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Build Advice New micro-ITX build - seeking advice and opinions

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by silsil, 11 Apr 2014.

  1. silsil

    silsil New Member

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    Hi all,

    I'm trying to put together a reasonably priced micro-ITX gaming rig for my sister. I've got a bit of experience putting together gaming computers but have been out of the loop for a few years now.

    Questions for those kind enough to spare me their time:

    1) Any glaring mistakes - will everything work and fit together, or have I goofed?

    2) Any must-have changes that would be drastically better in a bang-for-buck sense?

    3) Windows 8.1? I've only ever had Windows 7 machines myself, but I've read Windows 8 improves speed/boot time, things like that?

    4) Can you install motherboard drivers using an external optical drive? At this point I'm not planning on putting an internal optical drive in.

    THE BUILD:

    MSI GeForce GTX 760 Gaming Edition OC 2GB

    Corsair CX-600 Modular 80+ Bronze Power Supply

    Kingston HyperX KHX1866C9D3K2/8GX 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3

    Western Digital WD Blue 1TB WD10EZEX

    Intel Core i5 4670

    Microsoft Windows 8.1 64bit OEM

    MSI Z87I Mini ITX Motherboard

    BitFenix Prodigy Mini-ITX Case Green with Window

    ~ $1200 in Australia

    It's probably relevant to note I have no intention of overclocking.

    Thank you everyone for taking the time to help me out! Look forward to all of your input :)
     
  2. SuperHans123

    SuperHans123 Well-Known Member

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    Just a personal thing but I would recommend sticking with Windows 7.
    Also, if you want to save money as you are not overclocking, why not go for the 'last gen' Intel chip and mobo, the H77?
    This is a scaled-back chipset option, suitable when overclocking and multiple video cards are not needed.
    I am currently using onbe of these 'last gen' chips, the i5 3330 and I can max out Crysis 3 (Albeit with 2 of the cards you are going to get) but the CPU is not going to be the limiting factor past a certain point.
    Just thinking you could save some moola and there would be no real appreciable difference in performance/quality.You could use the savings to buy a 128GB SSD for windows and a few key programs to speed things up.
    Having recently moved away from mini ITX (Wanted SLI for performance purposes), I would suggest adding an all in one water cooling solution as those cases can get toasty with everything crammed in.
     
  3. Cei

    Cei pew pew pew

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    Those components should work fine, no problems. I would say you need to consider your CPU cooler - but you're not overclocking, so no need to go overboard.

    Windows 8.1 is fine, seriously. I boot straight in to desktop mode, and it's essentially the same as Windows 7 from that point out, except faster and generally better. MS also haven't stated yet whether DirectX 12 is going to even run on Windows 7. They're also adding the start menu back soon.
     
  4. AlienwareAndy

    AlienwareAndy New Member

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    For modern gaming that's bad advice. 8 and 8.1 are simply faster, with better CPU handling. IE - you don't need to start parking cores or whatever else because the CPU handling has been completely revised in 8 and works far better than 7.

    Sure, 8 is a pain, but given an hour and a few tweaks it's exactly the same to use as 7 only a world apart with regards to the speed of it. It starts quicker, shuts down quicker and uses a CPU properly.
     
  5. Shirty

    Shirty Time travelling rogue Super Moderator

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    1) Any glaring mistakes - will everything work and fit together, or have I goofed?

    No mistakes at all. My only comments are that the WD Blue is not a particularly quick drive, and are you sure you want a window if you're not putting bling components in there? I'd struggle without an SSD - even a 64GB model just to install the OS will make the machine feel drastically quicker.

    2) Any must-have changes that would be drastically better in a bang-for-buck sense?

    There is very little sense in putting a non-overclockable CPU in that premium overclocking motherboard. Consider something like the MSI MSI H81I instead.

    3) Windows 8.1? I've only ever had Windows 7 machines myself, but I've read Windows 8 improves speed/boot time, things like that?

    Windows 8.1 is an absolute no-brainer now. You can make it look/feel exactly like Windows 7 after about 5 minutes of tinkering and it's much, much faster than 7.

    4) Can you install motherboard drivers using an external optical drive? At this point I'm not planning on putting an internal optical drive in.

    You can, but you won't need to - Windows 7 or 8 will pick up pretty much all the drivers during in stall, then if you wish you can download the official ones and install them directly from the hard disk.

    I've sold my Prodigy now, but I found it really easy to live with for the year I used it. It's also probably the easiest ITX case to work in, mainly due to its size!

    Make sure you remove the upper drive cage for better intake airflow ;)
     
  6. SuperHans123

    SuperHans123 Well-Known Member

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    As I said, just a personal preference having used both. And regarding the speed aspect, my PC starts and shuts down incredibly quickly in Windows 7 and I played Crysis 3 for an hour last night with everything up to the limit including MSAAX8 and didn't see the frame rate drop below 35, so I don't think Windows 7 has that much of an effect on gaming speed.
     
  7. Darkwisdom

    Darkwisdom Level 99 Retro Nerd

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    Windows 8 would still be faster; it is coded much more efficiently for hardware, everything sees an improvement over windows 7, pretty much. All the haters can hate, but windows 8 is just better for gaming, no contest.
     
  8. Shirty

    Shirty Time travelling rogue Super Moderator

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    +1

    Up until about 2 weeks ago I'd have agreed with you supermuchurios, but having forced the upgrade on myself, and after a few days tinkering, I can safely say it is just better all round.
     
  9. SuperHans123

    SuperHans123 Well-Known Member

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    No hate from me, respect your choice of OS.
    Also, an hour of fiddling to 'make' an OS look and feel like it's predecessor says a lot about it.
    And I would hardly call Windows 7 'slow'.
    I only notice things being slow when the spec of the machine running it is crap, like this low end AMD HP Slimline PC piece of crap I am currently sorting out for my sister in law.
     

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