The goal of this build, is to create a solid workstation that can be used for software development, hardware development, 3D printing, CNC machining and basic GPU development for mining and machine learning.
The overarching view of this build is to keep it as low cost as possible without sacrificing too much.
Initial comments on why we chose certain hardware.
- We are big fans of being consistent in our design decisions. We chose to stick to EVGA for the mobo, video card, power supply
- Thermal Take cases are our favorite for their absolute minimalistic design, with plenty of space, solid construction and quiet operation. Moreover, if we wish to cluster these up they are easily stackable.
- WASD Code Keyboard - we went back and forth on ther right keyboard for this build and figured this is a workstation not a gaming machine. We wanted something that is clean, reliable, fun to type on and had some basic features. This fit the bill. We did want it wireless but couldn't find a mechanical keyboard that was good enough and wireless at the same time.
- Video Card - now we do a lot of things at Animusoft when it comes to machine learning and AI all around. We know this card won't do what we need. But as a test, we chose to give it a whirl and see what we can do with it. Worse case scenario we can always upgrade to a Titan X. But recall, we were trying to keep the costs down.
- Monitor - given that the prices of a 4K monitor is pretty high we opted for a 40inch 4k TV. Recall we aren't doing any gaming on this machine. We wanted tons of screen real estate to work on code, models, documentations while keeping our desk free from as much clutter as possible.
- Storage - initially we were going to use 1TB SSD drives - but since this is a workstation we felt that 500GB was more than enough. We doubled them up and RAIDed them for speed and reliability.
- Cooling - we went with a standard fan from Cooler Master. We originally purchased a Corsair Water Cooling system for the CPU but it was FAR TO LARGE for this case and there was absolutely no way of fitting it in. Furthermore, the Cooler Master Fan we purchased would hit the memory so we had to remount the fan in a way such that we had sufficient airflow and wouldn't hit the memory at all. All in all - it worked well but we think it could have been better.
- Mice - we went back and forth comparing all the cool mice out there. We are still not sold on this logitech but lets see.
- Memory - Corsair has never let us down in any custom build. We aren't looking to overclock our rig we are looking for solid performance out of the box with no customization.
- CPU - we initially wanted a Xeon CPU. However, we felt for this bare bones simple workstation build an i7 would be more than enough. Check out our next builds to see what we did with the Xeon CPU setup.