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Small Form Factor

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August 11, 2007 5:39:59 PM

I've been putting together an mATX system, and I've generally decided on the following components, but I'd like some feedback for them. This is not top-of-the-line (I'm on a $1500 or so budget). I've constructed systems in the past (mainly ATX towers for workstations or business use).

This is primarily a gaming PC, and I'll be running Age of Conan, WAR and NWN2 on this system. I'll be running about 4GB of RAM in 1GB sticks, perhaps two 2GB.

The components:


Falcon Northwest FragBox 41D02FCB11W Black Aluminum MicroATX Desktop Computer Case
SILVERSTONE ST75F ATX12V / EPS12V 750W Power Supply
Intel BOXDG965OTMKR LGA 775 Intel G965 Express Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 Conroe 2.4GHz LGA 775 Processor Model BX80557E6600
eVGA 320-P2-N811-AR GeForce 8800GTS 320MB 320-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16

So, we get down to the point:

Performance-wise, in an SFF build, I'd like to go with a liquid-cooled CPU/VGA card. Due to constraints, however, I cannot seem to find a kit that would work "out-of-box" for the SFF. Most have fans bigger than the case will allow, or require more space than I think the CPU/power supply possesses as far as clearance.

Also, if anyone has feedback on "bang for the buck" components in the above system, let me know. The case is set in stone; I like the appearance. I also trust eVGA cards and want to go with a DX 10 card.

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August 11, 2007 7:25:45 PM

you don't need that big of a power supply. go with a corsair 620 watt psu. more than enough power and the modular cables are a godsend in a sff build. i would probably go with a 640mb 8800gts just because of all the things i hear about dx10 needing a ton of memory. as for the water cooling. its probably possible but its going to require a lot of modding. and you won't find a kit that will work "out-of-box" for the sff. you will probably need to put the parts together yourself. its much easier finding cooling parts that can be cooled passively. oo yeah. i would also go with a different motherboard. preferably a g33 motherboard. g965 boards don't overclock well (20% tops because of design).

i suggest at least taking a look at the Thermaltake VF1000BWS. same basic appearance, just a whole lot cheaper.
August 12, 2007 2:14:04 PM

Appreciate the advice. I'm going with Silverstone as there are modular cables in the PSU which can be switched out with shorter ones for SFF PCs. They do have a 600w version, I just wasn't sure of the consumption on the system with that spec.

I appreciate the advice on Mobo - spot on. I totally missed the OC portion.

As to the case, I appreciate the alternate. However, I sorta fell in love with the Fragbox and the lit frontplate and ability to replace it entirely (and design your own) totally interested me for modding purposes.
August 12, 2007 8:20:57 PM

The G33 mobos may hold up better for a mATX system. Also you get the option of upgrading to a 1333 fsb processor later on.
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