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New Mini-ITX Gaming build

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February 8, 2013 12:45:57 PM

Hey guys I'm going to be building a gaming machine, however i want it to be a small form factor.

Im unsure about what case to go with, I took a look at the Fractal Design Node 304, i think it looks pretty cool.

Heres the rest of the build:

GPU: EVGA GTX 660 Superclocked edition - $223

CPU: i5 3470 - $190 (I'm not going to be Over clocking and i am on a budget)

MOBO: ASUS P8H61-I R2.0 mITX LGA1155 - $86

RAM: Corsair XMS 8GB DDR3 1333MHZ - $50 (Dual channel)

Storage: I'm thinking 1 SSD for my OS and maybe another for my games, then 1 hard drive for my other files...thoughts?

- All being purchased from NCIX (Canada)

Questions & Concerns:

The case supports standard ATX PSU's however I'm not sure if i should get a modular one, or non modular. I want to try to have the best cable routing as possible so that the cables are not all bunched up and messy. What kind of PSU should i get?

Also, I'm unsure of what kind of CPU cooler to use. Due to the fact that I wont be overclocking, is the stock intel fan good enough? (I've only heard terrible things about intel's fans)

Is a predone water cooling kit such as an h70 or h60 possible in this build? I wanna go with whatever provides the least amount of clutter and wont make my CPU overheat.

-A big thanks from Canada :D 

More about : mini itx gaming build

February 8, 2013 12:51:21 PM

I don't know much about Mini-ITX builds but I can tell you that you won't need 2 SSD's. Just one.

As for the PSU. Modular. It's the least messiest.

The stock fans surprisingly do well in keeping your cpu cool and they are quiet. Of course any aftermarket cooler would do better but you should have no problems with overheating on a stock fan. I have a build that I can hear the case fans more than the stock and even if I put my ear to it I can't hear it. As long as you have plenty of airflow you should be fine.

I'm pretty sure pre-done water cooling kit works as long as you have a way to mount the radiator. But you should always get a second opinion.
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February 8, 2013 1:09:03 PM

iemidget said:
I don't know much about Mini-ITX builds but I can tell you that you won't need 2 SSD's. Just one.

As for the PSU. Modular. It's the least messiest.

The stock fans surprisingly do well in keeping your cpu cool and they are quiet. Of course any aftermarket cooler would do better but you should have no problems with overheating on a stock fan. I have a build that I can hear the case fans more than the stock and even if I put my ear to it I can't hear it. As long as you have plenty of airflow you should be fine.

I'm pretty sure pre-done water cooling kit works as long as you have a way to mount the radiator. But you should always get a second opinion.

I really appreciate your fast reply. Im going with a Modular power supply like you recommended, and I'll get one 128GB SSD for my OS, but what about games? if i want to load faster shouldn't they be installed on the SSD, not the regular hard drive? This is a little hard to do because SSD's are so expensive to get a larger capacity
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a b 4 Gaming
February 8, 2013 1:21:01 PM

Modular PSU is always good for itx builds, keeps it clean. You want one from a good brand like XFX, seasonic, antec, pc P&C etc

The stock fan will do you fine unless you're sensitive to noise. It can get a little loud, but it's not unbearable unless you really pick up on those kind of things.

Water cooling shouldn't even be a consideration unless you have an unlocked CPU. You may think something like a H60 will be quiet but i assure you it's louder than you think.

Water cooling isn't really necessary until you get into large clocks and custom loop territory. Any closed loop systems can be equalled by a good air cooler.

You should install your OS, games and commonly used programs on the SSD. A 128gb should be about enough for this. Just try to keep it under 75% capacity.
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February 8, 2013 1:26:11 PM

mikerockett said:
Modular PSU is always good for itx builds, keeps it clean. You want one from a good brand like XFX, seasonic, antec, pc P&C etc

The stock fan will do you fine unless you're sensitive to noise. It can get a little loud, but it's not unbearable unless you really pick up on those kind of things.

Water cooling shouldn't even be a consideration unless you have an unlocked CPU. You may think something like a H60 will be quiet but i assure you it's louder than you think.

Water cooling isn't really necessary until you get into large clocks and custom loop territory. Any closed loop systems can be equalled by a good air cooler.

You should install your OS, games and commonly used programs on the SSD. A 128gb should be about enough for this. Just try to keep it under 75% capacity.


Oh alright. I'm dont care much about noise, i usually wear headphones anyway. Ill stick with the stock fan for my i5 3470. How good is corsair when it comes to PSU's? I found this one on NCIX...

http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=78577

it's 600W, 80+ Bronze, and fully modular.
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February 8, 2013 2:24:09 PM

Best answer selected by MRC390.
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February 8, 2013 2:24:22 PM

Okay thanks. I'm ready to buy :D 
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a b 4 Gaming
February 8, 2013 2:26:23 PM

Enjoy your build and have fun :) 
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February 8, 2013 2:37:08 PM

mikerockett said:
Modular PSU is always good for itx builds, keeps it clean. You want one from a good brand like XFX, seasonic, antec, pc P&C etc

The stock fan will do you fine unless you're sensitive to noise. It can get a little loud, but it's not unbearable unless you really pick up on those kind of things.

Water cooling shouldn't even be a consideration unless you have an unlocked CPU. You may think something like a H60 will be quiet but i assure you it's louder than you think.

Water cooling isn't really necessary until you get into large clocks and custom loop territory. Any closed loop systems can be equalled by a good air cooler.

You should install your OS, games and commonly used programs on the SSD. A 128gb should be about enough for this. Just try to keep it under 75% capacity.


I personally built a computer for a friend with the stock cooler and even with my ear up to the case I never hear a peep.
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February 10, 2013 3:27:25 AM

If you are planning on going with a fractal design node 304 and using a full sized graphics card, you absolutely, positively cannot use a modular power supply unit!! I have a build with this exact case and have explored every possible option. I even fit a 7970 in the case (cabling is an issue, but under no circumstances can this case fit a full sized card with a modular power supply.

Send me a message if you need picture. Do a quick google search for case builds and you'll see that a modular power supply and that card won't work.
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