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SFF pc-assistance with mobo/chassis/cooling and saving money.

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March 15, 2012 8:27:10 AM

I am somewhat new to building PC's, I have built only two so far. I was thinking of purchasing a gaming laptop but did not want to spend an enormous bundle of cash on one.

I wanted small size and performance to play modern games, I don't expect this PC to max out every game today but I am hoping to run games like Skyrim on decent settings. I spent today looking for a case, I believe I found one that I am ok with but I am indecisive on many things. I am having issues with creating a form factor pc.

EDIT: Definitely not going to be a cheap build.

The case I chose so far

Lian Li PC-Q08-109$
http://www.lian-li.com/v2/en/product/product06.php?pr_i...

Motherboard
ZOTAC Z68-ITX WiFi - 164.99$
http://www.zotac.com/index.php?page=shop.product_detail...

CPU
Intel Core i5-2500 3.3 GHz 6 MB Cache Socket-194.99$
http://www.amazon.com/Intel-i5-2500-Socket-LGA1155-Proc...

The video card that I intended to base everything around is
MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II GeForce GTX 560 Ti-246.10
http://www.amazon.com/MSI-N560GTX-Ti-II-GeForce-256-bit...

I built a computer for gaming last year and I feel guilty for retiring it so soon, The form factor pc I intend to create currently has a socket 1155 Mobo lined up but I was wondering if it was worth attempting to locate a socket 1366 MicroATX motherboard so I can reuse my i7930.

Forgive me for being difficult but I am looking for many things. I am seeking input on cube cases that may be better than what I have lined up in terms of cooling and space, a microATX socket 1155 board that is cheap but of good quality and performance. I also want to know if I should just try and sell my old PC and use the funds for this build or if I should salvage as many old pieces as I can.

I am focusing on keeping things as cool as possible as a preventative measure. I believe the GPU I have chosen will do well in terms of cooling and the reviews I have seen reinforce this. I am also wondering how feasible it is to introduce liquid cooling into this.


March 15, 2012 9:24:24 PM

The i7 930 is quite a viable CPU still as long as you are not going for ultra high end graphics, and since you have the 560Ti listed that is quite ok.

Not a lot of choices out there for LGA1366 Microatx, but Asus Rampage III Gene is excellent. Suports SataIII and USB3 as well.
At 229.99 from newegg it's hardly cheap though. Considering you can get the above EVGA board for a lot cheaper and the sandy bridge chips do perform better.

So basically getting a sandy bridge setup will cost you extra $100 out of pocket, but you will get all the benefits of it as well.
So if you can find someone to sell your old setup to, then that would be perfect as it would pay for most of the above i'm sure.
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March 16, 2012 2:33:40 AM

Do you know of any other 1155 boards that may be cheaper? I like EVGA but since I am trying to cut costs I think I should look for an alternative company.
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March 16, 2012 2:43:40 AM

rvilkman said:
The i7 930 is quite a viable CPU still as long as you are not going for ultra high end graphics, and since you have the 560Ti listed that is quite ok.

Not a lot of choices out there for LGA1366 Microatx, but Asus Rampage III Gene is excellent. Suports SataIII and USB3 as well.
At 229.99 from newegg it's hardly cheap though. Considering you can get the above EVGA board for a lot cheaper and the sandy bridge chips do perform better.

So basically getting a sandy bridge setup will cost you extra $100 out of pocket, but you will get all the benefits of it as well.
So if you can find someone to sell your old setup to, then that would be perfect as it would pay for most of the above i'm sure.


Why would you even think about going 1366 when it's two generations old now and vastly outdated? Sure Sandy Bridge will cost a little bit more but it's definitely worth it.

Quote:
Do you know of any other 1155 boards that may be cheaper? I like EVGA but since I am trying to cut costs I think I should look for an alternative company.


I just wouldn't use an EVGA board - I like them as well but they're not the best motherboard maker around - they're more of a GPU vendor. I recommend this board a lot and it works great: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


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March 16, 2012 5:26:24 AM

I have heard some bad talk about Gigabyte.I cant remember specifics but I believe it was about them having many different boards recalled due to some problems. I am not sure about their quality but I see people mock them allot. Whether this is due to quality of their parts or just people bandwagoning I don't know.

Also I thought basically what you said about 1366. At this point I am just selling my old PC and going with Sandy. I am currently looking at the MSI website to see what they have but the way they display their products makes it inconvenient to search for what I'm looking for. At this point I guess they don't have micro ATX boards but Ill google to double check.

EDIT: I guess I failed at looking,google threw some at me right away.
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March 16, 2012 5:41:27 AM

Thank you for pointing that out. I had a feeling I overlooked something like that. I hope to hold onto the case so I am going to find a new mobo. This is my first time working with anything other than the normal ATX so its embarrassing. I also want to thank you guys for the assistance and dealing with my foolishness. I am using this as a learning experience also.
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March 16, 2012 7:24:09 AM

Lian Li PC-A04B $99.99
Lian Li PC-V351B $109.99

Could consider one of the above as a case.

The Mini-ITX motherboards currently on the market have very limited overclockability.
However at least Asus has stated that the Z77 based boards coming out 'soonish' I guess, should support proper overclocking as well.
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March 16, 2012 8:31:03 AM

I have never attempted overclocking yet and with the size of the cases I want to use it is nerve wracking to think about. I am hoping to use a cube case but the PC-A04B does look nice. The PC-V351B is a great size but I feel using it would give me problems with air flow.

I am looking at the MSI website for motherboards, the way they organize their boards is inconvenient.

EDIT: mini ITX is annoying, all I found from MSI is http://www.msi.com/product/mb/H61I-E35--B3-.html#/?div=... which is not what I am looking for at all.

another edit:

Ok so what I think would work is sticking with the Lian Li case in the original post and using this motherboard http://www.zotac.com/index.php?page=shop.product_detail...

I think this should be fine but if im off on anything please tell me, trying to make something form factor is terrifying to do.
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March 16, 2012 9:42:22 AM

The Zotac is currently the best available I believe. The form factor causes quite a few limitations, but that mobo has gotten decent reviews. The overclockability being the biggest gripe.

Lian Li PC-V354B $129.99
Might also be a viable alternative, it definately has the airflow you need.

There is another alternative in your form factor Silverstone FT03 $159.99
It's funky and needs a Slot in slim DVD drive but airflow is great :)  ( looks like a black trashcan :) 
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