Description

EDIT

My Samsung Spinpoint F2 EG (HD103SI) 1TB Internal Hard Drive died and my Western Digital Caviar Green (WD10EARS) 1TB Internal Hard Drive S.M.A.R.T. status gave me a little warning, so I decided to replace these two old HDDs by two brand new WD Black 1TB (WD1003FZEX). I well know that the WD1003FZEX are practically identical to the WD10EZEX (7200 RPM 1TB Blue), but I absolutely wanted the 5 years warranty for peace of mind.

Malefix at a glance

Let me introduce you Malefix, my brand new virtualization rig. I will mainly use this computer to create, design, edit, document, code, compile, test, debug, encode, decode and optimize some personal “digital creations”, mainly web sites, mobile applications, desktop applications, digital photos, 2D vector graphics, 3D models, 3D animations and digital videos.

Essentially, as a virtualization rig, this build will allow me to run virtual servers, virtual desktop computers and virtual mobile devices.

  • I will use my virtual servers to run server softwares which will mainly host my databases, web applications and web sites.

  • I will use my virtual desktop computers and my virtual mobile devices to run various operating systems and lots of different web browsers.

Then, I will be able to test my web sites, mobile applications and desktop applications on all these platforms without having several computers on my desk and constantly switching between them.

Also, as previously alluded, I will use this build as a general purpose workstation to create and edit spreadsheets, documents, slide shows, network diagrams, flow charts, databases diagrams, software design diagrams and various 2D/3D artworks.

I built Malefix on December 12th 2015. So far so good: it is quiet, the processor is very fast, the video card rocks and the temperatures always stay low, even on very heavy loads.

My needs - What will I run on this rig? (Details)

I mainly designed and built this computer to run the following kinds of virtual machines (within “type 2” hypervisors):

  • Virtual servers: server operating systems, databases server softwares, web server softwares, web application server softwares, DNS server softwares, source code management server softwares, continuous integration server softwares...

  • Virtual desktop computers: desktop operating systems, web browsers, web page debuggers, desktop application debuggers...

  • Virtual mobile devices: smartphone and tablet operating systems, mobile application debuggers, more web browsers, more web page debuggers...

I also designed and built this computer to run the following softwares directly on its “bare metal” operating system:

  • “Type 2” hypervisors (of course)

  • Integrated development environments (source code editors, compilers, debuggers, source code analyzers and other programmer tools)

  • Web browsers and web page debuggers

  • Photo editors and 2D/3D drawing/modeling/animation/rendering softwares

  • Video editors and video encoding softwares

  • Productivity softwares, technical drawing softwares, databases design softwares

  • Databases client softwares

My priorities

While designing this rig, my priorities were the following:

  • I wanted the best overall performances possible (optimized for computer virtualization, of course).

  • I wanted the lowest noise level possible (reasonably, of course).

  • I wanted the lowest temperatures possible (reasonably, of course).

  • I wanted the best performances per watt possible (reasonably, of course).

  • I wanted a small form factor computer case (MicroATX).

  • I wanted high quality parts (for reliability, durability and performances reasons).

My dream (What would I buy if I had an unlimited budget and unlimited space on my desk?)

I would loved to buy a dual LGA 2011-3 C612 Supermicro motherboard, two Xeon E5-2687W V3, 512GB or even more DDR4 ECC RAM, lots of SSDs (to build a super fast RAID-10 array), four GeForce GTX 980 Ti, four 24 inches LCD monitors, lots of fast high capacity external HDDs, an uninterruptible power supply...

Alas, my budget is not unlimited and my desk space is very small, so I did my best to build a fast and reliable “budget” MicroATX virtualization rig.

My choices

To build this computer, I chose to buy my parts exclusively from Canadian sellers and I limited my budget to 1500 Canadian Dollars (including taxes, shipping fees and any other fees). Additionally, as a starting point, I chose to reuse the following parts (from my old computers, my old laptops and my old external drives):

  • 2 perfectly identical Dell 19 inches 1280x1024 75Hz LCD monitors (E198FP)

  • 1 OCZ Vertex 3 240GB SSD (VTX3-25SAT3-240G)

  • 2 Seagate Momentus 500GB 7200RPM HDDs (ST9500420AS)

  • 1 Samsung Spinpoint 1000GB 5400RPM HDD (HD103SI)

  • 1 Western Digital Caviar Green 1000GB 5400RPM HDD (WD10EARS)

  • 1 USB keyboard

  • 1 USB optical mouse

My processor

I bought an Intel Xeon E3-1231 V3 because:

  • I always dreamed to own a Xeon based computer.

  • As mentioned above, I would loved to buy two Xeon E5 processors (and, in fact, my brain and my heart would melt if I could buy a pair of Xeon E7), but even the cheapest single Xeon E5 build (which would required, at least, an X99 motherboard and DDR4 RAM sticks) was way too expensive for my budget.

  • A Core i7 would be an interesting option, but I really wanted a Xeon. (Yes, I’m crazy like that...)

  • Waiting for Skylake Xeon E3 processors (E3-12xx V5) was not an option; I wanted my new computer for the Christmas 2015 holiday. Anyway, 32GB of DDR4 RAM was way too expensive for my budget.

  • I also looked at the Broadwell Xeon E3 processors (E3-12xx V4) and Broadwell Xeon D processors (D-15xx) specifications, benchmarks and pricing, but I found nowhere (in Canada) to buy one of them at a reasonable price. So, I concluded that an Haswell Refresh Xeon (E3-12xx V3) would be more appropriate for me.

  • Also, even if I’m not a gamer, I need more graphics processing power than an Intel integrated graphics processor (IGP) can deliver. (Running many virtual machines simultaneously on a single computer can, sometime, become very demanding for that computer, and the pressure is rarely only on the CPU. In fact, every part must perform well: CPU, RAM, GPU, VRAM, storage units, network...) So, I chose to buy a dedicated video card, and then, I was not willing to pay for an IGP.

  • There are 4 “igpless” Haswell Refresh Xeon E3 processors and all of them are supported by the motherboard I chose.

  • These 4 processors are the Xeon E3-1231 V3, the Xeon E3-1241 V3, the Xeon E3-1271 V3 and the Xeon E3-1281 V3.

  • The Xeon E3-1271 V3 and the Xeon E3-1281 V3 were insanely expensive, so the final decision was between the Xeon E3-1231 V3 and the Xeon E3-1241 V3...

  • At buying time, I chose the Xeon E3-1231 V3 because the Xeon E3-1241 V3 was 100 Dollars more for nothing more than a tiny bonus of 100MHz.

My CPU cooler

I bought a Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO because:

  • As far as I know, this CPU cooler is the best balance between price, efficiency and quietness.

  • I considered buying a Noctua NH-U12S because I was a bit worry about RAM clearance, but after gathering more information, I concluded that “normal” RAM sticks would have enough space under the Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO.

  • I also considered simply using the Intel stock CPU cooler, but I was very worry about its noise level and its real efficiency at full load for long time periods.

My motherboard

I bought a Gigabyte H97M-D3H because:

  • I wanted an H97 motherboard: in my opinion, H97 is the best chipset for non-overclocked LGA 1150 systems.

  • Gigabyte’s motherboards have always been very well rated.

  • That particular motherboard was their cheapest H97 motherboard featuring everything I needed: an LGA 1150 socket, Intel VT-x support, 6 SATA III connectors, 4 DDR3 slots (supporting up to 32GB of RAM), Intel XMP support, a PCI Express 3.0 x16 slot at 16x and a Gigabit RJ-45 network interface.

  • Additionally, that motherboard also features Intel VT-d support, an HDMI output, a VGA outputs, a second PCI Express slot (a PCI Express 2.0 x16 slot at 4x) and 6 USB ports on its back panel (4 USB 3.0 and 2 USB 2.0).

My RAM sticks

I bought two kits of two G.Skill Ares 8GB (1600MHz/CL9/DDR3) RAM sticks for a total of 32GB because:

  • I designed this build to be able to run regularly 8 virtual machines at the same time (and sometime even more), so I wanted as much memory as possible and I wanted it to be as fast as possible (reasonably, of course).

  • I wanted DDR3 RAM (at buying time, DDR4 RAM was way too expensive).

  • I wanted 1600MHz RAM (it’s the fastest memory clock speed that my Gigabyte H97M-D3H supports). Obviously, faster clock speed at similar price would have been fine too.

  • I wanted CL9/1600MHz capable RAM or even lower latency RAM modules.

  • I wanted 32GB; it’s a virtualization rig after all.

  • I wanted high quality RAM modules.

  • Additionally, I wanted RAM modules that are small enough to fit under my Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO CPU cooler.

  • I simply bought the lowest priced memory kit matching these specifications.

My video card

I bought an EVGA GeForce GTX 750 Ti 2GB FTW ACX because:

  • Even if a pair of GeForce GTX 980 Ti or a pair Radeon R9 390X would be welcome, I had a budget to respect, so I searched for a fast, well rated, reliable and affordable dedicated video card.

  • I wanted GDDR5 VRAM.

  • I wanted at least 2GB of VRAM.

  • EVGA video cards are usually well rated.

  • GeForce GTX 750 Ti are well known “bang for the bucks” video cards.

  • I didn’t care about SLI (anyway, motherboard doesn’t support SLI).

  • The “For The Win” Edition (FTW) is the fastest GeForce GTX 750 Ti built by EVGA.

  • I got my EVGA GeForce GTX 750 Ti 2GB FTW ACX for a very good price. (In fact, at buying time, it was even cheaper than any other GTX 750 Ti listed on PCPartPicker Canada. A true theft... :-D)

My storage units

For my virtual machines’ storage, I chose to reuse 4 of my old HDDs because:

  • They are all still in very good conditions.

  • I know, my 5400RPM HDDs are not very fast, but don’t worry for me, in a 4 drives RAID-0 array, they are now fast enough for my needs.

  • I preferred to spend my money on other parts.

  • I did my homeworks and I well know about pros and cons of RAID-0. (I know that it will only speed up sequential I/O, I know that if one drive fails, my entire array will fail and I know that the more hard drives I use, the more chance there is for one of them fails.) So, of course, I will backup my RAID-0 array regularly and, of course, I have a spare drive.

My system drive

For the “bare metal” operating system’s drive, I chose to reuse my old SSD (an OCZ Vertex 3 240GB) because:

  • It is still in very good condition.

  • Its capacity is more than sufficient for an operating system.

  • It is fast as hell. (I know, nowadays, there are even faster SSDs, but don’t doubt about it, my OCZ is fast enough...)

  • I preferred to spend my money on other parts.

  • I will also backup this drive regularly.

My backup device

Talking about backups... For my backups, I bought a Seagate Expansion 4TB USB 3.0 external HDD because:

  • I wanted an high quality external HDD (Seagate or Western Digital).

  • I wanted to be able to take full backups of my SSD and all my internal HDDs, so I needed, at least, 4TB of external storage.

  • I simply bought the cheapest 4TB USB 3.0 external HDD made by Seagate or Western Digital.

My case

I bought an Antec ISK 600M MicroATX case because:

  • That case offers enough room for all my drives.

  • It fits perfectly on my small desk.

  • It’s completely black (except a blue light under its front panel).

  • I got it for a good price.

My power supply

I bought a SeaSonic SSR-650RM power supply because:

  • With the help of a power supply calculator, I calculated the maximum power load my system would needs (very worst case scenario): 388W (http://outervision.com/b/69u59y). Then, any good quality 450W (or more) power supply would be fine for this rig. So, a 80+ Gold 650W power supply would be absolutely perfect.

  • That particular power supply fully complies with 80+ Gold certification and it have been rated 9.8/10 by jonnyGURU. (http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&file=print&reid=348)

  • I got it for a good price.

I bought a Coboc DisplayPort to VGA active converter because:

  • I wanted to reuse my two analog LCD monitors.

  • The only input interface on these LCD monitors is VGA.

  • The video card I chose offers one DVI-I output, one HDMI output and one DisplayPort output.

  • The video card I chose comes with a passive DVI-I to VGA converter, it’s OK for my first monitor, but I needed something else for my second monitor.

  • I simply bought the cheapest, but well rated, HDMI to VGA or DisplayPort to VGA active converter.

I bought 4 nGear 18 inches SATA cables because:

  • I needed one SATA cable for each of my four old HDDs.

  • I already bought one of these cables when I bought my SSD (few years ago) and it still works perfectly.

  • I got them for a good price.

About the building process

It was not my first build ever, but it was my first build since 2005. Between 1995 and 2005, I built about a dozen custom computers, and then I began to buy laptops... But this year, I wanted a brand new computer for Christmas, so I designed and built it myself! :-D

I had a hard time with cable management. This case is not designed at all to facilitate any cable management. I ended up using foil tape (heat pipe tape) to stick some cables on the floor of the case under the motherboard. Thanks to SeaSonic, most of the power cables are flat and can be split into individual little cables; it helped me a lot. I know that there are still plenty visible cables in there, but none of them can touch a fan, touch a hot component or really block the airflow. I really did my best.

I also had a hard time with my DVD±RW drive. It didn’t came with any screw. And, because of the Murphy’s law, the tiny screws Antec provides with the ISK 600M were a bit too long for that particular DVD±RW drive, so the screws were locking the drawer. I ended up using foil tape to stick my DVD±RW drive on my case, and then, of course, I had a hard time to line up my DVD±RW drive’s faceplate with my case front panel.

Fortunately, the rest of the building process were a piece of cake. (I assembled most of the parts outside of the case.)

My comments on all these parts

Now that I fully tested every single part of this build. I will give you my opinion and comments on each of them.

More about that processor

That Intel Xeon E3-1231 V3 processor is furiously fast!!! (But, what would we expect from a Xeon E3?) I added some benchmarks’ results at the end of this post.

More about that CPU cooler

I ran Prime95 for a “small FFTs” test of 6 hours; my CPU temperature never rose higher than 62°C and the Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO fan never spun faster than 1020RPM.

More about that MicroATX computer case

That case (Antec ISK 600M) is very small for my big hands so I have had to assemble a lot of parts outside of it, but now that everything is in place, there’s enough room for every parts and the airflow is just fine. I also had some trouble with cable management.

Good point for that case: its two built-in fans really rock; when I ran Prime95 for a “small FFTs” test of 6 hours, the system temperature never rose over 32°C and none of these two case fans had to spun faster than 600RPM. (Of course, the system stayed dead silent.)

If you plan to buy that case, don’t worry about the built-in fans, the are very good.

More about that motherboard

So far so good. I am very pleased with that board: 4 DDR3 slots, 32GB support, XMP support, LGA 1150, H97 chipset, 6 SATA III, effective fan control, 4 USB 3.0, HD sound. Lets see how many years it will last.

More about these RAM sticks

Very good RAM sticks: 1600MHz (via XMP profil 1), CAS 9 (9-9-9-24), stay cool (even on heavy load). Lets see how many years they will last.

More about that video card

Wow! Wow! Wow! Just WOW!!! That GeForce GTX 750 Ti is already factory overclocked, but, thanks to its 2 built-in fans, it was very easy to overclock it a few more. Look at my benchmarks. (Did I mentioned I got it for a ridiculous price?)

Of course, this is not a 980 Ti, but this video card is just perfect for my needs.

More about that SSD

I bought my OCZ Vertex 3 240GB in April 2012 and it works like a charm since then. Nothing else to say...

More about these HDDs

Okay, lets face it, none of these hard drives is really impressive by its self, but in a 4 drives RAID-0 array they are fast enough to store my virtual machines... Lets cross all our fingers hoping none of them will fail in the next 5 years... :-/

More about that power supply

I will not even try to pretend to be able to test a power supply so lets read what OklahomaWolf said about the SeaSonic SSR-650RM: http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&file=print&reid=348

And don’t forget that I probably never really need more than 450 Watts... (http://outervision.com/b/69u59y)

More about that DVD+RW/DVD-RW drive

Maybe one day I will test it... It successfully read my Windows 7 DVD, but I didn’t try to write a DVD yet. (I dare hoping it will works...)

It came without any screw and I had a hard time attaching it to my case.

More about these LCD monitors

I bought them in 2007 and they still work perfectly. Their recommended resolution is 1280x1024x32 at 75Hz. Good enough... The very good thing about them is that they were bought exactly at the same time and they are virtually identical; same size, same resolution, same luminosity, same contrast, same color temperature...

More about that HDMI to VGA converter

I didn’t yet use it for years, but it worked perfectly everytime I used it.

More about that external HDD

This is an external USB 3.0 4TB 5900RPM hard drive. (In fact, it’s a Seagate ST4000DM000 in an USB 3.0 external case.) Nothing else to say... (Except that I very pleased with it.)

More about these speakers

Little and cheap, but rich and clear sound. Just perfect for my needs.

More about these SATA cables

Perfect! (And their colour match perfectly with my RAM sticks... I know it doesn’t matters in an opaque black case, but when the case is open, this is very nice.)

More about that slimSATA to SATA cable

It works... What else to say?

Benchmarks’ results

  • I installed Windows 7 Professional x64 SP1 on it (on my SSD).

  • I created a Windows software RAID-0 array of 2TB using 500GB on each of my HDDs.

  • I created a second RAID-0 array of 1TB using 500GB at the end of each of my 1TB HDDs.

  • I overclocked my video card’s core clock by 67MHz. So, in theory, the new base clock should be 1189MHz + 67Mhz = 1256MHz and the turbo clock should be 1268MHz + 67MHz = 1335MHz, but GPU-Z sensors reports 1400MHz and Unigine benchmarks even report 1530MHz. I really don’t understand why... (Maybe someone could explain me?)

  • I overclocked my video card’s memory clock by 300MHz. So, now, its clocked at 2700MHz + 300MHz = 3000MHz. (GPU-Z and Unigine benchmarks agree with that. At least...)

Then I ran the following benchmarks and I get the following results:

. . .
3D Mark 01 1024x768x32 74692 (Default settings + Default resolution)
1280x1024x32 71813 (Default settings + 1280x1024 resolution)
-
3D Mark 03 Global 84700
CPU 4845
Link http://www.3dmark.com/3dm03/6526503
-
3D Mark 05 Global 38733
CPU 38902
Link http://www.3dmark.com/3dm05/5535734
-
3D Mark 06 Global 29087
SM2.0 Score 12000
HDR/SM3.0 Score 13994
CPU Score 7300
Link http://www.3dmark.com/3dm06/17858300
-
3D Mark Vantage Global P25135
Graphics Score 24730
CPU Score 26432
Link http://www.3dmark.com/3dmv/5408603
-
3D Mark Link http://www.3dmark.com/3dm/10628249
-
Fire Strike 1.1
Global 4782
Graphics Score 5232
Physics Score 10283
Combined Score 1954
-
Sky Diver 1.0
Global 16110
Graphics Score 17905
Physics Score 9992
Combined Score 19330
-
Cloud Gate 1.1
Global 20285
Graphics Score 39265
Physics Score 7536
-
Ice Storm 1.2
Global 141574
Graphics Score 294678
Physics Score 50231
-
Geekbench 3 Single-Core Score 3650
Multi-Core Score 13220
Link http://browser.primatelabs.com/geekbench3/5174794
-
Cinebench R15 Open GL 125.53 fps
Ref. Match 99.62 %
CPU (Multi Core) 715 cb
CPU (Single Core) 153 cb
MP Ratio 4.67 x
-
UserBenchMark Link http://www.userbenchmark.com/UserRun/735852
Desktop 82% (Aircraft carrier)
Gaming 39% (Jet ski)
Workstation 54% (Yacht)
Processor 87.7%
Graphics 32.2%
Boot Drive 78.5%
-
Passmark 8 Global 5145
CPU 10276
2D 1023
3D 4501
Mem 2830
SSD 4625
Link http://www.passmark.com/baselines/V8/display.php?id=56253040421
-
PCMark 8 PCMark 8 Work Accelerated 2.0 5621
Link http://www.3dmark.com/pcm8/10614661
-
PCMark 8 Work Conventional 2.0 3816
Link http://www.3dmark.com/pcm8/10614932
-
PCMark 8 Home Accelerated 3.0 5068
Link http://www.3dmark.com/pcm8/10600148
-
PCMark 8 Home Conventional 3.0 4336
Link http://www.3dmark.com/pcm8/10600417
-
PCMark 8 Creative Accelerated 3.0 4627
Link http://www.3dmark.com/pcm8/10601058
-
PCMark 8 Creative Conventional 3.0 3219
Link http://www.3dmark.com/pcm8/10614406
-
Unigine Valley Benchmark 1.0 - Basic
FPS 89.2
Score 3731
Min FPS 24.6
Max FPS 176.3
-
Settings
Render Direct3D9
Mode 1280x720 2xAA windowed
Preset Basic
-
Valley Benchmark 1.0 - Extreme (1280x1024)
FPS 37.5
Score 1570
Min FPS 18.9
Max FPS 68.6
-
Settings
Render Direct3D11
Mode 1280x1024 8xAA fullscreen
Preset Custom
Quality Ultra
-
Heaven Benchmark 4.0 - Basic
FPS 109.7
Score 2764
Min FPS 9.3
Max FPS 187.8
-
Settings
Render Direct3D9
Mode 1280x720 2xAA windowed
Preset Basic
-
Heaven Benchmark 4.0 - Extreme (1280x1024)
FPS 32.8
Score 827
Min FPS 19.5
Max FPS 70.4
-
Settings
Render Direct3D11
Mode 1280x1024 8xAA fullscreen
Preset Custom
Quality Ultra
Tessellation Extreme
-
CPU-Z Link http://valid.x86.fr/mdst48
-
GPU-Z Link http://www.techpowerup.com/gpuz/details.php?id=d6n52
-
Super Pi 32M Link http://www.superpi.net/Scores/25578/View

Part Reviews

CPU

That Intel Xeon E3-1231 V3 processor is furiously fast!!! (But, what would we expect from a Xeon E3?)

CPU Cooler

I ran Prime95 for a “small FFTs” test of 6 hours; my CPU temperature never rose higher than 62°C and the Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO fan never spun faster than 1020RPM.

Motherboard

So far so good. I am very pleased with that board: 4 DDR3 slots, 32GB support, XMP support, LGA 1150, H97 chipset, 6 SATA III, effective fan control, 4 USB 3.0, HD sound. Lets see how many years it will last.

Excellent budget mainboard!!!

Memory

Very good RAM sticks: 1600MHz (via XMP profil 1), CAS 9 (9-9-9-24), stay cool (even on heavy load). Lets see how many years they will last.

Video Card

Wow! Wow! Wow! Just WOW!!! That GeForce GTX 750 Ti is already factory overclocked, but, thanks to its 2 built-in fans, it was very easy to overclock it a few more. :-D

Case

That case (Antec ISK 600M) is very small for my big hands so I have had to assemble a lot of parts outside of it, but now that everything is in place, there’s enough room for every parts and the airflow is just fine. I also had some trouble with cable management.

Good point for that case: its two built-in fans really rock; when I ran Prime95 for a “small FFTs” test of 6 hours, the system temperature never rose over 32°C and none of these two case fans had to spun faster than 600RPM. (Of course, the system stayed dead silent.)

If you plan to buy that case, don’t worry about the built-in fans, the are very good.

Power Supply

I will not even try to pretend to be able to test a power supply so lets read what OklahomaWolf said about the SeaSonic SSR-650RM: http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&file=print&reid=348

Optical Drive

It came without any screw and I had a hard time attaching it to my case. (But it works...)

If you are inventive, you too, you will find a way to attach it to your case... (Personally, I used foil tape... :-/)

External Storage

This is an external USB 3.0 4TB 5900RPM hard drive. (In fact, it’s a Seagate ST4000DM000 in an USB 3.0 external case.) Nothing else to say... (Except that I very pleased with it.)

Comments

  • 45 months ago
  • 4 points
I read your description and it was very interesting. You explained yourself very well for your choice of parts, reasoning and reusing your solid state drive, hard drives, and monitors. I think you did an excellent job for your intended build and for aiming on what you needed for your budget. You made a great workstation, it looks good and I'm certain you are very pleased and excited to have this brand new PC onto to your lovely desk. Enjoy it and you have my one.
  • 45 months ago
  • 2 points

cout << "That thing looks great. Cable management is clean for what you had to work with, and thanks for the pictures!\n";

  • 45 months ago
  • 2 points

Wow, plenty of detail! Nice pics, too. +1

  • 45 months ago
  • 2 points

Goo description and that pc looks like it can do alot I think gtx 750ti to can do very good job I now there are other GPU out there but( that GPU could play all the games I play in ultra)a good job on making that pc and it looks cool and a pc with DVD/CD drive because I don't call them obsolete at all and none people I know do to that optical drive will do a good job wen you burn a disk CD are safer then DVD at holding your data safe in these new optical drive. DON'T COMMENT ME BACK AND TELL ME ABOUT HOW BAD OPTICAL DRIVES ARE OR CHAT WAR WILL COME!!!!!

  • 45 months ago
  • 2 points

Excellent description, photos and build! Big +1

That Antec case looks amazing.

  • 45 months ago
  • 2 points

These 4 processors are the Xeon E3-1231 V3, the Xeon E3-1241 V3, the Xeon E3-1271 V3 and the Xeon E3-1281 V3. The Xeon E3-1271 V3 and the Xeon E3-1281 V3 were insanely expensive, so the final decision was between the Xeon E3-1231 V3 and the Xeon E3-1241 V3... At buying time, I chose the Xeon E3-1231 V3 because the Xeon E3-1241 V3 was 100 Dollars more for nothing more than a tiny bonus of 100MHz

LMAO this is exactly how I decided to get an E3-1231 V3

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Xeon E3-1231 V3 is simply the best "budget wise" 8 threads processor out there...

  • 45 months ago
  • 2 points

Love a good CAD PC! It would double with great audio production as well.

  • 45 months ago
  • 2 points

I have the same case and for the most part, I think it is great. It is a shame I had order custom dust filters and to make my own spaces for cable grommets with a hole saw. I just ordered some custom acrylic parts for a bolt-on window mod and a front mount for 2x120mm fans and I will post once I am finished.

  • 35 months ago
  • 1 point

description intensifies. nice build tho. although aren't more cores and a slower clock speed better for that sort of stuff

  • 35 months ago
  • 1 point

After using that build for nearly a year, I surely know that the bottleneck isn't the number of cores. With more cores and a slower clock, all I would get is as slower system. That Xeon E3-1231 V3 is just fine.

In fact, the main bottleneck on that system is the access time on my hard drives. I installed Windows on the SSD, so the system boots fast and my applications are very snappy, but when it comes to mixed random read/write on my RAID 0 array, my hard drive's 17~19 ms access time really slow down the system.

For my next build, I will use a very big part of my budget to buy few big SSDs...

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