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Help with a (relatively) SFF build.

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi all wave2.gif,
Not sure if this is the correct part of the forum for this post, apologies if I it isn't.

I'm looking to build a new rig for my brothers soon and was hoping some of you could provide some help choosing the hardware. Here's what I have picked out so far:

  • Case: Bitfenix Prodigy (black with mesh front)
  • CPU: 3570K
  • Motherboard: Asrock Z77E-itx or Asus P8Z77-I Deluxe
  • GPU: 7950 of some kind
  • RAM: 8GB Samsung Green DDR3 1600MHz
  • PSU: Unsure, preferably fully modular.
  • SSD: 120/ 128gb Samsung 840/830 or Crucial M4
  • Hard drive: 1TB, probably WD caviar black
  • Fans: Not sure, was thinking a large 200mm+ fan for a front intake, 140mm for the rear and some 120mm for everything else. Im not sure on models though.
  • CPU cooler: The Asrock board can't really accommodate a large air cooler so would opt for a closed water cooling loop but haven't decided on anything, one of the Corsair or Antec single radiator models. The Asus could manage an air cooler but i'm not too sure how much a huge block of metal would effect the airflow through the case.

The computer will hopefully be used for word processing/ web browsing (homework) as well as some gaming at 1080p single screen. I'm trying to keep the budget under control but I have a tendency to lean towards the expensive... budget is around $1200 - 1400 (£750 - £900) but ideally would like a little left over for OS and monitor.

I want to keep the case relatively small as it might get moved around the house a bit so the Prodigy felt like a perfect match. Everything else is undecided so would appreciate your opinions on the matter.

I'm hoping to build my own computer next year so thought this would be a good chance to experiment with sleeving, overclocking (only modest) and possibly modding if the interior ends up deserving of a side window! All of these extras aren't part of the above budget though. Would also be nice to have something to tinker with over the holidays to! biggrin.gif

Also had another question. The little ITX motherboards only have 2 fan headers however I would like to add more fans than that. I believe you can get molex to 6 3pin fan splitters but I presume the only way to reduce fan speed is with a dedicated fan controller. How loud would case fans get if they're running at full blast constantly?
Alternatively, is it possible to run more than one fan off of the fan headers on the motherboard so they can be controlled from the bios/UEFI?

Sorry for the novice questions, I've never built a computer from scratch redface.gif.
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post #2 of 7
Why do you want a Prodigy? They look great and all, but eh, go with a ATX case. I'd get something like: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/rQGb

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($169.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($34.98 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($129.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Samsung 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($34.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($67.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card ($279.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Rosewill Hive 650W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($81.57 @ Amazon)
Optical Drive: Lite-On IHAS324-98 DVD/CD Writer ($14.99 @ Newegg)
Monitor: Asus VS239H-P 23.0" Monitor ($164.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1064.47
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-10 14:15 EST-0500)


That's quite a good build, left space for your own case, will easily max out most modern games. You could however go with something cheaper, such as: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/rQH6

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD FX-4300 3.8GHz Quad-Core Processor ($119.99 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($34.98 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-970A-UD3 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($104.98 @ NCIX US)
Memory: Samsung 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($34.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($67.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7870 2GB Video Card ($209.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Rosewill Hive 650W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($81.57 @ Amazon)
Optical Drive: Lite-On IHAS324-98 DVD/CD Writer ($14.99 @ Newegg)
Monitor: Asus VS239H-P 23.0" Monitor ($164.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $924.45
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-10 14:17 EST-0500)

That will still easily go very will in most modern games. Left space for cases in both builds.
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks Mhyles,

I was leaning towards the Prodigy for the extra portability and desk space saving (looked pretty nice to blushsmiley.gif). Do you think it's not worth the trouble over just going for an ATX?
Did you suggest it because of my query over fans? I suppose the extra fan headers on ATX motherboards would render the question moot.

Forgot to fill in my location rolleyessmileyanim.gif I'm from UK sadly, wish I could take advantage of those prices!
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post #4 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeyBear View Post

Thanks Mhyles,
I was leaning towards the Prodigy for the extra portability and desk space saving (looked pretty nice to blushsmiley.gif). Do you think it's not worth the trouble over just going for an ATX?
Did you suggest it because of my query over fans? I suppose the extra fan headers on ATX motherboards would render the question moot.
Forgot to fill in my location rolleyessmileyanim.gif I'm from UK sadly, wish I could take advantage of those prices!

You may as well just get an ATX board.

What's your budget?
What will you be playing? What programmes will you be using?
Do you need peripherals an OS etc?
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
The build is for my brothers, so I can't say for certain what it will be used for.

I'm not building it for a specific game although it would be nice for it to run the latest games at high settings,1080p res.

Software wise, certainly nothing strenuous. Just office applications and web browsing I imagine.

I don't have anything already so peripherals will be needed although that's not too much of a worry. Can pick them up at the end.

Have a budget of around $1200-1400 (£750-900) although it would be nice to come in at the lower end of the scale. I'm planning to try my hand at sleeving, possibly a little modding so I'll have extra costs but no need to worry about that in the budget.

I'm looking to buy my own rig next year so this project is a bit of a testing ground for that, although i'm intending to go watercooling for that.
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post #6 of 7
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post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 

guiltysmiley.gif It was a loose budget, i'll have to admit. I'll be picking up the slack.

Just wanted to see if anyone had any better ideas for components price/performance wise or if there were glaring oversights that I had overlooked. Considering ATX a little more after Mhyles' suggestions.
Edited by HeyBear - 12/11/12 at 2:35am
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Filco Majestouch-2, brown switches Cooler Master V1000  Corsair 900D Logitech G600 
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