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 Post subject: Mini-ITX build with Ivy bridge & Lian Li Q-11
PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 10:04 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2008 4:29 am
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Location: Oslo
I am going to build myself a mini-ITX machine now that Ivy Bridge chips are coming out. I've been dreaming of building something small for a long time now, and I'm itching for new hardware now after ca 2,5 years since my last purchase ;) I don't really need it for performance, got a slightly undervolted i7 860 and a HD5850 filling 1920x1200 pixels. By the way, I might very well go for a higher resolution screen over the next few years, i.e. within this new PC's lifetime.

Lian Li PC-Q11 http://www.lian-li.com.tw/v2/en/product/product06.php?pr_index=545&cl_index=1&sc_index=25&ss_index=64&g=f
I am also considering PC-Q25 or others, like Fractal Design Array r2

ASUS P8Z77-I http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/Intel_Socket_1155/P8Z77I_DELUXE/
Expensive, but lekker indeed - dunno what I think of that daughtercard though :P

I'm planning to put in a i7 3770 K or S, we'll see about prices and availability but I do want the HD4000 part. Probably the K and try undervolting @stock Hz, the T model also being a lurker here. If the i5 3475S has good watt/performance/price ratio I might just aim for that one, as I really don't need the extreme performance (but I do like it...).

I guess 8 gigs of sweet fast low profile RAM will be sufficent for a while - but which one ?? Brand /model /speed recommendations are absolutely welcome, as I think RAM can be a confusing market sometimes. But I'm looking for something I can trust.

And then, I really want to get my hands on a Seasonic SS-300/350 TFX 80 plus gold rated PSU's and try to fit it in the top back of the Q11 - maybe by taking it apart, and/or loose the lid or dremel it as needed. To get some air current flowing I might also have to make modifications to the Q11 itself. I guess the external power cable routing/connector will be a problem, but not impossible. http://www.seasonic.com/product/pc_tfx.jsp. So far it's hard to find in europe, but I will see if this Czeck netshop http://interlink.tsbohemia.cz/seasonic-ss-300tgw-tfx-300w-80plus-gold-bulk_d140406.html can send it to Norway. :D Not expensive.. but sssh, dont tell them

Before this Seasonic unit recently popped up, I was considering PicoPSU or Electrodacus solutions, also wondering if I could use two, one for CPU and one for the graphics card ? (anyone?) X-400 was also considered, wondering if I could take it apart somehow and relocate the bits to get room for the CPU cooler. By fitting the PSU up in the top of the cabinet, I can use a tower heatpipe cooler for the CPU, like Scythe Mugen/Ninja or TR HR-02 Macho or anything else (big) designed for low airflow. I am looking at the the Macho, please stop me if you got better advice.

What I am really struggling with, is how I can get power if I want to put a discreet graphics card with a 1 six-pin external power need. Can not the SS-300/350 power a 77w CPU and a high-mid GPU? The PSU as it is dont have connectors for this at all;
http://www.seasonic.com/pdf/datasheet/N ... %20PFC.pdf

Is it possible for me to cheat(I mean fix) and rewire/addon to the Seasonic PSU so I get the six-pin connector I need for GPU? Is it possible to power a discreet graphics card with a juryrigged Pico PSU solution?? Do I have to settle for a GPU that can power from the internal PCI-e slot only? (75w) I will think hard about my wish for the extra power versus the PSU operating within its optimal range when the computer is idling, which is often. So I haven't still decided if I want the 300W or 350W model and if i need modular cabling or not, but availability might decide this for me:P

I'm not gonna build this PC for gaming immediately, but I'm pretty sure I will try to get as much graphic power as I can in there later, but not TOO much - that's too noisy. There will be a SSD, of course - and then I'll just have to see whattodo with my HDD's (...) I'm quite uncertain if I should bother getting an optical drive, maybe just to have BR for the future - but again, I don't really need it today so.. For airflow in the cabinet, i will most probably swap the stock fan, and maybe play around with placement and even hard mods, ruining my friends dremel again ;) But cardboard ducting inside is a starter anyway. I wonder if can end up with 1 big fan (TY-140) in the CPUcooler push position for the whole PC.

Just wanted to post a link to a forumtread at HardOCP where another guy managed to put another PSU in the same place I'm thinking of; http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1523097&page=31 - many phyne builds in that tread ..and another very inspired Q11 build, I like that he polished the harddrives; http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/sho ... -Li-PC-Q11

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Last edited by khaakon on Tue Apr 17, 2012 12:47 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Mini-ITX build with Ivy bridge & Lian Li Q-11
PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 10:30 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2008 4:29 am
Posts: 47
Location: Oslo
'snip'

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 Post subject: Re: Mini-ITX build with Ivy bridge & Lian Li Q-11
PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 12:43 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 6:06 pm
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[quote="khaakon"]Is it possible for me to cheat and rewire/addon to the Seasonic PSU so I get the six-pin connector I need for GPU?

Maybe not. Electrodacus tried doubling up on his PSUs and ran into some problems. He got it working... but it wasn't so easy as you would expect it to be.

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 Post subject: Re: Mini-ITX build with Ivy bridge & Lian Li Q-11
PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 3:22 pm 
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You will have to get a little ingenious to keep temps down with a high TDP graphics card. Here's one option: josephclemente's build.

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 Post subject: Re: Mini-ITX build with Ivy bridge & Lian Li Q-11
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 2:57 am 
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Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2006 10:29 am
Posts: 567
Location: de_DE
khaakon wrote:
Is it possible for me to cheat(I mean fix) and rewire/addon to the Seasonic PSU so I get the six-pin connector I need for GPU? Is it possible to power a discreet graphics card with a juryrigged Pico PSU solution?? Do I have to settle for a GPU that can power from the internal PCI-e slot only? (75w) I will think hard about my wish for the extra power versus the PSU operating within its optimal range when the computer is idling, which is often. So I haven't still decided if I want the 300W or 350W model and if i need modular cabling or not, but availability might decide this for me:P

Maybe, but with a TFX PSU you'll lose the drive bay.
If you don't mind losing the drive bay, there might be a simpler, but more expensive solution: Seasonic SS-400L1U Active PFC 1U PSU. Jonnyguru's review of the 500W unit, the 500W unit is not available in Europe, the 400W unit is readily available. I already mailed etailer and Seasonic about the 500W unit (Seasonic rep even offered to ship one from Taiwan). A 1U PSU fits neatly in the drive cage. The PSU is completely modular, which would make it easy to add graphic card power connectors. Seaonic's fan control is semi-fanless, but under load the single 40mm fan gets really loud and annoying. If you cut a hole in the PSU's case (and cover it with mesh for safety) and another hole in the bottom of the drive cage and mount a fan below it, you can have a quieter solution. The PSU's fan is a 2-Pin version, maybe you can connect the bigger, quieter fan to the fan controller, but I would ask in jonnyguru's forum before attempting yourself. I wanted to use a similar solution until I found out I couldn't get the 500W unit.
It's a shame Seasonic hasn't updated their mini ATX (SFX) units to 80+ Gold, other wise I would build a system like the one in the [H]forum link.

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Evga GTX 670 FTW+ 4GB with Thermalright Spitfire and Thermalright TY-150 500-800RPM, Seasonic 460W Platinum Fanless


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 Post subject: Re: Mini-ITX build with Ivy bridge & Lian Li Q-11
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 3:38 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2008 4:29 am
Posts: 47
Location: Oslo
Hi, thanks for the replies.

I've seen JC's build, excellent - but for myself I hope to avoid much modding on the exterior of the case. I'll have to try to look into electrodacus experiences with two Pico's (I'll call them Pico just for conv.). Thanks Boost, for the link I will certainly look into that. And I don't think I will get an optical drive so there's room there.

*edit; I was thinking to try to get the TFX PSU across in the back & top of the case, not to the front and the ODD drive cage, only as needed.

*I am still looking for RAM recommendations and the key to PSU wizardry :P

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 Post subject: Re: Mini-ITX build with Ivy bridge & Lian Li Q-11
PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 2:04 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2008 4:29 am
Posts: 47
Location: Oslo
*not really wanting to bump my own post but maybe I was trigger happy

Having seen IB reviews today, I wonder if I should just wait awhile, atleast let the technology mature some more before purchase - for better prices/features and stability/drivers, and Thunderbolt not in the very least. Gawd, how I would have regret to miss that one for future proofing a system.
I do like the ASUS MB alot, featurewise - DP :D among others, and smartphone remote sounds great fun. Besides all that power awesomeness. And just now Lian Li released 5 (!) new m-ITX cases - the Q18 is looking interesting but not perfect (for me).
I'm still looking for a good solution for powering up the system as I see it today, but I guess more studying from my side and new HW stuff over 4-6 months might change that.

...now, if only I could give up gaming...

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