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$400 - $450 take anywhere mini ITX rig

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July 2, 2013 4:47:46 PM

I've got the bug to do an mITX rig, and with the latest round of upgrades to my system I will have an extra CPU left over so I will be able to put it to use in this rig.


Approximate Purchase Date: Within July / August

Budget Range: No more than $450 max.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: I want to use this rig as a go-anywhere mITX rig that I can take to friends' houses for gaming, hook up to HDTV for HTPC use, etc.

Are you buying a monitor: No

Parts to Upgrade: Fresh build, using existing CPU: Intel Core i3-2120. I think I also can use an old laptop hard drive for the rig to cut costs.

Do you need to buy OS: No

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg, but anywhere is fine.

Location: Orange County, CA. I have access to a Micro Center.

Parts Preferences: Motherboard must be socket LGA 1155, but after that anything goes.

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: No

Your Monitor Resolution: It will vary greatly as this PC will be hooked up to multiple monitors and TVs.

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: I'm upgrading my work rig to X79 and that will leave me with a free CPU, which I will use to do this build and I've wanted to do so for a while.

Here is what I am thinking:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

Motherboard: ASRock B75M-ITX Mini ITX LGA1155 Motherboard ($89.17 @ SuperBiiz)
Memory: Mushkin Silverline 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($66.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Momentus XT 750GB 2.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($99.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7750 1GB Video Card ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Antec ISK 300-150 Mini ITX Desktop Case w/150W Power Supply ($63.79 @ Amazon)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($14.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $434.92
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-07-02 19:46 EDT-0400)

I would have loved the Chieftec FI-01 but I'm not finding it anywhere. Is anyone else building a similar rig or had a similar experience with building such a rig?

More about : 400 450 mini itx rig

July 4, 2013 5:21:18 PM

Thoughts from what I was able to find online. I'm not an expert, but I think I found some useful info.

For the case, I looked it up and a toms hardware article said that it's nearly the same as the Winsis' WI-02 (internally the same) and was available to the United States (was as the Chieftec FI-01 wasn't). This guide will help for assembly if using the WI-02 as it is a tight, small build. The recent $400 system builder was a ITX build. You should definitely take a look at that. The processor they used was only a Pentium G860, so it will probably draw a bit less power than the I3 with hyperthreading enabled. Their build only drew around 90W. PC Parts Picker guesses high on the wattage (displayed at the top right). 200W would definitely cover your build, but 150 may be cutting it close. Their build does fine though.
About the case: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/mini-itx-gaming-rad...
Case on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00502C33K/
Most recent System Builder: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/mini-itx-do-it-your...

Depending on the case, you can possibly fit a 3.5" hard drive. If you do actually go with the WI-02, you can fit a 3.5" and a 2.5" drive into the system. In which case, you can go with a cheaper, larger capacity hard drive. Or if you do use your old laptop hard drive (depending on how much space you need), you could spend ~$100 on a 120GB SSD for faster game loading.
3.5" HDD http://pcpartpicker.com/part/seagate-internal-hard-driv...

You can probably find 1600 speed ram, even if your processor can't go that fast (useful if RAM is used in a future build). Just avoid anythign with big heat-syncs. The Mushkin that you picked out has really good customer ratings though. Or if you aren't worried as there is no speed difference with your current CPU, just stick with what you have.
Corsair with very good reviews, 1600 http://pcpartpicker.com/part/corsair-memory-cml8gx3m2a1...
Crucial with okay reviews, 1600: http://pcpartpicker.com/part/crucial-memory-bls2kit4g3d...

If you go with the WI-02, you need a slim CD/DVD drive. (Article recommends slimline-to-SATA adapter and a slim-line drive rather than expensive slim SATA)
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/mini-itx-gaming-rad...

Graphics Card looks fine. A Low Profile GDDR5 is the right one to go with.

Not sure about motherboard recommendations. The one used in the $400 build was as cheap as possible ($50) to allot budget for other things, but it lacked USB 3.0. Some motherboards have special features like eSata which your current case has a port for (if you have devices that use it, it's faster than USB 2.0). If you plan to use wireless, don't forget that you will need to pick up a USB wireless adapter.
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a b à CPUs
July 4, 2013 11:19:19 PM

Quote:

For the case, I looked it up and a toms hardware article said that it's nearly the same as the Winsis' WI-02 (internally the same) and was available to the United States (was as the Chieftec FI-01 wasn't). This guide will help for assembly if using the WI-02 as it is a tight, small build. The recent $400 system builder was a ITX build. You should definitely take a look at that. The processor they used was only a Pentium G860, so it will probably draw a bit less power than the I3 with hyperthreading enabled. Their build only drew around 90W. PC Parts Picker guesses high on the wattage (displayed at the top right). 200W would definitely cover your build, but 150 may be cutting it close. Their build does fine though.
About the case: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/mini-itx-gaming-rad...
Case on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00502C33K/
Most recent System Builder: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/mini-itx-do-it-your...


Yeah I understand that an mITX build will have some space constraints. That article that you linked to is what got me interested in building such a system in the first place. I was looking at the Winsis case, I'd love to use the Chieftec but if it's not available in the US I'm SOL.

Quote:

Depending on the case, you can possibly fit a 3.5" hard drive. If you do actually go with the WI-02, you can fit a 3.5" and a 2.5" drive into the system. In which case, you can go with a cheaper, larger capacity hard drive. Or if you do use your old laptop hard drive (depending on how much space you need), you could spend ~$100 on a 120GB SSD for faster game loading.
3.5" HDD http://pcpartpicker.com/part/seagate-internal-hard-driv...


Yeah I've got a couple of spare hard drives lying around, that's one part I definitely do not need to purchase. I'm thinking of pulling the hard drive out of my old laptop and the SSD out of a spare computer I have to make the storage configuration. I would need to buy a slimline optical drive though depending on which case I go with.

Quote:

You can probably find 1600 speed ram, even if your processor can't go that fast (useful if RAM is used in a future build). Just avoid anythign with big heat-syncs. The Mushkin that you picked out has really good customer ratings though. Or if you aren't worried as there is no speed difference with your current CPU, just stick with what you have.
Corsair with very good reviews, 1600 http://pcpartpicker.com/part/corsair-memory-cml8gx3m2a1...
Crucial with okay reviews, 1600: http://pcpartpicker.com/part/crucial-memory-bls2kit4g3d...


I don't need a ton of RAM for this PC. I actually found a spare set of low voltage G.Skill RAM I have left over from a previous rig that I can use for this configuration, that will eliminate that cost. And I usually don't care what the store reviews say - a lot of the time they're about as baseless as the Windows Experience Index.

Quote:
Not sure about motherboard recommendations. The one used in the $400 build was as cheap as possible ($50) to allot budget for other things, but it lacked USB 3.0. Some motherboards have special features like eSata which your current case has a port for (if you have devices that use it, it's faster than USB 2.0). If you plan to use wireless, don't forget that you will need to pick up a USB wireless adapter.


Yeah I'm doing the same thing as the article and trying to make the system as cheap as possible. I don't really care if the case has USB 3.0. I'm looking at several sub $100 mITX motherboards. I think I'll be going with the Asrock B75 mITX motherboard.
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a b à CPUs
July 5, 2013 12:13:31 AM

This is your best shot if you want a HDD as well -
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

Motherboard: ASRock B75M-ITX Mini ITX LGA1155 Motherboard ($89.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Corsair XMS3 4GB (1 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($54.49 @ Outlet PC)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 660 2GB Video Card ($179.99 @ Newegg)
Case: BitFenix Prodigy (White) Mini ITX Tower Case ($59.99 @ Microcenter)
Power Supply: Corsair CX 500W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $443.44
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-07-05 03:10 EDT-0400)

If not , here's something better -
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

Motherboard: ASRock B75M-ITX Mini ITX LGA1155 Motherboard ($95.38 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair XMS3 4GB (1 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB Video Card ($238.98 @ Newegg)
Case: BitFenix Prodigy (White) Mini ITX Tower Case ($59.99 @ Microcenter)
Power Supply: Corsair CX 500W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $452.33
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-07-05 03:12 EDT-0400)

But seriously can the i3 keep up with the GTX 660Ti , I don't think so. So yeah , IMHO get the GTX 660 build , as it has a HDD plus it should give similar performance.
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July 5, 2013 9:53:28 AM

pyro226 said:
^For the power supply, I'm using the Corsair CX430 in my build (I5 2400S and Radeon 6850). Currently, it's only $20 after rebates at newegg. Got the newegg ad this morning http://pcpartpicker.com/part/corsair-power-supply-cx430


2400S ? Thats true then. HD 6850 ? It has less power consumption than the most average GPU's.
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a b à CPUs
July 5, 2013 11:26:28 PM

CommentariesAnd More said:
This is your best shot if you want a HDD as well -
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

Motherboard: ASRock B75M-ITX Mini ITX LGA1155 Motherboard ($89.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Corsair XMS3 4GB (1 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($54.49 @ Outlet PC)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 660 2GB Video Card ($179.99 @ Newegg)
Case: BitFenix Prodigy (White) Mini ITX Tower Case ($59.99 @ Microcenter)
Power Supply: Corsair CX 500W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $443.44
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-07-05 03:10 EDT-0400)

If not , here's something better -
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

Motherboard: ASRock B75M-ITX Mini ITX LGA1155 Motherboard ($95.38 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair XMS3 4GB (1 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB Video Card ($238.98 @ Newegg)
Case: BitFenix Prodigy (White) Mini ITX Tower Case ($59.99 @ Microcenter)
Power Supply: Corsair CX 500W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $452.33
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-07-05 03:12 EDT-0400)

But seriously can the i3 keep up with the GTX 660Ti , I don't think so. So yeah , IMHO get the GTX 660 build , as it has a HDD plus it should give similar performance.


Two things - the first is this isn't really a gaming rig. Some gaming might be done on it, but I really want it to function more as an HTPC than anything else. And the other is that I want this to be a low profile system. I really like the Bitfenix Prodigy but I want it to be a much smaller case than that. I have no intention of purchasing a GTX 660TI or any heavy duty GPU for this rig, which is why I want the 7750. I also want this system to use as little power as possible, which is where the Radeon 7750 LP comes in.
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