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Clint's Build - MiniITX Gaming Desktop
by A9821
Permalink:   (18 comments)
Description

My cousin was tired of having to use his brother's crappy Macbook Pro to play PC games. He was mainly a PS3 gamer, but he just can't get enough of strategy games, which are mainly only available on PC. After suffering another 8 months of using the Macbook Pro, he finally caved. I drew up this list a week ago, and then started grabbing parts over the weekend. I completed the build a couple days later once I got all the parts together.

His bedroom is fairly small, so a good miniITX build was naturally the best fit for that environment. This was my first foray into building a small-form factor PC, so I was glad to to have the opportunity to gain some experience with them.


Added on July 8th, 2014

Upgraded the Sapphire Radeon HD 7770 Ghz Edition to an ASUS Radeon HD R9 270. Significant increase in performance was gained.

Part List
Details
Intel Core i3-3225 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor
CPU Clock Rate3.3GHz
CPU Temperature While Idle-
CPU Temperature Under Load-
Asus Radeon R9 270 2GB DirectCU II Video Card
GPU Core Clock Rate975MHz
GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate5.6GHz
GPU Temperature While Idle-
GPU Temperature Under Load-
Comments
When commenting on a completed build please keep your feedback polite and constructive, particularly if commenting on part choices and possible alternatives.
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trainer772 [1 Build] 3 points 16 months ago

Yay, a fellow ITX builder. The money paid for that OS is a ton and could have been spent elsewhere (unless you needed Ultimate over Home for some reason or you torrented it).

I was thinking about getting the Elite 120 but figured the airflow was next to none with its poor cooling layout. How's the temps?

 
 
BeardCreep 2 points 16 months ago

ITX man here too :O

is there no way to hide some of those psu cables? never worked with a 120

also, you could have saved a bit of money on a 3220 instead of a 3225.

but overall good budget build.

EXCEPT for the USB wifi. those things just dont work. not enough power in the usb port / not enough heat dissipation in the usb drive.

 
 
trainer772 [1 Build] 3 points 16 months ago

120s are difficult to wire since there's no place to throw them and a modular PSU has clearance issues.

I can't really see in the pics, but it appears as though he left most of the cable tie holes on the bottom unused. He could pin some wires down there, but considering the wire lengths it doesn't look all too feasible.

 
 
A9821 [Submitter] [4 Builds] 2 points 16 months ago

Right you are, it is very difficult to do cable management in a case like this, especially without a modular PSU (which sometimes bring their own problems). I think the modular CX460 from Corsair would do the job, but it was out of the scope of this budget build.

These pictures are more of a progression rather than final case pics. I'l have to reupload them in the proper order for you guys to see it. I did end up using many cable tie down points for the case wires.

I was going to try to put some of the PSU wires down there, but I only had about 6 hours total to build the PC and set up the software on it before it needed to be sent out to the owner's home. It took me 30 mins to get the cables to the point they are at now, but the case shouldn't be opened except to clean it so I think the cables are fine where they are.

 
 
BeardCreep 1 point 16 months ago

gotcha. thank you.

 
 
A9821 [Submitter] [4 Builds] 2 points 16 months ago

Thanks for the comments, man. I had originally decided to use the 3220, as it was on sale for $109 at Amazon last weekend. Unfortunately the price went back up before I could order it and would have to pay expensive shipping on top of that. It would come up higher than the 3225. I know the 3225 is just a better IGP, but it was the next cheapest local option at the time.

I've used 3 of the same type of USB wi-fi adapters in the past and they work great. The house is small, so my cousin shouldn't have any issues with it. I tested it myself and he confirms that it works fine.

 
 
BeardCreep 1 point 16 months ago

im glad it does.

 
 
A9821 [Submitter] [4 Builds] 2 points 16 months ago

Sorry, I should have mentioned that the OS I got free through Microsoft Dreamspark. I struggled with PCPartPicker to balance the pricing that I actually paid with having proper integration links with PPP to give people quick access to the information for the parts. I'll update the description to include all the details.

The airflow is actually decent. Temperatures at load are pretty good even with the stock case fans and stock CPU fan. At load in Arma 3 Beta the GPU gets up around 50-55 celsius, CPU is around the same or just a bit higher. Ambient case temp is usually around 40 idle and 46 at load.

 
 
hunter32tz [1 Build] 2 points 16 months ago

Pretty nice.

 
 
xSWATxBadkid [1 Build] 2 points 16 months ago

Love that case, some day I will do an ITX rig!

 
 
skemble [17 Builds] 2 points 15 months ago

Did you need a bios update before using the 3225?

 
 
A9821 [Submitter] [4 Builds] 1 point 15 months ago

Nope. The motherboard came with version F8. The CPU compatibility list said it works with the 3225 since version F7, so I assumed that was the latest version. I was pleased to see that a newer version was included.

 
 
drunkenwookie 1 point 7 months ago

How are the speakers?

 
 
A9821 [Submitter] [4 Builds] 1 point 6 months ago

I'll ask my cousin and find out. Sorry for the late response.

 
 
rdtr 0 points 16 months ago

Personally i would have used a amd a10-6800k a 7750 and faster RAM.

 
 
asus420 0 points 16 months ago

i like this guys itx case

http://pcpartpicker.com/b/CZk

 
 
Ggadget 1 point 16 months ago

Yeah but it's so big for a mini itx case!

 
 
A9821 [Submitter] [4 Builds] 1 point 16 months ago

The Prodigy is probably the best miniITX case out there, but unfortunately in Canada the pricing is ridiculously inflated for some reason.