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Thread: i7 mATX -> i3 ITX system? Downsizing choices?

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    i7 mATX -> i3 ITX system? Downsizing choices?

    Since uni has started, I've not really played any games at all. I've bought games (only stuff on Steam and Windows marketplace that has been on sale) but haven't had time to play them and so I don't think I really need my pc much so I was thinking of switching from an mATX system to a ITX system.

    However, I would like to keep my 6850 (incase any decent graphics JRPG comes out for the PC - pretty much never but oh well) and would like to stay on the Intel platform. I only have an SSD and HDD so I don't need massive disk space either.

    The problem is the motherboard and CPU, I can either go with the Socket 1156 platform now or wait for Sandybridge or whatever the newer platform is? With the socket 1156 platform what type of CPU should I be looking at? I don't really edit or convert files, perhaps the most I do would be chucking something onto my iPod Touch but that's it.

    How long will I likely have to wait for the ITX side of the newer platform to come out and what are the estimated costs?

    Is it actually viable to get a smaller pc with less noise too without sacrificing too much performance? I.e. keeping my 6850. I don't want to be modding anything as I haven't the tools, space or time to. If I can't keep a 6850, what's a smaller, lower power consumption card that can power 1920*1080 Steam games such as L4D2 or League of Legends?

    Hopefully I can even get some money back as this is technically downgrading.

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    Re: i7 -> ITX system?

    How many computer updates have you had in the last year??

    Sandy Bridge supposedly will consume less power and a number of mini ITX socket 1155 motherboards have been shown to the press already.

    However,one advantage of updatng to socket 1156 is that you maybe able to sell your existing Core i7 setup for more.

    I would probably get the following parts:

    Silverstone SG07 ~ £153

    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/silve...e-2-full-slots

    Gigabyte GA-H55N-USB3 ~ £78

    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/gigab...x-on-board-vga

    Core i5 760 ~ £140

    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/intel...21x-95w-retail

    OR

    Core i3 540 ~ £82

    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/intel...-733mhz-retail

    4GB 1333MHZ DDR3 ~ £42

    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/4gb-%...-9-9-9-24-150v
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 11-12-2010 at 02:59 AM.


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    Re: i7 -> ITX system?

    Thank you again Cat; I've changed my pc far too much this year but I'm still not happy with it! I guess it's due to my changing lifestyle? Just gone into uni for a term you see!

    How would you compare the hyper threaded dual cores (i3) to the non threaded quad cores (i5) for what I use it for? Lately I've been playing my iPod Touch JRPGs a lot when I'm not on the pc and when I am on the PC and I game it would only be League of Legends but I also bought some Steam games such as L4D2 whilst they were on sale last week. Do you think I need an i5? Would I notice any difference in the responsiveness of the system if I went for the i3? I might end up going for AMD though as I just built a HTPC for my parents with a triple core AMD processor and it seems very responsive (I got an SSD for it too). Do you know if all the newer motherboards will get rid of the BIOS and adopt the EFI technology or whatever it's called or is it Asus only?

    I see here: http://www.guruht.com/2010/11/intel-...-date-and.html that the ultra low powered i3s and i5s are going to be 35W and 45W for the lowest models though, sounds very very nice indeed. It's a shame that the socket 1155 i3s won't be coming out till very late Feb according to the table though.

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    Re: i7 -> ITX system?

    I am uncertain whether all of the socket 1155 motherboards will have EFI though. The only reason I suggested going with socket 1156 is that you could sell off your socket 1366 gear before Sandy Bridge is released. It looks like Sandy Bridge will even challenge the socket 1366 processors at a lower price.

    The 73W Core i3 should be fast enough for most games but a 95W Core i5 760 would be faster in games which support 4 cores. OTH,you probably could overclock the Core i3 a bit on a mini-ITX motherboard unlike the Core i5 as it has a lower TDP.

    As you probably know I am into SFF PCs too and the main issue with the AMD processors is that they tend to have a higher TDP and more expensive mini-ITX motherboards.

    I have seen the OEM 65W versions of the Phenom II X3 go for between £50 to £60 on Ebay and the 45W 2.6GHZ Athlon II X3 420e for a similar price.

    For gaming a 95W 2.8GHZ Phenom II X3 720 is around the same as a 2.93GHZ Core i3 530. The fastest 65W Phenom II X3 is the 705e which runs at 2.5GHZ IIRC.

    However,like I said before the Intel mini-ITX motherboards tend to be much cheaper than their AMD equivalents. This 880G based mini-IT motherboard is nearly £20 more than the Gigabyte H55 mini-ITX motherboard I listed earlier:

    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/asus-...-itx-bluetooth


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    Re: i7 -> ITX system?

    Well EFI isn't that important but it's nice if the PC can turn on in a smaller amount of time for those mornings where I'm in a rush and I need to check something quickly. I definitely need to sell of my system before Sandy Bridge is released though otherwise the value will drop fast, guess I'll hover about on Ebay for a cheap makeshift build whilst I'm waiting for Sandy Bridge to be released and put my stuff back on Ebay. Hopefully then socket 1156 will drop in price too.

    I guess I'll go with the i3 as I don't think the games I play really need that many cores, I'll definitely be playing around with the overclocking whilst undervolting (3.2ghz on my i7 920 at 1.000V )

    I used an Athlon X3 435 in the HTPC build and it never gets above 35oC though, not even after Prime95-ing for a few hours and that's just with the stock AMD cooler with the heatpipes. I'm not too worried about the electricity bill, just temperatures. However I do love the speed of Intel's dual cores compared to AMD's though so I'll probably pick Intel.

    I think I'll pick the Lian Li PC-Q11B as even though the cube like cases look nicer, they actually take up quite a lot of deskspace as height is not an issue but depth and width is. It's a shame the market for ITX cases is still quite small, the Lian Li PC-Q11B is pretty perfect but I do not like the PSU mounting, I'd prefer it to be on the bottom as then it would not obstruct anything else; if only I had the time to mod! I love the Lian Li PC-Q07B's size, however I'm worried that without any other airflow the system will really heatup, especially as I'll have a discrete graphics card, it only allows single slot too anyway so I guess I'll have to go for the Lian Li PC-Q11B. Still got the whole of Dec to decide though..

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    Re: i7 -> ITX system?

    The SG07 is only slightly longer than a P2 Shuttle SFF case. However,the Q11 does use the PSU as the main system exhaust though. I would probably get a PSU with fully modular cabling though.

    This Enermax PSU has fully modular cabling and is relatively compact too:

    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/500w-...lus-bronze-psu

    Here is a review of the Q07:

    http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/cas...-case-review/1

    IIRC,the XFX HD6850 1GB has a shorter PCB than most other HD6850 1GB cards.


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    Re: i7 -> ITX system?

    I've seen, not the Q07, but a case whith a simular psu over the cpu heat sink build where the block had to flip the fan on the psu over, so the psu was now sucking air in and blowing it over the cpu because he was having cooling issues.
    But that was on a more powerful system.

    Then again the Q07 would be ideal for a Corsair H50 or CoolIT eco ALC

    However for me the Silverstone SG07 is the best bet for a gaming ITX case

    Biggest thing you're going to notice is a big step down from an i7 to an i3

    As to motherboard http://www.scan.co.uk/products/dfi-l...-see-full-spes
    not the cheapest of boards but I'd take a P55 over an H55 although it will limit you cpu compatibility, DFI may have closed it's comsumer motherboard branch but this is still probably the single Best mITX board to date, in terms of performance.
    EDIT: this P55 also doesn't have the annoyance that the H55 mITX board have in that the cpu socket is right next to the pci-e slot so places a massive limitation on your cooler compatibility.

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    Re: i7 -> ITX system?

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    The SG07 is only slightly longer than a P2 Shuttle SFF case. However,the Q11 does use the PSU as the main system exhaust though. I would probably get a PSU with fully modular cabling though.

    This Enermax PSU has fully modular cabling and is relatively compact too:

    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/500w-...lus-bronze-psu

    Here is a review of the Q07:

    http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/cas...-case-review/1

    IIRC,the XFX HD6850 1GB has a shorter PCB than most other HD6850 1GB cards.
    Not sure if it's too late for you Cat but the first you linked was a Silverstone PSU, shame it's not in stock and not sold anywhere else though otherwise I would have bought it! I ended up going for a Season 330W instead, should be enough power for my needs easily.

    The review you linked was of the Q11, I did read it and it seems pretty perfect except for PSU placement as stated.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pob255 View Post
    I've seen, not the Q07, but a case whith a simular psu over the cpu heat sink build where the block had to flip the fan on the psu over, so the psu was now sucking air in and blowing it over the cpu because he was having cooling issues.
    But that was on a more powerful system.

    Then again the Q07 would be ideal for a Corsair H50 or CoolIT eco ALC

    However for me the Silverstone SG07 is the best bet for a gaming ITX case

    Biggest thing you're going to notice is a big step down from an i7 to an i3

    As to motherboard http://www.scan.co.uk/products/dfi-l...-see-full-spes
    not the cheapest of boards but I'd take a P55 over an H55 although it will limit you cpu compatibility, DFI may have closed it's comsumer motherboard branch but this is still probably the single Best mITX board to date, in terms of performance.
    EDIT: this P55 also doesn't have the annoyance that the H55 mITX board have in that the cpu socket is right next to the pci-e slot so places a massive limitation on your cooler compatibility.
    The Q07 has no fan slots unfortunately so I wouldn't be able to use my CoolIt Eco ALC, the Q11 however might be able to, however I am guessing the PSU would get in the way, however I will definitely be trying. I haven't ordered the case yet though as I'm still searching around a bit.

    I don't really want a cube size case as I realise they tend to be quite wide and deep, I don't mind it being wide but my desk lacks depth so I'm pretty sure I'll go for a mini ITX tower.

    I'm really tempted to wait for the Sandybridge motherboards but if I see some cheap stuff in the Classifieds or Ebay I'll definitely jump on them.

    I love the look of this nettop though: http://www.asrock.com/nettop/overvie...%203D%20Series
    It seems pretty perfect but the only problem is that the graphics is lacking, if only it was paired up with a better graphics chip, I wonder if they'll be making one of those with perhaps a GTX460M or something (not sure what would be good enough to run League of Legends on 1920*1080 with max setting but really that's all I need - I haven't spent more than 5 hours on any other PC game since uni).

    Basically I want a system that is as small as possible that I can use with my 1920*1080 24" monitor that can only needs to browse, stream, view up to 1080p and play League of Legends on 1920*1080 with max settings, supposedly 8800GT performance is enough according to the official website but it doesn't say at what res.

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    Re: i7 -> ITX system?

    This thread is about a Q11 build with an AMD mini-ITX motherboard and an HD6850 1GB:

    http://forums.overclockers.co.uk/sho...php?t=18209716

    I thought it might be useful to you.


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    Re: i7 -> ITX system?

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    This thread is about a Q11 build with an AMD mini-ITX motherboard and an HD6850 1GB:

    http://forums.overclockers.co.uk/sho...php?t=18209716

    I thought it might be useful to you.
    Reading it now and I'm noticing how I'm exactly a mirror image of the OP in that thread; I moved to mATX and I was content for a little while but I'm eyeing up ITX right now. The OP also had a Lian Li V351. Brilliant find indeed!

    EDIT: Bugger, just missed out on a Q6600 for £60! But then again I don't have any spare DDR2 RAM or Socket 775 motherboard anyway.. Would have been great to hold out for Sandybridge though if I were to wait. Still undecided on Clarkdale i3 vs Sandybridge i3 or whatever the platforms are called.

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    Re: i7 -> ITX system?

    O..m..g...

    Quote Originally Posted by Laine@HardForum
    Thought I'd contribute to the thread. Haven't seen many PC-Q11 builds yet, here's mine.

    CPU - Intel Dual Core E5500 2,8GHz + Thermalright AXP-140
    RAM - Corsair 3gb 800mhz ram
    MB - Zotac 9300itx
    PSU - Fractal Design SFX 300w PSU
    HDD - Samsung 250gb 5400rpm
    HDD - Samsung F1 500gb 7200rpm
    HDD - Samsung F1 500gb 7200 rpm
    SSD - Corsair X-32 SSD
    GPU - XFX HD4550 512mb passive
    CSE - Lian Li PC-Q11B











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    Re: i7 mATX -> i3 ITX system? Downsizing choices?

    There is this 450W SFF PSU made by Silverstone:

    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/450w-...S+12V+80mm+Fan

    http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/p...ST-ST45SF.html

    BTW,have you considered the SG05??

    It covers only a slightly bigger desk area when compared to the Q11.

    You can get it with a 450W PSU for around £104:

    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/silve...s-bronze-black


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    Re: i7 mATX -> i3 ITX system? Downsizing choices?

    Ahh sorry I got the Q11 and q07 mixed up, although it looks like getting a rad and fan in that would be a very tight squeeze.

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    Re: i7 mATX -> i3 ITX system? Downsizing choices?

    I really like the look of the Q11 though, but I really don't think it can fit what I want it to. The SG05 is really tempting as it's roughly the same desk size but shorter but I don't look the look of it after going with an aluminium case.

    I've ordered the Gigabyte H55N-USB3 and an i3 540, if I can get the CoolIT Eco ALC to fit then I'll get the SG05 as it can fit in there, if not then I'll get the Q11 and get a Scythe Shuriken or the Thermalright AX140 or whatever it's called (I don't think it'll fit) or the Prolimatech Samuel 17.. Still gotta research a bit more though.

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      • 16Gb
      • Storage:
      • 500G 960 EVO NMVE
      • Graphics card(s):
      • GTX 1070
      • PSU:
      • Corsair RM650i
      • Case:
      • Corsair Carbide A1r 240
      • Operating System:
      • Win 10
      • Monitor(s):
      • 24" Dell HD + Samsung HD

    Re: i7 mATX -> i3 ITX system? Downsizing choices?

    FWIW Ive just built a SG07 1156 rig and im loving it

  22. #16
    Poor graduate. Ulti's Avatar
    Join Date
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    • Ulti's system
      • Motherboard:
      • AsRock B450M Pro4
      • CPU:
      • AMD Ryzen 5 3600
      • Memory:
      • Team Group Delta 32GB
      • Storage:
      • Corsair MP510 960GB
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Palit GTX 1070 8GB
      • PSU:
      • SilverStone SX500-LG V2.0
      • Case:
      • Jonsbo UMX3 TG Version
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 10 Pro
      • Monitor(s):
      • AOC Agon AG322QC4 31.5"
      • Internet:
      • Plusnet Fibre Extra 80/20

    Re: i7 mATX -> i3 ITX system? Downsizing choices?

    Quote Originally Posted by MaddAussie View Post
    FWIW Ive just built a SG07 1156 rig and im loving it
    Tbh the SG07 is actually quite a nice size but it's still a bit too deep for my liking; basically I want something that is small enough so that I don't have think "what if I could change my pc like soso"

    This thread is pretty good for SFF case comparisons: http://www.techreaction.net/forums/s...ead.php?t=3663

    Now if only there was a picture of all the cases side by side from a certain angle, then it would be perfect!

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