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Hardware  » Small Form Factor PC Build

18 posts found
  Brachus

Novice Member

Joined: 9/20/11
Posts: 86

 
OP  10/18/13 12:20:30 PM#1

I'm looking to put together a new small form factor PC for my wife and son. It needs to be small because it will be going on the island in the kitchen. My wife's requirements are negligible, but besides using it for schoolwork, my son will also be playing some games on it; Tomb Raider, Pirate101, Mechwarrior Online, Borderlands 2, and a few others. I'm not looking for a top notch gaming system, just something that can handle those games and be stable on medium-ish settings.

 

Ignoring peripherals, keyboard/mouse/display, I'd like to keep it between $600 and $800. I've started to put a list together on Newegg several times, but I have a problem with settling for parts and tend to start grabbing upgrades saying, "well, it's only $20 more." By the time I am done, I'm at $1,000. Again, needs to be a small form factor for the location. Any help or suggestions is appreciated.

  miguksaram

Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/29/03
Posts: 826

10/18/13 12:54:36 PM#2
I am at work on a smart phone at the moment but I'll chime in when I get home. SFF systems have become a hobby of mine as of late. In the meantime I'd suggest checking out the Small Form Factor Systems thread over on Hardforums.com
  syntax42

Elite Member

Joined: 3/30/07
Posts: 1092

10/18/13 1:39:54 PM#3

If you want to play games on a SFF PC, it probably needs to be in a MicroATX form factor so it can fit a decent power supply and a gaming video card.  I could be wrong, but I think ITX is generally designed for slim (not full height) cards and the power supplies are generally below 300W.  You will likely need around 500W.

Will a MicroATX case work for you, or are those too big?

  Ridelynn

Elite Member

Joined: 12/19/10
Posts: 3325

10/18/13 5:09:26 PM#4

The budget and size requirements look like a good fit for an APU. A decent A-10 6800k Richland on a nice mATX FM2 motherboard, and your pretty well set - just have to find a case to put it in.

Around $225 for the CPU+Motherboard, maybe more if you splurge on the motherboard.

Throw in an SSD (~$120 for 120G), find yourself a case that looks good with a low watt power supply that fits (APU is the biggest thing there, so you don't need more than 300W), 8G of decently fast RAM for those APU graphics, and you'll come in at the low end of that budget, with money left over for peripherals to fit (I like wireless kb/m for HTPC-type stuff, makes it easier to deal with out in the open), in a platform that can fit inside of any case, and give respectable performance for all the things you list at Medium settings.

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13185

10/18/13 5:16:18 PM#5

If you really need small, then here you go:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130664

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819113280

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811163208

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820313342

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827151261

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820226371

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820313342

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814202051

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832416776

That comes to $792, including shipping and ignoring rebates.  I went with a 240 GB SSD, as at $150, that's no more expensive than a smaller SSD together with a hard drive.  If you need more capacity, you can add a hard drive later.

You should be aware that if you can handle a Micro ATX case, that would open up the possibility of some upgrades without increasing the price tag.  But you wanted small, so I gave you small:  the case is 8.74" x 6.93" x 10.87".

  Ridelynn

Elite Member

Joined: 12/19/10
Posts: 3325

10/18/13 7:11:16 PM#6

Quiz:

You have 2 discrete nearly-identical video cards, with an APU

Your slipping...

I'm assuming the price is with a single video card and you aren't trying to crossfire them.

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13185

10/18/13 7:19:20 PM#7
Originally posted by Ridelynn

Quiz:

You have 2 discrete nearly-identical video cards, with an APU

Your slipping...

I'm assuming the price is with a single video card and you aren't trying to crossfire them.

I'm not sure how I ended up replacing the memory by a second video card, but it's fixed now.

As for the APU, that's because you can't get a Socket AM3+ motherboard in a Mini ITX form factor.  Speaking of which, I somehow managed to link the wrong motherboard, too, and that adds to the price tag.  Anyway I've fixed it now, but it's a little over $800.  But that can readily be brought back down by a larger form factor.

  Brachus

Novice Member

Joined: 9/20/11
Posts: 86

 
OP  10/18/13 8:02:56 PM#8
I think I can probably go micro ATX, but definitely no larger.
  squalleonaha

Novice Member

Joined: 1/08/07
Posts: 212

10/18/13 8:16:19 PM#9

you are at the right time. i would tell my wife and son wait for abit like 1 month, 

with black friday and boxing day are coming, you can build a small high end PC for cheap.

in the mean time, you can plan and setup the part

  jagd1

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/30/07
Posts: 279

10/18/13 8:16:56 PM#10

Dell has an alienware Micro Atx with i7 -4770 cpu +gtx760 vga card for 1099$ without monitor .I guess it is over your price range but you may want look

http://www.dell.com/us/p/alienware-x51-r2/pd.aspx

 

Another option is one of new cases from cooler master if dimensions ok for you and build a system around it ,its advantage is you can use reguler power supply for powerful graphic card.

http://www.techpowerup.com/192576/cooler-master-releases-the-haf-stacker-series-pc-cases.html

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13185

10/18/13 8:21:58 PM#11
  squalleonaha

Novice Member

Joined: 1/08/07
Posts: 212

10/18/13 8:22:26 PM#12
you might want to consider a all in 1 PC. those are awsome in place like kitchen.
  Brachus

Novice Member

Joined: 9/20/11
Posts: 86

 
OP  10/19/13 8:29:24 AM#13
Originally posted by jagd1

Dell has an alienware Micro Atx with i7 -4770 cpu +gtx760 vga card for 1099$ without monitor .I guess it is over your price range but you may want look

http://www.dell.com/us/p/alienware-x51-r2/pd.aspx

 

Another option is one of new cases from cooler master if dimensions ok for you and build a system around it ,its advantage is you can use reguler power supply for powerful graphic card.

http://www.techpowerup.com/192576/cooler-master-releases-the-haf-stacker-series-pc-cases.html

I won't touch anything Alienware, ever.

 

That Cooler Master series of cases is pretty impressive. I had not seen them yet. The release date is just about right for when I would want to put this together too. Thanks for that link!

  Gothikaboy

Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/08/07
Posts: 120

10/19/13 8:37:41 AM#14

Check out Silverstone.

Make some really good chassis.

Please do not hype any gam.. oh wait, nevermind... forgot what forum I was on.

  Brachus

Novice Member

Joined: 9/20/11
Posts: 86

 
OP  10/19/13 8:49:51 AM#15
Originally posted by Quizzical

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130637

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827106289

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817182066

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.1447398

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147122

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820226371

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814202051

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832416776

This time, it comes to $785, with a faster processor, a better power supply, more airflow, and a better motherboard.

Thanks Quizz! Appreciate the time you took! This gives me a great baseline to work from. I'll probably look to put this together between Thanksgiving and Christmas, so I'll load this list into Newegg and just keep an eye on their deals for the next few weeks. I may swap a few parts around for brand preference or due to sale prices, but I do like this build. I may also look at that new Cooler Master stackable series that was linked earlier in the thread.

  Brachus

Novice Member

Joined: 9/20/11
Posts: 86

 
OP  10/19/13 8:55:22 AM#16
Originally posted by squalleonaha
you might want to consider a all in 1 PC. those are awsome in place like kitchen.

I completely agree with you and I have often suggested all-in-ones for kitchens, and in general to my parents and in-laws. However, since this will be used for some light gaming now by my son, I fully expect that over time it will see heavier gaming use and I want the option to be able to upgrade as needed.

 

  Ridelynn

Elite Member

Joined: 12/19/10
Posts: 3325

10/19/13 12:30:19 PM#17

If your going on a kitchen island, a laptop actually may not be a bad idea to consider.

It would be a bit more pricey, but take up less space than even a SFF once you factor in the monitor/keyboard/mouse, and you could close it up to put it out of the way (in a drawer/on a shelf) if you need the countertop space back.

  Brachus

Novice Member

Joined: 9/20/11
Posts: 86

 
OP  11/02/13 11:25:47 AM#18

Resurrecting this thread with some changes. Did some additional recent renovations and I now have more room to work with on this build so I've decided to forego the SFF and go with a mid tower build instead. Keeping in mind that this is primarily for my son and casual to moderate gaming with no overclocking needed, here's what I have settled on so far:

 

Case: Corsair Graphite Series 230T

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811139027

Power Supply: SeaSonic G Series SSR-550RM 50 Plus Gold

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817151119

CPU: I5-4430 Haswell

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116895

Mobo: undecided, generally prefer ASUS

Storage: undecided, still deciding between 240 - 256GB SSD, or 120 - 128GB SSD w/ 2nd drive for storage

RAM: 8GB of whatever is cheap or part of a combo deal

GPU: waiting for Black Friday sales to see best deal around $150

Optical Drive: Lite-On DVD burner (or whatever is cheapest at the time)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827106289

OS: Win 7 (have a spare copy)