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