SFF Gaming PC

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SFF Gaming PC

Postposted on Fri Nov 15, 2013 12:43 am

I'm looking at building my first "real" PC since 2005, I've built 400+ PC's since then, so I'm toying with details. I'm looking for any feedback but mostly on the case and video card. My eldest is turning 5 soon so its time to get him off the Wii and iPad. Probably going to start him on HoMM and D3.

Current Setup
At home we have 2 Shuttles, a HP Envy 14" and a HP WHS box.
The SN95G5v3 was the PC built in 2005, A64 3500+, 1GB, 6600GT (AGP), running 2 x Dell 2005FPW (1680x1050), WinXP. In 8 years all I've down is swap hard disks.
The XS35GT is the main PC, Atom + ION, 4GB, 120GB SSD, has no moving parts (100% silent) and performance is about the same as the other Shuttle. Win8.1 Pro, running a Dell 2711 (2560x1440). This will get moved to the TV or to the kitchen with one of the 20" monitors.

Requirements
The PC needs to handle 35c ambient temps in summer.
The PC goes on the desk so the toddler doesn't eat it, feed it, etc.
Noise is an issue, I live in quiet area and the PC is in the living room.
Prices are in AUD, probably purchasing from pccasegear.com.au or mwave.com.au, but open to other shops.

CPU
Most likely a i5 4670. It will be sad seeing less CPU threads than my laptop, but I don't think hyperthreading is worth $100. I'm tempted to get a K cpu, but its $25 and I'm not looking at overclocking. Either option will get me FINAL FANTASY XIV: A Realm Reborn from Intel.

Case
My first choice is a SZ87R6 - Shuttle have been good to me (at home and work). I've built 180+ of these system so I'm comfortable with them (to comfortable maybe). Convince me / show me on something else. Fractal 304 is a pain to build, BitFenix Phenom is chunky but with good cooling, SG08 is ugly and Ncase M1 is sold out till April next year.

Video Card
I'm looking for something around $300, needs decent performance (2560x1440), lower power is better, silence is important and space may be an issue (The ASUS Direct CU cards don't fit in the Shuttle). To make it harder Nvidia don't seem to like Australia (price wise), and ATI stuff is on clearance. I've included ball park Australian prices below.

$170 - ATI HD7850 2GB
$220 - ATI HD7870 2GB
$280 - ATI R9 270X 2GB
$280 - ATI HD7950 3GB
$299 - ATI HD7970 3GB
$315 - Nvidia GTX 760 2GB
$430 - Nvidia GTX 770 2GB

$280 - Sapphire AMD Radeon R9 270X 2GB Vapor-X Overclocked Video Card
$280 - Sapphire Radeon HD7950 3GB Vapor-X OC Boost Edition (Gold 3 Game Pack)
$300 - PowerColor AMD Radeon HD 7970 3GB OverClocked Video Card (CRYSIS 3, BIOSHOCK INFINITE, FAR CRY 3 BLOOD DRAGON)

So far I'm leaning towards the HD7950 Vapor-X, but if they 270X was priced like a 7870 then I would buy that.


Components
The rest of the system will be roughly:
$115 - Microsoft Windows 8.1 - 64-bit - DVD OEM
$190 - Samsung 840 EVO 250GB 2.5"
$245 - Intel Core i5 4670 (+25 for the K version?)
$105 - G.SKILL Sniper 8GB F3-12800CL9D-8GBSR2 (any reason to go 16GB?)
$ 50 - Some BluRay drive (We don't have anything in the house that reads bluray).
2TB Seagate from existing PC.
Dell 2711 from existing PC.
SN95G5v3/A64 3500+ 2.2ghz@1.2v 800mhz@0.8v/1gb Geil UltraX/Seagate 250gb/Seagate 320gb/Liteon DVD/XFX 6600GT/2x2005FPW
Rainbows lie in corded knots
While thunder wakes the sleeping crocs.
dragmor
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Re: SFF Gaming PC

Postposted on Sun Nov 17, 2013 11:05 pm

Over 1000 post views and no replies... I know I don't spend as much time on TR as I used to but I expected some feedback. If this thread doesn't get any replies then I'll post the graphics card and case questions in their respective sub forums.
SN95G5v3/A64 3500+ 2.2ghz@1.2v 800mhz@0.8v/1gb Geil UltraX/Seagate 250gb/Seagate 320gb/Liteon DVD/XFX 6600GT/2x2005FPW
Rainbows lie in corded knots
While thunder wakes the sleeping crocs.
dragmor
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Re: SFF Gaming PC

Postposted on Sun Nov 17, 2013 11:25 pm

If you want one of the more recent Radeons I'd go with a R270 and overclock it a touch, or just rn stock. The difference between it and the 270X isn't very much performance-wise and you might save a few dollars.

Otherwise I think you aren't getting many replies because you've mostly got it figured out :) plus without a budget specified and being in Australia you're going to get few replies here.
MadManOriginal
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Re: SFF Gaming PC

Postposted on Mon Nov 18, 2013 12:10 am

MadManOriginal wrote:If you want one of the more recent Radeons I'd go with a R270 and overclock it a touch, or just rn stock. The difference between it and the 270X isn't very much performance-wise and you might save a few dollars.

I'm yet to see the R9 270 cards in Oz yet, there is only 1 listing (a gigabyte R927OC-2GD) for $230, but the R9 270X cards seemed to have dropped $40 in the last week. So they are now starting at $240 (with crap coolers).

I'm still questioning the performance vs heat and noise of a 7950 vs R9 270X. At the moment I'm leaning towards the 7950.

MadManOriginal wrote:Otherwise I think you aren't getting many replies because you've mostly got it figured out :) plus without a budget specified and being in Australia you're going to get few replies here.

I'm old, so I'm not worried about a $$$ budget. I'm just looking for a small mid spec PC that will last 3-4 years and not be annoying to live with.
SN95G5v3/A64 3500+ 2.2ghz@1.2v 800mhz@0.8v/1gb Geil UltraX/Seagate 250gb/Seagate 320gb/Liteon DVD/XFX 6600GT/2x2005FPW
Rainbows lie in corded knots
While thunder wakes the sleeping crocs.
dragmor
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Re: SFF Gaming PC

Postposted on Mon Nov 18, 2013 2:24 am

dragmor wrote:CPU
Most likely a i5 4670. It will be sad seeing less CPU threads than my laptop, but I don't think hyperthreading is worth $100. I'm tempted to get a K cpu, but its $25 and I'm not looking at overclocking.


Don't get a "K" processor if you're not going to overclock. In addition to an increase in price, certain virtualization features are disabled in the "K" variant processors.


dragmor wrote:Case
My first choice is a SZ87R6 - Shuttle have been good to me (at home and work). I've built 180+ of these system so I'm comfortable with them (to comfortable maybe). Convince me / show me on something else. Fractal 304 is a pain to build, BitFenix Phenom is chunky but with good cooling, SG08 is ugly and Ncase M1 is sold out till April next year.


Have you considered the LIAN LI PC-Q08B or Cooler Master Elite 130? I also really like the Silverstone Fortress FT-03 Mini, but it takes a lot of specialized parts.

dragmor wrote:So far I'm leaning towards the HD7950 Vapor-X, but if they 270X was priced like a 7870 then I would buy that.


The 270X very similar to the HD7870 and, in terms of performance, is between the 7870 and 7950. Based on prices I agree that the 7950 is the best choice even though its last generation.

dragmor wrote:$105 - G.SKILL Sniper 8GB F3-12800CL9D-8GBSR2 (any reason to go 16GB?)


Probably not right now, though there is the possibility that PC games will start to use more RAM since consoles now have 8GB of RAM. I guess the question is how much more will 16GB cost?
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Re: SFF Gaming PC

Postposted on Mon Nov 18, 2013 2:42 am

I'd go with a nice aftermarket cooled 7950, plus free games. As for 16GB, no reason now with expensive ram prices. Just some fast 8GB should be great. Curious as to what PSU you are going to get. To get quiet I would think you need either a much higher wattage so it runs cool or a fanless one. Fanless PSU seemed to be very expensive though.
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Re: SFF Gaming PC

Postposted on Mon Nov 18, 2013 9:55 am

If you want silence, your look no further than Asus' direct CU graphics cards. Few other coolers can match the low noise, and the ones that do are nowhere near the low temps of Asus.
My Asus GTX 660 made me a believer.
i5-3570K, ASRock Z77 Pro4-m, Asus GTX660 TOP, 120 GB Vertex 3 Max IOPS, 2 TB Samsung EcoGreen F4, 8GB G-Skill @1.25V, Silverstone PS07B
DPete27
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Re: SFF Gaming PC

Postposted on Mon Nov 18, 2013 10:53 am

DPete27 wrote:If you want silence, your look no further than Asus' direct CU graphics cards. Few other coolers can match the low noise, and the ones that do are nowhere near the low temps of Asus.
My Asus GTX 660 made me a believer.


This. Asus Direct CU coolers are absolutely amazing! If you have the room to spare of course. Huge, silent and cool :wink:
Intel i5 3570K - Corsair A50 - Asus P8Z77-V - Corsair 2x4Gb - Asus 280X Direct CU2 - 2x Corsair F90 - Samsung Spinpoint F3 1Tb - Antec One Hundred - Corsair CS750M - ASUS MX239H AH-IPS - Logitech LS21 - Logitech K520 Combo - Win 8.1
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Re: SFF Gaming PC

Postposted on Tue Nov 19, 2013 10:56 pm

GeForce6200 wrote:Curious as to what PSU you are going to get. To get quiet I would think you need either a much higher wattage so it runs cool or a fanless one. Fanless PSU seemed to be very expensive though.

The shuttle comes with a 500w PSU. Shuttle lists the Max Current as: +12V1: 16A / +12V2: 16A / +12V3: 17A / +5VSB: 2.5A (Standby) / -12V: 0.3A / +3.3V: 18A / +5V: 16A. In any case they state HD 7970, GTX 780, etc as supported.

Once everything is stable, I will 7v the PSU fan and probably add a 140mm fan angled down and back in the DVD drive tray to compensate. This build is never going to be silent, but I'm going for quiet.
SN95G5v3/A64 3500+ 2.2ghz@1.2v 800mhz@0.8v/1gb Geil UltraX/Seagate 250gb/Seagate 320gb/Liteon DVD/XFX 6600GT/2x2005FPW
Rainbows lie in corded knots
While thunder wakes the sleeping crocs.
dragmor
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Re: SFF Gaming PC

Postposted on Tue Nov 19, 2013 11:03 pm

kumori wrote:Have you considered the LIAN LI PC-Q08B or Cooler Master Elite 130? I also really like the Silverstone Fortress FT-03 Mini, but it takes a lot of specialized parts.

The LIAN LI PC-Q08B is bigger than it needs to be, and the Cooler Master Elite 130 is interesting. But neither look as clean as the Fractal 304 or the Shuttle.

The Silverstone "eye of sauron" Fortress is not my thing.

kumori wrote:Probably not right now, though there is the possibility that PC games will start to use more RAM since consoles now have 8GB of RAM. I guess the question is how much more will 16GB cost?

Sadly, 16GB is pretty much twice the price of 8GB.
SN95G5v3/A64 3500+ 2.2ghz@1.2v 800mhz@0.8v/1gb Geil UltraX/Seagate 250gb/Seagate 320gb/Liteon DVD/XFX 6600GT/2x2005FPW
Rainbows lie in corded knots
While thunder wakes the sleeping crocs.
dragmor
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Re: SFF Gaming PC

Postposted on Tue Nov 19, 2013 11:08 pm

So two things have happened since the first post.

1) The PSU on my SN95G5v3 died. Sadly the warranty is only 3 years and its been 8+.
2) I got to see the new Apple garbage can Mac Pro in person. Sadly they were not allowed to turn it on, but they are quoting 30db max with 12 cores and crossfire 7870's. If it wasn't $5000 AUD then I would have purchased one over the above Shutte setup.
SN95G5v3/A64 3500+ 2.2ghz@1.2v 800mhz@0.8v/1gb Geil UltraX/Seagate 250gb/Seagate 320gb/Liteon DVD/XFX 6600GT/2x2005FPW
Rainbows lie in corded knots
While thunder wakes the sleeping crocs.
dragmor
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