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Old December 17, 2013, 06:36 AM
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Default M-ITX Small Footprint Build

I've been asked to go all out on a strictly air-cooled high-end mitx low-noise build that should be at a size worthy of being called mitx. The rig must fit within an AV Rack with the rest of the components in size & style in a home theater entertainment system.

No Prodigy or Fractal or any case that's close to matx size. However the case must fit a high-end dual slot video card. 260~280ish mm.

It will be a dual boot Windows HTPC/Steam machine (once available). hooked up on an AV/Receiver>>5.1 surround and 1080P Plasma. Gaming, music, movies, browsing, photo & video editing. In that order.

I wasn't given a budget but the Client wouldn't mind going north a bit of $2,500 U.S.

It's not as easy as I thought it would given the potential cramp/heat in the case so I'm keeping everything at stock. Heck the lower the clocks the better for the video card.

Parts will be shipped to Saudi Arabia. I can order from multiple places and have them shipped to one location in the US, and then ship em all here, but it's not worth it. I might as well stick to Newegg. I'm open for other ideas.

Intel Core i5-4430 $190
Noctua NH-L12 $70
ASRock Z87E-ITX $140
CORSAIR Vengeance Pro 8GB 1866 $105
ASUS GTX780 $520 (Shame about R9 290 prices, might wait to see if this changes)
SAMSUNG 840 EVO 1TB $570
WD Green 4TB $173
Archgon Blu-ray Burner $110 (Plan to install the WD Green on it. It's a slick piece of hardware)
SeaSonic Fanless 520W $135
BitFenix Phenom $80 or LIAN LI Q28 $105
Noctua NF-A14 FLX (Front intake) $25
Logitech Keyboard TK820 $100
ASUS RT-AC68U Router $200 (wireless AC motherboard needs wireless AC router)

Steam Controller(s) once they're available.

Total $2,463 plus shipping.

My preferred case so far is the Lian Li Q28 due to the Aluminum surface compared to the Phenom's plastic and the smaller size. My main worry is whether the restricted front intake (no mesh and just a small bottom vent), and the heat dissipated from the Asus card into the case will cause the system to overheat. I will replace the front intake with the Noctua A14 Flex.

1) Will the A14 Flx as a front intake give the Asus card enough air to stay within 80 degrees C?
2) Will replacing the top venting fan to a Noctua NFS A12 Flx or ULN improve outtake?

The phenom has the same problem but does have a bigger vent on the side and more fan mounts. I can scrap both cases and use a prodigy if you think this will fail.

I appreciate your answers, suggestions for any of the parts or for where to buy from.

Thanks for your time.
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Old December 17, 2013, 07:32 AM
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All parts are nice, especially the case, as stated on the Lian Li website you do have 290mm clearance for the video card. The CPU you chose however is not an unlocked sku, you don't need the huge Noctua for cooling it. In the previous generations of i5 the stock heatsink comes with copper core and is more than adequate to cool the cpu while maintaining a very quiet system. If it is still the case, (meaning that the stock heatsink still has a copper core ) I would recommend you stay with that. But the PSU however, I would not go with a fanless design, as stated even on Lian Li website, the PSU fan would help extracting the hot air from the case. Asus is also preparing a custom cooled R290X Asus teases custom Radeon R9 290X with DirectCU II cooler - The Tech Report
The Bitfenix Phenom is even larger than the Prodigy M, and personally I find it uglier than the Prodigy M. You could also go for the EVGA Hadron air.
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Old December 17, 2013, 07:46 AM
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Custom designs of the 290(x) are on UK sites for pre-order already (and 780ti's being available even before they were reviewed here)

MSI and Gigabyte seem to be the first to the party... Check em out at overclockers.co.uk

Seasonic PSU's are very quiet, especially if you get a hybrid fan design (fan not in use till temp reached)
The stock heatsink and fan are fine but I would at least change the fan, it's not loud but it's not particularly quiet either once it's under load. But then once you put it under load the GPU will be louder anyway and most likely the sound from games will be much louder than it.
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Old December 18, 2013, 06:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MARSTG View Post
All parts are nice, especially the case, as stated on the Lian Li website you do have 290mm clearance for the video card. The CPU you chose however is not an unlocked sku, you don't need the huge Noctua for cooling it. In the previous generations of i5 the stock heatsink comes with copper core and is more than adequate to cool the cpu while maintaining a very quiet system. If it is still the case, (meaning that the stock heatsink still has a copper core ) I would recommend you stay with that. But the PSU however, I would not go with a fanless design, as stated even on Lian Li website, the PSU fan would help extracting the hot air from the case. Asus is also preparing a custom cooled R290X Asus teases custom Radeon R9 290X with DirectCU II cooler - The Tech Report
The Bitfenix Phenom is even larger than the Prodigy M, and personally I find it uglier than the Prodigy M. You could also go for the EVGA Hadron air.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dzzope View Post
Custom designs of the 290(x) are on UK sites for pre-order already (and 780ti's being available even before they were reviewed here)

MSI and Gigabyte seem to be the first to the party... Check em out at overclockers.co.uk

Seasonic PSU's are very quiet, especially if you get a hybrid fan design (fan not in use till temp reached)
The stock heatsink and fan are fine but I would at least change the fan, it's not loud but it's not particularly quiet either once it's under load. But then once you put it under load the GPU will be louder anyway and most likely the sound from games will be much louder than it.
You're right Mars I don't plan on overclocking and I prefer the lower clocks> lower energy consumption> lower heat of the i5 4430. If the stock cooler doesn't make much noise then I can keep it and save $70, but I need to know if it is so, or just replace the fan for $25. The Noctua NL12 is a luxury to those who can afford it, just a quieter and cooler replacement for cooling at stock clocks, without overclocking.

I completely missed the mark on the PSU. The Q28 depends on the PSU fan to dissipate hot air so even a hybrid would be a bad idea! Unless it's ok to let the temps rise as Dzzope suggested and have it switch on, or maybe I can set it to "always on"? Seasonic KM3 Gold or XP2 Platinum come to mind.

As for any video card above the GTX 780 & R9 290, for a 1080P Plasma I will be hitting north of 60fps already, except for maybe Crysis3 & Battlefield 4, and even then it will be roughly 5 frames gained from the GTX 780ti & R9 290X, so the return of my $200 investment would diminish far too quickly. I'm being paid nicely but not that nice

This is great so far. Still not confident about the case feeding enough air to keep the card cool and quite, but thanks allot Canucks!
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Old December 18, 2013, 07:23 AM
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If you want an aftermarket low profile cooler but find the NL12 a bit pricey how about the LN-L9i? http://products.ncix.com/detail/noct...n-8a-77370.htm
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Old December 18, 2013, 06:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sswilson View Post
If you want an aftermarket low profile cooler but find the NL12 a bit pricey how about the LN-L9i? http://products.ncix.com/detail/noct...n-8a-77370.htm
That's just $20 saved while losing 30mm of fan blade length.

Just now a site read my mind and ordered almost a replica of my planned build from a custom PC boutique shop to review it! Exact same case, cooler, video card and same model line power supply. This must be a sign. The Gods have spoken

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...view,3665.html

But they put in a mildly overclocked i7 4770k. They added 2 120GB SSDs in raid and a WD Black HDD.

Those are the worst choices; CPU will raise the heat, increase the power consumption & the noise for just for a small gain in non-gaming use that isn't worth it, larger SSDs operating on their own fare better, and the WD Black adds power consumption, heat & noise

Even then the i7 went up to 78 deg, the Asus Gtx 780 stayed within 61 deg under load, system noise under load was 33 DBA and power consumption was 427W.

That's even better than what I expected I can only imagine how much I can reduce the thermals, noise & power consumption by downgrading to a locked i5, replacing the case fans and switching to a low RPM HDD. I can't believe how perfect the timing of this review is. I feel so much more confident of this build now!
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Old December 24, 2013, 06:32 AM
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I've been asked to quote a modified build for under $2000. I'm being tested or just toyed with I guess.

I'm scrapping the after market cooler and case fans (-$95), changing ram to G.skill Ares which are the same specs but $25 cheaper, switching Power supply to XFX BEFX 750 (Seasonic KM3 OEM with the fan switched on for using as outtake(-$5)).

The Archgon Blu-ray Burner is $40 more expensive than the LG, but it has a mounting kit for 2.5 or 3.5 drive on it. If I go with LG, will I still be able to install both HDD and SSD while removing the cage completely? I'm worried an HDD in the bottom rack might obstruct the video card.

Also downgrading the Green to 2TB (-$83)

That's $250 saved. Now before I decide to cut back on SSD size, is there any part I can switch? Any site I should buy from other than Newegg? To save another $250?

I also have a question about the built-in wi-fi solution from Asrock, The 2T2R Dual Band 802.11ac Wi-Fi + BT v4.0. How does it compare to the mini PCI-E Intel 7260HMW? Specs are the same but does anyone have experience with both?

If the Intel performs better I could switch the motherboard to the $85 MSI B85I and install the Intel card on the mini PCI-E slot, improve the wireless and save money.

Thanks again!

Last edited by Luay79; December 24, 2013 at 06:41 AM.
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