Sffpc build recommendation for light to medium rendering jobs

kevindd992002

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Original poster
Sep 19, 2018
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I'm new to building sffpc's and my Sister asked me to build one for her as she will be using it for a bit of a rendering as she's an interior designer. She uses apps like these ones:

Sketchup, Autocad, 3dsmax, Adobe suite

Can you recommend some bang-for-the-buck parts that I can get for this? I'm from the Philippines so choices will be limited for sure.

All I have in mind now is the Phanteks Evolv Shift for the case. She wants something thin that can be used vertically and horizontally. And she wants a bit of a not gaming look style, so I find the Shift (and she liked it too) perfect. Any negatives on the Shift that I should know about?

So I'd definitely need some recommendations on CPU, RAM, MoBo, HDD, nVME SSD, GPU, and monitor. She wants a true color monitor so I figured a Mac IPS monitor would suit her but I don't know anything about Macs. I'm also not sure if I need an Intel or an AMD CPU.

All parts that I know are for gaming so I'm really new to this field. Please help and thanks in advance.
 

eiselx86

Trash Compacter
Oct 23, 2017
46
22
If you're willing to wait until the ryzen 3000 series is released I'd say the Ryzen 5 3600X would be suitable for her needs, you can also spend 100$ more for the 8-core 3700x. The 2700X is also a good option. Pair that with a kit of 16GB 3000Mhz+ ram. In my experience, you'd want a GPU with at least 8GB of memory. I use AutoCAD, Fusion360 and Sketchup with a GTX 1070 and that works fine. nVME SSD with 500GB is recommended for a boot drive + regular storage SSD with 250GB. I also use an HDD for storing downloads, CAD files and documents that I don't to fill up my SSD's with.
 

Soul_Est

SFF Guru
SFFn Staff
Feb 12, 2016
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Definitely going with @eiselx86 's recommendation on the CPUs. I have a Ryzen 7 2700X and it rips through renders with Blender's Cycles engine. For storage, I recommend one big NVMe drive as paying for a smaller NVMe drive and one larger SATA add up to be the cost of a large NVMe drive anyway (at least in Canada and the US). A regular card such as a Radeon RX 570 would suffice.

The Phanteks Evolv Shift is a larger case that also does not have great ventilation. It also cannot be used horizontally, IIRC. For displays, you are definitely looking at a higher-end design oriented display such as a Dell UltraSharp. I'll have more tomorrow.

What is the maximum budget?
 

kevindd992002

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Original poster
Sep 19, 2018
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Thanks for the comments. I'm actually eyeing for the 2700X, yes, but I'll ask her if she can stil lwait for the 3000 series. Would the 3600X be better than the 2700X though? Also, since we're going SFFC I'm reading that the 2700X is way hotter (105W TDP) than the 2700 (65W) and could be a problem even with small premium cases like Dan Case, NCase M1, etc. What's your comment on that? Take note that we live in a tropical country too (Philippines) and ambient temps here can reach around 33-35C.

I also read about the negative thermal reviews on the Evolv Shift so I'll remove that case from my choices. Although you are able to use it horizontally. Are those Dell Ultrasharps better than Mac displays?

I can't say the maximum budget but as long as the components are not overly priced then we can work something out. Anything that's bang-for-the-buck is good for me.

I can take care in choosing the storage components. I'm contemplating between getting a 500GB nVME SSD drive (preferable to save space) or a 1TB SATA SSD as storage. We have a Synology NAS at home (in a Gigabite network) so that can serve as a network storage for CAD files. Will I have any problems working off of a NAS for CAD compared to using a local SATA3 HDD? An HDD at max speed is approximately equal to the max speed a Gigabite network can offer anyway.

Also, do you have any particular case recommendations in mind? I'm having a hard time choosing a case because I'm planning on using an AIO cooler for the CPU and an open air mini graphics card. The Dan Case and NCase M1 are both nice cases but they're very expensive and very hard to get considering that I'll be buying them from the US and have them shipped here, which adds to the overall cost.
 
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Soul_Est

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Feb 12, 2016
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Thanks for the comments. I'm actually eyeing for the 2700X, yes, but I'll ask her if she can stil lwait for the 3000 series. Would the 3600X be better than the 2700X though? Also, since we're going SFFC I'm reading that the 2700X is way hotter (105W TDP) than the 2700 (65W) and could be a problem even with small premium cases like Dan Case, NCase M1, etc. What's your comment on that? Take note that we live in a tropical country too (Philippines) and ambient temps here can reach around 33-35C.

I also read about the negative thermal reviews on the Evolv Shift so I'll remove that case from my choices. Although you are able to use it horizontally. Are those Dell Ultrasharps better than Mac displays?

I can't say the maximum budget but as long as the components are not overly priced then we can work something out. Anything that's bang-for-the-buck is good for me.

I can take care in choosing the storage components. I'm contemplating between getting a 500GB nVME SSD drive (preferable to save space) or a 1TB SATA SSD as storage. We have a Synology NAS at home (in a Gigabite network) so that can serve as a network storage for CAD files. Will I have any problems working off of a NAS for CAD compared to using a local SATA3 HDD? An HDD at max speed is approximately equal to the max speed a Gigabite network can offer anyway.

Also, do you have any particular case recommendations in mind? I'm having a hard time choosing a case because I'm planning on using an AIO cooler for the CPU and an open air mini graphics card. The Dan Case and NCase M1 are both nice cases but they're very expensive and very hard to get considering that I'll be buying them from the US and have them shipped here, which adds to the overall cost.
Good questions and I'll answer them to the best of my ability.

Would the 3600X be better than the 2700X though?​
Not for rendering which usually prefers cores and threads over high clock speeds.​
Also, since we're going SFFC I'm reading that the 2700X is way hotter (105W TDP) than the 2700 (65W) and could be a problem even with small premium cases like Dan Case, NCase M1, etc. What's your comment on that?​
You make a very good point. I actually discussed this with a coworker over lunch earlier today. The way to achieve better thermal performance from either chip is to undervolt them. Here are the results for all the cores in my 2700X under an L9a-AM4 and running on a test bench:​
Ambient: 27C​
Stock Settings
Idle: 37C​
Load: 84.8C​
Avg Speed: 3.57 GHz​
Undervolt by 0.08125V
Idle: 38.8C​
Load: 84.8C​
Avg Speed: 3.76 GHz​
Undervolt by 0.09375V
Idle: 37C​
Load: 84.8C​
Avg Speed: 3.8GHz​
Are those Dell Ultrasharps better than Mac displays?​
Depends on her taste really. I prefer the more professional displays from other companies as they usually have matte displays which cut down on glare and reduce eyestrain.​
Will I have any problems working off of a NAS for CAD compared to using a local SATA3 HDD? An HDD at max speed is approximately equal to the max speed a Gigabite network can offer anyway.​
That I do not know the exact answer to I'm afraid. I have worked on CAD files that were stored on an external USB 2.0 drive (480Mbps) and aside from the lower speed when saving or opening, I didn't have any hitches in my work.​
Also, do you have any particular case recommendations in mind?​
If the NCase M1 and Dan Cases A4 are on your shortlist, why not consider the Sliger SM550 or SM560? This article may help in making a deciding on a case (https://smallformfactor.net/?p=14086). Also the NCase M1 and Dan Cases A4 would most likely ship directly from Taiwan just like the NFC Skyreach 4 Mini. There are other cases such as those from Geeek, Parvum Systems, etc. but I have yet to peruse their catalogs to find ones that may be suitable here.​
I hope that I was able to help in some way so far. Please feel free to ask more questions.​
 
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kevindd992002

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Original poster
Sep 19, 2018
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I'll take a look at that article to see what case would best suit me.

As for your undervolt results, why do the undervolted CPU load temps exactly the same with the stock CPU load temps? Also, what cooler and which case are you using?
 

Soul_Est

SFF Guru
SFFn Staff
Feb 12, 2016
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I'll take a look at that article to see what case would best suit me.

As for your undervolt results, why do the undervolted CPU load temps exactly the same with the stock CPU load temps? Also, what cooler and which case are you using?
The max temperature is set for 85C which the cores will always be close to with XFR pushing the speed as high as possible. If I were to limit the max speed, you would see a difference in the max temperature though. I used a Noctua NH-L9a-AM4 and the system is on a open-air test bench as I await the NFC Skyreach 4 Mini that I ordered.
 

kevindd992002

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Original poster
Sep 19, 2018
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The max temperature is set for 85C which the cores will always be close to with XFR pushing the speed as high as possible. If I were to limit the max speed, you would see a difference in the max temperature though. I used a Noctua NH-L9a-AM4 and the system is on a open-air test bench as I await the NFC Skyreach 4 Mini that I ordered.

Ahh, I see what you mean. Sorry, I'm an Intel guy so I don't know anything about AMD.

Do the 3000 series CPUs have any notable difference over the current gen CPUs that I need to be aware of in coming up with a decision to wait or not?

What made you choose the case over the others?
 

Linuxguy123

Cable Smoosher
Jun 7, 2019
11
11
Subscribed as I need a work station too.

I just replaced a Dell Ultrasharp (U3011) with an LG 43UD79. About the same pixel pitch. The LG is brighter, much nicer picture and runs way cooler. Dell doesn't build it's own panels. I'd take the LG over the US anyday. I think LG is discontinuing them. You can get them for a steal right now. Fantastic monitor.
 
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Soul_Est

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Feb 12, 2016
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Ahh, I see what you mean. Sorry, I'm an Intel guy so I don't know anything about AMD.

Do the 3000 series CPUs have any notable difference over the current gen CPUs that I need to be aware of in coming up with a decision to wait or not?

What made you choose the case over the others?
No worries. There is a noticeable difference between the generations but one could still be satisfied by the 2000 series chip until after the 4000 series chip gets cheaper which is what I'm doing (I prefer revised designs, i.e.: 2700X > 1700X). AMD's engineers did a lot of work getting the chiplet setup to work for the EPYC Rome and Ryzen 3000 series processors and it shows.
 

Valantar

Shrink Ray Wielder
Jan 20, 2018
2,201
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I'm not speaking from experience here, mind you, but your specific use case (SFF render rig in a hot climate) in my mind makes a pretty clear argument for Ryzen 3000 over 2000. Two main reasons: 7nm makes a decent difference in terms of power draw (at least on paper): 12nm 8c16t at 65W does 3.2GHz base/4.1 boost, while 7nm 8c16t at 65W hits 3.6/4.4 GHz. Now, these differences aren't night and day, but would be especially noticeable in a very thermally limited use case like yours, as the base clock is more than 10% higher - less throttling if it gets really hot, put simply. The second reason is the increase in IPC, which AMD claims to be around 13% improved from Zen+ on average, with particular improvements to AVX and floating point calculations - which, unless I've misunderstood completely, are especially relevant for rendering and similar workloads. In other words, even at identical clocks a 3000-series should noticeably outperform a 2000-series, meaning you'll have more room to tune for thermals or power draw without sacrificing much performance.

Of course, a 2000-series is still a very good CPU (I have a Ryzen 5 1600X myself), and they can usually be found really, really cheaply these days, so that's worth considering too :)
 

kevindd992002

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Original poster
Sep 19, 2018
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Ok, that's interesting. I'm leaning towards waiting for the 3000 series now :)

As for the, anything I should know in particular with the Sliger's?
 

Linuxguy123

Cable Smoosher
Jun 7, 2019
11
11
I wouldn't make any decisions until the July Ryzen release and possibly the September release of the R9 3950X.

This morning it was reported that the R9-3950X had a Geekbench 4 score of ~ 6,600 / 65,000 when overclocked to 5.2GHz with 2133 MHz RAM, no less, on a X490 board. Many people are speculating this was done on LN2, but I'm not so sure. Even if it was, I think I'd be pretty happy with it overclocked to 5 GHz. I'm hoping that is possible on an AIO.

I appears that pretty substantial performance gains can be had by overclocking the Ryzens. They are already low power devices compared to their Intel counterparts. If I was going to select a case right now, I'd select something that could accomodate at least a 180mm water cooler. YMMV.

Let's not forget that AMD has stated there will be AM4 Ryzen 4000 and 5000 devices.
 

kevindd992002

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Original poster
Sep 19, 2018
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Yes, my mind is now set to waiting for the Ryzen 3000 series. I don't think she needs the 3950X though and September is too long of a wait. As the saying goes, buy what you need when you need it or else you will keep on waiting and waiting.

As for the case, it just sucks that you can't have the M1 now. I'm not sure how the Sligers compares to the other contenders though as those look to have good availability.
 

kevindd992002

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Original poster
Sep 19, 2018
122
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Ok, so I'm gearing towards getting the 3600 and the Sliger SM570. Any recommendations on which GPU I should get for the same use case? Should I go with the new Navi too? How about RAM?
 

TheHig

King of Cable Management
Oct 13, 2016
951
1,171
Decide on a board? Suggest 32g of ram since this is a workstation build on itx. May as well top off the memory from the start. 2x16 3200 cas16 is fine. Gskill has been good to me on Ryzen builds. Planning a similar build for myself and have been looking. Also going with the SM570 case.

Rough idea
Ryzen 3600 or 3700x
Gigabyte X570 i
2x16 3200 or better ram
512g nvme OS
1 or 2tb m.2
5700xt Non blower when released or 2070 super
Corsair 600 or 750w sfx psu
Nzxt x52 aio CPu cooler
SligerSM570

Drop down to one nvme drive and or lesser gpu for budget. 2060 super or 5700 non xt. Even a used 1070 , rx570/80 8gb version
 
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kevindd992002

SFF Lingo Aficionado
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Sep 19, 2018
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Would a rendering machine really use up a lot of RAM? My original plan was to go with a 2x8GB 3600MHz CAS16 as I've read that this is the sweet spot for Ryzen 3000 CPU's but I'm not sure when it comes to 32GB kits.

Do you think it's best to invest on a 3700X instead of the 3600?