2017 Office Computer Build: Xeon E5 2650 V3 ES 10-Core
I am always looking for upgrades when it comes to my computer and I figured that sharing my current setup can help others looking to build something fun or functional. I manage a lot of websites, work on designs for all different applications, and I want to focus in on recording audio and video this year more than anything else. Knowing this upfront drove me towards Intel for this build. I have a couple AMD FX series rigs from the past 5-7 years, but I handed them down to my kids as they game and are starting to learn Adobe and other programs. I needed a strong workstation that renders video and audio editing quickly.
Goals: I want to be able to render video and audio lightening fast. I want my computer to be fast at everything and help me crank out content. I also wanted a computer that is on a whole other level for whatever my needs might be that day. Lastly, I wanted something that is somewhat energy efficient.
The Build Parts
I really waited for all of the right deals to come along and went “all out” as a retirement gift and to help me along in my transition to the private freelance and content creation sector. I wanted my tools to be sharp and ready to bring home the money to support my family when and where possible. Like any professional, your tools matter and I also am a huge technology guy.
The following list are the parts I scooped up in Cyber Monday deals and other discounts I found along the way. I purchased them between 2015-2017 as I found the right timing and price. I wasn’t in a hurry and I am glad I took my time because I know I saved a ton of money on this. I know upfront that I could have always gotten a better this or that and I will do even better on the next build. I didn’t want a $5,000 PC or anything silly. I wanted something reasonable and effective. Hopefully, you will agree that I got that right.
- Case: Corsair Obsidian Series 750D Performance Full Tower Case CC-9011035-WW $120
- Motherboard: MSI X99A Raider LGA2011-3 Motherboard $140
- RAM: 2 of Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4 DRAM 3000MHz (PC4-24000) C15 Memory Kit – Black (CMK16GX4M2B3000C15) $179
- CPU: Intel Xeon E5 2650 V3 ES QEYN 2.2Ghz 25MB 10 Core & 20 Threads, LGA2011-3 105W 22nm (eBay) $148
- GPU: 2x AMD 7970 3GB DDR $200
- Cooler: Corsair Hydro Series H110i GT High Performance 280mm Liquid CPU Cooler $99
- Optical: LG Electronics Blu-ray DVD Writer (UH12NS40) $35
- SSD: Samsung 960 EVO Series – 500GB PCIe NVMe – M.2 Internal SSD (MZ-V6E500BW) $250
- Power Supply: Sentey MBP1000-HM Metal Blade Power 1000Watts, 140mm Ball Bearing Fan, 80 Plus Bronze Hybrid Modular Power Supply (MBP1000-HM) $99
- Network Card: Gigabyte AC WiFi card $30
Total Cost: $1,210
These I had already:
- Mechanical Keyboard
- Kensington Mouse
- 40″ Korean 4K monitor $250
These prices go up and down and I tried picking up all the parts on discount if possible. I spend a lot of time during the year preparing for all of the Cyber Monday great deals. I also frequent Reddit BuildaPCSales to find the best deals possible. I want to make sure my money goes as far as possible. The only part I couldn’t wait for a deal on was the Samsung 960, but it was worth every single dollar.
I know some might question my choice of CPU but I had two reasons for choosing it. The first reason is that it was priced perfectly. I was willing to lose $150 if it didn’t work out. The second reason is 20 threads. Who doesn’t want to tell people they have a monster CPU like that? Bragging that it rips through 4K editing or smashes any application? I really wanted to try something different other than the i7 5820k. That was $400 and I decided to take the risk on the Xeon instead. The risk was 100% worth it too because this thing has been going hard for 6+ months and is just a monster.
The downside of the CPU is the 2.2Ghz clock speed, but it hasn’t held me back at all. On paper it sucks, but in use it is still a beast that doesn’t hesitate. I don’t know if it will overclock or not, but I don’t plan on trying it either. Even at a lower clock speed it truly shows up ready for work no matter what the task.
The GPU is my only other weakness, depending on your definition. Of course, I want a GTX 1080 Ti or a Vega, but for now I had to settle with an older card that I had bought second hand from a dude that was upgrading his. I got a pair for $200 so that made me happy and SLI works flawlessly. I know the AMD cards consume more electricity compared to Nvidia. I wanted less consumption but with fiscal restraint so I settled for this…for now.
I was trying to wait for the new Nvidia cards to come out and now that the new AMD cards are on the horizon I am holding on a bit more. I really want to build a new Ryzen system for next year with their new stuff rolling out. It is exciting to see what is on the waiting list. When I make my trip back to the U.S. I am going to order everything I need and send it home.
I would build this again if I had to. The one big thing I would change is the motherboard. It would be awesome had it come with at least one more USB header on the motherboard. I wanted to hook up my internal memory card reader but not at the loss of my front USB ports. You can never have enough of these in my eyes. Even with the shortcomings, this thing is seriously a machine that gets work done. It’s the first computer that can perform at this level in my house. Never a hesitation or wait time for something to open. I can have 100 Chrome tabs open and my computer just keeps flying.
There are parts I want but don’t have at the moment. These are my wishes:
- GPU: GTX 1080 8GB or the new Vega cards rolling out later this year from AMD.
- CPU: Ryzen 7 1800x or Xeon 20 Cores/40 Threads
- Better editing skills and web development skills
Building a PC is not something I take lightly. I research my parts, watch endless reviews and if I really want it, I just grab it. I had 2 AMD FX 83XX PC’s that my kids inherited. They get hot and are good enough, but I wanted something lighter on electricity but powerful to get things done. I have built every computer in this house and deployed one hell of a gigabit network. I will post my network configuration soon for those interested in seeing what a reasonable home network looks like. All the CAT 5e is ran through the house and the Wi-Fi is solid.
If you want a true workstation then this is a good way to go. Yes, I know there are better and maybe cheaper ways to get there, but I feel as though I nailed it. I could be wrong, but I like to think that I rarely am. :)
I love computers and seeing what technology is coming next. I try to build a new rig every 12-24 months if I really think I need it. Most things can be done on an old 2006 Dell XPS if I really had to, but then where is the fun in that? We have plenty of toys to play with and this 20 thread Xeon is the bee’s knees!
What are you running? What do you think of the build? I would love to hear what you think in the comments.