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 Post subject: The Ten Year PC Build
PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 2:41 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2002 4:05 pm
Posts: 147
This project is to build a new main PC for myself. The concept for this PC is that it will last me for ten years. Whether that actually happens or not, we'll know in ten years, but I'd like to build something reasonably future proof. I'm not a gamer, but I'd like a nice fast machine for general computing use with heavy multitasking, as well as Adobe Lightroom/Photoshop Elements. I built a gaming PC in 2003 based on an Intel P4 2.4C, and a 35W i3 HTPC designed to be silent in 2013, which I just recently finished by replacing the stock Intel heatsink with a Noctua heatsink, putting it below the noise floor in the room it lives in, so effectively totally silent. After the PC in 2003 was retired, I used a Macbook and an Early 2011 Macbook Pro, but I'm moving back to Windows. I'm not a Mac hater, but their pricing premium is too steep for my blood now, and they have surpassed my tolerance for dongles plugged into other dongles.

The budget is approximately $1200, but somewhat flexible if need be. Here is what I have come up with so far:

CPU/Heatsink: I'm thinking a 65W Quad Core Kaby Lake and a Noctua heatsink, since I like the one I put in my HTPC.

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product. ... 6819117727
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00VB ... UTF8&psc=1

Motherboard/RAM: I'm pretty lost on motherboards. I've picked them out before, but the number of motherboards is completely overwhelming. Even narrowing results on Newegg, I get like 50-100 options. I'd prefer ASUS, although I'm open to others if there is a compelling reason to get another brand. They all seem to have M.2 SSD support, so the only distinctive features that I'd be looking for other than something that support Kaby Lake is USB 3.1 support. I want a full ATX board, so that I have plenty of slots for maybe future use (probably not). Is there anything else I should be looking for in a motherboard? I'll probably look for reasonably priced Corsair RAM. For my use, there is no point in going nuts over overclockability or crazy cooling.

Graphics: I want a really quiet card in the $150 range that can support triple 4k monitors. I don't have any 4k monitors (other than my TV which will not be hooked up to this machine) right now, but I want the ability to add them later. Any suggestions? For now, I will be running double or triple monitors, with one 2560x1440 and one or two 1900x1200/1920x1080 or lower.

Storage: Storage tends to be what I bottleneck on, so I figure it's worth spending on the main SSD. I'm debating 512GB vs. 1TB, but I currently have 245GB free on my MBP's 500GB SATA SSD, and that's with a bunch of VMs and some random crap that wouldn't be on the Ten Year PC's C:/ drive. For my main HDD and deep storage HDD, I'll probably start with a 4TB HGST, as I currently have about 1TB on my hard drive, and 1.2TB on my deep storage drive, so I could split those out later if I need more capacity.

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product. ... gnorebbr=1

Case: I'm looking for a reasonably priced, reasonably sized midtower case that can fit an ATX motherboard, graphics card, PSU, etc, along with several SSDs and hard drives if need be. I like a simple, understated design. The Antec P100/P180/P280 design appeals a lot to me, but I'm not set on Antec for a case manufacturer at all. I'd like something solid and quiet. I used a Silverstone Mini-ATX case for my HTPC, and that was a great case too, although that exact model is too small for the Ten Year PC, as I want an ATX machine.

PSU: I like Seasonic, not 100% brand loyal, but I have a strong preference. This one is 80 Plus Platinum with a fan, fully modular, and looks like it would exceed all of my needs for the Ten Year PC:
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product. ... -_-Product
They also have a 400W completely fanless, although I still like the idea of a fan, especially if the system otherwise has pretty low airflow going through it.


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 Post subject: Re: The Ten Year PC Build
PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 5:40 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2002 4:05 pm
Posts: 147
I've been browsing through the forums, and I re-discovered Fractal Designs. They have some really nice cases. I like this one:

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product. ... 6811352054

EDIT: This one, it has all the drive bays:

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product. ... 6811352048

I'm not planning on putting more than two HDDs in it, but I'd like the options to add more drives. Not planning on any 5.25" drives, but again, the option would be nice.


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 Post subject: Re: The Ten Year PC Build
PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 8:58 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2008 1:49 pm
Posts: 1590
Location: UK
Be careful with future proofing, your plans won't often match what actually happens so it is best to buy for the short term and let the technology catch up. You could better plan for a decade by saving the money now, investing it wisely and when you actually NEED to upgrade, doing it then.

For example, a 512GB SSD will be cheaper than a 1TB and when/if you ever fill the 512GB, you can then buy a 1TB drive at the cheaper prices that will exist in the future. Do you even need the 4TB hard disk now? Will something smaller (maybe your existing disks) do for now?

Also you say you want ATX in case you add expansion cards. Will you? There aren't many expansion cards in modern computers anyway. Long gone are the days where you would have a graphics card, sound card, network card, modem, USB expansion card, SCSI controller, TV tuner and all of those other things we used to put in expansion card form factors. Probably your computer will have a graphics card in it for it's whole life and nothing else. Will we even have PCI-E cards in a decade? Will your living circumstances continue to allow for the space of an ATX case should over the next decade? This is a more likely problem I would think than running out of slots on a MicroATX board which would save you a small amount of money on motherboard and case.

CPU: I'm guessing you have considered your applications and the amount of multi threading needed. It might be worth doing research if you haven't into advantages of more cores for your particular workload. Over time software will become more and more multithreaded so this might actually be an area for futureproofing. That Noctua heatsink might make sense in your HTPC but won't be ideal in a tower case. A big tower cooler would be better suited. Noctua are quite expensive so maybe look at other brands as well. Scythe for example could cost quite a bit less and match equivalent Noctua units. If it isn't sufficient this is always an area you can change or mod in future.

Graphics card: do you have any preference for brand already? If games aren't a big deal then it's really about running triple head at 4k resolution. Geforce GTX1050 or Radeon RX550 price point would cover this. This is a component that won't age well at all. If you come to play games a few years down the line this would be the sticking point so it is something where futureproofing won't get you far.

PSU and case are the two things that genuinely could last a decade without becoming obsolete. Platinum or Titanium PSU efficiency could save you money in the long run but you should do a break even exercise to prove this. PSU choice will be dependant upon the components used to finalise everything else first before sizing this. Fanless will be fine for you I'm sure. The Seasonic fanless PSU's are pretty bombproof being downrated from much higher rated fan cooled models.

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Raijintek Metis: i5-6400, Scythe Ninja 4, Asus Z170i Pro Gaming, 8Gb RAM, GTX 950, Crucial 250Gb M.2, Seasonic X-400


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 Post subject: Re: The Ten Year PC Build
PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 9:49 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2004 12:00 am
Posts: 35
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
I second most of this. I'm a gamer, so my desktop regularly gets upgrades, but at the same time I am writing this post from a 9 year old laptop. My current desktop is 6 years old, an I7-2600K in which I've upgraded my SSD, RAM, GPU, and added a sound card. I'll probably upgrade GPU again in a generation or two, but the rest of the system is doing fine.

You will find it very hard to find or build a computer that will perform perfectly for 10 years. It is possible, but it is highly likely that you will end up replacing or upgrading components over time.

Having said that, here is what I would think about doing:

1) Is your current/projected workload single-threaded or multi-threaded? If you need maximum single thread performance then look at Intel chips, if your work benefits from having lots of cores, then look at AMD's Ryzen or Threadripper chips.

2) Select a motherboard with good RAM capacity. Don't bother maxing it out immediately, you will likely upgrade RAM at least once in the next decade. (If your current workload already maxes out the RAM capacity of your chosen motherboard, it is highly unlikely that you will make it for 10 years without needing to replace motherboard (and likely CPU).

3) Also on the subject of motherboard, make sure it has more SATA ports than you need, 1 for optical drive, 1 for primary drive, 1 for bulk storage, 1-3 open ports for the future. Similarly, you will want PCI-E slots available for video card, audio card, network card. You will likely not need the second two, but if you do, best not to have to replace a motherboard to get them.

4) Power supply. Buy a good one. You will not need 800+W of power. Get a good Seasonic unit or similar. Their fanless ones are rather nice. Aim for ~400-500W.

5) Video card. You're not a gamer, but you want triple-head capability. Get something inexpensive and passively cooled. A 1050 sounds great. Enough grunt to at least render 3d, but if you find out later that you need more horsepower it will be far cheaper to buy it then.

6) Case and cooling. Big tower heatsinks with slow fans are nice and quiet, stick one in a Fractal Design case and you should be set.

Having typed this out, I see that I mostly agree with edh, except about the motherboard size point. If you can find a mATX board that doesn't sacrifice RAM slots, and has at least 3 PCI-E slots, go for it. But if you really want to keep the core of your system for 10 years, don't compromise on having these items.


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 Post subject: Re: The Ten Year PC Build
PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 7:46 am 
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Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2002 4:05 pm
Posts: 147
edh wrote:
Be careful with future proofing, your plans won't often match what actually happens so it is best to buy for the short term and let the technology catch up. You could better plan for a decade by saving the money now, investing it wisely and when you actually NEED to upgrade, doing it then.

For example, a 512GB SSD will be cheaper than a 1TB and when/if you ever fill the 512GB, you can then buy a 1TB drive at the cheaper prices that will exist in the future. Do you even need the 4TB hard disk now? Will something smaller (maybe your existing disks) do for now?


Yeah, that's a good point, as prices drop, and technology improves. However, I'd like to try and future-proof the processor, RAM, and motherboard as much as reasonably possible, as if you upgrade those, you're basically building a new PC at that point. In terms of the boot drive, it's hard to upgrade than storage drives, but I just don't see how I'd need a whole lot more space than what I'm using now, and my storage needs will be expanding on the storage drives. If I need something like a photo library or video editing scratch drive, I'd probably be better off adding a second SSD for that purpose than upgrading the existing system SSD.

In terms of the hard drive, the 4TB drives are so cheap that it would be kind of a waste to buy anything less these days. I put a 3TB in my TiVo, as that's the maximum it will take without some additional trickery, but for PCs, I'm going 4TB or higher for everything. I currently have about 2.2TB of stuff, and I just bought a new high end point and shoot camera that does RAW, and I'm planning on eventually upgrading my DSLR, which will take my ~22MB a shot to over 30MB a shot, so that ads up quickly, in addition to 4k video. My plan is keep the 4TB for deep storage (mostly installation files, ISOs, miscellaneous music and video files), and then upgrade to another 4TB or larger drive for my hard drive (my photos, video, iTunes, and documents).

Quote:
Also you say you want ATX in case you add expansion cards. Will you? There aren't many expansion cards in modern computers anyway. Long gone are the days where you would have a graphics card, sound card, network card, modem, USB expansion card, SCSI controller, TV tuner and all of those other things we used to put in expansion card form factors. Probably your computer will have a graphics card in it for it's whole life and nothing else. Will we even have PCI-E cards in a decade? Will your living circumstances continue to allow for the space of an ATX case should over the next decade? This is a more likely problem I would think than running out of slots on a MicroATX board which would save you a small amount of money on motherboard and case.


You're probably right, but I just like the idea of a full ATX board, and the additional room to work in the case and for airflow. My HTPC is a MicroATX, and it's fine, but it's a 35W i3 with no graphics card. I haven't bothered to upgrade to a card that can feed my TV 3840x2160 because my 4k stuff comes from Roku, Chromecast and UHD-BD, not the PC.

Quote:
CPU: I'm guessing you have considered your applications and the amount of multi threading needed. It might be worth doing research if you haven't into advantages of more cores for your particular workload. Over time software will become more and more multithreaded so this might actually be an area for futureproofing. That Noctua heatsink might make sense in your HTPC but won't be ideal in a tower case. A big tower cooler would be better suited. Noctua are quite expensive so maybe look at other brands as well. Scythe for example could cost quite a bit less and match equivalent Noctua units. If it isn't sufficient this is always an area you can change or mod in future.


For power consumption, I want to stick to 65W. With Kaby Lake, all I see is Quad (maybe more cores aren't out yet?), and only two models that can hit the 65W TDP target. There are 6- and 8-core Skylake i7s, but they are significantly more expensive, and their TDPs are outrageously high, at 140W.

Quote:
Graphics card: do you have any preference for brand already? If games aren't a big deal then it's really about running triple head at 4k resolution. Geforce GTX1050 or Radeon RX550 price point would cover this. This is a component that won't age well at all. If you come to play games a few years down the line this would be the sticking point so it is something where futureproofing won't get you far.


Agreed. I'm more looking for a particular brand/model with a very quiet cooling system that can do triple 4k. I'd like to spend a minimal amount of money, so that if for some crazy reason I want to game later on, I can upgrade to something more powerful. So that begs the question, for a single 1440p monitor and possible two 1080p monitors, do I need a graphics card at all, or should I rely on the integrated graphics in Kaby Lake? Can they go above 1080/1200p now? Back when I built my HTPC they were limited to 1080/1200p, but I know they have come a long way since then.

Quote:
PSU and case are the two things that genuinely could last a decade without becoming obsolete. Platinum or Titanium PSU efficiency could save you money in the long run but you should do a break even exercise to prove this. PSU choice will be dependant upon the components used to finalise everything else first before sizing this. Fanless will be fine for you I'm sure. The Seasonic fanless PSU's are pretty bombproof being downrated from much higher rated fan cooled models.


Ok, that's good to hear, I might go with a 400W fanless. The Snow Silent line looks pretty cool too, although I prefer black. Are they actually any quieter than other fan-cooled PSUs?


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 Post subject: Re: The Ten Year PC Build
PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 8:09 am 
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Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2002 4:05 pm
Posts: 147
Atragon wrote:
I second most of this. I'm a gamer, so my desktop regularly gets upgrades, but at the same time I am writing this post from a 9 year old laptop. My current desktop is 6 years old, an I7-2600K in which I've upgraded my SSD, RAM, GPU, and added a sound card. I'll probably upgrade GPU again in a generation or two, but the rest of the system is doing fine.

You will find it very hard to find or build a computer that will perform perfectly for 10 years. It is possible, but it is highly likely that you will end up replacing or upgrading components over time.


With the way that processors have been fairly stagnant for a while, I think getting a Kaby Lake based system to last for 10 years with only upgrades to storage and video cards is probably realistic. My current main machine is a 6 year old Macbook Pro, and it's on a Quad i7 which is still OK for a processor, it's just totally bottlenecked on I/O and expandability, where a desktop PC doesn't have those issues with SATA and PCI-E.

Quote:
Having said that, here is what I would think about doing:

1) Is your current/projected workload single-threaded or multi-threaded? If you need maximum single thread performance then look at Intel chips, if your work benefits from having lots of cores, then look at AMD's Ryzen or Threadripper chips.

2) Select a motherboard with good RAM capacity. Don't bother maxing it out immediately, you will likely upgrade RAM at least once in the next decade. (If your current workload already maxes out the RAM capacity of your chosen motherboard, it is highly unlikely that you will make it for 10 years without needing to replace motherboard (and likely CPU).

3) Also on the subject of motherboard, make sure it has more SATA ports than you need, 1 for optical drive, 1 for primary drive, 1 for bulk storage, 1-3 open ports for the future. Similarly, you will want PCI-E slots available for video card, audio card, network card. You will likely not need the second two, but if you do, best not to have to replace a motherboard to get them.

4) Power supply. Buy a good one. You will not need 800+W of power. Get a good Seasonic unit or similar. Their fanless ones are rather nice. Aim for ~400-500W.

5) Video card. You're not a gamer, but you want triple-head capability. Get something inexpensive and passively cooled. A 1050 sounds great. Enough grunt to at least render 3d, but if you find out later that you need more horsepower it will be far cheaper to buy it then.

6) Case and cooling. Big tower heatsinks with slow fans are nice and quiet, stick one in a Fractal Design case and you should be set.

Having typed this out, I see that I mostly agree with edh, except about the motherboard size point. If you can find a mATX board that doesn't sacrifice RAM slots, and has at least 3 PCI-E slots, go for it. But if you really want to keep the core of your system for 10 years, don't compromise on having these items.


1. The only things that are really processor-intensive that I plan on running are Lightroom and Photoshop Elements. Beyond that, it's just multitasking. I was looking at Ryzen, but all the CPUs I saw were very expensive? I'm in the $300 price point for a CPU with a <=65W TDP.

2. What would a good capacity be? 32GB? Or more? I was figuring on configuring 16GB initially. My Macbook Pro has 8GB, and the only time I've ever had RAM problems is when running multiple VMs, which the ten year desktop won't be doing.

3. Good point. I'm probably fine with gigabit Ethernet, and I use an external integrated amplified with a USB DAC in it, but for storage or I/O expandability, that could happen via PCI-E, as well as a giant graphics card. Initially I will be using 1 SATA port, so 6 should be plenty. My boot drive will be M-2, so that just leaves the storage hard drive on SATA. I could imagine in the future having a second SSD and hard drive attached via SATA, however.

4. It sounds like that 400W Seasonic is a good choice then. I'm a huge fan of a smaller, well built power supply over a high wattage rating. I built my gaming PC in 2004 with a 300W Seasonic, that ran it run until it was retired as my dad's web surfing machine 10 years later, including a period with 3 hard drives, 3 optical drives, and 11 fans.

5. Passive cooling is a good idea, but I can't find any passively cooled cards. Are there any particular brands that are quiet? I don't really care if the thing gets loud if I load a game up, but it needs to be extremely quiet during normal operation/idle.

6. Ok, I'm getting a second recommendation for a tower heatsink. I've never liked the design of those over traditional fan-on-top heatsinks, but I can see from a thermal perspective why they would be much more effective at cooling not only the CPU but the whole system. I guess the mounts are strong enough that they don't damage the motherboards with their massive weight and cantilevered mass, even if the PC is moved around a bit? I still think I could get away with the same Noctua I used in the HTPC, as that one sits at 42C, and Intel's operating range goes up to 80C. Of course getting temps more in the 40s would be preferable.


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 Post subject: Re: The Ten Year PC Build
PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 10:58 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2008 6:03 am
Posts: 476
Location: Sweden
edh wrote:
Be careful with future proofing, your plans won't often match what actually happens so it is best to buy for the short term and let the technology catch up. You could better plan for a decade by saving the money now, investing it wisely and when you actually NEED to upgrade, doing it then.
I totally agree with this! My own computer was purchased in December 2000, and it's still going strong thanks to incremental upgrades. (The only piece of hardware remaining from back then is the floppy drive that originated from my previous computer from 1994...)

Now to a specific comment:
"However, I'd like to try and future-proof the processor, RAM, and motherboard as much as reasonably possible..."
Let's look at the probable future demands for each of these:

RAM: In the future you'll (probably) need more than required today. Buying "more" now is expensive. Buying more of today's type in three or four years will also be expensive unless you buy second hand. Buying a larger amount of a future type, in the future, will be cheaper.

Motherboard: When you buy a motherboard you get stuck with some fundamental features and support for a limited set of CPUs.
For me this was a big issue when my motherboard used AGP for the graphics card and new graphics cards used PCIe. That meant I had to replace motherboard, CPU, RAM and graphics card at the same time when one of the parts became insufficient. (Yes, there were motherboards with both PCIe and AGP available, but those were both expensive and inferior in other ways.)
That said, future peripherals will require new (and faster) connections (like PCIe 5 and future USB standards) that today's motherboards don't provide.

CPU: Let's open a can of worms...
Until recently CPU performance was all about clock speeds and single thread performance. Then came CPUs with dual and quad cores, and software eventually followed suit. Right now the hype is to have as many cores, physical and logical, as possible while not that many programs can make use of them.
One trend that is emerging in "productivity" software is to have parallel tasks moved to the hardware best suited for it; the graphics card! Using CUDA the CPU is off-loaded and left to "running errands" where, again, single thread performance is key.
So, in the future you will either need a multi core CPU for heavily multithreaded tasks (like a Thread Ripper), or a quad core CPU with superb single thread performance (like a (Coffee Lake) Core i3). Nobody can tell for sure which way things will develop, so either you throw your dice and hope to get it right now or you plan to adapt the hardware as we see how the winds are blowing...


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 Post subject: Re: The Ten Year PC Build
PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 2:58 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2002 4:05 pm
Posts: 147
Olle P wrote:
edh wrote:
Be careful with future proofing, your plans won't often match what actually happens so it is best to buy for the short term and let the technology catch up. You could better plan for a decade by saving the money now, investing it wisely and when you actually NEED to upgrade, doing it then.
I totally agree with this! My own computer was purchased in December 2000, and it's still going strong thanks to incremental upgrades. (The only piece of hardware remaining from back then is the floppy drive that originated from my previous computer from 1994...)

Now to a specific comment:
"However, I'd like to try and future-proof the processor, RAM, and motherboard as much as reasonably possible..."
Let's look at the probable future demands for each of these:

RAM: In the future you'll (probably) need more than required today. Buying "more" now is expensive. Buying more of today's type in three or four years will also be expensive unless you buy second hand. Buying a larger amount of a future type, in the future, will be cheaper.

Motherboard: When you buy a motherboard you get stuck with some fundamental features and support for a limited set of CPUs.
For me this was a big issue when my motherboard used AGP for the graphics card and new graphics cards used PCIe. That meant I had to replace motherboard, CPU, RAM and graphics card at the same time when one of the parts became insufficient. (Yes, there were motherboards with both PCIe and AGP available, but those were both expensive and inferior in other ways.)
That said, future peripherals will require new (and faster) connections (like PCIe 5 and future USB standards) that today's motherboards don't provide.

CPU: Let's open a can of worms...
Until recently CPU performance was all about clock speeds and single thread performance. Then came CPUs with dual and quad cores, and software eventually followed suit. Right now the hype is to have as many cores, physical and logical, as possible while not that many programs can make use of them.
One trend that is emerging in "productivity" software is to have parallel tasks moved to the hardware best suited for it; the graphics card! Using CUDA the CPU is off-loaded and left to "running errands" where, again, single thread performance is key.
So, in the future you will either need a multi core CPU for heavily multithreaded tasks (like a Thread Ripper), or a quad core CPU with superb single thread performance (like a (Coffee Lake) Core i3). Nobody can tell for sure which way things will develop, so either you throw your dice and hope to get it right now or you plan to adapt the hardware as we see how the winds are blowing...


At the point that you're talking about replacing the motherboard and CPU, you're basically building a new PC with the same case and PSU and maybe storage. My current laptop has one of the earlier generation i7s in it, and from a CPU perspective, it's still fine. It's basically everything else that I'm maxed out on. I really don't think that single core vs. multi-core is going to matter, as a Quad i7 Kaby Lake has it nailed either way. I'm not a hardcore gamer, or doing heavy duty rendering or something, so the CPU is literally the last thing I'm worried about in terms of the longevity of the machine. The RAM would be more important, although considering that 8GB is fine today except for running VMs, I can't foresee needing more than 16GB, and I could always double it later to 32GB if I pick a motherboard that can support that. If I want new USB standards, I'm sure someone will make a PCI-E card for that. Further, USB 3.0 is now significantly faster than hard drives, plus I've got many SATA ports for internal HDDs.

So my main focus will be a motherboard that features enough PCI-E slots, SATA ports, RAM slots, and the like to support future expansion of the machine as needed.


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 Post subject: Re: The Ten Year PC Build
PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 3:33 pm 
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Location: Vancouver B.C
Bigg wrote:
Graphics: I want a really quiet card in the $150 range that can support triple 4k monitors. I don't have any 4k monitors (other than my TV which will not be hooked up to this machine) right now, but I want the ability to add them later. Any suggestions? For now, I will be running double or triple monitors, with one 2560x1440 and one or two 1900x1200/1920x1080 or lower


I run dual 2560x1440 displays off the integrated GPU (i5-4690k) via the displayport. Current Intel graphics should allow you to daisy chain 3 4K monitors.

Quote:
Motherboard/RAM: I'm pretty lost on motherboards. I've picked them out before, but the number of motherboards is completely overwhelming.


Pick your chipset, there're tables out there that'll outline the differences. Start with ASUS boards, make sure that they support multiple 4K displays, and for me Intel NIC is a must. After you've narrowed down the ASUS offerings, check comparable Gigabyte and ASRock products.

Quote:
Storage: Storage tends to be what I bottleneck on, so I figure it's worth spending on the main SSD. I'm debating 512GB vs. 1TB, but I currently have 245GB free on my MBP's 500GB SATA SSD, and that's with a bunch of VMs and some random crap that wouldn't be on the Ten Year PC's C:/ drive. For my main HDD and deep storage HDD, I'll probably start with a 4TB HGST


I have 5, 6 and 8TB HGST drives, great drives but noisy, you may want to look for a quieter alternative. 4TB is a good size and has good $/GB. Windows 10 has a backup option call File History, if you use that and set it to backup every 10 minutes, 3 months worth of backup can easily eat up a couple of TB.

You may want to check the price premium for NVMe over SATA SSD, for a mid priced system and your intended use it's probably not worth it.

Quote:
PSU: I like Seasonic, not 100% brand loyal, but I have a strong preference. This one is 80 Plus Platinum with a fan, fully modular, and looks like it would exceed all of my needs for the Ten Year PC


I have the Seasonic 400w fanless platinum. However the Focus+ has a shorter chassis (140mm) which maybe important depending on the case. Also check the price difference between the gold and platinum Focus+, I would have bought the Focus+ 550 gold if it were available then.


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 Post subject: Re: The Ten Year PC Build
PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 2:13 pm 
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Posts: 147
mingv7v wrote:
I run dual 2560x1440 displays off the integrated GPU (i5-4690k) via the displayport. Current Intel graphics should allow you to daisy chain 3 4K monitors.


Good to know. Might be an option. Kind of want a graphics card, although I'm not sure it's necessary per se.

Quote:
Pick your chipset, there're tables out there that'll outline the differences. Start with ASUS boards, make sure that they support multiple 4K displays, and for me Intel NIC is a must. After you've narrowed down the ASUS offerings, check comparable Gigabyte and ASRock products.


Hmmm, ok, I'll have to go dig into the reviews and see what chipset I want for a Kaby Lake.

Quote:
I have 5, 6 and 8TB HGST drives, great drives but noisy, you may want to look for a quieter alternative. 4TB is a good size and has good $/GB. Windows 10 has a backup option call File History, if you use that and set it to backup every 10 minutes, 3 months worth of backup can easily eat up a couple of TB.


Do you use an internal drive for backup? I was thinking of using an external for backup, and keeping everything else internal. Is the Windows backup as good as what Time Machine does on the Mac? That's the only thing that I don't have a Windows equivalent for right now. I have an HGST drive in my HTPC, and I don't notice it noise wise, but I'm also across the room from it. I like the HGST drives because of their reliability compared to other brands, per Backblaze's data.

Quote:
You may want to check the price premium for NVMe over SATA SSD, for a mid priced system and your intended use it's probably not worth it.


The 850 EVO is about the same in M.2 or SATA, $15-$160, but then there's the 850 PRO SATA at $210, the 960 EVO M.2 at $255, and the 960 PRO M.2 at $300. That's a HUGE spread in pricing. Will regular desktop performance increase significantly going from an 850 PRO to a 960 PRO? The 960 PRO looks absolutely blistering fast, which I would think should speed up virtually everything on the machine? Right now, I seem to bottleneck on the SSD, although it's a cheap one, and I have a SATA 3gbps connection.

Quote:
I have the Seasonic 400w fanless platinum. However the Focus+ has a shorter chassis (140mm) which maybe important depending on the case. Also check the price difference between the gold and platinum Focus+, I would have bought the Focus+ 550 gold if it were available then.


Good to know.


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 Post subject: Re: The Ten Year PC Build
PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 5:33 am 
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Posts: 90
Location: Scotland, UK
Okay I'd like to comment on my personal experience with a 7 year PC.

I started with:
Fractal Define R2
i7 920 + Gelid Tranquillo
Asus P6X58D-E
6GB of GDDR3 tri-channel
GTX 560 Ti
Coolermaster Silent Pro M 500
2TB Samsung F2 + WD 512GB HDDs

After that time I have:
Fractal Define R2
Xeon X5650 + Gelid Tranquillo
Asus P6X58D-E
16GB of GDDR3 dual-channel
GTX 970
EVGA G2 750w

2TB Samsung F2
2x 960GB Sandisk Ultra II SSDs
1x 512GB Crucial MX 100
USB 3.1 Gen PCIE card


I've highlighted the additions over the years. So really its not quite the same system. However these are my take aways:

X58 had a really long life span, especially as it laterly supported cheap very overclockable (and yet still as cool as the old chips) 6 core CPUs. So a platform with a long life is probably a good idea. So for example if AMD is true to their word of supporting AM4 for 5 years, that means in 7-8 years cheap second hand last gen chips should be available for an inexpensive boost. Or if Coffee Lake overclocks like crazy, it may still be very good years after like 3800K. I would suggest the former, as this would mean you would benefit from smaller processes later.

PCIEs, having lots of lanes help, as IO cards can fill in when new standards come in.

Good solid quality components, they will last and last. (CM PSU is fine, I just wanted a semi-passive PSU).

Get lucky, you randomly backed a winner.


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 Post subject: Re: The Ten Year PC Build
PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 2:22 pm 
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Posts: 15
Location: Vancouver B.C
Bigg wrote:
Good to know. Might be an option. Kind of want a graphics card, although I'm not sure it's necessary per se.

I'd start without a discrete graphics card. You can always add one later on if you find the integrated graphics wanting.

Quote:
Hmmm, ok, I'll have to go dig into the reviews and see what chipset I want for a Kaby Lake.

The last poster, Gunbuster, reminded me of something. You may want to have a look at server motherboards and Xeon. If you want the best possible multitasking performance and often have multiple VMs _actively_ running, then a server/workstation setup will probably serve you better. Supermicro has a reputation for reliability - I have one of their server mobo that's been running 24/7 for 8+ years now. For desktop/workstation application you should look at their Socket 1151 UP mobo for Xeon E3-12xx v5/v6.

Quote:
Do you use an internal drive for backup? I was thinking of using an external for backup, and keeping everything else internal. Is the Windows backup as good as what Time Machine does on the Mac?

I backup to a NAS. I've never used Macs so I can't compare Windows File History to Time Machine, the few times I had to retrieve a file, File History worked. In the age of ransomware it's good to have a backup on an external drive that's not always on line, but for regular backups I prefer saving the backups to either network or an local internal drive.

Quote:
The 850 EVO is about the same in M.2 or SATA, $15-$160, but then there's the 850 PRO SATA at $210, the 960 EVO M.2 at $255, and the 960 PRO M.2 at $300. That's a HUGE spread in pricing.

When comparing SSDs their "connector-interface-protocol" type is important. The Samsung examples can be catagorised as:

850 evo M2 - M2-SATA-ACHI
850 pro/evo - SATA-SATA-ACHI
960 pro/evo - M2-PCIe-NVMe

Quote:
Will regular desktop performance increase significantly going from an 850 PRO to a 960 PRO? The 960 PRO looks absolutely blistering fast, which I would think should speed up virtually everything on the machine? Right now, I seem to bottleneck on the SSD, although it's a cheap one, and I have a SATA 3gbps connection.

As you see there is a ~50+% price premium on PCIe-NVMe drives, I very much doubt you'll see a 50% real world performance increase. From past experience, whilst the 1st generation of any new I/O techology is faster, it will only realise its full potential 4-5 years down the road when everything from chipsets to the OS go from merely supporting it to fully optimised for it. Unless you know for sure that a PCIe-NVMe drive will boost your productivity now, I would either save some money with the 850 evo/pro or spend that money on a 1TB 850 evo.


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 Post subject: Re: The Ten Year PC Build
PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 6:37 pm 
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Posts: 147
Gunbuster wrote:
X58 had a really long life span, especially as it laterly supported cheap very overclockable (and yet still as cool as the old chips) 6 core CPUs. So a platform with a long life is probably a good idea. So for example if AMD is true to their word of supporting AM4 for 5 years, that means in 7-8 years cheap second hand last gen chips should be available for an inexpensive boost. Or if Coffee Lake overclocks like crazy, it may still be very good years after like 3800K. I would suggest the former, as this would mean you would benefit from smaller processes later.

PCIEs, having lots of lanes help, as IO cards can fill in when new standards come in.

Good solid quality components, they will last and last. (CM PSU is fine, I just wanted a semi-passive PSU).

Get lucky, you randomly backed a winner.


Yeah, I'm thinking I should wait for Coffee Lake, although it seems there is always something new. Going to 6 cores would be nice. I'm not that worried about the chipset/platform, as I don't game, so I don't see why a Coffee Lake Hexa-Core wouldn't be fine in 10 years. It seems that aside from gaming or heavy rendering work, CPUs last a really long time these days. The days of upgrading every 3 years seem to be long gone.

mingv7v wrote:
I'd start without a discrete graphics card. You can always add one later on if you find the integrated graphics wanting.


Yeah, I should probably do that, as it may well be fine.

Quote:
The last poster, Gunbuster, reminded me of something. You may want to have a look at server motherboards and Xeon. If you want the best possible multitasking performance and often have multiple VMs _actively_ running, then a server/workstation setup will probably serve you better. Supermicro has a reputation for reliability - I have one of their server mobo that's been running 24/7 for 8+ years now. For desktop/workstation application you should look at their Socket 1151 UP mobo for Xeon E3-12xx v5/v6.


The VMs will stay with Parallels on the Mac, which has a 2011-era quad i7. I can run two VMs with 8GB of RAM, it sort of goes haywire after that, as the system wants 4GB for itself, plus the 2GB plus overhead for each VM that I run. They're really just toys for me at this point, so I'm not too worried about the need to run multiple VMs. The only practical use I have is really keeping a few Windows XP games and applications alive.

Quote:
I backup to a NAS. I've never used Macs so I can't compare Windows File History to Time Machine, the few times I had to retrieve a file, File History worked. In the age of ransomware it's good to have a backup on an external drive that's not always on line, but for regular backups I prefer saving the backups to either network or an local internal drive.


I also backup to Backblaze for offsite, although restoring from that is a royal PITA. True file versioning on an internal would take of ransomware, since the new encrypted file is a new version of the file. Do you know if Windows File History handles this?

Quote:
When comparing SSDs their "connector-interface-protocol" type is important. The Samsung examples can be catagorised as:

850 evo M2 - M2-SATA-ACHI
850 pro/evo - SATA-SATA-ACHI
960 pro/evo - M2-PCIe-NVMe


Oh dear, you're right, I hadn't dug into it that deeply. I would think I would want my boot/applications drive to be M2-PCIe-NVMe then, as that's the biggest bottleneck left in a system of this caliber.

Quote:
As you see there is a ~50+% price premium on PCIe-NVMe drives, I very much doubt you'll see a 50% real world performance increase. From past experience, whilst the 1st generation of any new I/O techology is faster, it will only realise its full potential 4-5 years down the road when everything from chipsets to the OS go from merely supporting it to fully optimised for it. Unless you know for sure that a PCIe-NVMe drive will boost your productivity now, I would either save some money with the 850 evo/pro or spend that money on a 1TB 850 evo.


Hmmmmmm, that's interesting to think about. Even with the Lightroom catalog on the SSD, I still don't foresee needing more than 512GB. The flip side is that it's a complete PITA to upgrade the boot drive, so I want something that will stick around for a while. I have my Aperture database on my SSD now, and that definitely speeds things up, and I'll be using Lightroom on the TYPC a lot more than I use Aperture now (I have years of backlogged/procrastinated photos from tips to go through).


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 Post subject: Re: The Ten Year PC Build
PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 3:58 pm 
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Posts: 15
Location: Vancouver B.C
Bigg wrote:
I also backup to Backblaze for offsite, although restoring from that is a royal PITA. True file versioning on an internal would take of ransomware, since the new encrypted file is a new version of the file. Do you know if Windows File History handles this?

When I need to use File History it is usually to retrieve an earlier version of a file.

What ransomware can encrypt depends on the variant, but potentially they can encrypt anything they have access and write privilege, so backups locally or on the network will be useless if the ransomware encrypted the whole drive and/or the network backup folder.


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 Post subject: Re: The Ten Year PC Build
PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 5:56 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2002 4:05 pm
Posts: 147
mingv7v wrote:
When I need to use File History it is usually to retrieve an earlier version of a file.

What ransomware can encrypt depends on the variant, but potentially they can encrypt anything they have access and write privilege, so backups locally or on the network will be useless if the ransomware encrypted the whole drive and/or the network backup folder.


Ah, gotcha. Offsite with versioning is that much more important then.


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 Post subject: Re: The Ten Year PC Build
PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2017 5:50 pm 
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Posts: 147
The Coffee Lake chips should ship next month, so it looks like my chip is the Core i7-8700 with a 65W TDP and 6 cores. That should be a real beast of a chip, but due to requiring 300-series chipsets, I'll also have to wait on choosing a motherboard.


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 Post subject: Re: The Ten Year PC Build
PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2017 4:33 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 4:36 am
Posts: 6786
Location: Monterey Bay, CA
Bigg wrote:
That should be a real beast of a chip, but due to requiring 300-series chipsets, I'll also have to wait on choosing a motherboard.

My suggestion is to wait until 3 months after release to let any potential bugs or unwanted features crop up and be solved. This is more for motherboards, as driver and BIOS updates are fast and furious for the first couple of months.

_________________
1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, MSI Z87-G45, MSI GTX 760 2GB Gaming, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung Evo 250GB, Crucial MX100 256GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic X-560. 35-40W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 200-230W Rift, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)

Support SPCR through these links: NCIX, Amazon and Newegg


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 Post subject: Re: The Ten Year PC Build
PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2017 12:05 pm 
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Posts: 52
CPU: i5-7600k for the best performance for your dollar. i7-7700k if money is not a concern. Consider waiting for Coffee Lake though.

RAM: 16 GB for your uses, though, if price is a concern, start with 8GB and upgrade whenever you need to.

Video Card: GTX 1050 Ti is the best video card in the $150 price range and Palit sells a passively cooled version of it for a bit more than that. RX 550 is the most energy efficient card: not quite as powerful as the 1050 Ti but still acceptable.

Storage: Don't buy a 1TB of SSD if you're not even close to being able to fill it. According to Samsung, SSD's will plummet in price in 2018 and 2019 anyway.

Case: Mini-ATX is not a standard form factor anymore. There's ATX, Micro ATX and ITX. Micro ATX can give you a balance between the small form factor and spaciousness. In any event, look at Fractal Design's cases.

PSU: Seasonic is a good brand. I heard good things about the M12II and S12II, but go for a fanless PSU if you can afford to.


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 Post subject: Re: The Ten Year PC Build
PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 8:38 pm 
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Posts: 15
Location: Vancouver B.C
Bigg wrote:
The Coffee Lake chips should ship next month,

Cannonlake may ship soon after that... Despite rumours of Cannonlake slipping to late 2018, INTC insist they will ship some low volume Cannonlake SKUs by the end of this year and then ramp up the volume during 1st half 2018.

If you're waiting then might as well see if Cannonlake is released by end of year (and if there's enough stock for the demand), if not then you can see if there're any boxing day bargains for Coffee/Kaby Lakes.


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 Post subject: Re: The Ten Year PC Build
PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 12:46 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2002 4:05 pm
Posts: 147
I'm hoping to be able to go with Coffee Lake, but I don't want to wait any longer than that, as it seems there is always something new on the horizon. I'd like to go with a Hexa-core i7.

I'm debating on a 256GB vs. 512GB, I may go for the 512GB, since it's not easy to upgrade (reinstall OS, etc), although if I needed more for storage of files that need fast access, I suppose I could add a SATA SSD, and keep the 256GB NVMe SSD for the boot drive and programs.


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 Post subject: Re: The Ten Year PC Build
PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 5:24 pm 
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Posts: 15
Location: Vancouver B.C
Bigg wrote:
I'm hoping to be able to go with Coffee Lake, but I don't want to wait any longer than that,

We get Coffee Lake and the 300 series chipset next week. Even if you wait only a month for the initial bugs to be sorted it's already November. Personally I'd wait a bit longer for the platform to stabilise, by which time we should have a lot more information on Cannonlake.

You don't have to wait for Cannonlake but it may suggest getting a cheaper Coffee Lake for now and upgrading to a Cannonlake in 12-18 months time.

Quote:
I'm debating on a 256GB vs. 512GB, I may go for the 512GB, since it's not easy to upgrade (reinstall OS, etc),

You shouldn't have to reinstall to upgrade your OS SSD drive. I've used the Samsung data migration software to clone a number of Win 7/10 system boot drives to SSDs (HDD or SSD to new SSD) and they've worked every time, no reinstall needed - the caveat here is that they're all SATA and not NVMe drives.


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 Post subject: Re: The Ten Year PC Build
PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2017 5:17 pm 
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Posts: 147
And we got Coffee Lake! I don't want to upgrade CPU/motherboard in this PC. I want them to last 10 years. The 65W 6 core i7 should be able to do that considering that my 2011 MBP's i7 isn't that bad now, and it's 6 years old.


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 Post subject: Re: The Ten Year PC Build
PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2017 9:09 pm 
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Posts: 147
Here's what I've come up with for the TYPC:

CPU: Intel Core i7-8700 Coffee Lake (if they ever come back in stock)
Motherboard: ASUS Prime Z370A
This thing is a bit more expensive than I'd like for a motherboard, but it's got support for 3x digital displays, DisplayPort, and USB 3.1 Type-C. Cheaper motherboards don't have DisplayPort or support for 3 digital displays. I'm hoping to avoid needing a graphics cards at all, as I don't game, I just like lots of screen real estate.

RAM: Corsair Vengeance 16GB

SSD: MyDigitalSSD 480GB
This seems to be an enthusiast favorite, and it provides almost as good performance as the Samsung SSDs with an attractive price point. I haven't done extensive research, but the Phison E7 controller has gotten a lot of attention, and it's read and write speeds seem to be second only to Samsung amongst the models I compared.

Hard Drive: HGST 4TB
These are the most reliable based on Backblaze data, and I have several of them already. I'll get a 6 or 8TB drive if/when I need more space, and relegate this one to deep storage. With RAW files from my cameras, this will probably be sooner than later. Easy enough to add a D:/ or E:/ drive for storage.

Case: Fractal Design R5

PSU: Seasonic 400W Fanless
Should I get the 750W Snow Silent to accommodate future expansion? I'd imagine the 400W unit should be plenty? I had a 300W Seasonic unit in my previous PC (Pentium 4 era), and it was fine with as much crap as I could stuff in the case.

Heatsink: Noctua L9
They claim silent operation with a 65W TDP, and I believe it based on what I've seen with this heatsink on my 35W TDP i3. I just don't see the need for a giant tower monstrosity when this one should do the trick just fine.

Thoughts? I'm also going to go back and re-read this whole thread and see if I glean any additional thoughts from it.


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 Post subject: Re: The Ten Year PC Build
PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2017 9:40 pm 
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Posts: 147
mingv7v wrote:
I have the Seasonic 400w fanless platinum. However the Focus+ has a shorter chassis (140mm) which maybe important depending on the case. Also check the price difference between the gold and platinum Focus+, I would have bought the Focus+ 550 gold if it were available then.


I could go back to the Focus Plus 550W for $99, or, for $139, get the butt-ugly Snow Silent 750W, or stick with the 400W fanless. Is the Snow Silent actually any quieter than the Focus Plus? The Snow Silent is advertised specifically as a silent PSU, but is it any quieter than the other ones? There doesn't seem to be a black equivalent of it, even though the white is, in my opinion, butt ugly when put in a black case.

I'm also open to alternative heatsinks, but I don't like the goofy looking tower heatsinks, even though I can see why they would be beneficial thermally.


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 Post subject: Re: The Ten Year PC Build
PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2017 12:57 pm 
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I still hate the design of the tower heatsink monstrosities, but I'm considering going with one of the Noctua towers, either the 92mm model, or the 120m model:

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product. ... -_-Product

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product. ... -_-Product


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 Post subject: Re: The Ten Year PC Build
PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2017 4:49 pm 
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Posts: 15
Location: Vancouver B.C
Bigg wrote:
CPU: Intel Core i7-8700 Coffee Lake (if they ever come back in stock)

According to Intel Coffee Lake parts from their Chengdu plant should be available by mid Dec, that should ease the stock situation.

Quote:
Motherboard: ASUS Prime Z370A
This thing is a bit more expensive than I'd like for a motherboard, but it's got support for 3x digital displays, DisplayPort, and USB 3.1 Type-C. Cheaper motherboards don't have DisplayPort or support for 3 digital displays. I'm hoping to avoid needing a graphics cards at all, as I don't game, I just like lots of screen real estate.)

If you want Coffee Lake now you have no choice, the Z370 is a premium part, cheaper mobos with H, Q and B versions of the chipset will not be available until next year.

The Intel IGPU will be fine for non-game use. If you're planning on running multiple >2K monitors you need to make sure that the monitors have the necessary display ports for daisy chaining. The DVI port is limited to 1920*1200 and you'll need to daisy chain for >2 monitors @ >2K resolutions.

Quote:
SSD: MyDigitalSSD 480GB

MyDigitalSSD is not a brand I'm familiar with and this is not an area where I would go with a brand that doesn't have a lot of history. Proceed with caution.

Quote:
Hard Drive: HGST 4TB
These are the most reliable based on Backblaze data, and I have several of them already.

The HGST 4TB drives Backblaze uses are not current models so those data are somewhat moot. I've bought half a dozen HGST 8,6 and 5 TB Deskstar NAS drives over the last 2 years and they are all noisy. Their desktop models maybe different, if you're looking for quiet operation their 5K drives are probably safer bets.

Quote:
PSU: Seasonic 400W Fanless
Should I get the 750W Snow Silent to accommodate future expansion?

IMO the 750W Snow Silent would be an overkill. If you're looking to save some money this is an area where you can do so without much compromise. The Seasonic Focus+ 550 Platinum costs around the same as the the 400W FL2, the Focus+ 550 Gold would be a bit cheaper. With a 65W TDP CPU and no GPU the Focus+ 550W Gold will do fine. BTW the Focus+ line comes with 10 years warranty, only 7 years for Snow Silent and FL2. The Focus Plus also have a smaller footprint.

Quote:
Heatsink: Noctua L9

I see no reason for using a low profile heatsink unless it's dictated by the enclosure. I have used both the Noctua NH-U12S and NH-D9L, the 120mm fan will allow for quieter operation. Also depending on the location of the M2 slot, its orientation and the thermal characteristics of the NVMe drive, a down blower maybe worth looking into. If you're looking to save some money, this is also an area where you can do so without much compromise, e.g., Scythe. And if you don't like the look of tower coolers, get a R5 without a window and save a couple more bucks... ;-)


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