Description

Yuuna was built to be a workstation that would be a significant upgrade from my old computer, while being inexpensive. My primary workloads are 3D modeling and CPU rendering in Maya, video encoding, and gaming (mostly RTS like Starcraft II). Total for everything was about $1,500, making this quite the good looking beast for the budget.

Namesake

I'm a big anime fan, so Yuuna is named and themed after the heroine in the magical girl series Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru (Yuki Yuna is a Hero). Here's a good reference picture: http://i.imgur.com/F7JIfJw.jpg

CPU

A pair of 10-core Xeon E5-2670 v2, 40 threads total, easily handles 3D rendering and video encoding. I got these used on ebay for $123 each, and the dual-socket Asus motherboard for another $250. Cinebench r15 score is ~2,500, so $250 for multi-core performance in Threadripper and i9 x299 territory is a good deal to me. I do realize a single-socket, high clock speed processor would be better at the modeling part (and gaming), but I wanted to have significant power on the rendering side too.

GPU

For gaming, there's a RTX 2060 (MSI Ventus, nothing too fancy). Since my monitors are only 1080p, I can get great performance in any game I play (though if I ever get 4K monitors I'll want to upgrade this part). I was originally going to get a GTX 1060, but the 2060 had such high performance for an affordable price point I couldn't resist. I also hope someday Maya will use the RT cores in the viewport for raytracing as I'm working on a model. That said, when I'm gaming, on the CPU I see ~90% usage of one thread, maybe ~50% on another, and 38-39 threads standing around doing nothing. It's pretty funny.

RAM

For RAM I got a good deal on Samsung ECC Registered. It is only DDR3 and the buffer does slow it down a tad, but for $150 I got 64 GB. Never worrying about running out of RAM is pretty nice.

Storage

The OS/program drive is a 1 TB Samsung 860 EVO SSD. I wish I could have NVMe, but that came out way after this motherboard's era. My old system had a 240 GB SSD, and I was constantly worrying about space on it, so now I should be good for a while. For bulk storage I bought a pair of 6 TB HGST He6 hard drives. They're enterprise/datacenter grade HDDs filled with helium. There's a Hitachi 4 TB, 3 TB, and 2 2 TB drives out of my old system(s) in there too. Asus's little special RAID controller card I picked up on ebay for $30, giving me 10 SATA III ports. There are no RAID sets here; I've had controllers fail, disks on RAID 0s fail, etc. 7200 rpm drives are pretty fast on their own, and backup is accomplished using the Lian Li hot-swap hard drive bay. It only holds 3 drives (vs other three 5.25" hot swap bays that hold 4 or 5), but it has great airflow between the drives pulled by a big 120mm fan in the back.

Case

The Phanteks Enthoo Pro came highly reviewed online as the best budget case, and it has been great. Tons of space, good airflow with a 200mm front fan, lots of hard drive space, 5.25" bays and a cool side window make this a great case for ~$100. With the hot-swap cage in the 5.25" bays it will fit 9 3.5" and 4 2.5" drives. It did bug me the 2.5" mount puts "Samsung" upside down on the SSD. It can't mount with "Samsung" up because of the cables and the 200mm front fan, so I had to remove a screw from another 2.5" mount and finagle it sideways.

Cooling

Since I had to have 2 CPU coolers very close together, I went with the affordable classic Hyper 212 EVO. I was concerned about the coolers fitting and I saw another build on here with the same motherboard and Hyper 212's (https://pcpartpicker.com/b/8YNQzy), so I knew they would fit. Next system if I'm on a little less of a budget might use Noctua coolers or AiOs.

Pure Style

The top surface of the Hyper 212s were painted white to match the case with high temperature paint. The overall area is small compared to the cooler's total surface area so the impact on cooling performance is minimized, while the tops of the coolers are most of what shows. I got a white fan (Arctic Cooling) to match. I'm going to replace the front fan at some point with a white RGB fan. Since a 2012 server motherboard doesn't have RGB headers, and I wanted specifically pink, CoolerMaster's software-controlled USB 2.0 RGB hub was perfect, plus got it cheap in a pack with 3 of their fans. There's a LED strip in the back to provide the bulk of the RGB light. Eventually, I do plan to replace all of the fans with RGB ones. I hated the mess of red SATA cables, and white cables (from companies like CableMod) are kinda pricey, so I got silver SATA cables on Newegg for $0.98 each. They also had "red" cables that reviews said were pink. Pink fits the theme perfectly, so I got some of those and alternated them with the silver cables for a really interesting look.

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Comments

  • 7 months ago
  • 1 point

This is a really cool build. Nice job!

  • 7 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks!