Building a tiny (Sub 3.9 Litres) workstation

Analogue Blacksheep

New Member
Sep 8, 2019
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First post here, if you know me from other places, hello again.

Anyway I've come because I'm thinking about using some server parts in my workstation build and hopefully I could get some feedback on this potential idea. The plan is to use this a portable graphic design workstation. I'm not so concerned on overall speed, but tempertures and stability are important to me. I should mention I'm a bit of Small Form Factor enthusiast and I would also like to be able to take the build with me to hotdesking locations. The part list has come about after a great deal of research and years of working on inadequate computers for graphic design.

Build’s Name: ZS-A4DC Mini Sledgehammer
Operating System/ Storage Platform: Windows 10 Pro
CPU: Intel Xeon E-2136
CPU Cooler: ID Cooling IS-30 + Noctua NF-A9x14 PWM (Currently own)
Motherboard: AsRock Rack C246 WSI
Chassis: ZS-A4DC (Currently own)
Drives: (Boot/Application drive) Innodisk 128GB Satadom, (Scratch Disk) MyDigitalSSD 480GB SBXe, (Project Drive) Micron 3.2TB 9300 MAX U.2
RAM: 32GB Innodisk M4C0-AGS1TCSJ VLP (2x16GB) - Will be looking for 2x32GB RAM once October motherboard update happens.
Add-in Cards: Zotac/Asus 1650 Low Profile - Will be 1650 ti LP if recent rumours are true.
Power Supply: Z-Case 600W Enhance Platinum Flex 1u PSU
Other Bits: 2x Noctua NF-A8 PWM, Supermicro OCuLink to U.2 CBL-SAST-0956, ADT R3L V2.2 riser

Usage Profile: Adobe (Illustrator, Photoshop, Indesign, Premiere Pro, After Effects, etc), Trimble Sketchup, Blackmagic (DaVinci Resolve, Fusion), Affinity (Photo, Designer, Publisher), Clip Studio, Processing, Fontlab, Vector Magic, Libre Office.

While I do understand Ryzen would make a great deal of sense with this build, I feel the AsRock Rack C246 WSI motherboard suits my needs perfectly and the chipset is fairly mature at this point. It has a OCuLink port which means I can run a U.2 drive (less heat, more capacity), as well as a Satadom port on it, which I could use as a bootdrive and maybe have my programs on it , as well as freeing up the M.2 slot to work as a scratch drive. Plus the forthcoming 64GB Ram update means there is a degree of future proofing. Hopefully the Xeon-E 2200's can run on it as well.

So does this build make sense? Anything I need to be aware of?
 
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BlueFox

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Oct 26, 2015
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Why not a consumer motherboard? They're cheaper and you could use the difference to step up to an 8 core CPU like the i7-9700K. 32GB DIMMs are already supported too (I have an Z390 ITX motherboard with 64GB). You could also have multiple M.2 slots, so no need for the SATA DOM if you consolidate down to 2 disks (say 1TB NVMe + the 3.2TB Micron).

At least that's what I would do personally (and have with my workstation).
 
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Analogue Blacksheep

New Member
Sep 8, 2019
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Hello, sorry about the slow response. After thinking about things, I've decided to go with a ASUS X570-i Ryzen consumer board which I should be arriving this week. The Asrock board still looks great, but no thanks to customs charges it would of cost more than the board I have ordered. I'm still looking at going with a U.2 drive though.
 
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