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[SOLVED] New Mini ITX build $500

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November 26, 2012 4:21:12 AM

I'm thinking of building a a new build and want something that will run games, doesn't have to run BF3 on high or anything crazy but I do want it to be able to run some of the newer games and most games that are out there already. However I would like it to be in a small case because this will be in the bedroom and the misses doesn't want some ugly computer case in here. I will mostly be using it for gaming, torrents, and as a media center of sorts. My budget is around $500 and want to be able to upgrade the graphics in the future. I would prefer a mini ITX case but if this isn't really possible with that then I guess I could settle for a MicroATX case that's small and not full of lights and such.

If anyone can help me out and send me in the right direction I'd love it!

Thanks!
November 26, 2012 4:30:30 AM

I will add that I will not be needing to buy a monitor.
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November 26, 2012 4:43:22 AM

Hmm. As for the case, go with a Bitfenix Prodigy. It's slightly larger than a normal mini-ITX case, but that's a very good thing for you - you can get better components. It also looks good so your wife won't complain. ;) 

For a motherboard, this is a good one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

After that, it's the usual fare - a Pentium G870 or ivy bridge i3 2220. Grab yourself a good video card (I'd go with a nvidia 650ti, for BF3, or a radeon 7770/7850), 4GB of 1600MHz ram with CAS 9, a small psu that's NOT modular, and a hard drive.
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November 26, 2012 4:44:50 AM

^^ Good system, better hope you can nail all those rebates though.
You will also have to get a copy of Windows as well (if you don't have a retail key already), which on a budget system can be a deal breaker.
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November 26, 2012 4:48:28 AM

Ok, seems like I'd definitely use the Bitfenix. One question, would I need a monitor to set all this up or could I just use a tv(hdmi)? Also, would I have any problems with overheating if I left this on all the time? I wouldn't have it overclocked or anything. Sorry, the last time I built a computer was 10 years ago.
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November 26, 2012 4:51:46 AM

The case (the black model) has good cooling, wouldn't really worry about the parts overheating too much.

Yep, that GPU has a HDMI output.
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November 26, 2012 4:52:00 AM

It doesn't have an optical drive, but it DOES have wifi:

http://pcpartpicker.com/parts/partlist/

That Pentium will perform just as well as an i3, since the only difference between the two is hyperthreading and a very minor clock speed boost.

If you don't want wifi, you can save money on the motherboard.

EDIT: the white version has decent cooling as well.
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November 26, 2012 4:56:18 AM

Hmmm...no i don't think so i had to add fans because of CPU OC & 670 lol you should be o.k.







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November 26, 2012 4:58:53 AM

I probably won't be ordering these parts till 1st week of January if all goes well, I just wanted to make sure that this was a possible build before I started thinking about it. I really appreciate the quick and helpful replies and assume I will be asking this same question as long as I have the money after I pay rent for January. Haven't had a desktop since 2006 and have recently gotten back into gaming and really like the idea of PC gaming on my tv.

Thank you for all the help guys.
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November 26, 2012 5:07:54 AM

No problem!Your welcome!
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November 26, 2012 5:12:37 AM

DarkSable said:
EDIT: the white version has decent cooling as well.


The white version has a solid front panel (as can be seen in Cyco's pics), not mesh like the black model. Completely chokes the front intake fan.
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November 26, 2012 6:36:09 AM

Yep. The cooling isn't as good, though it can be modded to be. But it doesn't completely stifle it, from what I can tell.
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November 26, 2012 6:44:52 AM

So I've been reading about AMD's APU's and was wondering if that might be what I want so I put together a list on pcpartpicker and here it is. Tell me if this would work for me or if the graphics just aren't up to par.
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/pxBA
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November 26, 2012 6:47:47 AM

The graphics on the A10 (the strongest APU) are equivalent to a 6670, nowhere near as strong as the 7770 in CYco's build.
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November 26, 2012 6:54:06 AM

But they would still run most games right? I realize not on the highest settings but I'm not too big of a graphics snob. Also, I can always upgrade the graphics with those still if I have understood what I've read correctly, right?
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November 26, 2012 6:58:04 AM

It would run most (not all games) on low settings @1920 x 1080
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November 26, 2012 7:01:23 AM

Also there's a limit to how far you can go with an APU system, it will get to the point where if you add a stronger GPU the CPU will hold it back.
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November 26, 2012 7:01:30 AM

and what about the cpu itself? Is it on par with the i3 in your build?
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November 26, 2012 7:15:49 AM

It's pretty much on par
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November 26, 2012 7:16:48 AM

Ok, one more question. Should I add a CPU Cooler and if so what size will fit in this case?

EDIT: My apt can get pretty hot, that's why I keep worrying about cooling issues, obviously I can't really afford liquid cooling or else I would.
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November 26, 2012 7:39:25 AM

yeah, I see that the case has 2 spots for 120mm fans on top, but I've read that they're not useable if you have an optical drive in there. Is this true? Seems kind of pointless if you can't have those fans if you actually use the 5.25" drive. I feel like I'm just reading it wrong.
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November 26, 2012 7:40:54 AM

It has space for two 120mm fans, but if you have an optical it can only fit one.
Remember that you can always get an external USB optical if you want that extra fan.
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November 26, 2012 7:46:44 AM

Oh, good call. Didn't realize how cheap those are. I really would probably never even need the optical drive, especially if I can just get the OS to install off a jump drive, the extra cooling would be nice, plus it would make the case look even sleeker without the drive.
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November 26, 2012 7:47:11 AM

Wait which case are we talking about lol you can fit up to 6 120 mm but it already comes with two
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November 26, 2012 7:55:04 AM

talking about the BitFenix Prodigy
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November 26, 2012 7:55:24 AM

See the specs for different fan configs
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November 26, 2012 7:59:35 AM

Yes those fans are top notch in the top five for sure
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November 26, 2012 8:08:20 AM

bigcyco1 said:
Wait which case are we talking about lol you can fit up to 6 120 mm but it already comes with two


Talking about the top of the case.

EDIT: Also for as how loud the fans will be, that comes down to which fans you get. Small cheapo fans that can only achieve a high CFM by spinning at ridiculous speeds will sound like a jet. Good fans like the Bitfenix Spectre which come on the Prodigy are fairly silent, though of course aftermarket fans will be even better (if you can get over how ugly the Noctua's are).
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November 26, 2012 8:19:38 AM

So would 2x120 on the front be better than 1x200? I'm guessing so. Also, how would I have these set up? the front be intake, the back be outtake and the top ones set up on intake one outtake? or both intake?
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November 26, 2012 8:20:16 AM

Here's another build. I have the 7750 and I've not yet faced a game I couldn't play in 1080p with it. If you want a more powerful card with this build you will have to buy a new psu tho (and it's sfx form factor, smaller than the regular atx psu form factor).
It has an ssd which makes the system a lot snappier, you really should strive to get one regardless.

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/py0A
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November 26, 2012 8:21:53 AM

I'm pretty set on the cougar ones, they do look pretty sweet, and as long as they're quiet and get that air moving that's what I really want. I do like the way the Noctua's look but they're just a little too expensive for what I'm trying to spend.
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November 26, 2012 8:23:52 AM

A 200mm is better than 2x120mm, larger fans don't have to spin as fast to achieve the same CFM, so they are more silent.

Front and side (if it had any) would be intake, with the back and top as exhaust.
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November 26, 2012 8:25:11 AM

Sounds good.Well time for me to log out take care and good luck!
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November 26, 2012 10:58:23 AM

The bitfenix spectre 230mm Fan fits perfectly in the front of the prodigy case
but is a bit tricky to line up and install, but works like it was built for that case

I have a White version with a i5-3470, 8gb ram, and a AMD HD5970 (my old GPU)
Cooler master 212+ and have a rear 120mm suncking in and a front 230mm fan
sucking in so my heat is vented out the top

Don't come close to even having a cooling problem
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November 26, 2012 7:29:33 PM

kitsunestarwind said:
The bitfenix spectre 230mm Fan fits perfectly in the front of the prodigy case
but is a bit tricky to line up and install, but works like it was built for that case

How tricky is it? I don't really have many tools at my disposal. I was definitely looking at those fans though before you even posted.
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November 27, 2012 5:04:40 AM

Its overkill, but its not bad in anyway.
Jump on that kit, having too much RAM never hurts.
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November 27, 2012 5:44:23 AM

bigcyco1 said:
I just bought a 200mm was not tricky at all here a review http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Bitfenix/Prodigy/

Which fan did you buy? Because after reading some reviews of the 200mm fans on newegg it seems like some of em are not truly 200mm and don't fit. Lemme know which one you got.
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November 27, 2012 8:15:49 AM

Spectre Pros
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November 28, 2012 6:29:19 AM

alright, so I've been fooling around on PCpartpicker and I've come up with 3 different options (2 MicroATX and 1 Mini ITX). Grumbledook I went with your advice and have a SSD in all the builds. Lemme know what y'all think. Also, anybody know of a place in NYC that would actually have these cases for me to go see IRL to help make this decision a little easier?

Cheapest option
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/pVtC

More expensive MicroATX
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/pVs8

Mini ITX
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/pVvm
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