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Need help creating a mini PC (console sized) for my fiance

#1son_gogettoPosted 1/26/2014 2:21:43 PM
So I've finally convinced my fiance to get into PC gaming, having spent her life on the consoles. She was interested in the Steam boxes, but when I said it'll still be better to just make your own, but do it in a mini atx/itx case, she became interested in that idea.

It's now to the point where she's ready to buy one, and she wants me to put it together for her. Unfortunately I've never looked much into these small cases, and I don't know what it's limitations are. I assume I can't just go whacking in a 290x and i7 and call it a day.

Her budget is 400-450 (she wants to spent the same as she would on a new console) and she isn't too fussed about graphics, mainly stability. So based on this, I would like an AMD GPU and im undecided yet on whether an AMD or Intel CPU (perhaps a cheap I7? would an I3 offer much survivability for later years?)

If someone could either make me one on that pc part picker (UK version), or just give general advice on a mini pc build, that would be awesome.

Thanks
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(GT: II Lazer II) - (PSN: ME GOOSTA) - (Steam ID: lilylazer666)
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#2garyjpatersonPosted 1/26/2014 2:43:59 PM
Something like a Corsair 250D (about 70) will handle an overclocked i7 with the right cooling with ease, along with just about any graphics card on the market, 780ti or 290x no problem.

http://www.scan.co.uk/products/corsair-obsidian-250d-mini-itx-pc-case

Obviously that wont fit the budget, but it lets you see the capability of the case.

Here's a quick build for 450, without a case. You could choose the 250D or something else to suit your needs.

http://uk.pcpartpicker.com/p/2I3MB
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#3son_gogetto(Topic Creator)Posted 1/26/2014 2:47:24 PM
garyjpaterson posted...
Something like a Corsair 250D (about 70) will handle an overclocked i7 with the right cooling with ease, along with just about any graphics card on the market, 780ti or 290x no problem.

http://www.scan.co.uk/products/corsair-obsidian-250d-mini-itx-pc-case

Obviously that wont fit the budget, but it lets you see the capability of the case.

Here's a quick build for 450, without a case. You could choose the 250D or something else to suit your needs.

http://uk.pcpartpicker.com/p/2I3MB


Ha you've read my mind. Already had that case, mobo and GPU on my part picker I'm working on! Now the CPU was a real hard one... will an I3 last that long into next gen? I'm already seeing I7's as required for some games soon... I hope that's just poor optimisation?

The 270 definitely looked like a winner for price/performance, especially when considering overclocking headroom.

She won't need an OS or monitor btw. She'll need K+M but I can sort that stuff seperately. Just really want to put something together that will actually be compatible. I'm very inexperienced around the motherboard area. She won't be doing crossfire/sli or anything like that. just something that can hold the barebones parts. No bells and whistles on it!
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(GT: II Lazer II) - (PSN: ME GOOSTA) - (Steam ID: lilylazer666)
(3DS FC: 4339-3035-7150)
#4PsythikPosted 1/26/2014 3:03:15 PM(edited)
There isn't a single game in existence that requires an i7 (unless it's a really old Nehalem) so I don't know where you're getting your info from. An i5-4670k is so powerful that it won't bottleneck any GPU for at least the next three years.

You'll be fine with only an i3-4130 (you picked the 4330). Though if it were me I'd bump that up to at least an i5-3350P so that you have 4 cores for the few games that take advantage of them. If you can't do that, however. Don't worry about it one bit. The most expensive part in your build should be the graphics card. So skimp on everything else if you have to (except the PSU) in order to get the best one possible.
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#5VIP86Posted 1/26/2014 2:58:57 PM
Your budget unfortunately is wayyy too low. i7's and a 250d, 270, all those in total will eat up more than your current budget right now.
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i5-3570K| MAXIMUS V GENE| ASUS DCUII 670| CORSAIR XMS3 8GB| CORSAIR 350D| INTEL 520 180GB| CORSAIR H110i| CORSAIR AX750
#6garyjpatersonPosted 1/26/2014 3:03:47 PM(edited)
As it stands, hardly any games take advantage of more than 2/3 cores, with only a few expections. Its hard to tell if itl become more common to use more than 4 cores, but it seems likely with both console having 8 cores.

It may be better going for an 8 core AMD cpu, as i7's are probably out of the budget.

Here a new build, 8 core AMD cpu, and its an mATX motherboard and case since there seems to be no mITX ones. Also dropped down to a 270 as opposed to a 270X, they are essentially the same, just lower clock speeds on the 270. It'l likely overclock to a similar speed.

470: http://uk.pcpartpicker.com/p/2I4D9

Add a CPU cooler for overclocking and/or less noisy.
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#7PsythikPosted 1/26/2014 3:07:47 PM(edited)
garyjpaterson posted...
As it stands, hardly any games take advantage of more than 2/3 cores, with only a few expections. Its hard to tell if itl become more common to use more than 4 cores, but it seems likely with both console having 8 cores.

It may be better going for an 8 core AMD cpu, as i7's are probably out of the budget.

Here a new build, 8 core AMD cpu, and its an mATX motherboard and case since there seems to be no mITX ones. Also dropped down to a 270 as opposed to a 270X, they are essentially the same, just lower clock speeds on the 270. It'l likely overclock to a similar speed.

470: http://uk.pcpartpicker.com/p/2I4D9

Add a CPU cooler for overclocking and/or less noisy.
You're contradicting yourself. You say that games can't take advantage of more than 2-3 cores then recommend an FX processor. When it comes to games, an i3-4330 will destroy an FX-8320. The only thing the FX would be better at is multithreaded tasks; professional applications like video rendering and CAD.

EDIT: Spelling
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4670k | 2GB GTX 770 OC | 8GB 1600 9-9-9-24 | 120GB SSD | 1TB WD Blue | Win8.1 Pro
http://i597.photobucket.com/albums/tt56/S26DG44B/PsythikViolet_Blooded.jpg
#8son_gogetto(Topic Creator)Posted 1/26/2014 3:09:36 PM
Psythik posted...
There isn't a single game in existence that requires an i7 (unless it's a really old Nehalem) so I don't know where you're getting your info from. An i5-4670k is so powerful that it won't bottleneck any GPU for at least the next three years.

You'll be fine with only an i3-4130 (you picked the 4330). Though if it were me I'd bump that up to at least an i5-3350P so that you have 4 cores for the few games that take advantage of them. If you can't do that, however. Don't worry about it one bit. The most expensive part in your build should be the graphics card. So skimp on everything else if you have to (except the PSU) in order to get the best one possible.


Sorry, I meant recommended, not required. Watchdogs for example recommends an I7.

OK, so I'm confused whether to go with AMD at the moment. Obviously they're better bang for buck, but what about this whole bit coin mining thing at the moment? Isn't that just bumping the prices up higher than Nvidia equivalents anyway?

And would an 8 core AMD processor be better than a quad core Intel? I love my I5 in my pc at the moment, so I would like to stick with intel for hers, but if AMD provides an 8 core processor for the same price, and runs better, than I'll use it instead.

Yeah this budget is mainly about size, and keeping to consoles prices. Graphics are NOT important to her. So just something that will last a while. 2Gb + DX11 minimum I guess?
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(GT: II Lazer II) - (PSN: ME GOOSTA) - (Steam ID: lilylazer666)
(3DS FC: 4339-3035-7150)
#9garyjpatersonPosted 1/26/2014 3:10:00 PM
Psythik posted...
garyjpaterson posted...
As it stands, hardly any games take advantage of more than 2/3 cores, with only a few expections. Its hard to tell if itl become more common to use more than 4 cores, but it seems likely with both console having 8 cores.

It may be better going for an 8 core AMD cpu, as i7's are probably out of the budget.

Here a new build, 8 core AMD cpu, and its an mATX motherboard and case since there seems to be no mITX ones. Also dropped down to a 270 as opposed to a 270X, they are essentially the same, just lower clock speeds on the 270. It'l likely overclock to a similar speed.

470: http://uk.pcpartpicker.com/p/2I4D9

Add a CPU cooler for overclocking and/or less noisy.
You're contradicting yourself. You say that games can't take advantage of more than 2-3 cores then recommend an FX processor. When it comes to games, an i3-4330 will destroy an FX-8320. The only thing the FX would be better at is multithreaded tasks and professional applications like video rendering and CAD.

EDIT: Spelling


Im saying most games of TODAY only take advantage of 2/3 cores, but with the advent of the new consoles, we might begin to see engines become more multhreaded, such as Cryengine and Battlefield 3/4.

Yes, the i3 is much faster in single threaded tasks.
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#10son_gogetto(Topic Creator)Posted 1/26/2014 3:16:23 PM
But is an I3 likely to be worth anything 3-4 years from now? Will it even meet the minimum requirements? I'm just so uncertain about quad cores at the moment. I get that feeling that next gen gaming will just skip quad outright and stick to 8 cores (based on the PS4 and Xbox One's architecture)
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(GT: II Lazer II) - (PSN: ME GOOSTA) - (Steam ID: lilylazer666)
(3DS FC: 4339-3035-7150)