Advice on a build

_Llohr_

Commendable
Jun 11, 2016
3
0
1,510
0
Approximate Purchase Date:: Summer 2016, unless something amazing is due to hit the shelves within a reasonable time frame after this summer.

Budget Range: $500-$2000...ish I grow more flexible on that range in proximity to shiny hardware.

System Usage from Most to Least Important:
Multitasking! I tend to do a lot of things all at once. Rarely are any of them hardware intensive (I do game, but sporadically, and expect things to run smoothly when I do). At any given time, I may be researching something (30 tabs open can be pretty standard when I really get into something), writing something (word, notepad++, Vi, maybe all of the above simultaneously), recording music, working on source code (sometimes locally, sometimes SSH, often both at the same time), playing a game, etc. I'd also like to run a virtual Linux machine, probably constantly on its own monitor.

So... I do a lot of things and I'm always adding more to the list, but I am unlikely to ever decide to do any video editing... if that helps?

Are you buying a monitor: Eventually, but it need not be factored in to the price.



Parts to Upgrade: Everything. I'm leaving my current machine as-is and passing it along to the wife.

Do you need to buy OS: Yes

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Anything generally well-regarded. I've mostly used Newegg and Amazon to-date.

Location: Near Sioux Falls, SD

Parts Preferences: I'd like to use a Xeon and ECC memory. I don't overclock, and I'm all about long-term stability. Anything that might prevent corruption is good in my book.

Overclocking: No, I would prefer to scoff at the very idea as entirely unnecessary.

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe. If the bang:buck ratio is high enough.

Your Monitor Resolution: Currently 3 monitors, one at 1680 by 1050 and two at 1280 by 1024. Would like to upgrade eventually to three @ 1080p.

Additional Comments: I don't care about looks. I like quiet, and I especially like cool. I plan to use this machine both as my primary desktop and as my home server. I'm pretty set on the Xeon/ECC, but which Xeon(s?!) seems to be my primary stumbling block. I'd like to be able to easily upgrade if something new catches my fancy, but I have no idea how to accomplish that. My instincts tell me to go with the latest socket.

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: Living the dream, man. Need a new machine, and I'd like to build one that makes everything else I've used look terrible.
 

ScrewySqrl

Champion
Moderator
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel Xeon E3-1230 V5 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($252.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-X150M-PRO ECC Micro ATX LGA1151 Motherboard ($133.30 @ SuperBiiz)
Memory: Kingston ValueRAM 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR4-2133 Memory ($44.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Kingston ValueRAM 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR4-2133 Memory ($44.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Kingston ValueRAM 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR4-2133 Memory ($44.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Kingston ValueRAM 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR4-2133 Memory ($44.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Sandisk X400 512GB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive ($154.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($62.28 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon R9 380X 4GB NITRO Video Card ($199.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Rosewill SRM-01 MicroATX Mini Tower Case ($27.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Rosewill 550W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply ($89.99 @ Amazon)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10 Home OEM 64-bit ($84.99 @ NCIX US)
Total: $1186.48
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2016-06-11 23:08 EDT-0400
 

_Llohr_

Commendable
Jun 11, 2016
3
0
1,510
0
Thank you, that definitely gave me a good place to start.
Given my history of frustration with boards lacking room for expansion, I found this GIGABYTE GA-X170-EXTREME ECC which, while significantly more expensive, has a few more slots handy.

Finding ECC RAM that would work took a little research. I though at first I could get a pair of 16GB sticks to save a few bucks and leave room for more later--no quad-channel support on these boards anyway--but the only ECC 1rx8 or 2rx8 ram supported that I've found is either 4gb or 8gb, so four 8s it is. 1Rx4/2Rx4 is a lot easier to find, but incompatible. (Interestingly, with 98% of the RAM I looked at, the only way to determine density was to zoom in on the picture and check the stickers.) No matched sets available of the compatible ECC RAM, with luck that won't become a problem.

One thing I noticed, with an m.2 SSD, the PCIe x4 becomes unavailable. I don't know if that would be a problem down the road or not: future additions might include a sound card, and who knows what else. I would still have a PCIe x8 (the use of which brings the x16 down to x8) and 3 PCIe x1s... Anyone

This board also supports both SLI and Crossfire. Any reason I should consider Nvidia over AMD for the GPU in that case? I have used eyefinity for gaming across 3 monitors in the past, with some success, but people are always telling me Nvidia makes better GPUs.

I'm not sure how much the larger mainboard would affect my power requirements, I suppose I'll have to do some research on PSU selection in general.
 

ScrewySqrl

Champion
Moderator
It all depends what you wat to add. Sound cards are pointless nowadays - on board sound is good enough for any use. a 2012 test by Toms suggested no audible difference between AC.97 on-board sound and any sound card then on the market.

The X150 disables 2 SATA ports for the M.2. Both the X150 and X170 boards will also take 'regular' (non-ECC) RAM, which might save you some money, and let you get matched pairs.

If you want to do triple screen gaming, you should consider a higher end GPU than the 380X, which will do single screen gaming just fine. The new NVidia GTX1070 should do 1920x1080 x3 just fine at around $400, while the GTX 1080 will do it without breaking a sweat at around $700. eithe can run on the listed PSU as a sigle card
 

_Llohr_

Commendable
Jun 11, 2016
3
0
1,510
0
Parts are finally starting to come in. Thus far, I have a Fractal Design R5, an EVGA 80+ Platinum 650W (overkill, I know, but it was the same price on sale as the recommended PSU), and the 212 EVO in hand. The Motherboard is en route, along with the HDD, a copy of Windows 10 Pro, and a pair of the M.2 drives you recommended. Oh, and an extra matching case fan. Saw a review linked here that showed a pair up front with the cage removed improved temps while decreasing noise (due to less GPU fan usage)

I also ordered the processor, but that's become problematic. After looking at the prices, I decided I'd shell out a few extra bucks for a 1240, slightly fewer bangs per buck, but more total bangs. Heh. Since the Geforce 1070 looks quite nice, I thought I'd go with that, but either out of stock or outrageously overpriced everywhere. Well, except where it's both of those things. So I decided to go with a 1245 for a few extra bucks and ease troubleshooting while giving me a working PC on the interim without buying another card.

I was on Newegg, I had windows open for both the 1240 and the 1245, and clicked the wrong one. What can I say? I was excited. I didn't realize what I'd done until I looked at the confirmation the following morning. It hadn't shipped yet--having been ordered late Friday night--so I figured I could just cancel it. No such luck. Newegg sold me the part from Antonline despite selling it themselves at the same price. Another thing I didn't notice while checking out. Antonline says it was packaged and sealed the instant I hit confirm and they can't cancel it. I'd have to return it, pay a $45 restocking fee, and take my chances with a "buyer's remorse" fee, judging by reviews for those guys. According to Newegg, it hasn't even hit the "packaging" phase yet. Wow. I'd recommend staying away from those guys. They may fill 98% of their orders to customer satisfaction, but in the event of a screw-up, on your end OR theirs, you will pay for it. I guess I'll come away from this knowing a bit better how to buy from Newegg, I'd never done so before.

Oh well. Guess I'll strip my other PC of a card until the geforce is in stock (or maybe try for an AMD RX 480 when those come out.) Still need to order the memory. Crucial claims they have RAM that fits regardless of the supported RAM list on Gigabyte's website, so perhaps I'll take a chance with that, and start with a matched pair of 16GBs so I have the option to up that later on when I'm in one of those fun "more is better" moods.

I feel like I'm forgetting something important, somehow.
 

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