Description

Greetings!

I am a theatrical scenic designer that has moved into designing digitally in 3D, and quickly came to find out my little 6 year old laptop just cannot handle the load of rendering. It would literally take days or weeks to render a single image to an acceptable level and I would not be able to use the laptop for anything else during that time. Talk about a workflow bottleneck!!

So I set about putting together a system designed around my current and potentially future work. It had been about 13 years since I built my last desktop system, so I had some learning to do! Between this site and Tom's Hardware, and a year of my time, I was able to learn the things I needed to know about components and their relationships to the usage of my applications. I must have designed 30 or more different systems in that time and as I continued to learn, the roads started pointing me to the system I present to you today.

The very first thing I did once it was up and running was to load a file that would automatically crash my laptop in a rendering attempt (or produce about 1 frame every 15 to 30 minutes). It rendered to a beautiful basic quality of over 500 frames in about 6 minutes. What used to take weeks can now be accomplished in the time it takes me to go make a cup of coffee!

WOO HOO!!!!

I have run all the benchmarks that I can think are appropriate and am quite satisfied with the results. This machine will likely never see a game in its life, but gpu benchmarks are important to get an idea of rendering capabilities that are sent to it.

The fun part was figuring out how to make this system as physically small as possible, and since it is sitting on my desk in my design office, as good looking as possible too. If you aren't familiar with the Jonsbo UMX4, I suggest you take a peek. The build quality is amazing, with every attention to detail included...sheesh, they even included thumb screws for the difficult to reach bottom radiator if you decided to have one...I did:-)

The case needed some modifications though to make it all fit. I needed to cut an oval pass through above the mobo for the 24 and 2x8 pin connections, move a couple standoffs for the mobo was not standard ATX layout, move the top radiator to allow for mobo power connection, and paint the SSD and I/O backplate to match the system.

All in all I am incredibly pleased with this build and it is literally the most powerful computer I have ever sat down to. It is an amazing feeling to know that not only are you no longer limited by your tools, but that you actually have room to grow and explore! Too cool, and I look forward to creating on it every day!

My laptop will be relieved to no longer have to hear me yelling at it for being too slow or glitchy:-) It can now just be a happy little entertainment tool and portable tool for meetings and travel if needed.

p.s. Sorry about the photos of the Unigen tests, being my first time ever running those I missed the part that said f12 for screen print. I tried the traditional button on the keyboard and it didn't work so I just grabbed my phone and shot the screen...just didn't feel like going through all the benchmarks again...when I do I will post better quality images!

Part Reviews

CPU

No complaints! With two of these, my system blows my mind! Reliable Intel Xeon technology at a pretty darn good price compared to the V3s...$200 less than the comparable E5-2630 V3! You will probably like it if you buy it.

CPU Cooler

Super happy. Looks great, keeps my cpus super frosty (~30C idle and 43C at load), and the sound levels are fantastic! I have to try to hear them in a quiet room just to be able to hear the fans run. I have two of them on a dual processor system and the breathing effect is really cool. No they cannot be synced up together, but I rather like the offset breathing...looks really interesting behind the dark glass of my case.

I would totally recommend this cooler.

Thermal Compound

We all know it is the best...just get it and your cpu will be happy.

Motherboard

This is a great and affordable workstation board in my opinion. It has been running for 3 weeks 24/7 with no issues in my new build: https://pcpartpicker.com/b/2VtJ7P. Be aware however, that the standoff locations are not exact for a standard ATX case, so you will have to modify those locations in your case as I did. Not a big deal for me, but not everyone's cup of tea. Also, there is no SLI/Crossfire support, so ganging up gpus in this fashion for CUDA (or equivalent) usage may be something to look into as to whether or not that limitation will effect your work. With that aside, it has thus far proven to be a very reliable board with great features befitting a workstation, that supports 2 processors at an ATX size.

Memory

Stable and reliable. These were the recommended model for my motherboard and everything works great! Would be nice if they had heat sinks, but that is merely a cosmetic opinion:-P

Storage

Really pleased with this SSD. I originally purchased a Samsung 850 Evo, which gave me nothing but hassles and was RMA'd within 4 days. Replaced it with the PNY and have not had any issue at all. The red stripe can create a design element consideration though if the SSD is to be seen and red is not in your system's color scheme. I had to paint the stripe silver on mine to make it match the rest of the system.

Video Card

There are a lot of choices out there when it comes to GPUs, and a big consideration is appearance. The EVGA is as strong a performer as any other on the market. If this card is what you are leaning toward for aesthetic reasons, you will not be bummed by its performance. Really good card, but that is kinda what we have come to expect from EVGA.

Case

A top notch case. Lian Li quality (or better) at half the price! No, really...keep reading...this thing is sweet!!!

Dual tempered glass side panels, uni-body aluminum casing and steel internals. Also, there is not a rivet on the darn thing! If you wanted to tear it down to every individual component, you could, thus making modifications (if desired) very easy. There is ZERO noticeable flex to the case even without the side panels, yet it is incredibly light weight. Thermals seem to be very well thought out, keeping my system quite cool even under load. The glass is thick and darkly tinted...much darker than most, but that allows one to create a system that is inner lit, but won't be so bright that your neighbors can read by it at night:-P

The inside layout is very well designed to maximize space, and with the absence of an optical bay, it is one of the smallest ATX cases available. There isn't a heap of space between the motherboard tray and the side panel for cables, but there is plenty, and since it is a glass panel, you will likely spend a little more time on cable management anyway, so this likely won't really be an issue.

With what seems to be an incredible attention to detail as well, is that they include a great selection of parts with the case in the form of cable management options, every screw you could possibly need for hardware installation, and other accessories. Geez, they even give you really nice chrome thumb screws for the difficult to reach mount holes for the radiator location at the bottom of the case!

I recently built a system in this case that was a little out of the ordinary for such a small chassis: A dual processor water cooled setup. I have not built a computer in 13 years, let alone one that required some modifications to the case to make it fit. However, this case was a freaking breeze to build in, and even with my 'novice' status as a PC builder, I had absolutely no frustrations.

Bottom line: If you haven't checked out this case yet, do yourself a favor and do. I still smile every time I look over and see it on my desk. It is really a beautiful looking case, and add to that the ease of working in it as well as the quality of its build, man this is a winner!

Power Supply

About as good of quality as you can get. A Tier One PSU with all the options one would need. I found mine on sale for the same price as a Tier Two 650W!! Bonus! Has been running 24/7 for three weeks now and is quiet and efficient. If you buy it, you will be happy:-)

Keyboard

Very pleased with this combo. The mouse is awesome...adaptable, accurate, and is very comfortable to use. The keyboard is easy to type on, and the responsive backlighting is a really great feature. I don't know if this would be a great board for gaming, but for productivity and creation use, it so far appears to be a great addition to my system. 4 stars for they need to be plugged in a little more often to charge as I would like, but that is kind of minor since most of the time they are sitting close to the PC and can be without restricting usage.

Comments

  • 38 months ago
  • 4 points

Holy Core County Batman! There's too many!

Kidding of course. Excellent use of a xeon and dual Chip board +1

  • 38 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you! It was so much fun to figure out! My rendering maxes out the cpus and I am already dreaming of the day Facebook or Amazon dump their current v4 14 core processors onto the market like they recently did with the 2670 v1. :-P

  • 38 months ago
  • 3 points

14 is nice and all but I think you need these 22 core processors

  • 38 months ago
  • 1 point

Darn Tootin'!! :-D

  • 38 months ago
  • 1 point

Plus they're ONLY 5k each. Just 5k

  • 38 months ago
  • 1 point

A drop in the bucket! :-P

[comment deleted]
  • 38 months ago
  • 1 point

BTW, nice P5 build!

  • 38 months ago
  • 1 point

:) I built it a month ago and it's already not the same as when I posted it... it's got a 1060 now and (soon) an ekwb loop

  • 38 months ago
  • 3 points

Why did you go from a 1070 to a 1060? Or am I reafing it backwards

  • 38 months ago
  • 1 point

Sweet! So I have to ask about your De-Build...what was the "Something that feels like chalk"? Busted my gut...great parts list!

  • 38 months ago
  • 2 points

What an awesome build! I hope that it serves you well for years to come.

  • 38 months ago
  • 2 points

Whew! Me too! Glad you like it! So far it runs amazingly and I will do my best to maintain its top form for as long as possible.

  • 38 months ago
  • 2 points

Love it! Do not see dual cores often enough but when you do, damm they look awsome. Great stuff +1

Pic 31 looks amazing!

  • 38 months ago
  • 2 points

Thank you! Yeah, there is something kinda special about dual procs...I agree, when researching this system it was hard to find examples for comparison! Glad you approve!!!

On anther note....Amazing Lian Li PC-o5s build! I was considering a single 14 to 18 core processor build in the same case before I came to the conclusion that I really needed a dual proc system for my work. Stunning build!

Also, your Fire Strike score for your Glass Fusion build made me almost fall out of my chair! Holy Canoli!!! Amazing!

  • 38 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks buddy. Ahhh that would have been awesome seeing such a beastly build in a mini ITX case, but alas dual core boards and small cases do not mix!

  • 38 months ago
  • 2 points

The thought of such a machine just hanging on the wall like art! The Jonsbo case I have is not very large at all, and may be about as small as one could get with dual radiators like I have, but I still may build a sff htpc in the Lian Li..I have a spot on the wall that it would fit in nicely:-) Your builds are sweet! I have never done a custom hard line loop, but it is on my bucket list to learn soon...I like the coolers I have on my rig now, but it might be fun to add a bit more art to it in the future.

  • 38 months ago
  • 2 points

I thought those part list are gonna need more than 750w. Wuow. And that case.. Beautiful xD

  • 38 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you! I am really pleased that it turned out so well...especially for my first build in like 13 years! I could have actually gotten away with a 650 watt supply, but the 750 was on sale for the same price and I figured it would give me available headroom for future upgrades. It is amazing how power efficient components are becoming...It is one of the reasons I went with new architecture instead of saving a little dough on slightly older generations:-)

  • 38 months ago
  • 1 point

Ahh... SuperMicro....

When is it going to change its boxes '90s design?

  • 38 months ago
  • 1 point

Right!?! Well, at least the tech inside the box is current and stellar...Maybe they are going for that sleeper unit vibe...:-P

  • 38 months ago
  • 1 point

I actually like it lol

  • 36 months ago
  • 1 point

Good build, will use this as my base

  • 35 months ago
  • 1 point

Awesome! Thank you, glad you like!

  • 36 months ago
  • 1 point

do the xeons affect gaming performance

  • 35 months ago
  • 1 point

I imagine they would depending on the title for they are clocked at 2.1 and only ramp up to 3.0 - 3.2 tops. If the title you want to play requires a faster clock then you would likely see a hit in performance. For the work I do though, the core count is most important and blows any i5 or i7 away, but most games aren't optimized for more than 4 cores/threads, so the extra cores won't buy you added performance for gaming and a higher clock per core will be your friend..

  • 35 months ago
  • 1 point

omfg, this is insanity

+1 for the dual watercooled build

  • 35 months ago
  • 1 point

It really is insanity! What is more insane is when I am rendering and watching the CPU usage at 100%! Thanks for the props! I know I didn't need water cooling for Xeons, but the Deepcools just looked too awesome not to:-P

  • 34 months ago
  • 1 point

JESUS CHRIST! This is a beast. Everything about it is great. My only recommendation is that you get a Logitech MX master, awesome for editing and casual gaming.

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

Sorry for the delayed reply! I took a peek and yeah, I may have to upgrade at some point...should probably get my money's worth out of this one first though...but dang, that is a really nice looking and better featured mouse!! Thanks for the recommendation!

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

np

  • 34 months ago
  • 1 point

Apart from Sketchup what softwares do you run on this beast?

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

Greetings and sorry for the delay! Haven't logged in here for a spell! The main program that I run that requires this setup is Raylectron, which is a photo realistic rendering tool that works with Sketchup and will max out all 32 threads when running a render. I am also looking to 3DS Max, Maya, Blender, UE4, and other more powerful rendering tools like V-Ray and the like...(...still researching which are the best options for what I want to do with my design work...). I also have used Vectorworks, which is "industry standard", but seems limited for how I want to grow in my work, and what I am seeing as the future of the industry in theatrical design.

  • 29 months ago
  • 1 point

WOW amazing system when I saw the parts list I thought for sure you would be in the 10K range.

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you!!! I am relieved it didn't tbh!! :-P In all honesty, when I first started considering this system, I designed a ton of different setups in an attempt to find the right design for my needs, and yeah, I designed a few $10,000+ systems before I truly understood what I actually needed...and reality of budget became clear. My hopes with this design is that in 5 years I can upgrade the CPUs to a higher C/T and Clock when they get dumped on ebay after Amazon and Facebook upgrade their servers again:-) That would then put this system into the $10,000 range if I had bought those same processors today.

  • 26 months ago
  • 1 point

Next step, custom loop. Just kidding, wonderful build!

  • 7 months ago
  • 1 point

Hi, nice build! Did you have to mod the case to fit the aio cooler in the top? I have the same case and want the same cooler as you but it says on here they aren’t compatible?!

  • 7 months ago
  • 1 point

Hello and thank you! I did have to drill some holes a little closer to the main side, but only because of where my 24 pin and the two 8 pin connectors are located...Right at the very top! You might notice that I had to drill out for those as well for there is a pic or two of me doing so...I also noticed there is a pic of the top of the case that shows how far I shifted the cooler over. I think it may vary depending on what is directly at the top of your mobo. In my build, the bottom of the fans sit just a hair above the top motherboard screw locations. I had no real issue with fitting the one in the bottom though. It does block my USB 3 port for the front of the case (for the normal bulky connector that is standard on every case), but a low profile 90 degree extension cable took care of that.

It is strange, when I was researching this case, I actually went with the Deepcool for Jonsbo's own press media said it was compatible...now it seems they only say a 240mm can be installed on the bottom if your motherboard and PCIe needs won't be blocked.

I hope this helps! All in all, I didn't mind the mods (as they are well within my skill set), and I am still happy with the case to this day. In fact, even with all the new cases that have come out since, I still like the look and quality of the UMX4 over and above other offerings. I hope your build goes well and hopefully you will post it here so we can check it out!

[comment deleted]
  • 38 months ago
  • 1 point

Looking at the benchmarks, chances are it will work pretty well, though my processors only turbo up to ~3.1GHz. The 1070 will hold its own, but with a cpu intensive title, you may not get the frames one would hope...also my mobo does not support SLI or Crossfire...And at ~$2800 you could definitely build a cheaper system that will see better performance for gaming.