New Workstation Build For Winter
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Author:  Fred [ Sun Feb 28, 2016 3:03 am ]
Post subject:  New Workstation Build For Winter

Hello world,

No one cares, but if anyone stumbles upon this I'll happily hear your input, critique, praise, alternatives, anything.

I want to upgrade my current machine and assemble a small LAN with some utility boxes on it for various purposes. The first stage of this is obviously the workstation upgrade. The current machine is the old mac mini that I've been using since 2011 or so, 8 gig of RAM, core2duo, platter disk.

The new one should meet these specs:

  • Fast quad core i7
  • 16+ gig of RAM
  • 250gig reliable SSD
  • Small form factor like the mac mini

So after looking around maybe 6 months or so ago, the Gigabyte Brix Pro seemed the only option. ... x?pid=4888

Its basic spec:

  • i7-4770r 3.9 quad core
  • mSATA connector, 2.5 bay
  • two slots max 16 gig RAM
  • 100x100x60mm size
  • dual 4k outputs

Last night I looked again and found some slightly slower zotac models, similar, more toy like, etc. Anything else out there?

Along with the new box will come a new monitor, bigger, more pixels, more real estate, more progress. Someone helpfully suggested that the best-value monitor was a Dell P2415Q which I didn't like the look of, too high a pixel density, not big enough. But it has a sibling P2715Q which is $948.75 locally. Any other suggestions welcome! If not, I'll quite likely get exactly that. 5.5 inches more than my current monitor, and roughly 4x the dots, plus vastly superior quality. For my reference:

Then comes SSD, which SSD? This is interesting, but out of date: viewtopic.php?f=45&t=1229

RAM? Crucial seems the obvious option? Reliability is once again the main priority with speed secondary.

Rough budgeting:

  • Bare bones box: 1100-1300
  • 16 gig of RAM 100-200
  • SSD 150-500
  • Monitor 1k

Need to save and prioritise 2350 - 3000 to make this happen.

Comments and suggestions totally welcome! Though I don't expect much based on recent trends.


Author:  Fred [ Sun Feb 28, 2016 3:11 am ]
Post subject:  Re: New Workstation Build For Winter

Will likely use this disk unless someone objects: "Samsung 850 Pro Series MZ-7KE256BW 256GB"

Which puts my disk price at 230NZD

Author:  Fred [ Sun Feb 28, 2016 3:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: New Workstation Build For Winter

Studying modern RAM specs, the Crucial stuff I was looking at is actually pretty crappy. For my non-overclocked usage, the best option appears to be CL9 1600 and the locally available stuff is from $175nz.

Disk and RAM = 405, monitor 950, 1355 + box = 2455 - 2655 to save.

Author:  Fred [ Mon Feb 29, 2016 5:56 am ]
Post subject:  Re: New Workstation Build For Winter

A couple of people (Merp and boostedcabbage) gave Samsung disks the thumbs up. Reflecting on the reading I've done, I think I'm best to spend an extra couple of hundred and get a bigger disk as although I won't fill the smaller one, more free space is always nice, and the smart way these drives share the load around implies larger for same usage rate = longer life, all else equal. In that case, let's call it 430NZ for the disk, and 2855 to save. This disk: "Samsung 850 Pro Series MZ-7KE512BW 512GB"

Author:  Fred [ Sun Oct 09, 2016 1:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re: New Workstation Build For Winter

Latest Intel NUC meets my requirements:

NUC main: ... tions.html
NUC brief: ... brief.html
Graphics: ... ssors.html
CPU: ... o-3_50-GHz

Much of the component research in this thread is still applicable.

Author:  Fred [ Tue Nov 08, 2016 5:21 am ]
Post subject:  Re: New Workstation Build For Winter

If I don't get some of this gear soon, I'll shout myself a set in May for sure. Might nab some of the pieces of the puzzle on Friday, though. An already-cheap supplier is having a hard-core sale. Just remains to be seen what, if anything, will be cheaper then, than now. So, price list, for the record:

  • NUC: RRP: $1,339.75 GST Inclusive: $1,091.35
  • SSD: RRP: $744.69 GST Inclusive: $493.35
  • RAM: RRP: $155.25 GST Inclusive: $148.35 (times two!)
  • Monitor: RRP: $1,128.91 GST Inclusive: $999.00

Grand total right now: 999 + (148.35 * 2) + 493.35 + 1,091.35 = 2,880.4

And models/links:

Let's see!

Author:  Fred [ Mon Nov 14, 2016 6:29 am ]
Post subject:  Re: New Workstation Build For Winter

NUC 993.92 best in NZ
SSD 468.05 best in NZ
RAM 109.25 no stock, damn it.
Monitor 941.85 cheaper elsewhere

Total right now: 993.92 + 468.05 + (109.25 * 2) + 941.85 = $2622.32

Or for just NUC + SSD: 1461.97

Hmmmmm. 3 hours or until stock gone. Might just pull the trigger, I think.

Author:  Fred [ Mon Nov 14, 2016 6:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: New Workstation Build For Winter

Done deed, just shy of 1500 including a 2.5% CC fee on top of the above 1461.97.

Now to find some RAM for it (a single good 16 would be a nice start) and borrow a screen to set it up. I don't even need to have a screen for a while. I'll just use it for the power headless! Mu ha ha ha! :-D

Slightly irresponsible, but should be OK.

I hereby swear to do everything right on this machine. Nothing adhoc, and scripts to keep things neat and tidy. Lessons learned applied. Amen.

Author:  Fred [ Mon Nov 14, 2016 7:27 am ]
Post subject:  Re: New Workstation Build For Winter

Pulled the trigger on a pair of these, too: ... B01BNJL96A

"Kingston Technology HyperX Impact 32GB Kit (2x16GB) 2400MHz DDR4 CL14 260-Pin SODIMM Laptop HX424S14IBK2/32"

$182.99 + $5.26 = $188.25 USD, offered for 274.?? NZD but took a chance on USD and my own bank rate. We'll see. This is a winning strategy with paypal scammers, but... we'll see. EDIT: Success! $264.97 :-)

EDIT: All up, $1,763.49 without a monitor. Not bad! :-D

I see a pbuilder and a bunch of VMs in my future.

Author:  Fred [ Mon Nov 14, 2016 10:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re: New Workstation Build For Winter

New game for the 2 people likely to see this: Name the box!

I've had:

Mac plus, unnamed
Mac color classic, unnamed
alpha (original server, k6-II 350 AMD tower)
beta (AMD XP2000 1.6GHz replacement for alpha)
gamma (a combination of free used PC parts to make my first Linux machine, slackware based, low end 486 xterminal to alpha!)
forgotten-name-asus-laptop (first 64 bit machine!)
xandros (OEM Linux, not my choice)
roadeee (post-xandros Debian on a stick setup on my first and second EEE PCs)
atom330 (built in England, I think there may be a thread on here, barely used, in the garage now, still not used)
raptor (VPS, 8 years usage, multiple physical hosts)
FreeAir (macbook Air used from USA donor (thanks!))
cheetah (mac mini from Spain, 5 years use, getting tired, scared of disk failure)
falcon (1 or 2 years use, second hand, great little machine, still in love)
enthalpy (last job work machine)
tooner (lounge machine mark 1, originally for tuning)
karma (lounge machine mark 2)
chain (current work machine)

Bold if I still have it, in working condition, but I only really use Karma, Falcon, Cheetah, Raptor, and Chain. The others are in hiatus.

New box needs a new name!

Perhaps "crusher" for how I'm going to use it to deal with a delinquent or two?

Any suggestions welcome. Ensue silence.


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