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Mini ITX gaming rig in a HTPC case - Help picking components??

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July 17, 2013 9:02:25 AM

Hi guys,

I need help picking parts. This is my first build, but I've done some research and I think this is possible with some elbow grease.
The idea is to put a standard 170mmx170mm mini-ITX motherboard into a SilverStone LC05b case, and make work using PCIe x16 riser cards/flexi-cards for the GPU and low-profile RAM & CPU cooling. All this, powered by the same power supply used on the Digital Storm Bolt (or a smaller version).
I'm not going to push it much. I want it to be slim because I tend to move around, so it could fit into a briefcase or something.

I have sorted the following components:

Motherboard: Gigabyte H55N-USB3 (http://www.techradar.com/reviews/pc-mac/pc-components/m...)

CASE: SilverStone LC05b (http://www.silverstonetek.com/product.php?pid=70&area=)

PSU: Sparkle-power 1U 400W, 12V [FSP400-701US] (http://www.sparklepower.com/pdf/IPC/FSP400-701US.pdf)
*There is a 500W ver., but it's a little bit bigger, so I'd like to avoid that*

RAM: 1x Corsair Low Profile 8GB (basically, whatever model I find in town)

Optical Drive: Panasonic Slim OD UJ240 (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003AXW2YQ/ref=ox_sc_a...), w/ slim SATA to SATA adaptor cable w/ power plug.

PCIe adaptors, blah blah.

The things I haven't sorted out are Memory, GPU, CPU, CPU cooling unit.

For GPU, I'd like to look into the Radeon HD 7750 line, because it doesn't use huge amounts of power, but I'm pretty sure I need a closed-style case, so that all the exhaust goes out the back vent of the card, rather than out of the side and back into the computer case.
CPU, no idea, although any i7 or i5 would be nice, and if they could not be a massive power drain, all the better.
Memory: SSD or SSD/HDD hybrid? Might only have space to tack one in.

Thanks so much for any replies!
July 18, 2013 12:15:15 PM

bump.
I know this case has a regular 5.25" drive slot, but is there a way to put the slim drive in?
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July 18, 2013 12:24:39 PM

Christian Angelo said:
http://www.amazon.com/5-25-Metal-Tray-2-5-Slim/dp/B0056...

One of those guys would do. Also power for this case is supplied with an adapter (look at the spec sheet carefully). So that powersupply you picked wouldn't be necessary. This would limit you pretty greatly on graphics


Thanks for the tray thing. I'm not planning on using the adapter, since the pictures on the website show that there is enough space inside for the power supply, and I can't see the adapter. I was tempted to label this as 'custom case', because I'm likely going to end up cutting the case a little to make the PSU fit through.
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July 18, 2013 12:35:42 PM

Interesting, good luck with that. As for CPU, I notice that you've picked out a board with a 1156 socket, which is discontinued and is old at this point. So I would pick up something newer, such as the successor 1155, or the new successor to that, the 1150. If you need additional help I can pick some boards and cpu's out, I just need to know your budget
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July 18, 2013 12:38:50 PM

can that case fit a discrete gpu?
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July 18, 2013 1:00:30 PM

Oh, I didn't realise that!! Thanks, I'd really appreciate that, and maybe help choosing a GPU? My budget is under HK$6000, which is about US$780. My shopping cart, minus the motherboard, GPU, SSD, CPU and cooling units comes to US$290 on amazon. The GPU has to be a closed-case design, as in no/few holes besides the fan opening and the vent out of the back, since this is a tiny case and the air needs to be directed out of the card in one direction, and out of the case.

Thanks so much :) 
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July 18, 2013 1:04:31 PM

Jackrzu said:
can that case fit a discrete gpu?


With a 90 degree riser card, I'm sure it can. I took measurements, and made a quick sketch; looks like a typical GPU is about half the height of the case, and would fit next to the motherboard inside the case, no matter which corner the motherboard is in. If it won't, then I'm getting a flexi-cable version of the riser card too, so I could move it to somewhere it will be out of the way, and eventually i'll build a permanent bracket for it.
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July 18, 2013 1:19:36 PM

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1i4f1

This is what I've got so far, The graphics card is single slot and low profile, it's the most powerful for that size.

Quick question, how committed to that case are you? Picking a more manageable case will open doors for picking parts and you wont have to saw up a case
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July 18, 2013 1:35:46 PM

Christian Angelo said:
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1i4f1

This is what I've got so far, The graphics card is single slot and low profile, it's the most powerful for that size.

Quick question, how committed to that case are you? Picking a more manageable case will open doors for picking parts and you wont have to saw up a case


Thanks man, really appreciate that.
I'm pretty committed, although I haven't bought it yet. It's the best solution to a ridiculous question that only I'm asking (can a gaming desktop look like a casual entertainment system, AND be relatively transportable?), because of its overall dimensions. Not sure I want a cube-computer either. If I could buy a DS bolt case, or iBP revolt case, etc. I would, but they're not for sale.
Does that seem crazy to you? :p 
(It's 4:30am, sorry if i don't reply sharpish)
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July 18, 2013 1:41:57 PM

I hate to be the destroyer of dreams, but I'd honestly recommend a different case. This one is clearly made for very low power htpc builds and you clearly want something beefier than that. I'll search around for some decently small case. Maybe not quite as small as the ds bolt, but close.

I actually have this case for the handles/portability but it's probably too big for you liking
http://www.bitfenix.com/global/en/products/chassis/prod...
it is mitx though

You have to understand that those guys have well payed engineers to design a case and components to go with it. As home builders we don't have that luxury.
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July 18, 2013 11:29:34 PM

Christian Angelo said:
I actually have this case for the handles/portability but it's probably too big for you liking
http://www.bitfenix.com/global/en/products/chassis/prod...


Ah, I'm familiar with that case. Thanks for the suggestion, but you're right, it's a little too big for my liking. The only other case that caught my eye was something like $200, so that's out of the question, and I'm flat out of ideas for other cases. I will probably end up going with the original plan. Do you know if Newegg ships to Hong Kong?
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July 19, 2013 6:37:39 AM

Nic5972 said:
Christian Angelo said:
I actually have this case for the handles/portability but it's probably too big for you liking
http://www.bitfenix.com/global/en/products/chassis/prod...


Ah, I'm familiar with that case. Thanks for the suggestion, but you're right, it's a little too big for my liking. The only other case that caught my eye was something like $200, so that's out of the question, and I'm flat out of ideas for other cases. I will probably end up going with the original plan. Do you know if Newegg ships to Hong Kong?


I'm not sure about newegg shipping to hong kong, they use UPS and Fedex which ships globally, but it might cost more.

I found this: http://www.amazon.com/Inwin-Development-IW-BP655-300TBL...

It's about the same size of an xbox 360. It has one low profile expansion slot for graphics cards. But if you want anything more powerful than the graphics card that I had on that pcpartpicker list you'll have get a riser and and do a little bit of modding.
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July 19, 2013 7:06:27 AM

Christian Angelo said:
Nic5972 said:
Christian Angelo said:
I actually have this case for the handles/portability but it's probably too big for you liking
http://www.bitfenix.com/global/en/products/chassis/prod...


Ah, I'm familiar with that case. Thanks for the suggestion, but you're right, it's a little too big for my liking. The only other case that caught my eye was something like $200, so that's out of the question, and I'm flat out of ideas for other cases. I will probably end up going with the original plan. Do you know if Newegg ships to Hong Kong?


I'm not sure about newegg shipping to hong kong, they use UPS and Fedex which ships globally, but it might cost more.

I found this: http://www.amazon.com/Inwin-Development-IW-BP655-300TBL...

It's about the same size of an xbox 360. It has one low profile expansion slot for graphics cards. But if you want anything more powerful than the graphics card that I had on that pcpartpicker list you'll have get a riser and and do a little bit of modding.


That's a really good suggestion, but what do you think of this one? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
It's micro atx, which means more expansion, and it has more expansion slots available in the chassis, and it's only a little bit bigger. (I have to admit, the choices are confusing me :p  ) Either way, I'm not using the original case anymore.
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July 19, 2013 7:17:22 AM

That would most certainly work.

The only thing is, unless you're planning on buying things for the extra expansion slots like a sound card or network card(which you wouldn't need if you bought an mitx board because they have them already in the mobo), then you'd be buying a bigger case for no reason.
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July 19, 2013 8:29:20 AM

Christian Angelo said:
That would most certainly work.

The only thing is, unless you're planning on buying things for the extra expansion slots like a sound card or network card(which you wouldn't need if you bought an mitx board because they have them already in the mobo), then you'd be buying a bigger case for no reason.


I guess the only reasons why i'd want the bigger case are aesthetics and future expansions. Also, do the expansion slots mean i have to use the PCIe cable?
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July 19, 2013 8:37:07 AM

I thought you wanted a smaller case :p  And the only cards that would fit those low profile slots (the 7750) is low power (55w tdp) enough that you don't need those cables.
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July 19, 2013 8:52:08 AM

Christian Angelo said:
I thought you wanted a smaller case :p  And the only cards that would fit those low profile slots (the 7750) is low power (55w tdp) enough that you don't need those cables.


haha, thanks man, it ended up being a better deal to go with the bigger case, since it was 1/4 price on amazon anyway :p . Looks like everything except the graphics card and the case cannot be shipped to HK, so I'm going to have to get out and shop IRL :o 
Thanks for all the help :) 
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