Formulating build-- high performance. Not gaming. Comments?

First Comment
edited July 2022 in Help Choosing Parts

Thinking Intel gen 12 or maybe 11

High performance for database sorts and such,

Want HDMI with audio

Integrated video OK, but want hdmi with sound available. May consider GeForce RTX 3060 Ti or lower power if it is needed to give other objectives.

High FPS is not needed... I don't do FPS  (frames per second ...first person shooter)

Prefer 32GB of memory, especially if integrated graphics

DDR5 seems good, but DDR4 may be cheaper

Easy-enough case access. I expect to under-mount case, and may modify case to add hangers

Smaller case dimension-- smaller is good. Under 7 inches anyway.

Dell XPS tower is under 7, but that has some mystery, bloatware etc. Small form factor would be good but I think I would be giving up something I want.

M.2 PCIe 4.0 or better.

Low power consumption during light browsing.

Low power consumption when idle.

High reliability

Don't want Lights -- guess I could disconnect

Prefer not, but maybe acceptable: clear sides. Metal seems more RF resistant.

Prefer CDR drive but may be ok with USB separate. Seems to be the way things are going.

Tentative budget $1500 to $2000 including Win 11 pro, but not including the Microcenter build fee if I decide to go that way.

Feel free to comment on any aspects of my shopping list. I am not looking for comprehensive replies. If there is a build list like this to look at, that would be interesting. However my shopping list is different than most who will build or have Microcenter do the build. I suspect that most builders are more FPS or economy oriented-- not that my expected budget is upper end.


  • magarity
    magarity ✭✭✭✭
    First Anniversary 5 Up Votes First Comment First Answer

    So, this is certainly doable and not actually an odd request because a lot of people come on this forum and want a PC for other than games.

    The hardest part is the small case size. Some of them can be tiny, when you say 7 inches though is that tall or wide or deep? From the MC home page, select 'Computer Cases' from the second row of pictures. then on the check boxes on the side in the category for 'Form Factor' select mini-itx and micro-atx mini tower. See if any of those are the size you're thinking of. There are very few cases anymore that support internal optical disks drives; USB is your best bet with those.

    Integrated graphics almost certainly have HDMI. Are you just needing that to watch videos and you have a monitor or TV that takes HDMI you want to use?

    Database is more disk IO and memory intensive than outright CPU intensive, so you want to look at more RAM and SSD storage more than the totally top end CPUs. This is good because the tiny cases don't deal well with CPU heat.

    Look over the cases and get back to us on that as a starting point.

  • FleetATX

    Thanks. It would be nice if there was a sort by width. It would be nice if I could sort by not having a feature (thinking of glass, for example).

    For example, "SSUPD Meshlicious Mini-ITX Mini-Tower Computer Case with PCIe 4.0 Riser Card" shows 6.55 inches as the width. It would be the width that I would like to minimize. There are regular ATX cases that are little wider than that so the mini-aspect does not help in that regard.

    Thermaltake Versa H17 microATX Mini Tower Computer Case is 8.10 in. wide.

    For size comparison, Dell OptiPlex 7000 Tower: 1. Width: 6.65 in. (169.00 mm); 2. Depth: 11.84 in. (300.80 mm); 3. Height: 14.45 in. (367.00 mm)

    Smaller in the smallest dimension is OptiPlex 5000 Small Form Factor

    1. Width: 3.66 inch (93 mm); 2. Depth: 11.42 inch (290 mm); 3. Height: 11.53 inch (293 mm)

    But those Dell computers do not provide HDMI with sound, and AFAIK don't have multiple M.2 slots or PCIe M.2. . I see their latest offerings in the small form factor allow an HDMI output, but I expect that does not include audio. That might be acceptable. If I am picking a motherboard, I know what features are available and can do some upgrades myself.

  • magarity
    magarity ✭✭✭✭
    First Anniversary 5 Up Votes First Comment First Answer

    6.55 inches is going to be about the minimum because smaller than that and its hard to fit a standard power supply. That's why the super slim systems are Dell, etc, because they put custom power supplies inside.

    Most motherboards are going to have HDMI output. Since they're all using HDMI 2 or 2.1, they will have audio. All the Intel CPUs that end in anything besides 'F' all have integrated graphics. The AMD CPUs that end in letter 'G' have integrated graphics.

    The mini-ATX format motherboards often take 2 of the m.2 drives.

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