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Mini Pc for he Mobile Worker/Gamer

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June 19, 2011 10:37:42 PM

So I have used toms hardware for 3 builds in a row and could not be happier. So first off thanks to all the posters and viewers. I could not do it with out.

I work on the road and am in and out of hotels weekly and have to pack up constantly and relocate to another area.

I currently have a big rig and its too much to carry from hotel to hotel and in the car constantly. It is a full size ATX Antex 900 case. (i think)

I looked into laptops but for the money its not worth it and I like my 24in monitor.

The only company I found worth buying a SFF computer from was MainGear and still they charge 1800$ for a computer I can build for under 1000$.


MY PROBLEM
I cannot for the life of me find a SSF or a MICRO ATX case that has GOOD AIR FLOW and GOOD REVIEWS and that is SMALL IN SIZE.

REQUIREMENTS
MICRO ATX BOARD
FITS FULLSIDE ATX PSU
FITS FULLSIZE PCI EXPRESS 2.0 16X

BUDGET
I will spend money where it is due but I dont like to waste money. I want good quality and performance.

COMPONENTS I LIKE.
Western Digital VelociRaptor WD4500HLHX 450GB 10000 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR Enthusiast Series CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V v2.2 / EPS12V v2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9D-8GBRL
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Intel BOXDP67DEB3 LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I72600K
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I ALREADY OWN MY GFX CARD its in my current rig and will be moved to my new rig as I have a spare 5850 for my big rig.
MSI N570GTX Twin Frozr II OC GeForce GTX 570 (Fermi)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HERE ARE SOME CASE IDEAS
NZXT Crafted Series Vulcan Black Steel / Plastic Gaming mATX Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Corsair Obsidian Series 650D
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This is a good case for what I do its just not that small.... I'm looking for something smaller.


June 19, 2011 10:46:39 PM

Oh ps... thanks for any information.
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June 19, 2011 10:58:35 PM

Silverstone Fortress FT03 at $169 is worth a look it should certainly fit good sized video cards and a full ATX PSU. Obviously it's not for everyone, but it is pretty small. The Newegg page does nicely list all the dimensions so you can figure it out pretty easily if it suits your needs and if you like it in general.
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June 19, 2011 11:42:04 PM

ALSO

seems the 1366 socket micro atx boards are better.... is sandy bridge really worth it?
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June 20, 2011 7:53:24 AM

The cables come out of the top. So it uses a similar design as the Silverstone RV02 and Silverstone FT02 so the motherboard and video card connector are at the top.
And then there is that grill on top that protects the stuff from dust.

Sandy bridge is worth it. It runs cooler and faster and overclocking is a breeze compared to X58. The pricing is also like day and night. $220 for 2500k the best gaming performance instead of $1000 for the 990X and in most cases the 2500k is faster. Then unless something is extremely threaded and takes big advantage of the triple channel memory the 2600k at $315 beats the 990X in non gaming scenarios.

Additionally I would steer clear of Intel mobo's and check out options from Asus, Asrock and Gigabyte, generally they are more features available on their boards.
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June 20, 2011 1:16:59 PM

As far as the case goes, i can personally recommend this:
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/silverstone-sst-sg04b-fh...

It checks all three boxes listed in what you needed, is solidly built, innovative in how it places components and can be kept nice and cool with space for two 120mm fans in the front (for positive pressure cooling).

Word of warning, it's compact nature means it can take graphics cards of a maximum length of 10.5" with the power connectors on the TOP of the card. If the power connectors are on the side-end of the card (facing the front of the case) the card length can only be at maximum 9.5".

It's an expensive case, but it's damn good.
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June 20, 2011 1:21:54 PM

^The RV02/FT02/FT03 are all great cases (have the RV02), but a full tower case (MUCH bigger than the 900) is pointless if we're looking for small form factor computers. You may as well go full ATX at that point. My build easily weighs 30 pounds (before watercooling :D ).
EDIT: I didn't see the OP's link to the Antec case, so I thought you were recommending the bigger cases. Oops :whiste:

Take a look at Silverstone's SFF cases; they have a few that can fit full size AMD GPUs (which are generally longer than NVidia cards). There was a great mini-ITX gaming build around here a while ago, but I can't ever find it again; I'll look around and see if I can't find anything similar.


In regards to your components:

It would help if we knew what you'd be doing with the computer. Then we could recommend more specific parts.

Go with Sandy Bridge. The 1366 chips are not only slower, but hotter as well. Considering the platform is going to die and how well the i5-2500K keeps pace with the 980x/990x, there's no reason to go 1366.

Why get a Velociraptor? You'd see better performance from a SSD as either a boot drive or a cache drive (only works with Z68). For a 64-bit OS, you'll need 64GB minimum, but a cache drive can work with 30GB.

That Corsair PSU is a bit beefy for one 570. Are you planning to add another?
You could probably do 650W if you don't plan on upgrading to SLI.

The RAM is good, but I'd try to find a 1600MHz kit if I were you. It gets a little better performance than 1333, and doesn't add much to the price.
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June 21, 2011 12:04:45 AM

PC Ordered. Went with different mother board and a Lian Li Case.
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