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Thread: Thoughts on new OEM/Custom build

  1. #1
    Member KimArndt's Avatar
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    Thoughts on new OEM/Custom build

    We are looking to replacing our Revit superuser workstations, currently we have Dell T3500 (2.53 GHz Xenon E5630, Quadro 4000)

    We have to options:

    • Option 1 (OEM) $2600+TAX
      HP Z420 (WM520ET)
      - Intel« Xeon« Quad-Core E5-1620 processor 3,60 GHz, 10 MB Cache
      - 8 GB Ram (4x2 GB) DDR3 1333 MHz (Max 64 GB)
      - 1000 GB SATA 7200 RPM
      - Nvidia Quadro K2000 Grafikkort med 2 GB DDR5 RAM

    • Option 2 (OEM+Custom) $1650+TAX
      Base Lenovo ThinkCenter M93p
      - Intel« i7-4470 processor 3,40 GHz, 8 MB Cache
      - 8 GB Ram (4x2 GB) DDR3 1333 MHz
      - 256 GB SSD 6Gb/s
      + Custom addin:
      - GTX760 2GB
      - 8 GB Ram (4x2 GB) (16GB Total)


    What I am thinking is we are getting a lot more for our money with option 2.
    Performance wise, I have been checking the benchmark thread, and the 4770 is getting really good results, as low as 130 ish in model creation.
    Are there any implications with adding custom parts to an OEM M93p?

    What about build quality in general? Anyone have experience with either? When I think about the Thinkpad Laptop, the build quality is top nodge, does the same go with their desktops? Here I am thinking of preventing overheating and general quality in the parts used?

    We typically deal with medium - high end residential, medium healthcare and commercial building, with models typically around 100-200MB in average.

    Any final thoughts are welcome - grab a and enjoy the weekend
    Last edited by KimArndt; February 21st, 2014 at 06:41 AM.

  2. #2
    Forum Co-Founder iru69's Avatar
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    Hi Kim,

    The E5-1620 you've specified in the HP is a Sandy Bridge-EP, which is already two generations old... the i7-4770 is Haswell, and should be considerably faster. Also, I don't see an SSD in that system. I wouldn't recommend paying top dollar for old technology.

    The Lenovo is obviously the far better value - it's faster and less expensive.

    However, for the GTX760 you'll need a beefy PSU - looks like you can get the Lenovo with a 450W PSU. That should be enough by my calculations, but if you need to play it safe, you could add in the brand new GTX 750Ti or 750 - they're very power efficient and should offer excellent performance for Revit (very comparable to the Quadro K2000).

    The Lenovo has only 4 RAM slots, so if you want 16GB, you have to either add 2 x 8GB modules or replace all the modules with 4 x 4GB.

    I can't speak for the "build quality", but Lenovo does have a pretty good reputation as far as the big box OEMs go. I don't think it can be any worse than Dell or HP.

  3. #3
    Member KimArndt's Avatar
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    Yes, as far as CPU generations went it is pretty clear that the Xenon is old news. I have read your cpu and RAM guides extensively, very good reading BTW.

    Very good thought on the GFX, I will look into those to cards for sure.

    I see now the RAM is listed as 4x2GB, but at the reseller it is 2x4GB, which I think would be the case, and thus adding another 2x4GB would be OK.

    Thank you for putting your eyes at this

    Edit

    Further looking into the PSU of the Lenovo it is offered with a 280W PSU! Guessing it is because there is no GFX in it?

    Now, should I be looking for a 500W PSU to mount in the case, or find another computer all together?
    Last edited by KimArndt; February 21st, 2014 at 09:30 AM.

  4. #4
    Moderator MPwuzhere's Avatar
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    I'd suggest looking into an actual custom build....and assemble it yourself. The Lenovo your heading in the right direction, although I would change the 16GB ram to 2x8 to allow for easier future upgrades.

    This system is pretty much the same.....I have a 750w PSU though...would have been fine with a 500W... RFOBenchmark 2014 results

  5. #5
    Forum Co-Founder iru69's Avatar
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    Hi Kim,

    What form factor are you considering for the Lenovo? It looks like the "tower" supports a 450W PSU configuration - any of the smaller form factors may not support a physically larger PSU or powerful video card. You should still be able to get away with the GTX 750/750Ti with the 280W PSU (I see 240W listed for the SSF), but I'm not in a position to offer assurances...

    All I can do is the theoretical math, which is: ~100W for CPU+MB, ~20W for SSD & DVD drive, ~20W for RAM, fans, etc., ~60W for GTX 750Ti = 200W. You should have at least 10% overage, so 220W is about the absolute minimum (though that doesn't include trying to charge an iPhone off the USB port, etc.). Also, unless you're doing GPU rendering or heavy gaming, you'll rarely stress the video card - it's only pulling its full wattage at maximum stress.

    I have replaced the PSU and video card on a Dell box, but as Michael alludes to, at some point you have to wonder why buy a big box OEM if you're going to replace the video card, PSU, RAM... really all you have left is the motherboard/CPU and case!

  6. #6
    Member KimArndt's Avatar
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    MP - Yes, I have looked at that system, very nice indeed.

    Iru - I am not looking at any particular form factor - but I am thinking ATX and midi-tower range. Most important thing is getting a nice quiet case with good cooling.
    Our Revit users do not do any rendering at all - nor any gaming

    I see where you are heading, I end up paying double for the components I replace. Only reason I was looking at OEM+Custom, was the security of a prebuild which system, put together by the manufactures - who hopefully knows a bit more about hardware than me - Other than that I just think OEM cases usually are better build quality than custom cases - but I may be wrong - and of cause easy setup. Anyway, we are a small company with 20 some workstations - looking to replace four computers for our powerusers - so maybe a total custom build is not that bad.

    Anyway I will look in to which case will fit into our office environment - And let you know what I find
    Last edited by KimArndt; February 21st, 2014 at 06:28 PM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member tzframpton's Avatar
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    I just started a new thread on a custom build I did last week here:
    New Build & Review - i7-4770K - 32GB DDR3-1866 - GTX 770 2GB

    This could be a good benchmark in piecing together something that fits your needs. iru69 is a man who knows his hardware. Anything he's suggested through the years, I can't say I've ever completely disagreed with. Take his advice and run with it.


  8. #8
    Member KimArndt's Avatar
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    Tanner - Yeah, actually used your thread as a starting point. This is my build so far:

    Custom build - $1500 + TAX
    • Case: Cooler Master N400
    • PSU: Corsair CS550M
    • MB: Gigabyte GA-Z87X-UD4H
    • CPU: Core i7 I7-4770 8 MB
    • CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-U12S
    • RAM: Kingston HyperX blu 2 x 8 GB 1600 MHz
    • SSD: SanDisk Ultra Plus 256 GB
    • GFX: Gigabyte GV-N660OC-2GD (The GTX 750 series has not jet been released in Europe - This one is about $125 cheaper)
    • Extras include Win7Pro, keyboard and mouse of medium quality and random optical drive


    Custom build is about $150 cheaper give or take the different GFX and/or new PSU for the OEM

    What I am thinking now is, as a small firm, we look for the best equipment at the lowest price. Although the saving is not much, this is definitely something to consider seriously.

    Now, what about pros and cons of a custom build in general?

    Pros
    • Cheap and great performance
    • Greater control of which components is used (Could be a con as well)
    • -


    Cons
    • No "on-site next businessday warranty" as with OEM
    • Time consuming to assemble
    • -


    If you have anything to add to the list, please feel free

  9. #9
    Senior Member tzframpton's Avatar
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    Personally, I believe that 99% of the time if you're a company (small or not) you should always go OEM. The $150 difference is well worth it by NOT having to hassle with building it. Just get on an OEM ordering site, pick your parts, add to cart and ship - bada bing.

    The reasons:
    • Ordering from an OEM gives you product warranty and support as a whole. Custom rig parts give you warranty and support on "each item".
    • Building a computer might give you troubleshooting woes. Ordering an OEM has (technically) been tested and confirmed through quality control.
    • The savings of custom rigs are simply not justifiable for a company. They are, as an independent consultant or contractor. There is one rogue IT guy on this board who does things his way: configures, orders, builds and maintains custom rigs and he swears by it. I still don't by it, but hey, to each his own.



    Just remember the custom rig I built was for one individual, not a company. So every dollar counts, plus... simply put... he wanted a custom rig. So, go OEM if all possible. But, if you'd rather build it, then by all means.... post pics! haha

    -Tannar

  10. #10
    Moderator MPwuzhere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tzframpton View Post
    There is one rogue IT guy on this board who does things his way: configures, orders, builds and maintains custom rigs and he swears by it. I still don't by it, but hey, to each his own.
    Talking about me?

    The only issue I have about buying from the big name companies is they don't setup a system the way you want it....they set it up the way they think you want it. For instance Dell's laptops are actually great for Revit, but their desktops/workstations suck when it comes to wanting the right video card with the right processor. And then they customize their PSU's so it only powers what was originally installed. So you can't upgrade after the fact. With that in mind though, we have ordered extra hard drives so that we could add the extra sata to power a video card if need be, or just stick with a Quadro that doesn't need power.

    But you are correct, ordering from OEM solves the warranty issue, and folks like Dell usually have a 1 day turn around. They came to fix my computer one day and the guy recognized me as I tried to work for his company about a year before. Tried to offer me a job right there too! But I think the choices in Denmark a bit more limited than in the US...I'd try to find a local custom shop that will build to the specs you want and will still warranty it, without having a sales person like at Dell saying "Oh you don't need that! This will work just fine" and then you get everything installed later and it crashes all the time (YES...this happened....and we had 30 computers doing this all at once...)

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