1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Build Advice mitx university build

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by magnetobob, 12 Jun 2012.

  1. magnetobob

    magnetobob New Member

    Joined:
    22 Nov 2011
    Posts:
    39
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi all

    As this is the best source for community feedback i am starting university this september 2012 and want to build a small but relatively powerful pc which can output at good resolution for gaming not (highest setting necessary though) and normal pc use such as word processing, databases etc

    had in mind a mitx build to make a small footprint with a Hefty graphics cards corsair water-cool loop h50-h70 water cool loop setup for and i3 or i5 chip with about a £400-600 budget but can exceed if this is a stupide low value for what i want and be a bit more futur proofed.

    cheers in advanced

    magnetobob
     
  2. zulu9812

    zulu9812 New Member

    Joined:
    21 Oct 2010
    Posts:
    225
    Likes Received:
    6
    The big problem with ITX cases is that they only support physically small PSUs - even the Bitfenix Prodigy, which is considered a big ITX case, only supports PSUs of 160mm in length (and even that's a tight fit, 140mm is recommended). This tends to cut down on the ability to support powerful graphics cards.

    On top of that, remember that if you have a graphics card you won't be able to have a sound card. I've never been a fan of on-board audio on full-atx boards, which tend to have better on-board sound than mini-itx boards. So the sound quality for your music will likely not be good.

    Finally, I'm not sure a closed loop water cooler for the CPU is a good idea - air coolers tend to have too large a footprint and will overhang the RAM slots on an ITX board. So +1 for the water cooler. But the fans on the Corsair models are loud, so you'll want to replace them. So the cost goes up. You'll also want to make sure that there's enough air getting into the case to cool the motherboard. Some ITX cases only have one fan slot and if that's occupied by a cpu water cooler then your motherboard will run hot.

    Bearing all of that in mind, this looks like a decent build:

    [​IMG]

    Uploaded with ImageShack.us

    Pair it with the Bitfenix Prodigy from SpecialTech - http://www.specialtech.co.uk/spshop...ht-Black--BFC-PRO-300-KKXSK-RP-pid-15978.html - for £60 and your total cost is just under £600.

    Some points to bear in mind about this build:

    No optical drive. Largely considered obsolete these days, but you might want to get one if you want to play audio CDs or if the university is going to give you material on CD (unlikely, as most colleges will also make it available on their intranet).

    That CPU cooler is untested by me. It looks decent, but any low-profile cooler carries the risk of high noise due to the small (92mm) fan. But a Corsair H40 + push/pull Apache Black fans will be approx. £40 more.

    The Prodigy case supports up to 5 hard drives, but you might need to remove the upper cage to support that graphics card. This will leave room for 2 x 3.5" hard drives in the lower cage and you can mount the SSD in the side panel. The motherboard supports up to 6 sata devices.

    Speaking of the motherboard, it has on-board wi-fi. Could be handy when lugging the case around campus.
     
    Last edited: 12 Jun 2012
  3. magnetobob

    magnetobob New Member

    Joined:
    22 Nov 2011
    Posts:
    39
    Likes Received:
    0
    that was quick and excellent advice thanks for taking your time zulu much appreciated
     
  4. Margo Baggins

    Margo Baggins I'm good at Soldering Super Moderator

    Joined:
    28 May 2010
    Posts:
    5,607
    Likes Received:
    242
    the bitfenix case is nice - but i really like the small silverstone cases - my thoughts are if you arent going to load it with drives, there is little point in the prodigy - but that being said, the prodigy is cheaper than nearly all the silverstone cases.

    If I was you, i would scrap the psu and the bitfenix case and get....

    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/silv...case-all-black-with-450w-sfx-psu-80-plus-bron

    All the rest of that build looks nice - you are a bit limited with boards etc. for m-itx. my m-itx is legacy socket but if you would consider second hand you can get them quite cheap, along with everything else you need to make a small machine that packs a big-ish punch.
     
  5. Parge

    Parge the worst Super Moderator

    Joined:
    16 Jul 2010
    Posts:
    12,945
    Likes Received:
    570
    I think you’ll be fine with a MITX build

    The BitFenix Prodigy is the case to have at the moment. Try and get a modular PSU to reduce clutter. This Thermaltake PSU is Modular, 550w and only 150mm in length.

    A closed loop watercooler is a good idea too, you won’t need anything too high end (ie: an H80 is probably overkill on your budget and needs), an H60 or Kuhler 620 will be fine, but as above, best to replace the stock fan. I used a Phobya Nano 2G due to its high CFM but low noise.

    Regarding audio – you’re going to uni, so you’ll probably be in halls or at least a sharehouse – best thing to do is get a USB headset with an inbuilt soundcard. This will provide decent quality audio, and won’t annoy your neighbours when you are rocking out or fighting a war at 3am. Something like the Corsair Vengeance 1100 or 1500 would do!

    However, I fundamentally disagree with Zulus choice of GPU as you’ve stated you want to game, and that GPU is woefully underpowered for that task.

    This Twin Frozr 570 448 Core is far better. The reality of the situation is that if you buying brand new, to get good gaming performance you'll usually have to spend £150+ on your GPU.
     
  6. Margo Baggins

    Margo Baggins I'm good at Soldering Super Moderator

    Joined:
    28 May 2010
    Posts:
    5,607
    Likes Received:
    242
    unless you want an m-itx system that isnt a mini tower?

    or unless you want a m-itx system that is actually small?

    It is A case to have, I don't think it is THE case to have...
     
  7. magnetobob

    magnetobob New Member

    Joined:
    22 Nov 2011
    Posts:
    39
    Likes Received:
    0
    cheers for the further ideas guys

    zulu Your right about no need for an optical drive and wifi on the board is great. I also read up about the case i could remove all the bays and get away with installing ssds on the side would use this for the operating system and a game or two. Thinking about using an external hardrive for all my documents to quickly move about when i come home ensuring I Have all my files on me.Removing this will either allow for a bigger rad of a cooler or placement of fans to move air im up for a bit of case modding especially on a £60 case bays and can place about with other aspects.

    Parge thanks for the cooler suggestions and the power supply being modular good call

    Would idea be if i went one up on the graphics card with the GeForce GTX 560 Ti ive read good reviews and feedback (i think it features in bit techs all rounder build too but different graphics cards do confuse me :confused: ) i havent got the knowledge to compare which is better your suggestion what do you think?

    marco cheers for showing an alternative case but i think il go for the bitfenix one for now


    thanks you again magnetobob
     
    Last edited: 12 Jun 2012
  8. zulu9812

    zulu9812 New Member

    Joined:
    21 Oct 2010
    Posts:
    225
    Likes Received:
    6
  9. Parge

    Parge the worst Super Moderator

    Joined:
    16 Jul 2010
    Posts:
    12,945
    Likes Received:
    570
    Given that its only £60 and has got rave reviews from everyone that has reviewed it, and that we have a thread with over 2000 views on a case that hasn't even been released yet, makes it the case to have at the moment.

    There are obviously other cases out there, but none that are generating the buzz that the Prodigy is.
     
  10. Parge

    Parge the worst Super Moderator

    Joined:
    16 Jul 2010
    Posts:
    12,945
    Likes Received:
    570
  11. Margo Baggins

    Margo Baggins I'm good at Soldering Super Moderator

    Joined:
    28 May 2010
    Posts:
    5,607
    Likes Received:
    242
    hehe you are missing the point! I agree its an AWESOME case, but its still not THE case to have. For example - where I have my m-itx box, it deffo would not be THE case, as it wouldnt fit, physically.

    In an ideal world where nothing that is important about chosing a chasis, ie, where its going to go, whats going to go in it, what style you want - its THE case to have, otherwise, in my book it remains a good case.
     
  12. magnetobob

    magnetobob New Member

    Joined:
    22 Nov 2011
    Posts:
    39
    Likes Received:
    0
    yes sorry zulu my bad
     
  13. MSHunter

    MSHunter Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    24 Apr 2009
    Posts:
    2,461
    Likes Received:
    55
  14. donok

    donok Every Little Helps .....

    Joined:
    16 Feb 2011
    Posts:
    0
    Likes Received:
    26
    i'd go with g620 cpu, i recently did a build with this was was seriously impressed with its power esp in photoshop and CAD. brilliant for a £45 cpu.

    if you just plan to game at 1080p then i would get a amd 7770. power and heat consumption are critical in a small form factor build like this.

    most components are fine upto 95-100 degrees but keeping temps down means less stress on components and it means you can run the fans at lower speeds. this will keep overall noise down.

    would get a khuler 620 cpu cooler as its the same as the corsair but cheaper. also get the bitfenix prodigy it looks epic for a case at that price.

    would also use the money saved to get decent headphones/monitor/keyboard/mouse

    just my 2 cents

    im in the process of building a m-atx powerhouse for uni 2012. budget is £1500. was lucky enough to get a bargain dell u2711 screen so need lots of GPU power

    also remember your free shipping with scan.co.uk and afew other companies if you have over a certain number of posts on here
     
  15. Mac_Trekkie

    Mac_Trekkie Source Engine's #1 fan!

    Joined:
    10 Sep 2011
    Posts:
    636
    Likes Received:
    8
    Just FYI guys the Bitfenix Prodigy has the GPU breathing pure cold outside air, so it doesn't particularly matter how powerful the GPU is, as far as heat goes. Also the SG05 is a pain in the ASS to work with if you have any decent sized GPU, or if you don't have a modular PSU. Since all of them come with non-modular PSU's, that means they're all a pain in the ass to work with. I know, I had to build a powerbox in one, and it was a pain in the ass. The Prodigy lets you use a full size PSU, and it has handles, which is a big thing for portability. It's significantly larger than the Silverstone, but easier to carry if you've got more than one thing to carry because you can just grab a handle.
     
  16. xbournex

    xbournex BitFenix PR/Forum Manager

    Joined:
    13 Jun 2012
    Posts:
    15
    Likes Received:
    1
    If 160mm is the max, why would 140mm be recommended when 150mm fits just perfectly fine? I'd say 150mm is the recommended size of PSU for a full sized ATX PSU. Sure 140mm is easily going to fit in there but 150 is the sweet spot for variety. Stuff like the HX650 fits. That's already 650Watts of "more than enough" Even then, if you really want to fit super long PSU's, google "PSU Extender bracket"

    Secondly, you don't even need over 650W to run the toughest graphics card with top end Ivy Bridge Processor on an ITX platform. It's extremely unnecessary. I wouldn't even know why you need 700w for a single card system...

    Our dimensions include the handle and the rear screws. They are again, not internal dimensions. If we only advertised internal dimensions people will use that information and then tell us it won't fit in the cubby hole because we announced dimensions smaller than what it really is.

    Cheers,

    -xbournex
    BitFenix Rep
     
  17. Mac_Trekkie

    Mac_Trekkie Source Engine's #1 fan!

    Joined:
    10 Sep 2011
    Posts:
    636
    Likes Received:
    8
    Are you for real? Well I for one, am in love with your case, buy your engineers a beer for me, will ya?
     
  18. Guest-23315

    Guest-23315 Guest

  19. Posicoln

    Posicoln New Member

    Joined:
    10 Jun 2012
    Posts:
    21
    Likes Received:
    1
    You say for the 560 Ti 448, but the 570 is only £10 more - may as well get that? (assuming both msi twin frozr III)
     
  20. xbournex

    xbournex BitFenix PR/Forum Manager

    Joined:
    13 Jun 2012
    Posts:
    15
    Likes Received:
    1
    On a good day, we'll go our for pizza. :rock:

    Then we go out for the drinks. :D

    On a more serious note, I'm glad you love it. I met one of the Technical Directors from Bit-Tech at our Computex booth (Well, the events that surround the week of Computex), and we've received the same feedback from him too I should be a little bit more active here at BT, so if you guys have more Q's, I hope I have A's for you.
     

Share This Page