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Author Topic: Building a PC  (Read 188 times)

zahc

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Building a PC
« on: November 25, 2021, 04:08:09 PM »

I want a Linux PC for 3D printing, CAD, and editing GoPro videos. My i5 office computer isn't getting it done.

I don't want to pay big bucks for phenomenal cosmic game performance. I also don't want to pay a big markup on a "gaming" or "professional workstation" computer that's probably overkill. It used to be, building a PC was the way to go, but I don't know what sockets/dram/hdd busses/coolers/cases are compatible and I don't really want to learn. Is there any way to spec out a basic decent PC that's quiet and not too big but would have some decent horsepower for CAD and so on?

I tried a PC configurator tool online, but even after filtering by 65W TDP and $200 max, there were like 175 CPUs to choose from...
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230RN

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Re: Building a PC
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2021, 04:42:41 PM »

Upper limit of my expertise:



Sorry.  =D


MillCreek

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Re: Building a PC
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2021, 05:36:10 PM »

My son has built several PCs.  When I bought my new desktop (Dell XPS tower with 11th Gen i7-11700, GeForce RTX 3070 with 8Gb, 64 Gb RAM, 2 Tb HDD, 1 Tb SSD, and 500 watt PSU) on sale for $ 2100 ($ 400 off regular price), I asked my son to comparison shop a new build and if he could do it for cheaper, I would pay him.  He uses the Newegg custom PC builder and PCBuilder.net. He said that he could not build it for as cheap as Costco was selling it plus it was very difficult to find the GPU in the supply chain at the time.  From what he tells me, a lot of parts are still scarce.
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dogmush

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Re: Building a PC
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2021, 05:54:07 PM »

Parts are still scarce. Try buying used.

I run my 3D printers and CNC stuff on old dell business class laptops I buy refurbished of ebay. It does that stuff fine.  I usually pick them up for 3-4 hundred bucks, 5 years old or so.  Each of my printers has a Raspberry  Pi running the actual print monitoring stuff. (Octopi), and those are stupid  cheap.

I can't really  help you on CAD as I run Fusion360 on my gaming laptops, which weren't all that cheap.  But I don't think it takes that much horsepower to do CAD anymore. Anything that was good for gaming circa 2016 or so should work.

lee n. field

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Re: Building a PC
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2021, 06:24:55 PM »

I want a Linux PC for 3D printing, CAD, and editing GoPro videos. My i5 office computer isn't getting it done.

I don't want to pay big bucks for phenomenal cosmic game performance. I also don't want to pay a big markup on a "gaming" or "professional workstation" computer that's probably overkill. It used to be, building a PC was the way to go, but I don't know what sockets/dram/hdd busses/coolers/cases are compatible and I don't really want to learn. Is there any way to spec out a basic decent PC that's quiet and not too big but would have some decent horsepower for CAD and so on?

I tried a PC configurator tool online, but even after filtering by 65W TDP and $200 max, there were like 175 CPUs to choose from...

What are the requirements and recommendations for the software you want to run?  Specs on the i5 that's not good enough?

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Nick1911

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Re: Building a PC
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2021, 06:28:40 PM »

I use to play around building up PC's.

Anymore... Eh, I just want something that works and isn't too expensive.  My current PC is an i7 thinkcenter, business refub, from microcenter.  I dropped a little more ram in it.  It suits me for freecad modeling, general pc tasks, and my ide for work.  It's running fedora with xfce.

zahc

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Re: Building a PC
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2021, 07:09:16 PM »

The computer I have now is an Intel NUC SFF PC. I think it's some kind of i5, but that's laptop-type of i5. I like that it's small, it's pretty quiet, and it runs XFCE just fine. The problem is it sometimes takes a long time to slice 3D models or recalculate certain CAD scenarios in FreeCAD that essentially freeze my system for a while. It also takes a while to transcode video. Now I have a GoPro camera and need to edit down video and I don't want to be sitting there all day waiting.
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Ben

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Re: Building a PC
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2021, 07:14:01 PM »

The computer I have now is an Intel NUC SFF PC. I think it's some kind of i5, but that's laptop-type of i5. I like that it's small, it's pretty quiet, and it runs XFCE just fine. The problem is it sometimes takes a long time to slice 3D models or recalculate certain CAD scenarios in FreeCAD that essentially freeze my system for a while. It also takes a while to transcode video. Now I have a GoPro camera and need to edit down video and I don't want to be sitting there all day waiting.

I'm never one to stop somebody from buying a new computer, but a well-configured i5 should be able to handle that stuff if not lightning quick, not molasses slow either. What's your GPU situation? Is it shared or discrete? If discrete, maybe you can upgrade the GPU, and also toss some more RAM in if able. If video is not discrete, that's probably your major problem with the CAD.
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zahc

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Re: Building a PC
« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2021, 07:15:15 PM »

It's a small-form-factor single-board PC. If I have a GPU, it's whatever it came with.
Maybe a rare occurence, but then you only have to get murdered once to ruin your whole day.
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Bogie

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Re: Building a PC
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2021, 07:16:49 PM »

Just how much horsepower does the box need?
 
https://www.microcenter.com/category/4294967292,519/desktops
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zahc

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Re: Building a PC
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2021, 07:19:37 PM »

Maybe a rare occurence, but then you only have to get murdered once to ruin your whole day.
--Tallpine

lee n. field

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Re: Building a PC
« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2021, 07:47:05 PM »

I guess it's a Celeron.

https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/products/sku/85254/intel-nuc-kit-nuc5cpyh.html

Is that the exact one you have?  There are lots of NUCs, some of them look fairly capable (though I've never messed with one.)

When folks come in saying "my computer's too slow", I check CPU, hard disk, and RAM.  Those are the places a manufacturer will cheap out to make a nice price point.  4GB RAM for Windows 10, when you want at least 8.  "Intel Inside!" without saying exactly what CPU, usually means Celeron or Pentium, not i3, i5 or i7.  And a classic spinning platter type hard disk instead of a much faster (but more expensive per GB) SSD.

Any one of these will drag a system down.  There are a lot of uses for which this doesn't matter.

Integrated graphics isn't going to be the fastest.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2021, 09:09:42 PM by lee n. field »
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Bogie

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Re: Building a PC
« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2021, 07:57:33 PM »

This next year, my computer budget is going toward a bigger pipe...
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Ben

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Re: Building a PC
« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2021, 08:30:01 PM »

I guess it's a Celeron.

https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/products/sku/85254/intel-nuc-kit-nuc5cpyh.html

Yeah, nevermind my "try and upgrade" advice. With the combo of Celeron, 8gig max RAM, and integrated graphics, that will in fact be doggy with your CAD. I do a lot of GIS and remote sensing stuff (formerly for work, now because I'm a nerd), and GIS and CAD will be pretty similar in their requirements.

You could actually get by ok with an i5 if you don't find an i7 in your price range, but get at least 16gb of RAM and get a discrete video card. There are discrete video cards that are optimized for 3D modeling, CAD, GIS and other stuff not games, but they're kind of expensive. I have one in my Lenovo P5 (NVIDIA Quadro T2000). A 4gb professional graphics GPU will run circles around a 16gb gaming GPU for something like CAD (though they are not great at gaming).
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bedlamite

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Re: Building a PC
« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2021, 08:34:00 PM »

What's your budget for a new box?
Is defenestration possible through the overton window?

zahc

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Re: Building a PC
« Reply #15 on: November 25, 2021, 09:41:35 PM »

I'm thinking $1000 max. Something cheaper would be better. I bought this Celeron NUC for lunch $175, so if I could just buy a better one for a few hundred that would be nice. But since I'm doing more real work with this computer now it might be time to move back to a "real" desktop.
Maybe a rare occurence, but then you only have to get murdered once to ruin your whole day.
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lee n. field

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Re: Building a PC
« Reply #16 on: November 25, 2021, 10:15:33 PM »

I'm thinking $1000 max. Something cheaper would be better. I bought this Celeron NUC for lunch $175, so if I could just buy a better one for a few hundred that would be nice. But since I'm doing more real work with this computer now it might be time to move back to a "real" desktop.

how big a ssd do you need?  do you already have a case & power supply you can install stuff into?
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zahc

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Re: Building a PC
« Reply #17 on: November 25, 2021, 10:17:38 PM »

I don't have a case or PSU.

I have an SSD now that I would probably keep if possible.
Maybe a rare occurence, but then you only have to get murdered once to ruin your whole day.
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lee n. field

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Re: Building a PC
« Reply #18 on: November 25, 2021, 10:24:07 PM »

I don't have a case or PSU.

I have an SSD now that I would probably keep if possible.

So, that's a hundred bucks or so you don't have to spend on HD, that you do have to spend on something to put it in.

Video requirements for your CAD and video editing?  And, what are the hardware recommendations for the software you want to run?
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bedlamite

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Re: Building a PC
« Reply #19 on: November 25, 2021, 10:54:38 PM »

Is defenestration possible through the overton window?

cordex

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Re: Building a PC
« Reply #20 on: November 25, 2021, 11:55:49 PM »

No love for AMD?  I bought a Ryzen 1600 processor to limp through while I had my 3800X replaced under warranty.
It has maybe a month of use on it.  When my replacement comes in Iíll sell it to you for $100 if you want it.

zxcvbob

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Re: Building a PC
« Reply #21 on: November 26, 2021, 01:17:42 AM »

You can use a small SSD and a large HDD at the same time; not all of the storage needs super-fast access :) I bought a cheap gaming laptop last year that came with a tiny SSD and barely enough memory (8GB)  I added a HDD for a second disk, and another stick of memory just because.  It works very well.
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Calumus

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Re: Building a PC
« Reply #22 on: November 26, 2021, 09:44:21 PM »

Do you have a microcenter near you? Their in store prices can save a considerable amount on a build. CAD isnít all that demanding for a modern system. Youíll get decent performance from pretty much any 8th Gen or newer I5, or I7 just using the onboard graphics if youíre doing 2D renderings. If youíre doing 3D youíll need a discrete graphics card, though I doubt you are if youíve been using a NUC to do your work up until now.

At the price point youíre talking about, a pro graphics card is just going to be a waste of funds. A low level nVidia card will do what you need for considerably less. Quadros are generally identical to their gaming cards with a slightly different cooling solution and drivers that are tailored for professional use. I have an RTX 3090, itís basically identical to the RTX 6000 Quadro card with the exception of the msrp. The 3090 lists at $1500 (good luck getting one for that. Mine was a pull from a clientís system) the 6000 lists for $6200.. same guts.