Original Xbox Chassis Project for medium-high end Gaming

I've had the idea, and it seems other's have too, to use an Xbox chassis to build a small gaming computer. I tried searching to see if there was one that was answered but couldn't find anything. My main goal is to keep things as small as possible with keeping enough power to play games at high settings (not ultra). I'm okay playing at lower resolutions than 1080p b/c I'm playing on a 60hz LG 42" TV and at higher resolutions some of the elements are too small and it's hard to read from my couch. :p

I'm not on that computer atm, but I believe I have my resolution set to 1600x900, which is what I typically try to use inside of the games I play.

I'm going to try the following, but I also need ideas on whether these would work or not.

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/zyk2WZ

I do want to note that I already have the GPU (which I will have to plug up using a PCIe extender cable)... I used in it the build so I could see the Wattage estimate and then I found that mini-ITX 400W PSU, which I hope I can fit without taking apart, but if I have to I will. I plan on adding a NZXT Fan hub so that I can hook up all those 50mm fans and have half on the left and half on the right all blowing the same direction so some are pulling in cooler air and others pulling out the hot air. I'm also going to use the below low profile CPU fan.

Fan hub - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Low profile CPU cooler - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

In and all help is appreciated. I don't have a huge budget so I'd rather not go with Intel for this, unless you think it is absolutely needed. I'm open to ideas, but i'm trying to keep it around $400 for everything I don't have already.
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  1. I would go with intel, the less wattage you have the better.
  2. olafgarten said:
    I would go with intel, the less wattage you have the better.


    Yeah I was a little worried about only having a 400W PSU... I'll look into some mini-itx mobo's... do you have any recommendations? I'm looking for something around 6-7 inches length and width.

    Thanks!
  3. What socket are you looking at?
  4. At a slightly higher price, you can get an i3-4160, which has better performance with a tdp of 54 watts. Go with a mini ITX H81 motherboard, and you should have a good combo.
  5. The 16gb or ram are completely unnecessary. Go with 8 or 4 to save space.
  6. olafgarten said:
    At a slightly higher price, you can get an i3-4160, which has better performance with a tdp of 54 watts. Go with a mini ITX H81 motherboard, and you should have a good combo.


    Thanks for the suggestion. I looked into this and I was checking the power supply on Newegg and in the specs on the power supply it says it doesn't support Haswell, so I don't think it would work with that proc. I've never heard of a proc family not being supported by a power supply before... I'm not really sure how that would work...

    I am trying to rethink my proc and mobo combination though, because less wattage and heat would probably be a plus, even if I have to spend a little more on the front end.... would rather that then have to spend a lot more on the back.

    schau314 said:
    The 16gb or ram are completely unnecessary. Go with 8 or 4 to save space.


    Thanks for the advice. You are right, I just thought that since the board could support that I would just max it out, but this will help me save money too.
  7. Here's some inspiration
  8. PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/DHN3gs
    Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/DHN3gs/by_merchant/

    CPU: Intel Core i3-4130 3.4GHz Dual-Core Processor ($116.98 @ Newegg)
    Motherboard: MSI H81M-E35 V2 Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($62.98 @ Newegg)
    Memory: PNY Optima 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($69.99 @ Amazon)
    Storage: Crucial MX100 256GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($104.99 @ NCIX US)
    Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 750 Ti 2GB Video Card ($119.99 @ NCIX US)
    Power Supply: Athena Power 400W 80+ Bronze Certified Mini ITX Power Supply ($75.98 @ Newegg)
    Case Fan: Gelid Solutions FN-SX05-40 21.9 CFM 50mm Fan ($9.98 @ OutletPC)
    Case Fan: Gelid Solutions FN-SX05-40 21.9 CFM 50mm Fan ($9.98 @ OutletPC)
    Case Fan: Gelid Solutions FN-SX05-40 21.9 CFM 50mm Fan ($9.98 @ OutletPC)
    Case Fan: Gelid Solutions FN-SX05-40 21.9 CFM 50mm Fan ($9.98 @ OutletPC)
    Case Fan: Gelid Solutions FN-SX05-40 21.9 CFM 50mm Fan ($9.98 @ OutletPC)
    Case Fan: Gelid Solutions FN-SX05-40 21.9 CFM 50mm Fan ($9.98 @ OutletPC)
    Total: $610.79
    Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
    Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-08-01 14:44 EDT-0400

    I put the i3 in with a cheaper motherboard, changed the ram, changed the graphics card because of power constraints. Added an ssd just for space, took out hdd. Double check to see if that motherboard will support the ssd.
  9. schau314 said:
    PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/DHN3gs
    Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/DHN3gs/by_merchant/

    CPU: Intel Core i3-4130 3.4GHz Dual-Core Processor ($116.98 @ Newegg)
    Motherboard: MSI H81M-E35 V2 Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($62.98 @ Newegg)
    Memory: PNY Optima 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($69.99 @ Amazon)
    Storage: Crucial MX100 256GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($104.99 @ NCIX US)
    Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 750 Ti 2GB Video Card ($119.99 @ NCIX US)
    Power Supply: Athena Power 400W 80+ Bronze Certified Mini ITX Power Supply ($75.98 @ Newegg)
    Case Fan: Gelid Solutions FN-SX05-40 21.9 CFM 50mm Fan ($9.98 @ OutletPC)
    Case Fan: Gelid Solutions FN-SX05-40 21.9 CFM 50mm Fan ($9.98 @ OutletPC)
    Case Fan: Gelid Solutions FN-SX05-40 21.9 CFM 50mm Fan ($9.98 @ OutletPC)
    Case Fan: Gelid Solutions FN-SX05-40 21.9 CFM 50mm Fan ($9.98 @ OutletPC)
    Case Fan: Gelid Solutions FN-SX05-40 21.9 CFM 50mm Fan ($9.98 @ OutletPC)
    Case Fan: Gelid Solutions FN-SX05-40 21.9 CFM 50mm Fan ($9.98 @ OutletPC)
    Total: $610.79
    Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
    Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-08-01 14:44 EDT-0400

    I put the i3 in with a cheaper motherboard, changed the ram, changed the graphics card because of power constraints. Added an ssd just for space, took out hdd. Double check to see if that motherboard will support the ssd.


    I appreciate the recommendation, and the instructable was a nice touch, but with all that I want to do I'll need the capacity of the 1TB HHDD. I grabbed the 2.5" Hybrid drive so I could get some space savings from the SFF while also getting the added performance of the hybrid drive over a standard HDD. I'm not sure what the exact size specs are on the SSD v. HHDD, but if they are different it should just be in length and not width since they're both 2.5".

    Other than that I was hoping to use the video card that I already have instead of having to buy a new one. Do you think that the one I already have (HD 7870) will consume too much power to work with the 400W PSU? I'm not really sure how accurate pcpartspicker's wattage estimates are.

    Really appreciate all the insight and recommendations I'm getting from you guys. Definitely giving me some things to think about.
  10. I would stay away from Seagate as a whole, their products fail very quickly, I have had many bad experiences.
  11. Okay, I'm thinking about maybe trying this. It takes a bit of a performance hit, but I get a lower tpd while helping to ensure I can use the 400W PSU, based on the proc. (unless I can figure out something from intel that isn't Haswell and doesn't cost too much)

    I switched the HDD to a toshiba, but if someone has any ideas about them being unreliable I may just go with a 7.2k RPM 2.5" HDD instead of a hybrid drive. That would probably save me some money anyway.

    [PCPartPicker part list](http://pcpartpicker.com/p/g7pt99) / [Price breakdown by merchant](http://pcpartpicker.com/p/g7pt99/by_merchant/)

    Type|Item|Price
    :----|:----|:----
    **CPU** | [AMD Athlon X4 740 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/amd-cpu-ad740xokhjbox) | $74.99 @ Amazon
    **Motherboard** | [Gigabyte GA-F2A88XN-WIFI Mini ITX FM2+ Motherboard](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/gigabyte-motherboard-gaf2a88xnwifi) | $92.99 @ Amazon
    **Memory** | [PNY Optima 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/pny-memory-md8192kd31333) | $69.98 @ Amazon
    **Storage** | [Toshiba 1TB 2.5" 5400RPM Hybrid Internal Hard Drive](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/toshiba-internal-hard-drive-mq01abd100h) | $96.99 @ SuperBiiz
    **Power Supply** | [Athena Power 400W 80+ Bronze Certified Mini ITX Power Supply](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/athena-power-power-supply-apmfatx40) | $75.98 @ Newegg
    **Case Fan** | [Gelid Solutions FN-SX05-40 21.9 CFM 50mm Fan](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/gelid-solutions-case-fan-fnsx0540) | $9.98 @ OutletPC
    **Case Fan** | [Gelid Solutions FN-SX05-40 21.9 CFM 50mm Fan](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/gelid-solutions-case-fan-fnsx0540) | $9.98 @ OutletPC
    **Case Fan** | [Gelid Solutions FN-SX05-40 21.9 CFM 50mm Fan](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/gelid-solutions-case-fan-fnsx0540) | $9.98 @ OutletPC
    **Case Fan** | [Gelid Solutions FN-SX05-40 21.9 CFM 50mm Fan](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/gelid-solutions-case-fan-fnsx0540) | $9.98 @ OutletPC
    **Case Fan** | [Gelid Solutions FN-SX05-40 21.9 CFM 50mm Fan](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/gelid-solutions-case-fan-fnsx0540) | $9.98 @ OutletPC
    **Case Fan** | [Gelid Solutions FN-SX05-40 21.9 CFM 50mm Fan](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/gelid-solutions-case-fan-fnsx0540) | $9.98 @ OutletPC
    **Other**| NZXT Grid Ten Port Fan Hub| $16.99
    **Other**| ZALMAN CNPS8900 Quiet 110mm Ultra Quiet Slim CPU Cooler| $36.99
    | | **Total**
    | Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available | $524.79
    | Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-08-01 17:18 EDT-0400 |
  12. The i3 is only slightly more and has a lower tdp. You can even upgrade to a i3-4160. The PSU is a standard flex atx size, so it can be switched, I think you can get higher power ones.
  13. olafgarten said:
    The i3 is only slightly more and has a lower tdp. You can even upgrade to a i3-4160. The PSU is a standard flex atx size, so it can be switched, I think you can get higher power ones.


    Have you seen any flex atx PSUs greater than 400W? I've tried to search for some but I can't seem to find any. Until I can find one that is equal or greater and has Haswell support I think the i3 will be off the table for me.

    Thanks again for all of the help you guys have been giving me, it is much appreciated and has given me lots to consider.
  14. I finally found another similar physical specs PSU. It's a 2U server PSU, but it has the connectors I need to make the build work. Though it's a tiny bit larger it shouldn't be an issue b/c the biggest change is height and there should be enough overhead space to accommodate the extra height. I didn't see anything on the specs on Newegg that said it didn't support Haswell, so I'm crossing my fingers.

    In the end I decided to also go with 80mm fans and less of them. I put the savings toward the i3-4160, so the build comes out around ~$530 for the parts I don't already have. The link is below.

    PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/d3fKK8
    Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/d3fKK8/by_merchant/

    Motherboard: ASRock H81M-ITX Mini ITX LGA1150 Motherboard ($65.38 @ Newegg)
    Memory: PNY Optima 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($67.99 @ Amazon)
    Storage: Toshiba 1TB 2.5" 5400RPM Hybrid Internal Hard Drive ($96.99 @ SuperBiiz)
    Case Fan: Aerocool X-Blaster 52.8 CFM 80mm Fan ($8.99 @ Amazon)
    Case Fan: Aerocool X-Blaster 52.8 CFM 80mm Fan ($8.99 @ Amazon)
    Case Fan: Aerocool X-Blaster 52.8 CFM 80mm Fan ($8.99 @ Amazon)
    Case Fan: Aerocool X-Blaster 52.8 CFM 80mm Fan ($8.99 @ Amazon)
    Other: Rosewill RCX-Z775-LP 80mm Sleeve Low Profile CPU Cooler - OEM ($9.99)
    Other: Athena Power AP-U2ATX45P 20+4Pin 450W Single 2U Server Power Supply ($96.99)
    Other: NZXT Grid Ten Port Fan Hub ($16.99)
    Other: Intel Core i3-4160 ($134.99)
    Total: $525.28
    Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
    Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-08-04 18:14 EDT-0400

    If anyone has any other suggestions before I mark this as answered then they are welcome and appreciated. Thanks again to olafgarten and schau314 for their suggestions and help.
  15. Hope it turns out well. Good choices, a lot to spend on fans.

    I still think the 750 ti is the best for power and heat constraints but it seems like you found a way around it. Update us on the results later, it looks good though.
  16. schau314 said:
    Hope it turns out well. Good choices, a lot to spend on fans.

    I still think the 750 ti is the best for power and heat constraints but it seems like you found a way around it. Update us on the results later, it looks good though.


    Yeah it's a lot for fans, but i really want to make sure it has good airflow with the condensed space.

    You're probably right about the video card, but I want to convert my current tower into a workstation at some point and I'm going to try and pick up a Quadro GPU for it. Since I already have the HD 7870 and I bought it less than a year ago I'm really trying to avoid buying another gaming GPU. I'm hoping with the modifications I'm going to make to the Xbox chassis, coupled with the fans, that I'll have good enough airflow to dissipate the heat well. Thanks again for all your help and suggestions. I'll definitely post on here how it went once it's done. :)
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