Author Topic: The TBG Ultimate Gaming Mini-ITX PC Build  (Read 72704 times)

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG Ultimate Gaming Mini-ITX PC Build
« Reply #105 on: April 06, 2016, 11:18:37 PM »
There is a big difference between running 4.5GHz and 4.6GHz. The latter is a very hard overclock to sustain, despite all the users you may find claiming they've done it.

And in fact, you've already found your stability inflection point. 1.23V is not stable, and everything else above that appears to be stable. I would probably go up two steps to get a bit more assurance of stability, so keep it at 4.5GHz/1.25V and enjoy!

Steve N. Mavronis

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Re: The TBG Ultimate Gaming Mini-ITX PC Build
« Reply #106 on: April 07, 2016, 02:07:23 PM »
I would probably go up two steps to get a bit more assurance of stability, so keep it at 4.5GHz/1.25V and enjoy!

I tried an actual Asus RealBench 15 minute Stresstest today for the first time at 4.5Ghz/1.25V and my system froze 4 minutes into the test. The temps as shown in CPUID HWMonitor were on par with the RealBench Benchmark tests so I wasn't expecting it to lock up. Not sure if that means I should increase voltage a bit and maybe try again or just run at 4.5Ghz or 4.4Ghz and forget about it.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2016, 02:09:48 PM by Steve N. Mavronis »
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Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG Ultimate Gaming Mini-ITX PC Build
« Reply #107 on: April 07, 2016, 03:25:13 PM »
I would probably go up two steps to get a bit more assurance of stability, so keep it at 4.5GHz/1.25V and enjoy!

I tried an actual Asus RealBench 15 minute Stresstest today for the first time at 4.5Ghz/1.25V and my system froze 4 minutes into the test. The temps as shown in CPUID HWMonitor were on par with the RealBench Benchmark tests so I wasn't expecting it to lock up. Not sure if that means I should increase voltage a bit and maybe try again or just run at 4.5Ghz or 4.4Ghz and forget about it.

You really have to go with the stress test here, rather than the benchmark that you were using. The benchmark is for once you're stable.

For what it's worth, I set up my 6700K on a new board today (from Gigabyte) and hit 4.4 at 1.24v and 4.6 at 1.31v, of course using a stress test, not a benchmark. 4.5 would probably take 1.27v. I'd suggest you use those as guide posts, although every setup is different.

Steve N. Mavronis

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Re: The TBG Ultimate Gaming Mini-ITX PC Build
« Reply #108 on: April 07, 2016, 04:34:56 PM »
You really have to go with the stress test here, rather than the benchmark that you were using. The benchmark is for once you're stable. For what it's worth, I set up my 6700K on a new board today (from Gigabyte) and hit 4.4 at 1.24v and 4.6 at 1.31v, of course using a stress test, not a benchmark. 4.5 would probably take 1.27v. I'd suggest you use those as guide posts, although every setup is different.

Yes I agree. I'm mulling over the 4.4 vs 4.5 and which is better to have or base my choice on any overclock speed that takes the lesser voltage for lower temps as the priority over raw speed. And even with 4.5 set higher at 1.28V the benchmark tests still have decent temps under the recommended limits. It's nice to be super fast but the main performance goal for me is the best gaming experience with high end games. They don't really have that much impact on the CPU and won't make it that much hotter when playing. The graphics processor is what they want and need.

Thanks for hanging in there with me. Not much talking about the ultimate gaming mini-itx build any more, but I guess this is the epilogue or build aftermath discussing what you then do with it, if you know what I mean.
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Steve N. Mavronis

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Re: The TBG Ultimate Gaming Mini-ITX PC Build
« Reply #109 on: April 07, 2016, 05:55:47 PM »
Well at these settings below I got the RealBench to complete a 15 minute stress test. At first LuxMark kept crashing. I read about that and seems EVGA Precision X was causing a conflict during the test so I exited it before being able to run the test successfully. Not sure if there are any results because when I clicked view results it was the old benchmark stats in the text file. But the bottom of the screen said the test passed. I know 15 minutes isn't much of a test but i wanted to see what generally takes place. Next time I have to remember to disable my Windows screensaver too! It's set for 15 minutes and blanked the screen right at the end of the test and scared the crap out of me, LOL.

4.5Ghz @ 1.28V
86.91W - 83c Max Load
RealBench 15min StressTest Passed
(3x Result Hash Match displayed)

Before this I had also tried 1.27V and got a BSOD (driver_corrupted_expool) after about 2min into the test. This was before I found out Precision X should not be running during testing. To make sure my Nvidia driver wasn't corrupted I re-installed it just in case.

[EDIT] - In anticipation for my Summer higher ambient house temps, I changed to 4.4 GHz @ 1.26V stress test passed 15min RealBench test, so far... I'm using 255.50 CPU Core/Cache Limit Max, CPU Cache Ratios Min/Max 40, LLC Level 5:

RealBench benchmark:
Thu Apr 14 2016 19:40:37
[4.4Ghz @ 1.26V, 84.79W, 69c Max Load - CPUID HWMonitor]
Image Editing: 194035 Time: 26.222
Encoding: 177641 Time: 53.974
OpenCL: 100032 KSamples/sec:  2614
Heavy Multitasking: 181554 Time: 53.868
System Score: 143309
----------------------------
[CineBench 972cb]
RealBench 15min StressTest Passed
[4.4Ghz @ 1.26V, 79.81W, 77c Max Load - CPUID HWMonitor]
« Last Edit: April 16, 2016, 11:18:27 AM by Steve N. Mavronis »
Evolv ITX Build w/3DMark 11/Fire Strike Scores:
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Bill B

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Re: The TBG Ultimate Gaming Mini-ITX PC Build
« Reply #110 on: April 16, 2016, 10:47:45 AM »
Just recently came across your site. There is a ton of information available for the beginner (like me) and the enthusiast. Which is great! This will be my first PC build and I have been debating what would suit my needs and be relatively future proof. The TBG Ultimate Gaming Mini-ITX PC Build has caught my eye and I believe would be ideal for my needs. Couple of questions before I embark on this adventure. With April halfway behind us, do you anticipate much of a componentry change with your May build?
Anther question is with the release of next gen video cards around the corner, historically was there ever much of a price reduction to cards currently on the market? And last question (for now) would 32GB of ram would show a significant increase in performance over 16GB in this build?  These questions probably are silly, but this is a new world for me and any information would be beneficial and greatly appreciative. Never too late for an old dog (I'll be 60 in June) to learn new tricks......

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG Ultimate Gaming Mini-ITX PC Build
« Reply #111 on: April 16, 2016, 11:18:55 AM »
Just recently came across your site. There is a ton of information available for the beginner (like me) and the enthusiast. Which is great! This will be my first PC build and I have been debating what would suit my needs and be relatively future proof. The TBG Ultimate Gaming Mini-ITX PC Build has caught my eye and I believe would be ideal for my needs. Couple of questions before I embark on this adventure. With April halfway behind us, do you anticipate much of a componentry change with your May build?
Anther question is with the release of next gen video cards around the corner, historically was there ever much of a price reduction to cards currently on the market? And last question (for now) would 32GB of ram would show a significant increase in performance over 16GB in this build?  These questions probably are silly, but this is a new world for me and any information would be beneficial and greatly appreciative. Never too late for an old dog (I'll be 60 in June) to learn new tricks......

Welcome to the TBG Forum and to the world of PC building!

So, I think I can answer your questions pretty well. First, there won't be much of a component change for next month, as new video cards are likely a few months out. Second, while many years ago prices would drop on older gear with the launch of new products, now what you see is a closeout and discontinuation of old products prior to the launch of new cards. We're already seeing that with GTX 980 Ti pricing, and to some extent the midrange Radeon cards. This is because once new cards are released, old cards would have to be so cheap that they could not be sold at a profit. I can guarantee for example that all current Radeon cards between $200 and $400 will completely disappear by June. GeForce cards will stick around a bit longer for users of SLI, but otherwise will be gone by the end of the summer.

Finally, as to your RAM question, I've got the data on that right here. For gaming, 16GB is definitely all you need.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2016, 11:20:50 AM by Ari Altman »

Jury-Pool-Reject

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Re: The TBG Ultimate Gaming Mini-ITX PC Build
« Reply #112 on: May 25, 2016, 06:20:38 PM »
Ari...

Your 'Ultimate Gaming Mini-ITX PC Build' components have not been changed, or are you considering changing any one of them ATM? The reason I ask / I may be pulling the trigger on this within a week or two...

Phanteks Evolv/EVGA 650GS/i7-6700k/Gelid thermal paste/Corsair Hydro 100Iv2 AIO cooler/Corsair LPX (2x16gb) DDR4 3200/Already have the EVGA 980Ti/Already have the Samsung EVO 850 1TB SSD/Toshiba P300 3TB secondary HD /Samsung external cd-dvd-rw/Win 10 on flash drive.../and either the 27" Asus PG279Q OR the Acer XB271HU monitor...  (Do I need another cooling fan for the case? Will OC to @ 4.4 or so...)

Do I need to do this?  NO     Do I want to do this?   YES....                  Another consumer/lemming...
« Last Edit: May 25, 2016, 06:22:20 PM by Jury-Pool-Reject »
Mini-ITX-Ncase M1 | Asus Z170i | i7-6700k  | Noctua C14 | 1080-FE | 1TB SSD | 16GB Corsair -3200 | Corsair SF600 | Monoprice 2.0 speakers | uDAC5 | Sennheiser PC360 | 27" Acer XB271HU | Seagate 2TB  
"The truth is rarely pure and never simple."   -Oscar Wilde

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG Ultimate Gaming Mini-ITX PC Build
« Reply #113 on: May 25, 2016, 06:48:25 PM »
Ari...

Your 'Ultimate Gaming Mini-ITX PC Build' components have not been changed, or are you considering changing any one of them ATM? The reason I ask / I may be pulling the trigger on this within a week or two...

Phanteks Evolv/EVGA 650GS/i7-6700k/Gelid thermal paste/Corsair Hydro 100Iv2 AIO cooler/Corsair LPX (2x16gb) DDR4 3200/Already have the EVGA 980Ti/Already have the Samsung EVO 850 1TB SSD/Toshiba P300 3TB secondary HD /Samsung external cd-dvd-rw/Win 10 on flash drive.../and either the 27" Asus PG279Q OR the Acer XB271HU monitor...  (Do I need another cooling fan for the case? Will OC to @ 4.4 or so...)

Do I need to do this?  NO     Do I want to do this?   YES....                  Another consumer/lemming...

Jury-Pool-Reject,

You are definitely going to love this system. The only thing that may change in the next month or so is the video card, but you already have yours. Everything else will remain the same. You honestly do not need any more fans, as the H100i will act as a very effective exhaust fan on its own.

If you wanted to trim a little of the cost off the top, here are the three things you can consider dropping:

(1) assess your storage needs beyond the 1TB SSD you already have. 3TB is definitely the sweet spot for hard drives right now, but you could either drop it or go with a 1TB or 2TB depending on your needs.
(2) drop the optical drive if you don't use DVDs, as the OS installation will not require it.
(3) drop down to the Corsair 2x8GB DDR4-3200 memory kit from the 2x16GB setup if you are OK with not being "maxed out" and don't do serious HD/4K video editing. The 16GB kit is on sale right now at a ridiculously-low price. 32GB definitely costs a lot more per GB.

By the way, for a limited time, Newegg has the Evolv ITX on sale for $60 after rebate, shipped free. That's a pretty good deal! But if you don't mind, order the rest of the parts at Amazon, as The Tech Buyer's Guru makes essentially nothing on Newegg sales. Amazon happens to be sold out of the Evolv ITX right now anyway, so don't feel too bad!

I like Asus for a lot of things, especially its unbeatable motherboards, but its gaming monitors have a checkered history. It was first to the party with a 144Hz 2560x1440 G-Sync monitor with its ground-breaking ROG Swift, but I'd bet you half of these units ended up being returned due to flaws. And now the PG279Q has far worse user reviews than the Acer XB271HU, despite being based on the very same panel. I'd highly recommend the cheaper XB271HU, available from Amazon.

Jury-Pool-Reject

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Re: The TBG Ultimate Gaming Mini-ITX PC Build
« Reply #114 on: May 28, 2016, 01:57:10 AM »
I decided to get the Acer XB271HU monitor first before purchasing the new rig components.

I have some expensive dental work I'm in the middle of, unfortunately. (failed root-canal tooth infection then extraction, and now an in-progress bone grafting and then an implant...sheesh...) It's going to cost me @ $3,500. out-of-pocket by completion time in September, as my Delta Dental coverage does not pay for implants.  :-[

ANYWAY, a question on the onboard sound connections on the Asus Z170I Pro Gaming MB... On my existing comp, I have the internal Xonar Essence ST sound card. My powered M-Audio (2.0) AV40 speakers connect right into the sound card. I use the speakers for gaming when the wife is not home. I use my Sennheiser PC360 headset when she is home. The headset plugs right into the front headphone connector on one of the M-Audio speakers. The problem I think, is that the onboard sound of the Z170I Asus MB does not have the large jacks (I forgot what they're called) I need for my speakers.... Is there a workaround for this issue?
Mini-ITX-Ncase M1 | Asus Z170i | i7-6700k  | Noctua C14 | 1080-FE | 1TB SSD | 16GB Corsair -3200 | Corsair SF600 | Monoprice 2.0 speakers | uDAC5 | Sennheiser PC360 | 27" Acer XB271HU | Seagate 2TB  
"The truth is rarely pure and never simple."   -Oscar Wilde

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG Ultimate Gaming Mini-ITX PC Build
« Reply #115 on: May 28, 2016, 04:57:31 AM »
I decided to get the Acer XB271HU monitor first before purchasing the new rig components.

I have some expensive dental work I'm in the middle of, unfortunately. (failed root-canal tooth infection then extraction, and now an in-progress bone grafting and then an implant...sheesh...) It's going to cost me @ $3,500. out-of-pocket by completion time in September, as my Delta Dental coverage does not pay for implants.  :-[

ANYWAY, a question on the onboard sound connections on the Asus Z170I Pro Gaming MB... On my existing comp, I have the internal Xonar Essence ST sound card. My powered M-Audio (2.0) AV40 speakers connect right into the sound card. I use the speakers for gaming when the wife is not home. I use my Sennheiser PC360 headset when she is home. The headset plugs right into the front headphone connector on one of the M-Audio speakers. The problem I think, is that the onboard sound of the Z170I Asus MB does not have the large jacks (I forgot what they're called) I need for my speakers.... Is there a workaround for this issue?

Oh man, that is bad luck. It's always a bummer to learn what health insurance doesn't cover... In fact I too have some dental issues that my current insurance won't cover. Luckily it's only costing me hundreds, rather than thousands of dollars!

So as to the issue I can actually help with (I can only do so much!), the 1/4" connectors on your Xonar card are actually quite rare in the PC world. They are only seen on a few ultra high end sound cards, and never on motherboards. The good news is that you can get a simple adapter to connect your dual 1/4" inputs to a single 3.5mm stereo output. If I'm understanding your setup correctly, this is the adapter. If that's not what you need, there are other similar solutions available.

The only issue I see is that those are balanced inputs, while the output is unbalanced. If your speakers don't sound right with the converter above, you also have the more common unbalanced RCA inputs on your speakers, for which adapters are very common.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2016, 08:47:44 AM by Ari Altman »

Jury-Pool-Reject

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Re: The TBG Ultimate Gaming Mini-ITX PC Build
« Reply #116 on: May 28, 2016, 05:05:07 AM »
Thanks. Yes, that looks like what I need...

Ok, back to watching French Open tennis live from Paris on the Tennis channel..... tres bien!!
Mini-ITX-Ncase M1 | Asus Z170i | i7-6700k  | Noctua C14 | 1080-FE | 1TB SSD | 16GB Corsair -3200 | Corsair SF600 | Monoprice 2.0 speakers | uDAC5 | Sennheiser PC360 | 27" Acer XB271HU | Seagate 2TB  
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Jury-Pool-Reject

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Re: The TBG Ultimate Gaming Mini-ITX PC Build
« Reply #117 on: June 27, 2016, 11:48:36 AM »
This looks great - fantastic photos, and good step-by-step review for other readers of the forum. I agree on the VGA bracket cover - with the extra-tall EVGA GTX 980 Ti Classified heatsink shroud, you don't need or want it. I'm a little bit surprised at how much EVGA sells its colored G2 cable sets for... they're practically as much as the entire units!

I love those cables... getting those for my rig...

« Last Edit: June 27, 2016, 02:10:29 PM by Ari Altman »
Mini-ITX-Ncase M1 | Asus Z170i | i7-6700k  | Noctua C14 | 1080-FE | 1TB SSD | 16GB Corsair -3200 | Corsair SF600 | Monoprice 2.0 speakers | uDAC5 | Sennheiser PC360 | 27" Acer XB271HU | Seagate 2TB  
"The truth is rarely pure and never simple."   -Oscar Wilde

designatedave

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Re: The TBG Ultimate Gaming Mini-ITX PC Build
« Reply #118 on: July 07, 2016, 06:28:15 PM »
Hi there long time reader, first time poster.

I just completed my second mini-ITX build using a lot of the same parts from your guide, but am now struggling with installing the OS.

I downloaded the Windows 10 ISO file on my MAC and created a bootable USB flash drive following this tutorial: (https://youtu.be/Nhgjqbq_zYA).

Now with the USB plugged in, when I turn on my PC and go into the BIOS and change the priority to boot from the USB flash drive first, nothing happens. I tried the same thing with my hackintosh USB and had the same issue. Any chance you can diagnose this issue based on my description and prescribe any solutions?

Computer
CPU: i7-6700K
CPU Cooler: Corsair 110i GTX
MOBO: Asus Z170I Pro Gaming
RAM: Corsair Vengeance DDR4 3200MHz
Case: NZXT Manta

Steve N. Mavronis

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Re: The TBG Ultimate Gaming Mini-ITX PC Build
« Reply #119 on: July 07, 2016, 07:09:13 PM »
I just completed my second mini-ITX build using a lot of the same parts from your guide, but am now struggling with installing the OS. I downloaded the Windows 10 ISO file on my MAC and created a bootable USB flash drive following this tutorial: (https://youtu.be/Nhgjqbq_zYA).

Now with the USB plugged in, when I turn on my PC and go into the BIOS and change the priority to boot from the USB flash drive first, nothing happens. I tried the same thing with my hackintosh USB and had the same issue. Any chance you can diagnose this issue based on my description and prescribe any solutions?

Don't go into the BIOS first. On mine with the same motherboard with a USB flash drive plugged in it automatically booted to it and started the Windows 10 setup. You might try the boot selection menu. To select the boot device during system startup, press <F8> when ASUS Logo appears.

PCPartPicker - https://pcpartpicker.com/b/96JV3C
EVGA Mod Rigs - www.modsrigs.com/detail.aspx?BuildID=35547
« Last Edit: July 07, 2016, 07:14:30 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