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Mini / sff gaming pc help (fragbox 2 like)

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December 12, 2013 1:09:47 PM

Hello all. I've really grown tired of the console scene and the last time I built a pc was back when the Pentium 3 JUST released... So I'm a bit behind the times.

Ideally, I of course would love to have a fragbox2 but it does seem a little out of my comfort zone once start trying to configure one...

So I would really like to have some experienced opinions/views and advice. Should I brake down a buy a prebuilt mini system like a fragbox2, tiki, alien ware x51 (or something like that...), or some brands "bolt" thing?

Build one my self?

Or just give in and pick up a ps4... when it's easy to actually buy a ps4... lol.


I'm fairly sure the form-factor I need is mini-ITX... A case like SilverStone Sugo SG10 and bitfix prodigy seem to utilized a lot in builds I have stumbled a cross. I'd like to be able to sneak in two graphics cards in there but I don't know how necessary that may be, nor if you'd really be saving anything trying too...

Well to sum up I'd like a nice little gaming rig with that I can try and keep up to date with the times... and I'm a little confused on how you set up the sata with the SSD hdds using the SSD as a cache for the slower sata hdd?

Well thank you guys for you input and taking the time to discuss this with me.

Oh yeah and for a new pc I had a budget of around 2K to 2.5K. max. Oh and I'd like it to be fairly quiet...

Thanks again! And happy hollidays.
a b 4 Gaming
a c 160 B Homebuilt system
December 12, 2013 1:17:09 PM

You can definitely get a better system by self building. The main issue with some of these premade compact systems is that they use propriety forms for some components which limits both performance and upgradability.

I'm currently working on an ITX guide, it's not finished but it might have some info for you
http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/faq/id-1924866/building-i...

Basically, if you want a multiple graphics card setup, or that facility, then you are looking at at least mATX, and even then you start to struggle to justify it, as often mATX cases are only slightly shorter than a compact ATX case which has a lot more space. The starting point is definitely deciding which platform you want to build on.

I'm not entirely sure what you mean by the SSD/HDD comment. Most people will use their SSD as their boot drive and a larger HDD for storage.
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December 12, 2013 3:07:18 PM

Thanks Rammy! That's pretty much the problem I'm having... No clue where to begin...

I'm kinda using the new fragbox as a template... Correct me if I am wrong but is it not mITX? Any way I'm really not sure where to begin with even just finding a starting point. I keep reading that mATX isn't the best idea for a SFF gaming rig because of height restrictions on the graphics card. It seems to be recommend to go with an mITX motherboard and try really hard to find a case that takes the mITX board but can accept an mATX power supply? Not sure about any of that...

My google-foo has been worthless lately and I have been having a had time finding good info since my browser crashed and i lost all my tabs. My main thoughts would be: I5 good enough or is I7 worth it? and single High end card or single mid level card and maybe link it with a second card later on... and last but not least, about how much power do i need to supply this thing with?


I think that's exactly what some one meant, when they wrote about using a smaller SSD for "caching"... Kinda confused me quite a bit and goes completely against what I used to know about computers... But what you said explains everything.

Well I'm a tool around and see if I can get a little better educated so I am able to actually ask good questions. I'd really appreciate a summery of whats up in the SFF world and what you guys would do with my budget. Where would you cut corners a bit / where wouldn't you, and why?

Thanks again!
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a b 4 Gaming
a c 160 B Homebuilt system
December 12, 2013 3:36:51 PM

The fragbox is mATX. Any system with multiple graphics cards can't be ITX, as it only has a single expansion slot.

There is no such thing as a mATX power supply. Confusingly, most standard "ATX" power supplies do not conform to official ATX specs (they are longer) but most mainstream mATX and ITX cases fit standard PSUs up to a certain length.

In general, an i5 makes more sense than an i7 due to the price difference. In most games they perform similarly, and the extra funds are going to give a much bigger boost when poured into something like graphics.

Also a single card is usually a better solution than two cards. There is nothing wrong with adding a second card later, but building a new system with two graphics cards is really just for high end resolutions and detail levels.

PSU is mainly dictated by whichever graphics card(s) you pick. Most mid-high end cards will run on a 500-550W PSU without any issues. Once you start factoring in things like overclocking and multiple graphics cards, demands can escalate quite a lot.

SSD caching is relatively specialist. You need a motherboard that supports it (Intel Smart Response Technology) and depending on how you use your PC you might not see much of a benefit.

I'd say the things you need to decide are-
How much you want to spend (you never specified a currency - international forum)
What your budget needs to include (OS/Monitor/Peripherals etc)
Whether or not you want to have SLI/XFire functionality
If you want to overclock
What kind of size/aesthetic you are looking for. Have a look at the link I put in my first post for images of some of the popular ITX cases. If you want to look at mATX obviously it's a different selection. By ITX standards, the Fragbox is fairly large.

With that, we can progress a bit further.
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January 16, 2014 9:46:26 PM

Sorry for taking so long...

Budget, I'd like to be around $1,000USD but definitely under $1,500 at most.
I plan on using my 1080p 3d tv.
So I think I just need win 7 and a key board.

I don't need SLI.

I wouldn't mind overclocking but I don't know how well I could and would the case be good for it or would run to hot?

Size, well I'd like it to be TINY and quiet... I'd really like to be able to play 1080p with settings up as high as possible.
I would also like to use it as a HTPC as well.
Thanks for your help!
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