Description

My first ever build. Budget, value and aesthetics were the main concerns. The purpose for this rig is 50% work (Photoshop, Revit, Rhino, Lumion, AutoCAD, InDesign etc) and 50% gaming (COD series, BF series, Command and Conquer series, Starcraft series, Fallout 3, NFS series, X3, etc ).

CPU - Xeon E3 1231 V3. I don't overclock, excellent value.

CPU cooler - Corsair H60. I don't overclock, so it should be sufficient. Xeon also runs a little cooler. I don't like the look of those huge air coolers.

Mobo - Asus H97-Plus. I don't overclock, good enough for me.

GPU - R9 290 4GB. Saw a great deal, bought it on a whim, on par with GTX 780 performance, why not? PowerColor has a great cooling solution which is as good as the Tri-X from Sapphire.

PSU - Corsair RM750 fully modular. It's a bit overkill if I don't use Crossfire, but again it was on sale so why not.

Case - Corsair Air 540. I'm a designer, so I'm a bit obsessed with clean, cool looks of everything. I can't stand messy cables. It hides my PSU, optical drive and the messy fan controller perfectly.

I paid particular attention to the color scheme so each component I picked was either black/dark grey or gold/yellow. I like uniformity of colors with some subtle variations.

p.s. It took me about 3 weeks to buy all the components at their lowest prices possible. Individual price may further drop if I wait longer but that would delay the build which is a loss of value in another way. With combination of coupons and rebates I believe I got myself some pretty sweet deals.

Update 09/16/2014

Video card is doing flawlessly. One crash so far @ day 1, after updating the driver the problem never occurred again. So I don't see the need to update BIOS.

Bought 3 Cooler Master Jetflo 120mm fans for the front running at ~800rpm, and mounted the stock 2x140mm on top as exhaust, video card temp under load has dropped to 70C from 75C, very impressive. But the fans are louder than what I used to run (2x140 front + 1x140 top)

Comments

  • 63 months ago
  • 5 points

Very nice choice of parts and the tidyness is appreciated! What camera are you using?

  • 63 months ago
  • 4 points

Thanks for your compliment. My camera is a Nikon D800.

  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

Wow, that's a serious bit of kit! Glass? Nice pictures :)

  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks :) 70-200 f4

  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

NICE

  • 63 months ago
  • 3 points

I use a U9B on my 1230V2. It's really effective and keeps it at 51°C max, yet has a small footprint and is quiet. I thought about the H60 and 212 EVO, but decided that those two would be overkill.

Really nice and clean build. +1

  • 63 months ago
  • 2 points

Thank you!

  • 63 months ago
  • 3 points

+1 for excellent part choice, decent prices and really nice pics (wish there were more of 'em!)

  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you!

  • 63 months ago
  • 3 points

Am I the only one that likes that the first picture has balancing components and the title is named "Balanced Workstation+Gaming Rig?" =P Get it?

Jokes aside, this is an awesome build for your budget! =)

  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you for your compliment!

  • 63 months ago
  • 2 points

Nice build,very tidy, I am a machinist myself, and I use Mastercam and Solid Works, and I am getting ready to build something for those purposes and some gaming and a little bit of everything, how does your rig handle auto cad, and indesign, shouldn't have any problems, I wouldn't think.

  • 63 months ago
  • 2 points

I haven't loaded up those software yet, but I'm confident they will run very smoothly.

  • 51 months ago
  • 2 points

Looks gorgeous! Great job man!

  • 43 months ago
  • 2 points

Your first build?? I have made over 10 computers and none have ever looked as sexy as yours!

  • 43 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for your compliment! I guess it helped that I took extra time studying the looks of each part before I bought them ;)

  • 43 months ago
  • 2 points

What camera??

  • 43 months ago
  • 1 point

Please see post #1 :)

  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

Just out of curiosity do you ever get driver issues on games with the xeon? Nice build +1 from me

  • 63 months ago
  • 2 points

Not sure what kind of issue would classify as driver issues? I did have one crash but I believe it was due to the PowerColor's BIOS. I've yet received the update from them (It's a very common issue related to this card but an easy fix).

  • 63 months ago
  • -3 points

I mean lower than you expected fps on games? I was just wondering because the xeon is more of a server / workstation processes not a gaming processor. +

  • 63 months ago
  • 5 points

I haven't noticed any. I tested in Unigine Valley and Heaven as well as 3DMark11 and the results seemed on par with others' with different processors. I've seen many people chose Xeon E3 series for gaming. It's basically a locked i7 without integrated graphics.

  • 63 months ago
  • -1 points

I was running dual xeons and I had some issues (when I tried to run some programs it gave me a processor not supported error). Mabey because I was running windows vista.

  • 63 months ago
  • 2 points

It's an unfounded theory but you should upgrade to Windows 7 and see how things go. I don't like Vista at all.

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

Do you like the build? I'm planning one that is practically identical to this

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

Overall I'm liking it! No problems so far. But as of today you should consider the GTX 970, a little bit faster and cheaper than the 290.

  • 62 months ago
  • 2 points

Yeah, that's a change I made, besides the cpu cooler/mobo

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

Speaking of cpu cooler, are you doing push pull or just push? It's hard to tell by the pictures

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

Just push using the inside air. It's a very cool case and with the fans I have I'm not worried.

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

How loud is that PCS+ cooler?

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

Hard to say... When I'm not gaming it's very quiet I can't hear it at all, and when I play games I always have my speakers on so I can't hear it at all.

  • 58 months ago
  • 1 point

Awesome shots man!

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks buddy!

  • 58 months ago
  • 1 point

more pics please, great build

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks man! Just added one photo with Jetflo's.

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

Currently planning a build for the same purpose as you and am pretty much set on going for the Xeon. The only thing I'm struggling with is the motherboard. How has the Asus H97 been? Any problems? Any particular reason you chose it? Awesome build though, absolutely love the 540 case!

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks my friend. My H97 has been flawless. I don't overclock so I chose the H series. Great value. To my knowledge Xeon's are hard to overclock, and you won't be looking at those if you intend to.

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

Not sure if you still check this or not, but how do you like the PowerColor 290? Have you had any driver issues? I know that they run nice and cool. I am considering getting one on sale on NewEgg for $249 after $20 MIR and really love the look of them.

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

It does a great job so far. No driver issues at all after upgrading the driver software back in October last year. The most recent game I've been playing is Homeworld Remastered edition. I max out every setting at 1080p without break a sweat. It's not the most demanding game out there but oh boy the gameplay graphics are stunning!

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

How is Corsair H60 doing with the Xeon? My parts are coming in tomorrow and I was just wondering how it's going since you've had it running now for a while

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

No problems at all. Quiet and cool.

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

i am just asking if the Xeon came with a stock cooler, cause the product picture is not a box it is just the CPU.

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

Yes it comes with a cooler.

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  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you!

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