Question PC build for CAD programs ?

Dec 7, 2022
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Hi all,
I am looking for some advice on building a PC for CAD programs such as Rhino, Grasshopper, Keyshot, Blender etc.

I was told that I may not need a liquid fan, not planning to overclock, can anyone recommend alternatives?

Here is what I am planning so far: PCPartPicker Part List: https://au.pcpartpicker.com/list/JTHT78

CPU: Intel Core i7-12700K 3.6 GHz 12-Core Processor ($539.15 @ Amazon Australia)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master MASTERLIQUID ML120L RGB V2 65.59 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($89.00 @ MSY Technology)
Motherboard: Gigabyte Z690I AORUS ULTRA LITE DDR4 (rev. 1.0) Mini ITX LGA1700 Motherboard ($269.00 @ PLE Computers)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR4-3200 CL16 Memory ($222.52 @ Amazon Australia)
Storage: Western Digital Blue SN570 1 TB M.2-2280 PCIe 3.0 X4 NVME Solid State Drive ($119.00 @ Scorptec)
Video Card: PNY VCQP5000-PB Quadro P5000 16 GB Video Card
Case: Cooler Master Elite 110 Mini ITX Tower Case ($59.00 @ Umart)
Power Supply: Corsair RM650 650 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply ($159.00 @ Centre Com)
Total: $1456.67
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2022-12-07 17:25 AEDT+1100
 

Lutfij

Titan
Moderator
Welcome to the forums, newcomer!

building a PC for CAD programs such as Rhino, Grasshopper, Keyshot, Blender etc.
Could you elaborate on the etc part...?

As for the build in itself, get a DDR4-3600MHz dual channel ram kit with perhaps tighter timings. The AIO you've chosen is actually pointless since it won't be able to cool that processor. To that effect, the case chosen is also the wrong component as the heatware you've chosen will cause it to thermal throttle...also, that's what's artificially limiting your cooler choices.
 
If I had to do a small form factor build like this while trying to keep these parts cool, this is how I would so it. Since its more of a build for business you are going to want an overbuilt PSU with high efficiency that will fit in these small cases. Adding a 13700k will also boost performance a bit if you deem it necessary.

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: Intel Core i7-12700K 3.6 GHz 12-Core Processor ($539.15 @ Amazon Australia)
CPU Cooler: EK AIO 240 D-RGB 66.04 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($129.00 @ Mwave Australia)
Motherboard: Gigabyte Z690I AORUS ULTRA LITE DDR4 (rev. 1.0) Mini ITX LGA1700 Motherboard ($269.00 @ PLE Computers)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR4-3600 CL18 Memory ($159.00 @ Scorptec)
Storage: Western Digital Blue SN570 1 TB M.2-2280 PCIe 3.0 X4 NVME Solid State Drive ($119.00 @ Scorptec)
Video Card: PNY VCQP5000-PB Quadro P5000 16 GB Video Card
Case: Fractal Design Era ITX Mini ITX Desktop Case ($119.00 @ Scorptec)
Power Supply: Silverstone SFX 800 W 80+ Titanium Certified Fully Modular SFX Power Supply ($248.50 @ Umart)
Total: $1582.65
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2022-12-08 06:58 AEDT+1100
 
Reactions: Lutfij
Dec 7, 2022
4
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Welcome to the forums, newcomer!

building a PC for CAD programs such as Rhino, Grasshopper, Keyshot, Blender etc.
Could you elaborate on the etc part...?

As for the build in itself, get a DDR4-3600MHz dual channel ram kit with perhaps tighter timings. The AIO you've chosen is actually pointless since it won't be able to cool that processor. To that effect, the case chosen is also the wrong component as the heatware you've chosen will cause it to thermal throttle...also, that's what's artificially limiting your cooler choices.
Hi there!
Thank you for the advice on the memory and fan
Full list of programs: Rhino, Grasshopper, Keyshot, Blender, Adobe, Fusion 360 and Affinity
I chose the case because I liked the compactness, is there a way of knowing which parts are a right fit? (edit: I see the graphics card (267mm x 111mm) will not fit in this case)
 
Last edited:
Dec 7, 2022
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If I had to do a small form factor build like this while trying to keep these parts cool, this is how I would so it. Since its more of a build for business you are going to want an overbuilt PSU with high efficiency that will fit in these small cases. Adding a 13700k will also boost performance a bit if you deem it necessary.

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: Intel Core i7-12700K 3.6 GHz 12-Core Processor ($539.15 @ Amazon Australia)
CPU Cooler: EK AIO 240 D-RGB 66.04 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($129.00 @ Mwave Australia)
Motherboard: Gigabyte Z690I AORUS ULTRA LITE DDR4 (rev. 1.0) Mini ITX LGA1700 Motherboard ($269.00 @ PLE Computers)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR4-3600 CL18 Memory ($159.00 @ Scorptec)
Storage: Western Digital Blue SN570 1 TB M.2-2280 PCIe 3.0 X4 NVME Solid State Drive ($119.00 @ Scorptec)
Video Card: PNY VCQP5000-PB Quadro P5000 16 GB Video Card
Case: Fractal Design Era ITX Mini ITX Desktop Case ($119.00 @ Scorptec)
Power Supply: Silverstone SFX 800 W 80+ Titanium Certified Fully Modular SFX Power Supply ($248.50 @ Umart)
Total: $1582.65
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2022-12-08 06:58 AEDT+1100
Hello, thank you for the recommendation! I see that you swapped out the case, will look into that one.
Is there a benefit to the higher wattage power supply beyond future-proofing the computer if I make upgrades?
Thanks :)
 
Hello, thank you for the recommendation! I see that you swapped out the case, will look into that one.
Is there a benefit to the higher wattage power supply beyond future-proofing the computer if I make upgrades?
Thanks :)
PSUs that are over built like this will last longer in builds that have renderings and other such professional high power work. Over time PSUs with high mileage doing high power workloads degrade the PSUs ability to deliver its specified wattage reliably. Think of it as headroom for the future of the machine. The higher efficiency rating will also save you money over time, easily covering the additional cost of getting a high quality / efficiency PSU.
 
Reactions: bojanapavlovic
The Era chassis got the worst reviews since it performs bad in the thermals department, it looks stunnung for sure but horrible when it comes to temps for all components.
You can put a 240mm AIO in it with bottom to top airflow with plenty of fans. What are you comparing it to for temps? Its certainly magnitudes better than a coolermaster 110 with a 120mm rad for a 12700k. Would the Nr200p be a better pick?
 
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Lutfij

Titan
Moderator
The case has been reviewed to oblivion all over the www. It might be a step above the Coolermaster Elite 110 but you're comparing a (shoebox)case that's meant for entry level hardware against a case that's meant to be an HT/silent PC in a timeframe before Intel decided to release processors that are comparable to AMD's FX-8000/9000 series. The PSU's location also means that you're feeding the AIO that's meant to cool the processor with warmer air.

View: https://youtu.be/zYZ_iMzozZ0

View: https://youtu.be/5uxiNLyBp4g


Fractal Meshify 2 Nano/Torrent Nano would be my suggestion for an mitx workstation system. Pop Mini Air(with a slightly larger, matx, board) or the matx chassis from Fractal(would be a step up), then it'd be a swell build.

@bojanapavlovic
here's my take on your build;
PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 5900X 3.7 GHz 12-Core Processor ($565.89 @ Amazon Australia)
CPU Cooler: ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II 280 A-RGB 68.9 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($149.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Motherboard: Asus TUF GAMING B550M-PLUS WIFI II Micro ATX AM4 Motherboard ($249.00 @ JW Computers)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR4-3600 CL16 Memory ($199.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Storage: Crucial P2 500 GB M.2-2280 PCIe 3.0 X4 NVME Solid State Drive ($58.00 @ Centre Com)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda Compute 2 TB 3.5" 7200 RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.00 @ Umart)
Video Card: PNY VCQP5000-PB Quadro P5000 16 GB Video Card
Case: Cooler Master MasterBox NR400 (w/o ODD) MicroATX Mid Tower Case ($109.00 @ JW Computers)
Power Supply: Fractal Design Ion+ 2 Platinum 560 W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply ($135.00 @ Skycomp Technology)
Total: $1533.89
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2022-12-09 04:39 AEDT+1100


Please note that I went with one smaller 500GB NVMe SSD which will serve as your OS/Applications drive, the 2TB HDD is for saving all of your rendering work to. I'd also add another SSD as as scratch disk but you can make do with the build as is. I'm an architect by education and I've had a a pleasure working with a separate drive that serves as a scratch disk space for Illustrator and Photoshop(I'm not certain if all the other apps under Adobe's wing are going to have the same feature embedded into them). I've had good results with client builds when pairing a 128GB (SATA/NVMe, whichever is cheaper)SSD as their scratch disk but only because they didn't deal with very large resolution images. If you do work with an outrageous resolution, then that capacity can be raised. Just a note, I didn't go with a large SSD since people tend to partition their (one large)SSD's and that results in a drop in performance. I stick to one SSD = 1 partition. On the odd event that you do need to format and reinstall the OS, you're only needing to disconnect the other drive, then format the SSD alone(without worrying about which partition has what).

If you're in doubt with the PSU I've added, here's a power guideline for the Quadro cards. The case I've chosen has plenty of mounting locations if you want to add 3.5" HDD's or 2.5" SSD's to the build later down the road(as you earn more). As for the processor, it should cut through pretty much anything like a hot knife through butter.

Pointer on the storage options, the SSD I chose is PCIe3.0x4, so you should have it on the M.2_2 slot. If you want to add a larger more faster SSD, like PCIe 4.0x4, drop that faster SSD into the motherboard's M.2_1 slot. You also have 4xSATA ports on the board, one of which will be eaten up the HDD I've listed above.

On the topic of cheaper, sheesh, you guys have some crazy prices there! :|

Good luck!
:)
 
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Reactions: helper800
The case has been reviewed to oblivion all over the www. It might be a step above the Coolermaster Elite 110 but you're comparing a (shoebox)case that's meant for entry level hardware against a case that's meant to be an HT/silent PC in a timeframe before Intel decided to release processors that are comparable to AMD's FX-8000/9000 series. The PSU's location also means that you're feeding the AIO that's meant to cool the processor with warmer air.

View: https://youtu.be/zYZ_iMzozZ0

View: https://youtu.be/5uxiNLyBp4g


Fractal Meshify 2 Nano/Torrent Nano would be my suggestion for an mitx workstation system. Pop Mini Air(with a slightly larger, matx, board) or the matx chassis from Fractal(would be a step up), then it'd be a swell build.
Well I figured the OP wanted to keep a small case so I tried to avoid the larger microATX sized cases like the ones mentioned above. If microATX was in consideration that opens up many more case options. The 12700k/ 13700k redline at 90c+ stock regardless of cooling capacity anyways so I figured the Era with reasonable cooling for its size would be fine. I tried to keep to ITX too much probably. In any case I am not as familiar with applications that benefit from things such as scratch drives and otherwise anyways. Thanks for dropping a build for the OP.

Personally I don't bother buying HDDs anymore, but you know more about the needs of these programs than I do.
 
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Reactions: Lutfij

Lutfij

Titan
Moderator
In all honesty, I need to commend you for your build, actually! So much so that I wanted to do a build of a similar nature(since I'm still on an i7-4770K+EVGA Z97 Stinger+Phanteks Enthoo Evolv itx).

I'm a die hard fan of Fractal Design's stuff...I actually have a case mod lined up with a Fractal-Design Define Nano S for my little brother(gestating sadly). When they released the Era, I was literally lying in wait for when they'd come into stock. I was so intent on buying the Era that I set aside the fact that the bottom end of the case and it's internals were somewhat lackluster as I was driven to the exterior(form). Took me a while to dial down from my excitement and then filter things to decide, it's not the case for me.

I'm sure you're going to love SFF.net(they deal with anything and everything small form factor = read itx) and ofc, a project I've been involved in with a lot of heart, Compact Splash(over on Ooverclock.net). With that said, I want to keep within itx/sff when and where possible but Intel has made things horrible for that scene.
 
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Reactions: helper800
In all honesty, I need to commend you for your build, actually! So much so that I wanted to do a build of a similar nature(since I'm still on an i7-4770K+EVGA Z97 Stinger+Phanteks Enthoo Evolv itx).

I'm a die hard fan of Fractal Design's stuff...I actually have a case mod lined up with a Fractal-Design Define Nano S for my little brother(gestating sadly). When they released the Era, I was literally lying in wait for when they'd come into stock. I was so intent on buying the Era that I set aside the fact that the bottom end of the case and it's internals were somewhat lackluster as I was driven to the exterior(form). Took me a while to dial down from my excitement and then filter things to decide, it's not the case for me.

I'm sure you're going to love SFF.net(they deal with anything and everything small form factor = read itx) and ofc, a project I've been involved in with a lot of heart, Compact Splash(over on Ooverclock.net). With that said, I want to keep within itx/sff when and where possible but Intel has made things horrible for that scene.
Thanks for the praise! I have never built a PC for myself or others in anything smaller than a Lian Li O11 Air Mini, but I find this hobby with tech very enticing and try to keep up with all the major tech like CPUs, GPUs, Motherboards, DDR versioning, et cetera so I can usually put together something reasonably priced with no conflicting hardware. I have always wanted to build an ITX PC for just the reason that its cool to have top tier power parts in a small package, but that is for my next build. I also really like most of Fractal's cases, they are nice to work in as well.

I have referenced SFF.net, if this is what you are referring to, for a couple builds I helped others throw together but not build myself, its a repository of knowledge that can answer questions that you cannot find most places about compatibility, reviews, and otherwise. As far as your Project Splash goes, I am not exactly sure what it is I am looking at. The Project i found with google that you were involved in (Compact Splash) seems to be a bunch of people customizing the same SFF case to certain specifications and aesthetics with numbers assigned to them.

Intel CPUs are not all bad in SFF if you can squeeze in a 240 AIO or RAD for a custom loop, especially if you limit the CPUs boosting behaviors. You loose a marginal amount of performance while cutting temps massively. I certainly understand what you mean though with the direction of how things are going for their processors power thirst ever increasing.

What exactly did you mean by this, if only you care to expound on it; " for my little brother(gestating sadly)."
 
Reactions: Lutfij

Lutfij

Titan
Moderator
My brother's case mod/build that I've been planning has been in that phase, just gestating, haven't been able to put what we've planned into actual execution as one thing or the other comes up and the project is delayed. I've got a box full of sleeving from MDPC-X, Fractal Design case, PSU and AIO as sponsorship from the lovely folks at Fractal and pretty much a wonderful array of spray paint. All that has been sitting around and not being put to use. That's what I meant by gestating sadly.

The Compact Splash case was initially designed by Kyle Jochai, his build log garnered attention from the crowd there and he made a small run of 20 cases. The run was botched and then he decided to do a re-run but with a different manufacturer. In the process he expanded on the original idea of 20 to 100. We all helped contribute ideas to the build as the initial case had some flaws in it's design(before we ended up with a polished product)...literally down to the packaging material and how to protect the case from transcontinental voyages. The Compact Splash Brotherhood page is a club. I own 2 cases and they are all bespoke in minor ways, apart from the exterior, not all the cases have the same internal hardware/layout.
 
Reactions: helper800
My brother's case mod/build that I've been planning has been in that phase, just gestating, haven't been able to put what we've planned into actual execution as one thing or the other comes up and the project is delayed. I've got a box full of sleeving from MDPC-X, Fractal Design case, PSU and AIO as sponsorship from the lovely folks at Fractal and pretty much a wonderful array of spray paint. All that has been sitting around and not being put to use. That's what I meant by gestating sadly.

The Compact Splash case was initially designed by Kyle Jochai, his build log garnered attention from the crowd there and he made a small run of 20 cases. The run was botched and then he decided to do a re-run but with a different manufacturer. In the process he expanded on the original idea of 20 to 100. We all helped contribute ideas to the build as the initial case had some flaws in it's design(before we ended up with a polished product)...literally down to the packaging material and how to protect the case from transcontinental voyages. The Compact Splash Brotherhood page is a club. I own 2 cases and they are all bespoke in minor ways, apart from the exterior, not all the cases have the same internal hardware/layout.
I figured the cases from Compact Splash were some form of bespoke run of cases, but could not see it a first glance. They do look pretty snazzy. Its a shame your brother may not be as interested in your build for him as you are. Time to crack the whip I'd say.

I personally have little experience with custom liquid loops and case modding, but I do own a Dremel and a small workshop, so that's all in the cards for my ITX build in 4+ years. I'm thinking soft tubing first to get the design off the ground and them maybe some glass or copper tubing for the final build. I have always had an aesthetic in mind for it.
 
Dec 7, 2022
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Hi all, thank you for all your recommendations! A bit overwhelmed now, might have to go back to the drawing board haha
Seems like going super compact is just not feasible, the Cooler Master NR200P looks interesting, I have seen a brand called Dan's that seems to be alright? The 'aesthetics' of the case are not an important factor for me, just simple, sturdy and compact (as possible)
I may stick with one SSD for storage for now, I mostly keep completed work and files on external drives
I don't have much experience with the AMD Ryzen processors but I will definitely look into those, I mostly leaned toward Intel as they are what I have worked on mostly.

Could someone shed some more light on the liquid vs air coolers? My brother has said liquid is a bit temperamental, especially if you move them around (I move my work set-up around frequently)

Where I am at so far:
PCPartPicker Part List: https://au.pcpartpicker.com/list/HNVCPX

CPU: Intel Core i7-12700K 3.6 GHz 12-Core Processor ($507.32 @ Amazon Australia) OR
AMD Ryzen 9 5900X 3.7GHz 12-Core Processor
CPU Cooler: (?)
Motherboard: Gigabyte Z690I AORUS ULTRA LITE DDR4 (rev. 1.0) Mini ITX LGA1700 Motherboard ($269.00 @ PLE Computers)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR4-3600 CL18 Memory ($157.50 @ Device Deal)
Storage: Western Digital Blue SN570 1 TB M.2-2280 PCIe 3.0 X4 NVME Solid State Drive ($119.00 @ Scorptec)
Video Card: PNY VCQP5000-PB Quadro P5000 16 GB Video Card ($1611.24 @ Amazon Australia)
Case: Cooler Master MasterBox NR200P Mini ITX Desktop Case ($99.00 @ PCCaseGear) still trying to find the right ratio of performance:size
Power Supply: Corsair RM850 850 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply ($199.00 @ BPC Technology)
Total: $2962.06
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2022-12-15 10:11 AEDT+1100
 

Ar558

Proper
Dec 13, 2022
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Most of your spec looks good. My only questions are: if this is gonna be used for CAD is this for work? As if it is, the extra investment in a 13700k or 13900k will deliver given the speed increase.
Also for CAD work memory is usually a limiter so maybe going for 64GB would be worth it too?
 

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