New workstation - 2.5k - 4k budget

InTheMood

Bronze Level Poster
Hi there,

I'm currently in the process of ordering a workstation to replace my dying computer!

I've started a config on PCS, and would like some input before pulling the trigger!

MAIN USE: Audio & video workstation. Intensive DAW use with sample librairies etc as well as heavy sessions. The computer should be as silent as possible, this is number 1 priority. Fast disk access is a must as well for audio. I believe single thread performance is the most important factor for audio as well, so let me know if you find my processor selection to be a good fit. I honestly don't mind going higher if I could get a huge difference in performance.
Video wise, I do some light video editing when working on film but I don't need an editor's machine either. Just a smooth performance in DaVinci for standard 1080p or 4k resolutions. I don't need to bounce a lot of video so export time is not a priority.

Thunderbolt 4 is an absolute necessity
Firewire is an absolute necessity


SECONDARY USE: I will occasionally use the machine to game. I'm not a heavy gamer but I enjoy smooth gameplay so I've opted for a 3070ti. There are loads of different manufacturers for it, I'm not too sure which one I should get? I want to be able to run latest games in 1080 without a fault and have a good time. I don't play multiplayer games and such but like story-driven game and want to be immersed, so no stutter, please. Happy to upgrade.
I believe the motherboard I selected has onboard graphics, but it is not clear in the customizer page if I need to add intel graphics or not. Obviously I want the 3070 to only run when I'm gaming/video editing, because during audio work I need the computer to be silent and so can't have a big ass fan on the secondary GPU going on all the time. Can you advise?

TIERTIARY USE: I will dual boot the system with a flavour of Ubuntu for my programming side hustle. My programming work is mostly web based with some Javascript, Ruby, Python, etc. I want the machine to deal with absolutely everything that's thrown at it programming-wise, but because I am not working in that industry render times/processing times are not a major concern. Just need it to be fast when I'm running light tasks.

I'm not sure if I need to get the corsair power cables from the configurator? Wouldn't it all be from the PSU? It's been a while since I built my desktop... Also not sure if the processor fan will be quiet enough, I saw that beQuiet! makes some but PCS is not offering it to me.

Case
BE QUIET! DARK BASE PRO 900 REV. 2 FULL TOWER GAMING CASE
Processor (CPU)
Intel® Core™ i9 16-Core Processor i9-12900K (3.2GHz) 30MB Cache
Motherboard
ASUS® ROG MAXIMUS Z690 HERO WIFI (LGA1700, USB 3.2, PCIe 5.0) - ARGB Ready
Memory (RAM)
32GB Corsair VENGEANCE DDR5 4800MHz (2 x 16GB)
Graphics Card
8GB NVIDIA GEFORCE RTX 3070 Ti - HDMI, DP, LHR
1st M.2 SSD Drive
1TB SAMSUNG 980 PRO M.2, PCIe NVMe (up to 7000MB/R, 5000MB/W)
1st M.2 SSD Drive
2TB SAMSUNG 980 PRO M.2, PCIe NVMe (up to 7000MB/R, 5000MB/W)
1st Storage Drive
1TB Samsung 870 QVO 2.5" SSD, SATA 6Gb/s (up to 560MB/sR | 530MB/sW)
DVD/BLU-RAY Drive
16x BLU-RAY WRITER DRIVE, 16x DVD ±R/±RW & SOFTWARE
Power Supply
CORSAIR 650W RM SERIES™ MODULAR 80 PLUS® GOLD, ULTRA QUIET
Power Cable
1 x 1.5 Metre UK Power Cable (Kettle Lead)
Braided Power Supply Cables
CORSAIR Premium Individually Sleeved PSU Cable Kit Pro - Black
Processor Cooling
Corsair iCUE H150i ELITE CAPELLIX RGB Hydro Series High Performance CPU Cooler
Thermal Paste
ARCTIC MX-4 EXTREME THERMAL CONDUCTIVITY COMPOUND
Sound Card
ONBOARD 6 CHANNEL (5.1) HIGH DEF AUDIO (AS STANDARD)
Network Card
10/100/1000 GIGABIT LAN PORT
USB/Thunderbolt Options
2 PORT (1 x TYPE A, 1 x TYPE C) USB 3.1 PCI-E CARD + STANDARD USB PORTS
Firewire
2 Port IEEE 1394a Firewire PCI-E Card (2 x 6 pin)
Operating System
Windows 10 Professional 64 Bit - inc. Single Licence [MUP-00003]
Operating System Language
United Kingdom - English Language
Windows Recovery Media
Windows 10/11 Multi-Language Recovery Image - Unlimited Downloads from Online Account
Office Software
FREE 30 Day Trial of Microsoft 365® (Operating System Required)
Anti-Virus
NO ANTI-VIRUS SOFTWARE
Browser
Microsoft® Edge
Warranty
3 Year Standard Warranty (1 Month Collect & Return, 1 Year Parts, 3 Year Labour)
Delivery
STANDARD INSURED DELIVERY TO UK MAINLAND (MON-FRI)
Build Time
Standard Build - Approximately 4 to 7 working days


Any advices appreciated!

Thanks
 
Last edited:
Could you possibly go back to the post to forum page and edit your post to include the Uniqe Configurable URL from the bottom of said page please? Just makes it easier for people to go in and edit the spec rather than starting one from scratch. Thanks

Processor fans: Given the processor and uses, the H150i is the best match. Fan profiles can be adjusted to suit so that they only ramp up under a certain load etc. The better the cooler, the less it has to work so the quieter it will be. Speaking of the cooler, you can remoe the extra thermal paste to save a few quid...it already comes with very high quality paste pre-applied at the Corsair factory....the additional paste would mean removing the paste already there and applying one which may not be as good.

PSU: All cables that come with the PSU will either be installed in the system if required or sent with the PC when it's sent to you.

No clue on the rest of the queries etc
 

InTheMood

Bronze Level Poster
Thank you for the additional info! I have now updated the post.

I was also looking at 5950X for the processor as it is being touted as the very best workstation processor but I can't seem to be able to pair it with a motherboard that has thunderbolt 4... I also read 12900k is not recommended.

Awaiting more inputs!
 

Aza

Rising Star
I'd start with kicking the BeQuiet case to one side and taking the Define 7, next up i'd wait for @SpyderTracks
From what I understand Audio PC's are a bit of a speciality and part of his professional life.

From what I remember, it isnt going to be multithreading capabilities that you focus on, so not convinced with a 5950X, Im sure ive seen him mention single core but I could well be wrong. He's one of the MODs and on very frequently.
 

InTheMood

Bronze Level Poster
Thank you!

So, the Define 7 is working out to be quieter than the BeQuiet? That's ironic... :).

Cool, I know @SpyderTracks from before on the forum so eager to hear his input!
 

Aza

Rising Star
Define 7 is the best one they have in terms of quiet cases, comes with soundproofing etc and still decent airflow etc.
I dont ever recall the bequiet cases getting recommended (for anything really)
From what I can tell, it refers more to having silent fans rather than the case being built to keep the whole thing quiet.
 

Scott

Behold The Ford Mondeo
Moderator
I would definitely suggest a few changes. The GPU was huge overkill, even with video editing in mind. The 3060 will absolutely smash 1080p gaming to bits and leave you with plenty of horsepower and vRAM for video editing. I don't even think there's any merit for the 3060Ti here.

DDR5 is very expensive but I can understand you wanting to go down this route. I've opted for the fastest choice though as it's the only option that makes any sense. I've tweaked some other areas.

When ordering, it would be beneficial to give PCS a call and ask that they add a 3rd M2 drive, rather than the SSD sata drive. The modern motherboards can take 3-4 M2 drives nowadays so better to make the most of the bandwidth and features IMO. The configurators haven't been adapted to suit these options yet but you can get them with a phonecall. I would keep the OS to 500GB, in order to promote good use of the space and maintain good organisation of the drives.

Case
FRACTAL DEFINE 7 BLACK QUIET MID-TOWER CASE
Processor (CPU)
Intel® Core™ i9 16-Core Processor i9-12900K (3.2GHz) 30MB Cache
Motherboard
ASUS® ROG MAXIMUS Z690 HERO WIFI (LGA1700, USB 3.2, PCIe 5.0) - ARGB Ready
Memory (RAM)
32GB Corsair VENGEANCE DDR5 5600MHz (2 x 16GB)
Graphics Card
12GB NVIDIA GEFORCE RTX 3060 - HDMI, DP, LHR
1st M.2 SSD Drive
500GB SAMSUNG 980 PRO M.2, PCIe NVMe (up to 6900MB/R, 5000MB/W)
1st M.2 SSD Drive
2TB SEAGATE FIRECUDA 530 GEN 4 PCIe NVMe (up to 7300MB/R, 6900MB/W)
1st Storage Drive
1TB Samsung 870 QVO 2.5" SSD, SATA 6Gb/s (up to 560MB/sR | 530MB/sW)
DVD/BLU-RAY Drive
16x BLU-RAY WRITER DRIVE, 16x DVD ±R/±RW & SOFTWARE
Power Supply
CORSAIR 1000W RMx SERIES™ MODULAR 80 PLUS GOLD, ULTRA QUIET
Power Cable
1 x 1.5 Metre UK Power Cable (Kettle Lead)
Braided Power Supply Cables
CORSAIR Premium Individually Sleeved PSU Cable Kit Pro - Black
Processor Cooling
Corsair iCUE H115i ELITE CAPELLIX RGB Hydro Series High Performance CPU Cooler
Thermal Paste
STANDARD THERMAL PASTE FOR SUFFICIENT COOLING
Sound Card
ONBOARD 6 CHANNEL (5.1) HIGH DEF AUDIO (AS STANDARD)
Network Card
10/100/1000 GIGABIT LAN PORT
USB/Thunderbolt Options
MIN. 2 x USB 3.0 & 2 x USB 2.0 PORTS @ BACK PANEL + MIN. 2 FRONT PORTS
Firewire
2 Port IEEE 1394a Firewire PCI-E Card (2 x 6 pin)
Operating System
Windows 11 Home 64 Bit - inc. Single Licence [KUK-00003]
Operating System Language
United Kingdom - English Language
Windows Recovery Media
Windows 10/11 Multi-Language Recovery Image - Unlimited Downloads from Online Account
Office Software
FREE 30 Day Trial of Microsoft 365® (Operating System Required)
Anti-Virus
NO ANTI-VIRUS SOFTWARE
Browser
Microsoft® Edge
Warranty
3 Year Silver Warranty (1 Year Collect & Return, 1 Year Parts, 3 Year Labour)
Delivery
STANDARD INSURED DELIVERY TO UK MAINLAND (MON-FRI)
Build Time
Standard Build - Approximately 4 to 7 working days
Price: £3,062.00 including VAT and Delivery

Unique URL to re-configure: https://www.pcspecialist.co.uk/saved-configurations/intel-z690-ddr5-pc/8JgzKGjzEj/
 

InTheMood

Bronze Level Poster
That is great thank you so much!

So, about the DDR5, I read somewhere else that it would be better and cheaper to go for DDR4 but PCS won't let me put them instead of DDR5 on that config. Is there a way to do this?

Mhm I don't know about the GPU... Me fancy something top notch. Are you sure?

Any thoughts re 12900k v. 12700k?
 

Scott

Behold The Ford Mondeo
Moderator
DDR4 is doable in a different configurator. Would save around £400, give or take.

The trouble is that you won't be able to get the TB4 card along with the Firewire card. The DDR4 boards don't have onboard TB4, just the header for connection.

3060 is overkill for 1080p. It's going to be attempting 200fps, never mind 144hz :D

It depends on priorities. For audio, a few cores has you more than covered. For rendering, the more the merrier. The 12700k would be a better balance for temperature IMO though. The H115i I suggested is the quietest cooler and would be asked less of with the 12700k.
 

InTheMood

Bronze Level Poster
It is a significant saving... I did notice the boards don't have TB4, that's an issue. Do they take a card for it or is it just entirely impossible? Everything is going in the direction of TB4, can't be passing on such an important tech.
 

Scott

Behold The Ford Mondeo
Moderator
It is a significant saving... I did notice the boards don't have TB4, that's an issue. Do they take a card for it or is it just entirely impossible? Everything is going in the direction of TB4, can't be passing on such an important tech.
The boards have the option of TB4 with the additional card. It can be configured on the configurator. The trouble is that this uses the slot that the firewire card would go into.... so you can't have both.

I'm not sure if this is necessarily true as I guess you should be able to use the additional slots. This would need to be a call to PCS to discuss though as it just can't be done on the configurator. I think it's a worthwhile query though as it could save a ton.
 
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