Need advice: Scientific Workstation under $800 (intel i5 or i7)


Oct 1, 2011
Need advice: Scientific Workstation under $800 (intel i5 or i7)


Approximate Purchase Date: next week around Oct 5th

Budget Range: 700-800 with no rebate

System Usage from Most to Least Important: research

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor, Speakers, OS(Planning to use Win7

Preferred Website(s) for Parts:,

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences: Intel i5,i7 processors

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: No

Additional Comments: The computer will be used for Numerical
computings. And I don't need fancy graphic cards such as Quadro and so
on. The spec I am planning to buy is as bellow. I will be more than
happy if I can have any comments regard with my set up.
Also, I have other questions. Do we need to buy the thermal paste
separately? Do we need to buy the cables separately?


Processor: Intel Core i5-2500K Processor 3.3GHz 6 MB Cache Socket LGA1155

Memory: Patriot Gamer 2 Series Division 2 Edition DDR3 8 GB PC3-10666
1333MHz 9-9-9-24 for Intel P67 Using Core i5 Core i7 Memory Modules

Hard Drive: Samsung Desktop Class Spinpoint F3 1 TB SATA 3.0 Gb-s 16
MB Cache 3.5-Inch Internal Bare-OEM Drives, HD103SJ

Video card: HIS Radeon HD 6790 1 GB GDDR5 Eyefinity DisplayPort DVI
(HDCP) HDMI PCIe X16 2.1 Video Card (H679F1GD)

Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 120mm Sleeve CPU Cooler, RR-B10-212P-G1

Power supply: Corsair Enthusiast Series 650-Watt 80 Plus Bronze
Certified Power Supply Compatible with Intel Core i3, i5, i7 and AMD
platforms - CMPSU-650TXV2

Disk Drive: Liteon iHAS324 24X DVD-RW SATA Optical Disk Drive

Mother Board: Gigabyte Intel Z68 ATX DDR3 2133 LGA 1155 Motherboard

Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 Mid Tower ATX Case (RC-912-KKN1)


The cooler master hsf comes with thermal paste so you should be ok with it.

If your applications are heavily threaded you might get a benefit from having i7 2600k instead, and with no graphics card it would even fit your budget

Unless you intend to do gaming with the PC you most likely don't need a GPU at all.
The onboard graphics from the i5 or i7 will be quite sufficient to run things such as 1080p video if needed.

So basically what you should change is the memory to: Corsair/Gskill/Kingston/Mushkin 2x4GB 1.5V CAS9 1600Mhz ~$50-60 so not a big investment.

The PSU is solid, but check for sales on units from Antec and PC power & cooling as well, might get a nicer price.
500-650W will for sure be enough. Most likely you could even do with less especially if you don't get a video card.

Overall though you have a pretty solid build there.
I don't really know much about gpu acceleration in scientific computing but do you know if the programs you use are gpu accelerated? I know nvidia makes the tesla series for this stuff but any gpu should be able to help and gpus can greatly increase computational power with more efficiency than a cpu. If not then do as rvilkman said, drop the gpu and upgrade to the i7. In either case you don't need 650w.

Everything you need to build the pc will come with the parts, except for a screwdriver.