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Build me a compact gaming rig

Last response: in Systems
December 12, 2011 11:13:09 AM

Hi all.

My old Core rig is getting -> old. It's a liquid cooled full tower with lots of slots and hard drive bays.
It's sitting behind the desk and it's a pain to reconnect USB devices, etc. Just want to put this ON my desk.
I don't think I need such a big heavy case for what I need to do.

I want to replace the whole thing with a compact micro-ATX Desktop "Shuttle" size - maybe smaller than a mini tower and smaller than ATX. Also keep my 850w Seasonic PSU.
I will move the RAID 5 array to an external box.

So, I think all I need is a i7 Sandy Bridge, ONE 16x PCIe slot, one or two PCIe 1x slots, 4 RAM slots (maybe 2 if 4 is not possible). One 2.5" SSD, One 3.5" hard-drive, and One 5 1/4" DVD-RW. I don't need a full tower just to fit this. And NO overclocking.
LucidLogix Virtu GPU Virtualization will be nice.

The only problem I see is the case needs to be long enough for a high-end (AMD 6970/ Nv GTX 580) graphics card.
The compact motherboard will also need WiFi, lots of USB ports, etc since the small motherboard will not have many available slots.

It will be used for Visual Studio, SQL Server, Video Transcoding, Photoshop, etc. and of course games (Crysis2 DX11, Battlefield 3, Metro 2033, etc). No Budget limit - just no gold/diamond plated cases please.

I live in a tropical area, so the case needs to be well ventilated/good circulation- even if not overclocked.

Asking for too much??


Best solution

a b B Homebuilt system
December 12, 2011 12:59:10 PM


here's what I got:

Fractal Design Arc Mini



G-Skill 8 GB 1600 MHz

6970, or you could get the 580

Crucial M4 128 GB

Seagate Barracuda 1 TB

whatever's cheapest

That is the best cooling mATX case (AFAIK), coupled with some awesome components.

edit: some components (mobo and SSD) are out of stock @ newegg so you could shop elsewhere or change them I guess
December 12, 2011 2:23:21 PM

Thanks for the post!

The case is cool and I did ask for cool. But I don't need 6 hard-drive bays.
Can I get by with a microATX Desktop type case, like this one ->

Or will a case this small give me trouble with what I'll use it for ?
Related resources
a b B Homebuilt system
December 12, 2011 3:47:57 PM

I'm not positive that fits all the components comfortably. I also wouldn't rely on the cooling capabilities of that case for a higher end gaming system like yours. Trust me, the Fractal is your best choice.
December 12, 2011 10:21:41 PM

Best answer selected by enewmen.
December 12, 2011 10:25:09 PM

I can easily do my own searching, buy things myself, and assemble myself.
But the real pros that actually use or sell many custom systems know much better which will work better for specific needs.