5 K switching studio. This is a very small and ag- gressive choice, so I’ll be keeping an eye on
temperatures and airflow to prevent overcooling. If you don’t want a rackmount case but prefer a portable CPU case, I recommend looking
at the Corsair Vengeance C70 mid-tower case.
I have one for my old webcast encoder, specifically because it has a pair of sturdy metal top-handles that make transporting it to locations
I selected a combination of a Gigabyte GA-Z-
270X Gaming 7 ATX LGA1151 motherboard and
a Core i7-7700K quad-core processor. The previous generation of this motherboard was popular
with vMix users and the current version has a
lot of really nice features, such as support for
Thunderbolt 3 and USB- 3. 1 Gen 2, SATA Express
and M. 2 connectors for next-gen hard drives,
and dual Gigabit Ethernet ports. This is useful
when you want to connect with a presenter’s
computer or optionally with a Blackmagic ATEM
video switcher. Having these features on-board
is really important for my small case, as I don’t
have as much room for add-on cards as I would
if I built this in a full tower case.
I could have saved a bit of money by going with
the previous generation of both the motherboard
and the CPU, but the new Z270 motherboard supports more PCIe lanes, which is important for
future upgrades if I want to add more 4K video
capture cards, specifically ones that support
multiple video inputs on a single card, and overall the computer is a bit faster.
My small case size means I need a lower-pro-file CPU cooler. I selected the Noctua NH-U9S.
Although I could load it up with 64GB of RAM,
webcasting and video switching are not RAM-intensive tasks, so 32GB in a 2x16GB DDR4-3200
configuration fits the bill and delivers a nice
price-to-performance ratio. I cannot upgrade
later to 64GB with the RAM I selected because,
according to the qualified vendor list (QVL), this
RAM does not support 4 lanes. Upgrading to a
model that does support 4 lanes would have
more than doubled the price of the RAM, and
this is a trade-off I am willing to accept.
My power supply selection is the EVGA SuperNOVA NEX 650W 80+ Gold fully modular power
supply. As with everything in this build, I double-checked the dimensions to make sure it would
fit in my case. A modular power supply means
the unused cables can be disconnected, which is
import for cable management and cooling.
My graphics card selection is the ASUS Ge-Force GTX 1070 8GB. I could probably have saved
a bit of money by going with the 1060 model, but
because vMix offloads a lot of the processing of
the video to the graphics card GPU, I didn’t want
this to be a bottleneck in the future if I added
My hard drive selections are a Samsung 850
EVO 250GB SSD for my Windows 10 operating
system and three SanDisk Ultra II 1TB SSDs for
media drives. I could have gone with faster media drives, but I already own these. One of the
more interesting case upgrades I am making
right away is to add an ICY Dock Express Cage
to the front of my computer where the optical
drive would normally go. The ICY Dock will allow me to add two removable SSDs, which is
great for when I want to transfer footage quickly
to ingest in my main editing workstation.
Here is my parts list: go2sm/partlist2.
Before a $25 mail-in rebate (which may no
longer be available when you’re making your
purchases), this 4K switching-and-streaming kit,
built around the vMix software switcher, brings
us in at roughly $4,200, comfortably below our
Shawn Lam ( email@example.com) is an award-winning video
producer and technical director. His Vancouver-based video
production company, Shawn Lam Video Inc., specializes in
corporate and event video production, including online video,
video switching, webcasting, and video SEO.
Comments? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or check
the masthead for other ways to contact us.