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Powerful Mini ATX - Micro ATX build

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April 26, 2012 12:27:24 PM

I have to put together a gaming pc for a client. The client will only settle for top of the range and isn't interested in a gaming laptop. He goes to tons of LAN's hence the reason for the form factor so he can literally just carry the box under the arm and the screen in the other hand. So he basically wants the best available components in a tiny box i wanted him to at least get a ATX build but he wouldn't budge. Only want a Micro or Mini ATX build. So guys any input will be appreciated.

Approximate Purchase Date: End of this month or next month

Budget Range: N/A (money is no object)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming,Music,Movies

Parts Not Required: Need Everything

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: I deal directly with suppliers so no internet sites are required

Country: South Africa

Parts Preferences: I can only get the following brands from my suppliers, MSI, GIGABYTE, COUGAR, RAIDMAX,CORSAIR, SEAGATE, WESTERN DIGITAL, SAMSUNG (SCREENS) PROLINE, RAPTOR, THERMALTAKE, LOGITECH, INTEL (Client doesn't want AMD)

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: As small,quite and powerful as possible.

Best solution

April 26, 2012 1:51:44 PM

I think your best bet would be to grab something like this:

i5-3570K
8GB Corsair 1600Mhz RAM
MSI/Gigabyte Mini ITX Z77 motherboard
240GB Intel 520 Series SSD
HD 7850 (Sapphire/ASUS if possible but there is a Gigabyte one)
Samsung Bluray Burner
Scythe Shuriken CPU Cooler (If you have to go with Thermaltake you could grab the Thermaltake Slim X3 CLP0534 and put a quieter fan on it.)

For the case and PSU I would personally avoid Thermaltake for a 'money is no object' build. I would try to source the Seasonic X-560 and the LIAN LI PC-TU200.

Now you could probably fit a more powerful graphics card in there but I wouldn't recommend it to be honest. The HD 7850 is small enough to fit in that case and should run cool and quiet. You may be able to cram a GTX 680 or something in there but it might get noisy.

Total cost on Newegg is around $1500 so maybe 12,000-15,000 ZAR

I hope this helps.
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April 26, 2012 2:00:59 PM

Thanks JM that build looks good ill forward the info to the client and ill see what his response is i had something similiar in mind but a 570GTX as a card. Iam just trying to get as much input from the community as possible before i start ordering and putting the PC together
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April 26, 2012 2:03:30 PM

The HD 7850 would trade blows with the GTX 570, they're close in performance but the HD 7850 consumes far less power so would run a lot cooler.
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April 26, 2012 2:22:49 PM

alright thanks again just waiting for input from the client to see what he thinks
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April 26, 2012 2:40:12 PM

7850 is The *perfect* mini-itx graphics card,
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April 26, 2012 5:20:46 PM



It probably revolves around your case selection.

I think it's great than we can build ITX but your chums best bet is probably mATX simply for practicality. It's not going to be than much bigger than ITX, anyway. TT has some 'cube' cases that may be available to you that might take 10-inch cards. A SilverStone SUGO would be great if available to you. They will take quite a large card -- probably anything you throw at it.

An mATX board should add more fan & other headers, access to PCIe and PCI slots, and more room for a 2-slot card video card.

And that's what it comes down to . . . your video card. A Radeon HD7850 and Ivy Bridge is a great choice, but a guy (or girl) with a Radeon HD7970 and a PhII 965 will get better frames in almost all cases. Remember: It's the video card.

As far as Ivy, early reports seem to suggest it might run a touch warm compared to Sandy, though with less power, which is not really a priority, here (except for too much heat).

As far as quiet -- with an mATX chassis with a second external 5.25-bay, you may add an appropriate fan controller. Aggressive speed control through hardware and software is the ticket, here, so you should probably select the OEM-brand motherboard with which you have had the best success.


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April 26, 2012 6:52:39 PM

I think Ivy Bridge should be cooler than Sandy at stock, it's overclocking where it gets hot as far as I'm aware.

The reason I suggested that Lian Li case was because it looks great, it has that carrying handle and it's very light so he could carry it in one hand. If you can find a mATX tower with those things, that would be even better. I struggled to find one myself

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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April 28, 2012 7:55:48 AM

Thanks for the reply's guys the client looked at the build suggestion and said he will settle for a Micro-ATX build he said as long as he can carry it one handed he doesn't have a problem. We went over the specs and this is the final build i put together. I got an email saying he wants the build by Wednesday next week and my supplier is only getting the Ivy Bridge CPU's 1-2 months from now (the joy of living in south Africa :(  ) just remember i can only get certain brands and/or parts from my supplier and this is the best i could come up with. I did a lot of measurements and this should technically work any input would be appreciated. Also he said noise wouldnt be to much of a problem as long as its powerful. He is also going to do some custom mods to the case as well to improve airflow at a later stage.

GPU: http://www.gigabyte.co.za/products/product-page.aspx?pi... (i have done the measurements this graphics card will fit in the case listed below since the case doesnt have a HDD bay which goes all the way to the bottom of the case)

CPU: http://ark.intel.com/products/52210

CASE: http://www.gigabyte.co.za/products/product-page.aspx?pi...

MOBO: http://www.gigabyte.co.za/products/product-page.aspx?pi...

RAM: http://www.corsair.com/vengeance-8gb-dual-channel-ddr3-...

PSU: http://www.corsair.com/power-supply-units/gaming-series...

SSD: http://www.corsair.com/ssd/force-series-gt-ssd/force-se...

HDD: Western Digital Caviar Black 2TB

SCREEN: http://www.samsung.com/africa_en/consumer/pc-peripheral...

MOUSE: http://www.logitech.com/en-za/mice-pointers/mice/device...

KEYBOARD: http://www.logitech.com/en-za/keyboards/keyboard/device...

FANS: 3x Thermaltake Standard 92mm fan (1 in front blowing in, 1 at the back blowing out and 1 on the side blowing in)

CPU COOLER: http://www.thermaltakeusa.com/Product.aspx?C=1417&ID=19... (this is the best cpu cooler i could get considering case size)

Thanks again guys just remember this is the best i could put together considering what my suppliers can get. Any input would be appreciated
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April 28, 2012 10:41:03 AM

2500k [ ivy bridge doesnt look like an improvement for overclockers ]
Z77 micro ATX
2 x4 gig of RAM
Radeon 7950 , or 7970, GTX 680 ....... depending on budget
120 gig SSD
500 gig hard drive
500- 650 watt psu depending on graphics
Hyper 212 cpu cooler
silverstone TJ 08e case
http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/cases/2011/09/07/silve...
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April 28, 2012 5:34:05 PM


I think the HD7970 will work great. AMD has some great power-saving features that might help yah keep things cool.

Just a heads -up. Your case says 90mm fans

I'd demand a rebate from your supplier :) 

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April 28, 2012 9:29:09 PM

Wisecracker said:
I think the HD7970 will work great. AMD has some great power-saving features that might help yah keep things cool.

Just a heads -up. Your case says 90mm fans

I'd demand a rebate from your supplier :) 


Agreed .
The gigabyte case is way too cheap and poorly ventilated .
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April 30, 2012 6:24:38 AM

Outlander_04 said:
Agreed .
The gigabyte case is way too cheap and poorly ventilated .


Unfortunately i don't have any other options and some of the other brands i can order are even worse quality. Just remember i can only get certain brands or parts from my suppliers. Your forgetting i live in South Africa and don't have the thousands of options that the US or EU have. But he said the case will be modified at some later stage to improve ventilation.
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April 30, 2012 6:30:32 AM

I think it's great than we can build ITX but your chums best bet is probably mATX simply for practicality. It's not going to be than much bigger than ITX, anyway.
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April 30, 2012 6:10:46 PM


It will work out great for your mate -- hopefully heat-ventilation, noise, etc . simply are not as issue. Under-volt the CPU and Power-Tune the Radeon a bit. Problem solved.

It's really annoying with the 90/92mm fan thing. It's just simply annoying. Did I mention it's annoying?

Maybe you can fashion some small rubber spacers (nails used for metal roofing have them) and 'skew' the screws in without too much hassle.

That's custom-engineered sound optimizations for quiet operation where I live :D 


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April 30, 2012 9:43:12 PM

well you can grab a matx mobo and if the fans are still too small just punch some holes in it and add a 140 or something ^_^

silverstone got awesome fans but seems you can't grab some.

MSI, GIGABYTE, COUGAR, RAIDMAX,CORSAIR, SEAGATE, WESTERN DIGITAL, SAMSUNG (SCREENS) PROLINE, RAPTOR, THERMALTAKE, LOGITECH, INTEL (Client doesn't want AMD)

go with matx with a thermaltake case
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May 2, 2012 6:43:43 AM

Well okay whats done is done. Ive assembled the PC and tempretures are reasonable inside the Gigabyte case. I ran MSI Kombuster and these are the highest recorded temps. Take note: It is quite cold this side of the world so that could be contributing to the temps.

CPU IDLE: 36c
CPU LOAD: 49c
GPU IDLE: 45c
GPU LOAD: 83c

The client said hes going to get someone to modify the side panel and add a 200mm intake fan and then modify the top of the case to add a 120mm exhaust fan so overall this addition should drop the temps even more
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May 3, 2012 7:04:52 AM

Best answer selected by Cromat88.
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