Mini ITX Workstation?


Cable Smoosher
Original poster
New User
Jul 20, 2017
Hi all,

New to PC building. I'm looking to build a reliable mini ITX that I will can use for 3D rendering/drafting. I'll be mainly using programs like Rhino, CAD, Revit, etc. I couldn't find too much on mini ITX workstation builds and was hoping I could get some advice from the SFF community. I already pulled the trigger on the motherboard but still have the option to return it. Recently made a trip to a very reputable computer store hoping that they could take a look at my list of parts, but for some reason, refused to look at it. Please help!

PCPartPicker part list:

CPU: Intel - Core i7-7700K 4.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($308.87 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: Noctua - NH-L9i 33.8 CFM CPU Cooler ($39.15 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Asus - ROG STRIX Z270i GAMING Mini ITX LGA1151 Motherboard ($168.49 @ SuperBiiz)
Memory: Corsair - Vengeance LPX 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-2400 Memory ($130.89 @ OutletPC)
Storage: Samsung - 960 EVO 1TB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive ($447.88 @ Amazon)
Video Card: PNY - Quadro P1000 4GB Video Card ($309.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Operating System: Microsoft - Windows 10 Home OEM 64-bit ($89.89 @ OutletPC)
Other: NFC S4 Mini Chassis ($195.00)
Total: $1690.15


SFF Guru
Jun 22, 2015
Check out Puget Systems' articles .

What hardware you want can be very dependent on the software you want to run. For example, AutoCAD is stupidly single threaded so you'll be looking for single-threaded performance from the CPU. It seems also to respond well to a fast disk subsystem, so think NVME SSD or RAIDed SATA SSDs maybe. I have a Dell at work with i7-7700 (non-K) and Toshiba NVME and I can say that the Toshiba SSD seems slower than my Samsung SATA SSD on my home system. The latest ACAD versions starting with 2016 can be memory pigs and seem to require at least 16GB of RAM. Puget's research indicates that you can get better performance/$ from ACAD with a gaming GPU at the potential sacrifice of some accuracy and ECC.