I'm new to this, but I have a good idea on what I want. I'm looking for a small gaming rig to be able to move around when I need to. The price point i'm looking for is around $1,500, but I will spend more if it's justifiable for performance. The OS doesn't need to be included as I can get that from my college. The only really question I have is what is the difference from micro ATX to mini ITX?I couldn't find any definitive answer on why I'd want one over the other? Could someone help me piece together a system?
Micro ATX is usually cheaper than ATX, usually has 2 PCIe and some frills you'd find on an ATX depending on chipset, a mini ITX usually has 1 PCIe and very little frills, for a mini ITX it's more expensive, or the same price for less features but mobility is what you get in return. Also if you wanted to go AMD for either of these you'll have your work cut out for you, most micro ATX and mini ITX boards for AMD are llano or trinity.
the Bitfenix Prodigy is also one of my all-time favorite cases ever. you wont go wrong with it.
Asus and Asrock make some very nice ITX MoBos and an AMD 7970 or a GTX 6xx but i would recommend AMD for performance and price tag.
A small power supply is also ideal, because in these cases you wont have much room to wiggle with, and for that a Silverstone Strider series should do you well and 500-600 watts will be more than enough.
Also, a Corsair H60 or H100 could fit in this case if you are willing to try to make it fit and will really reduce CPU temperatures.
Hello, Im also thinking on going that route. Does the 7970 or similar high end cards fit on a mini Atx case? I wanted to go even more extreme and get a Slim micro Atx case. The case itself is less than 4" wide so that means I would need to place the video card vertically, parallel to the MB instead of a 90 degree angle as usual. Is there any type of solution like a 90 degree PCI connector or a cable extension that would allow me to connect it?
mATX is a better form factor, you will be able to fit up to EATX in a standard ATX case aswell which is alot nicer. ITX is more for lan boxes and is not really for performance oriented boards. For your budget I would suggest a ASUS rampage IV gene (mATX) $270 , i7 3820 $300 for the CPU motherboard, I prefer x79 over 1155, It's a long term platform especially if your like to work on your rig theres more upgrade options, 1155 CPUs are better if you are a first time builder or overclocker.
Don't get a 4 inch wide case, try something like the corsair 500r its still tiny but well laid out.