Help me choose between two ITX builds.

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Help me choose between two ITX builds.

Postposted on Fri Jun 17, 2011 3:54 pm

I got a lot of help in SBA so far, but my topic died for some reason. I've got it down to two different builds, both costing about the same, and both being competent and compact gaming machines. I can't choose between the two, but perhaps I'm being a little blinded by the aesthetics of one. Those aesthetics require a little compromise in the performance department, although it may turn out that the more powerful choice won't be sufficiently powered by its PSU anyway. Here's the two options:

Option A (The Powerhouse)

CASE: Silverstone SG05 w/ 450W SFX PSU
MOBO: ASRock H67M-ITX
CPU: Intel Core i5-2400
GPU: XFX Radeon HD 6870
RAM: Corsair XMS3 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1333
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB
DVD: Lite-On Slim DVD Burner

Option B (The Looker)

CASE: Silverstone SG07
MOBO: Asus M4A88T-I
CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 840
GPU: Same as A
RAM: Rendition 4GB DDR3 1333 SO-DIMM
HDD: Same as A
DVD: Same as A

See what I mean? I LOVE the sophisticated yet aggressive look of the SG07 as opposed to the bland, unexciting SG05. I also like the fact that it has a 600W PSU as opposed to a 450W one. There's also a bit more room in the SG07 which bodes well for airflow. On the other hand, I would LOVE to have an i5 and 8GB of RAM. I mostly play FPS games, and my intentions are to play BF3 at as high quality settings as possible. Right now I have a 22" Chimei at 1680x1050, but come Christmas I plan on splurging for a nice 24" 1920x1200 MAYBE IPS panel. I also dabble in MMOs, and I'm particularly interested in The Old Republic. I'm sure I'll take some heat for including aesthetics in my decision making, but hey, I want my system to look as good as it performs. I guess the SG05 can be prettied up a bit with an LED fan in the front, but it still won't come close to the beauty of the SG07. Please help.

Oh, one more thing (Jackie Chan's uncle, much?). Would it be wise to invest in an aftermarket cooler for either one of these builds? The cooler that AMD includes with its processors seems fairly decent, but that tiny little pile of scraps that Intel ships with theirs concerns me. I also don't like the fact that the airflow is being directed across a cooler who's fan blows down. Something there just doesn't add up. I know there wouldn't be many options anyway due to the cramped space, but if anyone has suggestions please let me know. I'll gladly fork up another $20 or $30 to ensure my system gets sufficient cooling. Thanks!
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Re: Help me choose between two ITX builds.

Postposted on Sun Jun 19, 2011 12:40 pm

I absolutely love the SG05. The interiors are very easy to work with; I would not sneeze at external simplicity when that also reflects INTERNAL simplicity as well. :)

I got this after-market CPU cooler; it's very low noise, and does a great job of cooling the CPU. It fits perfectly in the SG05 w/ an Asus motherboard.

Also, I'd suggest spending $10 more dollars for the 2400S. With the components you're looking at, a 30W TDP drop is considerable!

This isn't the most active forum, but I wish you luck in getting some attention here!
Your ideas intrigue me; I would like to purchase stock in your company.
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Re: Help me choose between two ITX builds.

Postposted on Sun Jun 19, 2011 1:26 pm

Not sure why your first thread died, though I think I still had thoughts to add but didn't have the time :).

If you've settled on ITX, the first build looks preferable. That i5 will beat the piss out of the Athlon X4 with it's lack of L3 cache, overclocking or no, and there's no need for a 600w PSU (especially a badass Silverstone unit) unless you're using a top-end GPU; my dual-HD6950 2GB cards and i5-2500k@5.0GHz only use about 500w at the wall under max load, as a personal example. If you look through GPU reviews here at TR and over on Anandtech (for comparison), you'll find similar power usage levels recorded.

That being said, the only hole I see is the HSF, and I'm not sure how to tackle that one in the SG-05. Some people have used Corsair's H50 (and I assume the H60 will work similarly) to replace the front intake fan, though that requires modification and limits storage, while others just use Silverstone's NT-06. My idea was to use the NT-06 and mount a 120mm fan underneath it, possibly by flipping the fan mount/shroud around, but I never got to test it and see if it was even possible myself. A person named 'Shooter at the top of the second feedback page says he was able to flip the mount over and put in a slim Scythe 'Slipstream' slim fan however, and another reviewer mentions that there's enough clearance for a 25mm-thick fan (can't fine a 'slim' sub-25mm thick 120mm fan on Newegg?) with the mount/shroud inverted. If it can be verified that the memory will still fit with this thing installed, then I think that's probably your best bet. Scratch that. Every ITX SNB board on Newegg (except an errant Foxconn) has the CPU socket next to the PCIe slot and close to the RAM slots, so cooling options are highly limited. Looks like it will probably be the stock HSF or an integrated watercooler, if you can make it fit.

I will add that since there's extra cost to be considered with any extra cooling solution, I'd recommend just using the stock Intel HSF, being aware that if you do decide to get another HSF afterwards you will be disassembling and reassembling your system to install it.
Last edited by Airmantharp on Sun Jun 19, 2011 1:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Help me choose between two ITX builds.

Postposted on Sun Jun 19, 2011 1:32 pm

eitje wrote:I absolutely love the SG05. The interiors are very easy to work with; I would not sneeze at external simplicity when that also reflects INTERNAL simplicity as well. :)

I got this after-market CPU cooler; it's very low noise, and does a great job of cooling the CPU. It fits perfectly in the SG05 w/ an Asus motherboard.

Also, I'd suggest spending $10 more dollars for the 2400S. With the components you're looking at, a 30W TDP drop is considerable!

This isn't the most active forum, but I wish you luck in getting some attention here!


Good to see someone who has had the opportunity to work with an SG-05 here!

On your HSF suggestion, the feedback on Newegg indicates that there's a good possibility of the HSF developing a 'whine'. While this may have not happened to you, this is the sort of thing we look for in order to pare down the lists of alternatives for suggestions.

Further, while the 2400S has a lower TDP, it also has a lower clockspeed and turbo-boost speed as well- otherwise I'd be all for it! The thing is, for this build he'd be paying more for less for something that is nice but not required. Since he cannot overclock, I can't recommend this part. Unlike other 'S' CPUs Intel has released over the years, this part does not appear to be higher binned, but rather just lower spec'd.
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Re: Help me choose between two ITX builds.

Postposted on Sun Jun 19, 2011 1:59 pm

It's settled then. I found someone else who posted about a SG05 build involving a clarkdale and a GTX 480, and he didn't seem to have any power problems. Thanks for all the help. Especially you, airman. If the stock HSF gives me any problems I'll find something to replace it. I should be purchasing in a month at the most. I'll let you know how it goes.
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Re: Help me choose between two ITX builds.

Postposted on Mon Jun 27, 2011 1:15 am

Airmantharp wrote:Further, while the 2400S has a lower TDP, it also has a lower clockspeed and turbo-boost speed as well...

A marginally lower turbo-boost speed. ;)
Your ideas intrigue me; I would like to purchase stock in your company.
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Re: Help me choose between two ITX builds.

Postposted on Fri Sep 27, 2013 8:41 am

I built a system with the Silverstone SG05 case with the 450W PSU. It included an i5-4670k and GTX 770 (barely managed to even fit it in). This runs BF3 at over 60fps on 1440p for a number of weeks now and I have not had any issues with power or heat.
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