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Mini ITX Build

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May 14, 2011 2:15:11 PM

Hi guys, wondering if i can get some help on this, i'm fairly competent on PCs, and have a large i7 rig of my own.
I'm looking at speccing up a tiny pc for the missus, as we dont have much desk space. I'm goint to move it to the lounge later for a media streaming/internet unit.
Approximate Purchase Date: This month

Budget Range: Up to £300-£400

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Surfing, word processing, watching movies, nothing intense

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS (Win 7)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Scan.co.uk, Dabs.com

Country of Origin: UK

Parts Preferences: by brand or type: Itx mobo

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: Quiet as possible, small as possible

I've got this far, but i'm open to anything really:

CPU: Intel CPU i3 2100T - £96
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/intel-core-i3-2100t-1155-sdy-bridge-25ghz-5-gt-s-gpu-650mhz-3mb-cache-corer-25x-35w-retail

MOBO: Gigabyte GA-H67N-USB3-B3 - £88
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/gigabyte-ga-h67n-usb3-b3-intel-h67-s-1155-pci-e-20-%28x16%29-ddr3-1066-1333-sata-raid-itx-vga

CASE: Antec ISK 310-150 - £65
http://www.dabs.com/products/antec-isk-310-150-mini-itx-desktop-7370.html?q=isk

RAM: Corsair Memory XMS3 4GB DDR3 1600 - £35
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/4gb-%282x2gb%29-corsair-xms3-ddr3-pc3-12800-%281600%29-non-ecc-unbuffered-cas-9-9-9-24-xmp-165v

HDD: Samsung HM500JJ 500GB 2.5" - £45
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/500gb-samsung-hm500jj-spinpoint-mp4-25-hdd-sata-3gb-s-7200rpm-16mb-cache-11-ms]

ODD: Samsung Slim DVD Writer, SN-S083F/BEBE - £18
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/samsung-sn-s083f-bebe-8xdvdr-6xdvdplusdl-6xdvd-dl-dvdplusrw-x8-rwx6-x5-ram-notebook-sata-black

Total = £347

My only concern is the PSU, is 150W enough? or can i step up to an i3-2100?
Or what about AMD's Brazos?

Thanks in advance!

More about : mini itx build

May 14, 2011 4:03:54 PM

Looking at this antec PSU calculator I think 150W is really pushing it for this configuration
May 14, 2011 4:22:35 PM

I used the psu calculator here
http://extreme.outervision.com/PSUEngine
and if you select a mini itx board, it comes out at 100W min, and 150W reccomended.

I also read that while TDP of the i3-2100T is 35W, actual power consumption particularly at idle is very low, so its not that bad.

Do you still think that its a bit too risky?
Related resources
May 14, 2011 5:41:02 PM

That looks like a better calculator!

Although it's slightly more expensive this case looks a little better in my opinion. Also it has USB3.0 ports.
May 14, 2011 6:16:14 PM

I really like the antec case because it really is that small! Although the Lian-Li looks great, hmm choices.
In overall system usage, do you know how the E-350 compares? Becasue i've used netbooks, and if it is an atom competitor, i would prefer something that doesnt stutter when tasked.
Is that the case or is it a good platform?
May 14, 2011 6:27:25 PM

I haven't used an E-350 system yet, but I think the CPU is a bit faster than the best Atoms. It has the GPU and decoders to play HD video well so don't worry about that. I think you would be fine with an E-350, but if you don't mind paying extra for the i3 it will probably be snappier, especially when doing more than two tasks.
May 14, 2011 8:02:34 PM

Hmm there is about £60 in it...
I'm edging towards the sandy bridge build, means i get access to quicksync and a bit more power...
What would happen if the PSU isnt powerful enough? Do i risk all of the PC, or just the PSU?
May 14, 2011 8:32:51 PM

The 150W is PLENTY for a i3-2100T setup. Also, keep in mind, TDP does not equal power draw. Most gents over at AVSforum that have been posting their kill-a-watt measurements put their i3-2100T HTPC's at around 40-50W when playing media. Peak load would never approach 150W.

Here's some Zacate and i3-2100T system power measurements for you to enjoy: link

BTW, I just completed a build with the Antec ISK 310-150. See my sig for build details.
May 14, 2011 8:59:30 PM

Wow! Thanks for that! Nice to know the PSU is plenty
BTW your HTPC project is awesome! i was also thinking of using that logitech keyboard, its sweet isnt it!
Can i ask, what made you decide to use an E-350 system? Any advantages?
May 14, 2011 9:26:52 PM

I went with the Asus Zacate because I wanted a near-passive build and liked having built-in bluetooth and WiFi. Since it was a bedroom HTPC, I wanted near silence and I knew I would not be using it for anything more than media playback. If you want a more robust all-around system, the i3 is a great option.

So far the only shortcoming of my Zacate is that it cannot play HD netflix smoothly because silverlight does not support hardware acceleration (yet). DXVA support is supposed to be coming in the next version of silverlight and that should clear that up. My TV is only 720p so I don't mind watching netflix at lower bitrates for now.





May 14, 2011 9:59:46 PM

Yeah, i guess i'm going to have to adress the cooling situatuon, do you know if there is alot of room in the case? I was looking at a Scythe big shuriken, which is 58mm high
May 15, 2011 12:00:00 PM

The big shuriken will fit with modification. There are two problems to overcome:

#1 You must cut away the rear part of the hard drive bracket that sits over the motherboard

#2 The shuriken interferes with the 24-pin power connector from the power supply and you must change out the power supply for a picoPSU.

Here is someone who has posted details about the ISK and big shuriken: link
May 15, 2011 1:21:44 PM

Hmm, thats interesting, not sure if i want to stump up more cash for switching out the PSU, do you have any reccomendations for any coolers that are better/quieter than the intel one, yet still will fit in the case (trick one i know)? or am i best to just stick with the intel one?
!