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Clean and Simple mITX

by Bazz



Date Published

June 4, 2014

Date Built

June 1, 2014

CPU Clock Rate

3.6 GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

36.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

48.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.332 GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

5.4 GHz

GPU Temperature While Idle

27.0° C

GPU Temperature Under Load

58.0° C


Upgraded to ASUS STRIX GTX970 (STRIX-GTX970-DC2OC-4GD5) and Windows 10 Pro - pictures pending

I built this system primarily to learn about and evaluate different virtualization solutions. It will also be used for FPS gaming and when all the parts are "supported", a hackintosh.

I plan to dual boot Windows 8.1 and OpenSUSE 13.1. Kernel Virtualization Manager (KVM) is the hypervisor I am focusing on as it is the solution we plan to use at work. I will try to virtualize the Windows 8.1 environment if possible but that is not planned for the initial build out.

All prices are NET and include shipping and tax with rebates and cash back (ShopDiscover, Ebates etc) deducted.

CPU: i7-4790 - As much as I wanted to go with the i7-4770K or i7-4790K (when it comes out), I went with the 4790 as it supports VT-d for direct I/O in VM's. It will be interesting to see if VT-d support will make a difference gaming in a Windows VM. I also went with i7 instead of i5 as I should be able to take advantage of the additional cores when using the system for VM and other non-gaming functions. UPDATE As a reviewer pointed out, the i7-4790K will support VT-d unlike the i7-4770K.

MOBO: Gigabyte seems like a good choice, most likely hackintosh compatible like its predecessor and ready for broadwell in the future. Although not required now, I went with the Z version in case overclocking becomes interesting in the future. BIOS' have come a long way since the last time I built a system. Wow.

MEMORY: Best price per GB for a brand name that I could find. 16GB for virtualization. These are VLP (Very Low Profile) so I assume airflow will be improved.

GPU: Meets all of my performance requirements for now plus it is small and quiet. I may ultimately move to a smaller chassis so I want to be able to move as many of the components as possible. This adapter also includes a display port connector.

STORAGE - SSD: Separate boot drives; one for SLES 11 SP3 / KVM and one for Windows 8.1. If Windows 8.1 runs well in a VM, I will probably stripe the two drives for better performance. Not sure how Hackintosh will work in this environment but I have an extra Samsung EVO 830, 128GB that I could use if required.

STORAGE - HDD: Less critical VM's and games will be installed on the HDD.

OPTICAL DRIVE: I decided to not use the optical drive as there was just not enough room to organize all the cables if you have 2 x SSD and 1 x HDD.

CASE: Small case, nothing flashy. Great price.

COOLING: I hope this provides a cool and quiet solution. The less noise the better. We'll see.

POWER: More than enough power. As mentioned on other builds, I like the idea of having the handle on the back as I will be taking the system to the office occasionally. Braided cables are nice but not super flexible.


It has been a number of years since I built a system. During my initial research, I browsed the build a pc reddit forum for the first time and saw that everyone was referencing pcpartpicker.com for their builds. So glad I found it. From reading through other peoples configs and comments to easily mixing and matching parts and being confident that they are compatible, pcpartpicker.com made the process easier and much more fun. Thanks!

Comments Sorted by:

ExcaliburVII 7 points 59 months ago

Great build! +1 Regarding Hackintoshing, your motherboard is pretty much a perfect choice but the 750 Ti isn't supported yet; you may want to look that up.

MAXXHEW 4 Builds 4 points 59 months ago

You should be happy with the Seidon 120m. It's 100f outside here... it's like 80F inside sometimes, the Seidon keeps my overclocked 8350 (4.51mhz) around 36c & it never goes above 38c. It's quiet also, & the stock pwm fan can be set to lower rpm if it's still too loud. Nice build by the way... good job.

gregkolodny 4 points 59 months ago

I'm pretty sure that 4.51MHz is a massive under clock, i didn't know you could go so low.

philliphobia 1 Build 3 points 59 months ago

why such a high wattage power supply with such a low wattage GPU?

Bazz submitter 1 Build 4 points 59 months ago

Mostly an impulse buy. I wanted a full modular supply and the odd handle on the back actually is useful for my scenario where I will move the system occasionally. You are right though, way more power than needed. :)

Akut 1 Build 4 points 59 months ago

The handle is reason enough. Besides, you'll never have to worry about NOT having enough power :D, and you can upgrade to a Titan if you really want :D

Jhact007 1 Build 3 points 59 months ago

I feel like every build with a 750 Ti is great.

JaneGoodall 1 Build 2 points 59 months ago

Excellent build for your needs and good reasons for every single part. +1

mrdma 2 points 59 months ago

I play with a lot of VMs too and your reasoning for using the i7-4790 as opposed to the K caught my attention. You're right about the 4770k and I looked at Intel's site out of curiosity. As per Intel's page on the i7-4790k, it will support both VT-x and VT-d. I'm glad I looked it up or I would have pulled the trigger on the vanilla 4790. Hopefully this helps someone else too. :-)


Bazz submitter 1 Build 1 point 59 months ago

Good to see they are keeping the feature in the K version with the 4790. I'll go that route if I build another one.

DodecPCs 2 Builds 1 point 59 months ago

Good luck Hackintoshing. I currently have a build, but it is not very stable at the moment because I need to upgrade to Mavericks. They are very very iffy, but once I get it working I will be using parallels to run Mavericks and Windows 7.

tabascosauz 3 Builds 1 point 59 months ago

The Z97 boards are most likely going to continue the Gigabyte legacy of being OS X-friendly, but whether they work aren't that certain yet. 99% sure you will have no problems.

You're going to be sitting on that GTX 750 Ti for some time while Apple starts using Maxwell Geforce mobile GPUs, but otherwise this is a great build! +1

Bazz submitter 1 Build 1 point 59 months ago

Agreed. I have my hands full just getting linux up and running with this card so I will definitely wait until the path has been forged by others as I have never worked with OS X before. I may look into using the integrated video.

From what I could find, tonymacx86.com seems to be a good resource for me to reference when the time comes. I see there are several methods to install the OS X; any recommendations?

tabascosauz 3 Builds 1 point 59 months ago

Probably just unibeast for mavericks, there's a good guide on tonymac, but by that time there should be a way to install yosemite.

nono8821 1 point 59 months ago

How much does this build weigh? I am building an Mitx build in this with all the same components cause I'm video editing

Bazz submitter 1 Build 1 point 59 months ago

It weighs 14 lbs. My wife was a little confused to see me standing on a scale with a computer. :)

BlastXin 2 points 58 months ago

14 lbs is awesome! That's just 3-4 lbs more than an Asus G750 notebook!

nono8821 1 point 59 months ago

Nice, not as heavy as I thought

masrawy_remix 1 point 58 months ago

Does the card come with bluetooth ? what about wifi ?

Bazz submitter 1 Build 1 point 58 months ago

Yes, the motherboard comes with bluetooth and wifi.

BlastXin 1 point 58 months ago

Cool. It was always kinda weird why motherboards don't have bluetooth integrated by default.

masrawy_remix 1 point 58 months ago

Is the wifi cutting out randomly ?

Bazz submitter 1 Build 1 point 58 months ago

Actually, yes, I am having some issues with Wifi stability. You?

masrawy_remix 1 point 58 months ago

didnt buy it yet, heared some complains before on other sites. thats why I came here to ask. looks like another Asus z97-i will be better for me :D

Bazz submitter 1 Build 1 point 58 months ago

Found out the majority of my issues were due to my router. Reset everything and now getting about 240 - 300 Mbps. Still some random disconnects but much better.

chelch 1 Build 1 point 58 months ago

This is my favourite Elite 130 build of the one's I've seen so far. The handle makes it.

Good luck with the Hackintosh!

Bazz submitter 1 Build 1 point 58 months ago


sorendk7 1 point 57 months ago

What o: its the Exact same build as me .... wtf ? :P