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Mini-ITX build: i5 750 + XFX ATI 5000 series?

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  • Intel i5
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November 17, 2009 9:48:53 PM

Hi guys,

I'm thinking of throwing together a mini-itx gamers rig. Here's the specs I have in mind:

  • SilverStone SG-05
  • DFI LanParty MI P55-T36
  • Intel Core i5 750
  • Corsair XMS3 1333MHz DDR3 RAM - 4GB Kit
  • Kingston SSDNow! V-series 128GB SSD

    I have a couple of questions I need to sort out though:

    1. CPU Cooler
    At first I had my eye on a Corsair H50 water cooling kit. It does fit in the SG05 (with some slight modifications to the HDD cage that wouldn't bother me). However, this would severely limit the length of the graphics card, which brings me along to my next question...

    2. Graphics Card
    Right now I'm debating whether to go for an ATI 5770 or a 5850. Without the H50 both would apparently fit, but with it I don't even know if the 5770 would fit (which is a good 1/2" shorter than the 5850). Doing some reading around it seems like I'll get more bang for my buck for the 5850 and it'll last longer, so I'd rather go for the 5850 if I can.

    3. If I want the 5850, what CPU cooler should I get instead of the H50?
    I've been looking around and the main one I've found is the Scythe Big Shuriken. Anyone with experiences with this cooler on an i5, or someone who can give an educated guess? If not this cooler, what would be better?

    Before you mention it, apparently the 300W PSU which is bundled with the SG05 will be able to cope (according to the eXtreme power calculator), although admittedly it will be approaching full capacity - the power calculator doesn't have the 5770 or the 5850 yet, but an i5, 5870, 2 sticks of ddr3 ram, 1 flash ssd, 1 high performance 140mm fan, 1 dvd drive (which I may not always have in the system) and 1 esata device (which would be rarely connected) comes out at just under 300W at 15% capacitor ageing. Is it madness to attempt this?

    Any insight would be really helpful, and as always, thanks in advance!

    BrutalSpoon
  • More about : mini itx build 750 xfx ati 5000 series

    November 17, 2009 10:05:29 PM

    Well first, why water cooling in an itx. It would be horribly cramped in there as it is and adding tubes it would be a nightmare to get it all in.
    I would say best go for 5770 for that build, but I must say this. ATI recommend 400w for one 5770 so thats a full hundred watts play. Obviously ATI would give you some head room for liability purposes, but 100watts?
    As per the CPU cooler, id say the hyper 212, its $30 and its smaller than other coolers in its class, giving you more room in that small case. It also is in the top 10 coolers, its very nice.
    November 17, 2009 10:25:28 PM

    Imo, unless you really have a specific reason, just get a normal mATX or ATX set up.
    Related resources
    November 17, 2009 11:10:28 PM

    If you believe a 300W PSU is going to reliably power a gaming computer with a 5850 in it then you are at least deluded if not downright insane. :p 

    You need a quality 500W plus for that level of graphics card. The 5770 takes less power but 400-450 is minimal even for that.
    November 18, 2009 1:22:10 AM

    A powerful gaming set up in an mATX/shoebox is doable - ITX is pushing it hehe
    November 18, 2009 3:58:58 AM

    A project log of SFFs/mATX/HTPCs i do up regularly for peeps:
    http://forums.vr-zone.com/troubleshooting-zone-technica...

    For confined spaces and high end gaming i find the Phenom 2 Triple core cool running and adequate actually :p  You want a modular PSU for better cable management hence promoting more airflow as well ^^ A suggested config


    The SG-02F i have worked with a lot and used to own one and has no issues fitting long GPUs unlike other shoebox/mATX cases hehe

    November 18, 2009 6:49:36 AM

    dndhatcher said:
    If you believe a 300W PSU is going to reliably power a gaming computer with a 5850 in it then you are at least deluded if not downright insane. :p 

    You need a quality 500W plus for that level of graphics card. The 5770 takes less power but 400-450 is minimal even for that.


    I prefer to call it eccentric, personally :p 

    *shrugs* Maybe it can't be done, although this seems to suggest otherwise. Mind you, he's running a C2D e8400, not an i5 750 :sweat: 

    There's nothing REALLY stopping me from going for an mATX over a mITX setup, but I thought if I could get it working then it could be some serious kudos points (as well as making it that little bit more portable for LAN parties).

    sonic-boom said:
    Well first, why water cooling in an itx. It would be horribly cramped in there as it is and adding tubes it would be a nightmare to get it all in.
    I would say best go for 5770 for that build, but I must say this. ATI recommend 400w for one 5770 so thats a full hundred watts play. Obviously ATI would give you some head room for liability purposes, but 100watts?
    As per the CPU cooler, id say the hyper 212, its $30 and its smaller than other coolers in its class, giving you more room in that small case. It also is in the top 10 coolers, its very nice.


    Thanks, I'll check the hyper 212 out :D  The reason why I was thinking of the H50 was so that I could get the performance of a non-low-profile CPU cooler in an extremely low profile case. If there's a low profile cooler that would work just as well without the hassle of tubes or bulk, I'll happily go for that instead.

    Maybe I'm being ridiculous with this build idea but that motherboard is just begging to be used to make a gaming ITX rig.

    As for the power consumption problem... would it be possible to have a multi-psu setup? I know it's possible to get even smaller PSUs, and it should be possible to rig them up so they both start at once to provide power to different components... Or is that even more insane?

    BrutalSpoon

    PS: @Batuchka: Something like that may very well be the alternative I go for if this just isn't going to work. Thanks for the tips!

    EDIT: @Sonic-Boom: I've just looked up the hyper 212... that's not low profile at all XD The SG05 requires a CPU heatsink which is 83mm or shorter, which was why I was looking at the Scythe Big Shuriken. The hyper 212 is 120mm tall :p 
    November 18, 2009 2:00:03 PM

    You are welcomed ^^
    November 18, 2009 10:30:29 PM

    Look at the Scythe Zipzang 2. It is a "performance" model of the Shuriken you were looking at.

    Just because someone is running a 5850 on a 300W power supply doesnt mean that its a wise thing to do.
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-5850,2433...
    According to a pro review, a 5850 runs 145 idle and 305 under load. You want to lock up when the game gets intense because your power is inadequite?

    I doubt the case and cooling will be much of an issue as the 5850 is the coolest performance GPU right now, but not having good power will kill any computer.

    I think twin power supplies is a bad idea. PSUs vary voltage by a few percent and having different components at different power levels could end badly. Replacing the included PSU with a good one is the best option.
    November 19, 2009 10:28:41 AM

    dndhatcher said:
    Look at the Scythe Zipzang 2. It is a "performance" model of the Shuriken you were looking at.

    Just because someone is running a 5850 on a 300W power supply doesnt mean that its a wise thing to do.
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-5850,2433...
    According to a pro review, a 5850 runs 145 idle and 305 under load. You want to lock up when the game gets intense because your power is inadequite?

    I doubt the case and cooling will be much of an issue as the 5850 is the coolest performance GPU right now, but not having good power will kill any computer.

    I think twin power supplies is a bad idea. PSUs vary voltage by a few percent and having different components at different power levels could end badly. Replacing the included PSU with a good one is the best option.


    If you look at the benchmark there, it's measured from the AC source. If you go back to the system specs, they're running it with an i7 975 Extreme overclocked to 4GHz on a larger (possibly overclocked) motherboard (with power saving settings disabled) with another stick of faster (more power hungry?) RAM - thats a hell of a lot more power consumption than my potential build is likely to use.

    Fair point on twin power supplies though.

    EDIT: As awesome as the Scythe Zipang 2 looks, it's too big for the case :(  As previously stated, the CPU cooler has to be 83mm or smaller - the Zipang 2 is 106mm with another 25mm for the fan (or 131mm in total). Looks like it's still the Big Shuriken for me.
    November 23, 2009 8:11:20 PM

    The 5850 just barely fits in there and I think you have to modify the front fan a little bit. (slimmer).

    Umm, Silverstone is coming out with a new PSU for this case that is 450w so you should get that plus the mini-itx mobo coming out dec 10ish. check out my site www.sffclub.com for info on the PSU and mobo.
    November 25, 2009 9:33:34 PM

    Steeeeve said:
    The 5850 just barely fits in there and I think you have to modify the front fan a little bit. (slimmer).

    Umm, Silverstone is coming out with a new PSU for this case that is 450w so you should get that plus the mini-itx mobo coming out dec 10ish. check out my site www.sffclub.com for info on the PSU and mobo.


    Ah, nice! So, do you know if that new PSU is going to be bundled with some SG05/6s? Or will I have to buy it completely separately and have a 300W PSU floating around?

    As for the motherboard... $125+, so at least £120 (thanks, expensive UK prices!), which is a bit on the high side; I guess that's what you pay for small high performance stuff. Thanks for the tip on the release date, though! Just out of curiosity, where'd you get that info? Or is that on a need-to-know basis?

    BrutalSpoon
    !