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Discussion Starter #1
Summary
I am looking to build a very small form-factor rig on the LGA1366 (more preferred) or LGA1156 platform. I am lost when it comes to the terminology (mini-ATX? micro-ITX?), so I need you guys to educate me and point me in the right direction. I move (fly) across the country a lot many times a year, so I'd love it if I am able to just throw this rig in my checked luggage, or ship it a few days before moving.

Budget
$600 - $700 excl. monitor (apologies in advance if I am being unrealistic; do explain why you think that way though)

Purpose
  • Audio Production Workstation (DAW)
  • Gaming (mostly TF2)
Additional Info
  • I'll need PCI slot(s) for soundcard(s) (I already have a EMU 0404 lying around), and 3-4 USB ports. Will need FireWire too!
  • An optical drive is not necessary; I'll go the external route if/when needed.
  • I'd also like to learn GPU Programming, so maybe a CUDA-packing NVDA GPU? Or maybe something from ATi so that I can get started with OpenCL instead? What do you guys think?
If you require more information, please let me know. Thanks for reading!


Edit: Hopefully the components would be of high quality so that I don't need to go for an external soundcard due to internal electrical noise/hum.
 

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Matx (micro atx) is typified by a square board that is 9.6" (244mm) x 9.6"

Matx will be the smallest board you will ever get a socket 1336 on and for that platform I would suggest the baby classified (newegg link)

for 1156, you could easily go Matx (I don't have any suggestions for that)

but, in the news a few weeks ago a board in development by dfi was posted that is a mini-itx form factor which is 6.7" (170mm) square with a socket 1156.
 

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With the needs you specified (especially the PCI slot), a microATX board is the way to go in terms of connectivity and productivity. You could get one of those little Shuttle cases, and if you want 1366 then Asus makes the nice Rampage 2 Gene X58 board. Don't know of any particularly good micro P55/1156 boards, but I'm sure someone can point you in the right direction.

Don't know if it will be small enough to just throw it in luggage, though...
 

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semi-legit
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Quote:


Originally Posted by aeoo
View Post

Wow, thanks for your replies, gentlemen. There's no way I'll be able to fit in everything within my budget. =/ Question: Is Newegg the best place to buy?

Motherboard: $210 EVGA 121-BL-E756-TR
Processor: $250 Core i7 920 D0
RAM: $130 PQI 6GB (3 x 2GB) DDR3 1333 SDRAM
Case: ?
GPU: ?
Total w/o case and GPU: $590


No way. No way in Helsinki.


Go i5 my friend:

Antec 300: $49.95 shipped
700w OCZ Modstream: $98 shipped + additional 10% off (and $30 rebate)
WD640 Black (32m cache): $75 shipped
4GB Corsair DDR3 1600: $94.99 shipped
Gigabyte P55M-UD2: $104.99 shipped
Samsung DVD burner: $26 shipped

If you include rebate on PSU, all that gear is ~$410

If you can get an i5 750 for $150 at Microcenter you're at $560, add a decent HSF say we're up to $600.
That leaves you with enough wiggle room to get a 4870 too.

Hope that helps
 
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Quote:


Originally Posted by candy_van
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Go i5 my friend:

Antec 300: $49.95 shipped
700w OCZ Modstream: $98 shipped + additional 10% off (and $30 rebate)
WD640 Black (32m cache): $75 shipped
4GB Corsair DDR3 1600: $94.99 shipped
Gigabyte P55M-UD2: $104.99 shipped
Samsung DVD burner: $26 shipped

If you include rebate on PSU, all that gear is ~$410

If you can get an i5 750 for $150 at Microcenter you're at $560, add a decent HSF say we're up to $600.
That leaves you with enough wiggle room to get a 4870 too.

Hope that helps


This.

Also, compared to a Q6600, an i7 750 is about 20% faster, and an i7 920 is only 40% faster than a Q6600.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Quote:

Originally Posted by candy_van View Post
Go i5 my friend:

Antec 300: $49.95 shipped
700w OCZ Modstream: $98 shipped + additional 10% off (and $30 rebate)
WD640 Black (32m cache): $75 shipped
4GB Corsair DDR3 1600: $94.99 shipped
Gigabyte P55M-UD2: $104.99 shipped
Samsung DVD burner: $26 shipped

If you include rebate on PSU, all that gear is ~$410

If you can get an i5 750 for $150 at Microcenter you're at $560, add a decent HSF say we're up to $600.
That leaves you with enough wiggle room to get a 4870 too.

Hope that helps

Repped you, dude. However, one of the main requirements is that it be as physically compact as possible. That Antec looks like it is a full-size mid-size tower.
 

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That case is a mid tower.

What about this case as a MATX case, its actually my favorite MATX case thats out now.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-041-_-Product

Or there is this one that is supposed to come out soon but its pretty pricey compared to the first case. Theres a thread here in the intel general section where the manufacturer asked for some ideas about changes/tweaks to it.
http://www.lan-gear.com/

All in all I think the antec p180 will be your best bet.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by aeoo View Post
Repped you, dude. However, one of the main requirements is that it be as physically compact as possible. That Antec looks like it is a full-size mid-size tower.
o.o

 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by SniperXX View Post
That case is a mid tower.

What about this case as a MATX case, its actually my favorite MATX case thats out now.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-041-_-Product

Or there is this one that is supposed to come out soon but its pretty pricey compared to the first case. Theres a thread here in the intel general section where the manufacturer asked for some ideas about changes/tweaks to it.
http://www.lan-gear.com/

All in all I think the antec p180 will be your best bet.
I want that Lan Gear case :O
 

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Yep P180 Mini is an excellent choice. It's a bit more than the Antec 300 (I picked one up for $83 shipped), but you can pack a TON of firepower in there with some planning & ingenuity...plus it has a ton of airflow to boot.

FYI, with the lower bay cage removed it can fit a 5970...so yea...wow.
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by ZHoob2004 View Post
Matx (micro atx) is typified by a square board that is 9.6" (244mm) x 9.6"

Matx will be the smallest board you will ever get a socket 1336 on and for that platform I would suggest the baby classified (newegg link)

for 1156, you could easily go Matx (I don't have any suggestions for that)

but, in the news a few weeks ago a board in development by dfi was posted that is a mini-itx form factor which is 6.7" (170mm) square with a socket 1156.
for i7 i'd suggest the Rampage II GENE or the eVGA X58 Micro ATX as mentioned above.

for i5, i'd suggest the P55M UD2 or P55M UD4

and FWIW, to all recommending the P180 Mini, it is BIG. i went to Fry's this past sunday to check the size, and they had it next to an Antec 900 and it was the same size. it's not very small as an mATX case. maybe look at those smaller form factor cases...
 
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Quote:


Originally Posted by -iceblade^
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for i7 i'd suggest the Rampage II GENE or the eVGA X58 Micro ATX as mentioned above.

for i5, i'd suggest the P55M UD2 or P55M UD4

and FWIW, to all recommending the P180 Mini, it is BIG. i went to Fry's this past sunday to check the size, and they had it next to an Antec 900 and it was the same size. it's not very small as an mATX case. maybe look at those smaller form factor cases...

They have a mid tower one and a MATX one. You sure it was the mini? I've seen it and I own the 300 and I can swear its smaller.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thank you for your replies, gentlemen. All of you are fine men; your mothers are surely proud.

At 18"x18"x8", the Antec P180 is still rather large for my needs. To quote Newegg Reviewer 'PG':

Quote:


There is nothing "mini" about this case except that it will not accomodate a full-size ATX board. In other respects - cooling, interior volume, # bays, fit-and-finish, engineering, convenience, weight, accessories, parts, etc. - it is a world-class large-midsize tower.

It is a truly great choice, if you don't care about the size part.


On a side note: If someone is interested in the *white* version of this case (I wouldn't have minded considering the cost savings), it is available for $45 after rebate on Newegg with free shipping. [Link]

Yeah, I also don't mind that LanGear 'Da Box 100' case (15"x12"x9") provided it is reasonably priced.


JKBenchmarks: The more I think about it, the more I feel I should go for an X58 setup. Future proof and all that, you know... The way this is going, I will either have to wait for prices to drop, or increase my budget (unrealistic).


Thank you all again! Reps are in order.
 

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You could use my i5 set up, with a smaller case. As for the Antec Mini P180, it's a great case. Built extremely well, lots of options, lots of configurations, and looks amazing. However, there are much smaller Micro ATX cases out there. The Mini P180 is almost as big as an average Mid Tower, so just keep that in mind.
 

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Quote:


Originally Posted by jcichetti
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Hi OP,

I was specing a SFF case/build recently and I haven't seen anyone suggest the case I was thinking about.

Thermaltake Lan Box in...

Black

Aluminum

Good chassis, but he's on a low budget. And wow Antec 300 went out of stock in newegg right after I bought one
 

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Quote:


Originally Posted by SniperXX
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They have a mid tower one and a MATX one. You sure it was the mini? I've seen it and I own the 300 and I can swear its smaller.

it was the Mini. this white P180 Mini. i specifically checked it dude. i can't compare to the 300, they were further away, but the P180 Mini was the same height as the antec 900 (v1).
 
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