building a small powerful workstation for creative professionals

Creatives need good workstations. Some projects need more powerful ones than others and most often these come in a big, uncomfortable case (with some exceptions).

Why it doesn’t have to be a big machine and what parts we are going to use.

Note: this post is in not sponsored by any company. I worked out a concept from an idea I had last year. Afterwards I approached all the manufacturers I could imagine working with on this project to save costs BY MYSELF. They generously provided me the components but I haven’t been paid anything at all. Also none of them has influence on my test-outcome or the build I’m doing. It’s personally important to me to clarify that upfront in times of paid posts.

The idea

Last year – around this time – I had an idea when working in studio that provides displays like Eizos when you rent them. I have a powerful Laptop but I’m wondering: “What if I have a super small workstation that’s powerful and I can take with me on sets? I needed even on a plane?” Plus: how small can we go to achieve an actual 10-Bit Output by a professional graphics card like the Nvidia Quadro or the Radeon Pro Series?

SFF and the Case

So I gathered information, read about a lot of super small cases (so called SFF, SmallFormFactor). There is the Loque Ghost, Ncase and a whole lot more. The one I stuck with is the DAN A4 sfx v3 for different reasons which I will explain when I build this machine. (it’s incredibly small with only about 7L to pack – the v4 is about to come out right now by the way!) 🙂

Ryzen, Dan A4, Asus Mainboard, Noctua Cooler and Seagate SSDs

The other parts

Here’s the rest of the hardware I got from manufacturers to work with: Ryzen CPU, Noctua Cooler, ASUS Mainboard and Seagate SSDs (plus I can put in 2 M.2 SSDs).

What’s still missing

What arrived but hasn’t been here in time for the picture: Corsair SFX PSU and RAM, custom sleeved cables from PSlateCustoms (for more space and air circulation) and a graphics card. If it’s going to be a Radeon Pro or Nvidia Quadro or even something completely different is not yet decided and I will update you on this, would LOVE to build in the 2-slot Radeon Pro though.

This is the hardware I’m going to use, as soon as I have all the missing parts I will start this project. I will make a couple videos about this (stay up to date on instagram/Facebook or here!)

PS: If you want to check out what other workstations are used, swing by Erik Johansson, an exceptional photographer and friend of mine with who’m I conceptualized his new and powerful workstation.

Update: The Corsair parts arrived, now I’ll be waiting for the new Ryzen 3700X to come and we’ll start this build!

Update2: The Ryzen arrived!

AMD Ryzen 3700X