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1500USD Build (Opinions on SFF Cases Needed)

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July 6, 2010 1:25:04 AM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Around July 20

BUDGET RANGE: $1500 USD After Tax, Shipping, and Rebates, less is better though : )

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Beginning Programming, Gaming, Internet/Basic Office Tools, Light to Medium Video Editing, Recording TV programs

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg, Amazon

PARTS PREFERENCES: i5 750, SFF case/components, Windows 7, Motherboard with 2+ PCIe ports (for TV Tuner/Video Capture Card)

OVERCLOCKING: Yes, as far as I can go without voltage tweaks/temperature permitting

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: Preferably 1920 x 1080

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: As a college student with possible need to travel in the future between the U.S. and Japan, I'm looking for a Small Form Factor PC with decent power. I'm also somewhat environmentally conscious, so I don't plan on crossfire/SLI. I also plan to play blu-ray discs, but not burn any, so only a basic drive is needed. Haven't included a TV Tuner in the build yet because I haven't had the time to research them. Here's my build so far:

Intel Core i5 750 Lynnfield 2.66 GHz - Retail - $199.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GIGABYTE GA-P55M-UD2 LGA 1156 Intel P55 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard - 104.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBRM - 104.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Samsung Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM - Bare Drive - 79.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAPPHIRE 100284L Radeon HD 5750 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card - 139.99 (124.99 After Rebate)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASUS Black SATA DVD Burner - OEM - 22.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASUS Black Internal Blu-Ray Drive - OEM - 59.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Thermaltake LANBOX Lite VF6000BNS Black SECC Gaming Cube Computer Case - 69.99 (59.99 after Rebate)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ500MXSP 500W ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply compatible with core i7 - 59.99 (44.99 after Rebate)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Cooler Master Intel Core i5 compatible GeminII S RR-CCH-PBU1-GP 120mm Sleeve CPU Cooler - 39.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Arctic Silver MTX-2.5G Matrix Thixotropic Premium Thermal Compound - 4.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

3 x VANTEC TF6025 60mm Case Fan - 30.36
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MASSCOOL 9025B1M3/4 90mm Case Fan - 3.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit for System Builders - OEM - 94.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Nippon Labs Premium 18" (1.5 ft.) SATA II Cable with locking latch for SATA I and SATA II Hard Drive Model SATA-L0.5-R - 6.29
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total - 1,139.65 After Tax and Shipping (Before Rebates, w/o Monitor, Mouse)

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I've been researching my build for about 8-9 months now, but I'm mainly stuck on one big issue: I have the option of either using the Thermaltake Lanbox Lite (fits 3 x 60mm, 1 x 90mm fans, CPU Cooler up to 100mm) or one of the Silverstone mATX units, mainly the SG04 (fits 2 x 120mm fans, crossflow fan in rear, CPU Cooler up to 78mm). My main problem is which offers better cooling; the Lanbox can accept a normal, fanned cooler (Geminii S in my current build) but has the smaller, less efficient fans while the SG04 offers 2 large 120mm fan slots, but can't fit most aftermarket coolers. The most popular coolers for it are the Scythe Shuriken Rev. B and the fanless NT06-e. Also open to recommendations of the SG01-evo and the SG02 if they will cool better than the SG04.

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Edit 1: Replaced Eco-series Memory with recommended ripjaws, Artic Silver 5 with MTX-2.5G, Updated Total Price
July 6, 2010 8:14:32 AM

What sort of gaming are you going to be doing on there? Because that graphics card is pretty low end for most games.
July 6, 2010 12:14:37 PM

Looking to play Fallout 3, Left 4 Dead 1/2, Borderlands, and Starcraft 2. I don't really have much of a need to play the games at max settings; after my laptop died, I've been living with a netbook so pretty much anything is better.

I've also searched a bit, and the 5750 can play most games at 1920 x 1080 with 30+ fps. The 5770 is also appealing to me, but maxed out graphics aren't all that necessary to me.

----

On an unrelated note, nice rabbit in your profile picture :) 
Related resources
July 6, 2010 1:36:49 PM

Lol, sorry. I thought you had listed a 5570.
Hmm.. 5770 should be fine for you then. Just crossfire another one when you need to.

Might want to swap that mobo too, it's x16 lane says it only runs a x4, which isn't going to be good for gaming. I know you're trying to keep things small, but if this is for gaming a Mid-sized case and full size mobo would be better.

This RAM is faster, has better timings and it is even cheaper if you count free shipping.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
If you're thinking that being non-ECO will affect power a lot, it will barely make a difference in RAM.

Quote:
On an unrelated note, nice rabbit in your profile picture :) 

I've been getting the a bit on these forums :D 
http://www.flickr.com/photos/penguinhero/sets/721576145...
July 6, 2010 2:08:20 PM

The motherboard has 2 pcie lanes, one PCIe 2.0 which runs at x16 and one PCIe x16 which runs at x4 speed. Since I won't be crossfiring, the primary PCIe 2.0 lane will take my video card while the secondary lane will most likely be used for a TV Tuner or a Video Capture Card. If I do change my mind and try to crossfire though, I might change my board to the ASUS Maximus III Gene (located here: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... )
as it has two PCIe 2.0 lanes running at x8 speed in crossfire/SLI.

The RAM does indeed look very nice. I know the impact on electricity use is minimal when using the Eco RAM, but it had nice timings, and I believe it was on the board's tested RAM list. I'll definitely check into this other set of RAM though. Thank you for the suggestion.
July 6, 2010 2:39:59 PM

taimu said:
Looking to play Fallout 3, Left 4 Dead 1/2, Borderlands, and Starcraft 2. I don't really have much of a need to play the games at max settings; after my laptop died, I've been living with a netbook so pretty much anything is better.

I've also searched a bit, and the 5750 can play most games at 1920 x 1080 with 30+ fps. The 5770 is also appealing to me, but maxed out graphics aren't all that necessary to me.


While that's technically true, you're gonna have some pretty bad, as in non playable, min frame rates. Though, with games you listed it should be fine, as they are all low end games in terms of system resource requirements.

Quote:
Yes, as far as I can go without voltage tweaks/temperature permitting


That makes no sense. Temps won't change over stock until you increase voltage.

You also don't need SATA cables (comes with mobo) or thermal compound. Though actually, that HSF might not come with a tube.

Either way, AS mtx would be the better choice. Non conductive no burn in and same performance.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
July 6, 2010 2:58:23 PM


[quote said:
Yes, as far as I can go without voltage tweaks/temperature permitting

That makes no sense. Temps won't change over stock until you increase voltage. ]
Quote:
Yes, as far as I can go without voltage tweaks/temperature permitting


That makes no sense. Temps won't change over stock until you increase voltage.
[/quote]

Sorry, these were meant to be two separate points. I'm also completely new to overclocking and will probably be working in a relatively high temp case so I might be a bit afraid to push my processor.


Quote:

You also don't need SATA cables (comes with mobo) or thermal compound. Though actually, that HSF might not come with a tube.


The motherboard only comes with two SATA cables. The third cable is for my third SATA device (2 Optical Drives and 1 HDD in total).

Quote:
Either way, AS mtx would be the better choice. Non conductive no burn in and same performance.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


That looks rather promising. I'll definitely have to take a look into that (probably tomorrow as I'll have a busy day today).
July 6, 2010 3:18:03 PM

Quote:
Quote :


Quote :

Yes, as far as I can go without voltage tweaks/temperature permitting



That makes no sense. Temps won't change over stock until you increase voltage.



Sorry, these were meant to be two separate points. I'm also completely new to overclocking and will probably be working in a relatively high temp case so I might be a bit afraid to push my processor.

errr... bant.. b2, you can still overclock on stock voltage. This would still increase the heat, just not as significantly as if you increased the voltage.
July 6, 2010 4:41:21 PM

Mark Heath said:
Quote:
Quote :

errr... bant.. b2, you can still overclock on stock voltage. This would still increase the heat, just not as significantly as if you increased the voltage.
Quote:



I thought I could get away with a simple short answer, I should know better at this point :( 

Ok long answer.

Power Dissipation = PD in Watt
Voltage = Volt
Freq = Hz
C= Capacitance in Farads

Total PD in Watt = C x F x V^2
As C doesn't change (ok it technically does, but for the sake of keeping the math simply we can assume it doesn't)


If you actually plug in numbers and graph the function, the heat increase due to a freq increase is minute compared to the heat increase from a v increase, as one increases exponentially, the other linearly.

Indeed, the more you increase the V, the less the F part of the equation is relevant to the total temp.


Looking at real world data, look at the power usage increase in Tom's i5 efficiency article.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/core-i5-750-efficie...

Each bump was a constant 10mhz clock speed increase, but due to the exponential nature of the voltage increase contribution to PD, the graph is not linear, and power usage does not increase until you start seeing large v increases.

Power usage directly translates into heat.

So as Mark noted, yes a F increase alone at stock v, does technically increase Power consumption, which in turn increases heat.

However, this difference is pretty much insignificant as the voltage component, due to it's exponential nature contributes the bulk of the power increase, especially as you overclock higher.

I don't know if anyone has actually published a comparison, but I assure you, a max OC at stock v for an i5-750, will not even remotely be anywhere close to a temp issue, or even much of an increase at all.



PS- Too many smart people on these forums, I can't get away with anything :( 
July 6, 2010 5:01:36 PM

Thankfully at 14 I'm pretty smart (yes folks who take my computer advice, you're taking the recommendations of what you may consider a kid :D  ... maybe I shouldn't have said that....)

I understood that (more or less anyway)...

I do understand that a voltage increase->power increase->temperature increase makes the temps go exponentially higher than just keeping the voltage and increasing the frequency, but they do increase temps a bit and judging from the nature of taimu's statement it would appear that he's concerned about overheating during the overclocking process, and thus would be held back if too much extra heat were to be produced.

hmm... I just lost myself...

oh yeh (just picked up my thoughts again): if the overclocking process were to be done on stock cooling, then heat would naturally be a bigger problem and thus the additional heat produced on stock voltage with a frequency increase would be much more significant than if aftermarket cooling were to be used. This in turn means that although heat produced with higher frequencies at stock voltages are relatively small, the..

dang. he's got aftermarket cooling.. making most of the junk I just said more or less irrelevant...

...thanks b2, you've helped me to grow in my knowledge of all things computers :D 
and to confirm, temps are based purely on power used (thus meaning that the minute power increase of running at higher frequencies at stock voltage wouldn't a problem)?

wow.. this could go a long way to convincing my brother and dad that it's not going to melt or die if I o'c it on stock voltage..

making this post even longer.... why did you post the long answer? (@b2) since I already said that it's not going to be a very significant heat increase compared to raising the voltage.

making it yet longer, does x^y mean x to the power of y?
July 6, 2010 5:47:46 PM

making it yet longer, does x^y mean x to the power of y?

yes.


So for example, lets take the common Kinetic E=0.5 MV^2.

Let's take so nice whole numbers and see how this changes.

Let say I have a car which is 10kg and driving at 10kph
The KE =500J

Now lets take a car of 10x the weight, but keep speed the same
KE=0.5 x 100kgx10kph^2=5000J, or a simply 10x increase.

Now, let's increase speed 10x, but keep mass the same.
KE=0.5 x 10kg x 100kph^2= 50,000J, or a 100x increase.


As you can see, there's an entire order of magnitude in difference between the end results, even though we increase both 10x.

The v vs F relationship is similar to this, so you can see how insignificant F quickly becomes.

As for the heat question, it's more complicated than purely based on power.
Cpu temperature = (Total PD in Watt) x (HSF's Thermal Resistance in C/W) + (Ambient Temp in Celcius)

For comparison purposes the resistance and ambient can be considered constant (technically not true once again, as resistance changes slightly with temp, and ambient increases with more heat output).

As to why i posted long answer lol, well besides being a masochist... :D 

no, it's just that I don't want people to have the impression that stock v OC causes heat problems. It's like the whole x8 PCIe vs x16. Is their technically a difference? Yes. In practice is there a noticeable one? No.

I don't want people thinking it's an issue when it really isn't.
July 6, 2010 5:51:42 PM

as I said before:

Quote:
thanks b2, you've helped me to grow in my knowledge of all things computers :D 

I sort of got it the post before last.

On a similar note, what sort of longevity difference would there be between stock voltages, but with stock frequency compared with say, a 20% increase?

@taimu
sorry for partially hijacking your thread with this
July 6, 2010 6:40:11 PM

Hard to say really as in either case as your computer would be long obsolete before you ran into CPU failure issues.

Even an OC to 3.6 at a decent ~1.3v for example, should be fine for over a decade as long as temps are kept low (as in under 70c).

I'm not the best person to ask about longevity though as I get new rigs practically once a year.

The oldest PC I've built that I still know about is a 4 yr old E6400 x1800xt system my cousin currently uses. It's been at 3.8ghz since practically day 1 lol (stock was 2.13ghz).






July 6, 2010 10:22:34 PM

Quote:
@taimu
sorry for partially hijacking your thread with this


Not a problem! This has been very educational for me too. All this was actually very similar to the impression I was under about overclocking. Didn't quite know the formula for overclocking though ^_^;; I'll post a proper response and probably ask another question later on; it's just after 7AM here (Japan), and I need to leave for school soon.

@banthracis
Thanks for imparting some knowledge unto us :D 
July 7, 2010 2:30:37 AM

taimu said:
Quote:
@taimu
sorry for partially hijacking your thread with this


Not a problem! This has been very educational for me too. All this was actually very similar to the impression I was under about overclocking. Didn't quite know the formula for overclocking though ^_^;; I'll post a proper response and probably ask another question later on; it's just after 7AM here (Japan), and I need to leave for school soon.

@banthracis
Thanks for imparting some knowledge unto us :D 

double thanks :D 
July 7, 2010 2:38:26 AM

Np guys, glad to help.
July 7, 2010 3:02:38 PM

Any thoughts on the different cases? Will I be fine with the Lanbox Lite, or should I change to one of the Silverstone cases?
July 7, 2010 3:31:43 PM

Well to be honest, I don't like mATX cases at all. Airflow sucks, PITA to cable, and it's very hard to find good HSF's.

Personally I'd get a CM Storm Scout case, which is very easy to carry thanks to the large handles.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you insist on matx any of these work fine. If you have the money, though the Silverstone cases really do look nice (and aluminum so a bit lighter)

Silverstone SG-02F
Silverstone TJ-08B
Cooler Master 341
NZXT Vulcan
Thermaltake LANbox Lite
July 8, 2010 5:51:31 AM

second b2's last post
!