Page 1:Mini-ITX For The Enthusiast: Smaller Size, Bigger Budget
Page 2:CPU, Motherboard, And Cooler
Page 3:Video Card, Power Supply, And Case
Page 4:Memory, Hard Drives, And Optical Drive
Page 5:System Assembly And Overclocking
Page 6:Test System And Benchmarks
Page 7:Results: Synthetics
Page 8:Results: Media Encoding
Page 9:Results: Rendering And Productivity
Page 10:Results: Adobe Creative Suite
Page 11:Results: Compression Tools
Page 12:Results: Battlefield 3 And The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Page 13:Results: F1 2012 And Far Cry 3
Page 14:Power And Temperature
Page 15:Smaller System, More Money, And Greater Performance
System Assembly And Overclocking
Overall, this mini-ITX-based system was easier to assemble than I thought it'd be. Of course, the working space was a little cramped, but Lian Li's PC-Q08B case is sturdy, and it accommodated all of our components after some trial and error.
There isn't a power supply in the picture below. It actually gets placed above the motherboard, so you can't see much once it's installed. I was also thankful that Antec's Kuhler H2O 620 leaves a lot of space above the motherboard; our favorite air coolers would have certainly interfered with the power supply.
We did have one fitment issue, unfortunately. The Kuhler's radiator input and output don't fit without interfering with the motherboard's SATA connectors. In order to give all of the parts some breathing room, I moved the internal 120 mm fan outside of the case. It's still functional, and fits pretty well mounted where you see it, but it obviously messes with Lian Li's minimalist vibe. Form must follow function in this situation.
I have plenty of experience overclocking the Core i5-3570K. But despite solid stability at 4.5 GHz under Prime95, the system consistently crashed in our game tests. So, our final CPU clock rate is 4.3 GHz at 1.3 V.
Memory overclocking was easier. I simply used the XMP profile in the motherboard UEFI, which increased the data rate to 1866 MT/s and dropped timings to 8-9-9-24 2T.
The GeForce GTX 680 isn't known for scaling super-high, but by maxing out my voltage and power limits, I managed to push the GK104 an extra 94 MHz ant the memory up an additional 200 MHz, yielding a 1100 MHz base frequency and GDDR5-6408 data rates.
- Mini-ITX For The Enthusiast: Smaller Size, Bigger Budget
- CPU, Motherboard, And Cooler
- Video Card, Power Supply, And Case
- Memory, Hard Drives, And Optical Drive
- System Assembly And Overclocking
- Test System And Benchmarks
- Results: Synthetics
- Results: Media Encoding
- Results: Rendering And Productivity
- Results: Adobe Creative Suite
- Results: Compression Tools
- Results: Battlefield 3 And The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
- Results: F1 2012 And Far Cry 3
- Power And Temperature
- Smaller System, More Money, And Greater Performance