Workstation PC build advice

funkyspider

Well-known Member
Hi.
Looking to build a desktop, I used to build and tinker regularly, but haven't for years. Budget around £1500, but can go higher if a small increase would be worth the performance gain.

I'm a software dev working mainly in visual studio, often crunching large datasets along with the usual office applications and various other design/dev applications. Currently using a Dell xps 9700 17" laptop. Not needed for gaming - everything seems to be a mad multicoloured LED gaming pc these days.

First question has to be AMD or Intel. The Intel i7 12700K looks a decent spec for the price. A decent motherboard, built in WiFi useful, but I can always add it. I'll probably add 64gb memory.

Do I need a GPU? I use 3 monitors. 2 are Dell displayport with chaining between them currently being driven by 1 mini displayport from the dell laptop, the other is hdmi. Can an i7 12700K drive 3 monitors from onboard graphics if i get a motherboard with 1 displayport, 1 hdmi.

Air cooled or water. I'll be sat next to it all day so the quieter the better. Never used water cooling before. I assume they aren't likely to spring a leak?

Any advice would be great. There's so many options now, especially with motherboards it's a bit overwhelming.
 

JollyJamma

Active Member
I'll put a build together for you when i have a free moment but read this review in the mean time.


The Core i7-12700K offers the lion's share of the Core i9-12900K's performance, but at a much more forgiving price point. That goes a long way to boosting the value proposition, giving the chip a five-to-two lead in this Core i7-12700K vs Ryzen 7 5800X and Ryzen 9 5900X battle.

In performance testing, the $409 Core i7-12700K beat the ~$390 Ryzen 7 5800X convincingly in just about every category, with 12% faster gaming, 17% faster performance in single-threaded work, and 40% more performance in multi-threaded applications. Given the Core i7-12700K's performance lead, it more than makes up for the roughly equivalent platform pricing with the 5800X.
 

funkyspider

Well-known Member
Thanks.

Looks like the i7 12700K would be a good choice at the price point. The i9 doesn't look like it's worth the extra?

Not worth looking at DDR5 yet.
I assume DDR4 is pretty much the same from all the big names, LEDs not needed.

Probably worth going for a pair of m2 Gen4 NVME. 1tb for boot and software, a 512 will be sufficient for source code repositories and working data. I have a backup NAS.

I like the look of the Lian Li mesh case, looks to have good airflow.

The Noctua D15 cooler gets decent reviews, looks huge though. Would I be better with something like Arctic liquid 2 280?
 

JollyJamma

Active Member
There you are. Under budget.

I have added the 360mm AIO from Arctic as its on special at the moment and really good at silent cooling.

If I had to choose between the D15 air cooler or water cooling, I'd go water as I could install it into an ITX rig of mine. Your use case may vary.

None of the motherboards I looked at supported 3 monitors so I added a GPU in there.

RAM is tricky as you run into issues trying to get seperate 32gig kits to run together nicely. It's fairly easy to get 2 by 16gig kits to run together fine but with 4 by 16gig DIMMS, it's a lot of pressure on the CPU controller and not all motherboards have been tested in that config.

You're far better off getting a paired and tested 64gig kit and spending the money. DDR5 is not good value - cheapest 64gig kit I found was £450.

My basket at OcUK:

Total: £1,415.77 (includes delivery: £15.90)​

 

JollyJamma

Active Member
Double check your RAM usage because if you can get away with 32gigs, you should strongly consider DDR5.

Edit: you could also get 32gigs of DDR5 RAM and then add an Intel Optane drive. it basically acts like RAM between the system and other drives.

 
Personally I would go for the DDR4 64GB rather than 32GB DDR5. Depends on your usage but if you need 64GB on day one DDR4 all the way. But it does depend on how often you will be going over 32GB I suppose, or if your buying 64gb for the futureproofing. For my use cases DDR5 is a bust at the moment , it v expensive for small returns. I would spend the extra cost for the memory on something giving me returns now - like a better CPU or just get DDR4
 

JollyJamma

Active Member
Personally I would go for the DDR4 64GB rather than 32GB DDR5. Depends on your usage but if you need 64GB on day one DDR4 all the way. But it does depend on how often you will be going over 32GB I suppose, or if your buying 64gb for the futureproofing. For my use cases DDR5 is a bust at the moment , it v expensive for small returns. I would spend the extra cost for the memory on something giving me returns now - like a better CPU or just get DDR4
I agree with this since how expensive DDR5 is with almost no performance benefit.

That being said, if OP goes for DDR5 now, it may give him/her options in the future with larger and faster DIMMS.

Since he’s spending £230 now on 64gigs of DDR4, that’s basically the same as 32gigs DDR5.

Going forward, having 128 or even 256 gigs of DDR5 isn’t going to be rare and might be advantageous in the future.
 

funkyspider

Well-known Member
Thanks for all the help. I'll get my order in tomorrow.
I'll go with a 64gb DDR4 kit.
I hadn't looked at the Palit card, the ones I looked at were far more expensive.
 

JollyJamma

Active Member
Thanks for all the help. I'll get my order in tomorrow.
I'll go with a 64gb DDR4 kit.
I hadn't looked at the Palit card, the ones I looked at were far more expensive.
Excellent!!! Enjoy. Also make sure you get the LGA1700 adapter plate if that cooler doesn’t come with one.

Edit : it does.
 

JollyJamma

Active Member
When someone intends to create a computer, he or she usually already possesses some components, primarily a power source and a hard disk.
Uh, not necessarily. What if you’ve used your works computer for the past 5+ years and the last computer you built came with ram measured in Kb?

People use their work computer for daily stuff like paying bills and game on a console all the time.
 
Yeah that's a really odd assumption to make - what if its there first PC after using laptops or tablets or there previous one is 14 years old with no re-usable parts Or its just there first PC and they fancy the building them selves we all start somewhere.
 

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