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Advice on Mini-ITX Build ≈$2100 for Primarily Gaming

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December 17, 2012 4:24:45 AM

Hello,
I have planned to put together a PC build for a while now and have put together a build list. I was hoping I could get some help on whether anything that I have picked out wouldn't work together or is not a good choice
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($289.98 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-C12P SE14 65.0 CFM CPU Cooler ($74.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-I Deluxe Mini ITX LGA1155 Motherboard ($179.90 @ Amazon)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LP 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($73.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Intel 520 Series Cherryville 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($119.95 @ B&H)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB Video Card ($423.98 @ Newegg)
Case: Fractal Design Node 304 Mini ITX Tower Case ($89.90 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Silverstone 550W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($114.99 @ Amazon)
Monitor: Dell U2412M 60Hz 24.0" Monitor ($297.20 @ Amazon)
Monitor: Dell U2412M 60Hz 24.0" Monitor ($297.20 @ Amazon)
Monitor: Dell U2412M 60Hz 24.0" Monitor ($297.20 @ Amazon)
Keyboard: Gigabyte GK-OSMIUM Wired Gaming Keyboard ($129.99 @ Amazon)
Other: Logitech Z506 ($84.99)
Total: $2544.25
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-17 01:19 EST-0500)


Approximate Purchase Date: By the end of January but have waited for a while and can wait longer to for price drops or new tech

Budget Range: The less the better but under $3000 for everything which would leave around $2000 for the main computer

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, 3D Game Development, Photoshop/Illustrator, Movies, Word Processing..

Are you buying a monitor: Yes

Parts to Upgrade: New Computer except for mouse

Do you need to buy OS: No

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: No strong preference but have experience with Newegg and Amazon

Location: Austin, TX USA

Parts Preferences: Intel for CPU

Overclocking: Not in the foreseeable future

SLI or Crossfire: Not possible in mini ITX case? Right?

Your Monitor Resolution: 3x(1920*1200)

Additional Comments:
1) I would prefer a system that does not run too hot to increase life.
2) I chose a 150mm PSU but am wondering if it being modular would interfere with the relatively long GPU.
3) I choose a Low Profile RAM to avoid hitting the CPU cooler but not sure if it will/won't since the CPU cooler looks rather wide.
4) Is this a good case choice as far as cooling (have seen mix reviews and not sure if it will cool well enough for my setup
5) Does this GPU push air out of the side vent or Pull air in from it (and should I have a preference)

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: I do not have a desktop(just a large laptop that I use for everything)

Thanks

Best solution

December 17, 2012 5:03:06 AM

Well here's what I would suggest:

1. For gaming you do not need the i7-3770, and an extra cooler will be wasted if you're not planning to overclock. You can run off the stock fan and be perfectly fine. Drop the CPU to the i5-3470 instead and use the money elsewhere.

2. Get a different SSD - I'm not the biggest fan of Intel drives and it's based on a Sandforce controller that is getting way outdated. Go with a Marvell or Indilinx-based drive like the Samsung 830 or OCZ Vertex 4 instead.

3. You also don't need 16GB of RAM for a gaming system. You can get by with 8.

4. Fractal Design makes some excellent cases, you can't go wrong with them.

5. I'm not sure I would spend $130 on a keyboard, that seems quite a bit excessive. I hear good things about the Logitech G110, which is $40 cheaper.
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December 17, 2012 5:38:06 AM

@g-unit
1. I agree that an i7 would excessive for gaming, but I fealt it would greatly speed up alot of the rendering in Photoshop/Illustrator/Model Rendering
2. Switched it out for a Samsung 830 128GB
3. Similar to (1), excessive RAM was for other things like Photoshop/Illustrator; (while I know this applies to VRAM, does extra RAM improve Multi-Monitor performance?
4. Yes they do! :D 
5. the G110 looks like a pretty good deal but I was going for a Mechanical keyboard...and they all tend to run a little high for a good one.

-Forgot to mention this but my current device is the ASUS G73JH laptoip with 8GB RAM, i7 Q720, and Radeon 5870M; I was using that as sort of jumping point for spec-ing my build

Thanks for your help!
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December 17, 2012 5:54:14 AM

1. Get Non-overclockable i5
2. Remove aftermarket heatsink
3. Get H77 board
4. Get 8gb ram
5. Get something like a vertex 4
6. If you save a little, you can get a higher wattage psu for the same price
7. If you follow above instructions, you can fit a gtx 690
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December 17, 2012 6:47:12 AM

ThatsMyNameDude said:
1. Get Non-overclockable i5
2. Remove aftermarket heatsink
3. Get H77 board
4. Get 8gb ram
5. Get something like a vertex 4
6. If you save a little, you can get a higher wattage psu for the same price
7. If you follow above instructions, you can fit a gtx 690


-Removed CPU Heatsink
-Switched out the SSD for the Samsung 830; is the vertex 4 better in any particular way?
-RAM: Are you considering the above mentioned tasks like Photoshop/Illustrator/Modeling? I've been in situations where I used up all of my current 8GB.
-Do I need a Higher wattage PSU? (What do you mean by save a little...isn't for the same price?)
-I feel like the spending 1k on a GPU is bit excessive....

Thanks
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December 17, 2012 8:07:09 PM

ThatsMyNameDude said:
1. Get Non-overclockable i5
2. Remove aftermarket heatsink
3. Get H77 board
4. Get 8gb ram
5. Get something like a vertex 4
6. If you save a little, you can get a higher wattage psu for the same price
7. If you follow above instructions, you can fit a gtx 690


The GTX 690 isn't worth the money when it's essentially a dual GK109 card - dual 670's will give you the exact same performance for $200 less.
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December 17, 2012 8:19:16 PM

And the node 304 won't take dual cards due to space/form factor.
Any other issues? Would heat be an issue in such a small case with such a big gpu? Plus the way the psu exhausts, there me be a little of its heat leaking in...
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December 17, 2012 8:50:43 PM

lamakila123 said:
And the node 304 won't take dual cards due to space/form factor.
Any other issues? Would heat be an issue in such a small case with such a big gpu? Plus the way the psu exhausts, there me be a little of its heat leaking in...


That could be extremely tricky. Falcon Northwest managed to do it with their amazing ITX system the Tiki, but then again they were using a custom designed case for that.
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December 22, 2012 4:37:30 AM

Best answer selected by lamakila123.
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