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Upgrading Mini-ITX PSU and adding Graphics Card, $200 Budget

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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August 24, 2012 7:19:41 PM

Current System Specs:
CPU: Sandy Bridge Pentium G620
Motherboard: ASRock H67M-ITX
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws 2x2GB DDR3 1333
Case: Rosewill RC-CIX-01 (150 watt PSU) Mini-ITX
PSU: Channel Well Technology Model: DSP-150
Connected through HDMI to my TV @ 1080p

I built this system primarily as an HTPC and it works great. Playing 1080p content without a hitch.
I've recently been playing some games on it (Walking Dead, Arkham Asylum, Sleeping Dogs)
Games run fine as long as I lower my resolution to 720 or less and lower all the detail settings.

Now I've decided to finally add a separate GPU so I can run these current games much better.
Since I have a Mini-ITX case I'm limited to a single slot Video Card and dont want to spend over $200.
Another problem I have is that the case only came with 150W and I know I have to replace it with a much powerful one at least 300W? so it can handle the new video card.

What PSU can I get that will fit my case and what's the best video card I can get for less than $200?

I've been browsing Newegg and I'm think this PSU might be good enough?
Athena Power AP-MFATX35 350W Mini ITX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Looking at these Video Cards:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007Z3T5JC/
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0062HIQLU/
a c 264 U Graphics card
August 25, 2012 8:11:11 PM

Those cards will be about the most you can safely run with a small PSU. Here is a hierarchy chart for comparison, but the HD 7760 would be the fastest and latest technology of the 3. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-car... Assuming your case will accept the length of the card, it would be a good choice.

Use this PSU calculator to see what size you need based on the devices in your system. But the 350W should be more than enough.
http://www.thermaltake.outervision.com/ I did a quick run thru assuming you had a Blu-Ray drive and regular SATA HDD and came up with you needing a 254W PSU. If the one in your link fits your case, that would be a good choice.
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a c 264 U Graphics card
August 26, 2012 12:57:58 AM

This one's a few bucks less and has free shipping.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I don't think you'll ever add enough power hungry devices to that HTPC to warrant a bigger PSU. But bigger can't hurt ;) 

Whatever you decide on, it appears you've thought it out carefully.
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August 26, 2012 4:58:06 PM

Another option I thought off is to get a slightly bigger case with lets say 300-350W included. Might be cheaper than to just get an $80 mini-itx 400W?
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August 26, 2012 5:06:36 PM

Most of those built-in power supplies are low quality and way over rated when it comes to watts. The 400W one you originally linked to is probably OK, though, for a card that gets all its power from the PCIe slot.
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a c 264 U Graphics card
August 26, 2012 5:31:48 PM

flipside927 said:
I see.
I was thinking lets say i get this one
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I would be saving around $30 and wouldn't have to worry about the size of the GPU but then I don't know if my mini-ITX board would mount on this case.

The 4 holes in a mini itx board line up with the same 4 holes on a mATX board. There will be no problem there.

If you decide on the mini tower, the PSU has a 14A and 13A +12V rail. That would be suitable for getting a more powerful card too. Is this for a HTPC installation, or are you undecided? Your case size is getting a bit big for an HTPC.
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August 26, 2012 5:39:27 PM

clutchc said:
The 4 holes in a mini itx board line up with the same 4 holes on a mATX board. There will be no problem there.

If you decide on the mini tower, the PSU has a 14A and 13A +12V rail. That would be suitable for getting a more powerful card too. Is this for a HTPC installation, or are you undecided? Your case size is getting a bit big for an HTPC.


That's awesome!
I don't really mind the size since not going to be in a shelf or anything. It will be on the floor next to my tv.
It would probably give me a good start if I ever want to further upgrade my parts in the future.
If decide to go this route an HD 7770 would be a good upgrade? Put the savings into the card instead?
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August 26, 2012 5:49:22 PM

Deemo13 said:
They do make a 7750 low profile now, so if you want to do that that might be more interesting:

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


I was looking at that card too. The hight isn't really a problem as to the thickness and length. The problem with my tiny case is the length of the slot is a little less then 7". the cables from the PSU comes out where the video card would line up.
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August 26, 2012 6:04:49 PM

Deemo13 said:
If you want to maintain the HTPC look, then you can go for something like this:

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

It fits full size graphics cards and full size power supplies.


Thanks! that case actually looks pretty amazing
can you recommend a good 350W PSU that would be good for this and my mobo?
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a c 264 U Graphics card
August 26, 2012 9:04:01 PM

Deemo13 said:
If you want to maintain the HTPC look, then you can go for something like this:

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

It fits full size graphics cards and full size power supplies.

When did that show up on Newegg? Or did I just overlook it? I was looking for a low cost case like that awhile back for an HTPC build. I like that. Of course, now I'm not in the market for one.
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a c 191 U Graphics card
August 27, 2012 3:39:55 PM

Sounds good. If you want a beefier GPU, you can go for the 7770, which shouldn't be too much more.
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a c 264 U Graphics card
August 27, 2012 5:06:09 PM

Those choices are OK, but I gotta ask... since you now are going to have a case that supports full size 2-bay graphic cards, and you can use a full size PSU of any size, why are you limiting your self to such an anemic graphic card? It will be OK compared to what you are used to, but it will struggle at 1080p with most games.
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August 27, 2012 5:17:59 PM

clutchc said:
Those choices are OK, but I gotta ask... since you now are going to have a case that supports full size 2-bay graphic cards, and you can use a full size PSU of any size, why are you limiting your self to such an anemic graphic card? It will be OK compared to what you are used to, but it will struggle at 1080p with most games.


I would like to stick to my $200 budget. Also, I'm just going to be doing some light gaming. Don't really need Ulta settings or anything like that.
Probably in the future when i decided to really turn it into a gaming rig I have the option to do so
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a c 264 U Graphics card
August 27, 2012 5:24:32 PM

flipside927 said:
I would like to stick to my $200 budget. Also, I'm just going to be doing some light gaming. Don't really need Ulta settings or anything like that.
Probably in the future when i decided to really turn it into a gaming rig I have the option to do so

As Deemo13 mentioned above, you can move up a tier to the HD 7770 and still stay in your budget: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...
But whatever you decide, enjoy the build.
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August 27, 2012 5:27:55 PM

clutchc said:
As Deemo13 mentioned above, you can move up a tier to the HD 7770 and still stay in your budget: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...
But whatever you decide, enjoy the build.


I'll definitely consider it.
Thanks for the all the help guys!
I'll update you once I complete the build.
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a c 191 U Graphics card
August 27, 2012 7:21:53 PM

Good luck!
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a c 191 U Graphics card
August 28, 2012 12:26:18 AM

Hmm. I did not know it was a new release! Its a nice looking case.
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September 1, 2012 11:59:41 PM

Best answer selected by flipside927.
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September 11, 2012 2:48:35 PM

So I went with HD 7770. Should be arriving later today!

If I decide to upgrade my CPU from a G620 to an i3 would I see a difference in watching HD movies and gaming? That's basically what I do in this computer.
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a c 264 U Graphics card
September 11, 2012 3:03:49 PM

flipside927 said:
So I went with HD 7770. Should be arriving later today!

If I decide to upgrade my CPU from a G620 to an i3 would I see a difference in watching HD movies and gaming? That's basically what I do in this computer.

Gaming, yes. HD movies, no. Even the integrated Intel HD Graphics is more than capable of good video for HD movies. Of course, streaming HD movies is dependent on a fast internet connection. But for everything else, including gaming, there will be an improvement.
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/406?vs=289
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September 11, 2012 3:10:09 PM

clutchc said:
Gaming, yes. HD movies, no. Even the integrated Intel HD Graphics is more than capable of good video for HD movies. Of course, streaming HD movies is dependent on a fast internet connection. But for everything else, including gaming, there will be an improvement.
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/406?vs=289


Thank you so much for the quick reply!
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a c 271 U Graphics card
September 11, 2012 6:52:27 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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