Need help building a slim desktop

Hey guys,

This is my first time posting in the forums, so hopefully I can get a good response.

Anyways, I've only built one other computer in my life and I had some help. Not to mention, it was a run of the mill desktop for some gaming and multimedia purposes. In otherwords, it wasn't too hard to figure out which parts to buy and how it would all come together.

Well, I am trying to build another computer but instead of going full ATX, I wanted to get something smaller, like an slim tower. I've looked at a few HP's and Dell's but I really want to stay away from the pre built garbage. That, and none of their options seem to come with a decent graphics card. I am planning on hooking this up to my HDTV and using it for some gaming (mostly steam stuff) and to watch videos and what not. So blu-ray is a must and so is a graphics card with at least DVI out, if not HDMI. The problem I am running into is that I am not sure what to do about cooling or the graphics card.

So, I know I didn't give you guys much to work with but any advice? I am pretty much open to anything but I am trying to stay under 800. Thanks in advance, I appreciate any help.


Oh, and I am planning on running windows 7 on this. I have the RC now, but I am pretty sure I am going to buy the full version when it comes out.
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  1. just saw this template ...


    BUDGET RANGE: 500 -- 850

    SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Internet Surfing>>>Media Usage (HD tv shows, movies, music)>>>Gaming>>>School =)

    PARTS NOT REQUIRED: I currently have a keyboard, mouse, monitor and operating system (windows 7, ubuntu). I don't plan on using any of my old parts but I do believe I have a 350 power supply.

    PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: I've only ever ordered from, but tigerdirect is not bad either.

    PARTS PREFERENCES: I currently have AMD but I've been told Intel Dual Core is the only way to go nowadays. True? For the card, I would prefer Nvidia but ATI is not bad either. I want more performance for the price; must be HD ready.

    OVERCLOCKING: I would prefer not too in such a small case.

    Some parts I have looked at ...

    Rosewill R379-SM Black/ Silver 0.8mm SGCC Steel MicroATX Slim Case Computer Case PSU ATX12V Flex 300W Power Supply

    GIGABYTE GA-E7AUM-DS2H LGA 775 NVIDIA GeForce 9400 HDMI Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
  2. AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Black Processor - Retail

    ASUS M3A78-CM AM2+/AM2 AMD 780V Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail $198.99 (CPU + motherboard combo)

    G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail $58.99

    MSI R4770-T2D512 Radeon HD 4770 512MB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail $106.99

    CORSAIR CMPSU-400CX 400W ATX12V V2.2 80 PLUS Certified Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail $54.99 - $10.00 MIR (+20% promo code)

    Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM $74.99

    LG Black 6X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM 40X CD-ROM SATA Internal Blu-ray/HD DVD-ROM & 16X DVD±R DVD Burner Model GGC-H20L - Retail $109.99

    HEC 6T Series 6T10BB Black 0.7mm SECC Steel MicroATX Mini Tower Computer Case - Retail $39.99

    Total - $644.93 - $10.00 MIR
  3. wow, that's one way to do it. let me check it out, but thanks man!
  4. just looked through it, seems to be a good set up. how will the card and processor hold up to gaming and intensive media editing? i don't mind upgrading a little more since so far, the set up is only at 650.
  5. The build will game pretty well. The Phenom II X4 940 would be a nice step up for video encoding and other CPU intensive tasks.

    AMD Phenom II X4 940 Deneb 3.0GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM2+ 125W Quad-Core Black Edition Processor - Retail $189.99
  6. If you're looking for really slim, check out some of the itx mobos and itx cases - tiny, but still pack some decent specs
  7. Ok well shortstuff has given you a great suggestion for a gaming build as always - just though I would go the other way to show you the possible options if you want to go really slim and streamlined. His build is awesome - but it could be overkill depending on how much you game and what you need this for. Here is my kinda opposite suggestion:

    Antec New Solution NSK2480 with 380W PSU - $120

    ASRock A780GMH - $72

    AMD Phenom II X4 940 Deneb 3.0GHz - $190

    Zalman Passively cooled HIS Hightech H465PS512P Radeon HD 4650 - $61
    4670 - $57

    The RAM and the rest would be the same as shortstuff's system recommendation.

    Total cost ~ $624

    The idea with this build is that it would be slim and silent. It won't be as good at gaming - but it will be just as good for the rest. As for the gaming it will handle all games out there - just not at as high of settings as shortstuff's build. I just did this to give you an idea of other directions you could take - there is nothing wrong with shortstuff's build - it is actually what I would chos - but then I don't have space constrictions
  8. I appreciate all the advice guys. I was originally going for slim and silent because I just wanted something to put next to my HDTV. I wanted it mainly for watching media, and doing some editing but now that I think about it, I have a feeling I would game a lot more if I had a computer to play it on. The size is a must for me. I am a college student so the smaller computers are just easier to move around, and require less space. But, after seeing short's stuff suggestions, I think it would be an happy medium. Plus, as far as gaming, it should be good for a while. Now, as far as upgradebility, how does it fare?
  9. You should look at the Shuttle barebones cases as well. They are small, quiet and generally well-built, but they are also more expensive and harder to upgrade.
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