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Kiro

mITX Build for LAN Party

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panjang110: Thanks for the recommendations. :)

 

I'm only going mATX if I decide on going with an AMD FX processor.  $110 FX-6300 vs $130 FX-8320 vs $160 i5-4570 vs $190 i5-4670k.  Or just strip my current desktop (FX-4170) since I probably wouldn't be using it anymore after I build this.

 

kennethk: Yeah, I hear that my location gets very busy.  The negative reviews primarily complain about people crowding the salesmen, the wait time for in-store pickup, and how packed the parking lot is.  If I go during off hours, it should be fine.

Edited by Kiro

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Since you're only going for medium spec small build for lan parties and you're on a tight budget I'd go with the following:

 

 

Corsair 250D - $99

Core i3 4130 CPU - $120

Gigabyte GA-B85N - $89.99

4GB DDR3 1600 of your choice - ~$50

 

If you wanna shave some money further you can look at something like an AMD Trinity 5600k for $99 which can be overclocked and you can find a motherboard in the same price range as the one above.  With your graphics card you should have no problems playing modern games with that hardware reasonably well.

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Sorry for the late reply. Was on vacation without access to internet.

 

Anyway, thanks for the suggestions.  My budget isn't strict at all: I'm just accustomed to pricing out cheaper builds and am a bit anxious about spending more than $500 at a time.

 

My cheapest option is to strip out my desktop of its 2x4GB DDR3 1600 RAM and FX-4170 and go for mATX.  It has been plenty capable for what I've done with it and, coupled with the SSD I just received, I should be satisfied.  I'm just not happy with the relatively larger size of most mATX cases (that support standard ATX PSU's) in comparison to mITX cases, but that might be a compromise I have to make.

 

Edit:

 

Probably will go with panjang110's suggestion of the SG09.  The SG10 looks and cools slightly better, but at $20 more, I think I'll pass.

 

CPU: AMD FX-4170 - $0 (inherited)

MB:

RAM: 2x4GB GSkill Ripjaws @1600Hz - $0 (inherited)

GPU: Sapphire HD 7870 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814202025) - $0 (inherited)

PSU:  $0 (inherited)

SSD: 240GB Seagate 600 Series (http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/item-Details.asp?EdpNo=8037062&sku=TSSD-2400) - $100

Case: Silverstone SG09 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811163222) - $100

 

I know I have a few smaller ATX PSU's laying around somewhere.  They should all be 430W+, so I'll be looking for the highest powered one with PCI-E connectors.  Worst case scenario, I'll probably get a small modular PSU.  Just need to decide on an AM3+ mATX motherboard.

 

Edit 2:

 

Looking at Gigabyte GA-78LMT-USB3.  The problem is, if I get any AM3/AM3+ processor from Microcenter, the motherboard comes for free.  Decisions, decisions...

 

I also apparently do not have a PSU with at least two PCI-E 6-pin connectors.

 

CPU: AMD FX-8320 (http://www.microcenter.com/product/401796/FX_8320_Black_Edition_35GHz_AM3_Boxed_Processor) - $130

MB: Gigabyte GA-78LMT-USB3 (http://www.microcenter.com/product/398237/GA-78LMT-USB3_Socket_AM3_mATX_760G_AMD_Motherboard) - $0 (after mir)

RAM: 2x4GB Patriot Viper Xtreme DDR3-1600 (http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=8033819)  - $55 (w/ mir)

GPU: Sapphire HD 7870 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814202025) - $0 (inherited)

PSU:  Antec HCG-620M (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371059) - $65

SSD: 240GB Seagate 600 Series (http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/item-Details.asp?EdpNo=8037062&sku=TSSD-2400) - $100

Case: Silverstone SG09 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811163222) - $100

 

$450 plus tax, shipping, and cooling for a second computer.  Or, drop the CPU and RAM, spend $60 on the motherboard (after mir), and it comes to $325 for one computer.  Think I'd rather spend the extra $125 so that I have a backup desktop.

 

Edit 3:

 

Intel has much better motherboard offerings for mATX. <_<

Edited by Kiro

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If you want a truly portable system then AMD is not a good choice unless you go APU. The mATX boards for FX are mostly crap and there are no mITX.

 

If I had to choose a case right now for a pure LANParty build the Lian Li PC-TU200 is great but the cost scares a lot of people away. A Node 304 or Coolermaster Elite 130 are very versatile designs as well, also the Sugo line is great.

 

For CPU you can go the APU route and get a solid build, even if using a discrete card. Personally I would go with an i3 or a lowerend i5. For motherboard an ASRock H81M-ITX is a solid choice at a very reasonable price.

 

For the PSU spend a little extra and get a Silverstone ST45SF-G. Super small, fully modular and has enough power to easily power your build.

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Cool. We're on the same page. :)

 

My only real issue with the ASRock H81M-ITX is the lack of built-in wifi.  The rest is perfect for my usage.

 

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670k (http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.aspx?sku=583302) - $190

MB: Gigabyte GA-Z87N-WIFI (http://www.microcenter.com/product/417349/GA-Z87N-WIFI_LGA_1150_mini_ITX_Intel_Motehrboard) - $105 w/ CPU

RAM: 2x4GB Patriot Viper Xtreme DDR3 1600 (http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=8033819) - $55 w/ MIR

GPU: Sapphire HD 7870 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814202025) - $0 (inherited)

PSU:  SilverStone ST45SF-G 450W Modular (http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4166608&CatId=1078) - $94

SSD: 240GB Seagate 600 Series (http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/item-Details.asp?EdpNo=8037062&sku=TSSD-2400) - $100

Case: Silverstone SG05 (http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=8208353&CatId=8582) - $40

 

Only thing changed from the first post is the RAM.  $584 plus tax and shipping, or $524 with the i3-4340.  Those are really my two Intel options through Microcenter atm.

 

Fortunately, it appears that the i3-4340 is a very capable processor.  The problem is that the i3-4340 is the same price as a FX-8320.  I'm just not certain how significant the additional cores will be in the next three years, at the expense of a larger case, more power consumption and heat, more PSU but fewer MB selection, etc.

 

Edit:

 

Totally ignored the existence of USB wifi, which should suffice for watching YouTube videos.  My bad.  That would allow for more budget-friendly motherboards and CPU's.

 

Edit 2:

 

Unless I'm willing to spend the extra $134 for the proposed i5-4670k setup, I think the FX-8320 makes more sense.  However, other than price, the i5-4670k setup above really gives me everything I want for this build.

Edited by Kiro

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have you look at sg07/08? with sg05 you will be limited with low profile heatsink and no aio option, i remember silverstone released the lite version of the sg08(without psu) so it will be cheaper . i'm with ComputerEd on the fx build, most micro atx fx board are crap. you better of with intel or apu, my idea is drop the 4670k and get lower tier i5 insted of i3(unless you're going to overclock)with any h87 m-itx board and use the extra fund for something else... i3 proc is fast enough so non k i5 is faster, the k proc is merely for overclocking and with the high heat output of haswell i don't think any single 120aio can cope with high overclock.

Edited by panjang110

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What's the reasoning for a SFF for LAN gaming? 1. Lightweight and easy to carry, or 2. Easy enough to carry, but also look pretty cool?

 

For something like #1, I used a sg08 for my wife's build, and while the case has some minor quirks, it has a really small form factor and can fit a big card, perfect for LAN gaming. I used 12mm Scythe fans in push/pull for watercooling with a Antec Kulher H20 620 and it handles anything not overclocked just fine, and perfectly silent. The Fractal Node 304 doesn't look very nice, but you can easily fit a bigger all-in-one watercooler for the CPU with full-size fans for push/pull if you want a beefy overclocked CPU. Forget about custom watercooling with those cases, though.

 

For something like #2, the Bitfenix Prodigy and Corsair Obsidian 350D are slightly larger, look really nice, and has enough room for custom watercooling. They also fit mATX boards (the Bitfenix Prodigy has an mATX version).

 

For LAN gaming, and gaming in general, you don't need a beefy CPU. an i5-2400 is still pretty powerful, and you can probably find them for near $100 by now. I've found some 2500K's for ~$120 and 3570K's for ~$145 if you look around and don't mind buying used.

 

Also, $94 is too much for a LAN gaming rig. You can find something sub $50 after MIR, or near $70 with just Promo Codes that could power a GTX 780 if you ever wanted. Limiting yourself to a 450W PSU limits your graphics card choices, depending on the amps needed on the +12V rail(s).

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My apologies for the extremely late reply.  Been busy with my other hobbies, and I'm having trouble finding local people who would like to do this with me.

 

panjang110: I had not looked at the SG08 because it tended to be outside of my comfortable price range for a case.  I didn't know that a non-PSU option was available, though a quick Google search pulled up a store that had it for $74.  It's definitely a viable option now. :)

 

My thing with the i5-4670k is purely to save money at Microcenter via a CPU/MB bundle.  There's no discount with the other i5's.

 

El_Capitan: Like I mentioned in my first post, I would like this to "fit in my backpack".  So definitely a lightweight, small dimension focus.

 

I think you've all managed to convince me to go the Intel route.  Through Microcenter, my options are either the i3-4340 or the i5-4670k for $60 more.

 

CPU: Intel Core i3-4340 ($130) OR Intel Core i5-4670k ($190)

MB: ASRock Z87-ITX (http://www.microcenter.com/product/414947/Z87E-ITX_Socket_LGA_1150_mini_ITX_Intel_Motherboard) - $100 w/ CPU and MIR

RAM: 2x4GB Patriot Viper Xtreme DDR3 1600 (http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=8033819) - $55 w/ MIR

GPU: Sapphire HD 7870 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814202025) - $0 (inherited)

PSU:  Antec HCG-620M (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371059) - $70 w/ MIR

SSD: 240GB Seagate 600 Series (http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/item-Details.asp?EdpNo=8037062&sku=TSSD-2400) - $100 (purchased)

Case: Silverstone SG08-LITE (http://www.superbiiz.com/detail.php?p=CA-SG08LT) - $74

 

Looking at $530-$590 + tax + shipping + CPU cooler components.

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Several people mentioned the A-series, and I ignorantly dismissed their suggestions.  I did not do enough research nor know about the AMD Athlon x4 760k.  My apologies.

 

The x4 760k apparently overclocks well and does decent in its price bracket.  At stock clocks, it should match my HD 7870 well.  Been watching videos and reading reviews and it actually surprises me how well both the 750k and 760k perform.

 

That said, how are the FM2/FM2+ mITX motherboards for overclocking? What would you recommend if you were going this route?

Edited by Kiro

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I have used all three ITX boards, from Gigabyte, ASROCK and MSI. My usage has shown the two best by a pretty decent margin are the ASROCK and Gigabyte. If I was buying a new motherboard today these are the two I would choose between. I generally like the ASROCK FM2A88X better but if you need Wifi the AC on the Gigabyte board gives it the edge.

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All of my MB's have been from Gigabyte, and I've had no real issues with them so far.  Wifi is a necessity, though AC is not a requirement.  Guess it would come down to the price difference.

 

Which Gigabyte board did you use?

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For FM2+ the F2A88XN, for 1150 I have used the Z87N and H87N, all where solid boards.

 

As I said however I am more fond of the layout on the ASRock, for FM2+ the FM2A88X-ITX and the 1150 board is the Z87E-ITX.

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