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

by l2pTink3r


Disclaimer: The actual price of the Build should was around 600€! PCPP prices on this are kinda inaccurate, so I'll include Amazon links at the bottom!

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. Check out the Build Video

Working on such a Budget (around 600€) 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.

Fractal Design Define Mini C:

https://amzn.to/2ySvlgk (DE) / https://amzn.to/2QslKno (UK)

AMD Ryzen R7 1700:

https://amzn.to/2D7xmIu (DE) / https://amzn.to/2RHOSal (UK)

Sapphire RX550 Pulse 4GB:

https://amzn.to/2RHOSal (DE) / https://amzn.to/2QqRGbH (UK)

MSI B450 PRO-M2:

https://amzn.to/2Oxg5dF (DE) / https://amzn.to/2RG28Mv (UK)

Memory D4 2666 16GB C19:

https://amzn.to/2CgCjhr (DE) / -----

be quiet! Pure Rock Slim:

https://amzn.to/2AQnVM2 (DE)/ https://amzn.to/2D66Eju (UK)


https://amzn.to/2Qn0Be9 (DE)/ https://amzn.to/2STJ1Qz (UK)


https://amzn.to/2Qn0XS1 (DE)/ https://amzn.to/2JMGq6X (UK)

HDD WD Blue:

https://amzn.to/2RBl3bs (DE)/ https://amzn.to/2yW3Bau (UK)

Comments Sorted by:

tasimana 2 points 3 months ago

hey dude I really really need to know if this motherboard would support something like the cooler master MasterLiquid ml120l ???? also would this be able to house an rx580 8gb (the sapphire nitro) THANKS!!!

l2pTink3r submitter 9 Builds 1 point 1 month ago

hey sorry for not replying, you probably dont need the advice anymore, but here I go: For the Liquid Cooler you would need a >Fan Header splitter and I dont think it has a direct Pump Header, you might wanna go for the MSI Gaming Plus which I used in this Build with the Sapphire RX580. It would also fit this build, but you wanna get 16 GB of RAM above 3000MHz!

fortking 3 Builds 1 point 4 months ago

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

l2pTink3r submitter 9 Builds 2 points 4 months ago

Not possible on AM4 I'm Afraid :/

fortking 3 Builds 1 point 4 months ago

what isnt possible

l2pTink3r submitter 9 Builds 1 point 4 months 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 4 months 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 4 months ago

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

l2pTink3r submitter 9 Builds 1 point 4 months 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 4 months 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 9 Builds 2 points 4 months 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 4 months 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 9 Builds 1 point 4 months ago

thanks for the tip :)

Esoteric0781 1 Build 1 point 4 months 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 9 Builds 2 points 4 months 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 months ago

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