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Thread: Suggestions for a SFF .

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    Pork & Beans Powerup Phage's Avatar
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    Suggestions for a SFF .

    Hi All,

    I've been asked to pull together a quote on a small semi-portable machine to be mostly used in music production. He really likes the idea of the handles on the Bitfenix prodidgy.

    It's mostly CPU work, and he would like a large SSD and loads of RAM. He'll need an OS as well

    The budget is £900

    Thanks for any advice !
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  2. #2
    Bows out! CAT-THE-FIFTH's Avatar
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    Re: Suggestions for a SFF .

    I assume none of his stuff really needs a decent graphics card - with that sort of budget have you seriously considered a laptop??

    The Prodigy is not a small case as SFF PCs goes - a mate has the Phenom which is basically the same case and it is hefty for a mini-ITX box,plus I would not trust the handles on the Prodigy if picking a full loaded case up with them.


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    Pork & Beans Powerup Phage's Avatar
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    Re: Suggestions for a SFF .

    No, no GPU required. Although the space to add one later would be good. He's had loads of laptops and they struggle to cool the CPU. Plus they're not upgradeable and you get more power and ram for your money with a luggable.

    Other cases ?
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    Evil Monkey! MrJim's Avatar
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    Re: Suggestions for a SFF .

    Quote Originally Posted by Phage View Post
    Other cases ?
    This one perhaps?

    http://www.lian-li.com/en/dt_portfolio/pc-tu200/

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    Pork & Beans Powerup Phage's Avatar
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    Re: Suggestions for a SFF .

    Now that's nice... any thoughts on PSU ETC ?
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    Evil Monkey! MrJim's Avatar
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    Re: Suggestions for a SFF .

    Quote Originally Posted by Phage View Post
    Now that's nice... any thoughts on PSU ETC ?
    A modular or semi-modular PSU is probably a good idea in such a compact case, but they tend to be offered in larger capacities. This one might be a good start though:

    http://www.legitreviews.com/corsair-...5-can-buy_2169

    Overclockers have it:

    https://www.overclockers.co.uk/corsa...ca-219-cs.html

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    Re: Suggestions for a SFF .

    The TU200 can be a tad marginal on the cooling but since you are not plonking in a high end card it should be OK.

    I use this PSU with extension cables in my case:

    https://www.scan.co.uk/products/450w...-37a-plus12v-e

    It is quiet and weighs a fraction of some of the larger PSUs.


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    Re: Suggestions for a SFF .

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    I tend to go for the similar Silverstone SFX products, cheaper and come with a matching ATX adaptor plate (for cases like the Lian Li above).

    In my wife's shoebox uATX machine I ended up using:

    https://www.scan.co.uk/products/500w...lus12v-1x120mm

    which is a slightly odd form factor which isn't quite SFX as it is too long, but on cases that can take a full ATX PSU it gives much better airflow around the case like a standard SFX PSU but being slightly longer they can fit a bigger fan in there.

    In others I have used the cheaper non-modular and standard SFX size PSUs, again the smaller PSU makes the case feel more spacious so tucking the cables away in some empty drive bay doesn't feel so cramped. The cheaper ones are only bronze and no longer seem to do the semi fanless operation (looks like the design has changed since I bought one), but if 300W is enough you can save a chunk of the budget:

    https://www.scan.co.uk/products/300w...plus12v-1x92mm

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    Re: Suggestions for a SFF .

    Surely this is crying out for a NUC?

    https://www.scan.co.uk/products/inte...on-win-10-home

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    Re: Suggestions for a SFF .

    Quote Originally Posted by Dashers View Post
    Surely this is crying out for a NUC? ...
    Depending on the software in use and the amount of editing/filtering going on the Celeron might not have the CPU oomph. Plus audio tends to be very IO heavy, and I wouldn't trust the 32GB of flash storage in that NUC to last more than one recording session at best (I used to have my DAW running on an older SSD and after about 2 editing sessions the whole thing ground to a halt from hitting write amplification).

    So, Phage, any chance of getting some more details? Like what interface he plans to use, what software he'll be using, and what kind of music production? Live recording? Mulit-tracking? Electronic music (i.e. masses of samples, no real instruments )? They all have different requirements...

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    Re: Suggestions for a SFF .

    How about to take advantage of L4 cache on a i7-5775C Broadway?

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    Re: Suggestions for a SFF .

    problem with the lian li pc-tu200a is cost cheapest I've found is £150 http://www.aquatuning.co.uk/cases-un...-tu200a-silber

    a bit cheaper Silverstone SST-CS01 i'd look at the cheaper non hotswap bay version https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aERI4id7bu0
    https://www.scan.co.uk/products/sst-...-silver-alumin £100
    that gives you a pair of 3.5" bays as well as a pair of 2.5" bays for drives

    down side of that case are no 5.25" external bay and only a single slot half height pci-e card slot, so forget a graphics card, beyond a low end card

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    Re: Suggestions for a SFF .

    For SFX psu non-modular the silverstone strider https://www.scan.co.uk/products/300w...lus-bronze-psu or bequite https://www.scan.co.uk/products/300w...-pci-e-erp2014
    both come with a sfx to atx adaptor plate if I remember correctly
    if you go with an i5 or i7, no overclock, on board gpu, then 300w should be ok.

    for modular you're looking at silverstone https://www.scan.co.uk/products/450w...0plus-gold-psu or corsair https://www.scan.co.uk/products/450w...-37a-plus12v-e
    Not sure who makes the corsair but I'm pretty sure that both the silverstone and bequiet are built by FSP off their 60GHS(85) range http://www.fsp-group.com.tw/index.php?do=proinfo&id=110

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    Re: Suggestions for a SFF .

    for cooling, I'd probably look at a 25x120rad all-in-one cooler
    example Akasa Venom A10 https://www.scan.co.uk/products/akas...ase-award-winn

    a 250gb ssd for os & software and a 1 to 4 tb 3.5" hard drive for storage

    motherbaord cpu and ram I'm not sure on, I've not kept up with that as much

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    Re: Suggestions for a SFF .

    Quote Originally Posted by scaryjim View Post
    Depending on the software in use and the amount of editing/filtering going on the Celeron might not have the CPU oomph. Plus audio tends to be very IO heavy, and I wouldn't trust the 32GB of flash storage in that NUC to last more than one recording session at best (I used to have my DAW running on an older SSD and after about 2 editing sessions the whole thing ground to a halt from hitting write amplification).

    So, Phage, any chance of getting some more details? Like what interface he plans to use, what software he'll be using, and what kind of music production? Live recording? Mulit-tracking? Electronic music (i.e. masses of samples, no real instruments )? They all have different requirements...
    After a bit of a delay I have received this email from my friend. Obvioulsy Ryzen is the big variable, but suggestions on the rest are very useful

    Well, finally, ten days after we spoke, I'm able to sit down and think about what I need from my PC! So, here goes:

    •RAM - DDR4 2133MHz 16GB RAM

    •Startech PEX 1394B3 PCIe card - has to be this one as it's one of the few guaranteed to be compatible with my audio interface
    •Big fat SSD - for all the reasons you mentioned, but maybe have a HDD as well to keep all the big programs on?? Somebody actually recommended two SSDs - one SSD for Windows and Pro Tools, another SSD for plugins and samples and virtual instruments, and a hard drive for storing sessions. Sounds expensive though!

    •i7-5820K CPU
    •Asus X99-A Motherboard (or equivalent if you have a better recommendation)
    •Separate graphics card just in case I want to play games!
    •High quality case fans (our PCs do seem to get hot in this room) paired with a noise-dampening PC case - ideally a case that I can easily transport from the living room to the workshop. A tower with handles or something maybe?

    •Sound card - ASUS Xonar DX or similar??

    Really appreciate you taking a look at this for me. Do you think I can build this for under £800 (excluding VAT)?

    Cheers!

    Steve
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    Re: Suggestions for a SFF .

    Quote Originally Posted by Phage View Post
    After a bit of a delay I have received this email from my friend. Obvioulsy Ryzen is the big variable, but suggestions on the rest are very useful

    Well, finally, ten days after we spoke, I'm able to sit down and think about what I need from my PC! So, here goes:

    •RAM - DDR4 2133MHz 16GB RAM

    •Startech PEX 1394B3 PCIe card - has to be this one as it's one of the few guaranteed to be compatible with my audio interface
    •Big fat SSD - for all the reasons you mentioned, but maybe have a HDD as well to keep all the big programs on?? Somebody actually recommended two SSDs - one SSD for Windows and Pro Tools, another SSD for plugins and samples and virtual instruments, and a hard drive for storing sessions. Sounds expensive though!

    •i7-5820K CPU
    •Asus X99-A Motherboard (or equivalent if you have a better recommendation)
    •Separate graphics card just in case I want to play games!
    •High quality case fans (our PCs do seem to get hot in this room) paired with a noise-dampening PC case - ideally a case that I can easily transport from the living room to the workshop. A tower with handles or something maybe?

    •Sound card - ASUS Xonar DX or similar??

    Really appreciate you taking a look at this for me. Do you think I can build this for under £800 (excluding VAT)?

    Cheers!



    Steve
    The six core Ryzen CPUs look to have Haswell to Broadwell level IPC and higher clockspeeds than the Core i7 5820K and will be under £300. Ryzen is launching between the 25th of February and the 2nd of March.


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