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Thread: Creating a Programming/Development Workstation Within 50-60k

  1. #1
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    Lightbulb Creating a Programming/Development Workstation Within 50-60k

    Hey guys, I'm planning on upgrading my computer and I needed some help.

    The primary purpose of the computer will be University related activities ( CSE student) and development. Currently I'm dabbling with android development but I will probably branch out into other areas in the future. The occasional media consumption as well. I will not be playing any games on this computer.


    1. Budget: ~50k (No fixed budget. I'd prefer to keep it as limited as possible. Basically within 40-60. I'd prefer to keep it below 50 though)

    2. Existing Hardware (Parts I want to keep are underlined)


    · CPU - I5 - 4590
    · Motherboard - ASUS B85M-G
    · RAM - G.SKILL Ripjaws (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1600 Bus
    · Hard Drive - 2 x Western Digital Black 1 Terrabyte
    · GPU - N/A (Don’t want/need one atm)
    · PSU - Generic
    · UPS - N/A
    · Casing - Generic
    · Monitor – 19 inch Dell
    · Keyboard - Generic

    3. Looking to buy
    · Monitor – 2 * Dell 21.5 inch IPS Monitors (I’d like an IPS display, not sure on Dell though) 20k
    · UPS - PowerGuard 800 VA UPS 3.5k
    · UPS - Antec VP500PC EC 500 Watt 3.5k
    · Case - Deepcool D-Shield 2.5k
    · Ram – 4 * G.SKILL Ripjaws (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1600 Bus (Adding two Extra)
    · SSD - Adata 256 GB SSD 9.5k
    · Some good ergonomic, reliable, typing keyboard
    · Decent generic 2 for 1 speaker set


    Those are the components I’m looking at. Please suggest alternatives to the items that I picked that would better serve my purpose / be more cost effective. Also I need some advice on the two components that I am completely undecided on.


    Thanks in advance for your help.

    Extra question, will a 800 VA UPS be enough to run this rig + some extra peripherals (speakers, router, laptop/DSLR charger )

    - - - Updated - - -

    I guess I should mention,

    OS: Windows 10

    - - - Updated - - -

    I guess I should mention,

    OS: Windows 10 & Ubuntu
    Last edited by Ampere; October 30th, 2017 at 15:35.

  2. #2
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    Bump :l

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    * Just change your SSD to Samsung EVO 850(since Samsung is the most reliable)
    * Get the Matte one. Avoid Glossy display,otherwise it will make your eye sore for staying long time in front of it. Brand doesn't matter.
    * Get a cheap mechanical keyboard instead of membrane one .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Iskander View Post
    * Just change your SSD to Samsung EVO 850(since Samsung is the most reliable)
    * Get the Matte one. Avoid Glossy display,otherwise it will make your eye sore for staying long time in front of it. Brand doesn't matter.
    * Get a cheap mechanical keyboard instead of membrane one .
    Could you reccomend any good mechanical keyboards that would be reasonably priced/long lasting/good for typing?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ampere View Post
    Could you reccomend any good mechanical keyboards that would be reasonably priced/long lasting/good for typing?
    Under 5K
    Gamdias HERMES E2 3K
    A4 TECH BLOODY B810R 4.2K

    Under 10K
    GIGABYTE K85
    Tt eSPORTS POSEIDON Z

    Over 10K
    Any Corsair model

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    My suggestions:
    • Get a better UPS.
    • Get a GPU like the GT 1030 if you're looking to run more than a single 1080p display. You'll thank me later for this.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fox Mulder View Post
    My suggestions:

    • Get a better UPS.
    • Get a GPU like the GT 1030 if you're looking to run more than a single 1080p display. You'll thank me later for this.
    Could you explain why. Is that UPS not strong enough for my needs? I only need a ups to keep everything running for 2-3 minutes tops as I shut down. At best I'l have an extra laptop charger hooked with it.

    I don't think I have the budget for a GPU at the moment. Any explanation as to why I might need one? I'l consider getting it in a few months in that case. I have 2 ports for the monitors without any GPU's.





    Quote Originally Posted by Iskander View Post
    Under 5K
    Gamdias HERMES E2 3K
    A4 TECH BLOODY B810R 4.2K

    Under 10K
    GIGABYTE K85
    Tt eSPORTS POSEIDON Z

    Over 10K
    Any Corsair model
    The problem is most of the reviews focus on gamign aspects of these keyboards. Any idea which would be fast,reliable and good for long time typing sessions?

    Thanks guys

  8. #8
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    Bumping

  9. #9

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    I taught myself C on a second-hand SGI O2 (running IRIX) which was sold for peanuts. For theoretical CS 70% of your work is pencil and paper, so pretty much ANY configuration would give you a development workstation.

    But, what matters then is development efficiency (not being limited by hardware constraints up to a certain point), so I would instead focus on the general areas you certainly do NOT want to leave a bottleneck:

    - RAM: 8GB is good now, but don't fill up your slots. If you fill up your slots, it means your motherboard is constrained, i.e. get a better mobo. More RAM than this is overkill and will just be used for old cache (although you could do nice things such as use a virtual RAM disk when you develop).

    - HDD/SSD: To go with the huge RAM you certainly don't want your data to be paged to a slow mechanical disk. So either get a low-capacity SSD (to put your OS) coupled with a high-capacity mechanical disk, or get the Samsung EVO 850 500GB or 1TB and put all your non-essential data on the cloud. Actually, no, your HDD is going to be the worst bottleneck, so if you can, skip the mechanical disk.

    - Motherboard: Make sure there is nothing fancy here or your dream of Ubuntu is going to be a nightmare. I can't suggest a methodology here other than to search for issues relating to the mobos you shortlist. To avoid major problems stick to Intel chipsets wherever you can. Watch out though for EFI firmware restrictions, which could be disguised as "extra security".

    - PSU: Don't skimp on this one. Get a branded one, but don't overestimate the wattage you need. Use an online calculator after you decide on the parts.

    - UPS: Don't overspend on this, a standard one giving you just enough backup power to save your work will do. But in addition to the PSU the UPS is also a critical player in any locality where there is uncertain power outages.

    - CPU: Also don't overspend on this. I don't think you'll be writing parallelized code anytime to make use of multiple cores. However, compile times for statically typed languages will decrease the more cores and more Hz you have. Yet, I don't think you'll be compiling big projects often, so most often the CPU will be overkill especially for your toy projects.

    - GPU: Stick to Intel if onboard, if you want to avoid problems with Ubuntu. Else, AMD. Absolutely avoid Nvidia like the plague if Ubuntu is going to serve an important purpose in your development life.

    - Chair: A good chair investment is going to pay you back in the long-term as a CS professional (if you do end up in the field). I consider this part of the hardware setup. It's higher priority than a dual-monitor setup, as I'm sure you're not going to be more efficient than a rockstar developer who uses a single monitor just because you can put your debug window on the other monitor. But yeah, monitors can be next.

    After that, splurge all you want on the non-essentials (keyboard, mouse, monitors, speakers) with your remaining budget. Good luck!
    Last edited by mryellow; December 9th, 2017 at 19:54.

  10. #10
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    Unless you are doing verilog or arm assembly or vhdl, any modern computer is good enough. From the look of it, just buy a samsung ssd and you are done.
    But if you are doing machine learning or neural computers, investment into a powerful gpu is a must.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by shafi View Post
    But if you are doing machine learning or neural computers, investment into a powerful gpu is a must.
    Ahh, this is a good point. Or cryptocurrency mining You can always upgrade when you have specialized interests like this. [1] A desktop rig is pretty open to improvements, unlike a laptop, especially the ultrabooks of today (not very upgradeable).

    One more point, about your Android development, if it's kernelspace or early-userspace (modding and stuff) and not app development (Java/Kotlin/JavaScript) you will need a ton of disk space (in which case grab a 1TB SSD).

    [1] But often it's perhaps better to use cloud on-demand services for niche stuff that require a lot of hardware resources (pay only what you use when you need). Github Education Pack, Microsoft DreamSpark probably have free student credits (AWS/Azure).

  12. #12
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    I might be wrong though, but i never needed a lot of disk storage for android develpment(creating apps using java via android studio), but my project was extremely simple and small. The genymotion emulator however is a bit cpu hungry, but not super crazy like verilog on quartus or modelsim.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by shafi View Post
    I might be wrong though, but i never needed a lot of disk storage for android develpment(creating apps using java via android studio), but my project was extremely simple and small. The genymotion emulator however is a bit cpu hungry, but not super crazy like verilog on quartus or modelsim.
    Did you use the intellij era android studio? I think it does take more RAM than the Eclipse version did, since Intellij kind of goes extremes in indexing.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by shafi View Post
    I might be wrong though, but i never needed a lot of disk storage for android develpment(creating apps using java via android studio), but my project was extremely simple and small. The genymotion emulator however is a bit cpu hungry, but not super crazy like verilog on quartus or modelsim.
    No, you'll never need much disk space for app development -- only system development, related to the kernel aka "kernel space", or the platform based around the kernel aka "userspace".

    If you ever need to clone the Android source code, or some offshoot like Cyanogenmod, to repackage a mod, or to build a kernel module, firmware, or make your own distribution of Android, know that it can take tens of GBs of space.

    If you back up raw images of systems, such as in data forensics or even just your Android device(s), you're looking at a few TBs worth of backups (sometimes you'll need to make multiple copies).

    If you have budget left of course you can just get another large mechanical disk. I just got myself a Samsung EVO 850 500GB SSD to replace the slow crap of an HDD I have in my laptop, and am loving it! (but I still fear the day it will go kaput without warning)

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    Quote Originally Posted by mryellow View Post
    - Chair: A good chair investment is going to pay you back in the long-term as a CS professional (if you do end up in the field). I consider this part of the hardware setup. It's higher priority than a dual-monitor setup, as I'm sure you're not going to be more efficient than a rockstar developer who uses a single monitor just because you can put your debug window on the other monitor. But yeah, monitors can be next.
    This might be thread stealing but I've got to ask. What chairs to do you use? What brand, type and features you recommend?
    ShouravBR
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  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShouravBR View Post
    This might be thread stealing but I've got to ask. What chairs to do you use? What brand, type and features you recommend?
    Sadly my own investments have not been very good, and that's how I've learned. The last chair I bought near the end of 2017 was from Hi-Tech. [1] I didn't bother about price first and went ahead and sat in all of their chairs. I found one that fit my back and neck snugly, and it cost BDT 14,000.

    Unfortunately, the material of the chair is misleading. It looks like leather but it is not. The arm rest is not adjustable, but I had to live with it because the other option I picked had adjustable arm rest but the head rest was too far back. My suggestion would be to look for a chair with height adjustable AND rotating armrest.

    The headrest is important for some people, while not for others. Some just like a mid-back chair. Lumbar support is also important. For that, some chairs have a mesh support built in, while a few may be adjustable. As for material, I guess mesh is the best. I made a mistake by picking a leather-like or faux-leather chair.

    edit: Please do not ever get a chair from Hi-Tech, they're a ripoff and will tell you lies, such as warranty (which they do not provide for the expensive imported office chairs, only the home stuff). I'm not a huge fan of gaming chairs but if you find one with everything adjustable then go for it although it'll cost more than an ergonomic office/executive chair. I spoke to Akid Furniture and BD Furniture Solutions and they're the only ones so far to claim support for full ergonomic adjustability.

    [1] Which I understand is operated by Hatil but I could be wrong.
    Last edited by mryellow; March 8th, 2018 at 11:50.

  17. #17
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    The branded gaming chairs that are sold here are quite ergonomic. There's a substantial quality difference in the generic and the branded ones in case anyone was wondering.

    The Cougar one has an adjustable arm stand, not sure about the ThermalTake one.

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