How does this small form factor proposed build look?

Thanks so much Cruise Cycle for the idea of that case and other ideas.
In this doc I’m starting to list things:

Also the current PC PARTS list: (which I keep playing with…might try next gen i5…but gets more expensive)

I’ve done a rough cut out of the various sizes:

Your TREACOM DA2 V2 mini-ITX case may well be a great contender…it appears it will have a bit more room than the Dan H420…which does seem very small.

On fitting the radiator…there is a thread here that debates what fits…with some people indeed being caught out with problems:

Someone says that Cooler Master ML240L V2 (the regular version not mirror or illusion) is ok.

My last big debatable points are the Motherboard. As Vindes says above:
“You have a B660 based motherboard. I have gone with Z690 boards instead because they support higher bandwidth for storage and graphics.”

I’ve looked below…the Z690s become quite expensive…compared to everything else in the proposed build. Very open to suggestions here!

Mini ITX MOBOS: Australian Dollar
Asus ROG STRIX B660-I GAMING WIFI Mini ITX LGA1700 Motherboard $349.00
Gigabyte Z690I AORUS ULTRA LITE DDR4 Motherboard $279.00

ASRock Z690M-ITX/ax Motherboard $319.00

Hoping to order something in th e next day or two…but very open to suggestions from people!

Thank you so much for any ideas at all!

The only one who can determine the specifics of what to buy and how expensive is you. My biggest caution is that you need to figure out what you want, THEN figure out if it will fit in your desired case. For the VA2, there was absolutely no CPU fan that would fit with the way the ITX board is constructed, and if it did, would have been too high for the case. Many of the radiators, with fans that met the sound level spec would not fit in the only area it’s possible to install that in the case, all of which was determined by the CPU heat rejection spec at full load. When all that was calculated, the GPU wouldn’t fit unless a separate header accessory was installed so the GPU didn’t have to plug into the MB. One of the best features of the DA2 is all of the supports in the case can be moved around to fit what you want to build (within limits of course, determined by the rails you see in the photos). Good luck and happy building!

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I would also consider looking at an AMD system. The Ryzen chips are amazingly fast and I’ve never had a glitch. Plus they work well all day long air cooled. If there’s a chance your system will move, I’d also consider a rackmount case. I have 3 space rack system— easy to carry around. Everybody”s different and lots of solutions work as indicated by the responses. Nice to have options.


Thanks again for the replies… the more I’ve been watching videos etc… the more my head starts to spin with all the options!

Samsung 870 versus 870 Pro

I5 gen 12600k versus 12600 versus i5gen 13 something…

versus z690 mobo versus b660… ddr 4 vs ddr 5

( A lot of videos out there are built with flashing light gaming rig scenarios in mind… so they sometimes confuse the issue too!)

At the end of the day I want to load up a nice piano like those in Komplete Ultimate… have a big layered pad sound from Omnisphere… maybe a Vienna instruments patch and not have the computer crack it at me for trying too much! (Which my current PC it can’t do that without hissing and spitting at me!)

and want to keep price somewhere around $2500 Aud.

Mike what Rzyen cpu did you go with?

On the case front I can see the Cooler Master has a bundle with psu + cooler… which could make all the building complexity simpler…

Thanks all!

I have a Ryzen 7 1800x 8 core cpu with 32G of memory. That chip is a few years old now but honestly I haven’t been able to overload it. You can buy more advanced now. The one stat I would look at, is the single core speed that whatever cpu you’re gonna buy. Obviously the faster the better.

I had an older AMD computer with an Fx-8350 chipset. The Korg triton vsts — I couldn’t run because they would just click and pop. I read that it was because my single core speed wasn’t fast enough. That problem totally went away when I upgraded to a system with a ryzen chipset.

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I used components of full size format and packed them into a suitcase (including a screen)… the water-cooling unit does a great job in this case with very limited space:

The parts i use are listed here:


Thanks Mike… really helpful… as a bit of an agricultural comparison I’ve taken your cpu and compared it with an i5 12600K

The i5 12600k seems to be a way in front given the newer gen…

and if you haven’t been able to overload it… that probably shows for those of us trying to build something in late 2022 we don’t need to go too crazy on the latest spec everything? (Assuming you’re doing similar things and loading up several vts and tracks etc)

I’m thinking of the law of diminishing returns… spending twice the money for the absolute latest mobo + cpu combos may actually bring zero noticeable difference?.

Perhaps it is all becoming a bit like the digital camera megapixel race… where it got to the point that the massive file sizes just became a pain in the neck!

I’ve still got a nearly working i7 from 2010… it just struggles when I load a big Omnisphere layered patches

It also makes me even wonder about components like the very latest SSD nvme versus the gen just before etc etc…

My ‘non educated’ guess is that all the cutting ed tech from just a couple of years ago will eat all these vsts for breakfast! But I’ll work on a budget of up to $3K Australian dollar… and get the best I can within that limit.

Spec wise I came across this Itx build… just about all the components seem like a pretty good combo…

Case wise I’m really thinking the Cooler Master nr200p max might just be a great bang for buck compromise between jtx size and still packing in all we need.

Thanks again!

Thanks for all these suggestions Schamass

As mentioned above I think I’ll now go with the Cooler Master Nrp200 max package

But then try to put together a road case that fits a 23 inch monitor.

I’m an occasional gig user…so it will spend most of the time at home… so the nrp200 should be good for home base

But I like the idea of integrating the box into a streamlined ‘transport case’ of some type… including monitor and power cables etc

Thanks for that component list… will have a good read through. Appreciate it.

Yeah, allthough it’s been a while ago now, i thought it could be useful somehow…

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Wow… that intel chipset is a beast! It’s great you did your homework and asked all the right questions. I think a lot of folks buy the expensive laptop on sale. …without doing the diligence of what actually works, and then complain when their system clicks and pops. That was me years ago. Let us all know what you finally get and how it works out. - Regards!

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Thanks for that…it was all starting to get a bit stressful by the end with all the options!

This is the latest…

note: I have the NRP200 Max case with the cooler and 850W PSU…but PC pats picker won’t let me select that for some reason.

Also might move up to the 13th Gen of the i5…

Possibly consider a different SSD.

Last day or so of contemplating! Thanks!


A couple last thoughts before you pull the trigger:

  • Looks like it’s going to be tight in there. That video you posted should be helpful as a reference as you shove everything in.

  • Looks like there are multiple versions of that motherboard. There is/was a DDR4 version and the one you linked is a DDR5. I also saw a couple comments or videos about early revisions that had problems. Wherever you end up buying it, I’d make sure to check the description closely so you’re getting what you expect. (I’ve made this mistake in the past.)

  • I leave graphics cards out of my audio system builds. You can always add it if you decide you want it later. And prices on graphics cards drop fast, especially considering the RTX 4000 series cards have just been released.

  • I’d upgrade to the 13th gen i5 13600K.

  • I usually buy my Windows keys from G2A. Could probably save yourself $100 at G2A. I don’t fully understand the sourcing, but I’ve bought about a dozen Windows and Office keys there over the past 10 years and never had a problem.

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Thanks Vindes…was about to purchase…but it all gets more complicated!

The MOBO I had in mind is this:

The plus version has apparently fixed some of the issues people had with this MOBO…but I’m not sure this MOBO will actually support the 13th gen i5 13600K as it refers specifically to 12th gen cpus? (Googling I think some of these 690s will support it with the right bios… but may require updating)

Interestingly I also tried a shopping cart modification with an Asus Prime ddr4 board… the savings then allow 64gb of ram versus 32… for less money! Too many decisions!

Intel says 13th gen processors will work on Z690 and Z790 based boards. The 13th gen processors didn’t exist when the board was released, so it’s not listed in the marketing materials. Historically this is pretty typical. I don’t remember an Intel processor that used the same socket not working on a motherboard with that socket. Here’s Intel’s page on 12th vs. 13th gen compatibility, though. Compatibility of 12th and 13th Generation Intel® Desktop…

In my last two builds I used DDR4 motherboards because the difference in price for DDR5 wasn’t worth the minimal benefit. In this particular case I think if you switched to an Asus mini-ITX board you would probably lose the second M2 slot. I wouldn’t want to do that just for extra RAM.

As for 32gb vs. 64gb… I don’t know. I put 64gb in the last two I built just because DDR4 RAM got cheap. I doubt I’ll ever come close to using it. The only thing I run samples on anymore is Superior Drummer. Everything else I use is modeled and pretty RAM light. If you run a lot of heavy Kontakt, Keyscape, or Omnisphere it might be different. Somebody who runs high memory use would have to weigh in. I just don’t have any real experience with it in audio use.

The real last thing I’ll comment on is the SSD choices. The Samsung 970/980/990 series can be tricky because pricing and availability can vary widely. The 980 Pro are about 2x the speed of the 970 Plus. The 990s run into the bandwidth limit of the bus, so while there are certain advantages you won’t see them much in real use. But the 990’s have just been released, so we’ll probably see price drops on the 970s and 980s.

Use your judgement if there are huge price or availability differences. In the US I’m seeing the 980 Pro 2TB for about $200 and the 970 Plus 2TB about $160 today. I’d pay the extra $40 for the 980, but it’s backordered at a lot of places. Not sure how supply in Australia will look.


I recently went down a similar route to get a small PC to go in a rack case.

In my case I was looking for something that would be dedicated to playback, not used for creating, and good value - so perhaps a bit different to your use case. In the end I went with last gen AMD

AMD thermals are currently better than Intel for small form factor - I ended up choosing a 65W proc, the Ryzen 5 5600G. It’s a 3.9Ghz proc, and for realtime audio clock speed is important. You could also go for Ryzen 7 5700G if you needed some extra cores - but I thought 6 would be sufficient. There has been some great prices on Zen 3 processors recently, as AMD are starting to plug Zen 4

I put that in a deskmini X300 case, paired with a 32GB DDR4 memory, 2 TB SSD (nvme Gen 3 x 4) and a Noctua NH-L9a-AM4 low profile cooler - ended up with a unit that is really compact (1.92 litres), quiet, great value, and plenty powerful enough to run my rackspaces at low latency. Just note that X300 is a bit limited on USB ports, so you may want to invest in a hub if you have a lot of USB gear to connect.


Thanks again for all the comments Vindes and Matt

I kind of have kept creeping up with every bit…and do wonder if I’m gettinga a bit ridiculous…I think I’ll end up using it for some Adobe Premiere Pro editing too…

So this is the latest build I have…but price has certainly started to blow out!!

Open to any thoughts at all on this…the 64 gig may well be overkill…the GPU is with Adobe in mind more than anything…

Thanks again for all the suggestions.

Intel Core i5 13600K CPU
Cooler Master NR200P Max TG + Mesh ITX Case with GPU Riser Includes 850w PSU and AIO cooler)
Kingston KC3000 M.2 NVMe Gen4 SSD 2TB
Kingston KC3000 M.2 NVMe Gen4 SSD 1TB
Corsair Vengeance 64GB (2x32GB) 5200MHz CL40 DDR5 White
Gigabyte Z690I Aorus Ultra Plus ITX Motherboard
ASUS GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Dual Mini LHR 8GB (for Adobe Premiere Editing)

Nearly 3.5K AUD now!!

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The Kingston KC3000 is the same speed as the Samsung 980 Pro, so whichever is cheaper and available is good.

If I were to buy that system today here in the US it would be about $2,200 US (before state sales tax), so seems like the right ballpark given exchange rates. Pricey, but should be a pretty sweet setup!

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I think you need to really decide what you’ll be using this PC for. If you are going to be performing live then I would really recommend having a dedicated computer for this - your day to day PC will get bloated with installs of software and services that are irrelevant to performing, which then may suck cycles and potentially add instability. The last thing you want to be doing for a live performance rig is adding software or running updates ad hoc - which is generally how you use a day to day PC. For that reason, Windows Professional is a good option, so you can easily prevent unwanted updates. It also allows remote desktop connection, which I use in my rig so I can run the PC headless in a rack.

If you’re just after a beast PC to do a bit of everything at home, and won’t be performing live, then you can flash the cash… Trouble is, where do you stop, it seems there’s always something better… :grinning:

In my opinion the spec for that PC looks overkill for performance in Gigperformer. For reference, the setup I listed above came in about a quarter of that price (inc UK VAT @ 20%).

Thanks Matt and Vindes. Appreciate the thoughts and advice. I’ve gone ahead and ordered it…but maybe you are right Matt… Have probably got a bit carried away no doubt…and could have used a lot less…but then hopefully will also be a machine I can use for 5 to 10 years. (My previous music pc was 2010…so figure 12 years out of that isn’t too shabby!)

Will aim to limit it to mainly Reaper, Gig Performer and Premiere Pro…but take the point that I will certainly need to be careful to not put too much other junk on there that is for sure…to keep it very lean.

The portability is a factor…as it means if we travel…I have a machine that can go with us…even potentially overseas in a suitcase.

To save money I could have ditched the graphics card…kept it to 32gig…and probably just a 12400…DDR4 mobo and still had a very capable machine…oh well…

But certainly this ‘PC part shopping’ like you say Matt…does get a little crazy…you start with one spec…and then think “for just a little bit more I could get this”…and then for another little bit more…could get that!

Anyway just happy to lock something in. Thanks for all the help and taking time to post everyone in the thread…hopefully some useful bits and bobs for others…I’ve certainly learned a lot throughout the research stage!

Congrats… it sounds like you’ve gone for the right option for you. You should get many years out of that PC, so over time it’s not so bad pricewise and should be a joy to use.

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