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 Post subject: First Mini ITX Build - Comments and Suggestions Please
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 9:01 am 
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I've built a few ATX PCs but this will be my first mini ITX. I want the PC to sit on the desk and be mostly silent. I dont have unlimited budget but I do want good quality components as I plan to upgrade once the build is stable. It will be used initially for usual web/email/video/sound stuff and I will add a GPU later to include gaming. Here's my spec

i7-4790K; Asus Z97I-PLUS; Corsair Vengeance Low Profile Black 2 x 8GB; WD Red 3TB; Samsung 840 EVO 250GB; Fractal Node 304; Seasonic X-650; Windows 7

I do plan to overclock hence the cpu and mobo choice.

I'm unsure about the HDD. WD Red seems a common choice although there is some debate as to whether they are as quiet as they used to be. I'm not totally sure about the RAM choice. I'd like 16GB and assume the low profile will help with the mini ITX. Given the mobo, is there a preference for the best RAM sticks?

I need a modular and quiet PSU hence the Seasonic which seems to be a favourite. I plan to put a good gaming GPU in at some point hence the 650W. I know there is much debate about whether 650W is overkill, but I was stung recently with an underpowered PSU that couldnt handle the HD7970 I had in my PC so am very wary about going below this.

I'd value folks comments on any of the above.

My main unknown is around CPU cooling. Before I get a GPU, I plan to run with the integrated graphics on the i7 so there should be plenty of free space in the case. If I dont overclock, can I get away with a fan-less heatsink? What do people recommend? Perhaps there is a heatsink with removable fan that I can add in when I overclock - if so I will want it to be as quiet as poss.

There also seems to be some debate about whether the Fractal stock fans are quiet enough. Again - any experience here will be very useful.

TIA


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 Post subject: Re: First Mini ITX Build - Comments and Suggestions Please
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 2:15 pm 
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Location: ITALY
ajgreen wrote:
Samsung 840 EVO 250GB

The Crucial MX100 and OCZ (Toshiba) ARC100 are maybe even better options.


ajgreen wrote:
Given the mobo, is there a preference for the best RAM sticks?

Crucial VLP.


ajgreen wrote:
I need a modular and quiet PSU hence the Seasonic which seems to be a favourite.

The X-series is a little larger for the case. You might give a look to the Cooler Master V450S and the Corsair CS-450M.
Better units are the Corsair RM450 and the BeQuiet E9 480W CM, but they are as large as the X-series (even if less expensive and less problematic than those contemporary Seasonics).


ajgreen wrote:
I plan to put a good gaming GPU in at some point hence the 650W.

With a good gaming GPU you usually won't pass the 300W mark (i.e. with a R9 280X+i5 combo you should be around 270W): with a typical 7970 GHz you should be lower than 350W with synthetic loads. If you overclock your rig, then YMMV.
Anyway, with such a graphics the Seasonic X-series won't fit (as well as the Corsair RM or the BeQuiet E9 CM).


ajgreen wrote:
If I dont overclock, can I get away with a fan-less heatsink?

Yes (because you have the largest case fan just nearby the heatsink) but it's pointless: you'll just get worse temps.


ajgreen wrote:
What do people recommend?

What SPCR recommends: a Scythe Kotetsu, a BeQuiet Slim, or a slightly inferior Noctua NH-U12S.
By the way, you have not that much room inside the 304 (particularly when you populate the drive bays).

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Luca


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 Post subject: Re: First Mini ITX Build - Comments and Suggestions Please
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 2:29 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2007 11:06 am
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Location: Sweden
With a 160mm modular PSU it can be a hard squeeze to add a full sized graphics card in that case.

oops, Luca already pointed out that, my browser wasn't updated...


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 Post subject: Re: First Mini ITX Build - Comments and Suggestions Please
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 3:04 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:22 pm
Posts: 1925
Location: Guatemala
CPU Cooler
Scythe Kotetsu is what i would go as first option for pice/performance. If money is no object and you want a fan that drops lower in rpms, Nocuta NH-U14S.

SSD
I like Quest suggestion, MX100 is getting very good user reviews, i would be all over the 512gb verion, now on the 250gb... hard to say as the mx100 does take some speed on the writes, but imo its not a big deal if you arent moving that much data.

MEMORY
Crucial Ballistic Sport, this will allow to install the fan as low as you want without interfering.

PSU
This one is hard, as the case has limitations. My first suggestion is go into OCN [Official] Fractal Design Node 304 Owners Club, to what i remember i seen some use 160mm psu, not sure if they are touching or has to be some speical design on the modular side. If you truly want a 650W PSU, then these are what i would consider

Sesonic SS-660XP2 - Imo the best, but also the most expensive, and some user have reported whinning or coil noise on them (mine has been perfect)
Corsair RM650 - This is a good balance on price and value, fully modular, but you will need to check if the cables you need to plug wont affect the mounting of the gpu.
Seasonic SSR-650RM - Imo one worth checking, its semi modular and the fan will always spin, but the none modular cables are the ones you use always, like 24pin, 8pin and pcie, and they are located athe the end of the PSU (thats if you are placing witht he fan facing down on the 304), so its just a matter of checking if with the sata modualr would fit fine.

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GameMi >> MSI Z87-GD65 | Intel Core i7-4790K | Thermalright Silver Arrow IBE + 3x Noctua NF-A15 PWM @500rpms| Crucial Ballistix Sport 32GB DDR3 1600 | nVidia GTX780 + ARCTIC Accelero Xtreme IV | Samsung SA850 27'' 2560x1440 | Samsung 840pro 512GB | Hitachi 7K1000 1TB | Fractal Design Define R4 + 4x Noctua NF-A14 PWM @450rpm | SeaSonic SS-860XP2
Other builds ---> ServeMi | CamMi | MiniMi | HTPCMi


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 Post subject: Re: First Mini ITX Build - Comments and Suggestions Please
PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 3:36 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2007 10:12 am
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Abula wrote:
If you truly want a 650W PSU, then these are what i would consider

Sesonic SS-660XP2 - Imo the best, but also the most expensive, and some user have reported whinning or coil noise on them (mine has been perfect)
Corsair RM650 - This is a good balance on price and value, fully modular, but you will need to check if the cables you need to plug wont affect the mounting of the gpu.
Seasonic SSR-650RM - Imo one worth checking, its semi modular and the fan will always spin, but the none modular cables are the ones you use always, like 24pin, 8pin and pcie, and they are located athe the end of the PSU (thats if you are placing witht he fan facing down on the 304), so its just a matter of checking if with the sata modualr would fit fine.

Up to the reference card lenght (27.5cm) it would be a very tight fit, if any: that's how (from the notorious OCN thread) a 28cm GTX 680 looks like (with a 140mm Silverstone PSU):

Image

Whether it were a non-reference card I think it will be a serious issue: anyway, I'd like to point out that the minimum fan speed of the G-series is around 800rpm (check TPU review), but it's well above 1400rpm over 200W, so it isn't that quiet for that usage.

Personally, given a very long, high powered graphics, I would rather a less problematic PSU, like the already adviced 140mm units (IIRC they are also available in the 650W size, but IMHO that's pointless, given the expected power draw).

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Luca


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 Post subject: Re: First Mini ITX Build - Comments and Suggestions Please
PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 5:32 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2014 8:33 am
Posts: 3
Many thanks for the responses. You've changed my build in a number of areas. I'm still not fixed on the best PSU. What do you guys think about the Seasonic Platinum Fanless 520W?


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 Post subject: Re: First Mini ITX Build - Comments and Suggestions Please
PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 5:39 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:22 pm
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Location: Guatemala
You right about the 160 might be problematic with the modular. I think the SS-660XP2 might have issues depending on the chosen GPU, as might have the RM650, The G650/550/450 might be fine though, specially into how the modular cables are at the bottom when the fan is face down, personally i did a build for a friend with a G550 on a PS07 didnt find it loud, with GTX660 and 3570K, but maybe with a higher end card that could load the PSU more could be louder... i never tried that. But its probably safer to go the ones you suggested, personally i never tried either of the CS or the V.

Image

While this is not a G series, it should end up similar to the below,

Image

_________________
GameMi >> MSI Z87-GD65 | Intel Core i7-4790K | Thermalright Silver Arrow IBE + 3x Noctua NF-A15 PWM @500rpms| Crucial Ballistix Sport 32GB DDR3 1600 | nVidia GTX780 + ARCTIC Accelero Xtreme IV | Samsung SA850 27'' 2560x1440 | Samsung 840pro 512GB | Hitachi 7K1000 1TB | Fractal Design Define R4 + 4x Noctua NF-A14 PWM @450rpm | SeaSonic SS-860XP2
Other builds ---> ServeMi | CamMi | MiniMi | HTPCMi


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 Post subject: Re: First Mini ITX Build - Comments and Suggestions Please
PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 6:17 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2007 10:12 am
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Location: ITALY
Abula wrote:
But its probably safer to go the ones you suggested, personally i never tried either of the CS or the V.

Probably I am biased by the fact I have to get rid of using one of my two Seasonic 460 fanless inside an equally cramped NSK3480... btw, any of the PSU you mentioned are way better than a Corsair CS-M, and particularly the Corsair RM450/RM550 should offer an excellent noise profile even when their fan kicks in (differently from the vast majority of semi-fanless PSUs), as Pfab @ ComputerBase.de reported a very low 650rpm.

The Corsair CS is just a decent PSU, with std ATX depth, modular cabling and a favourable fan profile:

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Corsair/CS650M/5.html (look at the end of the page)

The Cooler Master VS is a bit better unit, extremely efficient, but it is probably a tad less favourable noise wise (given the expected power draw) than the Corsair CS (check the relevant review @ TPU).

Anyway, I think these are currently the least offenders (noise wise) among the standard 140mm ATX PSUs.

As a side note, recently (since a year ago?) crmaris@techpowerup provides us an helping hand, as he started to publish the various fan rotational speeds at different loads. Those data can't help us about noise quality, but it's a real help given the amount of PSUs which TPU usually tests.

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Luca


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 Post subject: Re: First Mini ITX Build - Comments and Suggestions Please
PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 6:51 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2014 8:33 am
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quest_for_silence wrote:
Abula wrote:
But its probably safer to go the ones you suggested, personally i never tried either of the CS or the V.

Probably I am biased by the fact I have to get rid of using one of my two Seasonic 460 fanless inside an equally cramped NSK3480... btw, any of the PSU you mentioned are way better than a Corsair CS-M, and particularly the Corsair RM450/RM550 should offer an excellent noise profile even when their fan kicks in (differently from the vast majority of semi-fanless PSUs), as Pfab @ ComputerBase.de reported a very low 650rpm.

The Corsair CS is just a decent PSU, with std ATX depth, modular cabling and a favourable fan profile:

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Corsair/CS650M/5.html (look at the end of the page)

The Cooler Master VS is a bit better unit, extremely efficient, but it is probably a tad less favourable noise wise (given the expected power draw) than the Corsair CS (check the relevant review @ TPU).

Anyway, I think these are currently the least offenders (noise wise) among the standard 140mm ATX PSUs.

As a side note, recently (since a year ago?) crmaris@techpowerup provides us an helping hand, as he started to publish the various fan rotational speeds at different loads. Those data can't help us about noise quality, but it's a real help given the amount of PSUs which TPU usually tests.


Thanks for all the advice guys, it's greatly appreciated. The RM550 looks to be my favourite from those you've listed, although the Be Quiet! CM BQT L8-630W is a similar size and lower price. Any thoughts on BeQuiet PSUs?


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 Post subject: Re: First Mini ITX Build - Comments and Suggestions Please
PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 10:25 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2007 10:12 am
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Location: ITALY
ajgreen wrote:
The RM550 looks to be my favourite from those you've listed, although the Be Quiet! CM BQT L8-630W is a similar size and lower price. Any thoughts on BeQuiet PSUs?

The BeQuiet L8 is a more mature, less efficient platform (but with vertically mounted connectors which are less compatible with a long graphic card): the performance/price ratio should be lower. Noise-wise, your mileage may vary: rpm-by-rpm the BQ should spin a tad faster, but the electronic noise isn't easily predictable.

Anyway, as said, both the RM550 and the SS P520FL previously mentioned (but the same it goes for the L8) likely could give issues with an HD7970, so be careful.

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Luca


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 Post subject: Re: First Mini ITX Build - Comments and Suggestions Please
PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2014 11:59 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2014 9:54 am
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I have a RM in a Node 304 case, it'll get in the way of the graphics card, definitely.


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