Description

This build will be used for CAD, digital modeling, rendering (esp. GPU rendering), and GPGPU development in the near future. I've only built this up today so I'm going to use this post as a way to track developments as they arise. My goal was to create the best workstation that I could for ~$1500. Also, I don't have the 780ti yet. Still shipping. Anyway, breakdown by part:

CPU: I do a lot of multicore workloads; rendering in C4D and Maxwell especially. A lot of my digital modeling work, though, needs fast single thread performance. Thus, I settled on one of these. With overclocking. With the multiplier at 45x, I hit a Cinebench score of over 1300. CPUZ reports it benching higher than a stock 5960x on single and multicore workloads. Even 115% the single core performance of a 4790k. I'm happy so far. Excited to get back into rendering with this thing.

Cryorig H5U: Didn't know much about this part before I got it. I helped a friend build a desktop a few months ago and used an H7 in hers. I liked their design and build quality. This arrived well-packed with absolutely no damage. Installation was super simple although the instructions were slightly confusing (the CPU cross-bar should have the concave side up). But it's currently keeping the 5820k at 70 deg. C at 4.5Ghz on 1.25v even after a 30min stress test. One annoying thing: mounted parallel to the DIMMs, it blocks the first PCIe slot on the motherboard...so I will have to change it if I upgrade to a dual GPU.

EVGA Micro2: I was going to go with the cheaper AsRock x99 mATX, but this was on sale and I like the all black board and the IO cover. I went with x99 to future-proof the build as much as possible. My thinking was that I could upgrade to a 5960x or xeon in the future for pretty cheap. I also like that it has so many SATA ports and the type C connector. Also, Intel gigabit LAN is nice. And man, EVGA knows how to package their products.

Kingston RAM: I like that it's black and white. Idk, ram is ram to some extent. I like that these have heat spreaders and they aren't crazy tall or look ridiculous like the Gskill ones. Also it's fairly quick out of the box. 32gb is because I work with large GIS or Rhino models. I also tend to have all of Creative Cloud open at once as well as Rhino and 100 tabs in chrome, etc. 4 DIMMs also take advantage of quad channel so that's cool.

PNY: Matches the color scheme, got it on sale, decently fast, large enough to hold key programs. I don't like that the graphics are just a paper sticker though. Would have at least preferred some sort of vinyl. Mine has some annoying bubbles that make it look kinda silly.

Seagate: 2tb is large enough for now. I have a 1tb external that is filling up. I will probably add another one of these in a year or so. I have an off-site backup so I'm not worried about internal redundancy. Fairly cheap, reliable, etc.

780ti: This was a hard decision. At one point, I was about to order a 980ti. But with the 16nm cards on the horizon, I couldn't justify spending 650+ on a soon to be obsolete card. This was a compromise. For my purposes (GPU rendering, GPU compute) it's actually more important to have the higher number of CUDA cores of Fermi than the power efficiency of Maxwell. In a few months I will either purchase a 1080/1080ti or just snag another 780ti for cheap. I picked this one up used for a fair price on the used market. I figured having the Classified would increase its longevity as a compute platform due to its overclocking ability. Currently I have a crappy old QuadroFX 1700 in it just to install software and get some work done.

Enthoo Evolv: I love this case. It's sort of like a dog that sometimes tears up your shoes but is so loveable otherwise that you can't get mad at it. I think the chamfered edges look great, I love the ball-and-socket panel attachment, I love the hinged doors and how smoothly they go on and off without feeling cheap. The included 120mm and 200mm fan I think are contributing to how cool this thing is staying. The cable management ties are great and it has a lot of potential for customization. It was more than I wanted to spend, but I figured I'd rather have something that I would just make me smile to look at every time I sat down than have to tell myself what a smart buy some of the other options were.

EVGA 850 G2: This was a pretty good price for a high-wattage fully modular PSU. As mentioned above, I might be doing a dual GPU thing in the future and this has the headroom for that. Also would support heavy overclocking of CPU and 2 GPUs, provided the cooling could keep up.

Future thoughts...might switch to AIO liquid on the CPU if I can't figure out the H5 orientation problem. Also might grab an NVMe drive to stick in that M2 slot in the future when the price goes down. As it's still in progress, I haven't bothered to take nice photos yet. I will when I have some free time. Grad school sucks.

Will be updating soon.

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