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Old 02-13-2013, 08:05 AM   #1
Eureka
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Default SFF Build Help

I never though I'd find myself posting here, but I feel like moving my system into a smaller form factor and I'm lost in this world.

My eye is set on the Silverstone SG08 or FT03 Mini, however I'm not dead set on these cases. I do want an aluminum case (either partly or fully), with a clean face (which is why I'm not partial to the SG05 or Lian-Li Q08, but I can be convinced otherwise). The PC-Q11 looks good too, but it seems to be an older model and less efficient for a power cube.

Quote:
1. What YOUR PC will be used for.
Gaming.

2. What YOUR budget is. A price range is acceptable as long as it's not more than a 20% For this switch, let's say around $300 before selling old parts

3. What country YOU will be buying YOUR parts from.
US, with access to a Microcenter (albeit slightly out of the way)

4. IF you're buying parts OUTSIDE the US, please post a link to the vendor you'll be buying from.

5. IF YOU have a brand preference. That means, are you an Intel-Fanboy, AMD-Fanboy, ATI-Fanboy, nVidia-Fanboy, Seagate-Fanboy, WD-Fanboy, etc.
Silverstone, Lian-Li, or any higher-end case manufacturers

6. If YOU intend on using any of YOUR current parts, and if so, what those parts are.
Everything except case, CPU cooler, PSU and motherboard, perferably. i5-3570K, Patriot Viper 3 DDR3, Galaxy GTX 670, 1 SSD, 1 HDD

7. IF YOU plan on overclocking or run the system at default speeds.
I do overclock but nothing special. I try to keep overclocks reasonable

8. What resolution, not monitor size, will you be using?

9. WHEN do you plan to build it?
Basically, I need help picking out a nice case that is good for my build, and a motherboard to go along with it. A good small CPU cooler. A PSU that will work as well. I want to re-cut all PSU cables to length, I need to know what pins to get, and what crimp die I need.

Special Need: We have a pretty bad wireless situation going on in my apartment right now. My roommates get dropped wireless from the second floor, due to interference from the first floor, I'm the only one to get a solid connection because of my wireless PCI card (Rosewill N300). I need an ITX motherboard that has a solid wireless solution (my roommate's Asrock Z77 ITX drops internet all the time), or I will need some kind of external USB antenna or booster for the built-in adapter.
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Last edited by Eureka; 02-13-2013 at 08:46 AM.
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Old 02-13-2013, 08:30 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eureka View Post
Special Need: We have a pretty bad wireless situation going on in my apartment right now. My roommates get dropped wireless from the second floor, due to interference from the first floor, I'm the only one to get a solid connection because of my wireless PCI card (Rosewill N300). I need an ITX motherboard that has a solid wireless solution (my roommate's Asrock Z77 ITX drops internet all the time), or I will need some kind of external USB antenna or booster for the built-in adapter.
Simple, an ASUS P8Z77-I + two 9dBi high-gain antennas. If that can't get you a connection, nothing will...

OT, have you tried playing around with different channels?. N is pretty bad for interference as you can only really use channel 3 and 11 in the 2.4GHz band...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_WLAN_channels
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Old 02-13-2013, 08:40 AM   #3
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We've played around with channels for a bit, and I think it's gotten better. We're still testing our connection on and off. One of the problems, IIRC, is that our comast modem-router only allows for 3 channels (1,6,11). The problem is that it's also next to a Smart TV, and something happens whenever we turn on the TV (I'm assuming it's wireless intereference from the TV's adapter).

I'd still like to build with the idea of worst-case scenario. If I ever move apartments and one of my neighbors has bad intereference, I want to still be able to connect to my router.
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Old 02-13-2013, 09:25 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eureka View Post
We've played around with channels for a bit, and I think it's gotten better. We're still testing our connection on and off. One of the problems, IIRC, is that our comast modem-router only allows for 3 channels (1,6,11). The problem is that it's also next to a Smart TV, and something happens whenever we turn on the TV (I'm assuming it's wireless intereference from the TV's adapter).
Could be. I'm assuming the modem has integrated non-upgradeable antennas...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eureka View Post
I'd still like to build with the idea of worst-case scenario. If I ever move apartments and one of my neighbors has bad intereference, I want to still be able to connect to my router.
I quite understand. Just make sure you get something with standard SMA-sockets so you can change antennas. There is nothing worse then being stuck with a couple of 2 dBi ones...
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Old 02-13-2013, 11:15 AM   #5
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I would highly recommend moving to a dual-band router. You can leave your roommates on the 2.4GHz spectrum and take the 5GHz spectrum for yourself (it will require a new adapter). I have found that the 5GHz channel on my Asus RT-N56U router is just so much stronger and faster than the 2.4GHz channel, with the slight disadvantage of shorter range. But wow, it is so much faster. I've used the Rosewill N600 USB adapter (which hit 12MB/s sustained transfers), but am now using a Western Digital 802.11AC Bridge, which is just amazing, locking me in at 16MB/s sustained transfers, which is probably the limit of my 802.11n router's 5GHz band.

Frankly, I wouldn't count on (or pay money for) motherboard wireless to somehow fix your problem. By the way, the Asus ITX platform is nice, but I'd take a very serious look at the less expensive AsRock z77 offering: http://techreport.com/review/24316/z...board-reviewed

By the way, if you don't need a DVD drive, this Lian-Li Q25 is currently on sale at Newegg and looks fantastic: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811112339

The only thing I don't like is the same thing I don't like about all Lian-Li designs - it forces the PSU intake fan to compete with the CPU fan. Silverstone's ITX cases are a bit overpriced, but they simply get the cooling right.
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Old 02-13-2013, 11:50 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eureka View Post
My eye is set on the Silverstone SG08 or FT03 Mini, however I'm not dead set on these cases. I do want an aluminum case (either partly or fully), with a clean face (which is why I'm not partial to the SG05 or Lian-Li Q08, but I can be convinced otherwise). The PC-Q11 looks good too, but it seems to be an older model and less efficient for a power cube.
Silverstone SG06BB-450-USB3.0 $145 shipped

Smaller than other cases you mentioned (except SG05).
Smooth aluminum face for good looks.
450W PSU sufficient for your CPU + GPU + some overclocking.
Should be able to physically fit your GPU.
Can fit your specified drives.
USB 3.0 front ports.
Black on black is never a bad thing with cases.

For motherboard I would get the ASRock Z77E-ITX even though your roommate hasn't had luck with the built-in WiFi. The extra $45 or so that the Asus board costs can buy a lot of WiFi adapters or antennas, and can even buy a Powerline Ethernet kit when on sale.

EDIT: For the WiFi you can also try out a few things. If you are unable to move the device away from the TV, play with the channels some more AFTER doing a site survey to see what other APs are in range, and what channels they use. Also, may be able to add an AP such as one of these Ubiquiti devices. If you can run a network cable to a more central location in the building (device uses PoE so you don't need it near a power outlet) then you may be able to "fix" WiFi for everyone.
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Last edited by Zap; 02-13-2013 at 11:58 AM.
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Old 02-13-2013, 01:00 PM   #7
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I am thinking of a MATX Case. However I do not do a lot of gaming. Being limited by a 500 Watt Power Supply might limit the power video card.

500W Matx
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811144139

420W Matx
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811144161

I think this is comparable to this mini-itx Case overall.
Example Cooler Master.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811119261

Coolermaster looks nice too but you still need to purchase a power supply and it will be a tight fit.
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Old 02-13-2013, 02:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by piasabird View Post
I am thinking of a MATX Case. However I do not do a lot of gaming. Being limited by a 500 Watt Power Supply might limit the power video card.

500W Matx
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811144139

420W Matx
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811144161

I think this is comparable to this mini-itx Case overall.
Example Cooler Master.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811119261

Coolermaster looks nice too but you still need to purchase a power supply and it will be a tight fit.
500W from a good manufacturer (Silverstone) won't limit you at all, unless you need a dual-GPU card. In that price range, I actually recommend you to look at the SG05, which is on sale right now and comes with a 450W Silverstone PSU, one of the best you can get in SFX.
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Old 02-13-2013, 03:19 PM   #9
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Those Apevia PSUs are not very good. I would take the Silverstone 450W unit over BOTH of those added up any day.

Aspire X-Qpack's Included 420W
(FWIW Aspire = Apevia)
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonnyGURU
Not even cable of putting out 300W. Where did Aspire get the specs on the label?!?!
That Silverstone 450W is known to be able to power a quad core Intel CPU with a GTX 680.
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Old 02-13-2013, 03:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Termie View Post
I would highly recommend moving to a dual-band router. You can leave your roommates on the 2.4GHz spectrum and take the 5GHz spectrum for yourself (it will require a new adapter). I have found that the 5GHz channel on my Asus RT-N56U router is just so much stronger and faster than the 2.4GHz channel, with the slight disadvantage of shorter range. But wow, it is so much faster. I've used the Rosewill N600 USB adapter (which hit 12MB/s sustained transfers), but am now using a Western Digital 802.11AC Bridge, which is just amazing, locking me in at 16MB/s sustained transfers, which is probably the limit of my 802.11n router's 5GHz band.
Well, I can only say that I use one of these:

http://www.hwtools.net/Adapter/MP2W_6300.html

Combined with an external 5 dBi antenna, I can pull 20MB/s though 2 brick walls, a cabinet and my desk. The problem in wifi usually isn't on the router side, but the adaptors having low gain antennas...

Also keep in mind that if anything blocks line of sight on the 5GHz band, signal strength goes down the well. I can barely get a signal at my desk on the 5GHz band.

my 2c...
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Old 02-13-2013, 05:34 PM   #11
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Does anyone have any opinions on the Q25? It looks to be a good case, and I can fit a full-sized PSU in there.
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Old 02-13-2013, 05:50 PM   #12
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It is a decent case. A bit on the large side for being ITX, but the quality is there. No optical drive, if you're fine with that. It can fit ATX PSUs, but they have to be on the shorter side.
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