It’s been 4 and a half years since I built my Sandybridge based workstation and it while it isn’t a terrible performer, I do more video and photo editing than I did in the past and wanted a machine with more power. Since Intel finally came out with the Skylake line of processors and the next upgrade won’t come out for a while I decided to do a new build now. In order to keep costs down I reused the case, power supply, storage devices and video card from my previous workstation. This limited my costs to $520 for a new motherboard, processor, and RAM.
Case – Antec Solo (reused)
Power Supply – Corsair 450W (reused)
Motherboard – ASRock H170 Pro4
Processor – Intel Core i7-6700 (3.4 GHz, Quad-Core, 65W)
RAM – 16GB Crucial DDR4 2133
SSD – 500GB Samsung 840 EVO (reused)
Hard Drive – 2TB Western Digital Green (reused)
Optical Drive – Samsung Blu-ray Burner (reused)
Anker USB 3.0 Expansion Panel (old case has no USB 3.0 support)
This build is essentially a motherboard, CPU, and RAM swap from the previous system. Since this case is old enough to not support USB 3.0 I decided to add a USB 3.0 expansion panel to one of the front drive bays for convenient access. I also stuck with the stock CPU cooler for this build since they are actually pretty quiet and this CPU generates considerably less heat then the Sandybridge it replaces.
Windows 10 installed perfectly and runs great on this machine, as expected.
- Idle – 42W
- 1080i MPEG2 to 720p MP4 H.264 Compression (Freemake Video Converter) – 85W
- Bluray Ripping (MakeMKV) – 54W
- MKV Bluray Rip to MKV 1080p Compression (Freemake Video Converter) – 95W
- Adobe Lightroom RAW to JPG Conversion – 94W
Update-New Graphics Card & CPU Cooler (August, 2016)
After upgrading the graphics card in my Gaming PC to a GTX 1060, I rolled the GTX 960 that I took out into my main desktop. This will be a substantial upgrade over my old GTX 750 Ti and be much more suited to my 1440p monitor when performing graphics oriented tasks.
While I had the case open I also installed a much more substantial CPU cooler, the Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO. Intel’s stock cooler is not bad at all, however, when performing intensive video compression I definitely noticed the fan working a lot harder and decided to upgrade to a more capable cooling system. The new cooler has lower pitched fan noise and is quieter overall as well.