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Compact gaming/multimedia rig

Last response: in Systems
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Anonymous
April 19, 2010 11:20:26 PM

Hi,

I have built computers before, but never done as much research as I have for this rig.

Plan to build it in a month or 2, no specific budgetary constraints although my personal shopping mantra is to buy above mass-consumer but below the truly high end amateur-going-pro stuff - basically good bargains/value. (read on for what I mean)

Preferences: Quiet

CPU: i5-750 ~USD200

GPU: HD5770 *which make is best?* x2 ~USD320

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-P55M-UD4 *to fit uATX case* ~USD140

RAM: GSkill [Eco]F3-10666CL7D-4GBECO x2 ~USD240

HDD: OCZ Vertex Turbo OCZSSD2-1VTXT120G 120GB MLC-SSD ~USD360

2nd HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB ~USD90

Heatsink: Thermalright Ultra Extreme 120 Revision C ~USD60

Front Fans: Scythe Gentle Typhoon 120mm D1225C12B4AP-14 (1450rpm) x2 ~USD36

Rear Fans: Scythe S-FLEX 80mm SFF80D (2800rpm) ~USD12

PSU: Corsair CMPSU-750TX 750W ~USD90

Case: Lian Li V351 Black ~USD100 *The only non-negotiable bit is the size of the rig

Optical: Toshiba 1612 DVD-ROM *I have plenty of scratched and poorly burnt discs that need a good, non-fussy reader
*Plus some other random DVD writer - any recommendations?*


Any comments would be most appreciated. Particularly about whether or not the components would fit into the case!!! (Esp. the CPU heatsink)

Spent a significant amount on cooling, since I am cramming rather 3 rather hot chips in a small space - might even have excess cooling capacity to overclock some!

As for monitor wise - I currently own a 800x600 mini projector which I can project about 100" images happily in nighttime conditions, and will be getting a 40-42" 1080p LCD TV which uses 1920x1080 as a main monitor.

Also - will the onboard sound be sufficient? Is there significant improvement to be had from a sound card?

SSD - expensive, but affects performance enough to be worth it.

Would like someone to estimate how long this rig will last...



April 20, 2010 9:34:07 AM

Some suggestions...
1. Graphics card - Frankly I dont think its a good idea to have multiple cards in such a small case...
Stick with a single powerful card like the HD 5850/ HD 5870...Though these dont have the value of 2x HD 5770s, but consume less power and give out less heat comparitively...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...
The distance between the backpanel and the front fans is about 28.5cm, so the cards should fit...but just make sure though...

2. Small case and non-modular PSU ?
Go with a modular PSU...less cables, hence better airflow...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...

3. SSD - You can check out the newer SSDs with the SandForce controller, that offer far better sustained writes...
OCZ Vertex LE (Limited Edition) OCZSSD2-1VTXLE100G 2.5" 100GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

4. You might want to check if the CPU cooler fits the case...
April 20, 2010 1:32:55 PM

Lian Li V351 is a HTPC or smal workstation case. Small cases are actually design not for middle to high end gamer PCs. High performance PC need enough room for better air circulation.
Small cases are designed usually for low to mid-low performance office workstations or HTPC.

The GPU might not fit in, the fanmight not fit in the case. You are taking a risk for that.
The air flow could also be problematic, if they fit in the case.
Bad air circulation will cause heat and heat will make your system to have less life span.
And...even you put a high performance cpu fan...this doesn't have big impact or even no use at all if the air flow within the casing itself is already bad.

You can keep your current configuration in Lian Li V351 at your own risk.

Onboard sound cards are good nowadays, no additional card is needed.
Related resources
April 20, 2010 1:46:21 PM

Gotta agree with these guys, it's really poor choice of case for your intentions, really poor. Bookmark this thread and let us know how it all turns out if you get everything into that case.
I like that case, and if it all works out like you planned, you can come back here and tell us how wrong we were! Either way, would be interesting to know how it works out, bad or good.
April 20, 2010 1:46:51 PM

1. If you looking for SSDs - you might want to read these two articles/reviews
a. Why we need SATA 6GB/s
http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,2845,2350466,00.a...
b. USB 3.0, SATA 6Gb/s, Motherboards, And Overcoming Bottlenecks - by our very own forum!
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/usb-3.0-sata-6gb,25...

2. Yes modular PSU for shoebox/SFFs would mean neater cable management = promote better airflow in confined space

3. By my calculations u have spent $1400++ and i agree - go single HD 5850 and a possible config for consideration for $1020 AR? Get an entry level (but still decent) SATA 2.0 SSD with a view to hit SATA 3.0 ones later?

April 20, 2010 4:08:18 PM

The best source for SSD reviews is Anandtech.

The new sandforce drives perform very well (Vertex 2, Vertex LE and Force), but check out this chart from Anand's latest article, specifically, cost per usable gigabyte.

http://anandtech.com/show/3656/corsairs-force-ssd-revie...

Sandforce drives are costing $1 more per gigabyte over an Intel X25-M G2.

Performance wise, you're much better of getting 2 40gb X25-V in Raid 0 if you want 80gb, or 2 x25-m 80gb in raid 0 if you want 160gb.

Whey only Intel drives? They're the only ones that support TRIM in Raid 0 so far.
!