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Mini-ITX Gaming/Editing PC Build - Looking for Advice/Recommendations

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February 8, 2014 9:48:34 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: Some time in March/April

Budget Range: US$525 After Shipping and Rebates.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Photo Editing, Adobe Audition, Surfing the Web

Are you buying a monitor: No

Parts to Upgrade: New Build.

Do you need to buy OS: Yes

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Any that I can order online from the US.

Location: Minster, Ohio, USA

Parts Preferences: by brand or type: AMD, Corsair, MSI,

Overclocking: Maybe (Nothing Major)

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe (One PCIe GPU, One iGPU)

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: Mini-ITX, White Case, Modular PSU, AMD CPU,

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: Current Computer is very old- Intel Core 2 Duo E5400, 6GB DDr2, Sata II, Intel G31, etc.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD A10-6790K 4.0GHz Quad-Core Processor ($109.99 @ NCIX US)
CPU Cooler: SilenX EFZ-120HA5 86.0 CFM Fluid Dynamic Bearing CPU Cooler ($24.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: MSI FM2-A75IA-E53 Mini ITX FM2 Motherboard ($79.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport XT 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($67.99 @ Newegg)
Case: BitFenix Prodigy (White) Mini ITX Tower Case ($64.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Corsair CX 430W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224DB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer ($16.98 @ OutletPC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8 (OEM) (64-bit) ($97.98 @ OutletPC)
Total: $492.89
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-02-08 12:47 EST-0500)
February 8, 2014 11:59:57 AM

i just want to say about the gaming interest u have u wont be able to play games like gta v ( when become available to pc ) sky rim, bbf4 call of duty
ghost with that build u need to buy a decent gpu if u r planing to game but if u dont have the money now and u might upgrade latter try to buy a 650w bronze 80 plus certified psu and not the 450 w
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February 9, 2014 6:29:49 AM

Yeah, I'm planning on running it as is with the iGPU until I can save up for a R9 280x. Are there any 650w PSUs that are Semi/Full modular that fit my price range?
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February 9, 2014 6:23:19 PM

Do any of those programs you need to run require Windows 8? Do you already have 7? I found 7 to be a lot easier to get along with and you have a start menu. you have a good build as it is already However I have some suggestions to improve it.
Get a Cooler Master Elite 130. It supports most of the same parts as the fenix but only has very limited CPU cooler support. It's roughly half the size of the Fenix and works best if front fan is an exhaust. It's about $30 cheaper allowing you to get a high quality PSU! Also supports watercooling with a 120mm radiator.

I checked the PSU, it is actually a good quality and a excellent choice. Since you plan on getting a 280x I would suggest getting more PSU wattage atm.

I am aware that this is over your budget but I feel that it is worth it with water cooling, smaller build, and a better PSU for $35 more
http://pcpartpicker.com/user/Weak1ings/saved/3HSA

Tell me what you think :) 
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February 9, 2014 6:32:05 PM

I just updated the build to a better Motherboard as I looked at the reviews from the previous and they were terrible. ASRock is a goodish brand, not as good as Asus but this model had better reviews.
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a b 4 Gaming
February 11, 2014 5:08:29 AM

PCJunkie33 said:
Well guys, I've decided to spend a bit more on the build. Any ideas?
http://pcpartpicker.com/user/ArmadilloThief/saved/3GQn


At the price (and size) point you have hit, you are almost undoubtedly better off with a discrete graphics card.
Also you can't use a PCIe x1 Wifi card in that motherboard, on ITX you usually just have to pick a motherboard with Wifi equipped.
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February 11, 2014 5:30:30 AM

seriously get 600$ and do this right. ideally 800$ but you can build a decent system for 600
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February 11, 2014 7:46:26 AM

Rammy said:
PCJunkie33 said:
Well guys, I've decided to spend a bit more on the build. Any ideas?
http://pcpartpicker.com/user/ArmadilloThief/saved/3GQn


At the price (and size) point you have hit, you are almost undoubtedly better off with a discrete graphics card.
Also you can't use a PCIe x1 Wifi card in that motherboard, on ITX you usually just have to pick a motherboard with Wifi equipped.


...Doesn't a PCIe x1 fit into a x16 slot, but just terminates before reaching pin 19?

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a b 4 Gaming
February 11, 2014 7:56:48 AM

PCJunkie33 said:


...Doesn't a PCIe x1 fit into a x16 slot, but just terminates before reaching pin 19?


Yeah sorry was just getting muddled between comments, as you'd referred to adding a graphics card later. Rereading it, it's not quite what I was thinking.

I think where you are at with that build, it has near to zero upgrade potential, and a load spent on stuff which won't really do a vast amount for performance. At ~$500 you can make a serious argument for an APU build, especially if size is paramount, but by ~$600 and with all the space in the world, a discrete card is always going to outperform it.
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February 11, 2014 7:56:53 AM

Nevermind...this MOBO already has WiFi and Bluetooth built in.
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a b 4 Gaming
February 11, 2014 8:40:58 AM

PCJunkie33 said:
Updated my preferences again. Sorry about all the posts here..
Link: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/2Rmia


I think you have three main problems-
1) It's too expensive for the performance it provides. A $600+ gaming/editing PC should have much better gaming potential.

2) The cooler is not compatible with the DVD drive - you have to pick one or the other.

3) If you insist on sticking with IGP, then spending more on memory is highly advisable. You'll get fairly impressive returns from going to faster memory. 1866Mhz is definitely worth it, after that it's a case of finding the right deal at the right time.
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February 11, 2014 1:24:18 PM

Do you have a build recommendation for 575?
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a b 4 Gaming
February 11, 2014 1:59:58 PM

It really depends where you place value. For a start, an expensive CPU cooler in a budgety system isn't likely to be a good use of funds so I'd bin that idea straight away.

From here, you basically have two paths.
If you go FM2/FM2+ you have a pretty limited upgrade path, especially with a 430W PSU.
An Athlon X4 750K or 760K, paired with the best graphics card you can squeeze into budget is almost undoubtedly going to give you the best gaming performance for your budget,
Something in this sorta range is what you are looking at, though it's pretty open to tweaks
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD Athlon X4 750K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($79.98 @ OutletPC)
Motherboard: MSI FM2-A75IA-E53 Mini ITX FM2 Motherboard ($77.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Memory: Kingston XMP Blu Red Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7850 1GB Video Card ($145.66 @ Newegg)
Case: BitFenix Prodigy (White) Mini ITX Tower Case ($69.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Corsair CX 430W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224DB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer ($16.98 @ OutletPC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8 (OEM) (64-bit) ($97.98 @ OutletPC)
Total: $588.55
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-02-11 16:43 EST-0500)

If you want something which is more upgradable, then you are better off looking at the Intel options. You kinda have to pick CPU or graphics, as you can't really have both at that price point, but you can still beat the 6790K for less than your last build
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-4130 3.4GHz Dual-Core Processor ($116.97 @ OutletPC)
Motherboard: Zotac H87ITX-A-E Mini ITX LGA1150 Motherboard ($94.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: A-Data XPG V2 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($72.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition 1GB Video Card ($89.99 @ NCIX US)
Case: BitFenix Prodigy (White) Mini ITX Tower Case ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($49.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224DB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer ($16.98 @ OutletPC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8 (OEM) (64-bit) ($97.98 @ OutletPC)
Total: $609.88
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-02-11 16:53 EST-0500)
This is going to be a worse gaming build than the AMD one, as it's quite a bit down on graphics, but it does incorporate a platform which you can add an i5 or i7 to if needed, and more or less any graphics card on the market thanks to a higher quality and capacity PSU. Also if you can skip integrated Wifi, there's quite a bit of scope to save here by looking at H81 boards.

Obviously with both systems I've skipped a CPU cooler entirely. It's not at all necessary on the Intel build, but might be desirable on the AMD. If you did want to add one, then it'd make sense to keep it proportionate to your budget so something basic in the Hyper TX3 range would probably be sensible.
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February 12, 2014 5:37:19 AM

I like your builds, especially the AMD one. However, I have seen people claim that AMD CPUs function better with Nvidia GPUs, and Intel CPUs functioning well with an AMD GPU. Is this true? Would it be worth adding a 650 Ti Boost to the AMD Build?
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a b 4 Gaming
February 12, 2014 5:58:08 AM

PCJunkie33 said:
I like your builds, especially the AMD one. However, I have seen people claim that AMD CPUs function better with Nvidia GPUs, and Intel CPUs functioning well with an AMD GPU. Is this true? Would it be worth adding a 650 Ti Boost to the AMD Build?


Nah that's mainly nonsense. It's quite likely in some benchmarks things will skew towards a particular hardware combo, but in general you are best to pair up the best CPU+graphics combo, regardless of brand.

The first build you can really install anything in. Same with the second really. A HD7750 is sadly not as cheap as it has been, so the HD7770 or HD7790 makes more sense, but as entry level cards go they are pretty great, and a world ahead of the iGP in the APUs.
I went with a HD7850 in the first build as it's the strongest card I could find for the price, but you could stick in a GTX650Ti/Boost/GTX660 depending on how prices bounce around.

The second one is worth some consideration though. While not as strong out of the box, you have a load more options thanks to the platform and the PSU. Going for even a basic Pentium processor like a G3220 paired up with a solid graphics card is going to give you respectable gaming performance in a lot of games, and leave the door open should you require something more powerful.

A final note is that while I love the Prodigy case (I have three, kinda), it's pretty pointless unless you are going to use its unique features - 240mm rad support, and large volumes of storage drives. It's not terribly cheap, it's kinda fat (takes up a lot of desk space) and it's wobbly even after you ballast it with a PSU. Cases are pretty subjective, so I'm not going to tell you not to get it, but if you were looking to save money, the case would be an obvious place to start.
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February 12, 2014 12:05:01 PM

The Prodigy was a choice of mine for the aesthetics, the hard drive capacity (as I have some at home, would like to do a network share for my HTPC) and the carrying handles.
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February 12, 2014 4:55:03 PM

My kicker/backup machine is sporting a 7790/athlon 750k and has no problem playing the latest games at 1080p such as metro last light at a steady 60 fps pretty much ultra settings but you do have to tweak these newer games. don't expect to be playing with full anti aliasing and what have you. those are the real fps killers.
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