The 2020 PC Workstation

December 6, 2020
hardware workstation

Just a snapshot of this year hardware changes. After 8 years of good service, I replaced my workstation this winter.

Previous workstation (2012)

  • Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V
  • CPU: Intel i5-3570K (4c4t, 3.5Ghz o.c. to 4.3Ghz)
  • CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-U12S tower radiator
  • RAM: 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 @ 1600Mhz
  • GPU: AMD HD7870 (Asus, death by artifacts)
  • Case: Antec P280 (large tower)
  • Storage: 120GB SSD and 2TB HDD
  • PSU: 650W 80+ Gold from Corsair with 10y warranty
  • Screen: Two Samsung 1200p, 24” PLS panels.
  • OS: Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10

Improvements over the years…

  • More fast storage: 2x512GB SSD (BX200 and EVO 860)
  • 16GB RAM: +2x4GB DDR @ 1866Ghz (running at 1600Mhz)
  • Replaced GPU: AMD R9 290 (random issues)
  • Replaced GPU (again): GTX 1070 (current used)
  • Added one more screen: 1440p IPS from Dell

New Workstation (2021-ish)

  • Case: Fractal Design R6 USB-C
  • Motherboard: Asus B550-F
  • CPU: Ryzen 5950X (16c32t @ ~4.5Ghz)
  • Cooling: Celsius S36 360mm radiator all-in-one watercooling
  • RAM: 32GB (2x16Go) DDR4 3200Mhz CL16
  • OS Storage: 1TB NVME
  • PSU: 850W 80+ Platinium from Seasonic
  • Storage: reused hard drives and SSD (5TB RAID1)
  • GPU: reused graphic card (GTX 1070)
  • Two Ergotron monitors arms
  • OS: Windows 10

Build comments:

  • I initially planned a 5900X, but it’s out of stock pretty much anywhere for the foreseeable future, so I settled for the upgrade (but 1k€ is a lot for a CPU)
  • The case have a USB-C front header, but the B550-F doesn’t have an internal header for it ¯_(ツ)_/¯
  • I just dd’d of my old SSD into the NVMe drive and it booted right away

Impressions:

  • Very silent setup
  • Motherboard sound card significantly better (on my 2.1 speaker kit)
  • Snappier when loading tabs in parallel in Chrome or Firefox
  • No more UI hiccups when dealing with large system tasks (like downloading something at 1Gbps when watching a 1440p video)

Overall I don’t really feel the difference, switching to SSD was a much more significant upgrade.

Old workstation is now a very fast Proxmox server :)

See you in 8 years!