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BestConfigs Poll - MicroATX Gaming Build

Last response: in Systems
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Which MicroATX Gaming Build do you like best?

Total: 87 votes (15 blank votes)

  • Ojas' Intel Based MicroATX Solution
  • 45 %
  • CMadrid's Pillar of Power
  • 34 %
  • Jeremy's MicroATX (Ninja, Pirate, Viking...axe to your face) AMD build
  • 23 %
August 1, 2011 4:39:30 PM

It's time to vote on your favorite build for this category!

Please see below for a list of the choices available.

Ojas' Intel Based MicroATX Solution

Processor: Intel Core i5 2500K -- $219.99

Motherboard: ASRock Z68 PRO3-M MicroATX --$114.99

RAM: CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) -- $84.99

Graphics Card: EVGA SuperClocked GeForce GTX 570 1280MB -- $339.99 (314.99 with rebate)

Boot SSD: OCZ Vertex 2 OCZSSD2-2VTX40G 2.5" 40GB -- 104.99
Alternatively from Amazon: $95 to $101.99

Hard Drive: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA II 3.5" -- $64.99

Case: Lian Li PC-V351B Black Aluminum MicroATX Desktop Computer Case -- $94.99

Power Supply: COOLER MASTER Silent Pro M600 -- $99.99 (69.99 with rebate)

Cooling: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus -- $49.99
Alternatively from Amazon: $29.51 to $37.99

DVD Burner: ASUS 24X DVD Burner Black SATA Model DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS - OEM -- $19.99

Total Price: $1149.9

CMadrid's Pillar of Power

Processor: Intel I5 2500k $225
Motherboard: ASUS P8P67-M $130
RAM: Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 8GB DDR3 1600 $85
Graphics Card: MSI R6950 Twin FrozrII 2GB $280
Hard Drive: Samsung Spinpoint f3 1TB $61
Case: Silverstone FT03 $170
Power Supply: Corsair HX650 $120
Cooling: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus $30
DVD Burner: Lite-ON Slot Load DVD Burner $40

Total Price: $1141

Jeremy's Micro ATX (Ninja, Pirate, Viking... axe to your face) AMD build

Processor: AMD Phenom II X6 1100T $189.99
Motherboard: MSI 890GXM-G65 AM3 AMD 890GX HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX AMD $129.99
RAM: CORSAIR XMS3 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2000 $129.99
Graphics Card: XFX HD-695X-CDDC Radeon HD 6950 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity $249.99
Hard Drive: Corsair Force Series GT CSSD-F60GBGT-BK 2.5" 60GB SATA III Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) $154.99
Case: IN WIN BR665 Black SECC steel MicroATX $74.99
Power Supply: Seasonic SS-560KM Active PFC F3, 560W ATX12V V2.3/EPS 12V V2.91, 80Plus Gold Certified, Modular Power Supply $129.99
Cooling: Dare I say it? YES... Stock AMD cooler. No real need to go with anything else as the price limit of $1200 keeps the upgrade from happening. Better to spend the money on other top performing parts and capabilities in the system and upgrade this aspect later on as it gets the job done perfectly.
DVD Burner: SAMSUNG Black 12X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM SATA Internal Blu-ray Drive Model SH-B123L LightScribe Support $57.99
Storage drive: Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKX 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" $39.99

Total Price: $1194.91
August 2, 2011 12:44:16 AM

CMadrid's Pillar looks Powerful. There's a bit much on the case and DVD drive, but it's a nice build. Ojas' SSD was too small and I will not buy Coolermaster PSUs (even if that one doesn't suck; too many of them do to support them).
August 2, 2011 12:54:36 AM

I'm a little biased for AMD, but it's hard to deny the architectural advantage of the Sandy Bridges, even though it's kind of tiring seeing a majority of builds having i5 2500Ks.

Also, six cores for gaming may not be the best thing to have for now.
Related resources
August 2, 2011 1:41:03 AM

Ojas, I respect the build as it is a good gaming only design which is the topic of this build thread, very powerful card! Hard drive is definitely to small as I hit 44gb with only basic programs like office and visio and 1 game on win7 pro, but the budget is tight on this build so I understand.

Check with the mods and see if they will allow you to change the case out. The cooler at 158mm will not fit that case per newegg reviews with most stating 105-125mm max and some saying they crammed in a 140mm so a 158 is a no go. Or did you try it out to see if it fit? Also the video card may not fit properly without the hard drive cage removed per a newegg reviewer also running an evga GTX 10.5" long card. Sort of need that cage!

Army_ant7, Totally understood on the 6 cores. I could have gotten away with a 955 4 core but after running my personal 1100T I am in love with it, especially the fact I can run it at 3.8ghz with turbo disabled on the STOCK cooler and it passed all burn in tests with no errors after 3 hours. With the well vented case, I never saw over 45C which almost has me wondering of the temp is reading correctly or if it really does breath that well!!! But she tested perfectly stable so I am set. :D  If I did apply a little better cooling, 4ghz would be a cake walk with others nailing 4.2ghz. Maybe I should have chose a cheap $19 dvd drive and opted for some cooling lol but overall wanted my build to also be well rounded so the inclusion of a blu-ray drive was important to me. However well rounded is not the main focus of this thread so I understand.

The two items in my build that impressed me a lot were the...
- Corsair xms3 pc2000.... I picked it up as it was rated to 2000 with timings of 9-10-9-27 so I figured with my 1100T I could squeeze out better at 1600 and I sure did! Also rock stable at 7-8-7-20. And good to go if BD runs at 1866 like all the rumors say so a bit future proofed... as much as it can be anyways.

- Corsair Force GT HDD. I personally picked up a 120GB GT vs the 60GB in my build thread but wow it is a killer drive and works flawless with the 890gxm mobo! No bdods, freezes or issues of any kind. And it performs as specified. Makes my old raptors in raid 0 seem sooooo slow lol!

I think the only item I really did not care for in my build was the wire seasonic chose with their supply. It is NOT a fine strand copper and feels more like bailing wire lol way to stiff for my tastes but once bent in shape, it sure does hold the shape! I hear corsair has the same stiff cable as well. Bummer. However the pros of the supply are many. Super efficient gold certified, modular and it is DEAD silent. I have actually never heard a peep out of it. That and a 5 year warranty and very nice internals.



Cmadrid, Well done :)  Even got the slot load drive correct, someone was paying attention lol! Very cool case and internal layout and should fit that massive heatsink as well! Only thing I see is that she is begging for a good SSD to really push her over the top as IMO the feel of the machine and how it responds is as important as anything in the build.
August 2, 2011 11:20:27 AM

garage1217 said:
Ojas, I respect the build as it is a good gaming only design which is the topic of this build thread, very powerful card! Hard drive is definitely to small as I hit 44gb with only basic programs like office and visio and 1 game on win7 pro, but the budget is tight on this build so I understand.

Check with the mods and see if they will allow you to change the case out. The cooler at 158mm will not fit that case per newegg reviews with most stating 105-125mm max and some saying they crammed in a 140mm so a 158 is a no go. Or did you try it out to see if it fit? Also the video card may not fit properly without the hard drive cage removed per a newegg reviewer also running an evga GTX 10.5" long card. Sort of need that cage!



hey thanks for pointing out the weaknesses and strengths of the build! i did research the parts before i used them, and some things are intended for some specific purposes only.

See, the SSD is small because of the budget, i agree, but then there are around 50 bucks to spare, so you could use them if you'd like. At the same time, it's a boot ssd only, so only windows and programs that can't be installed anywhere else go there, for the rest, there's a 1TB HDD. I kept the SSD at 40 because (apart from the budget) my win 7 HP (32-bit) install and all programs that force you to install into C: take up about 17.4 GB. Adding all the non-game software that i install on my other drive, it totals to around 19.62 GB (including Norton internet security and Office 2003). I would add maybe 10GB if this were a 64-bit install and if i wouldn't clear system restore points and delete temporary files and add a lot of programs and stuff.

Obviously this would vary from person to person, which is why i tried to make sure there is still some budget headroom, and for 50 bucks more (if you buy from amazon and newegg, you could still spare more), you could at least get a 60GB SSD i suppose.

About the card length, the Lian Li product page says that the max card length that can fit in is 285mm, or 11.22". So that's not a prob. You won't have to remove the HDD cage, there are only two bays which are above that area. Someone fit in a 242mm card, so i doubt this will be an issue.

As for the cooler, all i can say is that it's a 11" wide case, which is around 280mm. At least that's what i though when i chose it. But again, it's a theoretical build, so i can't really say much. I looked at newegg reviews, and the height limit seems to about 110mm, although ppl have fitted the Noctua NH-U9B SE2 cooler and Gemini S coolers in.

Thus, i admit that there is a major issue in my build, that the Hyper 212 + may not fit. I suggest:

1. the Noctua NH-U9B SE2 ~ $60
or
2. the Cooler Master GeminII S ~ $40


Using the GeminII S will not raise the price of the build, in fact it lowers it by $10 if you're considering Newegg prices alone (which the editors are in their totals). Similarly the Noctura raises the price by $10.


Thanks for the feedback!
Cheers
August 2, 2011 11:32:13 AM

I find jeremy's case an intesting one, and the InWin is impressive too, seems to have more room to work in. Though 6 cores are not thought of as optimal for gaming...likewise it may be more future-proof. Though i wonder about the cooling...

jtt283: i own a Cooler master GX550, my friend uses a GX650, no probs with either of them so far (3 months). Though operating temps are much higher here than in the US during summer, so i presume they're experiencing more wear and tear. The SSD is small for a purpose, read above.
August 2, 2011 1:34:20 PM

CMadrid I like your build but the freaking graphics card is deactivated on newegg.
August 2, 2011 3:44:35 PM

ojas said:
I find jeremy's case an intesting one, and the InWin is impressive too, seems to have more room to work in. Though 6 cores are not thought of as optimal for gaming...likewise it may be more future-proof. Though i wonder about the cooling...

jtt283: i own a Cooler master GX550, my friend uses a GX650, no probs with either of them so far (3 months). Though operating temps are much higher here than in the US during summer, so i presume they're experiencing more wear and tear. The SSD is small for a purpose, read above.



Hey guys.

- Both of those coolers should fit fine in the proposed case and would be a great choice.

- The in win case is a fantastic build for a micro atx, I know I own a br665 lol! Made life really, really easy. Insides are all painted black and all edges are rolled. Very impressed for the price! There is also a clone to the br665 with a little more fancy front panel called the dragon slayer. Take the front panels off and they are identicle to each other.

- Where are you writing from? Pretty hot where I am at here in the US, We have already seen a few days of 118F / 47C :) 

- Since you have the funds leftover, ditch the 40gb drive and run with the 60gb corsair force GT drive. The 120gb version is insane! Newegg has the 60gb for $149 right now.

- Scary enough as I posted on my 1100T, the stock cooler is really doing well for... stock lol 500mhz overclock on the stock cooler and it is rock stable at 45C lol Not to shabby for an OEM heatsink. Case is very well ventilated however.

- cknobman, Missed that when I looked over that build! Maybe the mods will let him change the card.
August 2, 2011 4:26:24 PM

garage1217: yeah i know, inwin have really good case there, but i dont think i can change anything now lol. maybe the editors change it after voting's over? i dunno.

i'm writing from India...summer temps are usually over 40C normally, it's about 30-35 inside the house depending on the room. 47C in the US too?! :o  i guess you'd be in Texas or California?
The PSU draws in air from within the case, inside temps must be around 50 easily. (My case is sh**ty, bad airflow and a lot of other bad things. lol.)

I could use extra funds for that, but then this is the price with rebates, for people who can't avail rebates, the total was $1994 at the time of writing it. And i cant swap anything now anyway i guess, so it's up to the people who buy this config to get a larger SSD if they have room in their budget.

BTW weren't there problems with the Corsair Force SSDs? I remember reading about BSODs.

hmmm stock coolers must have improved then, my Q8400 idles at around 50 (avg for all cores) with the cooler fan at around 1700 RPM.
August 2, 2011 4:40:52 PM

I am in Arizona :) 

The main issues with the corsair drives happened months ago with the Force 3 drives in which corsair did a recall. All I can say from experience is that my 120gb force GT drive is rock solid with no bsods, or issues of any kind with my particular mobo. I know there are still issues with all SF ssd drives and certain controllers like the marvel unit so people should keep that in mind.

In my inwin case, the PSU draws air in from the bottom of the case and vents to the back. Inside temps stay around 28C with my house being 25C

The stock heatsink on the 1100T is a nice compact heatpipe design. Under normal barely loaded operation the cool an quiet feature along with the 890G mobos features keep the fan around 25% which you almost cannot hear at all. With all cores at 100% she ramps up to around 6K rpm and sometimes upwards of almost 7K in which she sounds like a jet about to take off lol I have only experienced that level of ramp up however running burn in benchmarks.

Pic of the stock AMD cooler...
August 2, 2011 5:17:25 PM

Hmmm...no issues with your SSD you say...i guess people could (should ;)  ) use the 60GB one then...and you're right, no SSD is completely bug free...

though on second thoughts, i wouldn't want to change the case for voting purposes, because currently the three builds look very different, and variety is a good thing :) 

7000 RPM?! haha my cooler is a kid compared to what you've shown there! :D 
it goes upto 3100 RPM, and is quite audible. I've the usual intel stock heatsink+fan. thinking of changing to the very same coolers i'd like to use in this build, but that depends on whether i can find them here or not.

Arizona...i know there's a meteorite crater there...that's about it, except that it's usually hot...but 47! Delhi's temp ceiling is about that much, but it usually caps at around 45. 47-48 are exceptions really.

I don't have a fresh-air intake for the PSU :( ...i think i'll change to the HAF 912 soon...
August 2, 2011 5:28:57 PM

Az is very nice. We have most all climates here from snow sports, to sand dunes. 118 is a little hot for here, but has hit it several times this year. We average around 110 or so in the summer.

The haf case is nice. I dig it for sure!

You can see the corsair GT drive up towards the top of the pc case in this pic. It is bright red and sticks out big time! Still have some cable clean up to do as well but have not had time to do it lately as I have been swamped with work and travel.
August 2, 2011 5:33:03 PM

Wow, I made the top 3 :D 

I haven't updated my build in ages.. didn't seem like the voting was ever going to start.. I'm sure there is another video card equivalent available
August 2, 2011 7:24:06 PM

Just built the following matx gaming computer all off of newegg:

Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500K
Item #: N82E16819115072
$219.99

Antec BP550 Plus 550W Continuous Power ATX12V V2.2 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
Item #: N82E16817371016
$54.99

Patriot Signature 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory with heatshield Model PSD38G1600KH
Item #: N82E16820220570
$62.99

Rosewill RFX-120BL 120mm 2 Ball Bearing Blue LED Case Fan with Fan Controller Set
Item #: N82E16835200028
$8.99

HITACHI Deskstar 7K3000 HDS723015BLA642 (0F12114) 1.5TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Item #: N82E16822145520
$64.99

ASUS ENGTX560 TI DCII TOP/2DI/1GD5 GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support ...
Item #: N82E16814121425
$239.99

LG Black Super Multi SATA WH12LS30 LightScribe Support - OEM
Item #: N82E16827136226
$79.99

APEX TX-381-C Black Steel Micro ATX Tower Computer Case
Item #: N82E16811154094
$24.99

Crucial M4 CT064M4SSD2 2.5" 64GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
Item #: N82E16820148441
$99.99

ASUS Maximus IV Gene-Z LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
Item #: N82E16813131759
$179.99

ENERMAX UC-8EB 80mm Case Fan
Item #: N82E16811999199
$6.99

COOLER MASTER Intel Core i5 compatible GeminII S RR-CCH-PBU1-GP 120mm Sleeve CPU Cooler
Item #: N82E1683510304
$39.99

Total cost: $1154 after rebates and combo deals

Now, a few things I would like to mention while building this computer that I wish I would have known earlier:

1. When mounting the optional 120 mm fan on the front of the case, you need to cut a small part of the plastic edge of the fan away so the reset button does not get in the way, not a big deal, but annoying nonetheless

2. If you mount the power supply first, there will be one motherboard screw that is near impossible to get to, I did it after some patience and lots of swearing

3. The Crucial M4 doesn't come with a 3.5 inch bracket, I had to buy one from Fry's.

4. The heat sink (Gemini) is huge, but due to its short height it fits in the case just fine, and you can fit the Patriot ram under it, I was going to order the Gskill Ripjaws but opted for the Patriot due to the lower height

5. The GTX 560 TI is LOONNNGGG, and the heat sink is wide, both get in the way of your hard drives, you can easily put in one harddrive, but to get a second in takes planning and manuvering. I ended up putting my hitachi 1.5 TB drive up under the dvd drive because it wouldn't have fit anywhere else after I had got the mother board in. The order of putting in the motherboard/hard drives is important because the heat sink gets in the way, and make sure your harddrive isn't in the way of the videocard

6. The SATA connections are all crammed underneath the videocard, so make your sata connections are hooked up before putting in your video card

7. The funnel that comes with the case is useless, put a 80 mm fan there instead.

8. When mounting the heatsink, I found it so much easier to put the heatsink on the fan side, and mount the motherboard onto the heatsink so all the screws would line up because they are very springy.

This was my first matx build, and my first build in about 8 years, and I have to say, it could have gone a lot smoother if I had planned it better. The major thing was SPACE! I had virtually none to work with after the vcard and the heatsink were installed, plan your build carefully!

But now that I've got it running I couldn't be happier, it games like a monster on 1080p, and takes up far less real estate than my older full tower.
August 2, 2011 8:36:03 PM

The Coolermaster GX-650 was described by HardOCP as a "polished turd in a box." No thanks.
August 3, 2011 12:34:36 PM

Case looks pretty cool garage1217, yeah the SSD does stand out!

Hmmm Arizona and India have similar climates then...but Delhi doesn't have sand dunes or snow. Just lots of rain in during the monsoons...and intense heat and biting cold. Very extreme city. lol.

I wish the 912 came with more fans, because i'm kind of obsessed with cooling :D ...but i think i'll probably add some more fans to get around 160- 180 CFM through that case once i do get it...

jtt283 i dunno, i remember reading good reviews. Plus experience has been good so far. Again, there's still some money left over, ppl can change things if they want to.

August 3, 2011 2:50:16 PM

with the recent price drops, you can add a 96gb SSD to my build without changing out any of the hardware in it.
August 4, 2011 6:37:44 AM

I'm just not into Micro ATX builds...at $1200, I'd work in dual graphics or a GTX 580 though...I dunno what's going on with these:

CPU: $215 i5-2500K

Mobo: $120 Gigabyte Z68 MicroATX that's on those newegg sales

RAM: $65 G.Skill 1866CL9 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: $90 750W Antec http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Graphics: $550 2x Radeon 6950 2GB

HDD: $60 Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB

Case: $70 Anything "Micro"

DVD: $20 Any

TOTAL: $1190

Rebates drop it another $50 or so, you can save money if you can find a 650W PSU on sale, and you don't have to get a $70 case. I'd probably fit a Xigmatek Gaia cooler in there for $27 too.

I left the SSD off because this is a gaming build and graphics comes first.
August 4, 2011 11:53:36 AM

^ cant find anything wrong with this build ;) 

i dropped the sli idea because i thought heat would be a problem...which it probably would, considering the case i've used. Anyways, it would be a tight fit to say the least, the lian-li only has 4 expansion slots.
August 4, 2011 10:33:41 PM

Ehhh...graphics can handle heat just fine. The i5-2500K isn't heat limited, typically, so I figure plenty of Micro cases will get the job done.

EDIT: I looked up some Micro ATX cases and I can't verify that the slots line up for dual graphics...that would require a bit more research. But there are a ton of cases with decent airflow, so I don't think heat will be a major problem.
August 5, 2011 2:06:37 PM

^heat handling depends on the card...some get very hot (GTX 480s come to mind) so it depends really...wan't worried about the 2500k, snady bridge chips are cool (pun intended)...

But, then again, a high air flow case should manage it.

Wouldn't know about the slots, i use a mid tower...i don't run an SLI config anyway.
August 10, 2011 1:35:52 PM

Hey eds don't forget to change my cooler when you post the configs...that would just be wrong...
August 10, 2011 4:02:36 PM

If I'd had any notice about when this thing was going to go up for vote I think I would be in the lead with votes.. price drops over the time my early post sat there allow for a 96gb SSD to be added without changing any of the hardware listed.
August 10, 2011 4:08:07 PM

This poll is very frustrating.. ninja started and the one leading the poll doesn't even work as listed..
August 10, 2011 4:10:21 PM

Eh, don't get bent out of shape. All the builds picked seem a little "what?" in every category. This whole thing could have been better organized for sure.
August 10, 2011 4:12:27 PM

Yeah, not a huge deal. Wish they would have said "Hey! We are going to put the poll up soon, make sure your build is up to date in case you are selected!"
August 11, 2011 5:58:37 AM

What processor is better amd or intel?
August 11, 2011 4:06:10 PM

BrownDevis said:
What processor is better amd or intel?

Haha.
August 12, 2011 8:07:24 AM

^+1...
September 29, 2011 3:17:30 PM

This topic has been desticky in top of the forum by Jpishgar
!