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Help building mini ITX pc?

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February 21, 2013 3:05:36 AM

Hello, I'm new to Tom's Hardware, so please don't flame if this is sectioned incorrectly. :non: 

Currently, i am looking for advice for a PC that i wish to build for my girlfriend, that will snugly fit in her new tv cabinet. In terms of graphics, it wont be under much strain at all, because all she plays is the Sims and Minecraft FTB. What i am looking for is preferably a case that is under 15cm in height, yet has a slot for a mobo with a GPU, and a mini ITX board that sports an msata slot, and is preferably AMD (the cheaper the better)

Any suggestions would be most appreciated :bounce: 

More about : building mini itx

February 21, 2013 3:19:15 AM

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/ETUA
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/ETUA/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/ETUA/benchmarks/

CPU: AMD A8-5600K 3.6GHz Quad-Core Processor ($109.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock FM2A75M-ITX Mini ITX FM2 Motherboard ($96.97 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($52.98 @ Amazon)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($62.99 @ Compuvest)
Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7770 1GB Video Card ($128.98 @ Newegg)
Case: Lian-Li PC-Q07 Mini ITX Tower Case ($59.98 @ Outlet PC)
Power Supply: SeaSonic 300W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($41.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS72 DVD/CD Writer ($18.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $562.85
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-21 00:19 EST-0500)


What's your budget?
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February 21, 2013 3:36:39 AM

^The case won't fit the 7770

VGA Card length that can fit case: 180mm

Card dimensions 9.25" x 4.37" x 1.5" = 235mm long

Should be pretty budget friendly and with USB 3 front panel (if you choose to get an mb with USB3 front panel plug)
Case can fit up to a 670/680 or 7870 (AMD cards tend to be longer)
PSU can be upgraded to 450W but case comes with free 300W one
AMD has no competition at the ultra low end once if you're not considering pure APU's
Latest gen HDD from WD (AFAIK the previous gen 32MB cache Seagate had some firmware issues)
Dual slot case to fit 7770's (most 7770 are single slot but cooler takes up more room so requires more room than single expansion slot cases can hold)

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Pentium G860 3.0GHz Dual-Core Processor ($68.76 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-H61N-USB3 Mini ITX LGA1155 Motherboard ($76.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Kingston 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($47.48 @ Outlet PC)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($73.98 @ Outlet PC)
Video Card: PowerColor Radeon HD 7770 1GB Video Card ($109.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Silverstone SST-SG05B-USB3.0 (Black) Mini ITX Desktop Case w/300W Power Supply ($121.72 @ Newegg)
Total: $498.92
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-21 00:50 EST-0500)
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February 21, 2013 3:45:03 AM

preferably under 500 AUD, cheers alot :) 
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February 21, 2013 3:48:44 AM

For those type of games, she won't be needing a discrete card, my suggestion, with os included :

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD A10-5800K 3.8GHz Quad-Core Processor ($129.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($54.00 @ Foxcomp)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Case: Cooler Master Elite 120 Advanced (Black) Mini ITX Tower Case ($59.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Power Supply: Silverstone Strider Essential 500W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($59.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB DVD/CD Writer ($22.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Other: ASRock FM2A85X-ITX Motherboard @ pccasegear ($119.00)
Total: $501.00
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)


Get the ASRock FM2A85X-ITX, the ASRock FM2A75M-ITX has been reported with a high vrm failure rate.
Update for Australian prices.
Edit get the ram in pccasegear : http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...
And this psu to lower down the price : http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...
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February 21, 2013 3:55:05 AM

KilledByVen said:
preferably under 500 AUD, cheers alot :) 


Haha just tell us where you are form first next time :p 

I like dj's build if you're gonna go APU though you can tone down the PSU (but it's super cheap so I guess why not) a bit for an APU
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February 21, 2013 4:10:11 AM

sorry for not being very specific lol

Australian, no need for os (i get ~20 copies for free a year lol)
msata: no need for more than 60g, will only have the os + a few essentials on it (VLC, chrome, etc)
No need for optical, got so many of them lying around, but not sure ill even put one in
and cooling from front to rear prefered, side panels will have no breathing room atm, unless i find another spot to put it.

Thanks :) 
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February 21, 2013 4:11:15 AM

And yea i thought i might not need a gpu, but id still like a case with capabilities for one, as ill chuck my 660ti in it once my new card comes in.
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February 21, 2013 4:21:10 AM

The 660 ti fits in the CM Elite 120 Advanced.
If you don't need the optical drive subtract it from the list, and the other stuff that you don't need.
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February 21, 2013 4:25:58 AM

hmm are there any imITX A85 mb's that have msata?

All the ones I can find are Intel z77/h77 boards

Here is an i3 build to better match the 660ti but a pentium 2120 is an cheaper option to stay in budget
No point in getting an APU if you're putting in an 660ti in soon
Case ventilates front back and sides and will fit the 660ti
Lowish profile ram (can swap for ones with heatsink for about same price)
mb with msata connector
HDD and PSU credit to dj

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-3220 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($119.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Motherboard: Intel DH77DF Mini ITX LGA1155 Motherboard ($134.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($54.00 @ Foxcomp)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Case: BitFenix Prodigy (Black) Mini ITX Tower Case ($99.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Power Supply: Silverstone Strider Essential 500W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($59.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Total: $524.00
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-21 17:30 EST+1100)
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February 21, 2013 9:58:20 AM

Thanks for the help so far guys :) 

Just got home from work and she asks if it will be able to record tv lol ~_~ am i better off getting a pci tv tuner or a usb adapter?
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February 21, 2013 1:52:07 PM

Only thing im still struggling to find is a case
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Best solution

February 21, 2013 2:54:48 PM

All of your case suggestions are considerably over 15cm height, and none of those boards have mSATA.
I see two issues with what I will suggest. The first is that it is an Intel build, but that's because I've chosen a mobo with mSATA support. Performance certainly won't be a problem. The second issue is budget; it's a $150 board.
I realize you are in AUS; I am using Newegg listings just by way of example:

ASRock Z77E-ITX LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Mini ITX Intel Motherboard
Model #:Z77E-ITX
Item #:N82E16813157312
$149.99 $149.99
This board has a mSATA slot on its underside. I have this board, and it is nice. It also incorporates a decent wireless adapter.

Intel Pentium G860 Sandy Bridge 3.0GHz LGA 1155 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics BX80623G860
Model #:BX80623G860
Item #:N82E16819116405
$69.99 $69.99
Should be enough for the intended uses.

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-10600CL9D-4GBNT
Model #:F3-10600CL9D-4GBNT
Item #:N82E16820231253
$25.99 $25.99
On a budget, 4GB is sufficient. Get 8GB if you decide to spend a little more.

Western Digital WD Blue WD5000AAKX 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Model #:WD5000AAKX
Item #:N82E16822136769
$79.99 -$20.00 Instant $59.99
If 500GB isn't enough, substitute a larger drive. If you want the mSATA slot for a boot drive, feel free to make this a 2TB "Green" drive for storage.

IN WIN BP655.200BL Black Steel Mini-ITX Desktop Computer Case 200W Power Supply
Model #:BP655.200BL
Item #:N82E16811108196
$54.99 $54.99
Turn this on its side, and it is a good size. If the included fan is too loud, you can always replace it with something quieter.

SAPPHIRE 100357LP Radeon HD 7750 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready Low Profile Video Card
Model #:100357LP
Item #:N82E16814202002
$114.99 -$5.00 Instant $109.99
Here's a decent low-profile card, suitable for the intended uses. You might get this down to around $80-$90 by using a HD6670 instead.

SeaSonic SS-300TFX Bronze 300W TFX12V v2.3 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply - OEM
Model #:SS-300TFX Bronze
Item #:N82E16817151090
$49.99 -$12.00 Instant $37.99
I don't trust the included PSU, which may be junk, so I'd get this one.

Subtotal: $508.93

Edit: Eh, missed an optical drive; figure another $25 for that; more if you want BluRay.

I did not see any AMD boards with mSATA support. If you choose to forgo that, there are a couple of AMD choices that might be suitable.
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February 21, 2013 3:05:06 PM

Hmmm, a lot got posted while I was working on that build. If you don't already have a mSATA drive, there's no need for a board that has mSATA. The case I linked will support a slim 3.5" drive in addition to the standard-height 3.5" drive; that could be a 2.5" SSD. Alternately, since the data drive need not be fast, get one of those 3.5" adapters that will fit a pair of 2.5" drives on it, and make one of them a SSD and the other a laptop drive.
You could then use this $100 board: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... with an AMD APU.
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February 21, 2013 3:26:12 PM

KilledByVen said:
Only thing im still struggling to find is a case


So you want a case with no more than 15 cm of height, for that, what you'll want is a htpc case, you can install a discrete card, it supports cards up to 11" : http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

The AMD A10 will play those games that you want just fine, the board, has plenty of features, it doesn't have msata.
So if you don't mind that, my suggestion : http://au.pcpartpicker.com/p/EZ4i
Since the case fits a matx board, it will help to cut down the cost.
Get the ram in pccasegear : http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...
And this psu to lower down the price : http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

It goes for about 500$.
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February 21, 2013 3:32:37 PM

djangoringo said:
So you want a case with no more than 15 cm of height, for that, what you'll want is a htpc case, you can install a discrete card, it supports cards up to 11" : http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

Ooh, 151mm height; just over. Perhaps if you take off the legs (but glue some felt on it or something to avoid scratches). But yeah, even a mini-tower won't do for this one.

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February 21, 2013 10:32:36 PM

i do have to finish putting together the table, the predrilled holes are 160mm apart, so realistically ittl probs be a 155 gap, but yer cheers :) 
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February 21, 2013 10:39:15 PM

thinking of scrapping the height restriction and just putting it on a shelf somewhere else in the room, theres a nice coolermaster elite 120 on sale for $40
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February 21, 2013 10:43:34 PM

Yes, the cm elite 120 is a good case for the price.
If you go with the cm elite 120 instead of the silverstone htpc case, you need an mini itx board, the htpc case can fit a matx board.
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February 21, 2013 11:56:50 PM

PCPartPicker part list: http://au.pcpartpicker.com/p/F5gz
Price breakdown by merchant: http://au.pcpartpicker.com/p/F5gz/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://au.pcpartpicker.com/p/F5gz/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i5-3470 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.00 @ PCCaseGear)
CPU Cooler: Antec Kuhler H2O 620 Liquid CPU Cooler ($79.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Motherboard: MSI H77MA-G43 Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($89.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($52.00 @ Foxcomp)
Video Card: PowerColor Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition 1GB Video Card ($109.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Power Supply: Antec Basiq 350W ATX12V Power Supply ($43.00 @ Foxcomp)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB DVD/CD Writer ($22.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Other: Silverstone GD05 Black HTPC Case with USB 3.0 ($109.00)
Total: $692.00
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-22 12:55 EST+1100)


All good? Chose liquid as the ventilation of normal air cooling might be poor due to where its going to be, and as for storage, i just picked up a few old hdd from my old gaming pc, thatll do :) 
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February 22, 2013 12:05:52 AM

You don't need the watercooler, the stock cooler is fine.
I would get a psu with more amps, if you plan to add later the 660 ti.
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February 22, 2013 12:12:36 AM

only picked that psu because it vents towards the rear. there will be no breathing room above or under the case, same reason for water, cooling fan can be mounted at the rear or front
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March 4, 2013 2:25:06 AM

Best answer selected by KilledByVen.
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March 4, 2013 11:13:00 PM

Thanks. Please let us know if you need any help with your build.
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!