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Budget Surplus at Work = 24 hours to build PC

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PerlAddict

Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2004
Location
Murfreesboro, TN
So back in the day I used to be really active in the OCF community. Like, BACK in the day. Check that sig. Ouch. Got out of PC gaming and OC'ing after the first baby in 2009. Now 4 kiddos in, I'm way behind on all things PC tech. Been reading all night, but I need a kick-start to help fill some voids in my knowledge. We've got a budget surplus at work which means a new PC for me (I've been nursing along an i7-930 Dell build for years. Being the former-tech guy means being the one who keeps their old rig running the longest). But the catch is I've gotta make a purchase by midnight CST, July 31st. Soooo ... anybody care to help me out on a few things? Here's the plan:

Budget: Flexible, but shooting for $2k to $2.5K, including Windows 10 purchase. My biggest questions are the mobo and the PSU. I was starting to use Corsair HX series PSUs last time I was building, and Seasonic was big, but I have no idea what's considered "ol reliable" these days. And mobos are just overwhleming trying to sift through.

Main uses:
Quickbooks 2015 Premier & Outlook 2010 always open (yeah, I need some software upgrades, but that'll come later)
Adobe CS6 Photoshop & Illustrator, often running together. Premiere Pro CS6 used occasionally. AutoDesk CAD products used occasionally.

Overclocking - The last time I OC'd, we were still trying to squeeze every bit of speed out of the FSB. Looks like a whole new ballgame now. I'd like to tinker a little, but it'll need to be easy, stable OC'ing since this is a 24/7 work rig.

Monitors: (1) Dell U3417W 34" + (1) Dell U2410 24"

CPU: i7-8700K (or go newer LGA 2066 socket? I was eyeing the i7-7820X, or maybe even the i9-7900X)
GPU: GTX 1060 through 1080 (Brand recommendation?)
RAM: 2 x 8GB (Brand recommendations? Gskill TridentZ RGB? Yeah, yeah, I'm like a moth to the light)
MOBO: ???? Onboard 802.11ac, onboard audio
PSU: ??? Modular-preferred. 850W give me plenty of headroom?
HDDs: I've got a couple of new-in-box 256GB Samsung 850 Pro drives I've had lying around for over a year to upgrade work PCs that I never got around to, so would use one or both of those as the main OS drive. Would like to have 2 x 2TB (minimum) Raid 1 for my data drives (WD Blue? Red?).

CASE: Full size ATX preferred. I could use my wife's old MountainMods Twice7 case if I had to, but I'd rather get something new. I'm still searching around for something good looking yet non-wasteful since this is still a work machine.

COOLING: As much as I'd love to do some water-cooling, I'll probably go with air for ease of use. Today's searches seem to point to the Noctua NH-D15. Should I end up going WC'd, I can sift through CPU waterblocks a lot easier than things like the bazillion mobo options out there.

I was never a big fan of posts like these, but with less than 24 hours to build, I'm scrambling a little. Like I said, mainly looking for mobo and PSU recommendations. Gotta build a strong foundation, right? But definitely appreciative of any other advice/opinions on the other parts, too.

Buddy recommended I just do a build at CyberPowerPC, but once I got to the mobo options, I knew I was going to need some guidance. Especially since I have no idea how well the various cases they sell actually fit with the components in their build list. That Coolermaster C700P case sure is pretty, but I can't justify the cost for a rig that's probably going to sit beside me under a desk. If I re-use that Twice7 case, then I'll find a spot out in the open to stick it. Already had a nice Thermochill radiator and D5+for that case, too.

Thanks for any help, OCF crew!

- Dave
 

Blaylock

"That Backfired" Senior Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2013
Location
Go Blue!
Welcome back into the mix PerlAddict. Here are some suggestions to get you started.

CPU: i7-8700K (or go newer LGA 2066 socket? I was eyeing the i7-7820X, or maybe even the i9-7900X) If you decide to run Intel then the i7-8700K is a great choice unless you need massive amounts of ram. My understanding is that Autodesk is not very ram intensive so a socket 2066 shouldn't be needed. If you can take advantage of higher core counts then an AMD Ryzen 7 2700x could be a viable option.
GPU: GTX 1060 through 1080 (Brand recommendation?) Depending on your resolution a 1060 might be enough. For max settings at 1080p a 1070 will be great. Looking at your software Autodesk will likely be the deciding factor here. As far as brands go I usually just look at warranty length and customer support. EVGA is my usual go-to but if you find a good deal than other brands will work just fine.
RAM: 2 x 8GB (Brand recommendations? Gskill TridentZ RGB? Yeah, yeah, I'm like a moth to the light) Because you're doing C.A.D. work 16Gb's would be a bare minimum. I would recommend 32 Gb's of ram. Look for 3200+Mhz. G.Skill Trident Z would be the top dog but any brand name with appropriate speed and size will suffice. (Be sure to check compatibility too)
MOBO: ???? Onboard 802.11ac, onboard audio This is personal preference. Just make sure the board you are grabbing has all the features you need/want.
PSU: ??? Modular-preferred. 850W give me plenty of headroom? I prefer modular as well. Semi-modular can save a couple dollars if you start getting tight on budget space since the 20+4 pin mobo cable will always be used, it's a no-brainer. 850W is more than you will need and you could get by with considerably less these days since most are no longer running dual GPU's. Look for Seasonic, EVGA, and some Corsair. Check out JonnyGuru.com for specific models before purchasing.
HDDs: I've got a couple of new-in-box 256GB Samsung 850 Pro drives I've had lying around for over a year to upgrade work PCs that I never got around to, so would use one or both of those as the main OS drive. Would like to have 2 x 2TB (minimum) Raid 1 for my data drives (WD Blue? Red?). I have an 850 EVO for my OS drive and it's been great for me. I like the Red's over the Blue and Black over Red. No particular reason. Just never used the Blues before. Maybe someone else will have more opinions on these.

CASE: Full size ATX preferred. I could use my wife's old MountainMods Twice7 case if I had to, but I'd rather get something new. I'm still searching around for something good looking yet non-wasteful since this is still a work machine. Check out the list in my sig for a good case. If you can't find one you like then we can dig deeper. There's a lot of great cases out now that we just haven't reviewed yet so they haven't been added. Hopefully soon.

COOLING: As much as I'd love to do some water-cooling, I'll probably go with air for ease of use. Today's searches seem to point to the Noctua NH-D15. Should I end up going WC'd, I can sift through CPU waterblocks a lot easier than things like the bazillion mobo options out there. For a work rig air cooling is a bit more dependable. The Noctua NH-D15 is a solid contender and unless you go custom loop, it will be difficult to top with an AIO.

Good luck Dave!
 
Last edited:

Janus67

Benching Team Leader
Joined
May 29, 2005
Going to go against the grain here and think maybe getting a pre-built from Dell (or whatever OEM your workplace uses) may be the best direction? Assuming you have an IT department they would hate you to have to do any support on a custom machine. I don't know how big your workplace is and such, but if there is a standard I would try to follow it, maybe a few upgrades (more RAM, i7, video card).
 
OP
PerlAddict

PerlAddict

Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2004
Location
Murfreesboro, TN
Thanks, guys! I really appreciate the insight, Blaylock. Is mobo selection not nearly as key of a component in builds now? It seems like they were the part I obsessed over the most years ago, soldering wires to the back to get more juice to the ram, flashing the BIOS to try and get just a little more stability in the FSB, etc. But if everybody's on par now and it's mainly just features, that'd make things easier. I suppose I mainly want to make sure I get something that won't bottleneck me on my RAM.

Janus, it's a family business, and the only IT person is me. We don't have any standards here, so no concerns there. Came out of IT years ago (web side, but spent years at OCF building and benching rigs) before I decided I wanted the flexibility of working for myself some day. That's a big reason I've had my old Dell rig running so long - coming up on 9 years now - I've just fiddled with it as things have gone bad. The original PSU on it popped and smoked (that was a fun day). It was an i7-920 with their crappy 430W PSU, and they replaced with it an i7-930 machine after a lot of prodding (still with a crappy PSU). That PSU eventually died and I put a Corsair CX series in it. So realistically, this PC will be a minimum 5-year lifespan, and probably closer to 10.
 

Blaylock

"That Backfired" Senior Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2013
Location
Go Blue!
For most of us motherboards don't need mods anymore. Just don't cheap out when you're buying and it'll do what it's supposed to for many, many years. Just get a quality one that has your features. If you're looking for massive overclocks then you'll want one of the top dogs, but I would highly suggest against that for a work rig. I'd get a stand alone separate rig for that if that's what you're looking for.
 
OP
PerlAddict

PerlAddict

Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2004
Location
Murfreesboro, TN
Nothing massive on the OC side, but if a stable 10% to 20% can be achieved with minimal effort, then so much the better. You know how the tinkerer's mindset works ... it's nice knowing you've got a little overhead. :D But having it be decently quiet is also important, so I can't justify getting too silly with it, anyway.

I get charged tax at Newegg, though I still shop there some. Any suggestions on reputable component dealers with good pricing? Half the places I used to buy parts from are out of business now, sadly.
 
OP
PerlAddict

PerlAddict

Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2004
Location
Murfreesboro, TN
Man, where was PCPartsPicker when I was coming up? That site is AWESOME! A couple of these choices I need to read a little more about (namely, the mobo), and I haven't picked a case yet, but here's where I'm sitting currently. Didn't have to select any SSD drives because I found TWO brand new 256GB 850 Pro drives in my desk drawer. Forgot I never installed either of them in the other stations back during the last round of upgrades. So I'll probably want to use them as RAID 0 for my OS and programs drive, and then RAID 1 the two 3TB drives I have for data storage. Hopefully that won't be a problem for most mobos, but that's the one thing I feel most uncomfortable about. But here's what I've put together currently!

https://pcpartpicker.com/list/KpBzFt

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel - Core i7-8086K 4GHz 6-Core Processor ($418.90 @ OutletPC)
CPU Cooler: Noctua - NH-D15 82.5 CFM CPU Cooler ($83.65 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Asus - ROG STRIX Z370-E GAMING ATX LGA1151 Motherboard ($197.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill - Trident Z RGB 32GB (2 x 16GB) DDR4-3200 Memory ($340.98 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital - BLACK SERIES 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($129.09 @ Newegg Marketplace)
Storage: Western Digital - BLACK SERIES 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($129.09 @ Newegg Marketplace)
Video Card: EVGA - GeForce GTX 1080 Ti 11GB FTW3 GAMING iCX Video Card ($779.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: EVGA - SuperNOVA G2 850W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply ($89.89 @ Amazon)
Optical Drive: Pioneer - BDR-209DBK Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($63.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Optical Drive: Pioneer - BDR-209DBK Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($63.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Operating System: Microsoft - Windows 10 Pro OEM 64-bit ($126.88 @ OutletPC)
Total: $2424.44
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2018-07-31 18:00 EDT-0400

- - - Updated - - -

There are a few areas where I could save some money, like an 8700K instead of the 8086K, which I may swap, or a 1080 instead of a 1080ti. But this hit my $2.5k estimate pretty well aside from picking a case or re-using my Twice7 and ought to last a looong time, hopefully. Too bad Amazon and Newegg both tax here in TN, but such goes life!
 
OP
PerlAddict

PerlAddict

Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2004
Location
Murfreesboro, TN
Thanks. Placed the order for most of the parts tonight. BH Photo ended up being a better source for several of the parts since I avoid the 9.75% local tax. Unfortunately, they wouldn't process our company card tonight. Went ahead and bought the 1080ti card direct from EVGA. It was cheaper on the front end already, plus no tax, so the $13 shipping was well worth the difference in cost from Amazon or Newegg.

I looked at several cases that could support 2 x optical drives and I think I've settled on this one from Be Quiet: https://pcpartpicker.com/product/wrvZxr/be-quiet-dark-base-pro-900-orange-atx-full-tower-case-bgw10

Really appreciate all the help getting re-acclimated in short order today, guys! Thanks!
 

Blaylock

"That Backfired" Senior Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2013
Location
Go Blue!
Excellent choices on your parts Dave. This will be a kick "Butt" rig for many many years.
 

Janus67

Benching Team Leader
Joined
May 29, 2005
With regard to the SSD in RAID, I honestly wouldn't bother. You likely wouldn't notice the difference I'd much rather have redundancy (even if you are doing backups to your physical drives or whatever). Obviously up to you, but RAID0 SSDs really doesn't show any signficant speed increases except for moving extremely large files a ton (access times will be the same or slightly slower, IIRC).
 
OP
PerlAddict

PerlAddict

Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2004
Location
Murfreesboro, TN
I wasn't even thinking about speed, honestly - just about being able to use the extra space. But good point ... 256GB is more than enough for the OS and programs as long as I'm diligent about actually using the data drive for data and not cramming my desktop full of folders. :D
 

Organik

Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2018
Location
Los Angeles
Any advantage to running 4 x 8GB Gskill Trident Z vs 2 x 16GB sticks?


Depends if your running Quad channel or Dual Channel. Does your motherboard have 8 dimm slots ? 4 on each side ? If so then you would put a 16GB stick and on the other 4 blank dimms you put another 16GB and you have 32GB quad channel. If its a cheaper mobo and just has 4 slots. Then buy 2x 16GB for 32GB and dont look back.
 

ATMINSIDE

Sim Racing Aficionado Co-Owner
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Depends if your running Quad channel or Dual Channel. Does your motherboard have 8 dimm slots ? 4 on each side ? If so then you would put a 16GB stick and on the other 4 blank dimms you put another 16GB and you have 32GB quad channel. If its a cheaper mobo and just has 4 slots. Then buy 2x 16GB for 32GB and dont look back.

What? No. It's an LGA 1151 CPU and motherboard, it can only be dual channel.