Motherboard: ASRock B75M-ITX
Normally, when we say we went with the least-expensive option, you assume we sacrificed something. But at $90, this B75 Express-based platform is far from cheap, especially compared to larger micro-ATX options.
We can live without built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and we knew we wouldn't be overclocking. Rather, what mattered most was the 7-series chipset's features on a stable platform. The B75M-ITX packs support for the Ivy Bridge architecture right out of the box, a 16-lane PCI Express 3.0 slot, USB 3.0, SATA 6Gb/s, and eSATA.
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Tactical Tracer DDR3-1600 4 GB Kit
Funding limitations meant we'd have to choose from among the most affordable 4GB kits of DDR3 for this build, and we were thrilled to see Crucial’s Ballistix Tactical Tracer down among them. With DDR3-1600 frequencies, CAS 8 latencies, all at 1.5V, the choice over equally-priced basic CAS 9 DDR3-1333 was a no brainer.
- Colliding Interests Shape Our Mini-ITX Effort
- CPU And Cooler
- Motherboard And Memory
- Graphics Card And Hard Drive
- Case, Power Supply, And Optical Drive
- Assembling Our Budget-Oriented Box
- Just Enough Overclocking To Game...
- Test System And Benchmarks
- Results: Synthetics
- Results: Audio And Video
- Results: Adobe Creative Suite
- Results: Productivity
- Results: Compression
- Results: Battlefield 3 And The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
- Results: F1 2012 And Far Cry 3
- Power Consumption And Temperatures
- Gaming Performance Summary
- Can We Really Call This Better For Gaming?