Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question
Solved

Looking for some opinions on this i5, XFX Radeon R9 280X, Mini-ITX build

Last response: in Systems
Share
August 4, 2014 9:43:45 AM

Hey all,
I've been working on picking out parts for this build for quite some time now and I'm trying to keep it between $800-$1000, or even less if possible. Originally it was going to be around 700$ but I keep adding parts and racking the price up! So what I need to know is will this system work for what I would like to do.

Main system uses: Gaming at 1080p+, Over clocking, Using PCSX2 to upscale PS2 games that I already own (very cpu heavy, thus the over clocking).

Main concern: Temps! I'm worried about enough airflow in such a small case, especially if I'm over clocking the CPU and GPU.

The Build:
PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/wwKFbv
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/wwKFbv/by_merchant/

CPU: Intel Core i5-4590 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Corsair H80i 77.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($74.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z87E-ITX Mini ITX LGA1150 Motherboard ($134.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Kingston HyperX 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($79.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($52.91 @ OutletPC)
Video Card: XFX Radeon R9 280X 3GB Black Edition Double Dissipation Video Card ($299.99 @ NCIX US)
Case: BitFenix Prodigy (Black) Mini ITX Tower Case ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair CX 600W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($44.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $947.84

Things I'm willing to change to save money: Motherboard, CPU cooler, Memory, Case, Power Supply.

Thanks in advance for any advice you are willing to give!
August 4, 2014 9:49:33 AM

If you're not overclocking there's no point in getting an H80i or a Z87 motherboard and there's definitely better PSUs you can buy than the Corsair CX series. What's your budget?
m
0
l
August 4, 2014 9:50:27 AM

Change the power supply to a 500w one to save money and you could buy extra fans to lower the temps. Make sure you buy the black version of the prodigy because it Is the only one which has a large fan grill in the front. Therefore it has the best ventilation
m
0
l
Related resources
August 4, 2014 9:53:25 AM

(Changed to replies for simplicity)
m
0
l
August 4, 2014 9:56:55 AM

g-unit1111 said:
If you're not overclocking there's no point in getting an H80i or a Z87 motherboard and there's definitely better PSUs you can buy than the Corsair CX series. What's your budget?


I do plan on over clocking, thus the liquid cooler/z87 motherboard and my budget is $800-$1000.

m
0
l
August 4, 2014 9:57:45 AM

Zitrome said:
Change the power supply to a 500w one to save money and you could buy extra fans to lower the temps. Make sure you buy the black version of the prodigy because it Is the only one which has a large fan grill in the front. Therefore it has the best ventilation



I did get the black version for almost that exact reason, but thanks!
m
0
l
August 4, 2014 10:14:57 AM

Sorry I only just noticed you listed the colour of the prodigy! But still 600w is excessive for your build
m
0
l
August 4, 2014 10:21:44 AM

Zitrome said:
Sorry I only just noticed you listed the colour of the prodigy! But still 600w is excessive for your build


I agree after I looked at it! (What was I thinking?) I changed it to Corsair CX 500W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply for $40 and that should more than cut it. Frankly finding a semi-modular 500W came down to two options with a $20 price difference. Frankly it's been quite a while since I've done a serious build so the difference between power supplies has changed quite a bit. I did a less intense mini-itx build for a friend recently and I remember that cable management was a problem because the cables where very inflexible. Is there a solution for this?
m
0
l
August 4, 2014 10:30:46 AM

Another thing I just noticed is that I will have to take out drive bays with the case I picked. I was also looking at the Cooler Master Elite 130 because that was the case I used for my friend's build. However it was a tad cramped and the BitFenix looked roomier. So between the two which would you all recommend?
m
0
l
August 4, 2014 8:49:12 PM

verumdeus said:
g-unit1111 said:
If you're not overclocking there's no point in getting an H80i or a Z87 motherboard and there's definitely better PSUs you can buy than the Corsair CX series. What's your budget?


I do plan on over clocking, thus the liquid cooler/z87 motherboard and my budget is $800-$1000.



You need a CPU with a "K" designation in order to overclock. Try something like this:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel Core i5-4690K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($199.99 @ Micro Center)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($24.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z97 EXTREME4 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($128.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-2400 Memory ($86.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Crucial M550 128GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($84.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($52.91 @ OutletPC)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 770 2GB Superclocked ACX Video Card ($309.99 @ NCIX US)
Case: Corsair 300R ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.99 @ Micro Center)
Power Supply: SeaSonic S12G 550W 80+ Gold Certified ATX Power Supply ($74.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-14 DVD/CD Writer ($16.98 @ OutletPC)
Total: $1030.81
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-08-04 23:50 EDT-0400
m
0
l
August 4, 2014 9:52:53 PM

g-unit1111 said:
verumdeus said:
g-unit1111 said:
If you're not overclocking there's no point in getting an H80i or a Z87 motherboard and there's definitely better PSUs you can buy than the Corsair CX series. What's your budget?


I do plan on over clocking, thus the liquid cooler/z87 motherboard and my budget is $800-$1000.



You need a CPU with a "K" designation in order to overclock. Try something like this:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel Core i5-4690K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($199.99 @ Micro Center)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($24.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z97 EXTREME4 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($128.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-2400 Memory ($86.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Crucial M550 128GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($84.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($52.91 @ OutletPC)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 770 2GB Superclocked ACX Video Card ($309.99 @ NCIX US)
Case: Corsair 300R ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.99 @ Micro Center)
Power Supply: SeaSonic S12G 550W 80+ Gold Certified ATX Power Supply ($74.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-14 DVD/CD Writer ($16.98 @ OutletPC)
Total: $1030.81
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-08-04 23:50 EDT-0400



While this is an incredibly attractive build (if not capping out my budget a bit), I was hoping for a more compact build, thus the mini-itx board and case so I'm curious as to why you decided to go full ATX. Is it a price thing, or is the performance increase that significant. I probably should have put this in the original post, but I'm a college student and move a lot and in addition to this my living quarters are rather small so how much space something takes up is an issue. (I work for the housing department so while I have to live in a rather small singe room it's free plus a boat ton of extra cash which is actually what is letting me pay for this build :)  ) Also I don't really need an optical drive because I get almost all of my games via steam, or can rip ISOs for my ps2 games with my laptop and then transfer them with USB.

With all that said this build looks freaking amazing, but is the performance jump worth the extra money and space. It's also worth noting that I don't have a Micro Center in my area and the next cheapest i5-4690K is 40-50$ more so is there a slightly cheaper equivalent given that I plan on over clocking it anyway.

Thanks, by the way for all the help!


Edit:

Here is a similar build I put together with the micro-itx board and a different case that I was looking at based off some of the hardware you put in your build. I know this part is very opinion based, but is a SSD worth it?

Thanks!

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel Core i5-4690K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($229.98 @ OutletPC)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Seidon 120XL 86.2 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z87E-ITX Mini ITX LGA1150 Motherboard ($134.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Kingston HyperX 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($79.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Crucial M550 128GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($84.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($52.91 @ OutletPC)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 770 2GB Superclocked ACX Video Card ($299.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master Elite 130 Mini ITX Tower Case ($34.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair CX 600W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1037.82
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-08-05 09:58 EDT-0400
m
0
l

Best solution

August 5, 2014 7:07:23 AM

You've bounced around a bit here so it's a little hard to tell what you are going for in terms of size.
If you are worried about airflow etc, then the Elite 130 is probably not a great choice as it's very tight inside and has limited options for cooling/cooler improvement.
The Prodigy on the other hand (or if you prefer something similarly sized/shaped to the Elite 130 - the Fractal Design Node 304) has pretty fantastic airflow. Avoid the side window versions if you want keep a mid-high end graphics card nice and cool, but the solid front versions aren't terrible. Ideally you'd upgrade the case fans too - back to a decent 120/140 and front to a decent 230/200/140 - two is all you need.

As an example, this is how I would do an overclockable i5+R9 280X Prodigy build. You can cut it down a little, namely by saving on the cooler and the PSU. Any solid 120mm tower cooler (in the vein of the Hyper 212) is likely to be a safe bet, I just stuck in the Phanteks as it's a great performer, looks nice and comes with a couple of decent fans (little more like the H80i in your original build). The PSU you don't want to go cheap on, especially on a build this expensive. I don't think the $90 I allocated was extravagant, but on a good day you can pick up something like an Antec HCG-620M for around $60 so there is some money to spare.
Share
August 5, 2014 10:22:21 AM

Rammy said:
You've bounced around a bit here so it's a little hard to tell what you are going for in terms of size.
If you are worried about airflow etc, then the Elite 130 is probably not a great choice as it's very tight inside and has limited options for cooling/cooler improvement.
The Prodigy on the other hand (or if you prefer something similarly sized/shaped to the Elite 130 - the Fractal Design Node 304) has pretty fantastic airflow. Avoid the side window versions if you want keep a mid-high end graphics card nice and cool, but the solid front versions aren't terrible. Ideally you'd upgrade the case fans too - back to a decent 120/140 and front to a decent 230/200/140 - two is all you need.

As an example, this is how I would do an overclockable i5+R9 280X Prodigy build. You can cut it down a little, namely by saving on the cooler and the PSU. Any solid 120mm tower cooler (in the vein of the Hyper 212) is likely to be a safe bet, I just stuck in the Phanteks as it's a great performer, looks nice and comes with a couple of decent fans (little more like the H80i in your original build). The PSU you don't want to go cheap on, especially on a build this expensive. I don't think the $90 I allocated was extravagant, but on a good day you can pick up something like an Antec HCG-620M for around $60 so there is some money to spare.



I really like this build, I nice mix between great hardware, decent prices, and good cooling solutions. One question is would you recommend the EVGA GeForce GTX 770 2GB Superclocked, XFX Radeon R9 280X 3GB Black Edition Double Dissipation, or Gigabyte Radeon R9 280X 3GB WINDFORCE Video Card. Right now they are all around the same price so getting the optimum one would just be smart.

In terms of size it's been an internal tug of war with myself between performance, cooling, and size because all matter to me. This looks to be the best middle ground though!

One silly question though is am I spending entirely too much on this rig? It is worth going 1kish for a gaming rig that's just going to be plugged into my TV all the time? I want to have the options to overclock etc. because I love to tinker around with things but in the end will the performance gains be worth the money spent?

Thanks a million for this build though, it looks awesome!
m
0
l
August 5, 2014 11:03:47 AM

I went with the Gigabyte 280X as it's the cheapest of the three and arguably has the best cooler. XFX aren't known for producing excellent graphics cards, though the current generation of coolers look very cool.
If you have an Nvidia or EVGA preference, the GTX770 ACX is a great card so it's by no means a bad option at all.
It's perhaps worth looking up benchmarks of any games you are particularly interested in playing as despite the GTX770 and 280X being fairly similar in performance, different games will favour them in different ways.

~$1000 for an overclockable i5 and 280X is pretty much normal, the only significant omission from both your original and my build is an SSD, which is arguably a standard feature at this price bracket. If you removed the case fans and went with a cheaper cooler you could just about squeeze in a 120Gb drive which would be about as "cookie cutter" as a ~$1000 build can be (most builds would be ATX, but there's no significant cost difference here on motherboard+case).

Just for reference, here is a non-overclocking build which will look identical and perform very similarly in most games but is built to be more budget conscious. Again, it's worth checking out any benchmarks for games you are interested in to see how well they scale with CPU overclocking.
I'd still consider upgrading the case fans, and maybe the CPU cooler too, so it's not a like-for-like in the strictest sense, but this will work fine out of the box and cost $200 less.
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/8pmfnQ

As a side note, if I was going for a HTPC style gaming machine, I perhaps wouldn't go with a Prodigy, especially if I didn't need high end CPU cooler support (and I'm like the Prodigy guy, I've had three of them) as it's a bit big and awkward (the side I/O for example) for sitting in a cabinet or somewhere discreet. I'd probably go with something a bit more compact like the aforementioned Fractal Design Node 304, an EVGA Hadron Air (expensive), Silverstone FT03-Mini or Silverstone Raven RVZ01 (both expensive and use SFX PSUs). They are all worth a glance if nothing else, all have drawbacks if you need an ODD bay (none support a full size) but all are very compact and discrete.
m
0
l
August 5, 2014 11:09:59 AM

Get a simpler cooler. If you're not overclocking you don't need liquid cooling.
m
0
l
August 5, 2014 12:07:09 PM

Rammy said:
I went with the Gigabyte 280X as it's the cheapest of the three and arguably has the best cooler. XFX aren't known for producing excellent graphics cards, though the current generation of coolers look very cool.
If you have an Nvidia or EVGA preference, the GTX770 ACX is a great card so it's by no means a bad option at all.
It's perhaps worth looking up benchmarks of any games you are particularly interested in playing as despite the GTX770 and 280X being fairly similar in performance, different games will favour them in different ways.

~$1000 for an overclockable i5 and 280X is pretty much normal, the only significant omission from both your original and my build is an SSD, which is arguably a standard feature at this price bracket. If you removed the case fans and went with a cheaper cooler you could just about squeeze in a 120Gb drive which would be about as "cookie cutter" as a ~$1000 build can be (most builds would be ATX, but there's no significant cost difference here on motherboard+case).

Just for reference, here is a non-overclocking build which will look identical and perform very similarly in most games but is built to be more budget conscious. Again, it's worth checking out any benchmarks for games you are interested in to see how well they scale with CPU overclocking.
I'd still consider upgrading the case fans, and maybe the CPU cooler too, so it's not a like-for-like in the strictest sense, but this will work fine out of the box and cost $200 less.
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/8pmfnQ

As a side note, if I was going for a HTPC style gaming machine, I perhaps wouldn't go with a Prodigy, especially if I didn't need high end CPU cooler support (and I'm like the Prodigy guy, I've had three of them) as it's a bit big and awkward (the side I/O for example) for sitting in a cabinet or somewhere discreet. I'd probably go with something a bit more compact like the aforementioned Fractal Design Node 304, an EVGA Hadron Air (expensive), Silverstone FT03-Mini or Silverstone Raven RVZ01 (both expensive and use SFX PSUs). They are all worth a glance if nothing else, all have drawbacks if you need an ODD bay (none support a full size) but all are very compact and discrete.


So I decided to go over budget but get a solid jump in performance, while still keeping the size where I wanted. Here is the build I think I'll go with.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel Core i5-4690K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($229.98 @ OutletPC)
CPU Cooler: Phanteks PH-TC12DX_BK 68.5 CFM CPU Cooler ($59.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock Z97E-ITX/ac Mini ITX LGA1150 Motherboard ($114.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Sniper Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Kingston SSDNow V300 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($54.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($52.91 @ OutletPC)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon R9 280X 3GB WINDFORCE Video Card ($289.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Fractal Design Node 304 Mini ITX Tower Case ($79.99 @ Micro Center)
Power Supply: XFX XTR 550W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Case Fan: Noctua NF-B9 PWM 37.9 CFM 92mm Fan ($12.18 @ NCIX US)
Case Fan: Noctua NF-B9 PWM 37.9 CFM 92mm Fan ($12.18 @ NCIX US)
Case Fan: Noctua NF-A14 ULN 140mm Fan ($15.99 @ NCIX US)
Total: $1093.17
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-08-05 15:00 EDT-0400

I was debating a different cpu cooler, but with I smaller case I would rather just play it safe and pay more (I was considering the 120 evo) The same with the case fans. As far as I know Noctua is top of the line and it was about 5-6$ more compared to the cheaper high quality fans, so I just went for it. As for the SSD, I want one, I know I do, but I keep talking myself out if it but if I'm gonna drop 1k on a machine another 60$ really isn't the end of the world. If you see anything that's troublesome with this build, let me know but as far as I can tell this is my best bet!

Note: I don't have a home theatre cabinet but the places where I set my TV and other consoles is decently limited, so less size is still better in my opinion.

Thanks for all the help, this has been a real headache!
m
0
l
August 5, 2014 1:57:09 PM

Looks good. There's a couple of changes I'd make though-

The SSD is basically the cheapest model on the market. It's ok-ish, but I'd probably go for a Samsung EVO or Crucial M500 as an entry level SSD.

Noctua fans are amongst the best on the market but unlike the Prodigy, the Node comes with three decent fans and an integrated fan controller for them. I'd stick with the stock fans here and see how you get along - you can always change them out at some point.
m
0
l
August 8, 2014 11:48:39 PM

Rammy said:
Looks good. There's a couple of changes I'd make though-

The SSD is basically the cheapest model on the market. It's ok-ish, but I'd probably go for a Samsung EVO or Crucial M500 as an entry level SSD.

Noctua fans are amongst the best on the market but unlike the Prodigy, the Node comes with three decent fans and an integrated fan controller for them. I'd stick with the stock fans here and see how you get along - you can always change them out at some point.



PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel Core i5-4690K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($229.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Phanteks PH-TC12DX_BK 68.5 CFM CPU Cooler ($59.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock Z97E-ITX/ac Mini ITX LGA1150 Motherboard ($114.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Sniper Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($89.98 @ OutletPC)
Storage: Crucial M500 120GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($72.00 @ Amazon)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($51.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon R9 280X 3GB WINDFORCE Video Card ($289.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Fractal Design Node 304 Mini ITX Tower Case ($79.99 @ Micro Center)
Power Supply: Silverstone Strider Plus 500W 80+ Bronze Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply ($67.86 @ NCIX US)
Other: Silverstone flat cable kit ($24.99)
Total: $1081.77
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-08-09 02:41 EDT-0400

So here is another revision. Basically I ditched the Noctua fans for now, added the M500 SSD then added a different power supply for a couple reasons. 1. Any PSU at or around 160mm risks blocking off the video card. 2. This one is fully Modular with custom flat cables available for better space management and to top it all off it's only 140mm giving me the most breathing room I can get. Now I went with the 500W because the next step up to the 550W was close to 40+ dollars then I would want to get the shot flat cables for another $20-$30 and that was a bit much for 50 extra watts. Will minus 50 watts be really detrimental to my desire to over clock?
m
0
l
!