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Thread: MITX beginner

  1. #1
    Insomnia Robscure's Avatar
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    MITX beginner

    Hello,

    I am interested in building a MITX system that can play games for cheap.

    I liked this case, http://www.ebuyer.com/product/140996

    But I wouldn't know what motherboard or any other hardware to get since I could only try and look at specs and assume whether it would fit or not (and still probably be wrong).

    Is this perhaps a bad idea?

    I already have a nice smooth running big machine but I'd like something small with a bit of umph. I was thinking of trying AMD's lines possibly, since I believe they're usually cheaper (correct me if I'm wrong).

    But as I said, when I look at the Motherboards on ebuyer, then I'm not sure because most of the MITX ones comes with integrated graphics/cpu and I dont know how if they're replacable or not.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Senior Member cptwhite_uk's Avatar
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    Re: MITX beginner

    I'm no expert in this area yet but here'a a bit of background info:

    There are 3 major form factors for cases:

    ATX - Stardand 'big' size. Cases sizes range from normal to huge.

    Micro ATX - These are quite common and typically cut a few of extras of the normal ATX boards, but don't typically loose any common functionality... so you can still build a full PC around them and also keep the size to a respectable level. Typically they look like a nice compact regular case, often used by OEM builders like DELL. The Mini P180 to linked too is a Micro ATX.

    Mini ITX - These are now getting quite small. You can still build a full machine around them but you will start to pay a price premium for the size on the components needed to make it work. A good example of Mini ITX cases are the Silverstone SG05 and SG06 more can be viewed here Mini ITX machines don't always support a graphics card (relying on on-board graphics) or only support low power/cards with physically small dimensions.

    If building a gaming PC around a Mini ITX set-up you have to be very careful you make sure everything will fit (check all dimensions), make sure the power supply will be able to power all the components (everything ideally want to be energy efficient as the PSUs for these cases are normally lower wattage). You also have to consider the cooling the case cna provide for putting high power components into a very small area.

    Finally...

    Nano ITX - These are ultra ultra small (about the size of 3 Jewel CD cases stacked on top of one another. They're fairly new and can provide enough power for HD playback at present, and are normally very low power. Good for low power home theatre PCs, but you can't really game on these.

  3. #3
    Moosen CAT-THE-FIFTH's Avatar
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    Re: MITX beginner

    Quote Originally Posted by cptwhite_uk View Post
    I'm no expert in this area yet but here'a a bit of background info:

    There are 3 major form factors for cases:

    ATX - Stardand 'big' size. Cases sizes range from normal to huge.

    Micro ATX - These are quite common and typically cut a few of extras of the normal ATX boards, but don't typically loose any common functionality... so you can still build a full PC around them and also keep the size to a respectable level. Typically they look like a nice compact regular case, often used by OEM builders like DELL. The Mini P180 to linked too is a Micro ATX.

    Mini ITX - These are now getting quite small. You can still build a full machine around them but you will start to pay a price premium for the size on the components needed to make it work. A good example of Mini ITX cases are the Silverstone SG05 and SG06 more can be viewed here Mini ITX machines don't always support a graphics card (relying on on-board graphics) or only support low power/cards with physically small dimensions.

    If building a gaming PC around a Mini ITX set-up you have to be very careful you make sure everything will fit (check all dimensions), make sure the power supply will be able to power all the components (everything ideally want to be energy efficient as the PSUs for these cases are normally lower wattage). You also have to consider the cooling the case cna provide for putting high power components into a very small area.

    Finally...

    Nano ITX - These are ultra ultra small (about the size of 3 Jewel CD cases stacked on top of one another. They're fairly new and can provide enough power for HD playback at present, and are normally very low power. Good for low power home theatre PCs, but you can't really game on these.
    There is also the FlexATX standard which Shuttle use and the BTX standard which Dell use!


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    Not a good person scaryjim's Avatar
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    Re: MITX beginner

    Not to forget Pico-ITX, of course, which is pretty much the smallest commercial board available. There's lots of interesting stuff at steatite-embedded including a variety of industrial-use targetted boards.

    Quote Originally Posted by Robscure View Post
    I am interested in building a MITX system that can play games for cheap.
    This is going to be your main issue. If you have a look at Steatite (and also Linitx) you'll see that mini-itx is *not* a cheap option.

    Fortunately, the case you've chosen is micro-ATX. It's by no means the smallest case available, but it is well built, has a lot of premium features and will cope with pretty mcuh anything you put in it, as long as you source an mATX motherboard. It's also at a very good price with ebuyer at the moment, so it represents a good start.

    How much more can you afford once you've got the case, and what games do you need to be able to play on it?

  5. #5
    Moosen CAT-THE-FIFTH's Avatar
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    Re: MITX beginner

    The only decent mini ITX motherboard is a Zotac one for Core2 processors and it costs over £100 too!!

    AFAIK,it is the only easily available mini ITX motherboard in the UK under £200 with a physical PCI-E 16X slot which is also 16X electrical as other mini ITX motherboards in the same price bracket have slower PCI-E slots.


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  6. #6
    Not a good person scaryjim's Avatar
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    Re: MITX beginner

    Actually, I think you'll find...

    Linitx have the Via VB8001-16, a mini-itx mobo with 1.6GHz nano processor and PCIe x16 slot for £114. Of course, that's not a particularly powerful processor so it wouldn't be a great choice for a genuine gaming machine, but, coupled with something like a 4650/70 or a GT220, it'd make a decent low power HTPC with light gaming capability...

    But, at the end of the day, you're far better off going with a mATX build if you like the mini-P180

  7. #7
    root Member DanceswithUnix's Avatar
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    Re: MITX beginner

    For me that case is rather expensive, so first question is how much you were expecting to spend?

    Next question, which games are you hoping to run?

    As a guide, for "cheap" I would be looking at something like this barebones unit which for 90 quid gets you case, PSU and motherboard.

    For a little more money, my wife has a Shuttle to which we added a dual core Phenom, 4GB of ram and a 4670 graphics card which handles all the games she plays at 1280x1024 quite nicely and looks fantastic as well.

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