Question Recommendations on a new workstation build

Dman100

Junior Member
Jan 31, 2022
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0
6
I'm doing some research on a new workstation and the what I can get within my budget of $4K. I've read a lot of good reviews about the AMD Ryzen ThreadRipper and its multi-core and threading abilities. I don't have extensive knowledge about hardware and all the differences with processors, memory, etc., but from what I've read the AMD ThreadRipper seems to outperform comparable Intel processors. To provide some basic details of how I'd be using the workstation, I do software development and audio recording and editing. The primary applications being used are MS Visual Studio Professional, Visual Studio Code, SQL Server, Eclipse, ANT, Data loader, MS Office Suite (Outlook, Word, Excel, Access, Power Point), Notepad++, Adobe Acrobat Professional and audio recording and editing software like Audacity. There are a few other apps that I use that are open source and free downloads. I do some minor photo editing with Photoshop, but nothing extensive.

I've been trying to spec an Intel based system and an AMD system and make sure that I have compatible parts and the right specs for the build. I was using PC Parts Picker website to make a compatible build. Would anyone have recommendations on which would be a better workstation for the uses specified above? I don't do any gaming. Are there any components selected that should be replaced with another option for compatibility and/or performance issues? I'm trying to stay within my budget and preferably under $4K. Also, the reason I selected the NVIDIA T400 graphics card is because I have three Dell widescreen monitors that use the mini display port inputs. I have a Razer mouse and keyboard, Logitech speakers with sub woofer and an APC UPS.

To get a general idea of the components that I've spec'd here is a list:

Intel based workstation build:

Intel Core i9-12900KF 3.2 GHz 16-Core
ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II 420 72.8 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler
ARCTIC Intel LGA1700 Upgrade Kit - For Liquid Freezerr II Series
Gigabyte Z690 AERO G DDR4 ATX LGA 1700 Motherboard
G.Skill Ripjaws V 128 GB (4 x 32GB) DDR4-3200 CL16 Memory
Western Digital Black SN850 2TB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive
PNY NVIDIA T400 Graphic Card - 2 GB GDDR6 - Low-Profile - 64 bit Bus Width - PCI Express 3.0 x16 - Mini DisplayPort
Phanteks Enthoo Pro ATX Full Tower Case
NZXT C 750 W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-modular ATX Power Supply
Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer
Windows 10 Pro OEM 64-bit

Total $2,360

AMD based workstation build:

AMD Ryzen Threadripper PRO 3955WX 16-core, 32-thread desktop processor
Asus ROG RYUO 240 RGB AIO Liquid CPU Cooler 240mm Radiator Dual 120mm 4-Pin PWM Fan with OLED Panel & Fan Control 1.77"
ASUS Pro WS WRX80E-SAGE SE WIFI sWRX8 AMD WRX80 SATA 6Gb/s Extended ATX AMD Motherboard
NEMIX RAM 128GB 8x16GB DDR4-2666 PC4-21300 1Rx4 ECC Registered Memory
Western Digital Black SN850 2TB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive
PNY NVIDIA T400 Graphic Card - 2 GB GDDR6 - Low-Profile - 64 bit Bus Width - PCI Express 3.0 x16 - Mini DisplayPort
Phanteks Enthoo Pro ATX Full Tower Case
Corsair RMX Series, RM850x, 850 Watt, 80+ Gold Certified, Fully Modular Power Supply
Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer
Windows 10 Pro OEM 64-bit

Total ==> $3,870.20

I just want to make sure I'm getting the right parts and they are compatible components. The AMD workstations is about $1,500 more in cost. I'm wondering if the cost difference would be worth the gain in performance.
 

Tech Junky

Senior member
Jan 27, 2022
782
250
96
Having recently built an ADL 12700K @ ~$1500 w/o a GPU you might be going a bit overboard in either configuration.

I didn't put a GPU in so using your T400 @ $140 makes very little difference here.

Here's what I used.

I debated the whole WC vs AC and went AC because of less risk of the cooling failing and redundancy with dual fans on the cooler and the heat hype around coolers isn't really as big in real life.

12900K is more for gaming IMO

Gigabyte boards don't offer the best mix of or number of PCI slots for cards being added.

The Meshify 2 case works really well for airflow though in the past I've used 203 Phanteks including the Enthoo line, they will work fine.

I go EVGA 850W G+ because they offer additional power if needed down the road and I have one that's been running for ~4 years now w/o any issues. They also come with a 10 year warranty.

DVD/CD writer... if you still burn them instead of using USB then it's useful.

W10 - just use the same one you're currently running. No need to pay for it again. On my setup though since I'm not using Windows apps I put Linux on it for the things I need it to do instead.

For the SN850's which I'm also using I found it better to get 2 x 1TB and use the 2nd as a backup location for the OS that runs every 6 hours automatically under Linux via Cron.

For storage I'm doing Raid 10 w/ 4 Disks + a spare that yields 16TB @ 400MB/s
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Now, the big difference from a technical standpoint for me at least that makes AMD somewhat appealing is the way you can bifurcate the PCI lanes differently from with Intel. Intel can do it but, you have to venture into x299 / Xeon to get there.

So, windows and your apps you mentioned won't care about which CPU you use but, you will run HOTTER with AMD and this can slow things down a bit when it's under load but, how often it's truly under load is debatable. For me it's when the server is transcoding video files. For you it might be when running SQL queries excessively.

Unless you've monitored your RAM usage for a period of time using something like HWINFO to see your max use 128GB is a bit much when 32GB might be enough. On my server I put in 16GB and that's overkill as it only usually uses 4GB but, double that is a good buffer and redundancy puts me at 16GB.
 

Ajay

Lifer
Jan 8, 2001
11,406
5,169
136
So, you, if you don't need more than 128GB of RAM, and don't have high I/O requirements; an AMD Ryzen 9 5950X still give you 16 cores and 32 threads. I haven't read reviews - but this looks like a solid workstation oriented motherboard for AMD https://www.asus.com/us/Motherboards-Components/Motherboards/Workstation/Pro-WS-X570-ACE

Should give you better performance running thread heavy loads and cost about the same as the Intel system. Also, the 5950X is based on Zen3 and offers more performance than the Zen2 based Threadripper Pro.

Good Luck!
 

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