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Need advice on this SFF build!

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September 27, 2012 8:42:41 AM

CPU: Intel Core i5-3550 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor ($209.98 @ NCIX US)

Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-I Deluxe Mini ITX LGA1155 Motherboard ($179.51 @ NCIX US)

Memory: Kingston Blu 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($29.99 @ Newegg)

Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($64.00 @ Compuvest)

Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($344.99 @ Newegg)

Case: BitFenix Prodigy (White) Mini ITX Tower Case ($79.99 @ NCIX US)

Power Supply: Corsair Professional 650W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($109.99 @ Newegg)

Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($15.99 @ SuperBiiz)

Monitor: Acer V203HLBJbd 60Hz 20.0" Monitor ($95.71 @ Compuvest)

Total: $1130.15 + keyboard and mouse which is not added yet.


1. This is slightly out of my budget, is there anything here which I can downgrade to lower down the price? Is the PSU too much?

2. Will there be any heating issues with this kind of build? I know I could have just gone for a normal size CPU and save all this hassles, but I think I'm in love with that casing :( 

More about : advice sff build

September 27, 2012 8:54:23 AM

How bout downgrade the PSU to Cooler Master eXtreme Power Plus 500W ATX12V?
Can ATX PSU fit in this mini ATX tower?
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Best solution

September 27, 2012 9:30:53 AM

1.
See if you can get a H77 board, they are often cheaper. You cant overclock the CPU anyway.
Brand swap the 670 maybe. MSI are a good manufacturer, but are usually a bit expensive compared to Gigabyte (dont bother with ASUS, even more over priced).

2.
Having that much hardware in that small a space will always have heat issues. From what I know of the Bitfenix Prodigy, there isn't much you can overly do. Apparently a Hyper 212 EVO will fit inside, so you could do that.

Keep the PSU you have, its a good unit from a respected brand. Though this is a good PSU if you are looking to save a bit (Do not get Coolermaster PSU's, especially their lower end units).
XFX Core 550W. $66 ($10 rebate)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Depends on the case, but the Bitfenix Prodigy does support full ATX PSU's.

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September 27, 2012 7:53:08 PM

Thanks for your suggestion, I have decided to pick a H77 board since I have no intention to overclock.

Can I have more advice on graphic card? Shall I save a 50$ by choose GTX 660 Ti instead?
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September 29, 2012 2:33:13 AM

Alright, this is close to my final:

Intel i5-3550 @ NCIX $196.90

Asus P8H77-I @ newegg $99.99

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB DDR3-1600 @ newegg $34.99

seagate 1TB 7200rpm @ NCIX $69.99

MSI Geforce GTX 670 2GB @ amazon $359.98

Corsair CX600 V2 @ newegg $59.99 - $20 rebate

BitFenix Prodigy White @ NCIX $79.99


Is this build going to work fine?
and now I'm having problems with the Optical Drive, my chasis is white and I'm really not going to put in the 15$ Lite-On or LG BLACK optical drive as it would just destroy the beauty of it.
Any idea bout it?
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September 29, 2012 3:03:42 AM

Looks good, no SSD?

With the optical drive, no clue. Guess you'l just have to search for a white optical. Unless you are willing to paint a cheap black one.
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September 29, 2012 3:50:39 AM

Hmm.. I can live without a SSD lol. Trying to cut down my budget.

Monitor monitor monitor, I have no clue which one to pick.
For what inch of monitor can I obtain 1080p?
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September 29, 2012 5:05:23 AM

The physical size of the screen doesnt directly determine resolution, some smart-phones have a 1080p resolution. Obviously its harder to shove more pixels in a smaller space, but the size doesnt impact what resolution it is.
Most desktop monitors are between 21.5 and 27" in size.

As for what makes a good monitor. Look for a 1920x1080/1200 resolution, 5ms or less response time, LED backlighting and preferably VESA mounting. If you have cash to burn get a 120hz monitor, then it can display FPS' up to 120 and can output 3D images.
This is a good one.
ASUS VS248H-P Black 24"
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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September 30, 2012 2:00:20 AM

1. Regarding the monitor:
please help me to take a look at this Samsung monitor:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Its horizontal and vertical refresh rate is roughly the same as the Asus VS248H-P you recommended, however there is the other column in the specs sheet writes: "Refresh Rate - 60Hz".

So which refresh rate shall I refer to? Does it mean it can only support up to 60fps? If yes, with the rig I'm going to build, do you think I will ever go above 60FPS running games at 1920x1080? (games like skyrim, CoD, CS, Dota2, NoN)


2. If I want my rig to be overclock-able in future.

All I need to do is change:
i5-3550 to i5-3570k (30$ extra)
Asus P8H77-I to Asus P8HZZ-I Deluxe (80$ extra)

Is that correct?
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September 30, 2012 2:16:53 AM

1.
Just go with the overall refresh rate, the horizontal and vertical is measuered in kHz, which means 7500hz. Which evidently isnt whats going to happen.
Yep, it means that the monitor cant display an FPS above 60.

2.
You need the 3570k if you want to overclock.
You need a Z77 board if you want to overclock.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And if you want to overclock to any significant degree, you will need aftermarket cooling. This heatsink should fit inside the Prodigy.
Coolermaster Hyper 212 EVO. $35 ($5 rebate)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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September 30, 2012 2:23:56 AM

oh thanks for the reply! it really helps me alot!

alright, so if I were to use this build:
Intel i5-3550
Asus P8H77-I
2 x 4GB RAM
MSI Geforce GTX 670 2GB
Corsair CX600 V2

Do you think I'll ever go above 60 FPS for games nowadays at 1920x1080? I play Skyrim, Call of Duty, HoN, Dota2, CS, Starcraft 2..
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September 30, 2012 2:35:48 AM

In short, with the build above, shall I get 60Hz or 120Hz? Am I goingn to utilize a 120Hz monitor with that graphic performance?
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September 30, 2012 2:38:50 AM

Those games will easily hit the 60FPS barrier on that hardware. Only exception would be Skyrim if you were running a ton of visual mods.
If you were to throw in some more intensive games like Crysis 2 and BF3 I don't think you would be hitting a constant 60.

And hitting the monitors max refresh rate isnt a bad thing, wont cause it to burst into flames or anything. Most games incorporate V-Sync, which limits the FPS to 60 so you don't get issues like screen tearing. Some games will even support the adaptive V-Sync the Nvidia card provides.

And I just realized, is this the RAM kit you are going with?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

That kit runs at 1.65v, which is bad for your Intel CPU. Need RAM that is 1.5v or less. This is a good, low profile kit that I recommend.
G.Skill Ares 8GB (2x4GB) 1600Mhz CL9 1.5v. $40 (Same price as the Kingston)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

EDIT:
I think if you were willing to cut out an SSD for budget reasons, I don't think you should pay the often $200 extra for a 120hz over standard monitor.
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September 30, 2012 5:24:40 AM

Thank you! You have been really helpful! :) 

With your comment and some reading I did just now, I do have much clearer idea on the fps, refresh rate, vsync and tearing now. And yea, you're right I will just pick a 1080p 60Hz monitor.

as for the ram, thanks for the information about voltage, I did not know bout it until now. In that case I found a even better combo deal:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
and it is 1.5V :D 

Okay I think I have finally sorted out everything but when I double check my budget, it is almost $1200 including monitor and keyboard, I was actually planning to spend <$1000.
It got me thinking, what about slightly downgrade everything a little?

I did not know the reason I pick Asus P8H77-I, perhaps it was because I saw it somewhere. Is it possible to pick a cheaper mini-ITX mobo like Gigabyte GA-H61N-USB3? I have no idea what are the big differences except the SATA slot. I only need 1 HDD drive and perhaps 1 SSD drive in the future.

I guess it is better I keep the same CPU, but pull down Graphic Card to... maybe GTX 660 Ti or AMD something?
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September 30, 2012 5:32:24 AM

Dont get a H61 or P67 boards, both require a BIOS update to run Ivy Bridge CPU's. And unless you have a Sandy Bridge chip to get to the BIOS, you cant update it. You have got to get an ITX Z77, H77, B75 or Z68 board (would stick with the 77 boards).
A cheaper ITX board wouldnt be an issue.

A step down from the 670 would be the 660Ti or HD7950. The HD7950 is better overall, but the 660Ti excels in some popular games like BF3. So read up on some reviews and figure out which would be better for you.
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September 30, 2012 7:18:09 AM

I see.. I guess I will stick with Asus P8H77-I.

I'll opt for 660Ti, and since every brand is selling it at $300, which brand do you recommend?
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September 30, 2012 7:22:32 AM

MSI, ASUS or Gigabyte. Leaning toward MSI personally.
As far as I know, they are the only manufacturer to have enabled voltage control on their 660Ti's, so you can overclock them further.
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September 30, 2012 7:47:22 AM

cool, I have made up my mind on that.

one laaaaast thing, it seems there are 2 types of interface in SSD, SATA 3GB/s and 6GB/s, it simply means I need to connect to the same slot on the motherboard right? How bout the performance?
Is it better to choose SATA 6GB/s interface SSD?
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September 30, 2012 10:16:34 AM

Finally :) 


Intel i5-3550 @ NCIX $196.90

Asus P8H77-I & Patriot Intel Extreme Master Limited Edition 2x4GB @ newegg $132.98

OCZ Agility 3 AGT3-25SAT3-120G @ newegg $80

MSI GeForce GTX 660 Ti Power ED @ NCIX $299.99

Corsair CX600 V2 @ NCIX $59.99

BitFenix Prodigy White @ NCIX $79.99

BitFenix Spectre Pro 120mm Fan LED Series White @ NCIX $15.43

CM Storm Quickfire Rapid Blue Switch @ Amazon $65

LG GH24NS90B Optical Drive @ NCIX $15

ASUS VH236H 23" @ NCIX $159.99


These are all compatible and fine right?
and EGVA provides life-time warranty, and its price is the same as MSI GeForce GTX 660. Haven't made up my mind about that yet, any advice?
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September 30, 2012 11:41:18 AM

All are compatible and will work.
Depends how much weight you place in the warranty and if a lifetime warranty (when you will likely replace the card in 2-3yrs) is worth it over a (IMO) superior product.

Have you replaced the HDD with an SSD?
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September 30, 2012 12:03:12 PM

Alright thank you!

yea, I have replaced the HDD with SSD. Perhaps in a few months time I will purchase another HDD or SSD depending on my need.

I'm placing the orders now :) 

Thank you manofchalk, you have been really really helpful and I really appreciate!
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October 10, 2012 2:29:11 AM

Best answer selected by lirenyeo.
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October 11, 2012 6:07:02 AM

So everything arrived today and I m almost finish putting everything together.

But I have absolutely no idea where shall my fan's connectors go? Prodigy comes with 2 fans and they both have a very small 3-pin connector. Where do i plug these connectors to?
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October 11, 2012 12:20:34 PM

There is one Chassis fan connector on the mobo that is a 4pin. You can still plug the 3-pin connector to it.

The other fan will have to fun from the PSU. It should have come with a 3-pin to Molex adapter.
When a fan is connected to the PSU, it will run 100% at all times.
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October 11, 2012 7:42:02 PM

Thank you. problem solved :) 
but here come the bigger problem, I really hope you can go over this topic and help me.
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/366375-31-reboot-sele...

It is about the msg "reboot and select proper boot device".
I can get into bios screen if I unplug my SSD, but with SSD plugged in, it shows that.
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