Author Topic: The TBG Ultimate Gaming Mini-ITX PC Build  (Read 72665 times)

Steve N. Mavronis

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Re: The TBG Ultimate Gaming Mini-ITX PC Build
« Reply #45 on: February 10, 2016, 08:38:37 AM »
I am getting an external blu-ray/dvd/cd writer because I do that sometimes. But like you said the OEM is tied to the motherboard (hope it don't go DOA) and if I have the SSD go bad not sure how many times you can re-install. Plus is a full install, you can't in-place upgrade to overwrite your Windows installation. I guess you can boot the OEM to do a repair Windows operation? I have to look that up LOL. Either way the full USB version is the safer bet, not for support but for flexibility.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2016, 08:40:10 AM by Steve N. Mavronis »
Evolv ITX Build w/3DMark 11/Fire Strike Scores:
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Steve N. Mavronis

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Re: The TBG Ultimate Gaming Mini-ITX PC Build
« Reply #46 on: February 12, 2016, 04:43:04 AM »
I've started buying parts for my PC build. I have an EVGA SuperNova G2 650W power supply on the way. I was planning on getting the MSI 980 Ti Gaming 6G from Newegg which after sale/rebate is $650 and a 600W power supply is recommended. But they've put the EVGA 980 Ti Classified which after sale/rebate is $620. No brainier right but I'm concerned about the power supply. EVGA says "600W or greater" based on an i7-3.2GHz. I also ordered the i7-6700K 4.0GHz. This is for a mini-ITX system built in the Phanteks Evolv ITX case. Will the EVGA 650W G2 power supply be enough and afford a little CPU/RAM overclocking? No liquid cooler is being used so no power consumption there. I'm 100% air cooling the system.



http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100007709%20600565061&IsNodeId=1&bop=And&CompareItemList=48%7C14-487-146%5E14-487-146%2C14-127-889%5E14-127-889&percm=14-487-146%3A%24%24%24%24%24%24%24%3B14-127-889%3A%24%24%24%24%24%24%24
« Last Edit: February 12, 2016, 05:17:48 AM by Ari Altman »
Evolv ITX Build w/3DMark 11/Fire Strike Scores:
PCPartPicker - https://pcpartpicker.com/b/96JV3C
EVGA Mod Rigs - www.modsrigs.com/detail.aspx?buildid=35547

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG Ultimate Gaming Mini-ITX PC Build
« Reply #47 on: February 12, 2016, 05:20:17 AM »
I've started buying parts for my PC build. I have an EVGA SuperNova G2 650W power supply on the way. I was planning on getting the MSI 980 Ti Gaming 6G from Newegg which after sale/rebate is $650 and a 600W power supply is recommended. But they've put the EVGA 980 Ti Classified which after sale/rebate is $620. No brainier right but I'm concerned about the power supply. EVGA says "600W or greater" based on an i7-3.2GHz. I also ordered the i7-6700K 4.0GHz. This is for a mini-ITX system built in the Phanteks Evolv ITX case. Will the EVGA 650W G2 power supply be enough and afford a little CPU/RAM overclocking? No liquid cooler is being used so no power consumption there. I'm 100% air cooling the system.



http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100007709%20600565061&IsNodeId=1&bop=And&CompareItemList=48%7C14-487-146%5E14-487-146%2C14-127-889%5E14-127-889&percm=14-487-146%3A%24%24%24%24%24%24%24%3B14-127-889%3A%24%24%24%24%24%24%24


650W is definitely not a problem. Those PSU recommendations are typically extremely conservative, because some people still insist on running high-end GPUs off over-rated $30 700W power supplies. That's not what you're doing here.  ;)

The whole system will draw 375W max. I know because I have the same system hooked up to a Kill-a-Watt meter.

Steve N. Mavronis

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Re: The TBG Ultimate Gaming Mini-ITX PC Build
« Reply #48 on: February 12, 2016, 05:30:23 AM »
Nice that's good to hear! But what about the choice between a net sale/rebate prices of $650 for the MSI 980 Ti Gaming or $620 for the EVGA 980 Ti Classified?

MSI 980 Ti Gaming 6G:
Core Clock   1178 MHz (OC Mode)
1140 MHz (Gaming Mode)
1000 MHz (Silent Mode)    
Boost Clock   1279 MHz (OC Mode)
1228 MHz (Gaming Mode)
1076 MHz (Silent Mode) 

EVGA 980 Ti Classified Gaming w/ACX 2.0+:
Core Clock   1190 MHz
Boost Clock   1291 MHz

Here's a Newegg review thoughts from someone who's owned both cards:

Quote
I had been using my MSI GTX 980ti Gaming 6G happily since 6/2015, but I have always been a fan of the EVGA Classified cards, with my last one being a 780ti that I loved. With the recent sale at NewEgg I decided to give one a try.

So how does it compare to my MSI 980ti Gaming 6G? Build quality of both cards is excellent with backplates, memory cooling plates and excellent design. The Classified has a couple small advantages over the MSI including extra power phases, higher stock boost clock and slightly more robust cooler, but for most users, the differences are minor if using the stock cooler. Stock Boost Clock on my Classified was a hair under 1400Mhz.

Overclocking on the Classified topped out at 1494Mhz on the core and 8100Mhz on the memory @1.21v and 115% power target. My Asic was 71% and came with Samsung memory. The core will game/bench higher than that, but not with 100% stability, so 1494Mhz is where I settled and the power limit is never tripped so the clock speed is rock steady at all times. With the fans manually set to 70%, max temp was 71C after a couple hours of gaming with the new Tomb Raider @ 1440p. At 90% fan speed, temps drop well down into the 60's, but are pretty loud at that speed and not personally what I would use daily. Using default fan setting is very quiet but allows the temps to get to 80C, so I opt for a custom fan profile. Compared to my MSI Gaming, which clocks very similar @ 1.23v, but often hits it's power limit so it throttles down to 1450-1460 range under the same gaming situations.

Cooling ability per decibel is similar on the Classified compared to the MSI Gaming 6G. The MSI at 80% fan has a similar noise profile to the Classified at 65% fan with temps being very close at those speeds, with perhaps a couple C advantage to the EVGA cooling solution. 60-70% fan speed on the Classified is very tolerable in my opinion and not very loud. Beyond that, noise does start to scale unfavorably.

Overall I am very pleased with the EVGA 980ti Classified. My personal example is just a mediocre overclocker, but there is no denying the high quality of the build. Throw in EVGA's excellent customer support and a solid 3 year warranty and you end up with a great card. For $620 after rebate + two free games (at time of purchase), it is impossible to not recommend.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2016, 05:50:04 AM by Steve N. Mavronis »
Evolv ITX Build w/3DMark 11/Fire Strike Scores:
PCPartPicker - https://pcpartpicker.com/b/96JV3C
EVGA Mod Rigs - www.modsrigs.com/detail.aspx?buildid=35547

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG Ultimate Gaming Mini-ITX PC Build
« Reply #49 on: February 12, 2016, 05:50:40 AM »
Nice that's good to hear! But what about the choice between a net sale/rebate prices of $650 for the MSI 980 Ti Gaming or $620 for the EVGA 980 Ti Classified?

MSI 980 Ti Gaming 6G:
Core Clock   1178 MHz (OC Mode)
1140 MHz (Gaming Mode)
1000 MHz (Silent Mode)    
Boost Clock   1279 MHz (OC Mode)
1228 MHz (Gaming Mode)
1076 MHz (Silent Mode) 

EVGA 980 Ti Classified Gaming w/ACX 2.0+:
Core Clock   1190 MHz
Boost Clock   1291 MHz

Neither. Go with the cheaper Asus Strix and overclock it yourself. They'll all hit the same clock speeds, and the Asus matches your build.

Steve N. Mavronis

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Re: The TBG Ultimate Gaming Mini-ITX PC Build
« Reply #50 on: February 12, 2016, 06:02:02 AM »
When the ASUS Strix 980 Ti first came out I was in love with it. But I've read so many negative comments about it, from criticizing how the heat pipes contact the card to it's a poor overclocker and stock speeds aren't that great. I'm not that crazy over the backplate design either.

I like the EVGA and it has dual bios and great warranty support but the MSI is so solid rare to hear anything bad about it.

Also I'm thinking ahead about cable routing to the GPU no matter what I use. The EVGA has that huge backplate with the red 'Classified' logo on it right next to the 2x8 pin power connectors. I don't want to block airflow to the fans and I wouldn't like covering the backplate logo either. If I wrap the cables under the card it could restrict airflow unless I'm very careful or route them through the HDD bay hole in the PSU shroud. To wrap them edge-wise around the front would be tricky too.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2016, 06:50:37 AM by Steve N. Mavronis »
Evolv ITX Build w/3DMark 11/Fire Strike Scores:
PCPartPicker - https://pcpartpicker.com/b/96JV3C
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Steve N. Mavronis

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Re: The TBG Ultimate Gaming Mini-ITX PC Build
« Reply #51 on: February 12, 2016, 11:49:49 AM »
The net cost of $620 for the EVGA 980 Ti Classified was too good to turn down. I just ordered it from Newegg!
 
The MSI 980 Ti Gaming 6G net cost would have been $650. I like the hot rod look of the twisted heat pipes better than the side of the EVGA but I think most would agree that the Classified is the better card. I've liked it since it came out but the initial cost was too high until now. Crazy sales!

I want you to know that I don't mean to go against your recommended ultimate ITX build parts list. I'm using them as a baseline and judging what's best for me.

I still have a few more parts to order including the Evolv ITX case. Monitoring for surprise sale deals over the weekend for the rest.
Evolv ITX Build w/3DMark 11/Fire Strike Scores:
PCPartPicker - https://pcpartpicker.com/b/96JV3C
EVGA Mod Rigs - www.modsrigs.com/detail.aspx?buildid=35547

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG Ultimate Gaming Mini-ITX PC Build
« Reply #52 on: February 12, 2016, 12:37:30 PM »
The net cost of $620 for the EVGA 980 Ti Classified was too good to turn down. I just ordered it from Newegg!
 
The MSI 980 Ti Gaming 6G net cost would have been $650. I like the hot rod look of the twisted heat pipes better than the side of the EVGA but I think most would agree that the Classified is the better card. I've liked it since it came out but the initial cost was too high until now. Crazy sales!

I want you to know that I don't mean to go against your recommended ultimate ITX build parts list. I'm using them as a baseline and judging what's best for me.

I still have a few more parts to order including the Evolv ITX case. Monitoring for surprise sale deals over the weekend for the rest.

No worries. The Classified is a great deal right now. And EVGA's warranty is iron-clad.

Steve N. Mavronis

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Re: The TBG Ultimate Gaming Mini-ITX PC Build
« Reply #53 on: February 15, 2016, 09:23:38 AM »
All parts have been ordered for my first complete build. The items in green have arrived and just waiting for all the yellow items to finish shipping! I'm very excited since although I've been a PC technician for decades (since 1985) in the past I've always just done the Compaq, Dell, and Gateway type online limited parts options kind of computer order. I've made some good deals taking advantage of online sales, mail-in rebates, etc. I've elected not to buy an external optical drive for now. I don't really need it for software installation but do like to burn CD's and DVD's. My widescreen monitor will at some point be replaced. Anyway I wanted to publish my build's parts list and pricing in case this is of use to others making a first time build too. If I'm overlooking anything I can always pick things up on the fly. Oh the Skylake CPU spacer is optional but it's free anyway so I asked for one.

P.S. Thanks Ari for all your help and opinions while I was thinking everything through!

« Last Edit: February 15, 2016, 02:13:37 PM by Steve N. Mavronis »
Evolv ITX Build w/3DMark 11/Fire Strike Scores:
PCPartPicker - https://pcpartpicker.com/b/96JV3C
EVGA Mod Rigs - www.modsrigs.com/detail.aspx?buildid=35547

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG Ultimate Gaming Mini-ITX PC Build
« Reply #54 on: February 15, 2016, 09:40:31 AM »
Looks great, Steve!

Definitely report back on how the build goes, and if you'd like the system featured in The Gallery (and I'm betting you will given how much time you've spent making sure it looks good!), please post photos here and I'll re-publish them in a full Gallery article.

Indeed, building a PC is a lot more satisfying than buying one from Dell, or for old-timers that remember the heyday of the PC industry, Compaq and Gateway! ;)

heypesto

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Re: The TBG Ultimate Gaming Mini-ITX PC Build
« Reply #55 on: February 20, 2016, 06:49:04 PM »
Hi Ari,

I am planning on buying a pc (might end up going this this gaming build), but in about a years time I am planning on moving internationally. Have you had any experience with transporting a pc internationally? Would liquid cooling be entirely not an option?

I may just have to give up on the idea of taking it with me, just want to explore all my options.

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG Ultimate Gaming Mini-ITX PC Build
« Reply #56 on: February 20, 2016, 07:00:01 PM »
Hi Ari,

I am planning on buying a pc (might end up going this this gaming build), but in about a years time I am planning on moving internationally. Have you had any experience with transporting a pc internationally? Would liquid cooling be entirely not an option?

I may just have to give up on the idea of taking it with me, just want to explore all my options.

Hey, hey, hey, heypesto, and welcome to the TBG Forum!

I have not had to deal with moving a PC internationally, but I have moved PCs across the U.S. And in fact many years ago I had one break during shipment...I've learned a lot since then!

The two components that you have to be very careful about are the video card and the CPU cooler. With this build, liquid cooling is in fact going to be your best option. Mounting a big, heavy air cooler and expecting it not to bend the motherboard during shipping would be a mistake. But liquid cooling is very secure and will not cause a problem.

You will need to remove the video card, but that's not a big deal. Shipping a PC with a large video card installed is almost guaranteed to break the card's PCB or the motherboard slot.

Hope that helps!
« Last Edit: February 20, 2016, 07:01:49 PM by Ari Altman »

heypesto

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Re: The TBG Ultimate Gaming Mini-ITX PC Build
« Reply #57 on: February 20, 2016, 07:57:21 PM »
Thanks for a quick response Ari, most helpful!  ;D

Another question on my mind is, would I be able to drop a much cheaper graphics card in now (but keep the other components of the PC at the higher end), in order to swap it out for one of the newer graphics cards expected toward the end of the year? If so, might you recommend a cheaper alternative?

Right now I only have an older Asus VG248QE https://www.asus.com/au/Monitors/VG248QE/, and was thinking about waiting until I relocate to buy a higher res monitor... although the monitor is 144hz. Im just not entirely convinced I should dump the money into a ti yet.

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG Ultimate Gaming Mini-ITX PC Build
« Reply #58 on: February 20, 2016, 09:41:54 PM »
Thanks for a quick response Ari, most helpful!  ;D

Another question on my mind is, would I be able to drop a much cheaper graphics card in now (but keep the other components of the PC at the higher end), in order to swap it out for one of the newer graphics cards expected toward the end of the year? If so, might you recommend a cheaper alternative?

Right now I only have an older Asus VG248QE https://www.asus.com/au/Monitors/VG248QE/, and was thinking about waiting until I relocate to buy a higher res monitor... although the monitor is 144hz. Im just not entirely convinced I should dump the money into a ti yet.

The Asus VG248QE is still a very decent gaming monitor - I have one and I still like it a lot! To take advantage of its high refresh rate, you probably wouldn't want to go much below a GeForce GTX 970, as it's really quite the capable 1080p card and can push a lot of games over 100fps at that resolution. The EVGA GTX 970 SSC is one of the better models out there. An R9 390 would be fine as well, but in an ITX machine, its heat output just isn't ideal, and the two cards perform very similarly, especially when both are overclocked.

Steve N. Mavronis

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Re: The TBG Ultimate Gaming Mini-ITX PC Build
« Reply #59 on: February 22, 2016, 04:43:08 AM »
Hey I wanted to stop back with an Evolv ITX build update and some thoughts. I have everything installed now except the GPU and CPU/Heatsink. I'm waiting until this weekend when I should get a package from Thermalright (direct from Taiwan) for free containing their Skylake CPU support bracket and special backplate washers. I don't technically need them but will install them as a precaution and it is nice that they (and Nan's Gaming Gear) offer support like that. Also I hate possible GPU sag so I'm looking on snapping one or two trimmed down plastic screw anchors into the holes of the PSU shroud (which are about 7/32" in diameter) as support rests between the GPU dual fans. Can't find them in black so I'd either have to 'paint' them with black permanent marker or possibly use red ones which seems more likely. I replaced the front 200mm fan with two Phanteks 140mm fans. I need to get more machine screws for the new front fans. I have two of the stock screws in each fan right now. They need to be 6-32 and 1 1/4" long, instead of the stock 1 3/8" because the 140mm fans are 5mm thinner. Note: the stock fan cable is tie strapped to a bundle of wires under the roof. I had to remove the roof to cut the strap to get the cable free, then I re-strapped the rest of the wiring bundle again. Take your time on cable management in the back. I really had to experiment and think it through. The shrink wrap on the EVGA PSU cables are very stiff so I had to work around them to bend the connectors and cables. I used the large oval grommet hole for the main motherboard power because the closer top hole would have made it stick out too far to bend towards the motherboard connector. The CPU connector was kind of rough to figure out too but I fed the cable through the top hole. I bought that extra Phanteks $7 HDD bracket but decided not to use it. I'm not using the mid-plate anyway since the EVGA 980 Ti Classified has that long LED description running along its length and the work Classified would be hidden. So instead of remounting that HDD bracket elsewhere I'm just using the bottom HDD bay slot and the top slot tray will be the GPU dual 8-pin power cables resting area. I made tie them down loosely to keep them flat not to impede airflow to the GPU. I really like the ASUS Z170i Pro Gaming motherboard. It's more beautiful in person than I expected. I'll post pictures soon.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2016, 09:41:35 AM by Steve N. Mavronis »
Evolv ITX Build w/3DMark 11/Fire Strike Scores:
PCPartPicker - https://pcpartpicker.com/b/96JV3C
EVGA Mod Rigs - www.modsrigs.com/detail.aspx?buildid=35547