Mini ITX Gaming Build

njergens5

Member
May 5, 2014
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Looking to replace my outdated PC with a new build. I've been browsing around and I think that a mini ITX build would suit my purposes and make a fun project. I'll try to get all the useful information out there first and than post what I've come up with so far.

1. The PC will be primarily used for gaming, browsing the internet, and as a portable desktop I can take with me from time to time.

2. My budget is around $1500. I'm flexible here, under $1500 is great but if it goes over and the system is more futureproof I wouldn't complain.

3. I live in Southwest Ohio. I'm within an hour of MicroCenter so I will be mainly buying there and from NewEgg or Amazon, wherever the best deal is.

4. I am looking for an Intel based build, LGA 1150, mini ITX, motherboard must have Wireless 802.11 AC (preferably built in, absolutely not USB).

5. I have a 600W modular PSU, an 80 GB SSD, 1 TB 7200 RPM HDD, Windows 7 Professional 64-bit, and a DVD drive that I will most likely be reusing for this build. I also have all the peripherals, if a larger PSU is needed for the build feel free to add that to the list, I only ask that it be modular so I can make a cleaner build.

6. I do not plan to Overclock this build, but having the option to in the future is a big plus.

7. I will be using 1920 x 1080 as my resolution, most likely a dual monitor setup, either dual DVI or 1 DVI and 1 HDMI. Though I may upgrade in the future and would like to have DisplayPort as an option.

8. I plan to build the computer in the next 2-3 months, I know that a lot of fancy new stuff is coming out in that window so suggesting things like an i7 4790, or z97 chipset are things I would love to incorporate into this build. Estimate on prices if need be, I know solid info is scarce right now.

On to the good stuff, what I have so far and what I was thinking of putting in this machine.

Motherboard: MSI z97I AC mITX(something with the new z97 chipset)
CPU: i7 4770k or i7 4790
Memory: 16 GB of DDR3 1600 memory (Undecided on the brand)
Case: Corsair Obsidian 250D (I love this case)
CPU Cooler: Corsair H55 Liquid Cooler(H100i if within the budget)
Video Card: GTX 760 or R9 270x
Power Supply: 600W modular PSU(Using unless larger is needed)
Optical Drive: DVD-RW Drive(Already own)
OS: Windows 7 64-bit(Already Own)
SSD : 80 GB(considering adding a second larger SSD, 120-256GB range)
HDD : 1 TB 7200 HDD(Already own)
Peripherals: All my old stuff!!

I don't think I missed anything. I'd love to be a little future proofed with this build. Any thoughts, suggestions, criticisms(constructive please) are very welcome, if you need more specifics just let me know, I'll try and answer quickly.

P.S. - I have a video card and memory that would fit into this build so I could opt to spend little or no money there and shift the budget a bit.
 

njergens5

Member
May 5, 2014
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I thought about that honestly, I might use the 80 GB drive to upgrade my parents computer, or just keep my old rig intact and sell it, kind of a toss up.

I've looked through a lot of SSDs, any opinions on which are the fastest/most reliable? It seems like manufacturers specs are a tad unreliable based on reviews I've read.
 
Feb 25, 2011
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I thought about that honestly, I might use the 80 GB drive to upgrade my parents computer, or just keep my old rig intact and sell it, kind of a toss up.

I've looked through a lot of SSDs, any opinions on which are the fastest/most reliable? It seems like manufacturers specs are a tad unreliable based on reviews I've read.

Toshiba, Samsung, Seagate, Crucial, SanDisk, and Plextor off the top of my head.
 

Charlie98

Diamond Member
Nov 6, 2011
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I would just buy a Samsung 250GB SSD without the 80GB one.

That's pretty good advise (he beat me to it.) There are also some performance increases in the 250GB'ish SSDs over the smaller ones, and it's best to only use 75% or so of the available space on an SSD... that's hard to do on something as small as a 80GB drive if you are loading an OS and game files, etc, on there...

Toshiba, Samsung, Seagate, Crucial, SanDisk, and Plextor

...and that's where I would start. With your budget I don't see any reason to NOT get a 250GB SSD.

As far as the rest of your build, dump the i7 and get an i5-4670K and a reasonable mobo at MicroCenter. I don't know what mITX mobos they have for the combo deal, though.

You could shave a little off the build by just getting 2x 4GB RAM, but you wanted to future-proof that mITX build so I can see the 16GB RAM. Any reasonable brand will do, 1600 will be fine.

Your 600w PSU is adequate... but how old is it, and what PSU specifically?
 

monkeydelmagico

Diamond Member
Nov 16, 2011
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purely gaming build means i7 is probably overkill. If you get an i5 that frees up some budget for a better gpu and more SSD.
 
Feb 25, 2011
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purely gaming build means i7 is probably overkill. If you get an i5 that frees up some budget for a better gpu and more SSD.
Purely gaming build means that an SSD is probably overkill, depending on the type of game being played. :awe:

(They improve level load times, might give you a brief advantage on PvP battlegrounds, and make the MMO experience a bit more tolerable in general, but they won't get you MOAR FPS.)
 

njergens5

Member
May 5, 2014
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The PSU is actually a 550W Antec Neo HE. It's roughly 4-5 years old. Here is a link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817103941

Gaming is the primary purpose, I play WoW, Diablo 3, World of Tanks, Borderlands 2, Bioshock Infinite, Skyrim, Dragon Age, Civilization 5, and a lot of other games.

I had considered waiting on the new Haswell refresh CPUs coming out soon but not sure how much of an upgrade it will really be. Would it be worth it to stick with the i5-4670k or wait for a 4690 or 4690k?

The consensus so far seems to be drop to an i5 for gaming and spend the extra on a video card and and bigger SSD which sounds good to me.
 

piasabird

Lifer
Feb 6, 2002
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I was looking at some images of the Gigabyte Z97 Mini-ITX Motherboard. They mounted the wireless card vertically directly behind the antenna connector on the back of the case. That might free up some space inside the Case and on the motherboard.

When looking at ITX you might want to consider where you plan on routing all the cables. Placement of drives and the USB3 cables might become quite an issue. Those USB3 Cables are rather thick. Then there is the cooling issue for placing a CPU Cooler, clearance of the area around the CPU and where the power supply goes. Then is there a rear cooling fan.

Everything ITX seems to have some limitations. You just have to decide what problems you are willing to put up with.
 

njergens5

Member
May 5, 2014
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I do like the layout of the gigabyte board quite a bit. Especially the placement of the SATA ports and the motherboard power being behind the memory slots will work very well with the case I want to use. The motherboard I've been looking into is pictured here: http://us.msi.com/product/mb/Z97I_GAMING_AC.html#overview

The CPU socket is closer to the video card but since I plan to use a liquid cooling solution I don't think the proximity will hurt me. As with the gigabyte board the power connectors and sata ports are all off to the side and the wireless card is mounted at the rear and vertically as well.

I've researched into the ITX form factor and there are limits, but I think it fits my lifestyle better at this point than a large tower does, so I'll accept the headaches that come along with using such a small form factor.

To be honest, if the price tag is comparable I'd go with the MSI board just for the color scheme, I know it's superficial, but I really like the red and black color scheme.
 

monkeydelmagico

Diamond Member
Nov 16, 2011
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I've researched into the ITX form factor and there are limits, but I think it fits my lifestyle better at this point than a large tower does, so I'll accept the headaches that come along with using such a small form factor.

To be honest, if the price tag is comparable I'd go with the MSI board just for the color scheme, I know it's superficial, but I really like the red and black color scheme.

The case you have chosen helps mitigate the problems from small form factor. Fairly roomy for an ITX build.

Red n Black means you gotta put an R9 in it........:sneaky: