2 weeks ago I finally bought a workstation to do some crazy renderings and make a play station. I was initially planning to build a system and started with ordering an AMD A12-9800 CPU1. However, I then realized build going to be expensive.

I decided to buy a complete solution–like a desktop. On eBay, there are hundreds of 5-10 years old computers selling under $500 price range. I also looked at Apple Mac but because of the branding and the operating system, I couldn’t find great deals.

Many of my friends know that I am obsessed with IBM Think products so Lenovo–F*** you! I also worked with Dell workstations and HP workstations/servers. However, I couldn’t find myself into buying a Dell workstation even tough I already managed 1 in the office. I didn’t like their BIOS or driver/update delivery method. HP BIOS/driver updates was always “looks easy but actually hard”, so I ordered this, ThinkStation S30, beauty.

The machine came with

  • Intel Xeon E5 2609
  • 4x 4 GB DDR3 ECC RAM
  • NVIDIA Quadro K400
  • 650W Gold Power Supplier

Of course, you first ask yourself how much would this setup be and where is the harddrive. I only paid $126 (of course +10% tax) with free shipping and I also ordered 1 TB Seagate Barracuda, thermal paste (because the machine is 7 years old), Sapphire AMD Radeon RX 470.

I tried to run the system with K400 for a few days but can’t handle normal games like CS: GO, League of Legends but was OK in Blender3D. The interesting anecdote I’d like to share is that the device is hotter than hell. It can easily reach to 70°C.

I don’t like to say, but you should also try this 7-year old machine. It still wants to run 24-hour render on it! Wort to mention that I bought machine type 05692. This means I have limited CPU option and plan to have a 8 core Xeon E5-2670. It’s just $40 range on ebay and, funily enough, I can sell the old one in the same range.

Oh. Sadly, I am running Windows 10 and it sucks! Wish to use Windows 7.

  1. I also added the document and you can see what I was planning to buy in this document 

  2. S30 Platform Specification