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A blast from past April 2012 - My latest build April 2015

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Hi iammykyl and phillpower2

All through 2012 and much of 2013 you were both exceptionally helpful and patient whilst I identified and built my computer. It gave me a lot of confidence and I have never forgotten the great advice and support you gave me that I thought I would update you on my latest build.

Like yourself and others in 2012/2013 suggesting I built a workstation, well I did that in April 2015 and it is running like a dream.

Certainly the CPU temp and case temp is no where near to that of the last build. With the old build I often saw CPU temp of 65C and if running an intense programme or Kasperskey Scan I would at times see a temp of 82C. With the new build the norm is approx. 35C / 37C with a Max of 46C regardless of what I am running and how many programs, plus the fact that the computer is on for 16hrs per day and whilst not regularly but not infrequently 40hrs


Last build - Fractal Design R4, CPU i7, Asus P8Z77 V Pro, Ausus GTX 670, 16GB Non EEC RAM


Computer Workstation built  April 2015


Fractal Design XL - R2 Case   I added two more fans one at the front and one on the top - Acool 14cm Black


Motherboard Asus X99-E WS   


CPU Xeon E5-2630 v3   8core  socket 2011v3 


CPU Fan  Thermalright Archon  IB-E X2 


RAM  Crucial 8GB * 4 EEC   8GB DDR4  (32GB total)


GPU  Asus  GeForce STRIX  GTX980 

this card has 2048 Cuda Cores and I wanted something that had over 1536, 256bit and was capable of 3D and 4K. (Future proofing as far as one can in this day and age). As I was building a workstation  I did once again consider the Quadro, but to get similar specs I would have had to go for the K5200 or K6000 both cost over a thousand pounds (way out of my price range) and as the Nvidia engineer pointed out when I spoke to them, the Quadro is geared towards CAD type work.


PSU  Corsair    AX860i   


Fan Controller  NZXT  Sentry  LXE  Touch Screen External Fan Controller



The following was transferred from my old computer - other than the Blue Ray all the others are upgrades I have made since the last build in 2013.


Crucial 512GB  SSD  for OS and other software  computer specific i.e., motherboard, printer, security.


WD 1 TB Raptor for photos and videos including the software i.e. Pinnacle & Serif.


Enterprise RE    WD hard drive 2TB WD  for every day use, all other software, download default disk.


Blue Ray Pioneer BDR-208DBK 




Computer Peripherals


Asus PB278Q PLS Monitor  


1TB WD My Book Essential - hard drive attached to computer for automatic back up using WD software.


1 TB WD Elements USB 3 External Hard Drive   Back up disk for photos, videos and music.


Hard Drive Cosair Force Series 240GT SATA III 6GB  the  original SSD in the 2013 computer. Now used as a clone of the current SSD



Other Hardware


Dymo Label Writer 450   Serial No. 17011-225799


Epson WorkForce WF-7620DTWF  A3 multifunction printer   My last one gave up the ghost in Jan of this year. Replaced it with this one as it was the only A3 I could find, that was able to do everything in A3 size, most of the A3 printers can only print in A3 and only copy, scan in A4.



External Sound from PC - New bought to be used with the workstation


Amplifier   Cambridge Audio Azur 351A  


Speakers   KEFF 300



I have updated all the software I bought in 2013 to the latest rendition’s - Pinnacle, Cyberlink Power DVD, Serif Photo & Page Plus



Movai video suite

Cyberlink Photo Director because the skin tones and transitions are better and easier to make than what they are in serif.

Paragon Hard Drive Manager


DelinvFile 5.01 64bit - for changing, deleting long file names or folders Windows refuses to work with.

This proved exceptionally useful when loading music with long titles as some were so long that windows refused to save, copy, paste or delete i.e. classical where the title, composer and Orchestra were all included in the title.


EAC - Exact Copy Audio - free to download and use.

Audocity recording and editing music - free to download and use.

I am toying with the idea of purchasing Reaper Digital Audio workstation later this year

Edited by MickJJ, 23 May 2015 - 03:24 AM.

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Hello again MickJJ  :wave:


You have been most busy and all done without needing to ask for help here  :thumbsup:

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Hi phillpower2

It is a tribute to you and iammykyl that I had the confidence and the knowledge to do that and I thought it was only right and proper that I acknowledge that fact, hence starting this thread.


Below I have laid out my thinking on my choices. The one thing I did learn from last time, it is not just the equipment choices that matter, but the thinking behind it, is just as important and the context in which the equipment will be used.


On this occasion I wanted:

A set up that did not run as hot as the one I had

One that could cope with working between 12 and 16hrs every day and not infrequently up to 41hrs in one stretch.

A CPU that did not come with its own fan. As you often point out if a fan is included, not using it could negate the warranty.

To change my set up from what it was, to a workstation.


I did not have to buy, hard drives, monitor or all new software unlike with the last build.

My wife bought me new HDD in the intervening years and I chose with a, workstation, long running, low heat out put and quality in mind - hence the Enterprise.


At one point I was going to run my thoughts and chosen components by you, but then the motherboard (an Asus) I was considering was no longer produced.


I then had a choice, to seek you guys out for possible replacements or, stick to Asus and go with their new workstation motherboard range - X99 2011 v3 core.


I have always liked Asus and can not remember when I had a bad or duff product from them so I decided to stick with them - hence the X99-E WS. As it was bigger than my last board I had to get a bigger case (the R2). Some people have fitted it into a R4, but they admit it can be tight and the channels where the cable's go to hide are covered, so they become more visible.


As this was a new architecture it then affected what I could use with it, so the rest was quiet simple.


CPU - it had to be V3 compatible, low heat generating and could work long hours and with either EEC or non EEC memory.

The Xeon was the first thing came to mind as they are most commonly associated with workstations. There were some i7s that would work in a v3 platform but because they did not meet the rest of my criteria I did not go down that route.

The Xeon did not come with a fan, could work with both types of RAM and did not have graphics built in.

I initially only looked at the 4 and 6 core, but when I was going by allocated budget at time of purchase, the 8 core had come down in price to what I was expecting to pay.


CPU fan. I guess for the most part it is down to personnel choice and the efficiency of the fan over the time periods that the CPU will be working at any one time. I wanted a tower fan as they appear to have the better write up when used for long periods of time. I did consider water cooled but was not certain if I had the confidence to fit one. I first was going for the Thermalright True Spirit, but this (going by the specs and the case specs) one or two cm too big. The Acron IB-E X2 is based on the SilverArrow but produced to fit boards that have the V3 CPU socket.


Ram I was only going for 16GB as you have said it is very rare that one would use even up to that amount. Photo and video editing may be the exception.

As I am not into games, it was of little consequence as to which type to buy. When costing out the EEC RAM it was only marginally dearer than the non EEC. So, as I do not play games, why not go for EEC as it will add an extra layer of check.

I then costed out 16GB  4*4GB this turned out to be significantly dearer than 2 * 8GB, to the extent that I could buy 3 * 8GB RAM for the same price. As it is better if not essential to buy RAM in pairs I either bought two sticks and save some money or go for 4 sticks at  a higher cost. As none of the other items I was buying had gone up in price (most had come down) I thought what the heck go for the full 4 * 8GB.


Video Card whilst based on the assumptions I have already made it would have been in keeping to get the Quadro, but as I have said this would have cost a little over £1000, way out of my league and would be far to high a % cost of the whole project.

I went for the GTX980 as it had the cores I originally wanted but due to escalating costs at the time, I had to reduce my expectations.


The audio equipment.

 I changed from a desk  top PC speakers connected to the PC via phono sockets, because I had just finished recording all my music onto my PC in EAC format and I wanted something better to play it on.

The choice of amplifier came about because I did not want to transfer the music via  a sound card to phono connections. The choice I then had was to use Optical S/PDIF or, USB. Either of these would bypass any sound card and allow the amplifier to interpret the sound. I opted for the USB option as this has slightly better clarity than the Optical. The only amplifiers that have this facility at the time was the Cambridge Audio collection. There are better both within the range and other makes (but theses do not use USB) than what I bought, but when taking into account that it is receiving music from a PC hard drive, the extra cost to improved quality is out of proportion. Something the sales advisor (at Richer Sounds where I went for advice and eventually bought from) pointed out when I questioned him on this point.

The speakers are stand mount type which were suggested by sales advisor. I did try out floor standing speakers.

The floor standing speakers were warmer and a little richer in sound than the stand mount - but big.

The stand mount speakers I bought produce a really good quality sound, more crisp and clearer than the floor standing. I went for these because of this and the fact they were smaller, they would only be 4ft away from me each side. It was also obvious and confirmed by the sales rep that at the level of volume I would have them and distance between me and the speakers they produced a crisper and clearer output and than the floor standing. The quality of the sound was also superior to the floor standing in this scenario.  Had it been in a lounge as part of a 5.1 and not sitting on top of them, the floor standing would have won out especially as the front speakers and possibly even for rear speakers.


For those that are interested in this section, the two other items that need to be looked at and costed out is the speaker cable and the connections. Decent speaker wire is relatively expensive. Mine was £4.99p per metre. You can get even more expensive and the one they recommend for high end quality is £12.49 per metre. The speaker cable plugs were £9.99 per pair


Anyway thats it. I will carry on looking at this site as it helps me see what is happening, trends and pitfalls. You never know in 3 more years I might report looking for advice or to let you know I have built another PC

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Hello MickJJ,


+1 for your informative post ( and kind words  :blush: )


Most pleased to hear that we have been of such help  :thumbsup:

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Gday MickJJ.

Thanks for taking the time to keep us informed about your build and ditto to Philpowers2 comments.

Happen you could give the cost of the hardware?  Others thinking of this type of build would have a comparison. 

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Hi iammykyl,

The costs were as follows

RAM from Mr Memory http://www.mrmemory.co.uk   

£360.00  for 4*8GB  Inclusive of VAT (UK taxes) and delivery

I note that this price has come down further but so has the 4GB.    Scan.co.uk also sell this and at the time was cheaper, but, a) I was unable to find it on their web site, B) Mr Memory did not give the maker of the memory. It was not until I got it did I know it was made by Crucial, which I was then able to check it against other computer sellers ie Scan, Novatech etc.


NZXT Sentry LXE Touch Screen External Fan Controller  from Overclockers UK 

£58.69 Inclusive of VAT (UK taxes) and delivery    According to Scan at the time it was end of line. However both Scan and Overclockers now have it as a pre order for under £50 exclusive of delivery.


All the following were bought from Scan Computers   http://www.scan.co.uk

All prices include VAT but NOT delivery


PSU AX860i  £167.82                                                                                                   now £172.62

PC Case Define XL-R2  £102.88                                                                                  price unchanged

Aerocool 14cm Case Fan £11.12 (exc. VAT & delivery) each  I bought 3  £40.03        price unchanged

Xeon E5-2630 V3 s2011 £528.74                                                                                now £524.74

Thermalright Archon IB-E X2  £63.30                                                                          now £64.50

Graphics Card  4G Asus STRIX GTX980  £491.59                                                      now £495.58

MB. Asus X99-E WS S2011-3  £393.59                                                                       now £395.99


Scan delivery charges  £18.77


Sound system

Bought from Richer Sounds

All prices include VAT - no delivery as I picked up

Amplifier Cambridge Audio 351a  £269.95

Speakers  KEFF  £449.00

Speaker Stands  £69.95

Speaker Wire Cambridge Ultra * 4m  £19.96

Cambridge 4mm Banana Premium plugs * 4 pairs £39.96


Hard drives bought between 2013 and 2014 all from Scan

WD 1TB Raptor  £173.16

WD 2TB Enterprise RTE  £119.04


From Amazon

Crucial 2.5" 512GB Satta III SSD  £148.93


Hope all this helps. If I can help out any further I would be pleased to do so.

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Sorry for the slow response.

Thanks for the list and prices, looks like about £3.500, and a superb build and you must be happy with the results.

I will mark it for future ref.


Good luck.

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