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Kiro

mITX Build for LAN Party

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Yeah, the FM2+ ASRock looks like the more solid motherboard. I'll just need to make sure there is adequate airflow due to the lack of VRM heatsinks.

 

Not that this helps that particular issue, but I've purchased Andrewr05's GTX 285 and may be using that instead of the HD 7870 out of my primary desktop.

 

Still thinking about the case.  Right now, I'm leaning towards the Cooler Master Elite 130.  It's $24 cheaper than the SG08 at the expense of being slightly larger in every dimension.  A quick measurement indicates that the SG08 pushes the maximum volume something can occupy inside my backpack -- no room for a monitor or keyboard -- and the SG05 will face the same problem.  That said, a small luggage case that I have (approximately 10"x14"x18") can't carry my mid-tower, but can fit the CME130 (8.1"x9.4"x14.9") and everything else with maybe some room left for drinks and snacks.  Then again, the SG08 has better cooling performance than the CME130.  This also opens up the possibility of the RVZ01, which is aesthetically pleasing imo, but would force me to pick up a SFX PSU.  I'm also uncertain with how well it cools relative to the SG08.

 

All that said... my final thoughts for tonight:

 

CPU: AMD Athlon x4 760k (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1014945-REG/amd_ad760kwohlbox_athlon_ii_x4_760k.html) - $85

MB: ASRock FM2A88X-ITX+ (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157464) - $100

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

GPU: Ladybird GTX 285 - $30 (purchased)

PSU:  Corsair CXM 500W Modular (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139050) - $35 w/ MIR

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

Case: Cooler Master Elite 130 (http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-Elite-130-Mini-ITX/dp/B00DRA4F06) - $50

 

I think this would make for a well-balanced, entry-level ITX build.  I don't think I could do much better for under $500 (without a GPU).

 

Makes me wonder, though, if the i3-4340 and Z87E-ITX combo for $55 more would be worthwhile.  The i5-4670k would be $50 on top of that.  $560 doesn't exactly break the bank and it should allow me to maintain this in the mid-level for a few years by just upgrading the GPU.  However, this video seriously makes me hesitate if a better CPU is worth it:

 

Edit: Just recalled that I use the HDMI-out of my HD 7870 for surround sound.  Not giving that up. 

Edited by Kiro

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The CPU choice depends a lot on the games of choice. FPS gaming tends to lean on the GPU more, RPG and strategy gaming tends to lean on the CPU.

 

I can tell you that at a LAN event we did a blind taste test of an i7 4770K and an A10 6800K both at stock and using a 7950 for video. The test results where what you would expect inconclusive because at 1080 the gaming experience was pretty much identical.

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Great to know. Thanks.  :)

 

How about upgrade paths?  FM2+ vs LGA1150?

 

Edit:

 

That was probably a dumb question. From my observation, Intel doesn't tend to stick with one socket for very long compared to AMD.  Guess my question would be in regards to the future of FM2+.

Edited by Kiro

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1150 if I am right is about to be replaced while FM2+ I am hearing still has at least one or two more chip updates to it.

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I did a little more research to confirm.  FM2+ will likely get Excavator, though people are a little skeptical about its performance claims.  LGA 1150 will get a Broadwell variant, though it will only be compatible with 9-series motherboards.  Fortunately, I guess, the 9-series motherboards might be released in the next few months.  Nevertheless, in terms of upgrade paths, both sockets sort of suck right now.  There might be a Haswell refresh or a Steamroller-based Athlon (like the x4 760k to Piledriver; just speculation), but there probably wouldn't be any significant/immediately perceivable difference relative to what they replace.

 

At this point in time, although the x4 760k makes more sense, I'd like to think I'm trying to actually upgrade instead of staying the same or possibly downgrading (x4 760k appears roughly equivalent to my FX-4170).  I'm tempted to just splurge on the i5-4670k, but my stingy self is telling me no.  Solo, I gravitate toward FPS's.  For groups, I go for RPG's.  I probably should make a list of pros and cons.

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I can tell you my wife is currently playing ESO on a 5800K at stock speed and a 7850 for video. She is running on high at 1080 and her game play I smooth. She also plays Civ V ALOT as well as Skyrim, all CPU limited games to one extent or another. I think you will find that the 760K will handle your needs.

 

Also remember that this is designed, as you stated as a LAN box. My experience at LAN events is that most people do not bring big monitors. For convenience I have seen quite a few people with 22" and 20" displays that they bought specifically for LAN events. They play at the lower detail levels are and still quite happy. The other thing I have noticed is that the heavy games, like BF4 and such get some play time but tend to not be the primary games played. I see a lot of indie games, fro bigger titles I see more of BL2 and older Call of Duties. I of course see a ton of  League of Legends and other DOTA style games and quite a bit of MMO play.

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No problem, I am hitting a lot of LAN events this year so it has become something of a passion for me to make efficient, easy to transport systems.

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Yeah, I'm still having trouble finding people around me in NJ.  My closest friends aren't interested in PC gaming (console gaming only), another two do a few sporadically, one goes to a local (to him) LAN cafe, and most others are convinced that LAN parties are dead.  The relative obscurity of the local PC LAN party group doesn't really help (website out of date, inactive forum, etc; XBox one is alive).  Sort of hoping that the potential success of Steam machines encourages the proliferation of LAN events.

 

Are you attending any major LAN events?

 

Edit:

 

Making a couple changes.

 

CPU: AMD Athlon x4 760k (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1014945-REG/amd_ad760kwohlbox_athlon_ii_x4_760k.html) - $85

MB: ASRock FM2A88X-ITX+ (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157464) - $89

RAM: 2x4GB G.Skill Ares DDR3 2133 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231554) - $84

GPU: Ladybird GTX 285 - $30 (purchased)

PSU:  Corsair CXM 500W Modular (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139050) - $35 w/ MIR

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

Case: Cooler Master Elite 130 (http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-Elite-130-Mini-ITX/dp/B00DRA4F06) - $50

 

Opting for faster memory in case Carrizo's CPU performance is significantly better than Richland's and is only offered as an APU (like Kaveri right now).  Will obviously update GPU first.

 

Also, price drop on the MB.

 

Edit 2:

 

For CPU cooling, probably going with the Zalman CNPS8900 Extreme.  The Scythe Big Shuriken 2 Revision B has more clearance for RAM (1.6" vs 1.3").  For reference, the G.Skill Ares ia 3.2cm tall, or about 1.26", and I don't plan on ever swapping out the memory.  Looking at the motherboard layout, these coolers should not interfere with the GPU, only hang over the RAM.  Unfortunately, I cannot seem to find a direct comparison between the CNPS8900 Extreme and Big Shuriken 2 Revision B's cooling performance.  I've never used Zalman before and have good experience with Scythe, but I prefer the Zalman's "flower-style" design because it appears to benefit VRM cooling more.

 

Also, despite the CME130 suggesting a positive pressure setup, I'd think a slightly negative pressure setup would be better for cooling.  Thinking of using the front fan as an exhaust and make the PSU fan top-facing so that it doesn't fight the CPU fan.  If I'm able to use the side fan, making it an intake to (hopefully if not futilely) supplement the CPU cooler.

Edited by Kiro

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The more I think about cooling, the more I'm not liking the CME130 design.

 

Reconsidering the SG08, using the CNPS8900 Extreme, and making the top fan an intake to supplement the downward flow of the CPU cooler.  It costs more, but due to the PSU orientation in the case (the cables interfere with long GPU's), short non-modular PSU's are encouraged and I already own some.  A quiet 180mm fan should suffice for the top.

 

I've considered using an 120/140mm AIO cooler using its fan as an exhaust, but I'm uncertain if that'll provide enough cooling for the VRM's.  Then again, considering how close an AIO cooler with a large radiator gets to the motherboard and the lower location of the side vents, it might actually work out better overall.  Probably install heatsinks either way.

Edited by Kiro

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The more I think about cooling, the more I'm not liking the CME130 design.

 

Reconsidering the SG08, using the CNPS8900 Extreme, and making the top fan an intake to supplement the downward flow of the CPU cooler.  It costs more, but due to the PSU orientation in the case (the cables interfere with long GPU's), short non-modular PSU's are encouraged and I already own some.  A quiet 180mm fan should suffice for the top.

 

I've considered using an 120/140mm AIO cooler using its fan as an exhaust, but I'm uncertain if that'll provide enough cooling for the VRM's.  Then again, considering how close an AIO cooler with a large radiator gets to the motherboard and the lower location of the side vents, it might actually work out better overall.  Probably install heatsinks either way.

 

ok since i'm the one who suggest the sg08-lite to you i have to tell you that i forgot to mention that the the case doesn't come with the ap181 fan. you will have to buy your own or use 140mm fan with the included adapter. i'm really sorry i didn't notice that earlier :wallbash:

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No problem.  Never thought it did tbh.

 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811163253

 

Been thinking again (really do too much of that).  The manufacturer's cooling recommendations for the Cooler Master Elite 130 has the AIO cooler as an intake, the PSU fan an exhaust.  Should provide some airflow over the VRM's with little risk of recirculation, unlike having a top intake, but it would also push warm air into the case.  At the same time, the air pulled through the radiator would always be fresh, so the CPU should have lower temps.

 

If, on the SG08, we use the AIO cooler as an intake, the radiator would always get fresh air and the VRM's will get active cooling.  However, I'm a little worried about air recirculating by coming out the side vents and going back in through the top.  If the rear side vent were closed off, then the warm air would have to go through the front side vent, which is further away from the top vent.  The thing I'm unsure about is the PSU exhaust, whether it would aid the airflow through the exhaust vent or just make it more turbulent.

 

At this point in time, I'm leaning towards the CME130.  Push/pull with the AIO cooler, PSU exhaust.

 

Edit: Might be better for me to get a group of interested people and try a LAN party first before putting money into something I might not use. :/

Edited by Kiro

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