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What are the draw backs to using a itx for gaming?

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
I am planing out my first PC build. It is going to be used only for gaming. I have searched and can not find any clear answers to what are the draw backs to building a itx based gaming rig. I have read that they build more heat during over clocking, and you can only run one gpu card. And I know of the space limitations associated with itx cases. But I can not find a apples to apples comparison of a atx or "full sized" built rig to an itx built rig running the same cpu, gpu, clock speed, resolution and using the same games to get a performance figure. Any incite to anything I might have missed or concerns I need to consider would be great as I am very new new to PC gaming. Just for an idea of the direction I am wanting to go: Bitfenix Prodigy, cpu 3570 or 3770 with h100i or h220 for cooling, gpu 670 or 7970. Thanks:)
post #2 of 32
I personally have a miniITX build in the prodigy.. I've got pretty much one level lower than what you were aiming for (2500k, 7950, H100) but I can tell you it's really amazing in terms of performance! My friend has a similar ATX build (2500k, 660ti) and we get pretty much the same framerates.. If I were you, I'd go for the 7970 because of the amazing overclocking potential. Make sure you do your research on the mobo because most mITX mobos are voltage locked, not exactly utilizing the power of the 2500k. The gpu overclocks really well and I have no complaints. Right now I've got the 7950 running 1100/1575 on stock voltage, and it never goes over 65 degrees Celsius.
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post #3 of 32
The only issue with building m-itx is that you need more planning in order to pick parts that work in the case of your choice. For instance, I am using an SG08 and am limited to certain heatsinks due to how small the case is. Another example is if you were for example going to use the Fractal Node 305, then you would want a short power supply (140mm) in order to fit a long GPU.

You nailed the use of one GPU on an m-itx board, but I really don't see that as a real disadvantage because there are plenty of good dual gpu cards like the GTX 690. As for heat, it is a slight issue in much smaller cases, but that can be fixed by limiting overclocking on a CPU, using a good heatsink that fits the case, and sticking to reference blower GPUs that blow air out of the case.

Since you will be using a Prodigy, heat and compatibility of parts shouldn't be too much of an issue for you because the case is huge tongue.gif
    
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post #4 of 32
When buying a mITX motherboard... realize there are two predominant location of the CPU socket.... next to the PCIe and one further away. Just be aware when buying a HSF.
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post #5 of 32
Thread Starter 
The cpu location was one of the things that I found brought up in most of the reviews I have been browsing. It looks like there are very few options for performance oriented gaming boards in itx form factor. The ASUS P8Z77-I DELUXE is the one I see recommended the most. Thanks for the replies. I don't know why I assumed there was a trade off for performance with the smaller size.
post #6 of 32
i love my itx case for gaming! it gives me a ton more spac on my desk! id highly recommend it. before i was at 4.5ghz on an 4+1 atx board. now the asrock board is 5+1 i believe and ive only got it at 4.2ghz bexause im still checking the durability of the board. the inside of the case wont look nice if you have full length cables in it.
post #7 of 32

Things to consider:

  • Space - space is very limited depending on the case, but no matter what, \it is required that extensive planning and searching on the internet for specs is done. SFF is a game of Tetris.
  • Expansion - remember, gaming takes up the one and only expansion slot with the PCI-E slot. With some motherboards, there is an mSATA slot; however, sound cards cannot be used with the only PCI-E slot taken up. You'll have to resort to USB sound cards, e.g. FiiO E10.
  • Cooling - Actually not too much of an issue, but it's a different game than ATX systems. Blower-style coolers on GPUs actually work quite well in SFF situations.

That's about it. 

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post #8 of 32
The only drawbacks i can think of are expandability. I don't really get the prodigy though, if you really compare it's size to other cases its actually BIGGER than some Matx cases.
    
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post #9 of 32
Thread Starter 
The prodigey owners thread on here is packed with info, i have been using it to plan my build. The audio limits with an itx mobo bring up another question, i game with head phones and currently use an astro wireless headphone amp. Could i get away with using the optical out of the mobo straight to the amp?
post #10 of 32
I myself am looking to move to itx for a gaming pc, though as others have said its a bit pointless in such a massive case tongue.gif

From my standpoint the biggest difference is in cost - both monetary and time.

i am tempted to go itx tho now as my case needs replacing ( its years old with many many moves and uni and falling off my desk to kill it!) so new motherboard and I might well do it.

Gl with your build though smile.gif remember to choose power supply carefully and look into length of leads and make sure it is modular tongue.gif
    
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