Description

The purpose of this build is to:

  • Dual HDD boot Linux & Windows
  • Be capable to run multiple Virtual Machines simultaneously
  • Code in Virtual Reality
  • occasionally game

  • & be semi-quite, expandable & staying relevant for at least couple of years.

The build is made with a budget in mind and every inch of the price/performance ratio has been carefully checked, in order to get the true best "Bang for the buck" as of 19.2.2017 in Germany.

In the comments below, I will try to showcase the key factors leading to my choice, in order to help you guys with research that would otherwise, combined, cost you days of research — Because, one thing is to find out a hardware specifics, other is to really confirm it and see it through multiple angles of test to find the weak and strong spots, that manufacturers or enthusiasts overlook when commenting on forums.

If you have any questions, you are welcome to post below

**The Case fans from Alpenfoehn WingBoost 2, are not on part picker, according to German charts however, they show better temperatures and static pressure than 3x more expensive fans from BeQuite or Corsair. If you have them in your country, they are worth taking a look at!

***The GPU came today, but I didn't install it yet, because I wish to have it as a reward to myself, after I finish coding one project. **#SelfRewardSystem :)

**Project finished, GPU installed, 2 new pics uploaded.

Part Reviews

CPU

General: Intel Optane, Hyper Threading, has big L3 cache 8 cores (4+4). Aside it being the current flagship of Intel, it is a good processor to run multiple VMs or other programs at once (think: Video editing, converting, browser + 2 more monitors with running apps at once).

RAM Support: It supports actively 2 slots of RAM! Do not buy 4xXXGB ram packs if you want the best out of this processor, without wasting money!

Temperatures: It runs efficient on electricity considering what beast it is, in idle around 20C, in heavy load 70-75 (considering Intel's run at 90C and are still considered perfectly fine).

Kaby Lake has advantages over Skylake, which are going to weight in more and more as the years pass.

The i7-7700K version at the end is intended for over-clockers, worthy purchase even if you wont do that vs. i7-7700

important note: i7-7700K doesn't come with an intel CPU cooler, nor with thermal compound. You must purchase these separately, which is actually good! (sinks the price down and doesn't give you a low performance CPU cooler you would have to replace anyway).

CPU Cooler

General: This and Alpenföhn Brocken 2 are hidden jewels. They both are very budget yet powerful with solid construction.

Cryorig H7 is good enough to cool even i7-7700K under full load (respect), while keepin' it cool & stable.

Package: It has a copper heat-sink & comes with a free high density thermal compound (which is only ~1C worse than the Arctic MX-4, which is currently among the best, and would cost you around 4 EU extra).

Installation: Installation is simple, and if you are doing this for the first time, there are official step by step, detailed videos available - by scanning a QR code or going to YouTube.

Thermal Compound

General: Yes, there are better compounds which achieve lower temperatures, but tell me how much "better" do they get, when after 2 years, you try to pull out the heatsink for maintenance or to resell it and realize the metallic compound glued your processor and heatsink together like a molten metal would?

Alternatives:

  • IC Diamond - Very good, but it "eats" a little pieces of the heatsink it is used on for period, everytime you remove it. - Harder to sell scratched stuff, isn't it?
  • Arctic Silver 5 - There is Arctic Silver Company and a Swiss Arctic Cooling company, two different companies. AS5 is going to make after years the issue I mentioned above. It used to be nr1, now after so many years isn't anymore, whoever says otherwise is looking at outdated charts from 2012.

All in all this compound is not only among the best that don't dry out, but it is not electrically conductive and Arctic is the only company saying they guarantee 8 years of high thermal conductivity. (you'll wipe & re-apply thermal compounds every year or two, for best performance, but still an interesting fact).

Motherboard

General: This one is often named as "Entry Level" Mobo, but don't be blinded by your pride, in this case it is damn good to be "entry level".

Features: As of today, if you compare this and Mobo and the more expensive series, you'll find out that this one not only supports 2xSLI and 3xCrossFire, like the "pro gaming ones", but has also a thunderbolt slot, unlike some of them! It has a DVI slot too, in case one of your monitors doesn't have HDMI (which is quite common still)(the Mobo supports 3 monitors). It is in classy white design, and has 6 PMW fan slots (meaning you can run up to 12 fans out of the Mobo itself via y splitter). Aside other specifics, it has Turbo Lan and it runs on 3866 MHz (the best is 4133+, quite good for an "entry level")

Package: Comes in a neat anti-static bag, with sli-dual bridge, 3 sata cables, processor installation tool, few screws and a software CD containing handy Asus software (AI Suite 3, Fan Xpert 4, ..)

*I bought mine during an ongoing action with 20-35EU cashback + 1 Game title of choice, after purchase and registration, making this Mobo even cheaper.

Memory

Good, cheap, reliable. Heat spreaders or not, they are only a marketing trick. There are better RAMs than this one, but in this price category, a winner.

Storage

General: Reliable SSD, with good longevity and low failure rate, unlike the older Samsung EVO ssds, which are still more expensive than this one.

Package: Inside the box, you'll usually find a license code for a backup software, that could otherwise cost you few $$.

Storage

General Did you know that Hitachi, although being a part of Western Digital, has a tremendously lower HDD failure rate than WD hdds and even Seagate ones, according to the yearly reports of Blackblaze cloud service and their own mix of tens of thousands of hard drives?

Alternatives: in this price range, there is none. Barracuda, Blue and other series of WD and Seagate tent to fail and die in the first 1-3 years mostly, while this Hitachi is likely to live 5-7 years, does 7.200 RMP and isn't using 4kb sectors (which makes it perfect for Linux performance usage).

There are other enterprise class hdd's from hitachi named Ultrastar, if you want something for 24/7 server.

I chose 2.5 inch, because I have NZXT s340 tower, where I can mount 2x2.5inch at a convenient spot.

Package: Mine came in a comfy anti-static bag, with silicon bags on both ends, probably to protect it better.

56 eu for this? Here, take my money!

Case

General: It is nice and elegant tower. I use it with air cpu cooler, altho' it has been designed with an option for kraken water cooling.

Features: It has 2x2.5inch hdd slots, so if you can, order 2 ssds or smaller hdds and your mounting of them is already sorted. it comes with 2 performance Case Fans, I bought 2 PWM fans for the front intake, you will have to, too probably.

Package Nothing unusual, most of the cables people complain about missing for extra hardware, comes with the extra hardware itself, anyways usually. Can scratch a bit if you're not careful, that aside - for this price it's a bargain.

Power Supply

General: Bronze certified, but still a tier2 (which is still very good!) PSU. And for this price? No question about it.

I chose non-modular for my build, because I can arrange my cables well and I wanted the extra performance, which the modular and semi-modular PSUs lack, exactly because of their modularity.

Package: Comes in clean box and branded anti-dust bag for future possible storage. Nothing unusual, yet neat.

Important Note: Have in mind, whatever your Watt needs are, you should always account for at least 20% loss. This is where the "tiers" of PSU come handy, because at this one, I at least know it will bring not only at least 480 Watts, but it will do so for years! unlike many other more famed PSUs.*

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Comments

  • 34 months ago
  • 2 points

Really nice build! Just for curiosity, how do VMs and linux perform on this hardware? I wanted to use same the same cpu, cooler, motherboard and video card for similar purposes (A windows 10 install for gaming and a Debian install for work) Also I plan to use a windows 8.1 VMs inside Debian on a daily basis.

  • 28 months ago
  • 2 points

Hello, I'm sorry for the late answer. Was traveling. It is doing great now. Using among others Debian myself. Had an issue with the motherboard Ethernet not being recognized correctly by multiple distros, but I fixed it at first and later on as the major updates hit, the distros itself recognized it. The HDD I have is perfect for Linux, does not interfere and cause any problems. Still healthy and silent.

[comment deleted]
  • 37 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you!

[comment deleted by staff]
  • 37 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you for your kind words, FearTheAntaganist! I'm happy you approve of the choices. =)