Possible for small nettop like build?

Ulti

Limp Gawd
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Following the relatively successful build for myself, I want to build another m-ITX system for my girlfriend. As she lives in uni halls and has many many stuff, it's going to have to be tiny though. She currently uses a laptop too so it definitely can't be too big. Being a student, I don't have millions either and would like to have a budget set, I guess the most important thing is the case really as it controls what I can use and what I can't.

As it's mainly for uni use the main tasks it would be for is just to web browse, play music and stream video online (thankfully uni internet is amazingly fast). However, I would like to be able to play a game called League of Legends on it at possible 1920x1080 (1080p) or at least 1680x1050 with max settings. Now my current system (i3 540 + 6850) runs it fine obviously but I was wondering what the worse graphics card/processor combo I would be able to use is. It says the recommended system requirements are a 3Ghz processor (single core I assume) and a 8800GT or equivalent card. I'm guessing this is for 1280*1024 res though.

I'm definitely going with a WD Caviar Green 1TB disk along with an SSD (probably OCZ Vertex 2E 120GB as that's what I have on hand right now but may sell it and get a smaller SSD to spend the money on other parts as it's rather overkill for this system).

This leaves the CPU/Motherboard, graphics card and case choice. For RAM, I'm defo going 4GB as it's so cheap in the UK and we won't need more than that.

Now the CPU is dependent on the motherboard, I could probably get away with a E8400 and a mini ITX 775 board (not sure if they have full PCI-E 16x slots though) or I could gra b a Gigabyte H55N-USB3 along with the cheapest i3 I can find (exactly what I have in my build right now) or the last option would be an AMD ITX board along with a dual/triple Athlon II core.

The graphics card would be dependent on the case and vice versa but I would want a nettop style case. I've noticed that there is a half height 5670 low profile card as well as single slot 5750s (which does have dual slot coolers). I don't think I can get away with anything lesser in power though. I'm not too familiar with the nettop style cases so not sure what I could use, but I know the Antec ISK cases (or whatever they're called) are in the right direction.

Anyways, thanks!
 

SOSTrooper

Limp Gawd
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I think the Thermaltake Element Q would be your smallest case that can hold most of what you prefer to have. It comes with a tiny 200W SFX power supply but you can upgrade that yourself to the Silverstone ST45SF (450W SFX) power supply for more juice. It should accommodate a regular hard drive and SSD and also single slot video card like the XFX 5770. Supposedly the best single slot card (outside of watercooled) is the Galaxy GTX 460. But I can't tell you if the case is long enough to fit the card and if cooling the card will become a problem.

Good luck with your build and don't forget to post pics.
 

bastage

Pics of your wife?
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The graphics card would be dependent on the case and vice versa but I would want a nettop style case. I've noticed that there is a half height 5670 low profile card as well as single slot 5750s (which does have dual slot coolers). I don't think I can get away with anything lesser in power though. I'm not too familiar with the nettop style cases so not sure what I could use, but I know the Antec ISK cases (or whatever they're called) are in the right direction.

This is where I see the problem... I havent played said game personally, but if its recomending a 8800 for minimum settings & your asking to play at max on 1920x1080 your going to need more then you are likely to find in half height or single slot..


If your OK with the extra width a q07 could be a good case, But between your video card requirements & 2 hard drives (one being 3.5") I dont think your going to find much smaller that will hold the hardware your asking for.
 

Ulti

Limp Gawd
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Yeah initially I thought it would have to be the PC-Q07 but I would like to get something shorter, with perhaps a Pico PSU. League of Legends looks pretty 2D to me though so I'm not sure if an 8800GT is really needed. Hopefully I can grab a cheap 5670 somewhere and test the game in my own build. I know a 3850 runs it on max on 1280*1024 but I guess that's a totally different story. If the build was for me I'd definitely go with the PC-Q07 but in a girl's room it isn't going to be the prettiest thing, shame there's no white version of the PC-Q07 (or silver at least), I guess red is the next closest "girly" colour.

I definitely won't need more than 200W as my current system draws about 200W on load with a 6850, with a 5670 or something it definitely won't draw more than ~120W which is why I'm considering a PicoPSU.

Wait, I just thought of a brilliant idea! Unplug my monitor and see if the E5200 + 3850 PC that my siblings use can run League of Legends at 1920*1080!

I'll need to research the Thermaltake Element Q, not too fond of the plasticky cube look but it doesn't seem too big either.
 

bastage

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I'll need to research the Thermaltake Element Q, not too fond of the plasticky cube look but it doesn't seem too big either.

I Don't like that case at all.. I did a build for a friend with it & well, its sucks.. Heat issues & loud..

Keep in mins as well that Lian Li Red is kinda Pinkish.. So says the q11R I have on my desk..
 

Ulti

Limp Gawd
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If it's kinda pinkish then it'll be even more perfect, only problem is the size really. I don't think I can afford a 24" monitor or any 1080p monitor either... Think I'll go for a 18"-20" monitor instead. If I do then I know the 5670 will be enough. Now I've just gotta worry about the price... This isn't looking cheap at all :(
 

bastage

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1080p Monitors arent very expensive.. Here int he states newegg has there cheapest (an 21.5" acer) for 135 bucks & the cheapest 18.5 is 95 bucks.. So not exactly a huge difference for the usability it gives..
 

Ulti

Limp Gawd
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In the UK the cheapest 1080p monitor costs about £30 more, which translates to 43% more in price. Considering my girlfriend uses a 13" laptop or whatever it is, 18.5" will be plenty I reckon. It should also be enough for me too as I won't be playing games a lot (don't want to upset or bore her haha). Well time to take my monitor over to my siblings pc as they're finally off it haha. Just wanna see what it's like.
 

bastage

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Gotcha.. If you do go with a q07 then the GTX 460 (gainward/Palit) would be the best you could get & at 1680x900 Either a 768mb 460 or a PowerColor 5770 would play most games at very good settings..
 

Ulti

Limp Gawd
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I definitely don't need that much power or have that much money to spend on a graphics card though. A 5750 would be tops for me (I've seen them for ~£60 on eBay) and even then I feel a 5670 is enough as I just tested a E5200 and 3850 on 1920x1080 on League of Legends and it runs pretty fine.
 

bastage

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I just tested a E5200 and 3850 on 1920x1080 on League of Legends and it runs pretty fine.

If thats the case then you probably dont need a video card at all.. Just go AMD & use the Integrated 4250 on the asus board.. & Then if you do need to add a video card you can do it later.
 

Ulti

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A 3850 was equivalent to a 8800GS though I thought? And it was running at 40fps average so if I use integrated it's probably going to be around 20fps at most. I guess a 5670 will be fine for me as I remember it was 10-20% faster than a 3850 so it should get me almost to 50fps max which is very very playable indeed.

Now I'm just wondering if there's really no smaller choice other than the PC-Q07. I quite like the size of the Thermaltake Element Q and it's also really cheap too, but I can't really find much info about how big of a graphics card it can fit. I'll probably replace the PSU for something else as there are lots of reports on it being rather loud, but I might be able to switch the fan around, not too sure though. Need to research a bit more.
 

bastage

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A 3850 was equivalent to a 8800GS though I thought? And it was running at 40fps average so if I use integrated it's probably going to be around 20fps at most. I guess a 5670 will be fine for me as I remember it was 10-20% faster than a 3850 so it should get me almost to 50fps max which is very very playable indeed.

Now I'm just wondering if there's really no smaller choice other than the PC-Q07. I quite like the size of the Thermaltake Element Q and it's also really cheap too, but I can't really find much info about how big of a graphics card it can fit. I'll probably replace the PSU for something else as there are lots of reports on it being rather loud, but I might be able to switch the fan around, not too sure though. Need to research a bit more.

element Q will support a fairly long single slot card.. So anything your looking at you will be fine there.. just a low quality case overall.


Edit: I think This may fit in an Antec ISK 300
 

Ulti

Limp Gawd
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element Q will support a fairly long single slot card.. So anything your looking at you will be fine there.. just a low quality case overall.

Edit: I think This may fit in an Antec ISK 300

Ah I found the perfect card! A 5570! They're pretty much all half height single slot designs which will fit the Antec ISK 300! That 5670 you listed is half height but has a double slot cooler which means the side panel won't close. I have seen mods where the people cut a hole in the side though and it does look pretty neat, however I am nowhere near brave enough to do so nor do I have the tools to do so.

Well it seems I've pretty much come to a conclusion; Antec ISK 300 150W version along with a 5570.
 

bastage

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That doesn't look like its a double slot.. More then 1 for sure, but not a complete 2nd which is why I said it may fit.. If you think the 5570 will do you then your set.. now just to decide upon mobo/cpu.. How expensive is the Asus m4a88t-i motherboard there. here its mroe expensive then most of the 1156 mobo's but with the CPU's being so much cheaper it more then balances itself out since its pretty well feature packed..
 

Ulti

Limp Gawd
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I just read over the Antec ISK300 thread and some person said that it fits ok but the fan will scrape alongside the side panel so that is definitely no good.

Yeah I'm considering getting the Asus M4A88T-I as I think it works out cheaper with an Athlon II than the Gigabyte H55N-USB3 with a i3 chip. The i3 chip will definitely be faster but not noticible enough though I think. Here the Asus M4A88T-I costs around £90 while an Athlon II chip can be grabbed for about £30 second hand = £120. A H55N-USB3 costs about £80 whilst an i3 chip will cost around £60 second hand = £140.

Guess I'll just see how lucky I can get.
 

bastage

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I just read over the Antec ISK300 thread and some person said that it fits ok but the fan will scrape alongside the side panel so that is definitely no good.

Yeah I'm considering getting the Asus M4A88T-I as I think it works out cheaper with an Athlon II than the Gigabyte H55N-USB3 with a i3 chip. The i3 chip will definitely be faster but not noticible enough though I think. Here the Asus M4A88T-I costs around £90 while an Athlon II chip can be grabbed for about £30 second hand = £120. A H55N-USB3 costs about £80 whilst an i3 chip will cost around £60 second hand = £140.

Guess I'll just see how lucky I can get.

More variety avail with the amd's also. Anything from your single core sempron 140 up to a Phenom II x6 (95w 1055t) in that board.
 

Ulti

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Just saw news of a new 6570. Unfortunately it will be OEM at first but it should appear in the retail channel in a few weeks. Really interested on the power/performance ratio as well as the price!
 

FastCorner

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I think the Thermaltake Element Q would be your smallest case that can hold most of what you prefer to have.

I wouldn't recommend the Element Q unless you want to use on-board graphics. I just built a system inside one and couldn't get enough cooling without mounting fans where the graphics card would be. You could mount the fans on the opposite side (where the second HDD is supposed to mount, but you'll need to be careful when replacing the case cover.

The other issue is that you'll barely have room for a stock cooler. The SFX PSU basically sits on top of the stock i5-2400S heatsink that I'm using. You'll need to rig something up with a PicoPSU 160W and a Dell DA-2 in order to get enough clearance for a larger heatsink.
 

Zap

[H]ard|Gawd
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The Tt Element Q is not a very good case. It is the same as the Apex MI008 and a few other cases. It has ZERO fans for airflow outside of the PSU fan. I've got one for a secondary HTPC and the GT 240 in it gets really loud trying to keep itself cool (that's just with accelerating Flash). It also only has space for a single 3.5" HDD, though I guess you can use the ODD bay or just lay the SSD in front of the motherboard. The graphics card doesn't get much ventilation either, with just a row of small vent holes.

The Antec ISK-300 case, IIRC, can only hold a 2.5" drive.

For something smaller (and cheaper) than the Silverstone SG07, look for the SG05 or SG06. They are similar, just smaller. They use standard SFX PSUs and the cases are available with a 300W or 450W PSU that is reasonably good quality. Basically the 300W can power any graphics card that only needs a single 6-pin PCIe power plug, while the 450W can supply two (or maybe even a 6+8). Card length supported is officially around 9" but some have squeezed longer cards in. It supports dual slot cards, of course, plus the side is extremely perforated for airflow. The case has a 120mm fan in front, plus can take one 2.5" and one 3.5" drive. Except for not being a "nettop" style slim case, it is everything you want.

League of Legends doesn't need much to run on. The 8800 series and 3GHz CPU are recommended, the required is much lower (basically a DX9 graphics card). It comes down to the resolution and the framerates you (or your GF) can stomach. I saw mention of using a cheap 18.5" LCD. Those are typically 1360x768 resolution or thereabouts, so the graphics card won't have to work very hard.

On the Intel side, there is a cheaper option in the ECS motherboard (yes I know a lot of ECS haters, but they've come a long way) instead of the Gigabyte, plus the Pentium Dual Core G9650 CPU instead of the Core i3. Yes, the G9650 is a lower end version of the Core i3. I think it has the cache cut down a bit and no HyperThreading, but otherwise the same.

If I were you, I'd just get an SG05 case and sit the monitor on top of it to save desk space. Voila!
 

Ulti

Limp Gawd
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Yeah I'm not using the Thermaltake Element Q, gonna use the Antec ISK 310 150W, ordered a WD Scorpio Black 250GB though (I think it would have been better if I went for the Scorpio Blue 500GB at the same price instead though :S) and I'm gonna sell this OCZ Vertex 2E 120GB and get a cheaper SSD to save some money.

The SG series are bigger than the ISK, as I'm going to be using an i3 530 and 5570 DDR3 ver, I don't need anywhere more than 150W for sure. I'll use my power meter and post my results too. The build will probs be finished next week, I've ordered everything apart from the GA-H55N-USB3.

I grabbed a 19" 1440x900 monitor off eBay. hopefully it arrives in good condition. I wanted to get a 5570 with GDDR5 memory but I realised none of them are low profile so I'm stuck with the DDR3 version. Hopefully when the 6570 is released there'll be a single slot low profile version with GDDR5, then I'll be upgrading to it.

I wanted to grab a G6950 but I couldn't find any second hand ones, it would have been perfect for me.

Anyways, thanks for your replies.
 
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Those SG05 cases are nice though, just finishing up one with a i3 540, Scorpio Blue 500 gb, and a MSI 460gtx w/ the cyclone cooler. The Silverstone 450w power supply came w/ the case instead of the 300w. Good luck on ur build.
 
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