Author Topic: College Mini-ITX  (Read 476 times)

CyanPile

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College Mini-ITX
« on: March 28, 2018, 04:59:06 PM »
Hey all,
I'm going to be heading off to college in the fall of 2019, still a ways off, I know. I currently have a great gaming PC *see December 2015 $2500 build*. As the years have progressed, I've been learning more about computer hardware. I've gradually fallen completely in love with the idea of a mini-ITX computer. I've saved up some money from jobs, so my budget is right around $4500. I've fleshed out a decent build but wanted some recommendations. Additionally, this is operating under the assumption that the current hardware will still be the top of the line in a year and a half.

https://pcpartpicker.com/user/Erdrick/saved/m2yzMp

J35Bowman

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Re: College Mini-ITX
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2018, 07:15:18 PM »
I donít claim to be an expert in computer building (Iíve built one, and it is a simple STX doing HTPC duty), but I do try to pay attention. I have two thoughts.

If you are happy with your current computer, youíd be crazy to build your college box right now. We donít know what innovations and releases weíll see in the next 18 months. At the very least, the GPU market will probably be much more stable then. Plus, with Intel and AMD slugging it out, nothing but good things can happen for us as consumers. Wait a year, and then build it with the latest and greatest stuff.

Given this is a power-sucking SFF build, Iíd seriously consider putting a liquid cooler in.

Ari Altman

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Re: College Mini-ITX
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2018, 09:17:04 PM »
Welcome back, CyanPile, glad you're enjoying your $2,500 build from December 2015. Since TBG has an archive of that system, I figured I'd go ahead and post it here:

Intel Core i7-5820K   ($380.00)
Asus X99-A/USB3.1   ($245.00)
EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti Hybrid 6GB   ($740.00)
Corsair 4x4GB Vengeance LPX DDR4-3000 Black ($125.00)
Samsung 850 Evo 1TB   ($348.00)
Toshiba P300 3TB   ($90.00)
Phanteks Enthoo Luxe White   ($150.00)
EVGA Supernova GS 1050W   ($170.00)
Corsair Hydro H105 Liquid Cooler   ($105.00)
Samsung SH-224FB 24x DVD Burner   ($18.00)
Microsoft Windows 10   ($100.00)

Interesting to see how things change... and how they don't! RAM and solid state drives cost nearly the same today as they did back then, and the equivalent of a GTX 980 Ti (the GTX 1070) is nearly as expensive now that cryptocurrency has ruined the GPU market!

As for your new ITX PC, I'm with J35Bowman on planning far ahead for a PC build - other than doing it as a thought experiment, there isn't too much value in it. Things can change too much over the 18 months you're talking about. Now, if you wanted to build something today, then yes, that's a pretty good build, but there are a few things I'd caution you on:

(1) The Noctua NH-D15 is a massive cooler, and I'm pretty sure it won't fit. I haven't tried it (the biggest I've used on an ITX board is the Noctua NH-U14S), but I certainly wouldn't recommend it. Like J35Bowman suggested, a liquid cooler may be in order, especially if you want to go with big overclocks. I just reviewed the Corsair H60 (2018) and found it to match the NH-D15 for less money. I'm actually running the D15 in the PC I'm typing on right now, but that's only because I got it for free. I've told Noctua that they are fighting an uphill battle continuing to market this mega-sized air cooler against the liquid-cooling competition, and I think they know it. Sooner or later, they'll have to get into liquid too.

(2) Unless you're set on white RGB RAM, I'd skip the Corsair DDR4-3600 kit and go for the black DDR4-3466 kit, which is cheaper and just as fast due to much better timings. Corsair is pushing its chips hard to hit 3600MHz, and I don't like what that does to the timings.

(3) I like the idea of three tiers of storage (PCIe SSD, SATA SSD, and hard drive), but in this price range, I wouldn't bother with the Samsung 960 Evo 250GB. It's fine for the price, but it's not a great overall performer due to its extremely limited capacity. Go for a 500GB-class PCIe drive if you're going to do it at all. The 960 Evo 500GB would be a fine choice.

(4) The Titan XP has been discontinued. Obviously, something completely different will be here in 18 months, but if you were buying today, you'd want something like the EVGA GTX 1080 Ti FTW3. Note that typical triple-slot 1080 Ti cards won't fit in the Phanteks Evolv ITX case (which is awesome, by the way).
« Last Edit: March 28, 2018, 09:19:42 PM by Ari Altman »

CyanPile

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Re: College Mini-ITX
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2018, 11:33:47 AM »
Thank you both for your prompt replies!

As J35Bowman said, I am waiting to purchase the parts until the summer of 2019. I'm just super hyped to get planning.

Recently, my younger brother has expressed some interest in a gaming computer and I figured that I'd hand this massive tower down to him when I leave. Additionally, my father, who is a carpenter in his spare time, recently added a CNC router to his array of tools. As such, he needs a computer capable of running Autodesk.

As for Ari,

(1) I will definitely check out the Corsair H60. I am also interested in seeing what Noctua will bring to the table when they do get into liquid cooling.

(2) I'll definitely change the build to include that. I was kinda hoping for white RAM to match a color scheme. I was hoping to go with white and light blue. This would include getting light blue accessories from CableMod. I'm not dead-set on a color scheme so I'd be more than willing to change it.

(3) Thank you for pointing this out. The 3 tiers were for {OS, Game Library, Documents}. I wasn't exactly sure what I wanted for each one but this definitely helps. What would you recommend in terms of an HDD? I was thinking about a WD Blue 3TB to match the "color scheme".

(4) I was not aware of the Titan XP's discontinuity. I was really using it as a placeholder for whatever 11-series and whatnot that arrives in the following 18 months. I was considering putting a 1080Ti in the current build. However, with the cryptocurrency boom inflating the prices, most 1080Ti's cost the same as Nvidia's MSRP for the Titan XP.

Thank you both so much!

Ari Altman

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Re: College Mini-ITX
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2018, 11:47:56 AM »
CyanPile - glad you got the answers you were looking for.

By the way, I'm all for building a PC based on style as much as performance, especially when the differences are minimal. So if you want white RAM, go with the Corsair Vengeance RGB DDR4-3600, it just costs a bit more for the same performance, but that's fine as long as you like the look. As for the Western Digital Blue 3TB, it's a great media drive, and yes, it has a blue label, but keep in mind that the hard drive will not be visible through the glass panel of the PC, so I don't know that I'd choose it based on the color. Among 3TB models for applications, I like the Toshiba 3TB the most based on price. It's 7200RPM, unlike the WD Blue, which is 5400RPM. That makes the WD Blue slower but quieter, which is why I call it a media drive, and that may be perfect for you, even if you won't be able to appreciate the color of the label much!