Solved First build advice - mini itx.

Corsair 250d obsidian series black mini...
March 21, 2014 at 09:53:30
Specs: Windows 8, i5 / 8GB
I saw this: Holy cows!

And I was inspired to try my hand at my first build. I have avionics and Industrial Design degree so feel confident I can put something together... but don't have much experience with pairing components, best value, etc..

Since this is my first build I thought I would start off with just liquid cooled CPU.

After a few weeks of research and peeping other builds here I put together this list:

This is gaming rig almost exclusively (I have Quadro for work) and my goal was to go one step above adequate.

I hope to do mild OC on CPU and GPU.

Any advice, questions, comments or concerns would be greatly appreciated by all! My only initial worry is that the H60 will not be adequate coz I see many going with H80 or H100i??

Alsooo I am a little above my budget so is there somewhere I can trim the fat?


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March 22, 2014 at 04:32:37
✔ Best Answer
The components as a whole feel right to me. I do not do water cooling but understand the need in the small space but worry that a closed system like that one will force you to be very creative with the extra hosing made for a larger case which I assume the writer of the article saw as a need for a custom water cooler to optimize the hosing. The modular power supply though should at least help with the nest of wiring though. I would first do a fast dry assembly to be sure if all will fit within the time you have to possibly return/exchange anything that does not fit the limited space you have. Finally, I personally would chose Windows 7 over Windows 8 unless you are going with a touch monitor. While I have no problem working with Windows 8 (and do now at work), I still prefer Windows 7 as being 'easier to work with' and maintain.

If you are just doing a normal build, a normal mid-tower case will be easier, but smaller has its points in many cases (pun not intended).

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.

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March 23, 2014 at 08:13:45
My 2 cents:

- choose a different motherboard (microATX) so that you can choose a different case. The case you picked is "cute" but a traditional case with top mounted PSU has much better cooling characteristics. For example:

- if you do the above, you can dump the liquid cooling & use the factory cooler or a decent aftermarket cooler.

- do you really need a video card with 4GB graphics memory? Also, a $400+ video card goes well beyond "one step above adequate"

- the PSU you picked is good but it's WAY overpriced. Avoid modular if possible. Each connector potentially adds additional points of failure. Here's a hard-wired 600W Corsair with identical amperage specs for 1/2 the price:

- Windows 8? Really?

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March 23, 2014 at 19:53:50
Thanks or the replies, gentlemen. And seriously, thanks or questioning some of my decisions - I'm new remember.. And I welcome criticism...

I have been doing more reading and (possibly) learned some things that affected some changes. See updated list:

I guess I have an inflated view of "adequate". Also space is #1 concern in this build. I would have gone to an even "cuter" box if I thought it could handle the performance I hope to achieve.

My logic on a few points:

I read that I will need 780 GPU to play above 1080 and so I went with that. I don't have space for 3X displays so going with one 1440. Sure I guess I could always play at 1080 on 1440 but at this point wth... guess I should have mentioned this.

So then I read that 780 needs min 600W PSU so that bumped me up to 650 and the 750 was on sale or same price as 650 so went with that. Also high up on my priority is quiet so I know 750 is overkill but I my hope is the fan not need to run. Modular was choice to ease assembly and possibly go with custom cables at some point. This will be setting on the desk so looks are not #1 on list but up there.

I consolidated the SSD and HDD into a higher capacity SSD. I have two 56GB 10Krpm drives from an old tower if I initially need more storage. Later I hope memory will continue to get cheaper and will add another SSD.

Lastly (and I totally agree) why W8?! I want to do W7 but I read that W8 has better/more recent Direct X whatever??

Luckily I was able to scrape together a few more bucks to support my budget...

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Related Solutions

March 23, 2014 at 20:42:30
It looks like you purchased already so good luck packing it all in.
Make sure that you have a serious exhaust fan (high CFM) because without a CPU fan (air CPU cooling) moving the air around the inside of the case you have to move the hot air out from other components like the video card, memory, chipset, etc. Try to balance the fan's specs with high CFM's with low DB's and let the motherboard regulate the fan speed as needed.
Let us know how it all works out.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.

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March 24, 2014 at 12:28:21
"space is #1 concern in this build"

Here's the dimensions of the 2 cases:

Corsair ITX = 13.8" x 10.9" x 11.4"
Cougar mATX = 7.09" x 14.57" x 16.73"

Other than the 5" height difference, I don't see any advantage in the Corsair's footprint. You may lose a few inches in depth but it's almost twice as wide. In fact, if you do the math, it's actually 47 bigger. Plus there's still the issue of the PSU being mounted on the bottom rather than the top. But hey, it's your build, not mine.

The Problem of Bottom-Mounted Power

"I don't have space for 3X displays so going with one 1440"

And what will be the size of that one 1440 monitor? 25"? 27"? I have one of my PCs connected to a 42" HDTV at 1080p & I have no issues with display quality. And that's when web surfing, watching videos, gaming, etc.

"I read that 780 needs min 600W PSU"

Nothing wrong with getting a bigger PSU than "required", but just so you know, the GTX 780 itself requires less than 300W under full load (& possibly even less depending on the version).

Power Consumption Overview

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March 24, 2014 at 15:07:44
More good info guys - thanks.

Yeah so a little impatient and went ahead and ordered the bits.

I plan to run positive pressure case. Figuring with rear exhaust that this will keep everything cool. I more liked the 250D for the lower height and that it looks less like a PC in case it finds its way into my entertainment center.

@riider - Regarding cooling, wouldn't the larger volume of the 250D work to my advantage? I was looking at the top vent type cases but had concerns about dust build up when the thing is not running??

27" monitor is all I can fit. Though I was looking at 30" 1600 and running it at 1440. Any thoughts??

My thoughts are - I have been running games before no on Quadro based Dell Precision... and because this card ( I know not gaming card) would only run at low settings with 720 and still would lag like nuts... well I just want to be smooth w no chance of frame drop. I was going to "settle" for 760 or less even but part of me says wth just go bigger on this.

So.. is 650W PSU way overkill for this current build? Like I said I only went to 750 because it was same price.

I don't plan to do any web surfing just gaming (and possibly, very seldomly some rendering in Bunkspeed which is optimized for Geforce cards).

Alright - so biggest question still lies at W7 vs W8... Do you guys know about any improvements/better DirectX support?

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March 24, 2014 at 16:34:21
There is nothing wrong with a higher power power supply except usually the price. Your system will draw the current it needs and nothing more.
Look (Direct X issue):

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.

message edited by Fingers

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