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Shoot holes in my mini-ITX MMORPG only build

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August 7, 2009 12:02:42 PM

Hi all!

I need someone to shoot holes in my plan for my next PC build. Flame Away I have my asbestos suit on.

This PC build is *only* going to be used for MMORPG’s. Mainly for the new Star Wars: Old Republic MMO. But I’m also going to be playing the Champions Online that is going to be out in a few weeks.

The monitor is a Acer H233H ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ) that I use for my Xbox 360. This is a 1920 x 1080 monitor.

I’m trying to build the PC to be as small as possible and as cheaply as possible without being foolish.

Onto the specs...

Case: Silverstone SG05 $75 ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... )

Motherboard: Zotac GF9300-D-E (mini-ITX, pci-e 2.0 x16, wifi) $140 ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... )

CPU: Intel Pentium Dual-Core E6300 2.8ghz $84 ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... )

GPU: ASUS EAH4770 Radeon HD 4770 512MB $110 ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... )

RAM: Patriot Viper 4GB (2x2) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 $40 ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... )

Hard Drives: two Fujitsu MHY2080BH 2.5” 5,400rpm Raid 0 $free ( http://193.128.183.41/home/v3__product.asp?pid=560&inf=... )

My thoughts about the build...

I saw a SG05 case in person at a Micro Center and I knew that this was something different, and I would use this case on my next build. Because of the mini-ITX form factor I needed to use the Zotac motherboard to get pci-e 2.0. This motherboard can overclock but it doesn’t allow for a change in the CPU multiplier; so I didn’t go with the Intel E5200. I picked the ASUS 4770 because of 4850 performance when OC'ed and low power requirement (thanks Dirtmountain). At $40 the ram is cheap and good timings. I have these hard drives lying around so I thought I would try them in a RAID 0 before I pick my usual Seagate Barracuda 7200.12.

So what do you think?

(edited for the change from 4850 to 4770 GPU)

-Ecarus

More about : shoot holes mini itx mmorpg build

August 7, 2009 1:36:43 PM

Not sure that 300watt PSU is going to push everything you want to put into the box. I would probably look to replace it with something that has a bit more oomph behind it. Also, I'm not sure about the clearance you're going to have with the power supply sitting directly above the CPU/HSF. Maybe look at lower profile heatsink/fans for the CPU.

-Wolf sends
August 7, 2009 1:44:21 PM

If i were you i'd compromise on form factor and go with mATX in a shoebox casing - way better ventilation and longer GPUs. Standard modular 80+ certified PSU ftw hehe
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August 7, 2009 2:40:51 PM

Wolfshadw said:
Not sure that 300watt PSU is going to push everything you want to put into the box. I would probably look to replace it with something that has a bit more oomph behind it. Also, I'm not sure about the clearance you're going to have with the power supply sitting directly above the CPU/HSF. Maybe look at lower profile heatsink/fans for the CPU.

-Wolf sends


Silverstone says that they support 4850 videocards. And everything I have read on the 4850 says that the 300w PSU should be fine (peak power consumption at ~250w at the wall outlet). Also I'm using laptop HD's and no DVD burner.

I'm going to go with the boxed fan and see what it does first then upgrade it if CPU temperature is a limiting factor in OC'ing it.

Thanks for the reply

-Ecarus
August 7, 2009 2:49:38 PM

batuchka said:
If i were you i'd compromise on form factor and go with mATX in a shoebox casing - way better ventilation and longer GPUs. Standard modular 80+ certified PSU ftw hehe


I was considering mATX but it really isn't that much smaller than ATX. Mini-ITX is in another class of compactness.

This being used for only MMORPG's I don't need blazing fast FPS. So I think the system is very "Zen like" with the 300w 80+ PSU, short 4850 GPU, and small case with a 120mm fan and a lot of ventalation.

Thanks for the reply

-Ecarus
August 7, 2009 3:31:26 PM

I'd seriously consider going with a HD4770 instead of the HD4850 in a mini-ITX build due to the much lower power consumption, less heat and close performance.
August 7, 2009 3:40:35 PM

Neat idea, but I think batuchka is right. The PSU is FSP, but it might not have the juice. Ah, but dirtmountain comes to the rescue; a 4770 would work.
August 7, 2009 4:46:26 PM

dirtmountain said:
I'd seriously consider going with a HD4770 instead of the HD4850 in a mini-ITX build due to the much lower power consumption, less heat and close performance.



Good Idea! I have changed to the ASUS 4770

Thanks for the reply

-Ecarus
August 7, 2009 5:18:56 PM

Well, it does have a lot of ventilation openings, and an Earthwatts 380 would run nice and cool in there.
Too bad there's no AM2+ socket board with a PCI-E x16 slot; that case just cries for my old 4850e...
August 7, 2009 5:36:14 PM

have you considerded going amd route?
August 7, 2009 5:41:03 PM

jus hope the board fits?
August 7, 2009 5:49:56 PM

obsidian86 said:
have you considerded going amd route?


I wouldn't mind going to an AMD CPU but I have yet to find an AMD socketed mini-ITX motherboard that has a pci-e 2.0 slot. That is what makes the Zotac board special.

It's not from the lack of trying.

Thanks for the reply

-Ecarus
August 7, 2009 5:54:37 PM

The PSU should be fine and take a Core 2 Quad and the 4770 if need be, providing that PSU is made by the same company which makes the case.
August 7, 2009 5:59:51 PM

Wow, ecarus, considering you've been crystal clear from the OP that you're going for a mini-ITX build, you were very kind up there.
August 7, 2009 6:07:05 PM

^ those are mATX mobo's, and compared to mITX cases, matx cases are mahoosive.
August 7, 2009 6:09:43 PM

Obsidian: pay attention please.
August 7, 2009 6:09:49 PM

You might consider using only one Hard Drive in you build to minimize heat. Too many might also block fans a bit and make airflow a bit worse.

There are some fairly cheap drives on newegg. you can get 250GB 3.5" drives for $45.

3.5" drives

2.5" drives
August 7, 2009 6:13:28 PM

bit drunk sorry
August 7, 2009 6:23:47 PM

Helloworld_98 said:
The PSU should be fine and take a Core 2 Quad and the 4770 if need be, providing that PSU is made by the same company which makes the case.


The PSU is made by FSP. Hardware Secrets did a good review of the PSU here ( http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/757/1 ). It's a well made true 300w 80%+ PSU.

Even though I think the PSU can support a 4850. I think I'm going to stick with the 4770 because of the less noise, heat, power of the 4770 even when overclocked.

Thanks for the reply.

-Ecarus
August 7, 2009 6:29:36 PM

Perhaps this is digging too deep, but why are you trying to minimize space so much? There are considerably better builds out there if you put together a mid or full size case
August 7, 2009 6:44:51 PM

paranoidmage said:
You might consider using only one Hard Drive in you build to minimize heat. Too many might also block fans a bit and make airflow a bit worse.

There are some fairly cheap drives on newegg. you can get 250GB 3.5" drives for $45.

3.5" drives

2.5" drives


I'm using two older 2.5" 5,400rpm HD's because I have them and want to compare the RAID 0 speed to my normal single Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 drive.

The placement of the 2.5" drives in the case is better than a single 3.5" drive because the first drive goes where the DVD drive normally goes (above the fan). and I'll make a custom mount for the second drive. I can then remove the 3.5" HD cage which hangs in front of the fan.

If the RAID 0 5,400rpm drives can't keep up with a 7200.12 then I'll put one in. But I think they will be marginally better, and they are free so why not put them in.

Thanks for replying

-Ecarus
August 7, 2009 7:06:19 PM

lehighace06 said:
Perhaps this is digging too deep, but why are you trying to minimize space so much? There are considerably better builds out there if you put together a mid or full size case


Because I'm mobile. I game upstairs, downstairs, porch, etc.

All of my gaming other than MMORPG's has moved over to the Xbox 360 with the 23" monitor that's easy to move.

All of my daily computing has moved over to a Macbook.

So for MMORPG's I've been using my 4.5yr old Dell XPS Gen 2 laptop (2.26ghz Pent M, 7800 GTX, 2gig RAM, XP), and I Need An Upgrade. lol

I want a mini PC that has a real video card. That I can haul under one arm. That is what mini-ITX is all about for me.

Ha, I guess I'm into small computers. Check out my ultimate DVR here ( http://www.analogholegaming.com/BB/viewtopic.php?t=2077... ). The post is old, I'm up to 1,050+ hours of HD TV programing now. lol

Thanks for replying

-Ecarus

August 7, 2009 7:21:49 PM

I think it's a great idea. Why wouldn't anyone want a nice, small computer. It's a powerful build too, only lacking a bit in overclocking potential. You should be able to max out most MMORPGs, even at high resloutions.
August 7, 2009 8:51:24 PM

that actually is a great idea, i would love to have the same portability around my house and hadn't considered it an option without hijacking the wife's laptop (and believe me i've tried) ... my current homebuild is nearly indentical to your laptop in terms of hardware profile, so i'm working on an upgrade myself.

My old hardware is in a new Antec 900 that will house the new gen PC, but maybe i'll put my old parts into a smaller shell to keep on my porch! thanks for the new perspective on portable MMO gaming!
!