Just another ITX gaming rig
This is my ITX build for the Bitfenix Prodigy, please bear with me if I do/cite/ask something stupid as I'm not really anal about some technicalities/trends that might be commonplace for some in the forums.
I haven't quite finished my build due to me being cautious this time around, asking for opinions and clearing some compatibility know-how. So... I'm very open to suggestions to different aspects of my build... I've still got alot to learn.
Lastly, I don't know if it would be okay to post it here as I have read some of the previous posts who's builds are already done but I would update this as fast as possible after getting some input from you guys.
First off, Abiding to protocol....
1. What YOUR PC will be used for. That means what types of tasks you'll be performing.
Gaming for lan parties primarily, although it would be used as a media PC if the situation requires it.
2. What YOUR budget is. A price range is acceptable as long as it's not more than a 20% spread
No caps, as far as an ITX is concerned since the primary parts wouldn't exceed the $1000 price bracket. The GPU would be the most expensive part at least, which is one of the components I'm currently struggling to decide on.
3. What country YOU will be buying YOUR parts from.
4. IF YOU have a brand preference.
None. Although I do tend to lean on the Corsair side as you would see from my build. Other brands will definitely be entertained as I don't want to limit myself to one brand (also Corsair's quite expensive)
5. If YOU intend on using any of YOUR current parts, and if so, what those parts are.
6. IF YOU have searched and/or read similar threads.
Read phrenic's post on his ITX build and bonanza2000's links to various other ITX builds done by forum members.
7. IF YOU plan on overclocking or run the system at default speeds.
8. WHEN do you plan to build it?
5 months after I've decided on the parts. I will keep this build open as 5 months is a big time gap considering the pace at which some manufacturers release their goods.
9. What resolution and settings do you use?
1920x1080, all options turned on, maxed. Or realistically... to whatever extent an ITX system can provide (Med-High settings on most current games) Will run only on a single display.
10. Are there any specific technologies you want?
Unless you know of some, if it's good, I'd get it.
On to the build...
Case: Bitfenix Prodigy Black
Fan: 5x 120mm rad & back, 200mm front*
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-I Deluxe ITX board
CPU: Intel i7-3770K Ivy Bridge
Will be cooled by: Corsair H100
RAM: 2x 8GB*
Storage: Corsair Neutron 120GB N120GB3-BK & Western Digital Black 1TB WD2002FAEX
Graphics Card: *!!!!!!!!!!!!*
Sound Card: *!!!!*
PSU: Antec EarthWatts Platinum Series EA-650 650W
Idiosyncrasies, concerns, and questions....
I opted this build to have a black-blue color scheme that would match the motherboard color, as to why some of my components color to be blue or black. On that note, I may have to skimp out on some components to achieve this uniformity so to speak.
My first concern would be the selection of fans in respect to the case and the radiator.
With the radiator fans
1.) I've heard there are specific types of fans for a specific radiator fin densities or types. Please elaborate on this.
2.) Number of fans on the radiator. I've seen some people go 2 fans at both sides of the H100 but is it really better to do that than just go two fans at one side? And can it fit in the Bitfenix Prodigy?
3.) Airflow configuration. I know push-pull is the preferred setup I would like to know if there are any other types of configurations that might suit this build.
4.) BRANDS. I've heard Noctua is the best right now, but the brown fans really makes it look silly to put it in the case. I'm not that familiar with other brands so recommendations are appreciated.
With the case fans
1.) Is there a good 200mm fan you can recommend that has LED lighting on it? Either white or blue. I plan to put LED strips inside the case.
2.) The rear 120mm fan, should I replace it or just leave it as is?
My second concern would be the RAM, mostly due to technicalities regarding latency and motherboard compatibility. How do you choose RAM with respect to Latency and other factors? I personally have no idea how to choose RAM, I've tried to research but almost all that I've searched are either too technical or very vague with lack of information I wanted, for example...
DDR3 2400(O.C.)/2200(O.C.)/2133(O.C.)/2000(O.C.)/1866(O.C.)/1800(O.C.)/1600/1333, this was written in the description of the P8Z77-I Deluxe specs, now, what does it mean by O.C.? Will it be able to run for example, a 2133 Corsair Dominator Platinum off the bat? Or does it clock down the speed to 1600 and then you will have to manually overclock the RAM? or do you buy a 1600 module and overclock it to 2133? Does it even support the 2133 when you first put it in? And how do you pick which latencies are the best in a given model?
Stuff like that :dots:
Lastly, Graphics card
I'm torn between the 7970 and the 680. That's it. I've watched reviews and seen benchmarks both are equally good. I've been opting to get those premium cards like the Devil13 7990, but it might not fit nor would the PSU be able to feed the card if power draw is incremental. I haven't really done much research on this yet. So suggestions would be nice.
As for the sound card...
External. Would it be possible to have one that could be bolted to the side panel? or maybe be small enough to be put inside the case and just rerouted to the outside? I'm not all that familiar with sound cards in general :bleh:
That's it for now. :clap: Will be waiting for your feedback!
The Corsair H100 has normal FPI count, any fan will do as it is not dense enough. I personally favor higher static pressure fans over CFM for radiators, some good ones are Scythe GT. You could go from 2-4 fans on the radiator but space is an issue with the Prodigy. Just do a simple intake from the top, this will draw cold air through the radiator instead.
I don't know many 200mm fans but I'd rather leave the original intact. The rarity of 200mm fans and ones with lights tend to focus more on the bling factor instead of actual silence.
There is no real guide as to what RAM you need. Most get the best RAM they could buy as they have specific reasons to get them to satisfy their hobby. If in doubt, stick to what the manufacturer limits you to, in this case, DDR3-1600 sticks like this or this. Before raising any eyebrows to the first option, do some research about it, you'll be surprised. The only speed that Intel specifies for SB/IB is DDR3-1600, anything extra is factory overclocked.
You'll have to decide on yourself which GPU is superior based on games you're playing. Read on reviews about them and it'll be more apparent which is the better choice for you. Do check reviews that are based on AMD's Never Settle drivers.
There is no way a sound card could be placed, the motherboard simply does not support any cards other than a GPU. The workaround is to get USB based sound card or DACs which the latter option can be quite pricey. Try the onboard sound first, if it isn't satisfactory then change it.
I'd like to see pictures when you get it going! :-)
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