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Critique my Build - $1k mini gaming pc

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August 12, 2009 2:59:51 AM

UPDATE: I've put it together and it works great. Thanks everyone!

Please offer any comments/advice/opinions on my new computer-to-be.

I live in a college dorm so I wanted something small to save space, yet stylish and powerful.

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APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: by end of the week

BUDGET RANGE: $1000 is pushing the upper limit of the budget

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: gaming, applications, internet surfing, being badass

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, headphones

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com

PARTS PREFERENCES: prefer intel cpu and ATI gfx card

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe, but limited due to small case and meek PSU

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I need to have the Shuttle XPC. Anything else would take up too much space/too bulky to schlep around.

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Shuttle SP45H7 Intel Socket T(LGA775) Intel P45 4 x 240Pin none Black Barebone - Retail

Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80570E8400 - Retail

OCZ Blade Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Desktop Memory Model OCZ2B800C54GK
two of these for a total of 8GB (4 x 2GB)

SAPPHIRE Vapor-X Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail

Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drives - OEM

LG 22X DVD±R DVD Burner Black IDE Model GH22NP20 - OEM

Acer H233H bmid 23" Widescreen 1080p LCD Monitor - 40,000:1, 5ms, 1920 x 1080, HDMI, DVI

Total cost incl. taxes, shipping = $999
August 12, 2009 3:03:00 AM

if your budget isnt stuck at $1k, an upgrade to core i7 would not cost you a ton more and is significantly better, and upgradeable down the road. LGA 775 is EOL.
August 12, 2009 3:11:45 AM

That 300W PSU won't power a 4870 and you don't want that form factor or socket. I would recommend something along these lines:

AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GIGABYTE GA-MA785GMT-UD2H AM3 AMD 785G HDMI Micro ATX AMD
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OCZ Flex EX 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Enhanced Bandwidth Desktop
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAPPHIRE Vapor-X Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F1 HD103UJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Thermaltake VI5000BNS Black SECC Steel MicroATX Mid Tower
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 22X DVD-R 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

That should come to around $800 w/o a monitor...

Edit: Had posted wrong case: fixed
Related resources
August 12, 2009 3:13:04 AM

True, i7 would definitely be faster but that would involve changing the barebones base. Going from the XPC SP45H7 to the SX58H7 would cost a bit more. Upgrading the memory from DDR2 to DDR3 would also cost extra. Not to mention the physical box itself is also bigger. So I decided to stick with a more modest LGA 775 mobo to cut costs across the board.
August 12, 2009 3:17:14 AM

I purposely chose the SFF in the shuttle xpc for its space saving design, and the fact that it would just look absolutely awesome sitting on my desk.

I understand that the 300W power supply might be cutting it close but I could upgrade to an 500W super-slim PSU if need be.

jbakerlent said:
That 300W PSU won't power a 4870 and you don't want that form factor or socket. I would recommend something along these lines:

AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GIGABYTE GA-MA785GMT-UD2H AM3 AMD 785G HDMI Micro ATX AMD
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OCZ Flex EX 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Enhanced Bandwidth Desktop
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAPPHIRE Vapor-X Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F1 HD103UJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 22X DVD-R 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

That should come to around $800 w/o a monitor...

August 12, 2009 3:31:54 AM

an HD 4870 has a TDP of 150 watts, the 955 has a TDP of 125 watts, which on your average 300 watt PSU puts you about 30 watts over capacity already. Dont try it or it will go off like a fire cracker.
August 12, 2009 4:02:45 AM

if you're going to do it that way, can you video tape your first boot up so i can watch if it explodes?
August 12, 2009 4:07:44 AM

lehighace06 said:
if you're going to do it that way, can you video tape your first boot up so i can watch if it explodes?


^+99999999
August 12, 2009 4:10:42 AM

The 4870 can draw an extra 40 watts over what the 4850 can, its best to just be safe and pay the extra. Would you rather pay an extra $60 now for a bit of extra power you might not need, or would you prefer an extra 1k after you upload the video to youtube? Its better to be safe than to fry your rig, a hell of alot cheaper too.
August 12, 2009 6:59:22 AM

lehighace06 said:
if you're going to do it that way, can you video tape your first boot up so i can watch if it explodes?

I too, would like to see his first boot up ;) 
August 12, 2009 3:58:18 PM

Just gonna put this out there, I do not think i have ever seen my system over 350watts at very high loads. I think you can do it on a 300(since your cpu is more efficient and you do not have 6 hard drives ect)

Would be very close, but there is NO way a 4870 needs a 500 watt psu. unless maybe its a turbogamer(pile of fn crap) 500watt :p 
August 12, 2009 5:19:59 PM

That's basically what I'm counting on.

In this test, they ran a Core 2 Quad QX6850 (3 GHz) with two sticks of DDR3 memory, DVD drive, and a radeon 4870. The results for the power consumption test was 283 W at the power supply under full load.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-4870,1964...

The QX6850 is 4 cpu cores and uses 65nm whereas my E8400 is only 2 cores and uses 45nm meaning greater efficiency and less energy usage.

And I absolutely agree with hunter315, I would definitely spend the extra money and get a PSU with a little more juice. I'd much rather be on the safe side and have more overhead, greater reliability and durability for the system. But I spent the past few hours searching online for one without success. Shuttle doesn't offer one that's compatible with the SP45H7 so I've resorted to searching through server psu's hoping to find a slim model with the right dimensions but that search has been fruitless.

It seems my best option is to stick with the stock 300w psu and maybe a year later, when it starts to wear out and the max wattage capability decreases, hopefully I'll be able to acquire a better psu and make the upgrade.

nukemaster said:
Just gonna put this out there, I do not think i have ever seen my system over 350watts at very high loads. I think you can do it on a 300(since your cpu is more efficient and you do not have 6 hard drives ect)

Would be very close, but there is NO way a 4870 needs a 500 watt psu. unless maybe its a turbogamer(pile of fn crap) 500watt :p 

August 27, 2009 5:58:36 PM

Just an update on this in case others had a similar question, I've put the computer together and yes it works. No firework extravaganza.

E8400
8GB OCZ Blade ddr2 800
HD 4870 1gb
WD Caviar Black 1TB
350W shuttle psu
Anonymous
October 5, 2009 5:49:46 PM

UPDATE - Another Succesful Build on the Shuttle SP45H7 + GTX 260

I built a very similar machine last weekend using the SP45H7 and a BFG GTX 260. The 300W powersupply is fine. I am able to game on max settings (Bioshock, Call of Juarez, others) for 4+ continuous hours.

!