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Mini itx Gaming Rig Build Log

Discussion in 'Hardware, Software & Troubleshooting' started by J112, Mar 10, 2010.

  1. J112

    J112 Very Superstitious

    Dec 16, 2005
    Likes Received:
    I've recently built a Micro ITX gaming rig and took plenty of photos so I thought it'd be pretty neat to do a sort of build log for anyone who's interested in this sort of thing. Anywhoo.

    I actually set out to build a low cost low power htpc because I'd been using my tiny little Acer Aspire One netbook for all my uni work and browsing and the 8"something screen was really starting to become tiresome. Then I got to thinking that if i sold my ps3 I might be able to build something a little more potent. I set myself a budget of £600 ($900 ish) but I don't think I ever intended to stick to it exactly :D

    I did loads of research on what parts to get etc and my choice of processor might seem a little odd. I decided I might as well go for one of the new sockets so that I could upgrade in future if i ever need to which limited my choice of MoBo to roughly... one, which made things easier.

    Anywho parts:

    Case - Silverstone Sugo SG05 (06 is ugly imo)
    Optical Drive - Silverstone Slimline BluRay (Case needs a slimline drive)
    MoBo - DFI Lanparty P55-T36 (Mini Itx)
    Processor - Intel i5 660 3.33ghz
    Ram - Patriot 4GB DDR3 (Initially 4gb Geil ddr3 2x2gb but one stick was a dud)
    GFX - Sapphire HD 5770 Vapor-X
    HD - 320gb 2.5 Sata (Small I know but I really didn't want the reduction in airflow that a 3.5 would have caused and I was already over budget)

    The only things I had going into this build are my BenQ Monitor from my last build (awesome monitor) and Windows Vista (Yeah I know...) So I also picked up a G11, MX518 and a Razer Goliathus Gaming Mat. I got all three for £50 which I'm pretty happy about.

    You'll also see a Scythe Big Shuriken in the photo (and other photo's later on) but after the troubles with the ram I really could not be bothered putting it back in with how awkwardly placed the push pins are placed (which you can see in the build pics), especially seeing as I was fully expecting to take it out several times more. I picked the 660 because the benchmarks I've seen showed it drew substantially less power and ran quite a bit colder than the 750. I’m no big overclocker so the few extra mhz over the 650 seemed like a nice boost for the £10 extra. Because it's a SFF case and I only have the 300w mini powersuply that comes with the case it seemed like the right choice and I couldn't be happier with it.

    All in all it came in at about £650 excluding peripherals and software etc. Strikes me as a pretty respectable price if you’ve allready got all that bumpf. Also the slimline BluRay drive hit my budget hard at £100, if I’d chose to have no optical drive or to use a slimline dvd instead I’d have come in at about £570.

    Pictures tell better stories than I do:


    Top left clockwise: Boxed Parts, MoBo, I5 660, CPU installed.


    Top left clockwise: Mostly assembled, airspace behind the 120mm case fan over core components, Ready for first boot without lid, as before but from opposite side with HD5770 installed.

    It took me forever to do a decent job of cable management, for some reason Silverstone decided to make the cables twice as long as they needed to be. It got easier when I stopped seeing the optical drive tray as “the optical drive tray” and started seeing it as the most convenient cable management system ever. You can just about see how I stuffed most of the molex cable in the hard drive caddy and most of the sata power cable alongside the optical drive. I also flipped the psu so that it was sucking cold air in from the top instead of competing with the heatsink.

    All was going swimmingly untill I tried to turn it on at which point it kept turning on and resetting about 10 seconds later.


    All that cable management for nothing =/ After lots of swapping it turned out that one of the ram sticks was a dud. In the process of finding that out I managed to get the i5 to 90something degrees C without the heatsink, luckily it didn’t melt but still, bad form (As is building on a carpet really). I bought some slightly slower (And cheaper) Patriot ram on ebay which worked perfectly. I opted to put the stock intel cooler back in which freed up so much space inside the case, I knew the 660 ran cool anyway so I wasn’t too fussed. I can take some photos of the internals with the stock intel cooler if anyone is really interested but I don’t really want to open it up again otherwise.

    And working.


    The CPU idles at about 28 degrees C and only just scrapes 40 under load. The GFX idles at about 35 at 40% fan speed and I haven’t been able to get it hotter than 60 degrees at the same speed.

    I’ve only had chance to get Modern warfare 2 and UT2004 on so far and I’m waiting for steam to finish downloading Borderlands. In MW2 single player framerate rarely drops below 60 and I get a pretty consistent 70-80 FPS in multi according to fraps at 1920x1200 fully maxed. Bluray/DVD playback is stunning with PowerDVD 9 Ultra and overall the system runs really quiet with the PSU fan being the loudest of the fans. I was expecting it to annoy me with being so close but It’s not that much louder than the fan on my netbook (and it isn’t that high pitched little fan whine either).

    So yeah, hope that’s been interesting.
  2. Sir_Brizz

    Sir_Brizz Administrator Staff Member

    Feb 3, 2000
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    Nice! I'd love to build one of these to keep by my TV.
  3. Bi()ha2arD

    Bi()ha2arD Toxic!

    Jun 29, 2009
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    Looks like a really ncie rig! Now go hook it up to your 52" TV :p
  4. Cr4zyB4st4rd

    Cr4zyB4st4rd I make awesome ©

    Aug 8, 2008
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    Nice stuff. Silverstone cases ftw.
  5. Jetfire

    Jetfire New Member

    Jul 25, 2005
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    That's awesome and making me rethink my 'next pc' strategy. mmmm choices....

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