Build It: Half-Height Gaming PCs For The Living Room

Benchmark Results: Just Cause 2, Power Usage

Just Cause 2 is another demanding title. Let’s see how these half-height gaming systems perform:

Both systems have no trouble with 720p, but at 1080p, only the Radeon HD 5750 system offers smooth performance.

Let’s finish off the benchmarks by looking at the power usage:

Both systems use identical idle power, but the microATX/ Radeon HD 5750 combo reaches almost 250 W under load, while the mini-ITX/Radeon HD 5570 system uses about 100 W less.

Note that the 144 W ceiling of the smaller system is very close to the rated 160 W maximum of the power supply included with the Wavy case. Even if we could have fit the half-height PowerColor Radeon HD 5750 into this enclosure, it probably would have crashed the system under a heavy graphics load. The Phenom II X3 705e/Radeon HD 5570 is probably one of the most potent combos you’d want to pair with this 160 W power supply.

  • Poisoner
    This is an interesting article and goes a direction where nVidia has no way to compete.
  • nevertell
    I'd mod a case and mount my videocard horizontally.
  • dirtmountain
    Good article and an interesting read. You can get a half height GTS450.
  • fatkid35
    awesome article. i love small pc's! my silverstone sg05 is modded with a 600 watt psu and 6870 stuffed inside.
  • shovenose
    the antec sp-400 has issues! it has lousy fuhjyyu capactiros that fail even just sitting there. i suggest you find a different psu!
  • cleeve
    shovenosethe antec sp-400 has issues! it has lousy fuhjyyu capactiros that fail even just sitting there. i suggest you find a different psu!
    I've been using this one in my main HTPC for a couple years now at least. Haven't had any problems.
  • Mr_x
    Typo on Test Systems And Benchmarks
    AMD Phenom II X4 705e isn't it x3???
  • carlhenry
    that's weird, a 160w power supply powering up a 5570? (and you also intended to slap in the 5750 there?) did i miss something?
  • dEAne
    Looking for a case like that is next to impossible - but for a 160W wow I never have though of that, it gives me another idea. thanks tom.
  • Th-z
    Thanks for the article. I have a question, where do you find quality small PSU? If you want to go as small as you can, one would need to use small PSU. But it seems they are scarce in terms of wattage selection and brand, no where comparing to standard ATX PSU.

    Many small mini-ITX cases do include a small PSU, but what if you want to mod the PSU, or the included one breaks down? Falling back to standard ATX PSU would have to use a bigger mini-ITX case.