Go Back   Hardware Canucks > PC BUILDERS & TWEAKERS CORNER > New Builds

    
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old March 14, 2011, 05:04 PM
PeopleCanFly's Avatar
Rookie
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 29
Default Mini-ITX Workstation Build

I''d like to put together a mini-ITX Workstation. I dont' mean a real workstation, but something that can handle 3D modeling, rendering, and video editing/compositing better than my Phenom II x2 555 BE. This PC will be doing some long renders overnight, so heat is my main concern. I can fit a 120mm fan on the case with a little elbow greese, but it's only held in by friction. If I need to I can, instead, fit two 80mm fans.

My main question is if the X3440 actually runs cooler than the i7 860. I like it because it's cheaper yet it still has Hyperthreading for a total of 8 cores.

Other than that I was wondering if there was anything I could do to lower the cost of this build. I'd like to keep it under $900 with shipping.

ZOTAC H55ITX-C-E LGA 1156 H55 Mini-ITX Motherboard
Intel Xeon X3440 2.53 GHz 1156 Processor
8 GB PNY Optima DDR3 1333 Memory
HITACHI Deskstar 7K1000.C 1 TB Hard Drive
Corsair Force 60 GB SSD
MSI GTS 450 1 GB Video Card
SilverStone 450W SFX12V Power Supply
SilverStone NT07-1156 CPU Cooler
Lite-On DVD Burner

Total + Shipping: $866.06

Edit: Sorry guys, I rushed this post and didn't make sure I explained everything.

I'll be replacing my everyday PC with this so I'll need it to do all the things I'd normally do on top of what I mentioned above. I don't plan to play any intense 3D games or overclock the CPU.

Also, what is the height on the stock X3440 cooler? I've got less than 40 mm to work with between where the motherboard will be and the bottom of the PSU.

Last edited by PeopleCanFly; March 14, 2011 at 06:19 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #2 (permalink)  
Old March 14, 2011, 05:14 PM
gingerbee's Avatar
Hall Of Fame
F@H
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Orillia, Ontario
Posts: 6,828

My System Specs

Default

i have both the 860 and 3440 and can tell ya that they run about the same temps just the turbo goes much higher on the 860 at stock speeds. i am running the 3440 @3.2 adn i love both chips. my 2 cents. drop the ssd it's not really gonna help all that much and get another hdd. i do a lot of transcoding and both rock
__________________
Fav quote "One should strive to achieve; not sit in bitter regret." Ronin Harris
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old March 14, 2011, 05:37 PM
chubaka's Avatar
MVP
F@H
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Van
Posts: 306

My System Specs

Default

Is there a reason choosing zotac? Seem like there are problems with wifi.
Official Zotac H55-ITX-C-E Thread - Page 2 - [H]ard|Forum

i think gigabyte is better (h55n-usb3) altho it does not come with a wifi kit...it is also cheaper since this regularly goes on sale on ncix.

the st45sf psu design is bad . i know cause i experienced it myself. it will not happen unless you are loading both cpu and gpu together. The psu chirps periodically(every 3 seconds or so). If the load is high enough, this chirp is accompanied with a mini freeze on screen ( noticed it while playing mafia 2)
Silverstone ST45SF - total crap? - Page 4 - [H]ard|Forum

great choice on cpu. the x3440 is comparable to an i5 750 but with ht...
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old March 14, 2011, 05:45 PM
Hall Of Fame
F@H
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Markham
Posts: 1,569

My System Specs

Default

The retail x3440 you linked to comes with a low profile cooler that's just as good as the Silverstone, no point in spending $26 on something that's not much better.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old March 14, 2011, 05:52 PM
Banned
F@H
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: mtl
Posts: 12,694
Default

and remember, when you will oc, the h55 wont be as good as p55, mainly because the h55 mobos are not that
beefy in the component department
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Old March 14, 2011, 06:33 PM
PeopleCanFly's Avatar
Rookie
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 29
Default

I updated the OP with some small details.

This computer will also be my main computer, I'll just be doing long 3D renders and the like overnight. I'd like to incorperate an SSD (Which I have no idea if that one is any good or what lol) to help applications like Photoshop and After Effects to load much faster. You wouldn't believe how clumsy I can be when it comes to clicking on the right icon sometimes. Also...fast boot times are nice.

I also only picked the ZOTAC board because of WiFi. It's totally just for one minor convenience and definitely not worth paying more for. Now I at least have a reason to stick with the H55N-USB3. It's actually a few dollars cheaper too.

Quote:
the st45sf psu design is bad . i know cause i experienced it myself. it will not happen unless you are loading both cpu and gpu together. The psu chirps periodically(every 3 seconds or so). If the load is high enough, this chirp is accompanied with a mini freeze on screen.
Thanks for the info on the power supply. I was actually debating between that and this Seasonic 350W unit. I only changed to the Silverstone PSU at the last second "Just to be safe" power wise.

I'm not sure if I'll need the extra heatsink or not because I don't know how tall the stock one is. I'd rather have it and not need it since I could just send it back.

Cost is now down to ~$827.50 USD.
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old March 14, 2011, 06:53 PM
Hall Of Fame
F@H
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Markham
Posts: 1,569

My System Specs

Default

What case are you using? I can't think of anything with less than 40mm of CPU HSF clearance. All the low profile heatsinks and half the watercooling kits I can think of require more than that.

I just measured my X3440 stock cooler and it's about 41mm tall. I'm still having a hard time imagining a case that wouldn't be able to fit it, since the stock cooler is meant to *just* (next to no clearance) fit a 1U rack.

If you haven't already bought the case, I'd get another one as it's probably very poorly designed if it uses an SFX form factor PSU and still has less than 40mm of space. Not to mention you're going to run into heat issues regardless of how cool the CPU runs.

As for power, your system as it is will barely push 250W under extreme loads, the Seasonic will be more than enough.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Old March 14, 2011, 07:39 PM
chubaka's Avatar
MVP
F@H
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Van
Posts: 306

My System Specs

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by PeopleCanFly View Post
I updated the OP with some small details.

This computer will also be my main computer, I'll just be doing long 3D renders and the like overnight. I'd like to incorperate an SSD (Which I have no idea if that one is any good or what lol) to help applications like Photoshop and After Effects to load much faster. You wouldn't believe how clumsy I can be when it comes to clicking on the right icon sometimes. Also...fast boot times are nice.

I also only picked the ZOTAC board because of WiFi. It's totally just for one minor convenience and definitely not worth paying more for. Now I at least have a reason to stick with the H55N-USB3. It's actually a few dollars cheaper too.



Thanks for the info on the power supply. I was actually debating between that and this Seasonic 350W unit. I only changed to the Silverstone PSU at the last second "Just to be safe" power wise.

I'm not sure if I'll need the extra heatsink or not because I don't know how tall the stock one is. I'd rather have it and not need it since I could just send it back.

Cost is now down to ~$827.50 USD.

that sfx psu is slightly longer than the st45sf. it will not fit in an sfx enclosure without mods.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #9 (permalink)  
Old March 15, 2011, 07:50 PM
PeopleCanFly's Avatar
Rookie
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 29
Default

Hey guys, I just realized that Newegg is now stocking some Sandy Bridge Mini-ITX motherboards. I'm sure that it is the better choice when you take overall performance, power (heat), and price into consideration. Right now, only two from AsRock are availiable but I'm sure more will become available in time. Actually, the H67M-ITX seems like a good bet for just $100.

I'm not quite decided on the processor yet but what I'm really wondering is what GPU I should be getting. The useres on a different forum suggested I use a workstation GPU, but seemed to ignore what I said about needing an Nvidia card for PhysX by suggesting ATI's FirePro cards (Which use more recent tech). I like the idea of getting a workstation card since it is much cooler running than a GTS 450 will ever be, but is it really going to make a huge difference?

Edit: Oh, and apparently (And I can't for the life of me find the link now), the stock heatsink for the i5 2400 (If I'm remembering this right) is only 20mm tall...that's tiny.

For a quick reselection of parts based on what I'm probably actually going to use, this seems like a good base list (Leaving off the GPU for now):

H67M-ITX LGA 1155 Motherboard
Core i5 2400
8 GB Mushkin Silverline 1333
A-Data 40 GB SSD
HITACHI Deskstar 7K1000.C HDD
SeaSonic 300W SFX12V PSU
Lite-On CD/DVD Burner

Last edited by PeopleCanFly; March 15, 2011 at 07:56 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #10 (permalink)  
Old March 15, 2011, 08:06 PM
Hall Of Fame
F@H
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Fort St. John, BC
Posts: 1,221

My System Specs

Default

Hmm... anyone know how good the Intel HD 3000 IGP is at non video and audio tasks? I know that it excels at both video and audio rendering (making a discreet GPU seem like a waste of $$), but I don't know how well it does at rending 3D stuff?

It's worth looking into that option as you may be able to get away without a discreet GPU. Overall, the SNB chips will be much better for thermals and performance! You can get the upgraded IGP in the k series chips, so $215 for a 2500k. Otherwise, you can get the non-k SKU and go the discreet route. If you have the cash, the 2600k adds hyperthreading to the mix. (NOTE: the H series boards are the only ones that let you use the IGP and support IGP overclocking instead of CPU overclocking)

Last edited by draemn; March 15, 2011 at 08:29 PM.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Sandy Bridge Mini ITX build wedge22 HTPC Systems & Software 13 March 24, 2011 12:08 AM
ZOTAC Revolutionizes ION With Intel CULV-Powered Mini-PC and Mini-ITX Platforms FiXT Press Releases & Tech News 5 August 27, 2010 01:48 PM
ITX Linux Workstation Build kingnubian New Builds 10 May 26, 2010 10:08 PM
Lian Li Launches PC-Q08A/B/R Mini Tower Chassis for Mini-ITX and Mini-DTX FiXT Press Releases & Tech News 1 April 29, 2010 09:17 PM
Zotac Releases New ION ITX-F Mini ITX Solution FiXT Press Releases & Tech News 6 October 1, 2009 05:47 AM