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Solved Build a new PC for scientific software developing

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ciccio

PCHF Member
Sep 27, 2022
25
5
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Hi all,

I need some advice about a new pc I am building.

I am a scientific software engineer and I need a new pc for these reasons:

  • data analysis with big data
  • machine learning
  • GPU programming
  • fluid dynamics simulation
  • particle physics simulation
  • GIS
  • etc

...and of course for gaming :)

I created this initial configuration using a website, but, as I am definitely not an expert, some of the parts were chosen automatically.

My budget is around 1500/1600£ (I am in UK).

I really don't know any thing about all these new models of motherboard, graphic card, CPU, etc and how to combine them to have a good pc, so I really appreciate all the possible suggestions.

I don't mind even to change all of the parts, the important thing for me is to have a product I can use for my purpose for several years.

Thanks a lot!
Ciccio


CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 3950X 3.5 GHz 16-Core Processor
CPU Cooler: Corsair iCUE H100i RGB PRO XT 75 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-A320M-H Micro ATX AM4 Motherboard
Memory: Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR4-3600 CL18 Memory
Storage: Samsung 980 Pro 1 TB M.2-2280 PCIe 4.0 X4 NVME Solid State Drive
Video Card: MSI GeForce RTX 3060 Gaming X12G GeForce RTX 3060 12 GB Video Card
Case: GameMax Centauri MicroATX Mid Tower Case
Power Supply: GameMax GP 650 W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply
 

Bruce

Forum Regular
Moderator
Support Team
Oct 8, 2017
6,400
683
Yeppoon, QLD, Australia.
g'day ciccio and welcome to the forums.

your case and motherboard, while adequate now, would leave you little room for expansion down the track. eg: larger graphics card, dual cards, extra PCI-ex cards, larger PSU, more storage - all that sort of thing. I'd go mid or full ATX. (bit confused as they are labelled micro but look like mid's)

your PSU is woefully under powered. in your link, did you read the reviews? avoid!
get anything with at least a 5 or 7 year warranty, the really good ones have a 10 year warranty.
makers like Seasonic, EVGA and Corsair have a good reputation, but as said, the longer the warranty, the more reliable the brand. stay away from Bronze, get at least 850watt and Gold+ certified.

purely personal aesthetics, but I stay away from RGB stuff, adds more cables, uses more mobo header ports, plus they cost more. unless the case is going to be right in everyone's line of sight and flashing lights in your field of vision don't bother you, your are wasting your time and money in my book.
of course, if this rig will be a show pony, advertising your building prowess to the world, fine, get the bling bling and have bragging rights. personally I'd rather spend the money of better components that give a performance benefit.

but hey, that's why they are called personal computers! :)

otherwise, looks like it'll do what you want.
 
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ciccio

PCHF Member
Sep 27, 2022
25
5
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Hi Bruce,

thanks a lot! These are the advice I was looking for :)

I am going to create another configuration and post here for an extra review.

I agree with you, I don't care about the aesthetics, I am interested in the performance.

Thanks again I really appreciate your help.

Ciccio
 

ciccio

PCHF Member
Sep 27, 2022
25
5
43
Hi Bruce,

this is a second version.

As always all comments are welcome :)

About the budget I could reach the 2000£, but I can't afford more than that, so if you think I have to invest more money in some component, please let me know :)

Thanks again!
Ciccio


PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 3950X 3.5 GHz 16-Core Processor
CPU Cooler: Corsair iCUE H100i RGB PRO XT 75 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler
Motherboard: Asus TUF GAMING X570-PLUS (WI-FI) ATX AM4 Motherboard
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR4-3600 CL18 Memory
Storage: Samsung 980 Pro 1 TB M.2-2280 PCIe 4.0 X4 NVME Solid State Drive
Video Card: MSI GeForce RTX 3060 Gaming X12G GeForce RTX 3060 12 GB Video Card
Case: Lian Li PC-O11 Dynamic ATX Full Tower Case
Power Supply: Corsair RM1000x 1000 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply
 

Bruce

Forum Regular
Moderator
Support Team
Oct 8, 2017
6,400
683
Yeppoon, QLD, Australia.
that's looking a lot better, nothing I can think of that would need changing.
but let's get some more eyes just in case - @PeterOz @phillpower2 @Pyro

some things may be missing however.
DVD units aren't really needed anymore so think about if one of those would be needed. can always add it later simply enough.

what about a HDD for secondary storage - backups, scratch/temp files for your software, game saves, media library, etc.

also, if the Lian case doesn't come with any, get an intake and exhaust fan.
 
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PeterOz

PCHF Advisor
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Mar 2, 2021
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Lost in the internet
I have never been a fan of Liquid coolers (they do work I'm just not a fan)
You only have a 1TB Drive - Nothing for data
By the time you load windows and all your programs plus the updates you start to use the 1 TB quickly.
If budget can't stretch to an extra drive I would plan on doing it later when you can afford it.
With windows and programs ONLY on the M2 it makes it easier for backing up and reinstall.

I have not had time yet to check if the parts all fit together- will have a look in a couple of hours.
Let's see what @phillpower2 (He checks mine for me) & @Pyro think.
 
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Pyro

PCHF Advisor
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Jan 12, 2019
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Max Memory Speed:2x1RDDR4-3200
2x2RDDR4-3200

Your CPU can't utilize 3600MHz ram. I would buy some 3200MHz ram, enable XMP and rest easy knowing that it's all in spec. This is assuming that you're not overclocking or anything of that nature. :)


The powersupply you subbed in is a little extreme, do you plan on upgrading to a 3090 or higher in the foreseeable future? If not you could get away with a 750W PSU pretty easily.


I'm with Peter in regards to the storage space, even just another 1TB Sata SSD would go a long way.

Another +1, not a big liquid cooling guy, a beefy Noctua unit, or something like a beQuiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 would give you good cooling, but also cut down on the price and give you something a little more manageable (for me at least).


Bullet points of the build as far as I can see:

CPU: Looks fine, not to familiar with Ryzen but maybe a model with integrated graphics would help with future troubleshooting

Mobo: ASUS TUF units are usually pretty good for the price.

RAM: Love Corsair's Vengeance line, just make sure you get the proper speed for what you're planning as detailed above.

Storage: Samsung drives have always treated me well, best SSDs I've had.

GPU: MSI is a fine board partner, not the most powerful or effecient if you're worried about that, but it'll do what you need it to.

Case: Make sure you have plenty of case fans, 30-series cards run hot.

PSU: A bit overkill, I think you could save a little bit here with that 750W and get closer to that $1500 budget, it will also run smaller and quieter than a beast like that corsair.
 
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ciccio

PCHF Member
Sep 27, 2022
25
5
43
Hi all,

Thanks a lot for all the useful comments.

I created another configuration, I think we are really close :)

As cooler I couldn't find the beQuiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 so I opted for a Noctua, but I am going to keep it in mind if I see it somewhere else.

I didn't add an HDD for data storage as I already have one and I am thinking to buy in the near future a Synology NAS enclosure, but I changed the SSD from 1TB to 2TB and I added another one, this is related to my next question :)

As I would like to run Windows as main OS and Linux in dual boot, what do you recommend as solution?
Do you think it's better to have 2 separate disks or just 1 (bigger one) with a partition?

Thanks again,
Ciccio


PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 3950X 3.5 GHz 16-Core Processor
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D12L 60.09 CFM CPU Cooler
Motherboard: Asus TUF GAMING X570-PLUS (WI-FI) ATX AM4 Motherboard
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR4-3200 CL16 Memory
Storage: Samsung 980 Pro 2 TB M.2-2280 PCIe 4.0 X4 NVME Solid State Drive
Storage: Samsung 980 Pro 2 TB M.2-2280 PCIe 4.0 X4 NVME Solid State Drive
Video Card: MSI GeForce RTX 3060 Gaming X12G GeForce RTX 3060 12 GB Video Card
Case: Lian Li PC-O11 Dynamic ATX Full Tower Case
Power Supply: Corsair RM850x (2021) 850 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply
 

Pyro

PCHF Advisor
PCHF Member
Jan 12, 2019
835
148
More drives is almost always better, it's good to have important data saved on multiple drives that way if there is a drive failure it does not take everything you need with it.

This goes hand-in-hand with off-computer backups as well (A full system meltdown could take multiple parts with it).

I would usually opt for multiple 1Tb drives if given the choice, but there are some instances you might just want a bulk storage device.


Everything look good on your list, just a few final thoughts:

I would look into a Noctua cooler with two fans, this will make the unit a little larger (which is better for heat dissipation) and give it good airflow without maxing out the fans and being super noisy.

Secondly, I still see no case fans, you could go for Noctuas or something else, but I would suggest buying the largest fans your case can support, these will move more air when necessary, and less when not (which also boils down to noise).

Finally, don't forget a good thermal paste, I have used Noctua's NT-H2 and have no issues.


One final less important note:
I'm not sure how important aesthetic is to you, but the signature Noctua brown with the silver is not for everyone, they do make black/chromax models if you are bent about how they look.


Other than that, your machine seems to be taking shape! :)
 
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Bruce

Forum Regular
Moderator
Support Team
Oct 8, 2017
6,400
683
Yeppoon, QLD, Australia.
while 2 x 2TB SSD's are awesome, personally I feel they are overkill.
with your planned needs in mind, OK, get one 2TB SSD but bang for buck is still in the HDD court.
I'd go 2TB SSD and that has all my software, games, and anything I want super fast access to.
I'd then get a 2TB HDD for anything I don't need quick, regular access to, like my document and media library, backups, pagefile, Windows temp folder locations etc.
but as stated earlier - this is your PC!

your Synology NAS idea is excellent - I have used NAS's for over 20 years - best backup you'll ever have. go at least 2 drive bays set to mirror RAID and you'll be golden.

as to dual boot - for me anyway, it has always ended up a complete mess and I've needed to reload my primary OS almost every time.
there's a certain order Windows needs, the boot record can get screwed, having dual drives complicates things when it should make it easier - blah blah blah.
what works best is VM's - a virtual machine.
have a physical OS, like Windows 10, but make all others a virtual one. get Oracle's VirtualBox or VMware's Workstation.
both are great.

as to water cooling, I converted from fans to water about 5 years ago, admittedly just as an exercise to see what the fuss was about.
temps are better, but really, maybe by 5-10 degrees at best.
although I will say, while temps may not have lowered at lot, I see they stay much more within a consistent range now.
I also think the rig runs a lot quieter - I have only a 1 x 120 fan radiator for the NZXT water pump and it does the job well.
so there's that to consider between air and water cooling.
don't forget, budget in mind, a lot of this can be added later - extra drive, converting air to water cooling, more SSD space.

get the basics right now like the case, motherboard and power supply, and your future needs will be easily done. :)
 
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PeterOz

PCHF Advisor
PCHF Member
Mar 2, 2021
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Lost in the internet
one question we have not asked
What software will you be using; does it have a minimum spec we need to look at?
I have run dual boot linux and win 10 on 1 drive easy when you know how.
However, I have changed now to Virtual Box. I have Virtual Box software on my main drive and the vm's I create on a separate drive.
One thing to remember the larger the drive the more data you lose when the drive fails- all drives fail.
I use a synology nas 2 bay - not mirrored but if I needed to backup I would go for a minimum of 4 bays.
get the basics right now like the case, motherboard and power supply, and your future needs will be easily done.
EXACTLY
Battery backup with surge suppressor.
One bigger enough to power your computer and nas.
 
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ciccio

PCHF Member
Sep 27, 2022
25
5
43
Hi all,

sorry for my delay, long weekend and busy Monday at work :)

I added 2 case fans, just as example to check the characteristics.
The case can support 2 140mm or 3 120mm on the top and 3 120mm on bottom and side.

About the disks, I still have some questions, for now I put 2x1TB SSD, but I am always open to suggestions.

Maybe it's better if I explain what type of software I want to run and why I wanted the dual boot and this is related to the type and number of disks I need.

The software I am going to use are toolkits which simulate physics phenomena, for example GEANT4 for the interaction particle-matter or NEMO used for ocean fluid dynamics simulation and they all run in Unix-like systems.

Of course this software are run on HPC for big projects, but for small experiments a PC should be fine.

In principle they could run also on my early-2011 MacbookPro and I did, but it's extremely old, it takes ages to open an IDE or compile a source code...

I want also a Windows partition because the target of some of the software I am developing are Windows users (and of course for gaming :) ).

This is the reason why I wanted the dual boot, so to use the whole machine for them and not just a part in case of VM.

Thanks again for you help
Ciccio


PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 3950X 3.5 GHz 16-Core Processor
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D12L 60.09 CFM CPU Cooler
Thermal Compound: Noctua NT-H2 3.5 g Thermal Paste
Motherboard: Asus TUF GAMING X570-PLUS (WI-FI) ATX AM4 Motherboard
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR4-3200 CL16 Memory
Storage: Samsung 980 Pro 1 TB M.2-2280 PCIe 4.0 X4 NVME Solid State Drive
Storage: Samsung 980 Pro 1 TB M.2-2280 PCIe 4.0 X4 NVME Solid State Drive
Video Card: MSI GeForce RTX 3060 Gaming X12G GeForce RTX 3060 12 GB Video Card
Case: Lian Li PC-O11 Dynamic ATX Full Tower Case
Power Supply: Corsair RM850x (2021) 850 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply
Case Fan: Noctua A14 industrialPPC-3000 PWM 158.5 CFM 140 mm Fan
Case Fan: Noctua F12 industrialPPC-3000 PWM 109.89 CFM 120 mm Fan
 

Pyro

PCHF Advisor
PCHF Member
Jan 12, 2019
835
148
I'd go for the larger fans whenever possible, they're quieter and can move more air.

Still hoping maybe a double-fan cpu cooler? :)

I think 2x 1tb drives will be just fine, there's always room for expansion with SATA drives as well. Could assign one to each OS if you were particularly bent on it, otherwise a dual boot sounds like an acceptable solution.

+1 for the uninterruptible power supply as recommended above, they're a game changer.
 

ciccio

PCHF Member
Sep 27, 2022
25
5
43
About the fans, how many of them? Do I have to fill of the available slots?

I am going to take a double-fan cooler, just I didn't find a Noctua one in that list and I didn't change it, but I will try somewhere else.
 

Bruce

Forum Regular
Moderator
Support Team
Oct 8, 2017
6,400
683
Yeppoon, QLD, Australia.
no need to fill the case with fans.
one for intake and one for exhaust is plenty.
a single fan on the CPU's heatsink should do for now. those Noctua's for example are very good.
most of the 3rd party coolers just use a standard case fan so you can always add another later as long as you get a double sided heatsink but the price difference is minimal so really, it won't matter too much.
 
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ciccio

PCHF Member
Sep 27, 2022
25
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I think we have the winner here :)
Now I have just to buy all the parts and build it, hoping that everything goes well :)

Thanks a lot to all of you for the really useful advices!
 
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