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(With Build Video!) Budget CAD Workstation in the Define Mini C!

by l2pTink3r


Build Video: https://youtu.be/qOA-4PKSNlE

I've recently built this small workstation for my Brother who's doing a lot of 3D Animation, Photo Editing, a fair bit of rendering and wants to get into gaming again.

Working on such a Budget was a bit hard, and I'd definitely would up the RAM a bit soon, but he's really happy up until now. Using mostly Blender, Z-Brush and Photoshop he doesnt seem to have run into any problems for now, especially when sourcing out rendering over the CPU. Still he didnt had the feeling to need to OC the System, but we will see about that.

I had to give away the System quite soon after finishing it so I couldnt do any Benchmarks, but i might add them later.

Building was a joy. I'd still prefer a NZXT Case, but the Define Mini C gives you plenty of space to work with, even though it has a PSU-Cover and is overall of superb quality, with it's light full Metal Body without any breakable parts. There are nice channels for threading the cables which makes it easy and accessible to organize.

With such small parts like those I've chosen you could definitely build in a way smaller case, but I wanted to try one from Fractal Design, but any ITX AM4 MoBo would have been way more expensive.

Comments Sorted by:

fortking 3 Builds 1 point 11 days ago

i would have gone with faster ram, and oriented the cooler so it goes with the case airflow

l2pTink3r submitter 3 Builds 2 points 10 days ago

Not possible on AM4 I'm Afraid :/

fortking 3 Builds 1 point 10 days ago

what isnt possible

l2pTink3r submitter 3 Builds 1 point 10 days ago

Turning the cooler so itd go with the airflow, neither the AM4 Socket, nor the be quiet cooler allows it, at least as much as I am informed

fortking 3 Builds 1 point 9 days ago

you should still be able to rotate the cooler. The bracket only goes on one way. Someone can correct me if im wrong tho.

Socialkonstruct 4 Builds 1 point 11 days ago

Great build and I love it. But why not a workstation card?

l2pTink3r submitter 3 Builds 1 point 10 days ago

Seriously tight budget, had that one left, like the PSU and recycled it. Paid about 540€ for the whole Build.

HandsomeAlex 1 Build 1 point 11 days ago

Nice assembly! I would have taken the $230 you spent on the PSU, got a $50-60 one and bought more RAM, especially for CAD. I know Solidworks is a total RAM-muncher, and it has very specific requirements for graphics cards - Quadro or Firepro series only. Autocad is also pretty RAM heavy. The CPU choice is pretty respectful for a workstation though.

l2pTink3r submitter 3 Builds 2 points 10 days ago

in the build itself ive used a PSU i still had lying around here as well as the SSD. I only had 500€ to work with, so i had to use what i had. The RAM is most likely going to be replaced in thecoming months :) was this time only about keeping it cheep and getting that R7 in there ^

HandsomeAlex 1 Build 1 point 10 days ago

Ok that makes more sense. Didn't know it was existing. Some people will put 0.00 as the price when it's a component from an old build.

l2pTink3r submitter 3 Builds 1 point 10 days ago

thanks for the tip :)

Esoteric0781 1 Build 1 point 10 days ago

Really nice build for that budget. The RAM and GPU you can easily upgrade later when you need. If he's rendering I definitely wouldn't overclock. It's way too stressful on the CPU, it's not like gaming at all. Gaming it'll go up and down, up when it needs to then back down, when rendering the CPU is at 100% load for however long it takes. You got a good CPU though so he shouldn't need to.

l2pTink3r submitter 3 Builds 2 points 10 days ago

yeah, I dont think so too. But I actually am a bit curious how much the CPU could take :P

Acxitma 1 point 4 days ago

Wow and with a video. You did a Great Job!