Viewing 37 posts - 1 through 37 (of 37 total)
  • IT types (a.k.a all of you) recommend me a powerful computer and place to buy.
  • ferrals
    Member

    Hoping to buy a new computer shortly for working from home. Ideally I’d like it as close as possible to my work machine (i7-5960X 3GHz, 32GB ram, 2TB memory split over two disks). ONly need to buy the actual computer, not monitors, keyboard etc.

    To be used for data analysis of large datasets (in Matlab FWIW), image analysis, and some numerical simulations. Cost wise got absolute max £1.5k would prefer to spend nearer £1k. Obv. won’t get near my work spec (I don’t think) and I am not able to build from parts.

    Where is good to buy from and what sort of spec can I get for that money?

    Premier Icon bikebouy
    Member

    You’re welcome..

    😆

    Premier Icon P-Jay
    Subscriber

    Get Novatech to knock one up to your chosen spec, you won’t find much like that off the shelf.

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Subscriber

    I got my custom desktop (computer only) from these guys following a recommendation on here…

    https://www.aria.co.uk/

    Very happy with the PC and the service, they even down-sold me on a couple of bits.

    One of my big wants was a quiet fan, which has been lovely.

    jolmes
    Member

    Overclockers UK, might be primarily gaming but they boys know how to build a high powered computer.

    Premier Icon simon_g
    Subscriber

    pcspecialist.co.uk

    Customize based on their home/office spec, add a i7-7700, 32GB RAM, 2x 1TB Samsung EVO SSDs and it comes to £1435 inc VAT and delivery.

    Else the route I took was to buy a Dell Precision workstation from their outlet, then add RAM and SSDs myself, although you’re getting toward “self build” territory there. The bonus is that they run super quiet even when the CPU is working hard, and a Xeon processor, ECC RAM and other niceties, not just a souped-up regular desktop.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Member

    I’d contact a builder like overclockers. Also investigate getting a high power GPU that supports CUDA, which is a way of allowing software to use the huge processing power of a graphics card for other mathematical applications. MATLAB supports CUDA according to the internet.

    Whilst SSD is brilliant for normal use, you may not get a benefit spending the large amount of cash on two 1TB SSDs – if your data sets are loaded into memory before being worked on then the load on the disk will be minimal and even then if they are large files you won’t get a big benefit of SSD because they should all be in big chunks on the disk. Perhaps a large normal HD for storing your files, a small SSD for software and OS and spend the rest on horsepower.

    ferrals
    Member

    Cheers all, will have a good look through these this evening… nothing like a rock and roll friday night 😳

    Premier Icon rossburton
    Subscriber

    PC Specialist built me a cracker of a build machine a few years ago, for a good price.

    mattyfez
    Member

    I’d be looking at an 8 core ryzen for that sort of system, prebuilt:

    My basket at Overclockers UK:
    [LIST]
    [*] 1 x OcUK Tech Labs AMD Ryzen Midi Tower Gaming PC Configurator = £1,245.89
    [LIST]
    [*] Processor:AMD Ryzen 7 Eight Core 1700 3.70GHz (Socket AM4) Processor – Retail
    [*] Motherboard:Asus Prime B350-Plus AMD B350 (Socket AM4) DDR4 ATX Motherboard
    [*] CPU Cooler:Cooler Master Hyper TX3 Evo CPU Cooler [*] Mechanical Hard Drive 1:Seagate BarraCuda 2TB 7200RPM SATA 6Gb/s
    [*] Operating System:Microsoft Windows 10 64-Bit DVD – OEM (MS-KW9-00139)
    [*] Build Time:Standard Build Systems – Dispatched within 7 working days
    [*] Memory:Kingston Savage Black 32GB (2x16GB) DDR4 PC4-21300C15 2666MHz Dual Channel Kit (HX426C15SBK2/32)
    [*] Case:Bitfenix Nova Midi Tower Case – Black
    [*] Power Supply:Kolink KL-500 500W ’80 Plus Bronze’ Power Supply
    [*] M.2 Solid State Drive **For Operating System If Selected**:Samsung 960 EVO Polaris 250GB M.2 2280 PCI-e 3.0 x4 NVMe Solid State Drive
    [*] Graphics Card:Palit GeForce GTX 1050 StormX 2048MB PCI-Express GDDR5 Graphics Card
    [/LIST]

    Total: £1,259.99
    (includes shipping: £14.10)

    Room left in your budget for a better graphics card or other config tweeks.

    mattyfez
    Member

    i7 build:

    My basket at Overclockers UK:
    [LIST]
    [*] 1 x OcUK Tech Labs Skylake/Kabylake Midi Tower Gaming PC Configurator = £1,316.84

    [LIST]
    [*] CPU Cooler:Alpenfohn Brocken ECO CPU Cooler – 120 mm [*] Mechanical Hard Drive 1:Seagate BarraCuda 2TB 7200RPM SATA 6Gb/s 64MB Cache HDD – OEM (ST2000DM006)
    [*] Operating System:Microsoft Windows 10 64-Bit DVD – OEM (MS-KW9-00139)
    [*] Build Time:Standard Build Systems – Dispatched within 7 working days
    [*] Processor:Intel Core i7-7700 3.6GHz (Kaby Lake) Socket LGA1151 Processor – Retail
    [*] Motherboard:Asus Prime Z270-P Intel Z270 (Socket 1151) DDR4 ATX Motherboard
    [*] Memory:Kingston Savage Black 32GB (2x16GB) DDR4 PC4-21300C15 2666MHz Dual Channel Kit (HX426C15SBK2/32)
    [*] Power Supply:Kolink KL-500 500W ’80 Plus Bronze’ Power Supply
    [*] Case:Kolink Aviator Midi Tower Gaming Case – Black
    [*] M.2 Solid State Drive **For Operating System If Selected**:Samsung 960 EVO Polaris 250GB M.2 2280 PCI-e 3.0 x4 NVMe Solid State Drive
    [*] Graphics Card:KFA2 GeForce GTX 1050Ti OC 4096MB GDDR5 PCI-Express Graphics Card
    [/LIST]

    Total: £1,330.94
    (includes shipping: £14.10)

    Premier Icon simon_g
    Subscriber

    I was assuming the 2TB storage (split over two disks) was SSD.

    1TB SSDs are about £285 each, which rather eats into the budget.

    The builds above are an old, slow spinning 2TB disk – god knows why you’d spend upwards of a grand on a PC and use one of those.

    Premier Icon scaredypants
    Subscriber

    Is it time for an IT dunce’s contribution yet ?

    Can your software utilise multiple cores and is there a limit to how many?

    Do you really need 2Tb – that’s storage not memory, isn’t it (?) and you may not need that much at home

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Member

    The builds above are an old, slow spinning 2TB disk – god knows why you’d spend upwards of a grand on a PC and use one of those.

    Spinning disks make sense when you need a lot of storage and it doesn’t need to be quick – for large data files for example. Saves a lot of cash. The above build has a 250GB SSD for the OS and software. Seems a sensible use of cash given the requirements.

    Do you really need 2Tb – that’s storage not memory, isn’t it (?) and you may not need that much at home

    Although my experience of this area isn’t extensive, I’d imagine that whatever files need lots of power to process are likely to be rather large. Astronomers for example get through enormous amounts of storage with stuff like 20Gb raw image data files all over the place.

    mattyfez
    Member

    2tb is a lot, the builds I put together above are the latest intel or AMD CPU’s and have 2tb spin drive storage, ans A much faster 250gb SSD system drive.

    Premier Icon scaredypants
    Subscriber

    Although my experience of this area isn’t extensive, I’d imagine that whatever files need lots of power to process are likely to be rather large. Astronomers for example get through enormous amounts of storage with stuff like 20Gb raw image data files all over the place

    Yeah, but surely the majority of these massive files will be at work and OP’ll be bringging a subset home to work on ? (unless there’s a super high-speed link between work & home, even just saving onto a transportable drive’d take ages if it was 2Tb)

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Member

    A subset could easily be 2Gb 🙂

    Premier Icon scaredypants
    Subscriber

    Yes, but he wants 2Tb

    mattyfez
    Member

    2tb is probably the sweet spot for a storage drive at £60.

    A 500gb spin drive is still £40 so you may as well sling a bigger one in given the OP’s budget.

    ferrals
    Member

    2Tb was simply because it’s what I have at work and I like to duplicate the data in both places for ease and as an additional back up. A lot of the time the raw data takes up a lot of space but the processed/refined data is much smaller so an ssd for software and working and an old style hd to keep the bulk makes a lot of sense

    skids
    Member

    https://www.scan.co.uk/

    mattyfez
    Member

    2Tb was simply because it’s what I have at work and I like to duplicate the data in both places for ease and as an additional back up. A lot of the time the raw data takes up a lot of space but the processed/refined data is much smaller so an ssd for software and working and an old style hd to keep the bulk makes a lot of sense

    Only you can really say how much storage space you need and what your backup requirements are, but I’d certainly recommend an m.2 SSD drive as your main working drive, minimum 250gb and then either one or two larger old skool drives for bulk storage /backup.

    You could go all SSD, but it would likely blow your budget and wouldn’t really give much benefit.
    Reading and writing large files to spin drives will obviously be slower, but they are much cheaper.

    But the idea is to do all your activities on the SSD and then just use the old skool drives as a bucket to chuck stuff in that your not working on.

    Premier Icon el_boufador
    Subscriber

    Now this might not work, depending on what you want to do, but it’s worth thinking about as an option.

    You could consider renting a VM on a cloud host e.g Amazon S3 or Micosoft Azure.

    The beauty of this is that you can rent an absolute beast of a VM up in the cloud for not very much money and you will only pay when it’s switched on (well at least that’s how it works on Azure anyway).
    Also you have no hardware that gets old and to upgrade ‘cus it’s all in a datacentre somewhere, being managed for you by someone else.

    However it will depend on your specific requirements (e.g. peripherals), software etc. You could probably trial it quite cheaply (or maybe free) to see if it will work. A lot of the services will give you some free credits for trying stuff out.

    You’ll need some kind of thin client though (e.g. existing PC). You also need to be careful about what data you are putting up there (e.g. do you have any regulations to be mindful of, depending on what sort of data it is).

    Premier Icon el_boufador
    Subscriber

    PS depending how the software works, you might want all the raw data on SSD for performance, ‘cus a lot of the time this is going to be governed by I/O speed of the raw data. Depends how the software works though so I couldn’t say categorically without doing some performance monitoring.
    PS you can rent VMs with SSD storage (at least on azure, anyway)

    mattyfez
    Member

    Yeh I’d agree with that, if using more neich software it would be worth looking up that sort stuff, how many processor cores it can utilise, etc.
    There’s probably a geeky forum somewhere where you could get that sort of info. Like there is for bikes 😆

    Premier Icon wallop
    Subscriber

    *ahem*

    Not all of us. I have no idea what the posts above are gibbering on about.

    skids
    Member

    You can pretty much match your workspec for that money aside you would have to drop to 8 core rather than 10, but you could afford socket 2066. If you are not going to go with that then you should be looking at spending well under £1000

    Premier Icon el_boufador
    Subscriber

    PPS just jumped into my mind. Another great thing if it works on the cloud, is that should you find performance is lacking in one area (e.g. processor is bottleneck, disk is bottleneck), you can just re-spec the VM to up the performance of whatever the problem area is, without having to buy another load of hardware. Shouldn’t have to rebuild the VM either.
    Eqaully if you’ve over specc-d then you can tune it back to save cash.

    me love de cloud.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    Some very good advice here. I’ve nothing further to add to this discussion beyond “listen to Matty and Mols”.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Member

    You’d have to take care using the cloud. Make sure your organisation is ok with you sending their data somewhere else. Most aren’t without a commercial arrangement.

    Premier Icon el_boufador
    Subscriber

    Yep agreed.
    Though if they’re letting you host data on a PC you are going to spec yourself and keep at home…I’m guessing they’re quite relaxed about such things. Or maybe they just haven’t thought about it very hard…

    Premier Icon peterno51
    Subscriber

    There’s also the thorny issues of licensing.
    How will you be running Matlab from home? VPN connection to work and the licence server?
    Re things like CUDA, is Matlab one of the ones that makes you have an extra licence to make use of GPUs?

    Re the disk options, it would depend on the type of Matlab jobs you will be running and what modules of Matlab are being called. Worth checking with Matlab as to how to optimise depending on the job type.

    chewkw
    Member

    Some well known computer stores:

    In no particular order of preference.

    Overclockers UK
    Scan
    Ebuyer
    CCL Online
    QuietPC
    Kustom PC (they stock PWM power distribution board too)
    Novatech
    Morecomputers

    Price variation for all of them is only between 10% – 20% so not a problem. For peace of mind you should just choose one or few of those that can deliver what you want.

    I recently ordered from QuietPC & Kustom PC both very good. I think I have now ordered from all the ones I listed above except Novatech (was going to order from them but they ran out of stock). 🙂

    PJay
    Member

    To be honest I don’t think that there’s a stand out supplier these days. Everything seems pretty cut price and competitive and OEM pricing and licensing pretty much sets the baseline.

    Find somewhere that allows full customisation and have a think about how you want to split your budget (like a bike frame, the motherboard is a good starting point).

    I’m rather out of touch with PC stuff at the moment but recently AMD Ryzen processors seemed to be the ‘go to’ component but I’m starting to see adverts for Intel Core X products that look interesting.

    I’ve tended to buy from CCL in the past.

    ferrals
    Member

    There’s also the thorny issues of licensing.
    How will you be running Matlab from home? VPN connection to work and the licence server?
    Re things like CUDA, is Matlab one of the ones that makes you have an extra licence to make use of GPUs?

    Yep exactly, vpn to license server.

    For other software some is open source and some is dongle license so no issues either way.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Member

    Ferrals, has your organisation considered the cloud for processing? Depending on your situation I may be able to help professionally.

Viewing 37 posts - 1 through 37 (of 37 total)

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