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 Post subject: Going from mATX to Mini iTX - Thread contains 77 pictures !!
PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2009 12:26 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2008 2:37 am
Posts: 395
Location: London
Mainboard: Zotac GeForce 9300 iTX

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CPU: Yorkfield Q9550

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RAM: G.Skill PQ Series

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HDD: WD10EADS

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SSD: Intel X25-M (34 nm)

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Comparison HDD / SSD

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Mouse: MS Optical Basic Mouse

I have tried many mice (PC mice, what else, duh !), but I always come back to the simplistic style ...

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Case fan: Scythe Kaze Maru 140 mm / 500 RPM

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PC case: Lian Li PC-Q07

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Last edited by Cov on Fri Aug 14, 2009 8:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2009 1:02 pm 
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Location: London
Comparison mATX / Mini iTX

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2009 1:17 pm 
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Location: London
8 GB of RAM ...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 3:46 pm 
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Joined: Sat Dec 09, 2006 9:45 pm
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Location: Montréal, Canada
Interesting. I wonder how the case will look once you'll have cut the front. I don't know of a filter for that fan size.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 3:52 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2008 2:37 am
Posts: 395
Location: London
Hi, yes ... I'm still wondering too, haha

Had written an eMail to CaseKing (local retailer) and they recommended either of the following:

1. AC Ryan Meshx FanGuard 120x120mm Lüfter - black
2. Alumino Fan Filter 120mm - black


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2009 6:15 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2004 8:52 pm
Posts: 532
Very powerful system! What are you going to do with it?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2009 11:41 am 
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Posts: 395
Location: London
Hi Croddie, actually I'm a very pationate gamer. There are some games that really rock my boat.
Because the on board graphics isn't strong enough for most games, I have decided the following.

One system (mATX) with descrete graphics card for playing PC games and the Mini iTX one for doing everything else ... internet, office, video, mp3, pdf, encoding, rendering, etc etc ...
Not sure what preferences others have, but while typing this posting, I cannot hear the Mini iTX system that is here on the desk right next to me (outside the PC case) ... it's inaudible.

I will put everything into that case, once I have received the PicoPSU which I'm still waiting for.
Have ordered it about 2 weeks ago, but the shipping from San Diego / California to Europe can take up to 4 weeks, according to the retailer.
Well, that's because I have chosen the cheapest delivery charges ($20.-).

So far, I can say that the SSD is the most innovative computer part that I have ever bought.
Seeing it sitting here where a conventional HDD supposed to be ... it looks so unusual.
It outperforms everything ... doesn't make ANY sound and feels always cool.

I still have to get used to it ..


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2009 10:23 pm 
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Location: Montréal, Canada
If you weren't gonna put a discrete video card on the mini-itx, and run from a pico-psu or comparable psus, i would have gone for a smaller case if i were you. With a case like this, not putting a discrete video card is kind of a waste (unless you're putting a passive tower heatsink in there or something), even if you have to custom make a psu powerful enough to run it. Albeit, you'll be quite limited in the choice of discrete graphics card to fit the power bill.

I have built myself a mini-itx too, have a look at it, tell me what you think.
http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/vi ... p?p=470942


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2009 7:48 am 
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Posts: 395
Location: London
Hi Spare Tire, I have chosen that PC case because I prefer a tower style.
Meaning, I had chosen it by the look.
Although I was lurking for the M350 case .. maybe next time.

By the way, I have put everything into the case now .. for the time being.
You really have to be very patient when putting everything together.

My PSU has extra short cables for SFF cases, but due to the rather "unflexible" cable strings it was still a challenge to fold everything away.
I wonder how much more difficult it would have been with cables of normal length because every square mm seems to be occupied by something.
The PSU is really dominating the case !

The only fans running are for CPU cooler and PSU .. it's very quiet. The temperature are idling now at approx 47 to 50 degrees (Q9550).

GPU Diode: 57 degrees
MCP: 62 degrees


Have checked your thread .. nice Apex MD-100 case.
Are there any performance issues when using the discrete graphics card at full load ? Is the PW-200 M strong enough ?

What kind of plug between AC-DC adapter and the PSU (DC in) are you using ? The (5.5 / 2.5 mm) plug or a 4-pin connector ?

Are you still going to replace the Barracuda with an F2, WD GP or even an SSD ?


Last edited by Cov on Sun Aug 02, 2009 7:50 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2009 7:49 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2008 2:37 am
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Location: London
...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2009 8:45 am 
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Location: Montréal, Canada
From what i'm reading off the wall, my computer is maxing at 150W, so the PSU still has headroom. I suppose that for an extra 50W or so could get you quite a decent video card if you wanted. In my case, the only thing i still need in to add is an SSD, and replace the barracuda with F2 or GP, such as what you are doing. They do wonderful things (i have one in my laptop, battery was a priority). I'm short on money for the time being so it's gonna wait. I'd also replace the GPU with a passive one to further silence it, but i'm limited in my upgrade options because few support hybrid crossfire (HD2400 and HD3400, not much of an upgrade there) and if not then the 4x pcie of the minix motherboard would choke all the more powerful cards anyways. In your case the full 16x pcie lane could be put to good use. CPU temps were around the same as yours, until i undervolted it with K10Stat now they are 10C lower. People don't bother to undervolt for power consumption these days but for temps it makes a good difference, especially in cramped mini-ITX cases so you should give it a try.
The plug is one of those 5.5 or 4mm / 2.5mm, i cut it off the AC-DC brick that came with the case. I was fearing meltdown from passing that much current through it but so far the cable has stayed nicely cool, don't think it's gonna be a problem.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2009 9:07 am 
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Posts: 395
Location: London
Spare Tire wrote:
... I suppose that for an extra 50W or so could get you quite a decent video card ...

Afaik you must not max out the PSU .. at least not over a longer period of time.
To have headroom seems to be very important for efficiency and stability.

Quote:
... People don't bother to undervolt for power consumption these days but for temps it makes a good difference, especially in cramped mini-ITX cases so you should give it a try ...

I would love to undervolt but Zotac's BIOS does not allow that.
The CPU could be undervolted from 1.25 V to 1.05 V.

That K10Stat seems to be for AMD CPUs only and I could not find any alternative.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2009 9:15 am 
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Location: Montréal, Canada
150W is peak, i would have to check again but casual gaming was maybe 90-100W average.

You could try RMClock, it hasn't been updated in a while, but Q9550 isn't that recent either. I used RMClock until they stopped updating and didn't have support for my new athlon II 250.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2009 9:34 am 
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Posts: 395
Location: London
Thanks, just tried it but get several error messages, like driver was not digitally signed and ...

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Never mind ..


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2009 10:29 am 
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Location: Montréal, Canada
That's not RMClock, thats RM Memory Analyser....
Look for "RightMark CPU Clock Utility (RMClock)" in the download section.

"NOTE: Support for 64-bit Windows Vista is currently limited due to the kernel mode driver digital signature requirement of that OS (workarounds are necessary)."

I haven't looked into that but you can if you want.

There are other undervolting utilities around, i've never tried those though. Good luck.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 11:50 am 
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Location: London
The new PSU

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 1:30 pm 
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Location: London
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That's how it looked with the old full size PSU

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And here is the same system with the new PicoPSU instead ..

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Everything just fits nicely, like tailored to my needs .. and it works out of the box.

Please note that the CPU is a Core2Quad Q9550. Some people did stubbornly refuse to believe that a quad would work with a PicoPSU.


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Hi, with the PicoPSU I was able to reduce the cable clutter by 95%.

At this moment, the 150W adapter is in use for about 8 hours and just feels warm.

The PicoPSU feels between cool and warm.

That of course would change, once the CPU is under full load for a longer period of time.

Looking at the internals, I realize how much space I save by using this solution over a full ATX PSU.

The available space is incredible.

As a side note I would recommend ordering this set from short-circuit in the USA rather than from a company in Europe.

The reason is that first of all, you might know that this 150W version is not available anywhere in Europe. And secondly the price you pay for items, shipping and import tax is still lower than the rip-off prices at our local online-shop.

Carl has been very courteous and responsive when I purchased this set.

I would have loved to order the M350 PC case as well, as it cost only $36.95 which converts into £ 22.02 or 25.74 Euro.

The very same case cost in European online-shops 49.99 Euro = $ 71.75 = £ 42.75


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 5:14 am 
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Thanks, great thread - great pics :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 7:13 am 
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Location: London
You're very welcome yacoub !

As you may know, this Zotac board does not support undervolting.

    * The idle voltage when Speedstep is active, is 1.10V
    * As soon as the CPU is under load, the voltage goes up to 1.25V
I have tried out the RightMark CPU Utility v2.35

At first I was unable to run this software, but after ages of research I found an easy fix.
If you want to run RightMark CPU Utility on a 64-bit OS, you need to download this sys file (15kB) to replace the original sys file (7kB).
Once you have done this, it suddenly works !

    * The software allows me to undervolt the load voltage from 1.25V to 1.10V, but not any lower. That's a pitty because the Q9550 is known to work stable at 1.024V (according to SPCR).
    * For some reason, the multiplier is 8x (2.66GHz) instead of 8.5x (2.83GHz).
    * For that to work, this software has to be active.
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I just hope there will be some better Mini iTX boards in the future, maybe for i5.

    * Two SATA sockets are ok, but four would be better.
    * I'm happy that floppy & PATA sockets have been finally abolished (PS/2 is still there).
    * I wish the BIOS would allow to undervolt / underclock
    * RAM has become really cheap, but 2x 4GB modules cost still four times the money of 2x 2GB.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 8:14 am 
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Location: Northern California.
Nice pics cov.
How about a dialup/satellite warning in the header -tho?
I think you just helpped me get fapped. :(


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 8:26 am 
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Posts: 395
Location: London
Thanks xan_user ... very good idea, have changed the header just now.
Btw ... what does it mean to "get fapped" ??


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2009 1:42 am 
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Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2009 1:37 am
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Location: Sweden
RMClock tip:

There is an option in RM Clock for CPU type. "Detect", "Desktop" or "Mobile" (or something like it) swap your setting from detect to mobile/laptop and you will get other options for VID. (I guess this option is in Advanced)'

Update:
I also remembered the registry hack
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\RightMark\RMClock] add/edit UnlockVid=DWORD:1

restart RMClock and you almost have too many options.

UnlockFid=DWORD:1 might or might not enable your missing half step FIDs.


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 Post subject: Nice setup
PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2009 4:11 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2009 4:06 pm
Posts: 6
Location: san jose
Nice setup love your setup. Check out my setup. Got my customized built casing from tattoo4electronics on ebay. Let me know if you have any questions.

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 Post subject: Which power supply ?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 1:35 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2009 1:32 pm
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Location: Belgium
Hello Cov,

I'd like also to build exactly the same config with same processor (I'm doing a lot of photoshop)

Is your config stable wit high load cpu ? Is you small PSU 150X enough ?

Thanks for feedback

Thomas


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:10 pm 
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Location: London
@ rbt

Thank you very much for your tip, but I'm not using RMClock anymore.
A while ago I wrote an email to Zotac, asking whether undervolting is going to be implemented in one of their future BIOS releases, but they replied that this will not happen, to avoid stability issues.

I think that's a lame excuse as we all know it would work just fine.
Besides this, modifying BIOS settings is supposed to be for people who know what they're doing, and the more options we have, the better.
Never mind ... hopefully there will be even better Mini ITX motherboards coming up in the future.


@ api123

That looks awesome !!!
Just checked ebay ... this case comes in so many diff colors:

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I'd just love to get my own design built in the same high quality like those plexyglass cases.


@ Thomas aka tparvais

Hi, my configuration is ROCKSTABLE and I haven't had any issues whatsoever.
In fact it's my favourite setup from all PC I ever had.

The PicoPSU works like a dream.
I'm doing a lot of rendering / encoding and you can't go any better than for a Quad CPU.

The only thing I'd change would be to get 2 x 4GB instead of 2 x 2GB RAM modules.
Had recently a low memory error while using Sony Vegas Pro 9.0 and lost at the end my video project as the OS just had to close all windows subsequently.
But before that happened, I received four warnings which I all ignored, lol ... my bad.

G.Skill, OCZ or Kingston seem to be the only manufacturers, offering these modules.
The downside is that 2 x 4GB are rather expensive compared to 2 x 2GB.

Please make sure to post some info about your new system, when you're ready.

Michael


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2009 1:12 pm 
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Location: Belgium
Cov wrote:

@ Thomas aka tparvais

Hi, my configuration is ROCKSTABLE and I haven't had any issues whatsoever.
In fact it's my favourite setup from all PC I ever had.

The PicoPSU works like a dream.
I'm doing a lot of rendering / encoding and you can't go any better than for a Quad CPU.

The only thing I'd change would be to get 2 x 4GB instead of 2 x 2GB RAM modules.

Had recently a low memory error while using Sony Vegas Pro 9.0 and lost at the end my video project as the OS just had to close all windows subsequently.
But before that happened, I received four warnings which I all ignored, lol ... my bad.

G.Skill, OCZ or Kingston seem to be the only manufacturers, offering these modules.
The downside is that 2 x 4GB are rather expensive compared to 2 x 2GB.

Please make sure to post some info about your new system, when you're ready.

Michael


Stupid question: doew windows 7 32b manage 2*4 GB RAM ?

What kind of ventirad are you using ?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2009 4:15 pm 
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tparvais wrote:
Does Windows 7 32-bit (= x86) manage 2*4 GB RAM ?

No it doesn't.

You need the 64-bit (= x64) version of the OS if you want to use more than 3.5 GB of RAM.

Quote:
What kind of ventirad are you using ?


It's a coolermaster ...

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