If there’s one fact that holds true when it comes to computer processing, you can never have too much power.
We have used a range of solutions from Mac to Alienware and MSI in our mobile battle stations. We have noticed that we were increasing the stress on these machines with our production schedules and made the decision to move to a dedicated device.
The discussions covered options including the Mac “Trash Can”, but when it came down to bang for your buck and future upgrades, the decision was made to build a PC. The next question came down to the physical footprint of the machine, as it had to both be as small as possible to easily fit in a Pelican case, but also house a full-size graphics card.
The first decision was settling on the Fractal Design Core 500, we found this case to tick a lot of boxes for us. Small, solid and lightweight, combined with just enough space for the graphics card.
The compromise here is that you can’t fit a full-size motherboard in this compact case, so an AS Rock X99E-ITX/ac was selected to best fit our processing and size requirements.
Another of the limitations of the board was with the amount of RAM we could get on board, only fitting 32GB of DDR4 from Corsair.
Another bang for buck decision was with the Intel Core i7-6800k processor and it has certainly been up to the task so far.
One of the upgrades that will be made to this PC is a move to m.2 SSDs, but the performance of the 850 EVO from Samsung has been excellent.
The direction for the graphics card was one of the easier choices, settling on a GTX1080
One of the other things we have learnt over the years is to ensure that you have more than enough juice to power the system, so a Corsair AX860 looks after the power supply duties.
So far the key learnings from this build would be that ideally, we would prefer to be running more RAM and m.2 SSDs, but otherwise, this has been an impressive performance package that all came together for just over $3k, which when you consider bang for your buck is a pretty mighty unit.
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