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Fast 'n' no Frills: Windows 8.1 Pro i7 Workstation

by felixksw



Date Published

Oct. 18, 2014

Date Built

Oct. 11, 2014

CPU Clock Rate

3.6 GHz


This is my first computer build. It is a workstation I pieced together in about three hours that met three criteria: inexpensive, reliable, quiet, and FAST!

I got the regular i7-4790 instead of the overclocking-enabled i7-4790K to meet those four goals, in addition to getting a smallish, but ample for my needs, 256GB SSD instead of a hard drive with 8X the capacity. Even skipped out on getting a CD/DVD drive as my laptop has one for the once a year I need to play a CD/DVD. Figured I could add that later if need be.

You can see how speedy the computer is in this video. A friend of mine calls it "The Beast"!


I also used IC Diamond thermal paste, so add a few more dollars to the specs below.

I purchased Windows 8.1 Pro from an authorized Microsoft refurbisher. All prices below include tax and shipping.

When I do more CAD work, I may increase the RAM to 16 GB, but for now, everything I throw at it is virtually instantaneous, just as the video shows. The computer is virtually inaudible too. Very happy with this build.

Comments Sorted by:

KnobleKnives 2 points 53 months ago

Great build for the price, especially with that i7 in there. I'm guessing this isn't going to be much of a gaming build, due to the lack of GPU?

zachar954 1 Build 1 point 53 months ago

He says it's a workstation and I'm guessing he doesn't do any work that requires a gpu

felixksw submitter 1 Build 1 point 53 months ago

Yep, no games. (Funny fact: I own an xBox 360, but I don't own a single video game. I use it as a media center.) Basically, the computer is strictly for productivity and some media viewing.

So far the computer doesn't flinch at anything I throw at it even with a dozen apps and programs open, but admittedly I haven't run SolidWorks on it yet. It's so much faster than my ancient HP xw6200 dual Xeon 3.6 GHz workstation in everything else, though, that I expect to be pleased with its CAD performance.

thomasmorgan 1 point 53 months ago

That's dangerous building on top of a towel. Basically a static generator.

Bladedrummer 4 Builds 1 point 53 months ago

While in principle I agree, I work in a compatibility lab and I've worked with electronics the past 17 years. I have never seen or heard of a CPU, mobo, HDD, SSD, stick of RAM, video card, peripheral, or any other component, that actually broke because of static. Not once.

felixksw submitter 1 Build 1 point 53 months ago

Yikes, good point! I didn't even think of that. Fortunately, I was lucky this time with no ramifications...

Jaxon88 1 point 53 months ago

How did you get Windows 8.1 for $54?

Bladedrummer 4 Builds 1 point 53 months ago

Probably through work or school.

felixksw submitter 1 Build 1 point 53 months ago

I purchased a Windows 8.1 Pro DVD from this authorized Microsoft refurbisher: http://www.vanderbrinklaptops.com/ . It came with a valid product key and refurbisher Certificate of Authenticity (COA) label to stick on the machine.

Damjan25 1 point 53 months ago

can you run games with iGPU ?

cheese.mac 1 point 42 months ago

why no CPU cooler or case fans?; i'd like to copy your build, if you can suggest a cpu cooler , case fans ?

shavashav 2 Builds 0 points 53 months ago

dayum baby

robokomodo 0 points 53 months ago

Very nice. Also, I like your living room. Can I move in?

felixksw submitter 1 Build 1 point 53 months ago

Thanks! Admittedly I am a bit OCD about no clutter.