This is my new build which should help me move to PC platform after several years as a Mac user. Going Mac helped me to cut down on computer use at home as I din't have a good platform for Windows Application development.
Since now I seem to work from home more often I need to have a good platform to support C# and Java development. I have no interest in gaming so the only use of a dedicated graphic card would be to allow support for three 2k monitors.
The key objectives of the build were:
|Support for three 2k (possibly 4k) monitors||Must Have|
|No noise (totally silent or at least non-audible)||Must Have|
|Fast mass storage (i.e. M.2 drives), possibly additional 1TB SSD||Must Have|
|Latest connections (i.e. Thunderbolt 3, Usb 3.0/3.1/Type-C||Must Have|
|Low power consumption||Should Have|
|Ability to mount 4-6 3.5' hard-drives which I already use in a HP MicroServer NAS||Must Have|
I known that I want to have the latest and greatest but wasn't sure whether I should go with better performance (i.e. i7-6700K) or less power consumption (i7-6700 or even i7-6700T). In the end I've decided that I can work around the noise issue with better case and cooling.
I really wanted to get into WaterCooling but after reading in several places that water cooling is not the synonym of a silent operation I've decided to look at air cooling solutions. The Be Quiet Dark Rock Advanced C1 is a very capable (at least on the paper) cooler which should ensure quiet operation. The cooler can deal with a CPU with 180 TDP (i7-6700K is only 91 TDP) and will only generate 14.4 dB(A) at 75% RPM which should be non-audible.
The case selection wasn't easy. I was first looking at the passive cooling solution with meshed case from Nofan (CS-80 Fanless Computer Case) using NoFan's passive cooler (CR-95C Fanless). After awhile I've realized that that set-up would make any future updates nearly impossible and might even end up putting fans to keep the components nice and cool. The second choice was Nanoxia Deep Silence 6 Rev B. Although a very good case I concluded that is too large for my needs (or rather I couldn't find a nice motherboard to fill up the space :) Finally I've settled for Nanoxia DS5 Rev B which is a right size and has a perfect noise insulation and cooling capabilities (same as Nanoxia DS 6 Rev B)
From the start I known that I'm not going to build a gaming platform and I was trying to steer away from the Gamer's targeted motherboards thinking that they probably have stuff I do not care about too much. After I've made a list of features that I would like the motherboard to have the only choice which made sense was a Gigabyte's Gaming G1 board. I really has a plethora of connection options which I do not thing any other board could match.
|M.2 at least 2 connectors||Must Have|
|Thunderbolt 3 (no need right now but must have for possible future use)||Must Have|
|USB 3.0||Must Have|
|USB 3.1 with USB Type-C connector (no need right now but must have for possible future use)||Must Have|
|SATA Express||Nice to Have|
I grown used to fast SSD storage and wanted to make sure that my new build will have storage which is at least as fast as the MacBook Pro and possibly even faster. I decided to use the latest M.2 memory over NVMe for the main system partition and the Samsung 950 Pro M.2 seems to be almost the fastest available. I found the Intel 750 series a bit too expensive and with shorter lasting that the Samsung counterparts. I'm planning to configure two of the M.2 chips in
RAID 1 RAID 0 for even better read/write performance.
As the secondary storage I've decided to go for a slower (but still fast) Crucial BX200 which should provide some ample storage in case I need more than 1TB on the M.2 drives. As with the M.2 memory I'm planning to configure SSD drives as
RAID 1 RAID 0 array.
Not a gaming PC, well it's going to be tough to sell that one given the graphic card choice :) I though that if I have to fork out £375 for something like PNY NVS 510 for a memory card capable of supporting 4 monitors I might as well buy a proper gaming card for £200 more. That way I will have an option to play games if I ever decide to do so. If not I might have a look at some CUDA development, who knows...
So after all what started as a workstation ended up like a pretty beefy gaming station. Hope this could help anyone who is building similar system.
Quiet and advertised and overall good PSU
Although this is not directly related to PSU alone here are my findings on the system's overall power requirements:
- 5.5W - Turned off
- 192W - Max draw during bootup
- 76W - Idle (looking at the desktop icons)
- 80W (max spike 185W) - Light usage; spike could be caused by hardware acceleration when opening programs
- 155W - Running CPU benchmark with 100% CPU utilization