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Mini ITX gaming build thats ultra portable!


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#1 Pteroduck

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 07:16 PM

Building a rig for a friend! He's willing to spend maybe 1400 or so, but he wants an ultra portable system...

 

 

Any recommendations for a case? (has to hold an ssd and 2 hard drives, dont ask me why, I dont know either :doh: )
I had the bitfenix prodigy in mind

Processor: i7-3770k / Cooler: H100i

Ram: 2x8GB G.Skill Ram 1866
Video Card: AMD raedon 7990 (or recommend me something else!)

Motherboard: Advise please!

Power supply: I'm thinking corsair, but again, please advise

Wifi Card:not sure either

 

Is it possible for a mATX to have SLI/CF compatibility? future usability and overclocking support is a must!

 

I believe he will be using a x-star 1440p monitor


Edited by Pteroduck, 15 October 2013 - 07:32 PM.


#2 hornybluecow

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 08:30 PM

If your looking for a itx case corsiar air series is good or the cooler master HAF stacker 915F might suite your needs .

unless his heart is set on itx you can do better with a M ATX . Itx is just so small , I a lot of features usually cut to make the space .

yes M ATX supports Sli/cf . it's a close fit , but it works , just make sure you get blower style video cards .

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#3 RHKCommander959

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 09:57 PM

there are tons of itx motherboards to choose from. I would consider something with an x16 PCIe slot and WiFi built in.

 

http://www.asus.com/.../P8Z77I_DELUXE/ this is compatible with 3770k, and uses a daughter-board to give the CPU 8-phases so theoretically it should OC well, some customer reviews and the like show some great overclocks (just read one with a 3770k at 4.8). There are a few different models to choose from.  It can even fit a Noctua NH-D14 according to some customer review I read. Only has three audio ports on the back, but thats enough for surround sound after reconfiguring the ports - to use a headset just use front case audio or USB. Gigabyte has some with WiFi as well, but they generally have less power phases because of size constraints.

 

Do you already have the 3770k? If not LGA 1150 is worth a look!

 

 

If you want to save money, get a more basic ITX board without WiFi, and get a USB WiFi adapter so you can still use the x16 for video. But budget boards probably won't overclock as well..


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#4 Prunes

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 12:30 AM

As for cases, he might look into Cooler Master's new HAF Stacker Series. Then in the future, when he wants a new case for his main stationary rig, he can get the big on and keep his ultra portable pc on top of it. Otherwise, I'd say most ITX cases are very portable, since you can pretty much carry them under your arm. Like HBC wrote there's Cooler Master's, Corsairs Air Series, Thermaltake Elite, Fractal Design Node amongst others. 


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HDD: WD Cavier Black 1TB
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#5 Locutus

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 12:40 AM

Depending on which Bitfenix Prodigy you get you can either go mITX or mATX, the mini ITX one being cheaper. One downside of the Prodigy M is that one of the Prodigy's coolest features (the horizontally oriented motherboard tray) is substituted for a standard vertical motherboard tray.

 

Honestly the 20 dollar difference is enough for someone like me to say go with the original Prodigy and get a mini ITX board to match.


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#6 VaporX

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 04:49 AM

Unless he is planning a heavy overclock for the CPU I would go with an H60 for the cooler. In all but the heaviest overclocks it has more than enough cooling performance. For a 1440 display I would go with a single 7970 or even a 7950. I have not found a game yet that I do not get solid play experience at 1440 on a 7950. The reason I am suggesting the drop is due to limitations of the Prodigy case. The case will only fit a Double slot width card comfortably. The 7990 cards are usually a dual and  half or dual and a quarter.  This results in the shroud making contact with the side panel and a lot of noise when the fans speed up under load. Even with a 7970 you need some care for this as some of the coolers are larger on these as well. I have yet to see a 7950 that was oversized like this.

 

If you want the best bang for the buck that will for use fit I would go with a Sapphire R9 280X Dual-X. This has a thinner profile and will not have the issues I mentioned.

 

For motherboard it is again a matter of if you plan to overclock. If your are going to push then the Asus ITX boards are great with the beefier power deliver system.  If you are not going to overclock at all I would consider an H77 or if you want a moderate overclock the Gigabyte Z77N is the best buy.

 

Now let me take a moment and define push here for the overclock. I can get a decent overclock to 4.0 and often 4.2 Ghz out of a chip without having to tweak the voltage. This is solid performance and more than enough for gaming needs. In fact pretty much any overclock is not needed for a GREAT gaming experience. For pure gaming overclocking is about epeen and not performance at the end of the day. If you are going to overclock the higher you go the less the return on your investment in the experience enhancement you get. In the example of your chip of choice the difference between stock speeds (not the turbo) and 4.1 Ghz is on average only about 6%, in terms of gaming experience 6% is NOTHING! Pushing further the amount of increase is diminished as you step up, it is not linear.

 

Speaking of the CPU, he could look at an i5 instead of the i7. There is no game out currently that uses a quad core to full effect let alone a chip that can hyper thread to 8.

 

Finally the PSU, The Prodigy can be a bear when it comes to making a PSU work well. It can be done with a lot of different models but there are a few that make life easier. I am personally a fan of the Silverstone Strider series. Get a Strider Plus with say 650 watts and the short cabling kit to go along with it and the build will be much nicer.

 

Now there is one other case option that is not often discussed but I think is worthy of consideration if you and your friend like to tinker and might even have a little modder in you, the Caselabs Mercury S3. This is a bigger case, even slightly bigger than a Prodigy but is super light due to being all aluminum. It offers a WIDE array of potential cooling options and can fit ANY video card you might want as it actually supports triple slot if needed. The case is NOT cheap with the basic model starting at $200. However it is WELL built and as I said the build options for an ITX system are amazing. If you go this route I would push the video card and put in a Sapphire R9 280X Toxic and rip any game at 1440 with EASE! If you need more portability then that is where I mentioned the modder in you, handles could be easily added but if I did it, I would use a carry strap system.


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#7 Pteroduck

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 05:30 PM

Unless he is planning a heavy overclock for the CPU I would go with an H60 for the cooler. In all but the heaviest overclocks it has more than enough cooling performance. For a 1440 display I would go with a single 7970 or even a 7950. I have not found a game yet that I do not get solid play experience at 1440 on a 7950. The reason I am suggesting the drop is due to limitations of the Prodigy case. The case will only fit a Double slot width card comfortably. The 7990 cards are usually a dual and  half or dual and a quarter.  This results in the shroud making contact with the side panel and a lot of noise when the fans speed up under load. Even with a 7970 you need some care for this as some of the coolers are larger on these as well. I have yet to see a 7950 that was oversized like this.

 

If you want the best bang for the buck that will for use fit I would go with a Sapphire R9 280X Dual-X. This has a thinner profile and will not have the issues I mentioned.

 

For motherboard it is again a matter of if you plan to overclock. If your are going to push then the Asus ITX boards are great with the beefier power deliver system.  If you are not going to overclock at all I would consider an H77 or if you want a moderate overclock the Gigabyte Z77N is the best buy.

 

Now let me take a moment and define push here for the overclock. I can get a decent overclock to 4.0 and often 4.2 Ghz out of a chip without having to tweak the voltage. This is solid performance and more than enough for gaming needs. In fact pretty much any overclock is not needed for a GREAT gaming experience. For pure gaming overclocking is about epeen and not performance at the end of the day. If you are going to overclock the higher you go the less the return on your investment in the experience enhancement you get. In the example of your chip of choice the difference between stock speeds (not the turbo) and 4.1 Ghz is on average only about 6%, in terms of gaming experience 6% is NOTHING! Pushing further the amount of increase is diminished as you step up, it is not linear.

 

Speaking of the CPU, he could look at an i5 instead of the i7. There is no game out currently that uses a quad core to full effect let alone a chip that can hyper thread to 8.

 

Finally the PSU, The Prodigy can be a bear when it comes to making a PSU work well. It can be done with a lot of different models but there are a few that make life easier. I am personally a fan of the Silverstone Strider series. Get a Strider Plus with say 650 watts and the short cabling kit to go along with it and the build will be much nicer.

 

Now there is one other case option that is not often discussed but I think is worthy of consideration if you and your friend like to tinker and might even have a little modder in you, the Caselabs Mercury S3. This is a bigger case, even slightly bigger than a Prodigy but is super light due to being all aluminum. It offers a WIDE array of potential cooling options and can fit ANY video card you might want as it actually supports triple slot if needed. The case is NOT cheap with the basic model starting at $200. However it is WELL built and as I said the build options for an ITX system are amazing. If you go this route I would push the video card and put in a Sapphire R9 280X Toxic and rip any game at 1440 with EASE! If you need more portability then that is where I mentioned the modder in you, handles could be easily added but if I did it, I would use a carry strap system.

Well I don't want him to have to replace it over and over again as the generations go on. I figured the 7970 because that's powerful enough to last a good couple generations and run at a constant 60fps. Do you have any specific motherboards on mind to recommend me? I'm thinking of pushing it to 4.5ghz and maybe touching the voltage a bit, thats why I picked the h100i. He wont be gaming only, he does editing, and i believe some AutoCad if im not mistaken. I dont think he wants 1/7th of the budget used on a case alone :P



#8 Pteroduck

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 05:31 PM

As for cases, he might look into Cooler Master's new HAF Stacker Series. Then in the future, when he wants a new case for his main stationary rig, he can get the big on and keep his ultra portable pc on top of it. Otherwise, I'd say most ITX cases are very portable, since you can pretty much carry them under your arm. Like HBC wrote there's Cooler Master's, Corsairs Air Series, Thermaltake Elite, Fractal Design Node amongst others. 

Which HAF? Maybe, lan parties are a must id say.



#9 hornybluecow

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 05:57 PM

HAF 915F , it's on newegg for preorder

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Main Rig: i7-3930K @ 4.2ghz, Asus P9X79 WS, Quadro FX 4800, Intel 335 240 GB, Vertex 4 120 GB, Raid-1 2x 3 TB, 64 GB (8x8gb) G-skill, Thermaltake Core V71, SeaSonic Plat 1000watt.

Review Test Rig: : i7-4770k @ 4.2ghz, MSI-GD65 Gaming, Geforce GTX 770 , Corsair Force GT 240 GB, Patriot 16 GB 2400 (2x8gb), (Case always changing) Thermaltake 750w.


#10 Pteroduck

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 06:25 PM

Wow, it looks really good! Ill definitely consider it! Quite viable, the shape is very odd though :O



#11 Pteroduck

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 07:54 PM

I like the fractual design node 304 mini-itx hybrid case but it doesn't hit a h100i dang



#12 hornybluecow

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 09:31 PM

I don't think you are going to find any ITX chassis supporting a h100.  Really you have limits in a ITX setup but it's true nothing is more portable. As for fractal design case, if  the quality is the same as the ARC i've reviewed it will be good. I cannot for sure though.

 

edit: the HAF 915F/R is posted on the front page.


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Filckr Photostream / Workstation Build Guide / How to Overclock an Intel 4770K Guide

Main Rig: i7-3930K @ 4.2ghz, Asus P9X79 WS, Quadro FX 4800, Intel 335 240 GB, Vertex 4 120 GB, Raid-1 2x 3 TB, 64 GB (8x8gb) G-skill, Thermaltake Core V71, SeaSonic Plat 1000watt.

Review Test Rig: : i7-4770k @ 4.2ghz, MSI-GD65 Gaming, Geforce GTX 770 , Corsair Force GT 240 GB, Patriot 16 GB 2400 (2x8gb), (Case always changing) Thermaltake 750w.