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Rate my ITX Build

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July 21, 2012 6:26:21 PM

Hey everyone, I got a few modifications and it took me atleast a week to finalize everything. I went from AMD to Intel. Change my casing and alot of stuff. Now my build is composed of high-end components inside a slick ITX case. My build is always base of performance in gaming, I didn't choose to upgrade to i5-2500k because that would be destroying my budget of a $1,000 in a strict budget. Enough with that let's move on to my specification. If you have recommendation, comments or concern about my build. Please comment below, that would really help alot.

GPU : EVGA GeForce GTX 670 FTW 2GB - $399.99 (Next Warehouse)

CPU : Intel Core i3-2120 Sandy Bridge 3.30 GHz LGA 1155 - $117.99 (Newegg)

Mobo : ASRock H77M-ITX LGA 1155 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Mini Intel Motherboard - $99.99 (Amazon)

RAM : G.SKILL Ripjaws Series X 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1600- $46 (Newegg)

Case : Bitfenix Prodigy MINI-ITX Tower Case Midnight Black - $79.99 (NCIX.US)

PSU : PC Power & Cooling Silencer MK III 500W Modular 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified - $75.98 (NCIX.US)

SSD : SAMSUNG 830 Series MZ-7PC128B/WW 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC - $119.50 (eBusiness Place)

CPU Fan & Heatsink : COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus -$21.99 (ILY Tech)

Additional Case Fans : COOLER MASTER 120MM Case Fan 4 in 1 PACK - $13.99 (Newegg) < For better
airflow.

TOTAL BUILD COST : $975.42

Ok feel free to comment, you may recommend me something higher or lower than $24. Since my build cost + $24 = $999.xx

Games Expecting to Run : All current games on the market in a 32" display (ULTRA Settings)

More about : rate itx build

July 21, 2012 6:38:59 PM

Hmm...Mini-ITX is really small, so you're gonna have a hard time fitting the Hyper 212 in the case. Other than that, the build is okay.
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July 21, 2012 6:39:48 PM

I really like the build.

The only possible change might be to use low profile ram to insure that you can clear the cpu cooler.
It should cost no more for the ares series version.

You should be ok on the cooler height; the hyper is a 160mm cooler, and the case allows 170mm.
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July 21, 2012 6:42:16 PM

I just don't think I could spend $1000 on a gaming unit with a dual core CPU.

What games do you play?
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July 21, 2012 6:42:56 PM

@geofelt Can you show me a link to a low profile ram that is 8 GB?
@fpoon You should have seen the case clearance, I can even put a radiator or liquid cooling in it. It's a different type of ITX case.
@stickg1 My budget doesn't go for a quad core. Dual core is good for gaming. I play Mass Effect 3, BF3, Crysis 2, Metro 2033, GTA 4 w/ ICenhancer, Skyrim, Need For Speed : The Run and many more.
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July 21, 2012 6:46:07 PM

Do you already have a hard drive? Because a 128GB SSD will be hard-pressed to store your OS, games, programs, and files.

Also: I see where the Prodigy can have 2 120mm fans mounted, but I dunno if it can hold 4. That being the case: [1] BitFenix already makes good fans - whether or not they've got their great ones in the case already is debatable, but they should be fine as it is. [2] I'd rather spend the money on two fantastic 120s than 4 less-than-fantastic ones (especially when those might not be an improvement over the stocks). Noctua, Scythe, and Corsair are good brands to look into.
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July 21, 2012 6:49:20 PM

@mousseng Noctua is a bit expensive, before I decided on getting a 120MM Fan x 4. I choose on where to put it, the first 2 will be on the top and the other 2 will be in front and rear. There are spaces to put the fan.
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July 21, 2012 6:50:31 PM

Cyb3rw0lf said:
@geofelt Can you show me a link to a low profile ram that is 8 GB?
@fpoon You should have seen the case clearance, I can even put a radiator or liquid cooling in it. It's a different type of ITX case.
@stickg1 My budget doesn't go for a quad core. Dual core is good for gaming. I play Mass Effect 3, BF3, Crysis 2, Metro 2033, GTA 4 w/ ICenhancer, Skyrim, Need For Speed : The Run and many more.


Here is the link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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July 21, 2012 7:35:47 PM

Cyb3rw0lf said:
@mousseng Noctua is a bit expensive, before I decided on getting a 120MM Fan x 4. I choose on where to put it, the first 2 will be on the top and the other 2 will be in front and rear. There are spaces to put the fan.

Right on, dude, didn't even see those top spots. Yeah, Noctua's expensive, but they're incredibly quiet and cool. Also, I didn't even consider the possibility of adding one of those 120s onto the Hyper 212 (even though it wouldn't be needed - but that would be one cold i3).

But yeah, apart from the RAM (GSkill's Ares and Kingston's HyperX are both great) and the HDD thing I mentioned, that build looks pretty cool. I think ITX/mATX builds are a lot cooler than regular ol' ATX computers (but that's just me).
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July 21, 2012 7:58:31 PM

Yeah, right now a dual core is good for FPS games. Who knows about the games of the future though. I had an i3-2120 in a gaming rig before. It was pretty good, not great though. People say it is faster in gaming than a Phenom II, I didn't see it that way.

I would ditch the 212 cooler, get a slightly cheaper GPU and put an i5-2400 in that build.
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July 21, 2012 8:07:16 PM

stickg1 said:
Yeah, right now a dual core is good for FPS games. Who knows about the games of the future though. I had an i3-2120 in a gaming rig before. It was pretty good, not great though. People say it is faster in gaming than a Phenom II, I didn't see it that way.

I would ditch the 212 cooler, get a slightly cheaper GPU and put an i5-2400 in that build.

This is also a viable option - but I don't know that a 7850 or 560ti (what he'd be looking at for that price) would handle what he's wanting (every game at ultra settings). It'd definitely be a beast still, but in my opinion I'd say sticking with the i3 would be best for now.
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July 21, 2012 8:07:35 PM

If I were going to replace my Lian Li case, that Bitfenix would probably be the one I'd get. The CM fans will be fairly quiet at first, but expect them not to last, and possibly even break blades. I have not had great luck with high-end fans, but I still have a couple of Rosewill low-speed fans that are pretty decent.
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July 21, 2012 8:17:27 PM

Quote:
I'd rather have a Z series motherboard so when you do finally upgrade to an i5 or whatever you will have full overclocking abilities.
nothing wrong with an i3-2120 and Z68 Gen3 or Z77 for starters.
but duly note that an i3 will not be a gaming chip for too much longer with more gamer going quad cores,
hyper-threading can only get you so far.

This is definitely something to consider, OP. Problem is, there's only one ITX Z77 motherboard that's not $200 (it's about $150-160) on Newegg (I've yet to check other places). A few things you could do to squeeze it in, though:

- Drop the Hyper 212 for now, then get something better once you get a 2500k/3570k. ($30ish off)
- Get an HDD over SSD - you can get even 1TB 7200RPM drives for less than a 128GB SSD, and 500GBs for even less (about $40 off)

Those savings should let you get this ASRock board.
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July 21, 2012 8:25:51 PM

Just wanted to put this in here: All the ITX mobos only have a maximum of 6 power phases, and I assume 2 are for the iGPU. This means that the boards wont be great for overclocking... Dont expect any great OCs...
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July 21, 2012 8:27:19 PM

I think he could snag an i5-2400 and an HD7950 on that same budget. I'm playing games on ultra very comfortably with a HD7870 @ 1080p, he should be able to do that with a 7950 or even 7870.
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July 21, 2012 8:31:14 PM

stickg1 said:
I think he could snag an i5-2400 and an HD7950 on that same budget. I'm playing games on ultra very comfortably with a HD7870 @ 1080p, he should be able to do that with a 7950 or even 7870.

Not gonna lie, I've no idea where I got those numbers from. I'll chalk it up to not having eaten lunch. Yeah, 2400+7950 looks totally doable.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $70 off GPU
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $70 more on CPU
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July 21, 2012 8:45:36 PM

As you can see from my .sig, I'm running that ASRock Z77 mini-ITX, and I love it. It has 6+2 power phases, although I'm not overclocking (yet) due to as-yet unresolved cooler issues, plus so far there's really been no need. It only has four SATA ports on it (2 each of 3Gb/s and 6Gb/s), but it also has a mSATA slot on its underside. It does NOT come with a hold-down screw for it though. The wireless on it has worked well too.
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July 22, 2012 11:30:40 AM

Thank you all for keeping in touch with this topic, but first of all.. Intel Core i5-2400 is not for overclocking, so if I get a Z77, it's kinda useless. As for the GPU, 670 is the beast, so I don't have to upgrade and upgrade. I have an HDD so I don't have any concern with that for now. Any more recommendations, comments and suggestions are most likely be entertained :) 
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July 22, 2012 1:02:31 PM

@urban legend Can you please recommend me the things that will be best for this, you can change everything except for video card, motherboard and case.
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July 22, 2012 1:38:31 PM

You can change the motherboard. Just not the video card and case. I want to see how this works well.
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July 22, 2012 2:27:49 PM

From the first list, only change the ram to low profile; it costs no more.

Keep the Z77 based motherboard. It also will cost no more, and it leaves open the option to later change to a stronger "K" chip with the option to overclock.

The Z77 chipset permits you to use a small ssd as a cache for the larger hard drive.
In the right environment, this can be good. Most of the time, it is better to use a ssd for the os.
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July 22, 2012 2:52:48 PM

It depends, just hit for the $520.02 < The GPU and case is worth $479.98
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July 22, 2012 2:54:38 PM

Cyb3rw0lf said:
Thank you all for keeping in touch with this topic, but first of all.. Intel Core i5-2400 is not for overclocking, so if I get a Z77, it's kinda useless. As for the GPU, 670 is the beast, so I don't have to upgrade and upgrade. I have an HDD so I don't have any concern with that for now. Any more recommendations, comments and suggestions are most likely be entertained :) 


The HD7950 is still a really good card. I guarantee if you buy an i3 and gtx670 you will feel the need to upgrade the CPU in less than a year and a half.

It's not as if the gtx670 is twice as powerful as a HD7950. If you were to get a more powerful CPU to match with that high end GPU you will be more satisfied with the performance, and the build will last longer with no major upgrades.
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July 22, 2012 3:03:14 PM

@stickg1 My concern here is gaming, I can get the 7950 and i5-2500k. But I won't risk of getting an amd card over nvidia. I know after a year that i3-2120 will need upgrade but not really necessary. Almost all games uses dual core and I saw the tomshardware review about i3-2120 that it is best gaming cpu for the budget over amd cpu's. If I do upgrade to i5-2500k, I'll be slashing alot of components and downgrading them just to squeeze the i5-2500k. But your opinion is quite right, I'm more of an maximum performance type of guy with a strict budget. I research on all of this components before I even post my build, for now I wanted you all to recommend me components that will think be the best, this excludes the gpu and case. I will choose the best answer if the specification is better than mine.
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July 22, 2012 3:09:28 PM

Cyb3rw0lf said:
@stickg1 My concern here is gaming, I can get the 7950 and i5-2500k. But I won't risk of getting an amd card over nvidia. I know after a year that i3-2120 will need upgrade but not really necessary. Almost all games uses dual core and I saw the tomshardware review about i3-2120 that it is best gaming cpu for the budget over amd cpu's. If I do upgrade to i5-2500k, I'll be slashing alot of components and downgrading them just to squeeze the i5-2500k. But your opinion is quite right, I'm more of an maximum performance type of guy with a strict budget. I research on all of this components before I even post my build, for now I wanted you all to recommend me components that will think be the best, this excludes the gpu and case. I will choose the best answer if the specification is better than mine.


I'm suggesting an i5-2400. I'm definitely not trying to say go with an AMD. My point is, one of your main games (BF3) benefits from a quad core. It's true, a lot of today's games are fine with a dual core. As more people move on to quad core (or more) CPU's, developers will start making games that benefit from a quad core CPU. But yeah an i3 is fine today, I can't predict the future though.
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July 22, 2012 3:21:35 PM

If you may, post the link to the product.
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!