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Your 10 inch unit is too big! I only need 8.5 inches to satisfy me

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Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 10, 2012 1:18:19 PM

No that's not a line from a porno (well actually it may be but I haven't verified that), but it's a real problem that I've run into with a custom build that I'm doing. The case that I'm building has room for an 8.5 inch video card (and that's assuming that the power connector is not located on the end of the card).

Here's what I have to work with:

Motherboard: ASUS P8Z77-I Deluxe

CPU: I'll probably go with an overclocked Intel i5 2500K for now until I see performance reviews on the new Ivy Bridge stuff

Memory: 16 gigs of DDR3 1600

PSU: SeaSonic X Series X650 Gold

Storage: 120-128 gig SSD (I haven't narrowed it down to a specific unit yet)

This computer will mainly be running WoW and Starcraft 2 on a 1080P tv. I've recently started playing Skyrim, so I'd like a card that would be able to handle that as well. I know maxing out WoW and Starcraft shouldn't be a problem, but Skyrim I'm not so sure about. I've been looking at the GTX 550 Ti because it states that it's only 8.25" long and that would leave room for a power connector if it's on the end.

My question is if the GTX 550 Ti would handle what I'm looking to play and if not, is there a better card out there that still fits within my size constraints? My price range is up to $300 and I'm looking to complete this build within a month. The motherboard I'm looking to use hasn't been released yet, but I believe Asus will be pushing it out later this month.

More about : inch unit big inches satisfy

a b U Graphics card
April 10, 2012 1:30:39 PM

"the case that i'm building" -you're building a custom case? or buying one (which one)?

I ask because many cases can fit a larger card than they say with some very simple "mods", like removing a drive tray.

Otherwise, i'll see if i can find a 560ti that's half an inch shorter than reference.

edit: hmm, looks like 7850s come at 8 inches.
both of these are 8 inches:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
...but they also have the power cable on the end.
I'll look some more.
April 10, 2012 1:40:24 PM

Thanks for the reply. I guess I should have been more direct. I am fabricating a custom case that, for reasons I can't discuss yet, will only fit a card with a maximum length of 8.5 inches (including a power connector). I'll post a link to the build information when I have it completed and have been able to run some performance tests.
a b U Graphics card
April 10, 2012 1:44:55 PM

custom cases are awesome, not sure why you'd make it only fit 8.5" but i'm sure you have a good reason.

Also my mind changed your 8.5 to 8... not sure why. The above cards will work in your case.

edit:
yeah, the 7850 seems to be the best card under 8.5 inches.
The other option is SLI/CF of, say, 6850s. Some people notice micro stuttering in this situation though. It's not something that bothers me, but many people are bothered by it.

The 7850 will run the games you mentioned just fine.

edit again:
any particular reason you have a near $300 mobo? Actually i don't even see why that mobo is so expensive. A $150 one would fit your needs better unless you have some particular need.
April 10, 2012 2:12:19 PM

I'm going with the mini-itx due to size constraints. This Asus board is the only one that I've been able to find that has wireless, blue-tooth and a good power-handling system. All the other mini-itx boards that I've looked at had some pretty shitty components that were geared more towards htpc builders who didn't have any desire to overclock a processor. With this board and it's ability to handle power in a more efficient way I would imagine that heat issues would be more manageable.

If you know of another mini-itx board that has all of these features and actually has decent components like full size ATX boards do then please let me know. I don't want to spend a fortune on a build, but I do want good quality and the best bang for my buck.
April 10, 2012 2:22:08 PM

this custom case you can not talk about

are you running drugs across the border again?
April 10, 2012 2:37:51 PM

Haha no drug running here amigo! It's just that with building this custom case I want to wait until it's completed and I've had a bit of time running some performance tests (to make sure the case is allowing for adequate cooling) before I have other case modders try to copy my potentially stupid idea for a case. If the case is sound and it keeps cool under pressure then I'll be happy to share my idea. If it's a piece of crap that overheats even at idle and destroys all the new goodies that I've put inside then I don't want anyone else walking down that same road.

As for the 7850 card that was mentioned earlier, I've only been able to find one that fits within my size constraints.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

All of the other offerings from companies like Gigabyte, Asus and Sapphire have cooling systems on their cards that put the length over 8.5 inches. I've never dealt with a PowerColor product. Are they any good (as in reliability, drivers and tech support)?
a b U Graphics card
April 10, 2012 2:42:19 PM

oh i see, i was looking at the v version instead of the i version. Where are you purchasing your stuff? I can't find that mobo on any of the usual sites.

powercolor is a budget brand, it works though. I also linked a diamond one that's the same size. Also a budget brand.

Drivers are handled by AMD, so no worries. RMA's should be done through newegg, not powercolor, i shudder at the thought of using their tech support. Low chance of it lasting the first month and then dying though (newegg will rma for the first month), most faulty cards are bad when they arrive.

buy the extended service plan if you're really worried, not really worth it though.
April 10, 2012 2:48:48 PM

Errr wait. You don't want anyone copying your case, but your reason for keeping it a secret until it's done is so that those who make your case don't fry their components after your test it? Would breaking the components of people copying your case before you want them to be a good thing?
April 10, 2012 3:02:57 PM

stingstang said:
Errr wait. You don't want anyone copying your case, but your reason for keeping it a secret until it's done is so that those who make your case don't fry their components after your test it? Would breaking the components of people copying your case before you want them to be a good thing?



Like I said, I don't mind if someone copies my case as long as it turns out to be good. If it turns out to be crap I'll still let everyone know how I built it because perhaps someone could improve on the design. I love working with computers and being responsible even when it comes to someone else's parts, so you'll have to excuse me for actually having some moral fiber.
April 10, 2012 3:06:28 PM

slicedtoad said:
oh i see, i was looking at the v version instead of the i version. Where are you purchasing your stuff? I can't find that mobo on any of the usual sites.

powercolor is a budget brand, it works though. I also linked a diamond one that's the same size. Also a budget brand.

Drivers are handled by AMD, so no worries. RMA's should be done through newegg, not powercolor, i shudder at the thought of using their tech support. Low chance of it lasting the first month and then dying though (newegg will rma for the first month), most faulty cards are bad when they arrive.

buy the extended service plan if you're really worried, not really worth it though.



Thanks for the info! That motherboard hasn't been released yet. If you go to http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/Intel_Socket_1155/P8Z7... you can read up more on it. I'm sure the cost will be at a premium, but it's nice to see a company actually cram quality components onto a mini-itx for those that are looking for a smaller form factor.
a b U Graphics card
April 10, 2012 3:12:13 PM

man, this is a funny thread. Totally understand about the feeling responsible for advice bit. The reverse is also true, the advised is also responsible for making sure the advice is sound.
I hate it when people buy wtvr i tell them without questioning or reviewing it themselves. I might be more current in computer parts but i'm not them and i don't know all their preferences and expectations, how can someone blindly spend their money solely based on the advice of an anonymous internet person.

edit: wow, vertical mosfets. They've gone 3d in their attempt to pack features in. Very nice mobo, though i'd check some reviews after it comes out just to make sure it doesn't have problems. So much potential for problems in that kind of board, but Asus pulls a lot of interesting things off.

As for an SSD, i'd recommend the m4. If you can spend a bit more and want emphasis on looks as well as speed, the samsung 830 looks awesome. Plenty of sandforce based drives too if you need something cheaper, just as fast but less reliable.
April 10, 2012 3:31:12 PM

Most of the computers that I've built have been business machines that have no need for discreet video. I've built "gaming" computers before, but that was some time ago back when 6800gt cards were awesome (yeah it's been a while). I'm really enjoying this custom build so far and I appreciate all of the suggestions I'm getting. As for the single-fan card options that have been suggested, is it worth replacing the stock heat sink and fan with an aftermarket or are the temp differences just not noticeable?
April 10, 2012 3:49:02 PM

My 5770 was a PowerColor. Never had any trouble with it. Still running strong in my co-worker's computer that I built for him.
a b U Graphics card
April 10, 2012 3:50:29 PM

worth it for the money? no. worth it because you can't fit a better card and want to oc? maybe.

There is definitely a temp difference and noise difference. The stock fan blows air out of the case while aftermarket fans keep the air inside the case. If your case is well ventilated an aftermarket cooler will work well, but if there isn't much airflow, it will heat the inside of the case up.

But, yeah, aftermarket coolers are for noise or overclocking. The stock fan should work fine for stock clocks with bearable noise.

edit: @sinisterSalad, yeah i've had a few powercolor gpus. Only one was bad, but i've had bad sapphire and asus cards as well. In my experience only asus (of those three, never dealed with RMAs from other gpu brands) has anything that can be called support. The powercolor got RMAed to newegg and the sapphire (i didn't test it till after 30 days) required me to fix it myself since they wanted $50 for shipping.
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