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Need Help With High End Non-Gaming Build

Brian Kays

Junior Member
Dec 25, 2017
5
0
1
I'm a software engineer that has not paid attention to hardware in a while. I used to build all my machines myself and also game a lot, but as my career has progressed my desire to sit in front of a computer when I get home has significantly decreased.

I need to build a high end PC that will not be used for gaming. I currently need to replace a PC I use for a plex server, crypto currency mining (the new small ones for fun) when it's not in use, and software development when I work from home.

I started researching on my own and everything I'm finding is geared more towards gaming and I want to make sure I'm not paying for stuff I don't need.

My main needs:
  1. High end processor. No preference really, I've had I7s in my work computers but after researching I'm thinking the Rizen would suit better for my needs (feel free to correct me if I'm wrong). The software I use, plus plex transcoding, etc require high intensive CPU use.
  2. Lots of memory. My machines are usually always maxed out with memory, however they are usually provided by my employers. I did read somewhere 16GB of high end RAM is better than 32GB of low end RAM - again, not sure how much water that holds.
  3. Ability to have several large drives. I plan to get a NAS at some point, until then I keep all my video for my plex server on HDs I'll keep in this machine. I currently have several I can re-use for this build unless it makes sense and fits the budget to get new ones. I currently have a 512 SSD for my boot drive, and 2 older Seagate 4 GB sata drives, and one older Seagate 2 GB sata drive. I'm already running out of space so being able to expand now or in the near future would be needed. I also have smaller 256GB SSDs laying around everywhere.
  4. Support for dual monitors, maybe the ability to run more than two if it fits in the budget. No real need for 4K or anything, but full 1080P HD would make life easier on my eyes. I do already have the monitors - no need to include those in the budget.
  5. Gigibit LAN (I'm assuming this is standard these days). It will be hardwired for sure so WiFi makes no difference. I have fiber internet, I don't think multiple ports bridged would do anything to throughput, but again... not a hardware guy. If that's possible that would be a plus for sure.
  6. Future proof as much as possible
  7. I'd rather not have to worry about it overheating, which I don't think should be a problem without a high end gaming video card. Still, if current hardware needs liquid cooling, extra fans, etc.
Things I don't need:
  1. Monitors
  2. Anything more than on board audio, it won't even be connected to speakers
  3. Software of any kind
  4. Keyboard, mouse, speakers, HDMI cables, etc.
  5. Fancy LED stuff, although that seems to be standard these days
  6. I could care less really what the case looks like as long as it's big enough to expand without trying to force things in.
  7. I already have a optical drive I can reuse.. Currently I've had to disconnect it to use the sata slot for a HD.

Pretty much just need the case and guts.

Budget $1,200ish - I can go above some if needed, or by know means have to spend that much if it's not needed obviously.

I will be buying in the US, have Amazon Prime if that makes a difference, and will need to get this thing up and running in the next couple weeks if possible. Sooner the better. The machine I'm replacing is going to someone who does taxes for a living.

Any suggestions for parts would be very appreciated.

Thanks!
 

whm1974

Diamond Member
Jul 24, 2016
9,460
1,562
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The Ryzen 7 1700 looks like to be a good choice and in your use case I think 32GB of memory is the minimum you need. Although 64GB will cost you. As far as storage is concerned, you shouldn't bother with 1 and 2TB HDDs, but go with 4TB and up. And maybe a larger SSD as well?

You might have to expand your budget past 1,200.
 

Brian Kays

Junior Member
Dec 25, 2017
5
0
1
Ok, so I have a 512 SSD already I can use for the OS. If I go with the Ryzen 7 1700, any recommendations on motherboard? That's one piece I'm struggling with. It seems like for top speeds I need to get one around the $200 range.

So far I have:
Processor ($289.99): AMD Ryzen 7 1700 Processor with Wraith Spire LED Cooler
RAM ($409.99): Corsair LPX 32GB DRAM 3000MHz C15 Memory Kit for DDR4 Systems (32GB) (2 x 16GB)
HD1(FREE): ADATA ULTIMATE SU800 SSD - 512 GB - 2.5 INCH - 3D TLC (ASU800SS-512GT)
HD2($273.98): Seagate 8TB BarraCuda Pro SATA 6Gb/s 256MB Cache 3.5-Inch Internal Hard Drive (ST8000DM0004)
HD3(FREE): 4TB HD I already have
HD4(FREE): 4TB HD I already have
Case($65.41): Phanteks Eclipse Series P400S Silent Edition, Steel ATX Mid Tower Case Satin Black PH-EC416PSC_BK
PSU ($109.99): Corsair CS Series, CS850M, 850 Watt (850W), Semi Modular Power Supply, 80+ Gold Certified

I also have two external seagate USB 3GB drives to use for backups / extra storage

That puts me at $1,149.36 without a motherboard. How am I doing? Am I missing anything else?

Thanks!
 

whm1974

Diamond Member
Jul 24, 2016
9,460
1,562
96
Ok, so I have a 512 SSD already I can use for the OS. If I go with the Ryzen 7 1700, any recommendations on motherboard? That's one piece I'm struggling with. It seems like for top speeds I need to get one around the $200 range.

So far I have:
Processor ($289.99): AMD Ryzen 7 1700 Processor with Wraith Spire LED Cooler
RAM ($409.99): Corsair LPX 32GB DRAM 3000MHz C15 Memory Kit for DDR4 Systems (32GB) (2 x 16GB)
HD1(FREE): ADATA ULTIMATE SU800 SSD - 512 GB - 2.5 INCH - 3D TLC (ASU800SS-512GT)
HD2($273.98): Seagate 8TB BarraCuda Pro SATA 6Gb/s 256MB Cache 3.5-Inch Internal Hard Drive (ST8000DM0004)
HD3(FREE): 4TB HD I already have
HD4(FREE): 4TB HD I already have
Case($65.41): Phanteks Eclipse Series P400S Silent Edition, Steel ATX Mid Tower Case Satin Black PH-EC416PSC_BK
PSU ($109.99): Corsair CS Series, CS850M, 850 Watt (850W), Semi Modular Power Supply, 80+ Gold Certified

I also have two external seagate USB 3GB drives to use for backups / extra storage

That puts me at $1,149.36 without a motherboard. How am I doing? Am I missing anything else?

Thanks!
The Ryzen series of CPUs don't have a iGPU, so if you go with AMD you are going to need a video card.
 

UsandThem

Elite Member
Super Moderator
May 4, 2000
14,168
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The Ryzen series of CPUs don't have a iGPU, so if you go with AMD you are going to need a video card.
And you don't want that Adata SSD for $151. For that amount, get a 850 EVO, Crucial MX300, or Intel 545s.

Adata might slap a lot of verbs on their products (ultimate, super-duper, etc.), but they can't hang with the better products.

https://www.anandtech.com/show/11085/the-adata-ultimate-su800-ssd-review-128gb-256gb-512gb/10

The ADATA SU800 is priced as an entry-level SSD, but the entire market is heavily affected by an ongoing NAND shortage. There are a few older planar TLC SSDs that are still able to beat the SU800's prices by a few dollars, when they're in stock. But the bigger problem for the SU800 is that ADATA can't reliably beat Micron's pricing on the Crucial MX300. When taking into account the slightly higher usable capacity and better performance and efficiency, the MX300 is a better deal than the equivalent SU800.
And Crucial just released their MX500, which is a better performer and cheaper than the MX300, but it's only available in a 1TB size right now. If you wait a few weeks, their smaller capacity models should be available.
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
50,411
6,018
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While the MX300 may beat the SU800 on price and price/performance, that's not to say that somehow, the SU800 is a "bad" SSD. It's actually quite good, and I use it in the 128GB sizes for my for-sale builds. It performs quite well, in my experience. Well, except for one corner-case - copying ISO files from my NAS to my SSD, I exhausted my SSD's SLC write-cache after around 51GB of continuous writing, and then sequential write performance of the SSD tanked to 30-40MB/sec (fluctuating). But that would be true with any SSD that utilizes an SLC cache, and the Intel 600p PCI-E M.2 NVMe SSD would have actually fared worse, as they don't have a "SLC cache bypass" feature on their SSDs (well, maybe they do with recent firmware updates), so their performance tanks to like 2-3MB/sec instead.
 

UsandThem

Elite Member
Super Moderator
May 4, 2000
14,168
4,723
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While the MX300 may beat the SU800 on price and price/performance, that's not to say that somehow, the SU800 is a "bad" SSD. It's actually quite good, and I use it in the 128GB sizes for my for-sale builds. It performs quite well, in my experience. Well, except for one corner-case - copying ISO files from my NAS to my SSD, I exhausted my SSD's SLC write-cache after around 51GB of continuous writing, and then sequential write performance of the SSD tanked to 30-40MB/sec (fluctuating). But that would be true with any SSD that utilizes an SLC cache, and the Intel 600p PCI-E M.2 NVMe SSD would have actually fared worse, as they don't have a "SLC cache bypass" feature on their SSDs (well, maybe they do with recent firmware updates), so their performance tanks to like 2-3MB/sec instead.
It all comes down to the $/performance. They price it like a premium SSD, when it doesn't have the performance to match. This particular unit is more in line with budget SSDs like the BX300. Even the newer 3D drives from Western Digital/Sandisk are currently priced lower than the Adata, and offer better peformance.

Now if they priced it below the drives I recommended above, it could a solid choice. But when you can buy the MX300 for $129 or the 850 EVO for $139, it doesn't make sense to pay more for less performance.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/adata-ultimate-su800-ssd-review,4824-3.html

We compared the Adata Ultimate SU800 512GB to a handful of other products with the same capacity and felt this product let us down. We can't recommend it over the Crucial MX300 525GB, but that is a very low bar to start with. Even with an amazing holiday deal (a very low price), we would spend more to get a better SSD.
 

Yuriman

Diamond Member
Jun 25, 2004
5,531
141
106
I'm going to vote for an i7 8700. 6 vs 8 cores, but higher per-core performance (benefits everything that isn't parallel out to 16 threads), and no need to buy a video card.
 

whm1974

Diamond Member
Jul 24, 2016
9,460
1,562
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I'm going to vote for an i7 8700. 6 vs 8 cores, but higher per-core performance (benefits everything that isn't parallel out to 16 threads), and no need to buy a video card.
That was actually my first thought, but I wasn't sure about if the OP needs more threads or not. How about the i7-8700, that has 6C/12T?
 

Brian Kays

Junior Member
Dec 25, 2017
5
0
1
The ADATA SU800 I already have, so I was going to use it at first to have a 512 SSD for the boot drive that didn't go against the budget. I also have several 850 EVO 256GB SSDs laying around.

If I went with the i7 8700K what recommendations for a motherboard? If I want to overclock (why not?), I would also need to get some cooling as well, seems like the go to is the Corsair Hydro Series, H100i v2 for $109. After researching those, it seems like I need to be careful about the case to make sure it has the correct amount of space to fit everything in, plus cooling. Is my case choice OK or does anyone have any other recommendations for that?
 

Yuriman

Diamond Member
Jun 25, 2004
5,531
141
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I don't see a lot of value in overclocking these days, generally, but 8th gen is a bit different. With 7th gen, you'd have to pay extra for a motherboard (B250 vs Z270), pay extra for the CPU ($50-75), and pay extra for a cooler ($30-100), and you could expect 4-6% better performance (on paper, which often equated to zero real-world) for several hundred dollars plus added noise, heat and reliability issues. With 8th gen, there aren't any non-Z370 boards and you usually can't find the i7 8700 at MSRP. It really ruins the value proposition. So, I'd say go for it.

However, I'm going to steer you away from the H100i v2, as long as you don't frequently move your machine. You can get a tower cooler which performs similarly with less noise for less cost, and no chance of leaks or the inevitable pump failure.
 

UsandThem

Elite Member
Super Moderator
May 4, 2000
14,168
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Here is a workout of the i7-8700k build:
https://pcpartpicker.com/list/Mt9r9W

Thoughts?
You don't need anywhere near a 850w PSU. 650w is about as high as you want to go with one video card, or you won't be running it anywhere near peak efficiency.

Plus, you don't have a video card in that build.

Edit:

If you are going to be paying a good sum for RAM right now, you might as well get DDR4 3000 - 3200.
 

UsandThem

Elite Member
Super Moderator
May 4, 2000
14,168
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https://pcpartpicker.com/list/9LH2qk

Updated! Any other recommendations? Am I missing anything?
Yeah, sorry. I got your "build my PC" crossed with another one which is a big gamer, so that's why I mentioned you didn't have a video card listed. Since you're not going to buy a gaming card, you can easily get by with a 550w unit. I recommend this one, which is $49.99 after mail in rebate right now. It's a much better unit, with a much longer warranty (the Newegg link is in my last post in this thread):

https://forums.anandtech.com/threads/corsair-tx550m-2017-review-the-80-power-supply-for-almost-everyone-now-lower-priced.2529206/
 

aigomorla

Cases and Cooling Mod PC Gaming Mod Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 28, 2005
18,510
1,148
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I think you might need a dedicated video card for dual monitors.... So quite possibly maybe u want to add a cheap videocard?
 

Yuriman

Diamond Member
Jun 25, 2004
5,531
141
106
Intel integrated supports up to 3 displays, I believe.

The above system would easily run on a quality 200w power supply (stock), and 300-350w would give plenty of overclocking headroom. Even 650w is massive overkill without a power-hungry video card.
 

simas

Senior member
Oct 16, 2005
324
52
91
Does your software (what is it) respond better to having more threads or higher clocks? Also, can software you use leverage things like CUDA for GPU?
Are you near Microcenter store ? If yes, have you looked at their CPU +MB deals (both intel and AMD) ?

The built you specified is good current intel build. I just did one for myself (with Gaming) and went Ryzen road, went more cores/threads, overclocking route, and put savings into memory going up to 64GB (max for the board)
For media library I convert everything ripped to h265 and having NVidia GPU helped a lot (vs doing it in CPU), more than 10X faster to convert.
 

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