Building a $75,000 Windows 10 workstation

Think Apple's new Mac Pro is pricey? Here's an ultra high-spec Windows 10 workstation that will set you back $73,000.

Intel's Project Athena: Premium PCs with better battery life Intel chips away at the perennial problem of battery life in laptops with Project Athena. But the new hardware won't come cheap.

When you get to a certain spec with PCs, especially workstations, it's less a case of how fast you want it to go, and more a case of how fast do you want to spend money.

So, how fast can you spend over $75,000 on a workstation? Well, the controversy over the price of Apple's new Mac Pro got me wondering just how much an ultra high-end Windows 10-based workstation would set you back.

If you're sensitive to big price tags, you might want to take a seat before reading any further.

Also: Deconstructing the base Mac Pro: Why is it so expensive?

Titan Computers is a US-based manufacturer of workstations and servers, and its online store allows you to build monster systems that can handle pretty much any task you can throw at them.

For this experiment I started with a Titan X650, a Xeon-based workstation that has a starting price of $12,350. And for that you get a very impressive spec indeed:

  • Motherboard: SUPERMICRO X10QBL-4 Server Motherboard Quad LGA 2011
  • Processor: 4 x Intel E7-4809 v4 Eight-Core Processor Broadwell EP 2.1GHz 20MB L3 Eight-Core (32 Cores / 64 Threads Total)
  • OS Hard Drive: Crucial MX300 275GB SATA III 3-D Vertical Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
  • Storage Hard Drive: 2TB - Seagate 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
  • Memory: 64GB (8 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR4 2400Mhz Quad Channel Memory (Exp. to 4TB RDIMM)
  • Audio: No Onboard Sound Card
  • Power Supply: 1400W Redundant Digital PS 80 PLUS, Platinum Certified
  • Video: NVIDIA Quadro P2000 5GB GDDR5 PCIe 3.0 x16 Workstation Video Card
  • Case: Supermicro SYS-8048B-TR4F Chassis

OK, that's pretty cool, but we can do better.

Much better.

  • Case: Supermicro SuperServer 8048B-TR4F Tower
  • Motherboard: SUPERMICRO X10QBL-4 Server Motherboard Quad LGA 2011
  • Processor: 4 x Intel E7-8890 v4 2.2GHz.3,=.4GHz for a total of 96-cores/192-threads
  • Memory: 2048GB (32 x 64GB) 288-Pin DDR4 2400Mhz EEC server RAM
  • Storage: 5 x Samsung 860 EVO 4TB
  • Audio: Creative Sound Blaster AUDIGY FX 5.1
  • Video: 2 x AMD Radeon Pro Duo 32GB
  • Video capture: Blackmagic Design Intensity Pro 4K
  • Network: Intel EXPI9402PT Pro dual gigabit Ethernet
  • Display: 2 x 28-inch 4K LED monitors
  • Optical drive: LG 24x SATA

Total: $75,008

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That's an impressive workstation. I could have put in a more expensive Nvidia TITAN V Volta GPU as the secondary card. But I decided to be restrained.

I actually managed to configure an even more expensive system on the site. I took at W599 Octane workstation up to $93,000 by essentially fitting it with expensive -- but very fast -- storage.

It's not hard to spend tens of thousands of dollars on a high-end workstation, whether it runs macOS or Windows.

How expensive do you think the highest-spec Mac Pro will be? Let me know below!