Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

System Builder Marathon, Q2 2013: $1300 Enthusiast PC

Last response: in Reviews comments
Share
June 18, 2013 9:00:05 PM

Our mid-range System Builder Marathon configuration gets a larger budget so that we can fit it into a mini-ITX enclosure. How does it compare with last quarter's less-expensive machine? We run our complete benchmark suite to find out.

System Builder Marathon, Q2 2013: $1300 Enthusiast PC : Read more
a b K Overclocking
a b 4 Gaming
June 18, 2013 9:27:17 PM

I'm against using Corsair CX PSU in a mid-end build. You also admitted that 750w is overkill. 90$ can get you a SeaSonic M12II 620 Bronze with much better components.

Additionally, Samsung 840 120gb only costs 20$ more than the Adata XPG SX900 64.
m
10
l
June 18, 2013 9:35:47 PM

Anymore these days all SBM gives me is a good laugh. Maybe it's because I've gone more elitist as my component knowledge increases or mabye that SBM builders don't have free reign on what brands they can buy.

Did you know that a 250gb Samsung 840 has been holding at ~$180 for months and that a 750w PSU in a mITX system makes you look unintelligent? Or that 2133 ram costs the same as 1866?

I think it's time you guys start building machines you would actually own and not ones that tops the charts but are horridly flawed.
m
1
l
Related resources
June 18, 2013 9:39:57 PM

its nice to see Toms trying something new like a mini itx build on the system builder marathon
m
10
l
a b K Overclocking
a b 4 Gaming
June 18, 2013 9:51:40 PM

So, ways I think this is dumb:
  • DDR3-1866. Save $20 and get -1600.
  • WD Black as a storage drive. I'd consider it overpriced as a boot drive. Save $35.
  • Geven the 770 and 680 are basically the same card (in fact the 770 may be slightly better), save $30 and get the 770.
  • More than $1 per GB on an SSD. For $10 more you can get a 120GB 840.
  • 750W PSU. You're trolling me. That could run two of them.


  • And yeah, title on page 3 refers to a non-existent Sapphire 680.
    m
    -6
    l
    a b K Overclocking
    a b 4 Gaming
    June 18, 2013 10:26:11 PM

    Awesome idea picking the mini ITX theme btw, we're long overdue for one :) 

    just a thought, while we're on themes, maybe a pure number cruncher/work-horse for the next SBM? could be fun for the "all work and no play" folks out there :p 
    m
    3
    l
    June 18, 2013 10:26:31 PM

    Personally I'd save money on the HDD with a cheaper 1TB for $60 and use the money for a larger 128GB SSD. Considering you can get one for as low as $90-$100, that would even balance the budget...
    m
    1
    l
    June 18, 2013 10:31:03 PM

    Someone Somewhere said:
    So, ways I think this is dumb:
    * DDR3-1866. Save $20 and get -1600.
    * WD Black as a storage drive. I'd consider it overpriced as a boot drive. Save $35.
    * Geven the 770 and 680 are basically the same card (in fact the 770 may be slightly better), save $30 and get the 770.
    * More than $1 per GB on an SSD. For $10 more you can get a 120GB 840.
    * 750W PSU. You're trolling me. That could run two of them.

    And yeah, title on page 3 refers to a non-existent Sapphire 680.


    GTX 770 wasn't an option when Don placed his order--says so right on the same page three where you found the Sapphire typo ;-)

    Don will have to defend his other component choices (against you guys *and* Paul/Thomas).
    m
    3
    l
    June 18, 2013 10:34:25 PM

    A question on the Visual Studio benchmark - is it run from the SSD for this build? That would explain the significant performance delta at stock clocks...
    m
    0
    l
    June 18, 2013 11:07:53 PM

    This build is a total joke. So much could be done better. A 680 really? That card has been a joke since the 670 and 7970 GHz, but now the 770 has made it completely irrelevant...
    m
    0
    l
    a b K Overclocking
    June 18, 2013 11:30:53 PM

    itzsnypah said:
    Did you know that a 250gb Samsung 840 has been holding at ~$180 for months and that a 750w PSU in a mITX system makes you look unintelligent? Or that 2133 ram costs the same as 1866?
    Did you know that the $180 SSD would have blown his system even farther out of budget, that readers have spoken out against both DDR3-1866 AND DDR3-2133 as unimportant to real-world performance, or that power supply size is dictated by components and not case size? What were you saying about intelligence?
    CaptainTom said:
    This build is a total joke. So much could be done better. A 680 really? That card has been a joke since the 670 and 7970 GHz, but now the 770 has made it completely irrelevant...
    While I probably would have gone with a 7970 or 670 to save money, the 680 isn't really that bad by comparison. And the 770? I'm surprised you didn't read any of the previous comments. These systems were ordered in April. As an experienced commenter you knew these articles take weeks to prepare, but you opened up about parts that weren't available weeks ago anyway? For shame Captain, I expected so much more from you...

    To the both of you: I'm a little rough on Don for not pushing his RAM even though it doesn't make much performance difference, but only because he's a competitor. And his power supply might be over-rated, but he's probably just trying to dodge the complaints of other readers who demand excessive capacity. All in all he's only wasted what, 10% of his budget? I'm sure most of you would find some other way to waste 10% of your budgets.

    BTW, if you hate his power supply for being ridiculously over-capacity and somewhat middle-quality, you're going to have a love/hate relationship with mine :) 
    m
    1
    l
    a b K Overclocking
    a b 4 Gaming
    June 19, 2013 12:18:09 AM

    The extra $500 doesn't provide much performance boost. Not sure if the 62.5% price premium justifies the modest performance increases and the small form factor.


    Crashman said:
    or that power supply size is dictated by components and not case size? What were you saying about intelligence?


    I am sure this is what he was implying...



    The PSU from the $650 build was more than enough for this build as well. The hardware choices made in this build are rather poor and wasteful.
    m
    1
    l
    June 19, 2013 2:05:59 AM

    Why is this 1300 machine matched against last quarter's 800? If I recall correctly, last quarter had also a 1000$ machine.
    Yes you would not have comparisons for your 2600$ beast. Last quarter's 1000$ machine could be a comparison token to the 1300 and 2600.
    m
    0
    l
    a b K Overclocking
    June 19, 2013 2:06:37 AM

    slomo4sho said:

    I am sure this is what he was implying...



    The PSU from the $650 build was more than enough for this build as well. The hardware choices made in this build are rather poor and wasteful.
    But that has nothing to do with the motherboard form factor. The guy specifically said that high capacity power is idiotic for ITX, and I pointed out that ITX has no bearing on the selection. The intelligent builder picks his capacity based on the parts he's powering.

    Don's over-capacious choice would have been similar over-capacious in a full-sized build, if he'd used the same CPU, GPU, DRAM and drives.

    m
    -1
    l
    a b K Overclocking
    a b 4 Gaming
    June 19, 2013 2:54:57 AM

    It could be said though that an ATX build has the option for a second GPU, which would make the 750W a reasonable choice. In ITX, that option is completely removed.

    Still way overkill though.
    m
    4
    l
    June 19, 2013 5:09:35 AM

    Interesting, if i had to do a mini-ITX build, i'd probably build something similar...probably use a different PSU, SSD and HDD (RAM too, maybe), but otherwise it's a fairly balanced build, i think.

    I would have probably given up overclocking and gone with a lower wattage CPU...i was sort of expecting someone to do that.

    That brings me to a suggestion, could next quarter's SBM have "low power" as a theme? Like, lowest power, temps and noise, but highest performance. Maybe restrict that to mATX or mini-ITX as well.

    Or have an SBM that tries to beat console performance for a similar price (this could be Q4 2013 or Q1 2014). Thomas would have to match them in power, noise and thermals while posting 60 fps at 1080p maxed out, Paul and Don could battle at $400 and $500 respectively.
    m
    3
    l
    June 19, 2013 6:00:06 AM

    Intel Core i5-3570K = 220$
    GIGABYTE GA-Z77N-WIFI = 120$
    CORSAIR Hydro Series H60 = 66$
    G.SKILL Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) ddr 1600 = 68$
    MSI Gaming N770 TF 2GD5/OC GeForce GTX 770 = 400$
    Intel 335 Series Jay Crest SSDSC2CT180A4K5 2.5" 180GB SATA = 175$
    Western Digital WD Blue WD10EZEX 1TB 7200 RPM = 70$
    ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS = 19$
    BitFenix Prodigy Red = 80$
    SILVERSTONE ST60F-P 600W = 85$

    total = 1303$
    m
    0
    l
    a b K Overclocking
    a b 4 Gaming
    June 19, 2013 6:05:40 AM

    nvidiamd said:
    Intel Core i5-3570K = 220$
    GIGABYTE GA-Z77N-WIFI = 120$
    CORSAIR Hydro Series H60 = 66$
    G.SKILL Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) ddr 1600 = 68$
    MSI Gaming N770 TF 2GD5/OC GeForce GTX 770 = 400$
    Intel 335 Series Jay Crest SSDSC2CT180A4K5 2.5" 180GB SATA = 175$
    Western Digital WD Blue WD10EZEX 1TB 7200 RPM = 70$
    ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS = 19$
    BitFenix Prodigy Red = 80$
    SILVERSTONE ST60F-P 600W = 85$

    total = 1303$

    shoulda added the cost of the time machine needed to deliver the gtx770 back in april. ;)  the extra cost easily goes over the $1300 limit.

    an evga gtx 670 on the other hand....

    edit:
    imo, it goes for all the people using current prices and parts. please calculate the cost of a time travelling device into the final tally. :ange:  shipping should be a nightmare...
    m
    2
    l
    June 19, 2013 6:17:52 AM

    I Win:

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Microcenter)
    CPU Cooler: Corsair H60 54.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($59.99 @ TigerDirect)
    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77N-WIFI Mini ITX LGA1155 Motherboard ($117.97 @ Outlet PC)
    Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($65.70 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Samsung 840 Series 250GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($163.99 @ NCIX US)
    Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($65.98 @ Outlet PC)
    Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card ($389.99 @ NCIX US)
    Case: Lian-Li PC-Q08B Mini ITX Tower Case ($99.99 @ Newegg)
    Power Supply: SeaSonic G 550W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($79.99 @ Amazon)
    Optical Drive: LG GH24NS95 DVD/CD Writer ($14.99 @ Newegg)
    Total: $1248.58 <-- $1301.17 = Everything from Newegg (including shipping)


    Notes:
    -Just for fun, I chose low latency DDR3 1600 memory despite the diminishing returns on an Intel platfrom.
    -Slightly cheaper motherboard
    -HD7970 - Cheaper, more OC headroom, better performance than the GTX 680, higher power consumption
    -250GB Samsung 840 SSD, its not MLC but its big enough to not matter for a gaming computer
    -No need for a WDBlack for storage.... Cheaper 1TB WD Blue
    -Kept the same case
    -Right sized, modular, quality 80plus Gold Seasonsic PSU
    -Corsair H60 (new version) - better warranty, better performance

    With the wiggle room I have on the case, RAM, and jumping down to a 120/128GB SSD, this build will work within the parameters of last months prices.
    m
    0
    l
    June 19, 2013 7:01:28 AM

    quangluu96 said:
    Or get the GTX 770, 10% faster and save 30$

    wl589 said:
    Well, I now realize this could have been built before the 770.


    Yes, this SBM predates the GTX 770. However, the HD7970 made more sense than a GTX 680.
    m
    0
    l
    June 19, 2013 7:23:19 AM

    What with the component choices? First, a 64GB SSD when one double that capacity is only $20 more? Here's your $20: Drop the ridiculous 750W PSU and get a Seasonic G Series 550W GOLD power supply for $80 and get a well reviewed 1600 ram kit, like a Mushkin Blackline or similar for $65. That's $28 dollars that will buy a good 120/128 GB SSD. That's not even counting the extra spent on a WD Black drive for use as storage drive (um why?). Case choice is subjective, but that interior is cramped, even for Mini-ITX, why not use a Bitfenix prodigy, with a superior layout for less money?

    I'm in the market for a micro atx or mini-itx build, and while I love this SBM format, the choices here are just poor. I think one of the non-builder writers needs to start reducing scores for bad choices, or something to clean up these builds.
    m
    1
    l
    June 19, 2013 7:28:38 AM

    On the whole, I really like this build. For myself, I would like to see a few differences (thanks to the pour of the hourglass)

    I would like to see the impact of a upper end 7 series card (if appropriately priced) in a month or so along with 3D gaming reviews (thanks Helix)

    Just a thought here:
    1 – 240/256 GB SSD mounted to the Floor (Remove 64 GB ) [-$80 + $185]
    2 – Remove the Drive Cage (and the 1 TB Mech HD) [-$100]
    3 – Place the radiator and fan blowing out on the front of the case
    4 – Remove the external top fan
    5 – Still within cost ($ 14 over original budget) [-$80 + $185] + [-$100] = $5 higher, or $19 over budget

    I believe the 240 GB drive is enough for OS and games (Windows 7, Office, Bloat takes 45 GB; Skyrim takes 6 GB, Bioshock takes 20 GB; that leaves 145 GB for storage and more games assuming one leaves 10% of the HD free). Also, music streaming services/unRaid/Amazon Cloud sync/etc, has for me at least, rendered local storage of most media on my gaming rig a negative.

    In addition to removing the cosmetic blemish, the case would have less air restriction with the drive cage yanked, no?

    1 complication – a 120 to 140mm fan adapter ($7 more) will be needed up front. Alternatively one could spend $20 more for a Corsair H90 which uses 140mm

    This puts us at $49 over budget (if going with the Corsair). That can be pulled back down by going with DDR3-1600 (-$20) and a 770 (-$30).

    Again, you have my thanks. Cheers!
    m
    0
    l
    a b K Overclocking
    a b 4 Gaming
    June 19, 2013 7:49:52 AM

    ojas said:
    ...
    That brings me to a suggestion, could next quarter's SBM have "low power" as a theme? Like, lowest power, temps and noise, but highest performance. Maybe restrict that to mATX or mini-ITX as well.

    Or have an SBM that tries to beat console performance for a similar price (this could be Q4 2013 or Q1 2014). Thomas would have to match them in power, noise and thermals while posting 60 fps at 1080p maxed out, Paul and Don could battle at $400 and $500 respectively.

    I like both of these ideas. I think the competition that surrounds the SBM cycles may preclude it though. Fix that by switching to a points system, especially for games. Under 30FPS=0 points, 30-60 on a sliding scale, 60-120 on another [diminished] sliding scale (only because some people have 3D monitors), and 120+FPS gets the same score, i.e. 150FPS scores no higher than 120FPS.
    iknowhowtofixit said:
    I Win:
    .
    .
    .
    Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card ($389.99 @ NCIX US)
    Notes:
    .
    .
    .
    -HD7970 - Cheaper, more OC headroom, better performance than the GTX 680, higher power consumption
    .
    .
    .

    You lose. That's one of the few video cards that may be too big for this case. Worse, it does not exhaust its heat, and that is a HUGE problem in this case.
    Chris Kemper said:
    On the whole, I really like this build...
    .
    .
    .
    1 – 240/256 GB SSD mounted to the Floor (Remove 64 GB ) [-$80 + $185]
    2 – Remove the Drive Cage (and the 1 TB Mech HD) [-$100]
    3 – Place the radiator and fan blowing out on the front of the case
    4 – Remove the external top fan
    .
    .
    .

    The SSD in this case mounts under the optical drive. There is not another mount point for one. There wouldn't be room on the floor because of the video card. If you meant under the mobo, I don't believe there is quite enough room, not without hitting the cooler mounts.
    The front fan is fitted into a bracket. I'm not sure how readily you could put the radiator there, but I'm not optimistic.
    I agree that the external fan destroys the elegance of this case. More in another post...
    m
    0
    l
    a b K Overclocking
    a b 4 Gaming
    June 19, 2013 8:16:13 AM

    Overall I'm happy with the decision this cycle to build mini-ITX systems. I think it is remarkable what can be done in such a small area, especially compared to only a few years ago.
    This latest build has some good and bad though.
    Great choice of video card, because it exhausts its heat. Having had a mobo die in this case, presumably due to heat (although CPU and GPU were well within acceptable ranges), I believe this is a Big Deal. One of the HIS "Black Hole" cards might be another viable choice, but would have given up some graphics muscle; I don't think they're too tall, but...Don, would it have fit?
    Bad cooler choice though, because it does nothing for the mobo. I might have used something like a Praeton, or similar low-profile cooler. Overclocking should not be a high priority in this form factor. The way the fan was mounted utterly destroys the elegance of this case. Although it's bigger, I believe a Prodigy would have been a more appropriate choice for this build.
    PSU gets a pass, but did you not see the 550W Seasonic? The Corsair is oversized, but at least it is modular, and though built by CWT, unlike the non-modular "CX" units, apparently uses all-Japanese capacitors, which are heat-resistant. Which way did you turn it, fan-out or fan-in? The latter might help mobo cooling some. You may wish to replace the front fan with a higher speed model, controlled by the mobo.
    I'd love to win this one, primarily for the case and PSU; but I would not build it as-is, but mix and match, lowering the power and heat.
    m
    0
    l
    June 19, 2013 8:27:31 AM

    I think Toms needs to add a disclaimer on every system builder marathon build that indicates When the parts for the build were ordered - it will eliminate 95% of the posts claiming better parts can be sourced
    m
    2
    l
    June 19, 2013 8:35:47 AM

    The only change that I would have made is stucking in the cheapest gold or platinum psu in that build..
    m
    0
    l
    June 19, 2013 8:47:41 AM

    Were you really nervous about having a system comparable to Q1's system with a budget more than 50% more?
    My guess is no, unless you're just a very pessimistic person.
    m
    0
    l
    June 19, 2013 9:09:20 AM

    For kicks & Giggles.. .and $200 more:
    Total: 1506
    CPU 190 i5-3570K
    CPU Cooler 135 Swiftech Apogee Drive II with Pump
    MOBO 118 GA-Z77N-WIFI
    MEM 66 G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory
    SSD 165 Samsung 840 Series 250GB 2.5" Solid State Disk
    GPU 400 Zotac GTX 770
    GPU Cooler 100 EK Full Block
    Case 100 Lian-Li PC-Q08B Mini ITX Tower Case
    Fan 24 Noctua ULN 140mm High Preasure
    Rad 98 140mm Alphacool Monsta
    PSU 80 550 w seasonic
    Optical 0 Why?
    Bits 20 budget bits
    Tubing 10 10' should suffice
    m
    0
    l
    June 19, 2013 9:44:56 AM

    The prices they use in SMB will always be inflated because they use prices as close to the MSRP, so it's a given that everyone can technically build better when they purchase at current prices (and theres always discounts). Just be mindful to keep things in the same field.

    Some parts are questionable though such as the power supply and graphics card. I would pick a 650w modular and either a gtx 670 or 7870 LE and cut the cost down. I guess it depends on the goal: either get the most out of $1300 budget or cheapest ITX build closest to the $800 spec (+ a bit of extra performance since 3 months has passed)
    m
    0
    l
    a b K Overclocking
    a b 4 Gaming
    June 19, 2013 9:59:01 AM

    Crashman said:
    But that has nothing to do with the motherboard form factor. The guy specifically said that high capacity power is idiotic for ITX, and I pointed out that ITX has no bearing on the selection. The intelligent builder picks his capacity based on the parts he's powering.

    Don's over-capacious choice would have been similar over-capacious in a full-sized build, if he'd used the same CPU, GPU, DRAM and drives.


    ITX builds can only have a single GPU and only a HD 7990 (a 690 would actually make more sense) would require a PSU of this caliber.
    I can understand the perception that any PSU larger than 650W is a waste of $$$ in an ITX build so it is understandable as to why someone would deem it idiotic when a 750W PSU is used in such a build. The over-capacious choice does make sense in a desktop because the system can be expanded upon in most cases. ITX on the other hand will limit the system to a single GPU slot, a single optical drive, a 2-6 storage drives. How much sense does it make throwing in a high capacity PSU in such a restricted enclosure?




    m
    0
    l
    June 19, 2013 10:22:25 AM

    Kind of liking the off the beaten path theme of this SBM. It surely isn't for people looking at templates for building their own cost-effective gaming machine, but i'm glad stuff like this gets thrown out now and again.
    m
    0
    l
    a b K Overclocking
    June 19, 2013 11:06:27 AM

    slomo4sho said:
    Crashman said:
    But that has nothing to do with the motherboard form factor. The guy specifically said that high capacity power is idiotic for ITX, and I pointed out that ITX has no bearing on the selection. The intelligent builder picks his capacity based on the parts he's powering.

    Don's over-capacious choice would have been similar over-capacious in a full-sized build, if he'd used the same CPU, GPU, DRAM and drives.


    ITX builds can only have a single GPU and only a HD 7990 (a 690 would actually make more sense) would require a PSU of this caliber.
    I can understand the perception that any PSU larger than 650W is a waste of $$$ in an ITX build so it is understandable as to why someone would deem it idiotic when a 750W PSU is used in such a build. The over-capacious choice does make sense in a desktop because the system can be expanded upon in most cases. ITX on the other hand will limit the system to a single GPU slot, a single optical drive, a 2-6 storage drives. How much sense does it make throwing in a high capacity PSU in such a restricted enclosure?
    Let me put it in easy language: If you imagine that you need a 750W power supply to power his components, you imagine wrong. That overestimation is pertinent to your main components, regardless of the enclosure or motherboard size.

    m
    0
    l
    June 19, 2013 11:18:34 AM

    Onus said:

    iknowhowtofixit said:
    I Win:
    .
    .
    .
    Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card ($389.99 @ NCIX US)
    Notes:
    .
    .
    .
    -HD7970 - Cheaper, more OC headroom, better performance than the GTX 680, higher power consumption
    .
    .
    .

    You lose. That's one of the few video cards that may be too big for this case. Worse, it does not exhaust its heat, and that is a HUGE problem in this case.


    The point was to illustrate the fact that many of the parts were not chosen wisely as there seemed to be needless spending where there didn't need to be. Please note the final point addressing the graphics card issue.

    Also, while you have one point of contention with my build, I contend the following:
    -Overspent on RAM, DDR3-1866 is completely unnecessary for Intel CPUs, returns diminish greatly after 1333 at low latencies
    -SSD was a poor value for the money, 2nd/3rd tier brand, too small
    -WD Black is completely unnecessary as a storage drive. The WD Blue is significantly cheaper will do the job just fine
    -Really a 750W Corsair Builder series? Are we forgetting this is a single GPU setup in an ITX case? You said that heat is a big factor. Why wouldn't you get a 550W Capstone-M or Seasonic gold rated PSU for cheaper?
    -The Corsair H60 (new version) has more to offer than the Antec Kuhler 620, including a 5 year warranty vs Antec's 3 year.
    -Lastly, the Gigabyte HD7970 WILL fit as this case has a 300mm card length capacity and that card is around 285mm. It also does exhaust hot air out the full size opening on the back of the card.

    So yes, I, in fact, win. ;) 
    m
    0
    l
    a b K Overclocking
    a b 4 Gaming
    June 19, 2013 11:26:30 AM

    Crashman said:
    Let me put it in easy language: If you imagine that you need a 750W power supply to power his components, you imagine wrong. That overestimation is pertinent to your main components, regardless of the enclosure or motherboard size.


    I have no idea how you are reaching this conclusion. Let me put it this way. Picking a PSU for a build that only uses around 50% capacity at load is a WASTE of $$$ which could have been better used in other components such as a larger SSD. The PSU is a bottleneck in this build (I am sure you can figure out why).
    m
    0
    l
    a b 4 Gaming
    June 19, 2013 11:30:52 AM

    The final paragraph in the article sums it up for me: this build and budget feels like cheating. You expanded the budget more than necessary to accommodate the ITX specific parts so comparing this to older mid-range SBM builds doesn't say much. And yes, I think the PSU is too much. I see reputable modular PSUs in the 550W range for ~$70 ( a SeaSonic M12II 520 is only $80 on Newegg, though I don't know what the price would have been in April. ) That savings, coupled with 1600 RAM, could allow a 128GB SSD which I think is much more practical.

    It's a decent build, I like the experiment, I'm just not sure what I'm supposed to compare it to.
    m
    0
    l
    June 19, 2013 11:31:03 AM

    dingo07 said:
    I think Toms needs to add a disclaimer on every system builder marathon build that indicates When the parts for the build were ordered - it will eliminate 95% of the posts claiming better parts can be sourced


    Yes and no. There are definitely some questionable choices outside of a one month lag in pricing.
    m
    0
    l
    June 19, 2013 11:40:24 AM

    I have built 4 itx systems this year, for myslef. I use them all, one major, one server and 2 simple "workstations".

    My "main" system:

    Lian-Li PC-Q18B - because of optical drive and 4 HDD cage;
    Asus P77H-I - because of 6 SATA ports;
    Intel i5-3570K - because of QuickSync, I don't overclock it;
    Samsung 830 256GB SSD, though 128GB is enough for OS;
    4 units Hitachi 1 TB HDDs - can be used in Win 8 "Storage Spaces" pool, I just had them around;
    EVGA GTX660 2GB - because is enough for me, but here you can put any blower type of card you like;
    Seasonic 520W;
    Win 8 Pro 64 bit

    I just see no reason to overclock, CPUs are more than enough for any kind of use today, and the most important qualities to me are NO NOISE and COOL system, especially in the mini -ITX form factor. If you want maximum performance, go to mid-tower size, multi GPU system and i5-3770K.
    My system does exactly what Tom's does, it costs much less.
    m
    0
    l
    June 19, 2013 11:51:49 AM

    I'm glad to see Tom's doing a Mini-ITX SBM (I recently put a mini-ITX pc into a Millennium Falcon), but this one really feels like it was built to fill out the price point rather than for value. The PSU is overkill, 400W would be plenty for this system. The extra $170 spent on the GPU doesn't make a difference you would ever see at 1920x1080. A single 250gb Samsung 840 is probably preferable to the two drive solution for the same price.

    You could probably get a slim (15mm) fan to fit inside the case, or at least stick out less on the outside.
    m
    0
    l
    a b K Overclocking
    a b 4 Gaming
    June 19, 2013 12:09:44 PM

    iknowhowtofixit said:

    .
    .
    .
    The point was to illustrate the fact that many of the parts were not chosen wisely as there seemed to be needless spending where there didn't need to be. Please note the final point addressing the graphics card issue.

    Also, while you have one point of contention with my build, I contend the following:
    -Overspent on RAM, DDR3-1866 is completely unnecessary for Intel CPUs, returns diminish greatly after 1333 at low latencies
    -SSD was a poor value for the money, 2nd/3rd tier brand, too small
    -WD Black is completely unnecessary as a storage drive. The WD Blue is significantly cheaper will do the job just fine
    -Really a 750W Corsair Builder series? Are we forgetting this is a single GPU setup in an ITX case? You said that heat is a big factor. Why wouldn't you get a 550W Capstone-M or Seasonic gold rated PSU for cheaper?
    -The Corsair H60 (new version) has more to offer than the Antec Kuhler 620, including a 5 year warranty vs Antec's 3 year.
    -Lastly, the Gigabyte HD7970 WILL fit as this case has a 300mm card length capacity and that card is around 285mm. It also does exhaust hot air out the full size opening on the back of the card.
    ...

    I agree with some of the niggles (e.g. the RAM), which any build has, and didn't comment on them. I'd still probably keep the WD Black for the five year warranty.
    I definitely agree that the SSD was too small; it might have been more interesting if combined with the WD Black using SRT.
    I own one of those Gigabyte HD7970 cards. It's great, but it produces a phenomenal amount of radiant heat, and am not sure very much of it gets out the back. Call me skittish because a system I built in this case croaked due to heat, but I would not consider this card in that case unless perhaps I replaced both of its fans with howlers, which would create an unpleasant little beast.
    As to the PSU, although I recognized the others (and would prefer the Seasonic myself), the fact that this one will operate so far under its capacity will reduce heat. It is 80+ bronze, which is only a few percentage points off of gold, is modular, and (unlike the non-modular versions) uses all Japanese capacitors.
    My concerns with the cooler are that it neglects the motherboard, and in this build was installed in a manner that destroys the elegance of a Lian Li case. I'm sure it does a fine job on the CPU.
    m
    0
    l
    June 19, 2013 12:20:59 PM

    Onus said:

    I agree with some of the niggles (e.g. the RAM), which any build has, and didn't comment on them. I'd still probably keep the WD Black for the five year warranty.
    I definitely agree that the SSD was too small; it might have been more interesting if combined with the WD Black using SRT.
    I own one of those Gigabyte HD7970 cards. It's great, but it produces a phenomenal amount of radiant heat, and am not sure very much of it gets out the back. Call me skittish because a system I built in this case croaked due to heat, but I would not consider this card in that case unless perhaps I replaced both of its fans with howlers, which would create an unpleasant little beast.
    As to the PSU, although I recognized the others (and would prefer the Seasonic myself), the fact that this one will operate so far under its capacity will reduce heat. It is 80+ bronze, which is only a few percentage points off of gold, is modular, and (unlike the non-modular versions) uses all Japanese capacitors.
    My concerns with the cooler are that it neglects the motherboard, and in this build was installed in a manner that destroys the elegance of a Lian Li case. I'm sure it does a fine job on the CPU.


    I really like the quality of Lian-Li cases, but I'm not in love with this one. When I was doing freelance work a couple of years ago, I did a pretty expensive ITX build and modded the interior of the case heavily to accommodate the airflow for the graphics card (Fermi), have a place to shove the radiator for an H80, etc. I ended up making a mounting bracket to house the 3.5" on its side in the front corner of the case between the end of the motherboard tray and optical drive.
    m
    0
    l
    a b K Overclocking
    a b 4 Gaming
    June 19, 2013 12:23:59 PM

    After concurrence with another member of the Moderation team, I have cleaned out an assortment of irrelevant posts. Please read the entire SBM article (not just the parts list) to understand the rules / constraints on SBM builds (e.g. all Newegg, and ordered well over a month before publishing).
    Thanks.
    m
    0
    l
    a b K Overclocking
    June 19, 2013 12:40:05 PM

    slomo4sho said:
    Crashman said:
    Let me put it in easy language: If you imagine that you need a 750W power supply to power his components, you imagine wrong.


    I have no idea how you are reaching this conclusion. Let me put it this way. Picking a PSU for a build that only uses around 50% capacity at load is a WASTE of $$$ which could have been better used in other components such as a larger SSD. The PSU is a bottleneck in this build (I am sure you can figure out why).
    Let me put this into EVEN EASIER language: WHEN DON assumed he'd need this much power for Don's internal components, DON imagined wrong. I just had to get the generic "you" (meaning anyone) out of the way :) 

    So he overestimated his power needs. Lots of people do that. Big deal. Someone called him stupid because it's an ITX system, what I'm saying is that the form factor has little bearing on his overestimation. If you take out the form factor argument, which is clearly wrong (because he wouldn't have planned for an SLI upgrade even if this were full ATX), you can see that his overestimation of energy needs was just a common mistake, rather than stupidity.

    m
    0
    l
    a b K Overclocking
    a b 4 Gaming
    June 19, 2013 12:55:29 PM

    Crashman said:

    Let me put this into EVEN EASIER language: WHEN DON assumed he'd need this much power for hDon's internal components, DON imagined wrong. I just had to get the generic "you" (meaning anyone) out of the way :) 

    So he overestimated his power needs. Lots of people do that. Big deal. Someone called him stupid because it's an ITX system, what I'm saying is that the form factor has little bearing on his overestimation. If you take out the form factor argument, which is clearly wrong (because he wouldn't have planned for an SLI upgrade even if this were full ATX), you can see that his overestimation of energy needs was just a common mistake, rather than stupidity.


    Thank you for the clarification but this is the root of the issue. Being a tech site, the reviews and reviewers are open to greater scrutiny. It may not be "Big deal" but such oversights do diminish the credibility of this site as "The Authority on Tech".
    m
    0
    l
    a b K Overclocking
    a b 4 Gaming
    June 19, 2013 1:02:30 PM

    I don't think that was Don's "error," and in fact I might think that's too strong a word. He knows graphics card power needs as well as anyone. I think he was looking at 450W 80+ Gold PSUs, saw a great deal on a modular 750W PSU, and jumped on it without investigating anything between them. In any case, he didn't choose a bad PSU, just one bigger than needed. It's too bad he didn't have the extra money for a bigger SSD, but what's done is done.
    m
    0
    l
    a b K Overclocking
    June 19, 2013 1:05:20 PM

    Onus said:
    I don't think that was Don's "error," and in fact I might think that's too strong a word. He knows graphics card power needs as well as anyone. I think he was looking at 450W 80+ Gold PSUs, saw a great deal on a modular 750W PSU, and jumped on it without investigating anything between them. In any case, he didn't choose a bad PSU, just one bigger than needed. It's too bad he didn't have the extra money for a bigger SSD, but what's done is done.

    Like I said, you're going to have a love/hate relationship with my PSU :) 
    m
    0
    l
    a b K Overclocking
    a b 4 Gaming
    June 19, 2013 1:27:04 PM

    Crashman said:
    Like I said, you're going to have a love/hate relationship with my PSU :) 


    One would love to hate and hate to love your PSU :pt1cable: 
    m
    0
    l
    a b K Overclocking
    a b 4 Gaming
    June 19, 2013 2:06:32 PM

    Crashman said:
    If you take out the form factor argument, which is clearly wrong

    Not entirely wrong: is it physically possible to cram enough power-hungry components on an ITX motherboard+case to reach anywhere near 750W? Even using the rumored 220W AMD CPUs, you probably wouldn't break 500W even with a dual-GPU card in there - assuming you could fit both the CPU HSF and GPUs in an ITX case.
    m
    0
    l
    June 19, 2013 2:11:43 PM

    Crashman said:
    Onus said:
    I don't think that was Don's "error," and in fact I might think that's too strong a word. He knows graphics card power needs as well as anyone. I think he was looking at 450W 80+ Gold PSUs, saw a great deal on a modular 750W PSU, and jumped on it without investigating anything between them. In any case, he didn't choose a bad PSU, just one bigger than needed. It's too bad he didn't have the extra money for a bigger SSD, but what's done is done.

    Like I said, you're going to have a love/hate relationship with my PSU :) 

    I predict 1.2kW Platiunum rated, modular, fanless :p 
    m
    0
    l
    a b K Overclocking
    June 19, 2013 2:31:39 PM

    ojas said:
    Crashman said:
    Onus said:
    I don't think that was Don's "error," and in fact I might think that's too strong a word. He knows graphics card power needs as well as anyone. I think he was looking at 450W 80+ Gold PSUs, saw a great deal on a modular 750W PSU, and jumped on it without investigating anything between them. In any case, he didn't choose a bad PSU, just one bigger than needed. It's too bad he didn't have the extra money for a bigger SSD, but what's done is done.

    Like I said, you're going to have a love/hate relationship with my PSU :) 

    I predict 1.2kW Platiunum rated, modular, fanless :p 
    Or how about an appropriate capacity but way overpriced high-end unit?

    m
    0
    l
    a b K Overclocking
    a b 4 Gaming
    June 19, 2013 2:48:25 PM

    Crashman said:
    Or how about an appropriate capacity but way overpriced high-end unit?


    That would depend on the premium paid for the high end model over a similar capacity model from a quality brand.
    m
    0
    l
    !