Intel Core i7-7740X Workstation Desktop Build Review
PCWorx was kind enough to send us their own pick of PC parts to build a rig around Intel’s Core i7-7740X processor. Do note that the purpose of the build is to be a rendering workstation which is why the components were more focused on CPU than GPU performance. Without further ado, here is our full review of the i7-7740X workstation.
Disclaimer: PCWorx provided and picked the parts for this build.
CPU – Intel Core i7-7740X
The star of the show is Intel’s Core i7-7740X, a part of the first processor family the company made as an answer to AMD’s Ryzen. The processor has 4 cores, 8 threads, and 8MB of L3 cache. Base clock speeds are at 4.2GHz and maximum Turbo speeds are at 4.5GHz.
Motherboard – Gigabyte X299 Aorus Gaming 3
The motherboard used for this build is Gigabyte’s Aorus Gaming 3 that houses Intel’s X299 chipset. The board has eight DDR4 RAM DIMM slots that support Quad channel setups and RAM speeds of up to 4400Mhz, two PCIe Gen3 x4 M.2 slots, two PCIe x16 slots running at x16 configuration, one PCIe x16 slot running at x8 configuration, two PCIe x16 slots running at x4 configuration, and Realtek’s ALC 1220 audio codec. For external I/O it has one PS/2 port, one USB Type-C port with USB 3.1 Gen 2 support, one USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A port, six USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports, and six Audio jacks. It supports Intel X-series processors, Intel Optane, Intel VROC, Multi-GPU setups, and Gigabyte’s own RGB FUSION.
Graphics Card – Palit Dual OC Nvidia GTX 1050Ti
The rigs muscle is Palit’s Dual OC version of the GTX 1050Ti Pascal GPU. The 1050Ti is part of Nvidia’s 10-series generation of GPUs that was released late last year.
RAM (Random Access Module) – 16GB G.Skill Trident Z RGB Gaming Memory
As for RAM, we were provided with a kit of two 8GB G.skill Trident Z 3000MHz memory modules. These RAMs have customizable RGB LEDs to spice up or match the color of builds. In our case, we just left it on its default rainbow cycle configuration.
Storage – Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200rpm Hard Drive
Storage-wise we were provided with Seagate’s 1TB 7200rpm Barracuda HDD. A fairly standard storage capacity.
Case – Inwin 303 spider web Tempered Glass RGB case
Inwin’s 303 tempered glass RGB case provided the housing for the components. The case has an easy tool-less tempered glass side panel that can easily be removed just by pressing the top handle, as for the other side panel it has non-removable thumbscrews and the case’s air intake holes. The inside is almost bare making it perfect for water cooled builds, Inwin also placed the PSU mount on the inner top panel to provide more space in the motherboard area. The case has support for up to three 120mm fans or radiators measuring up to 360mm on its inner top and bottom panel and up to one 120mm fan or radiator on its inner rear panel. The bottom of the case has a removable dust filter.
The setup of the case is rather weird as the PSU is mounted on the top and the I/O shield mount is slightly inside of the case instead of being directly on the back panel, not only that, but should you wish to populate it with fans you’ll be forced to use the bottom panel which isn’t ideal for airflow as it is facing the floor directly.
PSU (Power Supply Unit) – Corsair CX750
The rig’s heart is Corsair’s 750watt CX750 PSU. The unit is 80+ bronze certified, it’s not modular but thankfully, Corsair braided the cables. The PSU’s wattage is more than enough to provide the needed power for the system.
Water Cooling Unit – Deepcool Maelstrom 240T AIO Liquid Cooling Unit
To cool down Intel’s i7-7740X, we were provided with Deepcool’s Maelstrom 240T liquid cooling unit. It’s an All-in-one cooler making installation quick and easy.
Fans – Thermaltake 120mm Riing Fans
Thermaltake’s 120mm red Riing fans provide the necessary airflow for the build. These are High-Pressure fans which make it the perfect partner of radiators.
Performance and Benchmarks
Now off to the fun part, we tested the rig’s gaming performance and render times. Do take note again that this build was intended as a rendering workstation and not a gaming one. It scored relatively well through the five AAA games we threw at it considering that we maxed everything out at 1080p resolutions. It was able to reach a stable 40-60fps on most of the games with the exception of NieR:Automata. As for synthetic GPU tests, we were only able to run 3D Mark’s Firestrike in which it got a score of 6,895.
As for rendering times, the build is able to render small video files of about 133MB in Adobe Premiere in about a minute and a half while for larger video files of about 8GB it took the build about 45 minutes. Quite respectable render times based on its configuration. We ran Cinebench R15 to synthetically test its CPU performance, the i7-7740X scored 992cb, it narrowly beats the scores of some of its Skylake and Kabylake i7 siblings but sadly, it loses to AMD’s Ryzen 5 and 7.
We also ran some synthetic benchmarks to further test performance. Check out the scores below.
We ran Prime 95 and Furmark for about an hour each to test CPU and GPU temperatures. The i7-7740X capped out at about 72°C while the GTX 1050Ti capped out at about 64°C. These are impressive thermal results considering we only installed one outtake fan in the case and two intake fans attached to the radiator, but these fans are nowhere near the supposed intake holes as it is facing the tempered glass side panels. Acoustics are also good as there is no noticeable noise from the system when these tests were performed.
Overall the rig performed relatively well in the task it was intended to do, which was rendering. Also, it can still play games at respectable frame rates and quality. Despite having minimal airflow, the system was able to maintain cool temperatures and acoustics. It’s an above average build, to say the least, and upgradeability is certainly there as the motherboard supports the latest tech from Intel and has a good number of ports and slots, not to mention the case is rather spacious, though it doesn’t come cheap as it would cost you roughly Php75,000 for its components.
i7-7740X Workstation Build specs:
Intel Core i7-7740X (4.3GHz up to 4.5GHz/8MB Cache)
Gigabyte X299 Aorus Gaming 3 Motherboard
Palit DUAL OC NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050Ti, 4GB VRAM
16GB DDR4 3000MHz G.skill Trident Z RGB RAM
1TB Seagate Barracuda 7200rpm Hard drive
Inwin 303 Spider Web Tempered Glass RGB Case
Corsair CX750 80+ Bronze non-modular PSU
Deepcool Maelstrom 240T AIO Liquid Cooling Unit
3x Thermaltake Riing 120MM Red LED High-Pressure Fans
What we liked about it:
- Respectable rendering performance
- Tool-less and spacious case
- Cool temperatures and quiet acoustics
- Upgrade Path
- Water cooled
- Water cooling potential
What we didn’t like:
- Not ideal for air-cooling setups
- Weird case setup