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New Mini ITX build please help

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November 18, 2012 2:58:11 AM

Hi all,

For the second time this year, I need your advice! My laptop is crapping out and I'm not sure buying another is cost effective. I was thinking a mini itx build would be smarter. I made the mistake of building an office computer with an i5-2500k and a Corsair HX 650 modular power supply. I want to take those out of the office build and replace them with an i3-2105 and some other power supply (no idea what wattage I need). I would use the mini it in the garage (I can't smoke in the house LOL) and it would stay out there all day. I was thinking of using the i5-2500k and the power supply in the mini itx and maybe the AsRock Z77E-ITX as the motherboard and the Coolermaster Elite 120 as the case, but I am lost as to the graphics card. I don't want to spend a lot on this. I'll probably need a 20" or so 1920 x 1080 monitor. And here's a stupid question - do I have to buy a wireless card to connect wirelessly or does that come with the motherboard? Am I missing anything? I'm not very good at this, as you can tell! I would like to try some of the new games (not multiplayer, but Need for Speed sort of stuff), but I don't know what I need. I am used to playing Diner Dash and that sort of thing, but tired of that now...would rather fly planes and shoot stuff :lol: 

More about : mini itx build

a b ) Power supply
November 18, 2012 3:06:41 AM

Guessing this is going to be a gaming rig?

First issue is that for WiFi capability, you will need a wireless NIC card. Given that the board (like all ITX boards) only have a single PCI slot, you will have to choose between that and the graphics card.
Unless you get a mobo with the Wifi built in (I think some ASUS boards do).

For the case you have picked you can throw in whatever GPU you want, so it comes down to budget and your usage for which one to get.
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November 18, 2012 3:44:32 AM

manofchalk said:
Guessing this is going to be a gaming rig?

First issue is that for WiFi capability, you will need a wireless NIC card. Given that the board (like all ITX boards) only have a single PCI slot, you will have to choose between that and the graphics card.
Unless you get a mobo with the Wifi built in (I think some ASUS boards do).

For the case you have picked you can throw in whatever GPU you want, so it comes down to budget and your usage for which one to get.


Oh yes, sorry, this one is strictly for gaming/entertainment. Can I use an adapter insead of a wireless card? I have a wireless adapter that I could plug into a USB port. If not, which Asus board would work with the i5-2500k? Boy, am I glad I asked that question! But I still have no idea which graphics card. I would like to do this as cheaply as possible. Since I have never played games other than the Diner Dash variety, I might not notice if the graphics weren't perfect. Should I just use the onboard graphics or am I too stupid to live :lol:  . I just think laptops are overpriced. I made the mistake (back when I had money) of buying the Qosmio x305-Q701 which has the black screen issue and I can't fix it because I can't take it apart. At least an ITX I cagn replace things. Please tell me if I'm wrong.

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a b ) Power supply
November 18, 2012 3:53:54 AM

A USB Wifi dongle will also do.

Any LGA1155 board will work with the 2500k. The one you picked will be fine.
Will you be overclocking at all (your CPU does support it)?

You have a 650W supply, so power isn't an issue with the GPU choice.
If your just going to gaming at a low level, nothing really more intensive than say Counterstrike or RTS games, then I suggest a HD7770. Its low-mid range card that will perform fairly well in older games and non-intensive newer games. A decent performer in the likes of BF3 as well.
Sapphire HD7770 Vapor-X. $130 ($15 rebate)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

That's the advantage of a desktop machine, can replace or upgrade any component yourself.
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November 18, 2012 4:02:15 AM

manofchalk said:
A USB Wifi dongle will also do.

Any LGA1155 board will work with the 2500k. The one you picked will be fine.
Will you be overclocking at all (your CPU does support it)?

You have a 650W supply, so power isn't an issue with the GPU choice.
If your just going to gaming at a low level, nothing really more intensive than say Counterstrike or RTS games, then I suggest a HD7770. Its low-mid range card that will perform fairly well in older games and non-intensive newer games. A decent performer in the likes of BF3 as well.
Sapphire HD7770 Vapor-X. $130 ($15 rebate)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

That's the advantage of a desktop machine, can replace or upgrade any component yourself.


You gotta love an idiot that buys an overclock chip and doesn't know jack about overclocking :-). I guess I won't be. I haven't tried any of the games other than the silly ones, so I don't know much about them. I don't know what a dongle is :lol:  You have no idea how much I appreciate your help! But the price of that card works. I can't see buying a $200 card when I don't even know how to overclock or what a dongle is :-). Am I missing anything? I will have sound, right
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a b ) Power supply
November 18, 2012 4:19:32 AM

Dongle is just slang for a plug in USB WiFi adapter. Might just be limited to Australia though...

The motherboard will have integrated sound, no sound card (which you couldn't fit into the rig anyway) will be needed.

Overclocking is fairly simple, just a matter of changing a setting in the BIOS. Though for an ITX system I wouldn't bother, heat is already going to be an issue (maybe not in that Coolermaster case actually), so wouldn't want to contribute to the problem. A 2500k at stock clocks should be sufficient.
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November 18, 2012 4:31:09 AM

manofchalk said:
Dongle is just slang for a plug in USB WiFi adapter. Might just be limited to Australia though...

The motherboard will have integrated sound, no sound card (which you couldn't fit into the rig anyway) will be needed.

Overclocking is fairly simple, just a matter of changing a setting in the BIOS. Though for an ITX system I wouldn't bother, heat is already going to be an issue (maybe not in that Coolermaster case actually), so wouldn't want to contribute to the problem. A 2500k at stock clocks should be sufficient.


I think you have become my guardian angel :-). I have GSkill Sniper ram in the office build - I can't remember what kind, but I know it's 8 gigs, should I steal that too and put something else in there with the i3-2105? Or should I get something else for this? I have 500 GB WD Caviar Black in the office build, too. Should I get another one of those for this or do I need more storage for these games that I know nothing about? :-). Can I just pick your brain all night? LOL.
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a b ) Power supply
November 18, 2012 5:03:59 AM

Yep, 8GB of low profile RAM will be plenty.
How much storage you need will depend on how much you need. Only you can answer that question.
Though a Terabyte I suspect will be plenty.
Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200RPM. $80
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I would keep the 500GB in the office machine, no reason to pull it out when you would have to re-install windows, drivers and such to that machine,and still have to do it on this one. Either way you go you will need a new Hard drive.

As for what to put in the office build. A decent quality ~500W supply and 4GB of RAM will be plenty. MS Word and Excel aren't exactly very stressful for a computer.
Antec Neo Eco 520W. $55
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.Skill 4GB (2x2GB) 1600Mhz CL9 1.5v. $25
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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November 18, 2012 5:35:28 AM

manofchalk said:
Yep, 8GB of low profile RAM will be plenty.
How much storage you need will depend on how much you need. Only you can answer that question.
Though a Terabyte I suspect will be plenty.
Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200RPM. $80
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I would keep the 500GB in the office machine, no reason to pull it out when you would have to re-install windows, drivers and such to that machine,and still have to do it on this one. Either way you go you will need a new Hard drive.

As for what to put in the office build. A decent quality ~500W supply and 4GB of RAM will be plenty. MS Word and Excel aren't exactly very stressful for a computer.
Antec Neo Eco 520W. $55
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.Skill 4GB (2x2GB) 1600Mhz CL9 1.5v. $25
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Yeah, it's official - you're my guardian angel :-). I think I bought 1300 ram for the office build; should I leave it there and get faster ram for gaming? I wish I knew what I was doing..
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Best solution

a b ) Power supply
November 18, 2012 6:00:11 AM

There is a small difference in performance between 1333Mhz and 1600Mhz RAM, its not worth buying a whole new kit for. RAM faster than 1600Mhz isnt worth the added cost.
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November 18, 2012 6:13:26 AM

Best answer selected by Kylla4.
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November 18, 2012 6:16:27 AM

manofchalk said:
There is a small difference in performance between 1333Mhz and 1600Mhz RAM, its not worth buying a whole new kit for. RAM faster than 1600Mhz isnt worth the added cost.


I think you're telling me that I'm right that a laptop is a piece of crap and I should just build this little thing :-). You are nothing short of awesome and you actually make me feel like I can do this!
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!