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New Micro Gaming Rig - Thoughts?

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February 7, 2011 2:37:31 AM

I'm building a new gaming rig and I'm trying to balance bang for the buck, future proofing, and decibles in a small form factor. It's not maxed out yet to save on cash. Figured I would get the extra video card and ram when they get a little cheaper. I'm planning on running a raid 5 for redundancy/performance and I'm looking at oc'ing it, though I've never oc'd before.
I would love any comments/suggestions.
Thanks.

Antec Mini P180 White Steel MicroATX Mini Tower Computer Case
Model #:Mini P180 white
Item #:N82E16811129044
$99.99 -$20.00 Instant $79.99
1

ASUS Rampage III Gene LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
Model #:Rampage III Gene
Item #:N82E16813131658
$239.99 $239.99
1

EVGA 012-P3-1472-AR GeForce GTX 470 (Fermi) SuperClocked 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support ...
Model #:012-P3-1472-AR
Item #:N82E16814130549
$279.99 -$15.00 Instant $264.99
1

CORSAIR HX Series CMPSU-850HX 850W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
Model #:CMPSU-850HX
Item #:N82E16817139011
$189.99 -$20.00 Instant $169.99
1

Intel Core i7-950 Bloomfield 3.06GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor BX80601950
Model #:BX80601950
Item #:N82E16819115211
$299.99 -$5.00 Instant $294.99
1

CORSAIR XMS3 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model TR3X6G1600C8 G
Model #:TR3X6G1600C8 G
Item #:N82E16820145236
$99.99 -$5.00 Instant $94.99
3

Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Model #:WD6401AALS
Item #:N82E16822136319
$64.99 $194.97
1

CORSAIR Hydro H70 CWCH70 120mm High Performance CPU Cooler
Model #:CWCH70
Item #:N82E16835181013
$109.99 $109.99
1
February 7, 2011 3:20:50 AM

470 is really hot for a micro case what about a 6870 ?
then you could back the PSU down a bit as well.
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February 7, 2011 3:42:16 AM

I've been wondering a bit about heat management. The reviews I've read on the Mini P180 in regards to cooling were quite good though. My thoughts were since the power supply and dvd drives are in the lower bay and the processor is being handled by the Corsair H70 I would have plenty of cooling for the cards with the cases two 120mm's in the front set to intake (they blow right across the cards) and the 200mm on the top set to blow out.

My only reason for picking the 470 was because everything I've read says it's the sweet spot when it comes to price for performance. Well, that and I'm not a big fan of ATI.
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February 7, 2011 3:59:01 AM

Fair enough and the cooling sound pretty good from what you described. I'm going to check out that case.
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February 7, 2011 4:09:55 AM

I love that case, it's what really set me on building a micro rig. Let me know what you think though, one of the points of this was to have a semi quiet system and while I think it would be fine with the one card, if they run as hot as you say/I am seeing online, I'm wondering if I'll be able to get away with two of those in there running in SLI. That is the eventual goal after all.
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February 7, 2011 7:50:25 PM

Does anyone else have any thoughts about the 470 in this system or any other incompatibilities they might see?
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February 7, 2011 8:06:11 PM

Cramming two GTX 470s in a micro-ATX case certainly doesn't sound good from a heat perspective. You may want to consider a pair of GTX 560Ti's, they run cooler and a still quite powerful.

You may have some troubles cramming all of that stuff into a micro-ATX case. I would pay special attention to video card dimensions because some video cards are a tight fit in micro-ATX cases.
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February 7, 2011 9:51:07 PM

Thanks, I'll take a look at that video card. I just was trying not to sacrifice power to much. Antec lists the dimensions for cards as 9.5 if I remember right; which is what the 470's were.
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February 7, 2011 10:12:42 PM

With a pair of GTX 560s you won't be sacrificing much if any performance, and the lower thermal output and power consumption will certainly make up.
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February 8, 2011 2:19:35 AM

jprahman said:
With a pair of GTX 560s you won't be sacrificing much if any performance, and the lower thermal output and power consumption will certainly make up.


Thanks for the suggestion. From what info I was able to round up, the 560 generally meets and often exceeds the 470's performance with the bonus of reduced power consumption and drastically reduced temperatures. As an added bonus for those of us building micro rigs, it's also half and inch shorter than the 470 and the PCIE power ports are on top of the card instead of on the end.

Excellent review of it here if anyone is curious. http://www.overclockersclub.com/reviews/nvidia_asus_gtx...

Planning on getting this one.
ASUS ENGTX560 TI DCII/2DI/1GD5 GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video ...
Item #: N82E16814121424
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Three questions remaining for those who are willing.
1. I've heard a lot of buzz around making sure your power supply can handle your video card, esp in reference to the 12v rails? Does anyone see any issues with my power supply supporting two GTX 560 TI's in SLI?

2. I was toying with throwing a SSD into the system for my OS/Very demanding games. (Supreme Commander, Rift, Company of Heroes, Eve, ect.) I would be keeping everything else on the raid. I'm wondering though if it's really worth the cost of the SSD, with the performance boost I'd already be getting with the raid configuration. Does anyone have any experience with this?

3. I noticed that for an extra 5 bucks I can upgrade my drives to the 6gbs/64mb Cache version. I know the 6gb connection won't really help me since my board only support 3gbs on the raid controller but I thought perhaps the 64mb cache might be worth the 5 bucks.
32mb Cache - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
64mb Cache - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Thanks for the help.
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Best solution

February 8, 2011 2:35:55 AM

1. That PSU will definitely be good for a SLI GTX 560Ti setup. I'm running a GTX 460 SLI setup with the same PSU and it has more than enough power. The four 6+2pin PCIe power connecters are nice as well.

2. I don't personally have experience with SSDs, but from everything I've heard and researched you'll get quite a boost in application and OS loading performance, probably even better than a RAID array. In game performance won't be affectedly appreciably, but level load times would certainly be cut compared to a RAID array.

3. I would go ahead and get the 64MB version. $5 isn't much and although there may not be a huge performance difference between the two but the 64MB cache could have some impact. Besides I have the 64MB model in my build and I like it. Do be warned though that while a lot of users have successfully setup Caviar Blacks in RAID arrays some people have reported difficulties with drives dropping out of arrays.
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February 8, 2011 2:54:54 AM

Awesome on the power supply. I was having a lot of difficulty in picking the right PSU. Nice to talk to someone who's had personal experience with it running the same load.

Not sure if I'll spring for the SSD right off the bat (Read: Convince the wife.) but if nothing else, not having my OS on a drive that might suddenly decide not to play nice with others is incentive enough to look into it. lol.

I'm definitely going to throw down with the higher cache drives though. Your right, for 5 bucks it can't hurt and assuming their running strong a couple years from now, the 6gbs gives me future proofing if I eventually decide to switch to another board or throw on an aftermarket raid controller.

Thanks for all the help Jprajman. You sir, rock.
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February 8, 2011 3:01:33 AM

No problem, I'm glad to help. Best of luck to you on your build. :) 
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February 8, 2011 3:03:45 AM

Best answer selected by Xannatos65.
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February 8, 2011 3:04:40 AM

6 Gb/s is fine on the board. 6 Gb/s on mechanical drives won't do anything for you. Mechanical drives currently don't even saturate SATA II.

I'd consider spending money on larger drives rather than SATA III. 1 GB Spinpoint F3s for the same price would be a reasonable substitution.
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