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Call for comments: a lightweight ITX Ivy Bridge build

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
Hello All,

One year experience [update May/22/2013]:

My final build is:
CPU: i5-3550, with fans (1. dynatron K2 side blower and 2. Delux Nitro, see below)
Mobo: Intel DH77DF
RAM: 2x8gig low profile
Case: picoPSU + 150W AD-DC adapter + M350
HDD: sandisk 120g ssd + wd black 500g hdd + wd black 750g hdd
OS: Ubuntu 12.04

In retrospection, I felt that my goal of programming productivity is incompatible with (extremely) small form factor I had in mind. After all, I have to leave the case open for two reasons: 1) K2 side blower cannot effectively cool the i5: temperature can reach 80C under 100% load; I have to use the bulky Nitro fan; 2) I kept adding more and more storage as my data grow.

Due to the open case, dust accumulates quickly on the mobo and CPU fan. I may need to switch to another case like cooler master elite 120.

Highlights:
- the system itself runs pretty smooth. I have to say the picoPSU from mini-box does its job well!
- high mobility as the whole computer can be easily decomposed into several parts...

Hope my experience could help those who attempt SFF build for programming.



I've been lurking in this board for quite a long time. I really like the SFF forum. Now jumping out to ask for help =)

I'm looking into building a quite small ITX machine based on the new Ivy platform.

Use:
- I will use this machine for coding (sometimes compilation of GB codebase), browsing, some productivity apps (e.g., MS Office, adobe PS/LR). I definitely want a high performance, but also want to sacrifice it a little for the SFF =)

- I don't need a standalone gfx card.

- [update] I can ditch DVD drive if that may save some $/space.

Form factor:
- By small, I am thinking about mac-mini-small. Since I often change places of work, I really want portability.

OC or not-OC: I tend not to OC right now.
- If OC, the only promising Z77 mobo (as of now), ASUS p8z77-i delxue, has a pretty steep price. Also, I've read some negs about the heat problem of the new CPUs...
- By not OCing, I probably can get smaller case/fan to reduce the overall size and cost (?). Also probably can live with a cheaper ASRock z77 ITX mobo rather than the expensive ASUS one.
- If someone can convince me with great performance benefits of OC, I'd really appreciate that. =)

Tentative Plan:
- CPU: i5 3570k vs i5 3450. If not OCing, probably I should choose 3450?
- Mobo: ASRock Z77E-ITX LGA 1155
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157312
- RAM: 16G, no idea which model
- Storage: I've already had two: one Sandisk 128G SDD + one WD 500G HDD. Both for laptop.
- Case: no idea yet. Want to have an elegant yet low-profile one.

Thanks for comments!
Edited by thracia - 5/22/13 at 8:16pm
post #2 of 30
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.910232

Can't go too wrong with ram... and I'd recommend the White Silverstone Sugo 05 for a case.
    
CPUGraphicsRAMHard Drive
Intel Core i7 6700HQ nVidia GTX 965m 16GB DDR4-2133 120GB M.2.SSD 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
480GB Crucial M500 Windows 10 Pro Dell Ultrasharp u2713hm Corsair Vengeance K70 
MouseAudio
Logitech G600 Creative T20 
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CPUGraphicsRAMHard Drive
Intel Core i7 6700HQ nVidia GTX 965m 16GB DDR4-2133 120GB M.2.SSD 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
480GB Crucial M500 Windows 10 Pro Dell Ultrasharp u2713hm Corsair Vengeance K70 
MouseAudio
Logitech G600 Creative T20 
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post #3 of 30
something to be aware of before jumping into ivybridge

www.overclockers.com/ivy-bridge-temperatures
post #4 of 30
Either go with the M350 or the Wesena ITX2

The M350 has the ability to put a USB wifi in the front without it sticking out anywhere. The ITX2 has access to a slot loading slim drive. The slot loading drive will be taken up by the second 2.5" drive so I suggest sticking with the M350.

For ram go with anything really low profile. I'd say the Samsung ram but that only goes up to 8.

Don't overclock since at this size level the thermal and power requirements are hard to reach.

A 120W Pico-PSU should do you just fine provided you stick with an H77 board and the i5 3450. Unless specifically stated you also have to buy a compatible power brick.

For an H77 board I'd suggest waiting for the Zotac H77 as it is the only H77 so far that will not have gimped features. The BIOS is sub-par but with no overclocking it shouldn't be a problem.
     
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i5 3450S Asus P8H77-I AMD HD7790 G.Skill Sniper  
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
WD Scorpio Black OCZ Vertex II Samsung HD204UI Samsung HD204UI 
Hard DriveMonitorKeyboardPower
Samsung HD204UI LG L246WP Razer Blackwidow Ultimate PicoPSU-160-XT 
CaseMouseAudio
My desk Razer DeathAdder 3.5G Fiio E10 USB DAC 
CPUGraphicsRAMHard Drive
Intel i7-3615QM GT 650m Samsung Crucial M4 
Hard DriveOSMonitorPower
Seagate ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB Windows 7 Ultimate 64-Bit 17.3" 1920x1080 Delta SADP-90FH D 90W 
MouseAudio
Logitech M505 Fiio E10 
  hide details  
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i5 3450S Asus P8H77-I AMD HD7790 G.Skill Sniper  
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
WD Scorpio Black OCZ Vertex II Samsung HD204UI Samsung HD204UI 
Hard DriveMonitorKeyboardPower
Samsung HD204UI LG L246WP Razer Blackwidow Ultimate PicoPSU-160-XT 
CaseMouseAudio
My desk Razer DeathAdder 3.5G Fiio E10 USB DAC 
CPUGraphicsRAMHard Drive
Intel i7-3615QM GT 650m Samsung Crucial M4 
Hard DriveOSMonitorPower
Seagate ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB Windows 7 Ultimate 64-Bit 17.3" 1920x1080 Delta SADP-90FH D 90W 
MouseAudio
Logitech M505 Fiio E10 
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post #5 of 30
Thread Starter 
@staryoshi: Thanks for the link! I should have figured out that H77 is enough for me.

@psyclum: Yes, that's one of my concerns. I just hope that the heat problem does not exclude Ivy Bridge from ITX builds...

@armourcore9brker: Great suggestions. Will look into them. Thanks!
post #6 of 30
I agree with the cases armourcore9brker suggested. I also suggest Habey cases on Newegg.

EMC-600S (without DVD drive)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811321012

EMC-800S (with DVD drive)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811321013

They are about the same size as the Wesena case and also have black versions of the case. They range from $60-$70.
post #7 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by psyclum View Post

something to be aware of before jumping into ivybridge
www.overclockers.com/ivy-bridge-temperatures

Ivy only heats up when you crank the voltage, otherwise it's perfectly fine. It's a smaller chip that runs warmer but puts out less heat. It's a non-issue IMO.
    
CPUGraphicsRAMHard Drive
Intel Core i7 6700HQ nVidia GTX 965m 16GB DDR4-2133 120GB M.2.SSD 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
480GB Crucial M500 Windows 10 Pro Dell Ultrasharp u2713hm Corsair Vengeance K70 
MouseAudio
Logitech G600 Creative T20 
  hide details  
Reply
    
CPUGraphicsRAMHard Drive
Intel Core i7 6700HQ nVidia GTX 965m 16GB DDR4-2133 120GB M.2.SSD 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
480GB Crucial M500 Windows 10 Pro Dell Ultrasharp u2713hm Corsair Vengeance K70 
MouseAudio
Logitech G600 Creative T20 
  hide details  
Reply
post #8 of 30
Thread Starter 
They look very nice. In order to save the space, I can live without a DVD drive. Isn't the 60W PSU of EMC-600S too weak?
Sorry, duplicated. See below.
Edited by thracia - 4/29/12 at 12:50pm
post #9 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by isoDUB View Post

I agree with the cases armourcore9brker suggested. I also suggest Habey cases on Newegg.
EMC-600S (without DVD drive)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811321012
EMC-800S (with DVD drive)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811321013
They are about the same size as the Wesena case and also have black versions of the case. They range from $60-$70.

They look very nice. In order to save the space, I can live without a DVD drive. Isn't the 60W PSU of EMC-600S too weak?
post #10 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by thracia View Post

They look very nice. In order to save the space, I can live without a DVD drive. Isn't the 60W PSU of EMC-600S too weak?

I think you can change the PSU to a picoPSU, but I haven't read up on that case much yet. And you can probably use one of these.

http://www.amazon.com/Kinamax-AD-LCD12-Monitors-Adapter-Supply/dp/B000VE7GQQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1335740851&sr=8-1

But again, I'm also kind of new to the SSF mini itx stuff.
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