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Need Advice: Girlfriend Gaming Build -- Mini-ITX Gaming For ~$800

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December 1, 2013 2:27:19 PM

So I'm building a gaming PC for my girlfriend for Christmas. She picked out a case about three months ago: it's a BitFenix Prodigy (not the M version-- the regular version.) Because of that case choice, which I actually agree with since she and I will be moving around a lot and currently live in a pretty small apartment, the motherboard has to be mini-ITX. I've already looked into it, can't be micro-ATX. It won't fit.

I didn't know this when we bought the case, but I'm okay with it.

So, factoring the case out of the build budget, I'm looking to spend around $800 for the parts. She is a graphic design student so will be using it for that as well as light video processing and editing. As well, she plays World of Warcraft, Final Fantasy XIV, games like Tomb Radier and Arkham Origins, and wants to stay fairly current with the next gen of gaming, so needs something that will hold out for a while.

I know this is all kind of a tall order for a modestly priced gaming PC, but I'm just curious what can be come up with for this budget. I wanna order everything tomorrow, which is Cyber Monday I believe.

Thanks everyone!
a c 224 4 Gaming
December 1, 2013 2:39:07 PM

Do you need an OS?
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December 1, 2013 2:51:52 PM

RazerZ said:
Do you need an OS?


Nope, that's OK, I have a copy of Windows 8 from work.
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Related resources
December 1, 2013 3:09:12 PM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($219.98 @ SuperBiiz)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Asus Z87I-DELUXE Mini ITX LGA1150 Motherboard ($185.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($72.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($54.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB Video Card ($149.99 @ TigerDirect)
Case: BitFenix Prodigy (White) Mini ITX Tower Case (Purchased For $0.00)
Power Supply: SeaSonic 620W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($70.55 @ SuperBiiz)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $801.46
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-12-01 18:11 EST-0500)
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a c 224 4 Gaming
December 1, 2013 3:14:32 PM

TheAntiPro said:
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($219.98 @ SuperBiiz)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Asus Z87I-DELUXE Mini ITX LGA1150 Motherboard ($185.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($72.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($54.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB Video Card ($149.99 @ TigerDirect)
Case: BitFenix Prodigy (White) Mini ITX Tower Case (Purchased For $0.00)
Power Supply: SeaSonic 620W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($70.55 @ SuperBiiz)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $801.46
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-12-01 18:11 EST-0500)


I don't think you can fit a hyper 212 evo in there
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December 1, 2013 3:20:32 PM

RazerZ said:
TheAntiPro said:
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($219.98 @ SuperBiiz)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Asus Z87I-DELUXE Mini ITX LGA1150 Motherboard ($185.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($72.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($54.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB Video Card ($149.99 @ TigerDirect)
Case: BitFenix Prodigy (White) Mini ITX Tower Case (Purchased For $0.00)
Power Supply: SeaSonic 620W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($70.55 @ SuperBiiz)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $801.46
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-12-01 18:11 EST-0500)


I don't think you can fit a hyper 212 evo in there

Ya i remember this is the Prodigy, not the Prodigy M. You can fit a h100i though, so you downgrade the mobo to a good ASRock one, and get a h100i.

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Best solution

a c 224 4 Gaming
December 1, 2013 3:24:54 PM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($194.99 @ NCIX US)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master GeminII M4 58.4 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($30.98 @ OutletPC)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-H77N-WIFI Mini ITX LGA1155 Motherboard ($99.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Memory: G.Skill Sniper Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($52.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($54.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 770 2GB Video Card ($319.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: XFX 650W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($16.98 @ OutletPC)
Total: $810.90
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-12-01 18:24 EST-0500)

This is a solid choice for the price and the cpu and mobo should go on sale tomorrow.
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a b 4 Gaming
December 1, 2013 6:10:42 PM

Just as a footnote, the options for CPU cooling a Prodigy are huge. It has somewhere in the region of 180mm+ (depending on where you put fans) of maximum cooler height which is more than most towers. Obviously it has pretty impressive rad support too.

Build above is good btw, but I dunno why you'd go with a k-series and a H77 board.
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December 1, 2013 6:12:45 PM

Rammy said:
Just as a footnote, the options for CPU cooling a Prodigy are huge. It has somewhere in the region of 180mm+ (depending on where you put fans) of maximum cooler height which is more than most towers. Obviously it has pretty impressive rad support too.

Build above is good btw, but I dunno why you'd go with a k-series and a H77 board.


What would you change? Just out of curiosity. Yeah I was initially very hesitant about the Prodigy for that very reason, but I've been surprised to find that outside the mobo, it's pretty darn versatile.
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a b 4 Gaming
December 1, 2013 6:26:24 PM

I have two (order mixup where a customer ended up winning - hooray) so I do tend to scan the forums for Prodigy threads as I occasionally have some insight into how stuff fits/doesn't.

There is nothing wrong with RazerZ build really, he makes a lot of good builds in the same threads I do, but I'm a bit confused as to why you'd pair a non-overclocking motherboard with an overclocking processor.

If you wanted to keep the overclocking capabilities of the processor, a swap to a MSI Z87I or ASrock Z87E-ITX, which sadly does add $20-30 to the price. Then I'd add a tower CPU cooler, as the Prodigy best feature is it's airflow. You'll need to check compatibility here as ITX boards are a bit sketchy with clearances, but in terms of height you generally have no worries. If you really wanted to make the most of your CPU cooler, I'd take advantage of the 200/230mm front fan support too. I use one of these - http://pcpartpicker.com/part/bitfenix-case-fan-bffspro2...

If you weren't bothered about overclocking, then the H77 board is absolutely fine, and you might as well save some money on the processor by dropping it to a 3470/3350P entry level i5. The stock performance is worryingly near to identical, and it can be $30-40 cheaper (though the deals on the 3570K make it great value right now).
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a c 224 4 Gaming
December 1, 2013 7:02:50 PM

Rammy said:
I have two (order mixup where a customer ended up winning - hooray) so I do tend to scan the forums for Prodigy threads as I occasionally have some insight into how stuff fits/doesn't.

There is nothing wrong with RazerZ build really, he makes a lot of good builds in the same threads I do, but I'm a bit confused as to why you'd pair a non-overclocking motherboard with an overclocking processor.

If you wanted to keep the overclocking capabilities of the processor, a swap to a MSI Z87I or ASrock Z87E-ITX, which sadly does add $20-30 to the price. Then I'd add a tower CPU cooler, as the Prodigy best feature is it's airflow. You'll need to check compatibility here as ITX boards are a bit sketchy with clearances, but in terms of height you generally have no worries. If you really wanted to make the most of your CPU cooler, I'd take advantage of the 200/230mm front fan support too. I use one of these - http://pcpartpicker.com/part/bitfenix-case-fan-bffspro2...

If you weren't bothered about overclocking, then the H77 board is absolutely fine, and you might as well save some money on the processor by dropping it to a 3470/3350P entry level i5. The stock performance is worryingly near to identical, and it can be $30-40 cheaper (though the deals on the 3570K make it great value right now).


I agree with Rammy the board I used wouldn't be that great for overclocking. If you want to save some cash switch to the 3350p and drop the PSU cooler or upgrade the motherboard. It turns out you can fit a hyper 212 evo in there, so I would go with that one if you do decide to overclock.
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December 2, 2013 9:20:50 AM

RazerZ said:
Rammy said:
I have two (order mixup where a customer ended up winning - hooray) so I do tend to scan the forums for Prodigy threads as I occasionally have some insight into how stuff fits/doesn't.

There is nothing wrong with RazerZ build really, he makes a lot of good builds in the same threads I do, but I'm a bit confused as to why you'd pair a non-overclocking motherboard with an overclocking processor.

If you wanted to keep the overclocking capabilities of the processor, a swap to a MSI Z87I or ASrock Z87E-ITX, which sadly does add $20-30 to the price. Then I'd add a tower CPU cooler, as the Prodigy best feature is it's airflow. You'll need to check compatibility here as ITX boards are a bit sketchy with clearances, but in terms of height you generally have no worries. If you really wanted to make the most of your CPU cooler, I'd take advantage of the 200/230mm front fan support too. I use one of these - http://pcpartpicker.com/part/bitfenix-case-fan-bffspro2...

If you weren't bothered about overclocking, then the H77 board is absolutely fine, and you might as well save some money on the processor by dropping it to a 3470/3350P entry level i5. The stock performance is worryingly near to identical, and it can be $30-40 cheaper (though the deals on the 3570K make it great value right now).


I agree with Rammy the board I used wouldn't be that great for overclocking. If you want to save some cash switch to the 3350p and drop the PSU cooler or upgrade the motherboard. It turns out you can fit a hyper 212 evo in there, so I would go with that one if you do decide to overclock.


I see... other problem is today many of the prices seem to have changed and in that ironic way that always happens on a day like Cyber Monday or Black Friday, this build actually comes out to about $900. Any suggestions for things I could change to make it work in my budget?

Additionally, I don't plan on overclocking.
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a b 4 Gaming
December 2, 2013 10:17:38 AM

The PSU was an absolute steal, and I think the offer was only valid until yesterday, it was certainly one to jump on. Anyway, no point dwelling on what isn't available. I'm not sure if anyone asked if you needed Wifi, but I'll assume you do.
Also, PCpartpicker doesn't update terribly quickly so it doesn't respond to out of stock/discontinued lines/sales very well. I've checked these parts as best I can, so everything should be valid, but nothing is guaranteed really.
This would be your rough baseline -
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3330 3.0GHz Quad-Core Processor ($154.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-H77N-WIFI Mini ITX LGA1155 Motherboard ($99.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Memory: Team Vulcan 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($54.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 770 2GB Video Card ($324.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 600W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($16.98 @ OutletPC)
Total: $731.91
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-12-02 13:08 EST-0500)
Obviously if you want to spend $800 then you can go for a slightly quicker i5 (not a massive performance difference, though if the 3470 was better priced, it's often a good buy) but it's $22 cheaper than any other i5.
Graphics card I went for the GTX770 Gigabyte version as its among the cheapest+fastest but the EVGA is the same price more or less. If you aren't in a massive hurry to buy and want to spend higher, then look out for the GTX770Ti (probably around $400) or proper non reference R9 290s , both of which should be landing in the next month or two if you can afford to wait.
PSU isn't modular, but it's still a good price. Alternatively, pick up an Antec HCG-620M for $50 if you want modular cables.
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December 5, 2013 6:45:49 AM

AnotherCastleTV said:
RazerZ said:
Do you need an OS?


Nope, that's OK, I have a copy of Windows 8 from work.


Here is one I am working on http://pcpartpicker.com/p/2cj3h

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