were in the running for this quarter's High-End Workstation BestConfig.

When the polls closed, guchaochen’s Build prevailed with 28 percent of the vote.

Congratulations to forum member guchaochen for having his recommended build picked by the Tom's Hardware community this quarter! 

Sporting a pair of Ivy Bridge-EP-based Intel Xeon E5-2620s (rather than a single high-end Core i7 used last quarter), guchaochen designed one serious workstation.

Dynatron R24 CPU coolers were leveraged to keep these beastly processors cool.

Obviously, a dual-slot mobo was in order, and Supermicro had just the ticket with its MBD-X9DR3-F-O. A massive compliment of 32GB ECC-capable reistered DDR3-1600 fills the board's memory slots.

Guchoachen opted for a single Nvidia Quadro K4000, a rather stark contrast to burritobob’s trio of AMD FirePro V7900s in CrossFire.

Powering all of these high-end workstation parts is the very same PSU that burritobob chose for last quarter’s build: the 1000W 80 PLUS Gold-certified Cooler Master Silent Pro Gold.

The massive 960GB Crucial M500 SSD acts as this rig’s system drive, while a pair of 3TB Seagate Barracudas pack a combined 6TB of storage space.

Rather than attempt to out-do the bling factor of burritobob’s Cooler Master Storm Stryker, guchaochen went in the opposite direction. Lian-Li’s PC-A75 full tower ATX chassis is clean, classy and elegant. This black monolith doesn’t scream gamer; it confidently states professional.

While last quarter’s High-End Workstation was clearly geared toward the 3D graphics professional, guchaochen took another route, as his next few components illustrate. Creative Labs' Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium HD is a far cry from your average on-board audio.

In order to start churning out those master copies, guchaochen chose two Pioneer Blu-ray writers.

Guchaochen’s High-End Workstation carried a sticker price of $3997.75 when it was originally configured. The current prices of guchaochen’s build can be found in the BestConfigs shopping tables.

And that brings our Q4 2013 BestConfigs to a close, see you next year!

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  • now I'll admit that I'm no expert, since I'm not in any way shape or form, but wtf?

    The office PC has a better GPU than the HTPC? Flashy case for office use. I get that the CX430 is used here since it's a solid PSU, but branded memory?

    1000USD for 'budget' gaming builds? you should at least aim to be a little closer to console prices since we're talking about budget gaming
    28
  • Other Comments
  • That's a nice budget build.
    3
  • now I'll admit that I'm no expert, since I'm not in any way shape or form, but wtf?

    The office PC has a better GPU than the HTPC? Flashy case for office use. I get that the CX430 is used here since it's a solid PSU, but branded memory?

    1000USD for 'budget' gaming builds? you should at least aim to be a little closer to console prices since we're talking about budget gaming
    28
  • The total for the budget based AMD gaming system is wrong. There is no way in hell Amazon is selling the MSI Twin Frozr 7950 for $105.

    Your system mistakenly links the Amazon page for the MSI AMD Radeon HD 7770 1GB. Fix your system Tom's.
    5
  • budget creep strikes again.

    Is it still a budget PC if it can max out every game you own at 1080p? if it costs a lot of money (relative to the gaming market) and places well in the top 10% of peers?
    8
  • What in the hell happened to the prices for the Intel Office PC? Says it was originally built for $500, but now it is saying $714. That is a HUGE difference. Not even sure what would be discounted, especially by that amount, unless the CPU was free.
    1
  • Office PC like that impacts a lot on power consumption, assumed your office goes a lot away from just excel, java-browser administration tools, powerpoint and the likes. That AMD office build is more like a budget multimedia machine with gaming purpose. The HTPC obviously suffer from the case price and thus goes with a lower performance videocard.
    All builds underestimated SSDs and had just an HDD.
    Ok, I get this. There are a lot of hardware prejudices.
    DVD burners in 2013? From what country are you? I spent 4000 euros on my PC and the Asus BD usb3 I got came 6 months later...
    0
  • In the Bugdet AMD Based Gaming PC. I would have the || Asrock Extreme 3 board + Corsair 300R + 128GB SSD with a 3GB 7970 || from my build as compared to the || Asrock Pro 3 + Rosewill Case + No SSD with 770 2GB ||

    Also most games now are starting to push more than 2GB VRAM. Hence this is where the extra 1GB RAM of the 7970 would be much more useful.

    Just an opinion..
    1
  • MixroATX gaming section:
    40% people chose "AMD" Radeons build... wich happens to use.... an INTEL! :D.

    Toms is starting to be my favorite humor page.
    0
  • 1379010 said:
    The total for the budget based AMD gaming system is wrong. There is no way in hell Amazon is selling the MSI Twin Frozr 7950 for $105. Your system mistakenly links the Amazon page for the MSI AMD Radeon HD 7770 1GB. Fix your system Tom's.


    Ha ha! Now's my chance!

    1327238 said:
    Also most games now are starting to push more than 2GB VRAM. Hence this is where the extra 1GB RAM of the 7970 would be much more useful.




    2GB seemed to be fine for 2550x1600 in the gtx 770 review.

    'Grats on your entries, BTW!
    0
  • An office PC would rather have a discrete Video card than an SSD or some HDDs in RAID 0 or 1? For real?

    Other than that, pretty standard choices, which makes them good choices, I guess.

    Cheers!
    1
  • The voters might have thought that there are a lot of OpenCL accelerated softwares, hence the 7770 might have some advantage there.

    But seriously speaking, there is 1 in a 100 office PC that would use OpenCL accelerated software. Most of them never go beyond Excel and connecting to the Internet or some Database software. So, 7770 is of no use there.

    I would have liked to see Jinayhvora's build win that one, but nevermind...
    3
  • The home theater system won't work. The MILO doesn't support full-height PCI cards and that sapphire card is full-height.
    2
  • 940021 said:
    The home theater system won't work. The MILO doesn't support full-height PCI cards and that sapphire card is full-height.

    The stock photo of the video card used by Tom's is not the model listed in the build. The build uses a low profile card that will fit in the MILO.

    On a side note, the home theater system forum member didn't get credit.
    0
  • 73949 said:
    An office PC would rather have a discrete Video card than an SSD or some HDDs in RAID 0 or 1? For real? Other than that, pretty standard choices, which makes them good choices, I guess. Cheers!


    Yeah I don't get that one at all. I'd use an AMD A10-6800K, a Samsung 840 Evo (which mine had), and a Bitfenix Prodigy Red (as a tribute to Milton's red stapler from the movie Office Space), also a Seasonic PSU.
    0
  • On page 9, High-End AMD-Based Gaming PC, the writer didn't specify exactly which AMD processor is being used, it only says "the lowest-end FX chip out of the five contenders"
    If you can, specify that please (it IS actually pretty hard for me to look personally on the forum and linked threads, because I'm at the moment using only a 2001 PC, that's a 12 year old PC, so even browsing is hard ._.)
    3
  • I wish i could have adjusted the 770's price to better compete with the 280X :(

    But anyway, it's still a good build that got selected, congrats! :)
    0
  • Poor Rafeed. He committed sacrilege (nVidia in an AMD build?) and spent $1200 on graphics when as it turns out, he only got $800-worth (at most) in the end. What a crazy industry this is.
    1
  • The AMD Office PC looks like my gaming PC instead...(The only difference is that I am using a HD 6970 gfx) For me, if I put up an Office PC, athlon II 250 or celeron / pentium still exceed a little bit of my need. (I found out my laptop's celeron 1007U runs quite fast that's why)

    @anbello262, what's ur configuration of your 12-yr-old rig? I'm quite curious how slow it could be. For now I still have an 12-yr-old laptop which has a Pentium III CPU and 384MB RAM, but I feel it runs still OK (w/ XP SP3 OS)
    1
  • Does the NAS box really need to cost so much? Three 3tb WD Red's costs about $450, you should be able to get everything else you need for less than that, even accounting for a premium PSU. For example, 12gb is mentioned as being easily more than the last build's 8gb, but did either build actually need that? IMO 1gb of RAM is plenty unless you're determined to run ZFS with de-duplication enabled, though personally I wouldn't. Any decent cheap CPU should be plenty for running ReadyNAS with software RAID which is more than adequate for a solid three-disk RAID-5 set.

    Also, I just don't see the benefit of the case; it's huge for what this machine is. If you were loading up on RAM for ZFS then why not go for a case with lots of external bays? A case with enough 5.25" bays can load hot-swappable back-planes, which would be ideal for expanding/repairing always-on storage, and would seem more reasonable for this kind of price point.

    I guess I'll just have to try to come up with my own offering for the next best configs result =)
    1
  • Getting kinda sick of not seeing any kind of OS on the configs...
    0