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PCs for People provides refurbished computers to eligible customers for affordable prices. We also provide low-cost high-speed internet solutions. Through computers, internet, digital skills training, and technical support, we work to ensure everyone has an equal opportunity to reach their full potential through digital technology.
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For more than 15 years, it has been giving its customers computers at low prices, cheap components for the system unit of well-known brands, network equipment for home and summer cottages, as well as peripheral equipment from a supplier, where the price will be low in Moscow.
Today our company cooperates with many vendors and is a direct supplier of IT equipment. Buying computer equipment in the “Zheleza.Net” store, you get equipment without overpayments. The range of our online store includes both the giants of the computer industry: CORSAIR, ASUS, GIGABYTE, MSI, NZXT, NOCTUA, AEROCOOL THERMALTAKE, as well as smaller, but no less successful companies: SEA SONIC, THERMALRIGHT, BE QUIET! and many others. We do not stand still, and every time our range is expanding more and more!
One of the priorities of our online store “Zheleza.Net” is network equipment. Router, access point, Wi-Fi amplifier, switch, PoE adapter – this and much more from world market leaders such as ASUS, TP-Link, Ubiquiti, Zyxel, Mikrotik, Huawei. Always available network solutions for home, cottage and office. For many years of work in this area, the services of our company are used by many companies installing video surveillance, regional satellite and digital television, including companies organizing turnkey network solutions.
Putting together a compact assembly
In this video, we will assemble a powerful gaming PC, try to set it up and determine the best cooling option. And also
Is overclocking DDR5 necessary?
In this video we will find out if DDR5 RAM needs to be overclocked. Is there a difference between frequencies 4800 and 7000 MHz And also
RTX 2060 SUPER vs RTX 3060
Comparing the performance of the two most popular cards – RTX 2060 Super and RTX 3060. Let’s see if it’s worth switching to
If you are considering a new design computer (electronics or otherwise), there is no need to spend all your savings on it. Here is a guide for those who are more focused on designing rather than chasing the latest computer hardware.
If you don’t plan on moving all the time, or if you have nowhere to put your desktop (stationary) computer, buying or building a desktop PC instead of a laptop will save you a lot of money and you’ll get much better performance. Laptop processors are much weaker due to temperature and power limitations, as are their graphics cards. Notebook hardware must be packaged in a portable chassis, while desktop PCs do not have this restriction. Accordingly, desktop computers can consume much more power due to the absence of battery restrictions, and their cooling is more efficient due to the larger chassis space. Desktop PCs can cost a lot less.
For me, the main disadvantage of laptops is the lack of screen size. I like big screens where I can see everything I’m doing without straining my eyes.
If you’re considering a laptop instead of a desktop, there isn’t much choice when buying or building. Notebooks allow you to make some choice of features at the time of purchase, but no more. With a desktop PC, you have a better selection of features and better quality components for the same money if you go to a computer store (online or local) and order the components rather than buying a pre-built machine. Typically, computer stores will assemble and configure computers from your choice of components for a relatively small amount, unless you want to assemble the machine yourself.
For me, the biggest benefit of buying a pre-assembled machine from a brand is the support that comes with it. That being said, a support contract can be expensive, and wasted time waiting for a technician to show up can be more expensive than if you just buy the replacement part yourself. Your local computer store will also offer an assembly warranty as well as a manufacturer’s warranty on every part. If you are close to a local store, your business may be more important to them than any large multinational corporation.
In my opinion, the most important characteristic of a computer is the amount of random access memory (RAM). There’s no point in having a super-fast processor, a great graphics card, and tons of fast free disk space if you can’t dump a complex board or mechanical design into memory. If there is not enough RAM, the computer will load and unload data to and from memory, and data transfer between memory and disk will be very slow. RAM is just over 50Gbps, while the fastest NVMe SSDs are fractions of that, and RAM would be the weakest link in the system in this case.
If you’d like advice, go directly to the end of this article.
For an engineering computer, 32 GB is the absolute minimum that I think should be considered. When I use Altium Designer, Chrome, and Solidworks, I can easily use 20-25 GB of RAM, which Solidworks Resource Monitor constantly warns me about. An extra 32GB of RAM will cost $100-200 on top, so it’s worth it.
For the last 10 years I’ve been using the best Intel i7 processors, but AMD is starting to offer some competitive options. Typically, CAD systems require more single-core performance than multi-core performance, but this is slowly starting to change. The next generation of Intel processors for laptops should be available this month, but desktops will have to wait a few more months. Intel literature shows that 10th generation processors will not be able to significantly improve performance over the current 9-th generation. I think the 9th and 10th generation processors will remain equal in terms of design.
For a desktop PC, if your budget is limited, then the AMD Ryzen 5 2600X processor will be a very attractive solution. It costs almost half the price of the popular Intel i7-9700K I’m using now, although the i7 is about 30% faster. When using an AMD processor instead of an Intel one, you may need to purchase an additional 32 GB of RAM, and this will be more profitable. If performance is more important than budget, then i7-9The 700K or newer replacement will give you more per-core performance and more physical cores. If you need even more performance, the Intel i9-9900K has larger cache (allows you to queue more instructions / store more data) and provides more multi-threading for 16 virtual cores on 8 cores. The i9 price increase may seem small, but it doesn’t include a cooler that will also add to the price.
Buying a motherboard from an electronics engineer’s point of view is pretty fun. Marketing materials are getting better and better as the cost of the board goes up. You’ll see gems like “We’ve updated the motherboard routing from the ground up” or “We’ve implemented a carefully designed T-topology that ensures signal timing” from ASUS. From MSI, there are miracles like “MSI motherboards provide clearances from the cases, which prevents contact with components and damage to the motherboard” or “Using separate layers on the PCB ensures the same pure sound quality for the left and right audio channel. ” Does this mean that previous models did not use good design solutions?
However, back to the characteristics. When buying a motherboard, the brand is not important to me, but only the characteristics. Assuming each company hires competent engineers, you won’t see any difference in performance between motherboard implementations or models, just different peripheral options. In my opinion, a variant with at least the following is needed:
- Gigabit Ethernet.
- Two M.2 connectors using PCI-E. On motherboards for AMD processors, you will find only one PCI-E, additional ones will be SATA.
- Four memory slots.
- Integrated WiFi or at least one PCI-E x1 slot.
If you need a lot of disk space, consider a board with six or eight SATA connectors instead of four. You will use an M.2 connector for a fast drive, but SATA is the best solution for bulky mechanical hard drives.
Many development kits, programmers, logic analyzers and other devices can be connected to the computer, so you need as many available USB ports as possible. Home or gaming computers don’t need as many USB ports as an engineer.
Intel : Looking at the budget options, the Gigabyte Z390 M GAMING fits the bill, but it only has four USB 3.0 ports and a USB 3.1 port on the back, which is a limitation for me. For a little more money, you can consider the Gigabyte Z390 AORUS ELITE with four USB 2.0, four USB 3.0 and two USB 3.1 ports on the rear panel, as well as six SATA connectors inside.
AMD : For a cheap motherboard, ASUS PRIME B450M-A/CSM has a lot of ports. On the back, it has two USB 3.1 Gen2 and four USB 3.1 Gen1, as well as six SATA connectors inside. However, it only has one M.2 PCI-E socket, so you won’t be able to plug in a lot of fast SSD drives. Looking at more expensive boards, the Gigabyte X470 AORUS ULTRA GAMING offers more ports with one USB 3.1 Gen2 Type C port, one USB 3.1 Gen2 port, four USB 3.1 Gen1 ports, and four USB 2.0 ports on the rear panel. Inside it has two PCI-E M. 2 connectors and six SATA connectors.
In my opinion, when working with engineering applications, they often access relatively small files. In Altium Designer, you work with schematic and PCB files, their permanent backups, symbol library and PCB files, and these files are all quite small. If you want to optimize boot times, you need an SSD. If price is not a problem, I recommend using two SSD drives – one for the operating system / programs, the other for data. It also allows data to be backed up between disks should something happen. Because a drive failure can cost tens of thousands of dollars in lost time or data, I highly recommend using solutions from SSD manufacturers that make their own flash memory chips, such as Intel or Samsung. The Samsung EVO line has been my favorite for many years and I haven’t had any drive failures so far. All other more budget brands of SSD, which I have used over the same period, have failed.
The performance of NVMe drives is so great that you probably won’t notice a performance difference between brands in everyday use, so when choosing between drives, the key stat I’m looking at is flash endurance. The Samsung 970 EVO series is the latest generation of drives from this manufacturer, with 500/512 GB models capable of 300 TB of storage for the Plus model and 600 TB of storage for the Pro model.
The Intel 660p series, which is half the price of the Samsung EVO Plus, has flash endurance of 200 TB of write and about a third of the bandwidth.
In my opinion, the 500/512 GB models are the minimum that should be considered for design. With software installations of tens of gigabytes and multiple IDEs for firmware development, disk space is consumed very quickly. Depending on the size of your project storage, consider using a 1 TB drive for the operating system and a 500/512 GB drive for data.
If you need a lot of archive space or low speed data access (video/renders, datasheets, SDKs, etc.), you can add a SATA mechanical hard drive. For the price of a 1TB Samsung EVO Pro drive, you can get a 10TB Western Digital RED NAS drive. It’s ten times bigger, but ten times slower, but still more than enough for backups and storage.
Discrete graphics card required for CAD work. The built-in card can handle everyday office applications and web surfing, but some CAD packages and calculation/simulation software can put a lot of stress on the built-in card, so a discrete graphics card would be the best solution here. I’m only interested in cards from nVidia, for the reason that they are more productive, and not because of brand loyalty. Every time I start looking at Radeon cards, they look attractive both in terms of price and features, but when reading online reviews from professional CAD users, these cards are put off by a lot of reports of graphical artifacts. I don’t have time to deal with these artifacts, so for myself I only consider GeForce and Quadro. However, if you like Radeon cards, definitely consider purchasing them.
Quadro is a line of ISV-verified graphics cards from nVidia. They use the same processors and memory as the gaming line (GeForce), but with lower performance and at a significantly higher price. Altium does not certify graphics cards, but some mechanical CAD systems do. Quadro cards are very important to Solidworks and some features are only available for this line of cards. You can change the registry and make Solidworks think the game card is a Quadro. If you’re adventurous, you can swap two resistors on the GeForce card and flash the firmware on the board to make the card think it’s really a Quadro card that costs four times as much, but this will void your warranty and may not work out well, so it’s not recommended.
The budget GeForce GTX 1650 will not be heavily stressed by Altium Designer, but due to some mechanical CAD, it may start to get a little warm. If you’re into photorealistic rendering, you need to get the highest performance card you can afford. If you’re just doing day to day CAD work, a GeForce GTX 1650 or 1660 will do.
If you’re into rendering, the new GeForce RTX line offers better performance than the GTX line. The increase in performance is commensurate with the increase in the price of RTX cards compared to GTX.
Just like powering the electronic products you design, the quality of your computer’s power is also critical. A cheap power supply with not enough power to run the computer will cause a lot of problems when the processor and video card are fully loaded. Or worse, a poor quality power supply can damage computer components. Fortunately, good power supplies are not very expensive.
If you are building a desktop computer yourself and not having a shop do it for you, consider purchasing a modular power supply. The delivery of such units does not include any cables, or only the cable of the main motherboard is included. Instead, there are a variety of connectors that allow you to connect only those cables that are necessary to connect individual computer devices. This makes it easy to route cables through your PC without having to find space in your case for unused cables. Tighter cable routing in the case will slightly improve airflow and cooling.
An engineering computer does not use as much power as a gaming machine with multiple graphics cards, so you can save on a relatively small power supply. If you are looking at an AMD or Intel processor from the list above, then the processor alone will consume around 100W. The base graphics card (GTX 1650) uses about 75W, the mid-range (RTX 2060) uses about 160W, and the advanced card (RTX 2080 Ti) uses 250W. Each hard drive (SSD or mechanical) consumes about 10 watts.
Add up all the power, then add another 100 watts for the motherboard, coolers, USB devices, and some headroom for the future, and you will know the required power supply. The average consumption will be much less than this value, but if everything starts to consume maximum power at the same time, the computer may crash due to lack of power.
Most engineering computers will suffice with a 550W power supply. If you’re using an advanced graphics card or multiple graphics cards for rendering or calculations, consider an 850W power supply.
Corsair RM is a series of very popular fully modular power supplies. A slightly more budget-friendly option is Corsair’s CX line of power supplies, which are semi-modular.
People may have different preferences for the case they use. Ultimately, the case is an EMI shield that allows you to mount all of your computer’s components. If you are testing RF devices, do not consider a case with windows, as this will output almost all of the computer’s electromagnetic noise, increasing the noise floor.
I’m using the cheapest ATX sized case that has USB 3.1 ports on the front and dust collectors on the coolers. ATX is the size of a standard motherboard. Smaller form factors and cases are also available, but you will most likely choose an ATX form factor motherboard as they offer the most functionality at the lowest price.
In my opinion, most employers ignore the importance of monitors. They provide the employee with a powerful computer and a 22-inch Full HD (1920×1080 pixels). As I mentioned in the laptop section, I don’t like small screens. I use a 32″ Quad HD (2560×1440) screen on one of my computers and a 40″ 4K (3840×2160) screen on the other. To take full advantage of a 4K resolution screen, you need a large screen area so that you can use it without interface scaling. A 15″ laptop with a 4K screen can’t display more data than a 15″ Full HD because 4K at this size makes everything too small to read, so the interface zooms in for a smoother display.
The 22″ Full HD screen has the same pixel size as the 32″ QHD/WQHD screen and the 40″ 4K screen. I really like the 40-inch 4K screen to work with Altium Designer as you can see all the details on the big board when you zoom in. When Altium Designer is running in full screen mode, it has the same number of pixels as four Full HD screens. Mechanical CAD packages use the same enhancements, and you can see the area you are working on just as clearly as you can at lower resolutions, but you can also see all areas surrounding the model. A large screen or multiple screens allows you to perform many tasks more efficiently. Remember that the higher the screen resolution, the more powerful graphics card you need.
If you don’t plan on using your PC for gaming, consider purchasing a 40-43″ 4K TV as a monitor. TVs are not the best choice for gaming as they have slower response times than monitors and can cause blur and eye fatigue. However, for CAD work, they are very advantageous, as 40 inches is a fairly small size for the TV market.
Budget oriented engineering computer
Although this is a “budget” option, it is productive for the design. The components listed here are for professional engineers, where every minute spent waiting for a response from a computer results in a loss of funds. This is a high-performance build built with the budget in mind.
- CPU: AMD Ryzen ™ 5 2600X Processor, 3.6GHz
- RAM: Two Corsair Vengeance LPX 32GB DDR4 2666MHz CL16 Dual Channel Kit (2x16GB)
- Motherboard: Gigabyte X470 AORUS ULTRA GAMING
- Main drive: Samsung 970 EVO Plus NVMe M.2 PCI-E x4 SSD, 500GB
- Secondary drive: Samsung 970 EVO Plus NVMe M. 2 PCI-E x4 SSD, 500GB
- Graphic card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1650 OC 4GB PCI-E
- Power Supply: Corsair CX Series CX550M Semi-Modular Power Supply
- Case: Carbide Series 200R Compact ATX Case
The total cost is about $1000-1200, depending on the vendor, screen, operating system, peripherals, etc.
Productivity oriented engineering computer
This computer is focused on higher performance, but without excessive costs. This is what I think is appropriate for an electronics or mechanical engineering design lab where engineers do basic or advanced calculations and 3D modeling, as well as a lot of solid modeling and PCB design. This machine has about 25-30% better performance than the higher budget option, and has significantly more storage space.
If you do complex calculations, finite element analysis, or rendering, consider purchasing a standalone server with two Intel Xeon processors and high performance graphics cards if your calculation/rendering packages support GPU processing. This will allow you to transfer your calculation work from your desktop computer and continue working.
- CPU: Intel Core ™ i9-9900K Processor, 3.6GHz
- RAM: Corsair Vengeance LPX 32GB DDR4 3200MHz CL16 Dual Channel Kit (2x16GB)
- Motherboard: Gigabyte Z390 AORUS ELITE
- Main drive: Samsung 970 PRO NVMe M.2 PCI-E x4 SSD, 1TB
- Secondary drive: Samsung 970 PRO NVMe M.2 PCI-E x4 SSD, 512GB
- Backup/archive drive: Western Digital 6TB Ultrastar Hard Drive, SATA III w/ 256MB Cache
- Graphic card: Gigabyte GeForce RTX 2070 GAMING OC 8GB PCI-E
- PSU: Corsair RMx Series RM650x 80+ Gold Fully Modular
- Case: Corsair Carbide Series 270R Mid Tower ATX Case
Total cost is around $2400 to US$2600 depending on vendor, screen, operating system, peripherals, etc. It’s less than $2,000 if you use two Samsung 970 PRO NVMe M.2 drives and ditch the 6TB mechanical drive.
When it’s time to buy a new board design system, you only need the best of the best.