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Thread: Small gaming rig concept

  1. #1
    DDY
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    Small gaming rig concept

    I'm not impressed by the new Alienware X51 desktop, I think it isn't as fast as it should be. I know it's possible to have something faster yet smaller than the X51 using regular components with the exception of the case. As fas as I know, no manufacture has released such a case... How hard can it be? To find out I've gone ahead and churned something out on Google Sketchup which I'm quite pleased with, it has a volume of 8288cm³ vs the 9607cm³ of the X51!

    -Most of the models of components and other items were grabbed from the Sketchup model warehouse-

    Size comparison; monitors are 20", 30" and 24" left to right, my design is between the PS3 and XBOX:




    Note that the cables have been omitted because I couldn't be bothered to include them and the system is designed 'up-side down' so that intake vents are on the bottom of the machine.




    Specs:
    • Mini-ITX
    • 68mm of CPU heat sink headroom
    • 12" Double slot graphics card
    • SFX PSU
    • 4x 2.5" 12mm drives
    • Front slot loading slim optical drive
    • Front LCD/VFD display
    • WDH; 340 x 325 x 75 (mm)


    So, what do you think?

  2. #2
    Moosing about! CAT-THE-FIFTH's Avatar
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    Re: Small gaming rig concept

    I saw a custom build like the one you have made a sketch of before - IIRC,it was on an Australian forum.

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    Pork & Beans Powerup Phage's Avatar
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    Re: Small gaming rig concept

    What is a GTX555 ?
    Society's to blame,
    Or possibly Atari.

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    Re: Small gaming rig concept

    Potential issues I can see, hard drives could well get too hot due to the gpu.
    It'll depend on the card used, but quite a few of the larger more power full cards radiate quite a bit if heat from the back of the pcb and the outer casing of the cooler, with the HDD directly above the gpu section.

    While you've put vents in the bottom under the gpu there's nothing much for the heat to get out again, except leaking into the motherboard area and via the gpu cooler.

    I'd consider adding a vent in the back above the gpu slot, so heat will not get get trapped there.
    if you can squeeze one of the scythe slim fans (ie same as used on the cpu cooler) in the bottom at front half under the graphics card, help force some air into that area.

    Other than that, looks good

  5. #5
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    Re: Small gaming rig concept

    I need to find a link to the build I mentioned before - I can't find it ATM!

  6. #6
    DDY
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    Re: Small gaming rig concept

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    I saw a custom build like the one you have made a sketch of before - IIRC,it was on an Australian forum.
    I would love to see it, if you could find it


    Quote Originally Posted by Phage View Post
    What is a GTX555 ?
    An OEM only Nvidia GPU, performance isn't too shabby but inadequate for my needs!

    According to CAT;
    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post

    http://www.geforce.com/Hardware/GPUs...specifications

    The graphics card looks to be half way between a GTX550TI and a GTX460.

    This would mean it should be comfortably faster than an HD6770.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pob255 View Post
    Potential issues I can see, hard drives could well get too hot due to the gpu.

    While you've put vents in the bottom under the gpu there's nothing much for the heat to get out again, except leaking into the motherboard area and via the gpu cooler.

    I'd consider adding a vent in the back above the gpu slot, so heat will not get get trapped there.
    if you can squeeze one of the scythe slim fans (ie same as used on the cpu cooler) in the bottom at front half under the graphics card, help force some air into that area.
    I agree, there should be another side vent GPU side, possibly with a fan, that'll sort out the hot HDDs and the heat trap under the graphics card.

    Other than that, looks good
    Thanks

    EDIT: 60mm fan added:

    Last edited by DDY; 27-01-2012 at 09:04 PM.

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    Not a good person scaryjim's Avatar
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    Re: Small gaming rig concept

    Not convinced about your venting positions: The way the GPU sits its gpoing to try to draw air down from the top of the box which doesn't have any inlet vents, so it's going to be short on air. Rather than that rather paltry 60mm fan I'd go for venting along the full length of that side of the case, which will draw air over the HDD's before pushing it over the GPU and out the back of the case.

    Otherwise I quite like the design, although it's a little bit plain box for my tastes! if I was any good with sketch up I'd do some drawings for the design I'm currently interested in, but I'm afraid I'm not. But if you can imagine it, it's basically an mitx board sat back-to-back with the GPU (using a long flexible riser for the PCIe x16 slot), with a sheet of material between them as a motherboard tray, and it would stand as a mini tower (so about 190mm tall, and probably about 100mm wide). Haven't done full layouts to work out where the PSU etc goes yet, but I'll get there

    EDIT: I sucked up my shortcomings and stuck a couple of pre-built components and a couple of blank boxes together in sketchup. I make it 220mm x 140mm x 300mm to fit a 1u FlexATX PSU, graphics card up to 12", mitx mobo and I reckon probably some kind of removable drive cage for 1x 3.5" / 2x2.5" hard drives and a slimeline optical. It'd be a sweet looking minitower. Wonder if I can get anyone to sponsor it...
    Last edited by scaryjim; 31-01-2012 at 03:28 PM.

  8. #8
    DDY
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    Re: Small gaming rig concept

    I wouldn't imagine the HDDs and top of the GPU getting excessively hot, hence a single 60mm fan - although additional side venting would be handy but I got bored after getting the 60mm fan in.

    The GPU shouldn't have too much of a problem drawing air around from the bottom of the case, I left a good amount of clearance to reduce air flow resistance but I admit the GPU fan might whir up a bit. It was a compromise to keep air vents to the sides and bottom of the case. The better alternative is to mount the graphics card 180deg (so that the intake is bottom facing) by means of a flexible PCIe extension cable.

    My design isn't suited for extreme performance or overclocking; the goal of this concept was to create something which could comfortably hold four HDDs, a 7970 and i7 together as an exercise to criticize the X51. With this concept I could confidently say I'm able to build something smaller, faster and cheaper than the X51… Ok, configured with somthing cheaper than the gold ingot of the 7970 but you get the idea

    As for the bland design, I can't design for aesthetics unless my life depended on it! That's why I'm a civil engineer and not an architect

    BTW, would like to see what you've done there scaryjim, for some inspiration ya know

  9. #9
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    Re: Small gaming rig concept

    I still cannot find the build log!!

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    Re: Small gaming rig concept

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    I still cannot find the build log!!
    I've seen something like this before too! Think it was an Australian forum, will see if I've got it bookmarked somewhere!

  11. #11
    Not a good person scaryjim's Avatar
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    Re: Small gaming rig concept

    Quote Originally Posted by DDY View Post
    BTW, would like to see what you've done there scaryjim, for some inspiration ya know
    Once I've added some framework for the case panels I'll think about exporting a few shots of it. Be a few days though, I'm pretty busy at work the rest of this week.

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    Re: Small gaming rig concept

    OK, no outer case panels but I've prettied up the blank boxes and added (floating!) slimline optical and 3.5" hard drives - just imagine there's a nice little drive rack there . Having added the base support I've managed to bring the width down to 125mm, which makes the overall volume 8.25l. The only real compromise I've made is the flexATX psu (under the GFX) which will limit power supplies to around 300W maximum, but by my calcs that's still enough for a 6850 and a sensible CPU. There are probably ways of getting a more powerful PSU in there, but that's a consideration for another day




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    Senior Member Pob255's Avatar
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    Re: Small gaming rig concept

    Quote Originally Posted by DDY View Post
    I wouldn't imagine the HDDs and top of the GPU getting excessively hot, hence a single 60mm fan - although additional side venting would be handy but I got bored after getting the 60mm fan in.

    The GPU shouldn't have too much of a problem drawing air around from the bottom of the case, I left a good amount of clearance to reduce air flow resistance but I admit the GPU fan might whir up a bit. It was a compromise to keep air vents to the sides and bottom of the case. The better alternative is to mount the graphics card 180deg (so that the intake is bottom facing) by means of a flexible PCIe extension cable.
    I wrote a post in part reply to scaryjim last night, but by the time I tried to post it the site was down for maintenance.

    I'll repost it when I get home, but basically, there looks like plenty of area for air to get in, but it's dependent on how much space the gpu blower has above it, if there's not much of a gap between the card and the slim line drive above it then you'll have issues as the blower will not be able to get enough air in.
    This is part of why I suggested a slim fan below the card, to create a positive pressure in the area around the intake of the card should help feed more air in.

    Have you considered making it a bit taller? if you put the graphics card in normally you could have the case height around that of the pci slot (12-13cm) but at the same time you can knock about the same size off the width of the case, making it taller but narrower.

    EDIT: PS Jim Nice idea for a layout and you can get more powerful flexATX psu's
    http://www.fsp-group.com.tw/english/...=143&proid=709
    Heck you could look at the server grade U1 & U2 psu's, 70mmx100mmx240mm it'll not be cheap but they go up to 700w

  14. Received thanks from:

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  15. #14
    Not a good person scaryjim's Avatar
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    Re: Small gaming rig concept

    Quote Originally Posted by Pob255 View Post
    ... you can get more powerful flexATX psu's ...
    Oooh, shiny. Yeah, 400W would cope with most single GFX gaming rigs. Now, where do I get the money to make one...

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    Re: Small gaming rig concept

    Quote Originally Posted by scaryjim View Post


    Ribbon cable or something to transfer the PCI-E? Would that work?

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    Re: Small gaming rig concept

    Quote Originally Posted by scaryjim View Post
    Oooh, shiny. Yeah, 400W would cope with most single GFX gaming rigs. Now, where do I get the money to make one...
    I have a shinier unit:

    http://translate.google.com/translat...3content_start





    It is a 500W SFF PSU made by FSP which is also 80+ Bronze rated. It can be had for around £70 to £80 off Ebay brand new. It is slightly larger than the standard flexATX unit, being around 1CM longer and the back being around 1CM wider but should still fit fine in many cramped cases or builds.
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 01-02-2012 at 01:40 PM.

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