Windows rig details: Share your full specs

  • As I see some discussions about the state of mac pro machines and windows, and from my own very positive experience of switching my izzy machine to windows I thought I would start a thread to share the config I use. It is working amazingly well for me, but I can see room for improvement. I will write the full parts list, and let you know a little of what I miss and why. Maybe we can end up with a good resource for poeple looking to make their own rigs:

    Rackmount case (short) Chenbro 19" 4HE RM42300-F2 
    Motherbaord GA-Z270X-Gaming 7 CPU Intel Core i7-7700K PSU be quiet! Dark P. Pro P11 1000W Boot drive 960 EVO PCIe M.2 SAM 
    Media drive 4*SanDisk SSD Plus, 480GB SSD in raid 0
    RAM 32 gig 2& CrucialD4 16GB 2400-16 BX Sport
    2* Sharkoon Card 2Port USB 3.0PCIe (for multiple kinect 2)
    Blackmagic Duo 2 4x 3g SDI capture
    GPU 11GB D5X GTX 1080 Ti Founders Edition
    SD/CF fast etc reader Sharkoon Media Reader IV USB3.0
    Wireless TP-Link Archer T9E PCIe/AC1900 (jut because sometimes you need it)
    4tb WD backup drive (spinning)
    Transport: Peli Storm Case iM 2875 TROLLEY (all together the rig is 29 kilos and fits on a plane (no monitor).
    Windows 10 pro
    All fans were replaced with super quiet models with high throughput and I used a large be quiet cooler

    Total cost with tax in the Netherlands was €3900 with some Display port convertors. I had it built by a company called alternate that do great builds and stress testing before delivery. The rig has a 3 year warranty (as long as you don’t mess with the hardware).

    I have taken it on a lot of flights and the wheelie case makes it easy and the dense foam in the pelican keeps it safe. I know the spinning drive will eventually die because of the movement but it is just a backup space (I could put it in a pull out drawer and take it with me).

    CONS: I am looking at upgrading to a large core count probably sticking with intel and going for a 10 core. This also gets me more pcie lanes for radied m2 more high bandwidth pcie cards etc.

    Pros: Best computer I have ever used, does everything I need it to and super stable, the machine itself has never blinked (fingers crossed), I dont come close to using all its power with Isadora (but I am a bit conservative like that and believe headroom is one of the reasons I have had such good performance.

    It would be great to get other peoples rig specs and experiences of what they would do different next time.

  • Beta Platinum

    @fred said:

    very positive experience of switching my izzy machine to windows

    That's an interesting perspective. There has been a very noticeable drift towards Windows based PC workstations by key people in this forum (not surprising as Apple continues to abandon pro users). I would be interested to know what you think the useful life of your custom build machine will be and what components can be reused in your plans for future builds?

    Also out of interest, is there a PC solution like the MacMini that can slip behind wall mounted displays or be rigged in tight spaces?

    I notice that there is comparison between the latest releases of AMD and Intel CPU's in the custom build PC discussion forums. 

    I am listening with interest.

    Best Wishes,


  • @bonemap

    you might have a look at for small factor PCs.

  • @bonemap Evidence of "abandonment" ? Easy to say, but what evidence do you have to support this ? I don't want to start a platform war, just tired of blanket statements like this. (Living in the US... maybe you know what I mean)


  • @bonemap or look at the intel NUC range a large range of great options for a tiny form factor, I even had a solid state cooled one that was silent and worked great.

  • Izzy Guru

    Here are some images and screen grab's of my build.

  • Izzy Guru

    It's not finished yet. Also has a support rack with monitor, keyboard/mouse, kinect, etc.

    Main rack as a built in WIFI hot spot, network switch, back up UPS, custom rear connection panel and soon to have LED lights.

    What's pretty neat is that the MOBO has a decent HDMI output meaning I have a connection for the GUI and 4 dedicated outputs at full HD via the GTX1080ti 

  • Beta Platinum

    @jjhp3 said:

    "abandonment" ? Easy to say, but what evidence do you have to support this ? 

    Hi John,

    I don’t intend a blanket or throw away comment, but it is very obvious that Apple have moved to concentrate on consumer and mobile, linked to proprietary OS integration and consumer apps. For years Apple higher end hardware releases have been underwhelming when it comes to things like 3D modeling/ real-time graphics rendering / GPU performance and mutli-display support... Arguably the most useful Mac machines for performance, exhibition and installation productions - the MacPro and MacMini have not had releases since 2014/16 and have become less internally extensible with each release. Currently the live performance and museum industry expectations are moving in a direction that the Mac hardware platform is not responding to (why would they?). So the evidence I have is my personal experience of being a Mac user since the Mac Plus and SE releases in the 1980’s. I love a good MacBook Pro in my backpack but even then the latest release has turned into a challenging tussle with adaptors and very unclear documentation about display compatibility etc.

    I have just purchased another MacBook Pro (USB-C model) and continue to use a 2015 MacBook Pro on a daily basis (and I love using these for day to day tasks). I have two other MacBook Pro 2012 in my kit along with a 2013 Trash Can. However, the current Apple replacement options for these machines are not providing support in the direction my art practice is going - I am driven by necessity to consider custom built PC options for production work.

    The Isadora team have invested in a noticeable effort to get the PC version of Isadora on par with the Mac version. It appears that it is really only the professional audio i/o shortcomings of the PC (compared to Mac) that are still to be overcome. It is possible to predict that the development of the PC version of Isadora will soon overtake the Mac version as more users are driven to PC hardware to complement their ambitions.

    Best wishes


  • Beta Platinum

    @skulpture said:

    It's not finished yet

     Well! Well! the beast appears! Just add wings.

    Best Wishes,


  • @bonemap usefully life is hard to say on this as it is easy to upgrade. There is a 3 year warranty on all parts, so there is a good start. However I like to upgrade my machines after about 18 months. This gives me the sweet spot of resale value and tax breaks, as well as keeping my gear fresh.

  • Izzy Guru

    @bonemap said:

    @skulpture said:
    It's not finished yet
     Well! Well! the beast appears! Just add wings.
    Best Wishes,

     Haha - I might just do that via Arduino. 

    I will write a full report once its completed, etc. 

  • This looks interesting:

    @Dusx, thoughts?


  • Tech Staff

    Nice find.. that does infact look like a great mini PC. 
    Available in the US in spring :)

    My primary workstation spec is in my signature (a few years old now). I am considering a Razer Blade Pro as the replacement.

    For delivery, I have often used Zotac mini PCs. (ranging from $200 CAD and up)

    A 2016 project for the Festival of Lights, Amsterdam was delivered running on a $200 CAD Zotac mini with a low end Intel onboard video card and a Intel atom 1.6 ghz (I think) processor.
    It was running a custom tracking setup using a webcam and IR leds, and playing back a HAP file (scrubbed based on tracking data). It was a challenge to get the framerates required, but in the end it ran well (xga output).

    A recent project currently on tour, is running on Acer laptops (2 locations, one laptop each).
    These mid-range Acers were ~$600CAD each and were the lowest cost PC laptops we could find with a dedicated nVidia graphics card.
    Isadora is providing user configurable mapping (setup per user), StopMotion playback and record controls, and integration with an external OF project for Canon DSLR control, GIF creation, and emailing.
    Interfaced with Isadora via a couple custom Izzy Plugins, OSC, and Spout.

    The PC 'mini' I am currently testing for use with Isadora is more like the Intel machine you found.
    Its a powerful gaming system for a reasonable price. It far out powers a comparably priced Mac Mini.

  • @DusX 

    I've been looking at the Razer Blade laptops, as well. I actually have a Stealth (for sale!) that I've taken on trips for it's tiny size and light weight, while still providing enough punch to do video and photo editing. They also have fantastic full aRGB 4K displays. What do you think of the 14" ones? I was looking at the Pro, but it's big and heavy!

    I'm going to look at that NEC machine when it comes out as a machine that I can leave in a theatre for the run of a show. I'll also be looking at other "mini" options. It's awesome to be able to put it in your carry-on and go! Zotac MEC1??

  • Maybe this is an interesting project regarding compact systems.