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Building mini ITX need advice and/or opinions please!

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April 25, 2014 7:32:36 AM

So this build is mainly for like a media center build/gaming..
It will be hooked up to a 55 inch screen and used for like watching movies/playing games
This is not a pure build for gaming as I already have 2 of those and I'm looking to keep this under $1000.

Granted I would like this build to be pretty nice but let me know if I'm definitely going overkill on this or that... which I ALWAYS tend to do.

Case: Xigmatek Aquila Mini-ITX
Have been debating between this and the BitFenix Prodigy, Colossus and Phenom.

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K Haswell 3.4GHz LGA 1150
Probably Overkill but again its somewhat for gaming :p 

MoBo: MSI Z87I GAMING AC LGA 1150 Intel Z87
I like that it has wireless built in; however I do have a spare Netgear USB adapter at home so wireless isn't "NEEDED"

PSU: EVGA SuperNOVA 750 G2 220-G2-0750-XR 750W
Possibly overkill as well but I did already move from the 850W version to the 750w :) 

Memory: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB
Practically standard RAM =\ could probably go 16gb.. undecided.

SSD: SAMSUNG 840 Pro Series 128GB
I know 128gb is small; however this is basically going to have like the OS and probably WoW, anything else will more then likely be on an external or I will grab a 1tb slave drive.

GPU: MSI Radeon R9 270X GAMING 4GB
or..
GPU: MSI Gaming N770 TF 2GD5/OC GeForce GTX 770

CPU Cooler: CORSAIR Hydro Series H80i
I've gone with this cooler on my last PC and its been super nice to me :)  so I figured I would give it another go.

Probably missing a couple things but I just wanted to give you a general idea on what I was looking at.. I will not be ordering from newegg but instead going to microcenter tonight to buy everything so I just wanted to get this out there and hopefully get some constructive criticism before going there :) 

For the GPU I've never shy'd away from nVidia's.. kind of nervous to try out an AMD but hopefully somebody can let me know how they are!

I know I could simply just put one of my two PC's in the bedroom instead of this build "I'm sure I'll hear that from my SO but.. I really don't want a massive tower on my dresser..

Thanks to anybody willing to help me out :) )
a b 4 Gaming
April 25, 2014 8:16:32 AM

I would probably go for something along these lines:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($209.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Corsair H55 57.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($44.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z87N-WIFI Mini ITX LGA1150 Motherboard ($129.79 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($68.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 840 EVO 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($80.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 760 2GB WINDFORCE Video Card ($239.99 @ NCIX US)
Case: Xigmatek Aquila MicroATX Mini Tower Case ($139.71 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Antec High Current Gamer 620W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($67.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $979.43
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-04-25 11:16 EDT-0400)
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a b 4 Gaming
April 25, 2014 1:28:34 PM

I think the Aquila is way too overpriced, as well as being way bigger than it has to be for your build. It is fairly similar in size/layout to the Aerocool DS which are both (effectively) a mATX version of the Bitfenix Prodigy. Putting an ITX motherboard in them doesn't make a lot of sense to me, and both are probably too expensive (especially the Aquila) for what they are.

Which case you pick is largely dependant on your motherboard/cooler combo as different cases will have different viabilities. If you are looking at the H80i I'd suggest going for the H100i instead, as the price difference is usually pretty small (especially if you time it well with discounts) and there are a few ITX cases which comfortably support this, the obvious picks being the Corsair 250D and the Bitfenix Prodigy. The former is the better option if you want to keep an ODD, while the later is generally more versatile.
All closed loop coolers will be outclassed by air based rivals in performance/dollar and while going air cooled limits motherboard selection, it can provide better cooling and better value for money. Something like (for example) a Hyper 212 on a ASRock Z87E-ITX will provide pretty decent performance/dollar.

It's also worth keeping in mind that overclocking, especially on a "media-centre/gaming" build, isn't necessarily a great way to spend your cash, as the more you can push into graphics the better. A non-OC build can work out anything up to maybe $150+ cheaper and will perform remarkably similarly in most tasks (this takes into account savings on CPU, motherboard, cooling and potentially memory/case too).

Other notes-
750W is nuts in an ITX build, it's near to impossible to need that kind of wattage as you can only ever run a single graphics card. You can run basically anything on 500W, and looking in the 550-620 bracket gives you access to higher range PSUs as often they aren't available at lower wattages. That particular model you picked is likely to be excellent, but not all EVGA PSUs are. The one suggested by Transmaniacon is a pretty sensible solution.

The graphics cards you are comparing don't really make much sense. They aren't close in price, and one is an "inflated memory" model. I'd generally suggest avoiding these as it's more memory than the card is ever likely to use (by the time you hit the kind of resolution/detail scaling which might warrant it, the game would be unplayable anyway). It's likely at your price bracket (depending on how much you spend on other things) that you can comfortably fit a GTX770 or R9 280X into your build, both of which have MSI versions if that is your brand preference. There isn't much of a performance gap, nor a huge price one, I'd check specific game benchmarks of anything you had in mind but there isn't really a bad choice.
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April 25, 2014 9:53:52 AM

Thanks! I'll look into those. Hopefully anybody that comes here could tell me how they've liked either of the Cases I'm trying to decide between?

Xigmatek Aquila
BitFenix Phenom
BitFenix Prodigy
BitFenix Colossus

and/or any other guild Mini-ITX cases
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April 25, 2014 2:01:50 PM

lol this is EXACTLY what I was looking to hear, I greatly appreciate it.. and to completely honest I had only spent like 30-45 mins tops putting this together.. really just hoping to get some input because I've never done a mini build but it seems like a lot of fun.

MSI isn't necessarily my brand of pref.. honestly its probably EVGA, however I was just putting some ideas out there.. like I said I've never gone with an AMD but I've heard pretty good things from the R9's and sorta wanted to give them a shot.
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April 26, 2014 7:37:22 PM

Thanks again for the help Rammy, I went ahead and bought it today and just finished the build.

Ended up going with that MoBo and cooler you recommended; as well as the BitFenix Prodigy Mini ITX case

So far so good :) 
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