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The Tiny Terror- Gaming, Workstation, and More.

fellway
  • 56 months ago

I've recently been kicking around the idea of investing in a workstation. Since there's a possibility I could be taking it different places very often, I figured that the smaller the build, the better. However, I'd still have to balance size with performance.

By the time I build something like this, the new Pascal cards are likely to be out for NVidia, so the GPU choice will probably be bunk by then.

I'm not sure if this is in the correct section of the forums. I wanted opinions, but alternate parts lists are also welcome. My location is US, without access to a Micro Center. I'd prefer the build to stay at least a loosely red theme, as my current build is a blue theme. As far as budget, there isn't really much aside from the fact that I do not want to spend more than $2k. Or I don't need to at least. Ignore peripherals and OS, because I have the peripheral setup that I'd need, and I can get free OS because of my university. As far as form factor, it doesn't necessarily need to be mini ITX, but the case needs to be small and easily portable.

I'd be using the build for either 1080p or 1440p gaming (if I can manage to upgrade to a 1440p monitor in the future), as well as engineering-style workstation use. Ansys, NI Multisim, SolidWorks, and the like. Nothing outrageously intensive (I know Ansys can be, but not my uses), but the programs aren't pushovers either.

Here's my reasoning behind my choices in the list:

-CPU. Since it's a workstation, i7 is the prime directive. The 10+ core Xeons are not considered because I need the high clocks for gaming and I don't have a fortune to spend. Additionally, putting an x99 in such a small form factor proves very difficult, because there are few acceptable ITX boards. Currently, the only setup compatible for x99 in the case is an ASRock board with a CM Seidon cooler, which can't even be verified to be compatible with the case. So it's pretty iffy. Giving up on x99, I figured that a Skylake i7 is still a great bet.

-CPU Cooler is a solid choice that is actually compatible with the rest of the list. There aren't many that will do well and still work with the case. Also, this fits the loose red theme, so even better!

-RAM. I figured 16gb is plenty. Nothing I would be doing would really require any more, so I'll just play it economical and get 16. A solid red set of ram.

-Storage. Yes, it's a single, small SSD. I wouldn't use much on this computer. On my current desktop, I have way more installed than I would ever put on this workstation, and it's not even 200gb.

-GPU. MSI and Corsair got together to put out a liquid cooled 980ti and the results are great. I figured a liquid-cooled solution would be the best considering form factor. I also considered the XFX R9 Nano. I'm still unsure which would be the best choice. I know either will max 1080p.

-Case. I wanted a nice, small ITX case with plenty of expandability and I also wanted the contents to be visible. I figured the largely mesh-like construction of the V1 would be a great way to both keep the build cool and keep it visible.

-PSU. I know my choice isn't very glitzy, but I don't feel like bothering to pay more for full modularity when I know I'm going to be using all the pre-wired cables of a semi-modular. The Antec HCG is a solidly reliable unit, and with enough wattage to support the sytem, I think it's a great choice.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

Type Item Price
CPU Intel Core i7-6700K 4.0GHz Quad-Core Processor $366.89 @ OutletPC
CPU Cooler Phanteks PH-TC14CS_RD 88.6 CFM CPU Cooler $64.99 @ Newegg
Motherboard ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming-ITX/ac Mini ITX LGA1151 Motherboard $186.98 @ Newegg
Memory G.Skill Ripjaws V Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-2400 Memory $109.99 @ Newegg
Storage Crucial BX100 250GB 2.5" Solid State Drive $79.99 @ Amazon
Video Card MSI GeForce GTX 980 Ti 6GB Video Card $756.98 @ Newegg
Case Thermaltake Core V1 Mini ITX Tower Case $42.99 @ SuperBiiz
Power Supply Antec High Current Gamer 520W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply $49.99 @ Newegg
Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts
Total $1658.80
Generated by PCPartPicker 2015-10-15 02:25 EDT-0400

Comments

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

Looks pretty good. If you wanted better cooling capacity out of a taller,narrower, longer mini-itx case, then I feel the Phanteks Enthoo evolv might be your best bet. Comes with triple rad support so you know most aio liquid coolers will fit. Besides, it has a great window to show off your stuff!

In small cases, fully modular Cables are pretty nice. Then again, if the case is small enough you may have to connect your cabling before putting the PSU in....

Other than that I don't think I would make any different choices. I might stick with a reference design 980 ti to save some money.

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

I do really like Phanteks. They make such quality components. I toyed around with it with the rest of the list, and I think I'm gonna go with the red-interior evolv. It's able to support full-size air cooling towers. I do love the simplicity of an air cooler, so I think I'd be perfectly happy to pop in the Phanteks TC-14PE. It's more robust than the other one, so it'll be great to have in there. I'd never push the overclock so hard as to require the strength of liquid cooling.

I kind of agree on saving money on the GPU. I don't think I'd go with reference design, but I really do love the MSI Twin Frozr. It always offers such great performance and has the quietest and second best air cooling system available. I also really love the software interface. I had an MSI 280x, so moving to the Windforce 3x 970, I don't really feel like I have as much control, haha

I think I might just bite the bullet on having the smallest possible, because with the mATX evolv, I can get a reliable x99 platform. And it's only $60 more, so I think it'd definitely be a worthwhile option

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

Type Item Price
CPU Intel Core i7-5820K 3.3GHz 6-Core Processor $378.99 @ SuperBiiz
CPU Cooler Phanteks PH-TC14PE_RD 78.1 CFM CPU Cooler $74.99 @ Amazon
Motherboard Gigabyte GA-X99M-GAMING 5 Micro ATX LGA2011-3 Motherboard $203.98 @ Newegg
Memory G.Skill Ripjaws V Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-2400 Memory $109.99 @ Newegg
Storage Crucial BX100 250GB 2.5" Solid State Drive $79.99 @ Amazon
Video Card MSI GeForce GTX 980 Ti 6GB Video Card $659.99 @ Amazon
Case Phanteks Enthoo EVOLV MicroATX Mini Tower Case $129.99 @ Newegg
Power Supply Antec 650W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply $79.99 @ Newegg
Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts
Total $1717.91
Generated by PCPartPicker 2015-10-15 10:12 EDT-0400
  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

Looks really really good! x99 FTW!

Do you know anything about that power supply? I don't even think the "edge" variants from Antec have ever been on my radar. I tried to find a Johnny review, but couldn't find one yet. Techpowerup has one here: http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Antec/EDG650/11.html and it looks pretty solid.

Holy crap, the Corsair RMi 750 can be had for $102 on Amazon (Ships from and sold by Amazon)!!!!!! Review here: http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=Story6&reid=432

Much more than the $80 price you are sporting for the Antec, though it is much cheaper than it normally goes for. In fact, at that price point, it is probably a perfect 10 as value was the only ding.

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

I'd much rather get an EVGA B2/G2/GS before any Corsair that isn't HX/AX series. I'm just far too wary about the Corsair units that aren't the fully proven and fully reliable ones. Also they are usually overpriced compared to their competitive EVGA, SeaSonic, or Antec units.

The Antec EDGE series, just like the HCG series, is a rebrand of the SeaSonic G platform. Solid tier 2 unit. As far as I know, every Antec unit is a rebrand of SeaSonic, and is at worst a tier 2, by extension. http://www.anandtech.com/show/8571/antec-edge-550w-power-supply-review/2

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