Downsizing Your Rig? Build A Mini-ITX PC

Armed with an EVGA Z77 Stinger, a Bitfenix Prodigy, and a load of Corsair kit, Mark sets out to build a small gaming rig with big performance.

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Why Mini-ITX?

As some of you may remember, last year I built a PC. But not just any PC. My aim, at the time, was to build something powerful enough to play Battlefield 3, and do some video and audio editing. The result was a bit of a monster. Housed inside a full size Corsair 650D case, the rig sported a Core i7, 16GB of RAM, an 850 Watt PSU, an SSD, and an Nvidia GTX 570. Having lived with it for year, and having added a few extra hard drives and LED lights, something dawned on me: do I need this much power? Or, more appropriately, do I need a PC this big?

For those of you who aren't familiar with the joys of living in London, the flats here are pretty small--unless you've got stupid amounts of money to throw around. So in my tiny bedroom in North London, the 650D simply takes up too much space, even if--with all its hard drive racks, drive bays, and PCI slots--it's a great case to expand into. But if expanding isn't something I'd really done over the past year, why would I start now? I don't plan on running a huge RAID array for example, or more than one graphics card in SLI or Crossfire.

Without the need for all that space, a smaller case is certainly an option. And it's not like it would be an entirely foreign endeavour. Earlier this year I built a £300 "Steam Box" PC based on a Micro ATX motherboard, which worked like a charm. Sure, it wasn't the sexiest-looking PC out there, nor--thanks to the budget constraints--was it the smallest, but as a proof of concept it was a good one. For my own build I wanted to go even smaller, sexier, and still have something incredibly powerful to use for gaming and multimedia work. That left only one option: Mini ITX.

"I wanted to go even smaller, sexier, and still have something incredibly powerful…"

Mini ITX boards have come on leaps and bounds over the past few years. Originally developed by electronics manufacturer VIA Technologies in 2001 for embedded systems like set top boxes, Mini ITX motherboards now sport many of the same features as full size ATX boards. In the case of Intel's latest Z77 chipset, that means overclocking support for Core i7/i5/ Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge processors, PCIe 3.0, USB 3, and SATA 6G. What you give up is largely the amount of expansion slots. Generally, there's only one PCIe slot (so no extra sound card or capture device), two DIMM slots for RAM, and just four SATA ports.

It really is worth looking at those limitations if you're considering going with Mini-ITX as I have. Although you can do a lot with external devices now, especially those based on USB 3, there are some things like graphics cards and extra SATA ports that can only be had via the magic of PCIe.

The Parts

With my mind made up it was time to choose the parts. I had intended to recycle a lot of stuff from my previous rig, but the limitations of Mini-ITX meant some things had to be replaced. Unlike other builds where you might start with what motherboard and processor you want, a lot of what you can do with Mini-ITX is defined by the case you choose. There are a lot of Mini-ITX cases to choose from these days, but few are geared up for high-performance computing. Many are designed to sit under a TV, or attach to the back of a monitor, giving you little room for long graphics cards or multiple hard drives.

After running down the options there were really only two cases that had the space I needed to house an adequate amount of kit: Silverstone's SUGO range and BitFenix's Prodigy. The Silverstones are small, Shuttle-style cube cases, which come with the added bonus of an included power supply. However, while they will fit a full-length graphics card, there's not a lot of room for much else. There's space for only two 2.5" drives, and only one 3.5" drive. Plus, water-cooling isn't really an option, at least not without extensive modding.

The Prodigy was the obvious choice for my needs. Not only does it support a vast array of cooling options thanks to multiple fan mounts, but it also supports a lot more drives--up to nine if you aren't using a long graphics card. In my opinion, it looks a lot better too. Other great features include support for full-size ATX power supplies, which are ideal if you need the extra power for overclocking, plus there's lots of room inside for big CPU heatsinks, should you wish to use one. The only issue you might have with the case is its size: it isn't the smallest Mini-ITX case out there, but compared to something like the 650D, it's positively tiny.

For the CPU I decided to reuse the Intel Core i7 2700K from my last build. Intel's new Ivy Bridge chips do have the added benefit of support for the new, faster PCIe 3.0 standard, as well as slightly lower power consumption, but for me its performance boosts weren't quite enough to consider splashing out on a whole new CPU. I did, however, need to get a new motherboard. There isn't a whole lot of choice when it comes to Mini-ITX, particularly in the performance category.

Gigabyte makes a value-orientated range, but even on the Z77 model, overclocking support is weak at best. That left ASRock's Z77E-ITX, and ASUS's P8Z77-I Deluxe. Both have received rave reviews for their performance, especially ASUS's board, which--with its unique 10-phase power Digi+ VRM daughter board--should overclock like a champ.

But just when I thought I'd made my mind up, enthusiast favourite EVGA released its take on Mini-ITX with the Z77 Stinger motherboard. I've had some experience with EVGA's graphics cards and most notably its monster SR-2, dual Xeon motherboard that we used to build the Greatest Gaming Rig on GameSpot. Both times I was impressed with the build quality and performance of its devices. And--from a purely superficial point of view--the understated black and red colour scheme was way more appealing than the neon blue of the ASUS.

The EVGA Stinger has a similar feature set too, including four SATA ports (two 3G, two 6G), support for up to 16GB of 2133MHz DDR3 RAM, 7+1 Phase PWM, two e-SATA ports, and up to six USB 3.0 ports. What's missing is the included WiFi card, which is a disappointing omission at the board's higher price of £160, though there is a Mini PCI-e slot on the motherboard for adding one yourself.

The rest of the rig was an easy shop. For the GPU I settled on an Nvidia GTX 680--a bump over the 570 I used last year--and for cooling I decided to reuse Corsair's excellent 240mm radiator H100 liquid cooler, which performed brilliantly for me over the past year. Some things, however, had to be replaced. The RAM, which was originally 16GB spread out over four sticks, had to go. With only two slots it had to be replaced with two 8GB sticks, for which I went with Corsair's mean-looking performance-tweaked 1866Mhz Dominator Platinum RAM.

The PSU posed its own problems. While Bitfenix's Prodigy case supports full-size ATX PSUs, it only supports those with a maximum length of 160mm. That meant the Corsair 850HX I'd been using wouldn't fit. Instead, I replaced it with a fully modular Corsair AX 750 PSU, and paired it with a red braided cable kit to match the motherboard. For storage I went with a Corsair Neutron 240GB SSD, rated for 555 MB/s sequential read and 370 MB/s sequential write, and one of Samsung's new 840 Pro SSDs, which are rated for 540 MB/s sequential write, and 520 MB/s sequential read.

The Corsair would be used for storing the Windows OS, as well as a few key programs and games that I played often. The Samsung, with its superior write speeds would be used for a Hackintosh partition (that is, installing Mac OS X onto standard PC hardware), on which I do most of my audio and video work. I don't store a whole lot of media on my rig--a 4TB home server handles those duties--so I went with a pair of single platter, 500GB 7200RPM Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000.D drives.

Here's the total list of parts including prices:

Case: Bitfenix Prodigy White - £64.99 ($79.99)
Motherboard: EVGA Z77 Stinger - £160 ($199.99)
CPU: Intel Core i7 2700K @3.5Ghz - £200 ($329.99)
RAM: 16GB Corsair DDR3 Dominator Platinum, PC3-14900 (1866), CAS 9-10-9-27 - £150 ($154.99)
Cooling: Corsair H100 - £90 ($100)
PSU: Corsair AX750 - £126 ($169.99)
Cables: Corsair braided PSU Cables - £52 ($59.99)
Fans: 4x Bitfenix Spectre 120mm White LED - £22 ($46)
SSD One: Corsair Neutron 240GB - £167 ($189.99)
SSD Two: Samsung 840 Pro - £184.99 ($269.99)
Hard Drives: 2X 500GB Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000.D - £70 ($113)
GPU: Nvidia GTX 680 2GB - £360 ($469)

Total: £1646.98 ($2182.92)

The Build

As I discovered, the key to building in a smaller case like the Bitfenix Prodigy is forward planning. There's not a lot of room to move inside the case, so most things have to be partly assembled before fixing them to the case. The first step was to remove the optical drive bay at the top of the case to make space for the H100. I can't remember the last time I actually used an optical drive, so this wasn't a big deal for me, but it's something to consider if you still rely on optical disks. The next step was to remove the top hard drive rack, which I easily slid out by pressing on its plastic retaining clips. That was in order to make room for the GTX 680, which is a relatively long card. If you're using a shorter card like a 560Ti, you can keep the rack in place. Even with the rack removed there's still space for two 3.5" disks, as well as four SSDs via mounting points on the floor of the case, in front of the PSU, and on the side panel.

The first thing to go in the case was the motherboard. As there's no CPU cutout (and the board mounts flat anyway), I had to fix the H100 mount to the board before placing it in the case. As the case only supports Mini-ITX, the motherboard standoffs are pre mounted, so it was simply a case of sliding the board in and tightening the screws. Next job was the H100. In order to mount the unit in a push/pull configuration (i.e. with four fans), they all had to be affixed to the unit outside of the case before carefully holding it steady and screwing it in; it helps if you've got a friend around to help hold it in place while you fix the screws.

After clamping the pump to the CPU, which was a tad fiddly given the limited space, it was simply a case of clipping in to the RAM, screwing in the SSDs, and mounting the hard drives in the plastic drive sleds, which thankfully just clipped into place. That was an easy job. Mounting the PSU, on the other hand, was a nightmare. Although Bitfenix itself says the AX750 will fit in the case, what I didn't anticipate was how much extra room the braided cables would take up. After figuring out what I needed to plug in and threading the cables through the holes at the side of the PSU cage, I attempted to push the PSU into place via the back of the case; it wouldn't fit.

No amount of wiggling, or pulling of cables would get it slide in enough so I could screw it into place. It was only after GameSpot's own Sarah Lynch suggested I pull the two PCIe power cables out of an alternate hole to the right of the PSU cage did I make any real progress. And even then I had to carefully manage where the cables were bending to ensure there wasn't any overlap that prevented the PSU from sitting flush with the case. After about an hour of fiddling, and after some immense brute force to bend the cables, I finally got the PSU to fit. While the braided cables look great, you can save yourself a lot of hassle just using the standard ones, particularly if you're not planning on putting a window on the case.

Once the power cables were fitted and routed, all that was left was the GPU, which was thankfully a pretty easy job compared to the PSU. It's held in place by three thumbscrews at the back of the case, along with a top plate to push down onto the mounting bracket. After a quick jiggle and an extra pair of hands to hold the card steady, it was in and the rig was ready to be powered up.

The Results

Thankfully, everything worked the first time and the system posted through to the EVGA bios. Interestingly, the EVGA bios--while uEFI based--doesn't support a mouse, so you're limited to hammering through options with a keyboard. Where the EVGA trumps many, though, is in its overclocking options. You can delve into the most minute of voltage options and power saving tweaks, which is great for getting a stable overlock up and running. Indeed, with just a little bit of tweaking, I had a nice, stable overclock running on the 2700K within half an hour. With a vcore voltage of 1.256, 4.5Ghz--a boost of 1Ghz--wasn't a problem. I could have gone higher, but I didn't want to go above 1.3 vcore in order to prolong the life of the chip.

Annoyingly, the Stinger doesn't support offset voltage; that is, applying a select voltage for overclocked speeds, while having another lower voltage for when the CPU is doing less work. It's a technique Intel CPUs use at their native speeds, and it's a great way to save power and prolong the life of the CPU. Instead, using the the Stinger, you're forced to run the CPU at a higher voltage all the time. Another issue I had with the Stinger was with the RAM. Officially, the board supports up to 2333Mhz. In practice, it's simply not stable above 1600Mhz. No amount of timing or voltage tweaks worked; pushing the voltage to 1.6 allowed the system to post, but it wouldn't boot into Windows. Officially, EVGA say the RAM I'm using isn't supported (only the 8GB 1866Mhz and 16GB 1600Mhz kits are), but having had a scroll through the EVGA forums, it appears other users have been having issues with supported RAM too. Hopefully it's something that's easily resolved with a future firmware update.

Aside from the memory foibles, the rig performs like a champ. Disk performance is insane from the Samsung and Corsair SSDs, and I was even pleasantly surprised by the Hitachi Deskstars, which are the quietest performance hard drives I've ever used. The same can't be said for the Bitfenix Spectre LED fans, which are a tad noisy for my liking. Lesson learned, though: don't cheap out on the fans. As for games, well, this thing munches through pretty much anything you throw at it. I game on a 1920x1200 monitor, so I'm not pushing super-high resolutions or anything, but the frame rates are impressive. On Far Cry 3, set to ultra with 4xMSAA, the average frame rate hovers around 55 fps, while Batman Arkham City hits 75 fps. Not a single game I played dropped below 50 fps, with many easily averaging 100 fps.

That's a success in my book, and it gets even better for non-gaming tasks like video and audio rendering where the SSDs shave a lot of time off critical tasks. You can of course build a rig for a lot less money, depending on your needs, and hit similar levels of performance in games. This Mini-ITX rig wasn't the easiest thing to build, and there were compromises to be made, but for me, it's now my perfect PC: small, compact, and extremely powerful, all while looking fantastic. I can't ask for much more than that.

Are you considering making the move to Mini-ITX? What would you put in your perfect PC? Let us know in the comments below.

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Discussion

54 comments
hitmaneidos
hitmaneidos

I wish Gamespot featured more articles like this. Many other articles had no content whatsoever.

gopher1369
gopher1369

Would like to point out an inaccuracy in the article:

"The Silverstones are small, Shuttle-style cube cases..... there's not a lot of room for much else...water-cooling isn't really an option, at least not without extensive modding."

 Actually the exact opposite is true. My Sugo SG05 is so small that it's impossible to fit any decent sized air cooler in there, the PSU is directly above the CPU socket giving only around 70mm clearance. In fact the ONLY thing that will fit is water cooling. I have an Antec Kuhler 620 in mine, but I've seen photos on Google Images where people have crammed in the considerably larger Corsair H70. Eg http://img.techpowerup.org/110130/2011-01-30_17-32-15_533.jpg

phase4illini
phase4illini

Also, any smaller alternatives to the Prodigy case that are still large enough for a decent GPU?

phase4illini
phase4illini

Sorry about the double post... kept getting kicked to the Gamespot main page and didn't realize they were actually posting.

phase4illini
phase4illini

Without an optical drive, how did you install the OS?

phase4illini
phase4illini

Without an optical drive, how did you go about installing an OS?

grove12345
grove12345

how about a machine thats around $500

UniversalPie
UniversalPie

Why are people still buying the 680, when the 670 can EASILY OC to a much higher and still stable speed, while remaining significantly cheaper?

random-flip
random-flip

Despite what I said before, this article is about showing how cool a Mini-ITX rig can be as many people think getting huge towers is still the way to go which to be quite honest isn't really required anymore unless you're an enthusiast who likes to have multiple GPUs and custom water loops. It definitely wasn't a post for a budget build either so mentioning that he has wasted money is quite irrelevant as this isn't a budget PC article. This case compared to alot of full tower cases and mid tower cases is actually ALOT smaller in real life and it does allow you to place your PC onto your desk instead of the floor etc. That said this case is also one of the wisest choices for a mini-ITX rig because of it's PRICE and it's capability of being able to fit high end hardware and custom water loops, sure it's a bit bigger than some mini-ITX cases but it can damn well fit alot more hardware in it. The people complaining need to do a little bit more research. Another thing is no having more than 8GBs is NOT a waste of money for one you can avoid disgusting memory leaks from some of the newer games and also have page filing off on your hard drives to allow more space on your SSD etc. ALSO there is this thing called RAMDISK that's currently out which allows you to use your RAM as a storage device which is light years faster  than any SSD on the market. With all the hater comments it's likely the people complaining will be the ones who will actually eventually waste money on building a new system as they clearly don't know shit.

Simplythebest12
Simplythebest12

Waste of money in my opinion.... But if you have a lot of cash to spend i guess it is understandable

 

16GΒ RAM is a waste of money having 8 GB RAM is more than enough and instead of a GTX570 you should have used  your money to buy at least a GTX 660 Ti  (it is a way faster solution  from the 570 and especially for DirectX11 gaming)

lawfrye
lawfrye

I see nothing wrong with someone doing an upgrade on their PC and showing off what  they did...if your proud of what you've built show it off! Personally I needed more space, I got tired of desktop PC's and went with a Laptop gaming rig. This was the first time I ever did this before so I was a little sceptical about the level of performance I would get. I got the third generation I7 2.4GHz CPU overclocks itself up to 3.4 GHz, 32gigs of DDR3 1600MHz system memory, a GTX 680m video card which works hand in hand with the CPU, sound blaster X-Fi sound card I also got a 750GB HD & a 250GB HD. My laptop came with a 17.3 inch display with a screen res of 1920x1080 I really want to upgrade to a SSD hard drive but I'll just have to wait on that as I have already spent over $2500 on this custom built laptop. I don't post this info because I'm trying to show off, I do it because I'm proud of my rig and gaming or video editing or whatever I want to do I can do all at maximum performance. That's the way us PC gamers are, we like to build and in some cases buy the most powerful rigs that we can get...if you are a hater because you can only afford that piece of crap game console well that's your problem not mine I will be playing all my games at maxed out detail settings. Go get a job and save your money like the rest of us...my father tought me a long time ago "if you want nice things in life then you have to be willing to work for them" so don't be a hater, save your money by your own PC or build it and then you to can share your build with the rest of us.  

Oldgun
Oldgun

Great Read. I was looking something for myself to build my very own compact power house. This looks great and I'm looking forward to build a similar one. Thank you Mark !!

bigelf72
bigelf72

A lot of poor young kids commenting in here with nothing but hate.

 

You people should have some respect for someone who worked hard to buy what they can afford. This man did his research and decided build something with passion rather than just buying something off the shelf. Sure, he may not have modded it but he certainly made something more unique than most of you users on Dell or HP desktops.

 

I spent $3k on my setup. You going to persecute me too? I'm on 3 monitors, you jealous yet? If you answered yes to eaither of those, you need to get a real job and a life. I went to college and worked my ass off to be able to afford the things I have. 

 

I have no respect for people who hate out of jealousy.

 

 

puukusa
puukusa

what is this article about really? showing off? Anyone knows  you can build any pc imaginable with unlimited resources. what about article that explains how to build PC more powerful than PS3 with half a price

Adham3
Adham3

i just went out and bought a laptop so fuck you

Baconbits2004
Baconbits2004

What were you able to do with the extra space? 

Mr_BillGates
Mr_BillGates

"Downsizing" Hahaha who are you kidding. That is one huge chassis. Also,  SFF PC is a gimmick. In the end of the day, it still functions as a bulky desktop PC and completely lacks mobility. It's only for those with a stomach for this niche hobby.

k_afzal101
k_afzal101

Get core 2 quad (at least 2.66GHz)

4 - 6 GB DDR3 RAM

Nvidia GTX 660 Ti

That's it!

lengolass
lengolass

I f you want to have dual boot two ssd are the easiest chocie for install the OSX and Win7 or 8. Other way you must be a unix guru. Th 16 gb of RAM are needed if you want you system ton RUN molecular dynamics simulations!

 

ishsgames
ishsgames

Why do so many people hate this article. Sure, he went way overboard with his specs, but these were his preferences. Also, if you read the article till the end," That's a success in my book, and it gets even better for non-gaming tasks like video and audio rendering where the SSDs shave a lot of time off critical tasks. You can of course build a rig for a lot less money, depending on your needs, and hit similar levels of performance in games. This Mini-ITX rig wasn't the easiest thing to build, and there were compromises to be made, but for me, it's now my perfect PC: small, compact, and extremely powerful, all while looking fantastic. I can't ask for much more than that." Thanks for the article Mark :)

random-flip
random-flip

The motherboard chosen is unnecessary so is the second HDD and SSD. The i7 is also a big waste of money for gaming since an i5 has the same core speeds and will perform all the same in games while costing you $100 or so less, there is no point in having the H100 Corsair unless you want to overclock as well so only that smaller fraction of people who overclock would find any use for that extra $100 plus. He could've built this system with a standard H61 motherboard and i5 3570, intel stock cooling and 8gb ram sticks with a decent PSU and a GTX 680 and be able to play games with no bottlenecks for about $700 or more less.

ajac09
ajac09

Worst PC building article ever

LazyGamerX
LazyGamerX

hahah what! 16GB at $154,  2 SSD's and 2 HDD all for a total of $2000+  wtf? whats the point of this any idiot can do this with that kind of money, All this is is bragging/wasting money.

Nemesis788450
Nemesis788450

somebody that puts 16gb ram in their gaming rig, and a 750psu for a gtx 680 just wants to waste money on purpose...so rather show som realistic well valued builds instead of such nonsense

Nemesis788450
Nemesis788450

i built a mini rig too...with the fractal 304...i think most of the stuff you use is just way too expensive...i will pay half that with going for the best value parts and be able to buy a new rig in 3 years...besides, the prodigy case does not only look bad but is also way to big - you can find micro atx cases of that size...and i would also be very hesitant with overclocking especially in a high price rig, it just doesnt make sense, you might get issues with a to weak psu (size issues) or with heat...and even if you can pull it off, it will lower the life expecantcy of your parts which than makes no sense to buy the high end stuff in the first place...i went for an overclocked gtx 670, a i5 3550, a gygabyte h77 board and an ssd and i guarantee you i will be able to play everything on max/high for the next 2-3 years when i will replace it anyway, and all that for half the money you spent

lunner
lunner

That system is still too big...  Try a large shoe box sized Mini iTX build I got myself for x'mas:

 

SilverStone SST-SG08B

ASUS P8Z77-I Deluxe

Intel Core i7-3770K

EVGA GeForce GTX 690

G.SKILL Trident X Series 16GB

Noctua NH-C12P

SAMSUNG 840 Pro 256GB SSD

SAMSUNG 840 250GB SSD

Logitech G9x

Logitech G710

Dell UltraSharp U3011

Win8 Pro

Mopar63
Mopar63

@phase4illini Yes Fractal with it's Node, Lian Li has a couple of cases like the Q25 as well as Silverstone and Coolermaster. The Node BTW also allows for liquid cooling with the use of a kit like the H60 or H80.

gopher1369
gopher1369

@phase4illini I use a Sugo SG05. Fits pretty much any graphics card, I think the maximum clearance is 10.5". Ther are plenty of photos of people with geforce 680s in there.


It's a nice case, but for me the Bitfenix Prodigy completely misses the point, it's so big it's not really Mini ITX at all, it's micro ATX sized case that's only capable of fitting mini ITX motherboards.

Mopar63
Mopar63

@phase4illini I do the same as Gopher, in fact I have not used an optical drive for a few years now. All my games are on STEAM and my apps have all been put on USB keys or downloaded.

Mopar63
Mopar63

@UniversalPie I would go a step further, if you are playing at a 1080 resolution the 660Ti delivers the same gaming experience and with some overclocking gets close to the 670.

Mopar63
Mopar63

@random-flip Flips I would disagree about one of the wisest choices, in fact after building in one I fail to see what all the hype is about. I will grant it has the most cooling options but that is about all. The Node 304 allows for liquid cooling and a large number of drives as well. In fact the build in this article could be done in a Node easily with the exception that the H100 would need to be switched to an H80 or H60. 

I will go further  the Prodigy has an unstable footing, the case has a tendency to rock side to side and the "feet" will slide on about 75% or better of desk surfaces.  The Prodigy is a wide open case for basically building a full tower PC in an mITX design but to say it is wisest choice is wrong.

abdullaxbox
abdullaxbox

 @bigelf72 true that brother!!! fucking online haters these days :@     i actually like this article and in fact i might actually do exactly the same cause its helpful.

respect for you man, it seems like im not the only normal fucking guy left on the internet :))))

realguitarhero5
realguitarhero5

 @puukusa PC gaming is huge and building a PC is a huge part of it all.  PC gamers like me find this interesting?  If you aren't interested in the article then don't click on it just to post a hate comment.

gopher1369
gopher1369

@Mr_BillGates Unless you want to fit it under your TV next to your Xbox in your TV cabinet, like I do.

abdullaxbox
abdullaxbox

 @nojumplmao then STFU and no oneneeds to know you crappy opinion, this article was 4 pages long, you shouldve realised by the first page that this was bad and left the page asap, this guy is a genius, first he knows how to spend money in the right way. SECOND he knows how to build the right PC more than you do. So he is smarter than you FINANCIALLY and TECHNOLOGICALLY.

treehaus
treehaus

i don't know, but you save money down the road if you would just invest in a higher powered psu for future upgrades, never know when you would want to go SLI or CFX. I have dual GTX 670 and running a Seasonic 1250 psu. The extra power makes for a smoother/cooler running psu than pushing 700w on a 750w psu. My take. If you got the money go for it.

Vanthel
Vanthel

 @Nemesis788450 Actually he said he'd do video/music editing on it as well so the ram is justified. And some games particularly where multi-boxing is concerned with multiple clients open, the more ram the better.I don't know much about the PSU but I'm fairly sure my 750W is the limiting factor to output power for 2x overclocked 6950s in my rig. But as you say, 750 for a single GPU is overkill.

abdullaxbox
abdullaxbox

 @lunner Thats the best u can ever get!!! congratulations bro! just a question, your monitor has a 2560x1600 resolution, do games actually have a (2560x1600) settings??? or is the maximum for game setting 1980 x 1080??

arkadiyk
arkadiyk

 @lunner the only this i would change is case arch mini mobo maximus gene 5 and water cooling h100

puukusa
puukusa

 @realguitarhero5 which part of my comment is exactly hateful?

I'm giving my much valued reader feedback.

 

You probably live rainbowland where everyone gets a "good job" pat on the back even if it's the extreme opposite of compliment received. But if you aren't interested in realistic feedbacks don't scroll down to comments just to post a hate reply.

lunner
lunner

 @abdullaxboxThanks.  Yes I play all modern games, such as GW2, BF3, FC3, etc; in 2560x1600, Only thing I would change is the refresh rate, 120Hz would be nice.

 

lunner
lunner

 @arkadiyk I would like the Maximus Gene 5, but it is micro ATX. The Silverstone SST-SG08B can only fit Mini-ITX.

 

abdullaxbox
abdullaxbox

 @lunner oh ok kool! im about to order my parts right now and hopefully have a built pc by next week. im getting the gtx 690 and about the same processor as yours. the only problem i have now is that im really stuck between 2 monitors:1. 1920 x 1080 that runs @120 Hz 0r2. 2560 x 1600 @60hz     which one do u recommend for me?? i am an first person shooter gamer, and like playing BF3, crysis, COD etc...  is 60hz-120 hz realy a big difference?? thanx budyy