Build Advice Looking for help to build out workstation for blender and video editing

Mar 11, 2020
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Sadly, my beefy pc from 9 years ago died thanks to an overloaded electrical circuit at my new location.

I'm having a dedicated line brought in so that should not be an issue going forward. However, I need a new pc and I want an active or on-line ups to prevent this from happening again.

The 'workstation' I want to build will be for video content as well as blender scene creation and rendering on linux (it's about 20-25% faster than on windows).

Here's the rub - I only have about $1400-1600 for the replacement. Can it be done? What would you recommend.

Many thanks!

Old System Specs (don't remember all the specifics, sorry)
  • AMD FX-8350 Black Edition
  • Asus Sabertooth 990FX
  • 32 GB Ram
  • 4 TB (total) HD Space
  • Corsair Water Cooler
  • Dual Nvidia GTX 950 in SLI
 
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puw2

Commendable
Sep 25, 2017
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For a workstation build with such a budget i'd suggest you to look into this build i listed in a PCPartPicker list

b450 tomahawk max will do just fine with 3900X as long as your not planning on overclocking it.
if you are planning on that i'd suggest something like a X470-F , but as you can see that tanks up the price of the build.
 
Do you have any more information on your Corsair Water Cooler? Perhaps we can recycle that, as well as your dual GTX 950's, your HDD and hopefully your case if it can support an ATX-sized motherboard.

This is what I would recommend:
PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 3950X 3.5 GHz 16-Core Processor ($738.89 @ B&H)
Motherboard: Gigabyte X570 AORUS ELITE WIFI ATX AM4 Motherboard ($209.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix 64 GB (2 x 32 GB) DDR4-3600 Memory ($371.99 @ B&H)
Storage: ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro 512 GB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive ($78.95 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Corsair RMx (2018) 650 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply ($14.99 @ Corsair)
Total: $1414.81
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2020-03-11 09:02 EDT-0400


Keep note that the PSU is currently at 15$ on Corsair's website. I don't know if this is a mistake or an actual sale, but I would recommend grabbing that ASAP before the promo ends or the mistake was fixed.

I also added an SSD for you to install Windows and your programs on. I think you will appreciate how fast and snappy everything will feel like.

With this price, it gives you a 200$ flexibility in case you will need a new case or a new cooler if it's not compatible with AM4. Or save 200$ completely if everything works=

Let me know your thoughts.
 
For a workstation build with such a budget i'd suggest you to look into this build i listed in a PCPartPicker list

b450 tomahawk max will do just fine with 3900X as long as your not planning on overclocking it.
if you are planning on that i'd suggest something like a X470-F , but as you can see that tanks up the price of the build.
I would definitely recommend an X470 at least since he's running SLI and B450 boards do not support dual SLI GPUs.
 
Mar 11, 2020
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PS - Sorry for the book, but thanks a ton for your replies and suggestions!

Do you have any more information on your Corsair Water Cooler? Perhaps we can recycle that, as well as your dual GTX 950's, your HDD and hopefully your case if it can support an ATX-sized motherboard.
The Corsair Water Cooler is definitely dead. One of the ports on the water block is no longer providing enough power to run a 240mm fan and the system will start, but very shortly afterwards, shutdown due to thermal overheating.

>> should I go for another water cooler, or use something like a Noctura NH-D-15, or even the Dark Rock Pro 4 that puw2 posted above? For me, Quiet is more important than absolute lowest temp.

The hard drives can definitely be reused, however I'm very much looking forward to using the new M.2 or NVMe drives.

Regarding the case, yes, it will definitely handle and ATX motherboard and have plenty of room for all the goodies. My only concern is with the USB 3 ports on the front panel, I think they've seen too much wear and tear as devices plugged into one of the ports would need to be seated just right to be recognized. I also like the cable management of the new cases better, but for now I may need to stick with what I have.

Note: I would buy a new front panel, but the case doesn't seem to have any markings to indicate a manufacturer, just a generic barcode. I think it's an old Lian Li Case, but I'm not sure.

I still have the Cooler Master Silent Pro Gold 1200W power supply as well, BUT I have no way of knowing if that has been damaged by the frequent and sudden power drops; it might read ok to power on, but will it perform under a load... I'm reluctant to use it.

Also, I have 5 fans to use; two of which are Noctura NF-P12 redux 1700 PWM fans. The others are a mix of Corsair radiator fans and standard Cooler Master fans.

>> For the CPU, is the $320 difference in price between the 3900 and 3950 worth it for an additional 4 cores? I dunno, but I suppose it's like having an additional quad core cpu added to the system, so I'll have to give that some thought.

note that the PSU is currently at 15$ on Corsair's website. I don't know if this is a mistake or an actual sale, but I would recommend grabbing that ASAP before the promo ends or the mistake was fixed.
That would have been a sweet deal, unfortunately, it appears I've already missed it - likely a quickly spotted error on the website.

For a workstation build with such a budget i'd suggest you to look into this build i listed in a PCPartPicker list

b450 tomahawk max will do just fine with 3900X as long as your not planning on overclocking it.
if you are planning on that i'd suggest something like a X470-F , but as you can see that tanks up the price of the build.
I probably won't do any overclocking, as it seems the temps cpu temps rise pretty dramatically if that is done, so stock would be fine, however the option of using cards in SLI is of great interest - even if I cant afford to do that with properly powerful cards right now.

>> regarding the 950's in SLI - can I still use those in either of the system you guys posted without bottlenecking the performance?

... on a slightly seperate note, is there a good way to test the old sticks of ram without a working system to plug them into? I would like to sell some of the old parts if I can.

Again, many thanks for the replies and advice!
 
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PS - Sorry for the book, but thanks a ton for your replies and suggestions!



The Corsair Water Cooler is definitely dead. One of the ports on the water block is no longer providing enough power to run a 240mm fan and the system will start, but very shortly afterwards, shutdown due to thermal overheating.

>> should I go for another water cooler, or use something like a Noctura NH-D-15, or even the Dark Rock Pro 4 that puw2 posted above? For me, Quiet is more important than absolute lowest temp.

The hard drives can definitely be reused, however I'm very much looking forward to using the new M.2 or NVMe drives.

Regarding the case, yes, it will definitely handle and ATX motherboard and have plenty of room for all the goodies. My only concern is with the USB 3 ports on the front panel, I think they've seen too much wear and tear as devices plugged into one of the ports would need to be seated just right to be recognized. I also like the cable management of the new cases better, but for now I may need to stick with what I have.

Note: I would buy a new front panel, but the case doesn't seem to have any markings to indicate a manufacturer, just a generic barcode. I think it's an old Lian Li Case, but I'm not sure.

I still have the Cooler Master Silent Pro Gold 1200W power supply as well, BUT I have no way of knowing if that has been damaged by the frequent and sudden power drops; it might read ok to power on, but will it perform under a load... I'm reluctant to use it.

Also, I have 5 fans to use; two of which are Noctura NF-P12 redux 1700 PWM fans. The others are a mix of Corsair radiator fans and standard Cooler Master fans.

>> For the CPU, is the $320 difference in price between the 3900 and 3950 worth it for an additional 4 cores? I dunno, but I suppose it's like having an additional quad core cpu added to the system, so I'll have to give that some thought.



That would have been a sweet deal, unfortunately, it appears I've already missed it - likely a quickly spotted error on the website.



I probably won't do any overclocking, as it seems the temps cpu temps rise pretty dramatically if that is done, so stock would be fine, however the option of using cards in SLI is of great interest - even if I cant afford to do that with properly powerful cards right now.

>> regarding the 950's in SLI - can I still use those in either of the system you guys posted without bottlenecking the performance?

... on a slightly seperate note, is there a good way to test the old sticks of ram without a working system to plug them into? I would like to sell some of the old parts if I can.

Again, many thanks for the replies and advice!
When it comes to cooling I usually recommend those two you've mentioned. Unless you're planning on spending well over 100$ on a water cooler. I think a lot of people agree that unless you buy a premium water cooler, air coolers are usually better and quieter.

It's your call on the case. But for your USB 3.0 problem, keep in mind that you can buy an extension hub that connects to the motherboard and sit on your desk, as well as PCIe expansion cards that offer USB-A/C. Anything you need really.

If you're unsure about the PSU, you can never be too safe from a fried 2,000$ PC or a burnt down house.

As for the CPU dilemma. Again, this is what the budget you posted gets you. Up to you to decide whether or not it's worth that much. Or if you'd rather save 300$ and still get a fantastic CPU and spend that on other things like a new case or whatnot.

If you're not playing games, I wouldn't worry about bottlenecking so much. And usually, people are usually worried about their CPU bottlenecking the GPU. You already have them, might as well use them. If you feel like they're underperforming - you can always replace them at a later date. I'm personally more of a "change only what you really need" kinda guy. If dual SLI GTX 950 will make a system run normally, I'll see what that does, and then go from there.

RAM has a lifetime warranty anyways. I think you could just sell them off without issues. Worse case if the buyer finds out they don't work, call support and they'll replace them.

Although it seems you know what you're talking about so I think you got this.
 

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