Mini-ITX Gaming Build

Hi Guys,

I saw the article this past week about the new Coolermaster Mini-ITX case and got pretty excited. I'm thinking about building a gaming rig for it and wanted some insight. My current computer is a AMD Phenom II x4 965 (running at stock speeds) with 4GB of memory and a ATI Radeon 5770 video card. Other specs include 3 640GB western digital blacks running in raid 5, 128GB Crucial M4 SSD, OCZ 600W modular power supply, Coolermaster Hyper 212+ cpu cooler, blu-ray burner all encased in a Antec Three Hundred-Two case.

I was thinking of building the foolowing:


Mobo: ASUS P8H77-I LGA

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770S or Intel Core i5-3450S

I'm looking at the lower thermal design power options for cooling, this is mostly what I want input on. I want to do this build with an Ivy Bridge processor (so I'm not looking to do an i5-2500k as is the usual recommendation). I'm also not looking to do any overclocking, so I don't see the point in paying for an unlocked processor. Would it be worth it to pick up the "s" model processor, or should i just go with a stock i7 or i5? Also, I know an i7 is overkill for gaming, just playing with an option since I do video encoding from time to time.

Cooling: COOLER MASTER GeminII M4 RR-GMM4-16PK-R2 (only cooler I came across in a brief search that would fit in this case for sure)

Memory: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (overkill, I know. Might just go with one 8gb stick or reuse my 2x4GB OCZ memory)

Graphics: Undetermined AMD Radeon 7850 (looking to game at 1920x1080 with single monitor, thinking AMD since the 7000 series draws so much less power than NVIDIA)

Storage: Reuse existing storage as possible. With only room for 2 3.5" drives and one 2.5" SSD, my raid will be shrinking or going to a RAID 0 that I backup externally).

Power Supply: Maybe reuse existing, or go with a fanless Seasonic 460W supply. From using Newegg's power supply calculator, this size should be sufficient.

I'm looking forward to you input/suggestions. I know that a mini-ITX rig isn't normal, but I want something that has less of a footprint on my desk and this case is one of the only I've seen that will handle a full size gaming card with multiple hard drives bays and a full size disc drive. I've seen that people think the case is ugly, not a big concern to me.

Also looking to use Newegg and Amazon to order parts. I have a prime account already, so I like the shipping options and their return policy is pretty sweet. I've used tirger direct twice in the past and have had items come to me damaged and had to be returned (it looked like shipping damage on both, this may have just been bad luck).

Also, if you think it's a waste to upgrade my current rig, let me know that too. It games pretty well, but I have hungry eyes for new tech.
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  1. Best answer

    I'm not sure 6 or 7 watts saved in using a "S" series CPU over a plain CPU is worth the performance loss. it not much either way, but I would rather have the better (slight) performance. whether you go with i5 or i7 should be base on budget and how much video encoding you do and whether not waiting a few additional seconds is worth the $.

    Memory wise, don't go with a single stick whatever you do. the performance hit of single channel memory vs dual channel is significant.

    I have a XFX double D HD 7850 in a small uATX case and it works well, its a good pick for your rig.

    based on the position of the PSU (over the CPU/MB) and the fact the case is small, I'm not sure going fanless on the PSU is a good call. having the PSU's fan to help move the air around is probably a good thing.

    just my thoughts, hopefully you will get some more.
  2. Best answer selected by kab1985.
  3. Thanks for you input. I'll pass on the "s" model. Also, thanks for the input on single channel vs dual channel memory. I'll also look to get a PSU with a fan. I hadn't taken a close look at its placement in the case.
  4. About the mobo/CPU fan combo, I was also thinking of getting the same 2 parts but I've heard the GeminII M4 gets in the way of your RAm slots/ PCI-E slot on some motherboards....Does this one fit nicely without getting too close to anything? :heink:
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