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FireGryphon
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SFF build recommendations

Tue Apr 29, 2014 5:51 pm

Since the TR guide has a new format, are we going to get any SFF build recommendations from an official article, or is it simply a forum affair now? I'm curious since I feel a bit more need for a livingroom PC to handle media and light gaming functions now.
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JustAnEngineer
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Re: SFF build recommendations

Tue Apr 29, 2014 7:44 pm

There are some good threads here on living room PCs. I'm going to suggest a Silverstone Grandia GD05 case and a decent micro-ATX motherboard (with four PCIe slots) as a good start. You can fit everything in this 21.6 liter micro-ATX space that you'd want in a gaming PC that you might build in some ginormous Obsidian case, and you'll still have room for a cablecard tuner, a Blu-ray burner and a 4 TB hard-drive or two for DVR functionality.
Some lunatic in another thread wrote:
$96 Silverstone Grandia GD05 micro-ATX case

$125 Intel Core i3-4130 dual-core 3.4 GHz LGA1150 processor with HSF
or $220 Intel Core i5-4670 quad-core 3.4 GHz
optional $45 Scythe Big Shuriken 2.B cooler
$122½ -15MIR Asus H87M-Pro micro-ATX LGA1150 motherboard
or $78½ MSI B85M-G43 micro-ATX LGA1150 motherboard
$78 2x4 GiB PC3-12800 Crucial BLS2K4G3D1609ES2LX0 (DDR3-1600, CAS 9, 1.35 V, low profile) memory
$170 Mid-range gaming graphics card

or
$185 AMD A10-7850K quad-core 3.7 GHz socket FM2+ processor with HSF + Battlefield 4 game
or $160 AMD A10-7700K quad-core 3.5 GHz
optional $45 Scythe Big Shuriken 2.B cooler
$108 MSI A88XM Gaming micro-ATX socket FM2+ motherboard
$72 2x4 GiB PC3-17000 G.Skill F3-17000CL9D-8GBSR (DDR3-2133, CAS 9, 1.65 V) memory
$0 integrated APU graphics

$140 0.24 TB Intel 530 Series SSDSC2BW240A401 SSD
or $151 0.25 TB Samsung 840 Evo MZ-7TE250BW
$190 4.0 TB HGST Deskstar NAS H3IKNAS40003272SN(0S03664) 7200-rpm hard-drive
or $190 4.0 TB WD AV-GP WD40EURX 5400-rpm
or $150 3.0 TB HGST Deskstar NAS H3IKNAS30003272SN(0S03660) 7200-rpm
or $140 3.0 TB WD AV-GP WD30EURX 5400-rpm

$81 SeaSonic SSR-450RM (37A, Gold, Modular) power supply
or $87 SeaSonic SSR-550RM (45A, Gold, Modular)
or $60 -20MIR Corsair CX500M (38A, Bronze, Modular)
or $54 -10MIR Corsair CX430M (32A, Bronze, Modular)

$25 Media Center remote
$41½ Wireless XBox 360 game controller for Windows
$60 LG WH16NS40 Blu-ray burner
$8 XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Wireless keyboard & mouse/trackpad, etc.


If you don't want a gaming graphics card, you could go with a compact 7.0 liter mini-ITX system like what's in this thread:
viewtopic.php?f=33&t=92223
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Losergamer04
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Re: SFF build recommendations

Wed Apr 30, 2014 6:38 am

I understand how you feel. I wish they would give some ITX love in their build guide, too.
 
Chrispy_
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Re: SFF build recommendations

Wed Apr 30, 2014 7:23 am

The key thing for a SFF PC is to work out what form-factor will work for your furniture or size requirements; that limits your choice of cases, which limits your choice of other components:

  • Shoebox is mITX or Shuttle bespoke only
  • Ultracompact means Intel NUC, Gigabyte Brix or some similar sized (but underpowered) bespoke thing.
  • mITX cardless is yet another form factor that allows no room for expansion cards and requires an external power brick
  • Standard width gives you a whole load of options, whether you go for half-height or full height, mITX or uATX....
SFF is an umbrella term that covers way too many options and way too many different issues. TR could make an SFF guide for a Shoebox build, but then it'd be of no use to anyone wanting any of the several other possible options. The huge variety of options means that Q&A on the forums probably makes more sense for everyone. That's just my opinion but I can't see how TR can easily cover such a wide-ranging classification as "SFF" ;)
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southrncomfortjm
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Re: SFF build recommendations

Wed Apr 30, 2014 8:12 am

FireGryphon wrote:
Since the TR guide has a new format, are we going to get any SFF build recommendations from an official article, or is it simply a forum affair now? I'm curious since I feel a bit more need for a livingroom PC to handle media and light gaming functions now.


The HTPC build in my sig has served me well since I built it a year and a half ago. Only thing I would change is swapping the power supply for a modular one and add an SSD for your OS and games. If you've really got the budget, and want more gaming chops, spring for an i5 over the i3 in mine. Gotta say though, the i3 definitely solid enough for light to mid gaming at 1080p.

As JAE said, the GD05 is a great case for the living room since it looks like it belongs next to your home theater system rather than near a desk. The MSI Twin Frozr I use in it isn't a huge card, but its not diminutive either, and there's still room for a larger card.
Gaming: i5-3570k/Z77/212 Evo/Corsair 500R/16GB 1600 CL8/GB GTX 760-2GB/840 250gb, EVO 500gb, SG 3tb/Tachyon 650w/Win10

HTPC: i3 3225/H77/8gb g.skill 1.25v/1+2TB HDD/Asus BR/Silverstone GD05B/Antec 380w/Win10

Monitor: Acer Predator X34 Ultrawide 1440p
 
Chrispy_
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Re: SFF build recommendations

Wed Apr 30, 2014 11:58 am

The problem with a larger card in a GD04 or GD05 is this:
http://techreport.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=93708
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