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Modeling/Illustration build, pushing for SFF



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Oct 1, 2020
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- Budget : Open, but roughly 2000$ ~
- Usage : I will be doing 3D modeling using Blender, some rendering (will be figuring something out with a community render farm for larger projects), Unity/Unreal development, and Clip Studio Paint and Photoshop illustration. Video editing later on down the line using Davinci Resolve. Some gaming, but less important for build direction.
- Upgradeability : Not looking to upgrade this for awhile, but am open to a dual GPU setup later down the line if anything
- US retailers

An important thing to note is for my build I will already have a 2080Ti that is being given to me as a gift. So my budget will be going to everything else in the build. (This explains my increase in the Parts list budget)

Suggested Parts List :
CGDirector.com Parts List: https://www.cgdirector.com/pc-builder/?=6MasU

CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 5900X 3.7GHz 12-Core Processor ($819.99)
CPU Cooler: be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 ($89.90)
Motherboard: MSI X570 Tomahawk ATX AM4 ($279.50)
GPU: Nvidia RTX 2080 SUPER 8GB - MSI Gaming X Trio ($1129.00)
Memory: 32GB (2 x 16GB) G.Skill Trident Z Neo DDR4-3600 C16 ($219.99)
Storage PCIe-SSD: ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro 2TB NVME M.2 Solid State Drive ($239.99)
Power Supply: EVGA 650 B5, 80 Plus Bronze 650W Power Supply ($88.43)
Case: Phanteks Eclipse P300 ATX Mid Tower Case ($161.99)
Total: $3028.79

I would like to get a 5950x, or alternatively a 3950x if it makes more sense cost wise. Would also probably consider 64GB of ram over 32gb.

I am hoping to build something that isn't in too big of a case while still getting adequate cooling to everything within. I'm very fond of SFF cases but I know it's probably a much bigger ask to try and get everything into a mini itx case, and also onto a mini ITX motherboard. I think my biggest issue is even when trying to build in the more compact ATX cases I'm not sure where I would place fans and such, and which direction to point them etc.

I am into something like the Meshlicious released by SSUPD/Lian Li

EDIT: Or the recently recalled NZXT H1, or Micro ATX options :
the Cerberus ( https://www.sliger.com/products/cases/cerberus/ )

or the O11-D Mini (https://lian-li.com/product/o11-dynamic-mini/)

Sorry if I'm all over the place, maybe people could help with some suggestions on what are good options in terms of cases? I did take a peak at the SFF case article but it seemed more geared towards gaming than my use case. Thank you for any help!
Last edited:
Alex Glawion

Alex Glawion

CG Hardware Specialist @ CGDirector
Staff member
Jun 12, 2020
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I'd definitely go with the 5950X if you can find it at a reasonable price. It's far superior to the 3950X in single core workloads and just more snappy overall. 64GB, too, is a good choice. You'll have to find a smaller Motherboard, though, that will fit you case choices, which has 4 Ram slots and lets you expand to a second GPU, though that second GPU I fear is difficult to achieve in such small enclosures.

I don't think there's a mini-itx Motherboard that allows for 4 ram slots, but you can have 2x 32gb modules. There's no mini-itx board that allows for two gpus, though. Only the bigger micro-atx ASRock X570M Pro4 allows for two GPUs.