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Recommendations for Mini-ITX Build

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September 22, 2010 7:31:27 PM

I am looking at building a Mini-ITX pc to serve as a HTPC and casual web browsing!

Case:
For a case I have been leaning towards one of the Lian Mini-ITX Cases, since they have room for a 3.5" HD and allow for a full size DVD. They seem to take a regular size psu, and I have a spare lying around!
LIAN LI PC-Q11B Black Aluminum Mini-ITX $120
LIAN LI PC-Q08B Black Aluminum Mini-ITX $120
LIAN LI PC-Q07 Black Aluminum Mini-ITX $65

Motherboard:
AMD choice - I have been eying this ASUS motherboard, seems to be a nice fit has everything one could ask for! Has anyone had any experience in using this motherboard? The only issue someone had on newegg was the NIC failing.
ASUS M4A88T-I $125

Intel choice - This mobo seems to have no issues and comparable to the ASUS motherboard GIGABYTE GA-H55N-USB3 $105

Processor:
Depends on the motherboard, any recommendations?

Ram: Mwave speacial, I am sure it will come back instock sooner or later!
AVEXIR AVD3U13330902G-2S Standard 4GB kit$60

Video:
On board hope its enough!

HD, DVD - Have a spare that I can use
September 22, 2010 8:37:18 PM

Just FYI, the linked AMD board uses SO-DIMMs, and so the linked RAM you have won't fit on the AMD board. Some mini-ITX boards use SO-DIMMs, and some use desktop size.

Just be careful when selecting the RAM for your mini-ITX board. (Watch for 204 and 200 pin SO-DIMM as well - not sure if they are compatible).
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September 22, 2010 8:58:31 PM

jared51182 said:
Just FYI, the linked AMD board uses SO-DIMMs, and so the linked RAM you have won't fit on the AMD board. Some mini-ITX boards use SO-DIMMs, and some use desktop size.

Just be careful when selecting the RAM for your mini-ITX board. (Watch for 204 and 200 pin SO-DIMM as well - not sure if they are compatible).


Thanks jared51182,

I had caught that on the AMD board that it took SO-DIMM, but didn't know about the 204 and 200 pin SO-DIMM ram!
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a c 117 V Motherboard
September 23, 2010 12:45:15 AM

One thing i would comment on for the H55N USB3 would be the placement of the cpu socket. It is very close to the PCI-E slot making it a bit harder to find a compatible cooler If you want to go aftermarket and have a video card in the future.

The onboard video from both boards(The H55N does not have onboard video as such. It is in the cpu so make sure its a cpu with onboard video) should be more then enough for Video and Web.

Also, i am typing this on a H55N :) 

You may consider a HTPC MATX that will house the ITX board. It will have a desktop orientation that will fit nicer with a home theater.
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September 23, 2010 1:16:08 AM

I've built a PC recently with the PC-Q07. The new PC-Q11 seems to fix everything I had complained about the PC-Q07 (no fan and no hidden ODD). It's $50 more though. If you're planning on using the IGP the Q11 or Q07 is the way to go.

If you're going to use a discrete video card consider the Q08. It's deeper and more geared towards adding a video card. You can stuff one into the Q11 or Q07 but it's no ideal.

Have you looked at the ECS mini-ITX board? It gets really good reviews and is a good bit cheaper than the Gigabyte. Again, though, if you have the money, right? Especially if you pair it with the PC-Q11 which has USB3.0 ports.

BTW, I used a SeaSonic 300W PSU for my PC-Q07 build and there was enough room to manage the cables even though it wasn't a modular PSU. You can find my review on NewEgg or Amazon (same username) with a good step-by-step how-to on building with that case.
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September 23, 2010 3:28:00 PM

Mr Pizza said:
I realize that its an HTPC build but I would go with a Cicro ATX, they fix in an HTPC case and offer way more options!
Nice board,
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Just a suggestion.


Mr Pizza, that is a nice board, but unfortunately I am looking to use a smaller form factor. I want to move the pc off of the floor and onto the entertainment center! That board would be a nice fit for my Antec P180 case which sadly I haven't had the funds to make build with it yet, it's still in the box!

nukemaster said:
One thing i would comment on for the H55N USB3 would be the placement of the cpu socket. It is very close to the PCI-E slot making it a bit harder to find a compatible cooler If you want to go aftermarket and have a video card in the future.

The onboard video from both boards(The H55N does not have onboard video as such. It is in the cpu so make sure its a cpu with onboard video) should be more then enough for Video and Web.

Also, i am typing this on a H55N :) 

You may consider a HTPC MATX that will house the ITX board. It will have a desktop orientation that will fit nicer with a home theater.


Thanks for the tip nukemaster, that might explain why one reviews on newegg the user was having trouble with the video! I will take a look at MATX cases also! I don't much depth to work with.

Dougie Fresh said:
I've built a PC recently with the PC-Q07. The new PC-Q11 seems to fix everything I had complained about the PC-Q07 (no fan and no hidden ODD). It's $50 more though. If you're planning on using the IGP the Q11 or Q07 is the way to go.

If you're going to use a discrete video card consider the Q08. It's deeper and more geared towards adding a video card. You can stuff one into the Q11 or Q07 but it's no ideal.

Have you looked at the ECS mini-ITX board? It gets really good reviews and is a good bit cheaper than the Gigabyte. Again, though, if you have the money, right? Especially if you pair it with the PC-Q11 which has USB3.0 ports.

BTW, I used a SeaSonic 300W PSU for my PC-Q07 build and there was enough room to manage the cables even though it wasn't a modular PSU. You can find my review on NewEgg or Amazon (same username) with a good step-by-step how-to on building with that case.


I haven't looked at any of the ECS mini-itx, but I will take a look. If I can save a few bucks with a quality product I will! The only thing that I would like to find is a motherboard that would be compatible with the USB3.0 ports on the front of the PC-Q11

With the PSU I have a few laying around that I hope will fit in the case! Thanks about the tip about ECS.
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February 9, 2011 8:34:22 PM

Just finished my HTPC build using the mini-itx GA-H55N-USB3 motherboard with 4GB Corsair DD3 Ram and a 2TB Seagate Barracuda drive. I used the Clarkdale i3 CPU with its integrated GPU core since this motherboard has no GPU of its own, it is driving my HDMI 1080i Philips 47" very nicely.

I chose a low cost mini-itx Rosewill RC-CIX-01 black steel case ($49 from Newegg) - much better quality than I expected - everything fits nicely using the stock Intel cooler. This is a really low power motherboard and runs cool. I installed an AverTV Duet PCI-E tuner card since I am still resisting cable! Netflix, Hulu, and Boxee seem to run smoother than on my previous Zotac/Ion build.

The entire build came to around $400, less the Windows 7 O.S. You can see it here: http://technocatsblog.blogspot.com/

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a c 117 V Motherboard
February 9, 2011 9:48:41 PM

Cool. glad to hear its working well. Good price too.

ScrewySqrl said:
there is a nice low profile GTS 450 now, which makea a great card if you want to do gaming with an HTPC. It'll do anything at 1280x720, and can manage medium settings at 1920x1080

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

With the case not needing a low profile card and not having two slots to fit the cooler it may not go so well. The 150 watt psu may be the final nail in the coffin for that idea. On the other hand, i DO like the idea of low profile power, there is a 5770 like that too.
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