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Thread: Clueless trying a small quiet build

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    Re: Clueless trying a small quiet build

    Quote Originally Posted by dulcificum View Post
    But I'm really not bothered at all about Handbrake performance. I'm much much much much much more concerned about multitasking applications internet/coding/graphics and video playback.
    Your signature says you got a Q6600 and yet in the OP you say you have an Athlon XP??

    If it is a Q6600,a Core i3 2100 or 2120 is not going to be a massive upgrade.

    You mentioned video encoding performance so actually it is relevant. Of ALL the applications you mentioned it is most CPU intensive. As you know HandBrake and similar applications are highly multi-threaded so you need to consider this. Multi-tasking performance will be better on a quad core or six core CPU.

    You say "coding" but with what software?? Its all rather vague. Some software runs better on more cores and other applications are more single threaded. Are you talking about Java or something like Matlab??

    Internet will be fine even on a dual core. What graphics design applications are you running?? OTH,you are more likely to be limited by disc speed and RAM.

    Regarding video decode AMD will be better in this regard but the Intel HD2000 is adequate. Even the ancient HD3200 AMD IGPs support dual monitors and support three to four monitors with and additional passive card. If you want more than two monitors it is either an AMD IGP with a very low end passive card or an Eyefinity capable card like an HD6570.

    I have experience of using a Q6600,Core i3 2100,Athlon II X3,Athlon II X4,Phenom II X4 and Phenom II X6.

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    Senior Member Ulti's Avatar
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    Re: Clueless trying a small quiet build

    I just wanted to recommend my build:

    Basically I'm suggesting you go for the same case and similar hardware. The case can "only" mount 2x 2.5" HDDs though. (I think for this footprint it's already brilliant!) I should have posted a build progress thread but was too lazy back then. Currently waiting for Trinity to come out and I'll jump on it, but when it comes out I won't even have time for a casual game

    It's a very quiet and energy efficient build. I mostly web browse nowadays so it's fine for me. You'll want to go for a slightly better CPU though. If you go for the AMD processors then I'm afraid you'll have problems with the PSU. I've been searching eBay every now and then for a 120/150W PicoPSU + Adapter for cheap but haven't been lucky thus far.

    Here's the build: (The prices were what I paid - Current total price shouldn't be too far off what I paid, RAM was a bit more expensive back then)
    CPU: Intel Pentium G620 (£35 2nd hand)
    Motherboard: AsRock H67M-ITX (£70)
    RAM: Kingston Low Profile 8GB DDR3 1333Mhz CL7 (£50)
    Storage: 250GB WD Scorpio Black HDD (~£34) + 64GB Crucial C300 SSD (£46 Refurb from Crucial)
    Case + PSU: Antec ISK-100 with included 80W Pico-PSU (£60)

    Total: £295!

    It does lack an optical drive though, I've been waiting for the half decent slimline drives (The blocky slimline Samsung one in particular!) to drop below £15 but they won't even drop below £20 except for the LiteOn one. I want the Samsung one so I can just wedge it in between vertically.

    It's footprint is tiny and meets all my needs too:


    Removed the stand and just stuck some small rubber feets to it and it has an even smaller footprint now:
    Last edited by Ulti; 15-12-2011 at 12:53 AM.

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    Re: Clueless trying a small quiet build

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    Your signature says you got a Q6600 and yet in the OP you say you have an Athlon XP??

    If it is a Q6600,a Core i3 2100 or 2120 is not going to be a massive upgrade.

    You mentioned video encoding performance so actually it is relevant. Of ALL the applications you mentioned it is most CPU intensive. As you know HandBrake and similar applications are highly multi-threaded so you need to consider this. Multi-tasking performance will be better on a quad core or six core CPU.

    You say "coding" but with what software?? Its all rather vague. Some software runs better on more cores and other applications are more single threaded. Are you talking about Java or something like Matlab??

    Internet will be fine even on a dual core. What graphics design applications are you running?? OTH,you are more likely to be limited by disc speed and RAM.

    Regarding video decode AMD will be better in this regard but the Intel HD2000 is adequate. Even the ancient HD3200 AMD IGPs support dual monitors and support three to four monitors with and additional passive card. If you want more than two monitors it is either an AMD IGP with a very low end passive card or an Eyefinity capable card like an HD6570.

    I have experience of using a Q6600,Core i3 2100,Athlon II X3,Athlon II X4,Phenom II X4 and Phenom II X6.
    sig is out of date

    Coding just means XHTML/PHP maybe a bit of perl, nothing too heavy. Graphics is just Photoshop and Picasa or something similar. When I'm ripping I just leave it overnight so I couldn't care how long it takes.

    Are you sure CPU isn't an issue for web browsing? I usually have over 50 tabs open at once and it's definitely the bottleneck on my current 2GiB RAM system.

    Mainly I'll be working online in several browsers and want to be able to cope easily with 100+ tabs and a few SSH sessions, while keeping multiple Word/Excel documents open and editing reasonable sized image files all simultaneously.

    If an i3/8GiB will be fine for this, I just need to pick the case and mobo that will let me run my monitors.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ulti View Post
    I just wanted to recommend my build:

    Basically I'm suggesting you go for the same case and similar hardware. The case can "only" mount 2x 2.5" HDDs though. (I think for this footprint it's already brilliant!) I should have posted a build progress thread but was too lazy back then. Currently waiting for Trinity to come out and I'll jump on it, but when it comes out I won't even have time for a casual game

    Here's the build: (The prices were what I paid - Current total price shouldn't be too far off what I paid, RAM was a bit more expensive back then)
    CPU: Intel Pentium G620 (£35 2nd hand)
    Motherboard: AsRock H67M-ITX (£70)
    RAM: Kingston Low Profile 8GB DDR3 1333Mhz CL7 (£50)
    Storage: 250GB WD Scorpio Black HDD (~£34) + 64GB Crucial C300 SSD (£46 Refurb from Crucial)
    Case + PSU: Antec ISK-100 with included 80W Pico-PSU (£60)

    Total: £295!
    It does look lush but that CPU looks _way_ underpowered and I don't think I'll get anything better in that case with that motherboard. I think the i3 is the minimum I'll settle for. Also, does it allow for the 3 monitors I need?

    TBH it seems like I'd be compromising too much with ITX - I'd rather spend the same amount and get better specs with µATX. Or am I wrong about that. Maybe I don't need to go tiny tiny ITX?

    Thanks for all the help guys

    So is Intel still better than AMD for my needs? And H67 is the chipset I want?

    In that case, what mobo/case/PSU should I look for?

    Cheers
    Last edited by dulcificum; 15-12-2011 at 01:34 AM.

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    Re: Clueless trying a small quiet build

    Dumb question - say I'm looking at this motherboard:

    http://www.ebuyer.com/260485-asus-p8...p8h67-m-pro-r3

    I can't see wifi. Does that mean I have to use up a PCI port for a wifi card? No way am I using USB wifi...

    Also, can I run 3 monitors off this board as it has HDMI, DVI and RGB?

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    Senior Member Ulti's Avatar
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    Re: Clueless trying a small quiet build

    Quote Originally Posted by dulcificum View Post

    It does look lush but that CPU looks _way_ underpowered and I don't think I'll get anything better in that case with that motherboard. I think the i3 is the minimum I'll settle for. Also, does it allow for the 3 monitors I need?

    TBH it seems like I'd be compromising too much with ITX - I'd rather spend the same amount and get better specs with µATX.

    Thanks for all the help guys

    So is Intel still better than AMD for my needs? And H67 is the chipset I want?

    In that case, what mobo/case/PSU should I look for?

    Cheers
    Well the Pentium G620 is just the i3 with no HyperThreading and no Turbo Boost AFAIK, so performance of the i3 isn't actually that much better. Not sure if you have an SSD but it certainly makes more difference. As theyre both Sandybridge processors, both have the same graphics chip so both should have the same capabilities in being able to drive 3 monitors.

    The motherboard itself is also a H67 chipset so it also does all the other things.
    The only problem I see is that if you want to go for an i5 the PSU will have trouble under extended load.

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    Re: Clueless trying a small quiet build

    Quote Originally Posted by Ulti View Post
    Well the Pentium G620 is just the i3 with no HyperThreading and no Turbo Boost AFAIK, so performance of the i3 isn't actually that much better. Not sure if you have an SSD but it certainly makes more difference. As theyre both Sandybridge processors, both have the same graphics chip so both should have the same capabilities in being able to drive 3 monitors.

    The motherboard itself is also a H67 chipset so it also does all the other things.
    The only problem I see is that if you want to go for an i5 the PSU will have trouble under extended load.
    I'm trying to hold off buying a SSD while prices are expensive and I guess that case won't take my current 3.5" HDD?

    You still might convince me though... Having said that, something bigger will allow for bigger fans which will be slower and quieter, right?

    At the moment I'm thinking the following:

    • Silverstone SG05B Mini-ITX Mini-DTX, Black with 300W 80Plus PSU -£83.98
    • 8GB (2x4GB) Corsair DDR3 XMS3 PC3-12800 (1600), Non-ECC Unbuffered, CAS 9-9-9-24, 1.5V - £34.56
    • Intel Core i3 2120 - £97.36 inc VAT


    That's a total of £225.49 but I still need to find a motherboard. Hopefully it should leave me with some spare cash to splash out on 2 big monitors

    Frankly all the motherboard needs is 2 or 3 working monitor outputs and built in Wifi. eSATA would also be nice. How much will I need to spend on this? I'm finding it hard to tell what's good and what's not.

    How does on-board graphics on the ITX mobo fit with the GPU in the i3?

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    Re: Clueless trying a small quiet build

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    I have experience of using a Q6600,Core i3 2100,Athlon II X3,Athlon II X4,Phenom II X4 and Phenom II X6.
    You know if I ever come into a serious amount of money I might just buy you a bit more kit than that.

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    Re: Clueless trying a small quiet build

    Quote Originally Posted by dulcificum View Post

    Woah, sorry but too much jargon for me Will this H67 without GPU still allow me to run 3 heads or am I always needing a separate graphics card to squeeze in my case? Encoding won't be regular at all. Once every couple of months. Watching is weekly or more frequent so that and office apps/internet are way more important. I don't need to overclock so am I right in thinking H67 is fine? Def no need for Z68...

    Cheers,
    Sandy Bridge (SB) cpus (ie processors) can be mounted in three different chipsets (the socket on the motherboard + its architecture/infrastructure). Depending on which chipset is used, the processor is able to exploit different features.

    H67 (cheapest). Access to onboard graphics processor built into the cpu. This enables display of graphics to your monitor(s) without needing a discreet GPU (aka graphics card). You won't be able to run a discreet GPU with H67. Because onboard GPU is accessible, QuickSync (inbuilt encoding features) can be accessed (these rely on the onboard GPU for doing the calculations).

    P67 (middle). No access to onboard graphics processor. No QuickSync. Discreet GPU is required in order to see anything. Can overclock the CPU if it supports this.

    z68 does everything H67 and P67 do but costs more. Cheap z68 are more like H67+ and should be avoided IMO, since they seem limited in their usefulness beyond what H67 offer. The mid-high end z68 are well worth it, as they genuinely do offer much more than either H67 or P67.

    Some SB motherboards (mobo) will apparently allow the cpu to power two screens, though not all will.

    AMD has its own chipsets. Again, different ones offer/permit different features. I'm not too clued up on AMD, but IIRC then AM3+ is probably the minimum chipset you want while allowing for future upgradability. Others may correct me though - as I said, I'm not overly familiar with the current line(s) of AMD tech. Cat knows much more on this so he'll be able to advise if you need more help.

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    Re: Clueless trying a small quiet build

    Yeah so I'm set on H67. Anything more is either bad (no GPU) or a waste.

    The thing is I need to know what happens when you use an ITX board with onboard GPU. Does that mean you now have effectively 2 GPUs?

    Which boards can run 2 monitors or 3 monitors with a H67 chipset? Do most have the wifi I need?

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    Re: Clueless trying a small quiet build

    Quote Originally Posted by dulcificum View Post
    sig is out of date

    Coding just means XHTML/PHP maybe a bit of perl, nothing too heavy. Graphics is just Photoshop and Picasa or something similar. When I'm ripping I just leave it overnight so I couldn't care how long it takes.
    Depends on the size of the rip. A Phenom II X6 is around 40% to 50% faster. A Phenom II X6 1045T will have similar multi-threaded performance to a Core i7 920 or Core i7 930. This places it above a Core i5 2500 in certain instances.

    Quote Originally Posted by dulcificum View Post
    Are you sure CPU isn't an issue for web browsing? I usually have over 50 tabs open at once and it's definitely the bottleneck on my current 2GiB RAM system.
    If you are just web browsing only a recent dual core CPU will be fine. If anything it will be RAM which is the main issue. I did run out of RAM when I had 4GB(!) a few times under Windows 7. However,with 8GB of RAM I have not had an issue.

    Quote Originally Posted by dulcificum View Post
    Mainly I'll be working online in several browsers and want to be able to cope easily with 100+ tabs and a few SSH sessions, while keeping multiple Word/Excel documents open and editing reasonable sized image files all simultaneously.
    If an i3/8GiB will be fine for this, I just need to pick the case and mobo that will let me run my monitors.
    I can do the same thing at times with a Core i3 2100 with 8GB of DDR3,an H67 based mini-ITX motherboard and an SSD. However,even then it can chug at times if you running so many different types of programmes at the same time. The main issue is that it is a dual core with HT. For gaming and image editing it is actually a decent enough CPU.

    With a Phenom II X6 OTH you can set dedicated cores for various programmes using core affinity.

    The Phenom II 1045T I suggested for a mate recently. He does multi-task a lot,does a decent amount scripting and runs a number of proteomics/genetics programs.

    Quote Originally Posted by dulcificum View Post
    It does look lush but that CPU looks _way_ underpowered and I don't think I'll get anything better in that case with that motherboard. I think the i3 is the minimum I'll settle for. Also, does it allow for the 3 monitors I need?

    TBH it seems like I'd be compromising too much with ITX - I'd rather spend the same amount and get better specs with µATX. Or am I wrong about that. Maybe I don't need to go tiny tiny ITX?

    Thanks for all the help guys

    So is Intel still better than AMD for my needs? And H67 is the chipset I want?

    In that case, what mobo/case/PSU should I look for?

    Cheers
    None of the current motherboards will run three monitors. You will need an additional card to enable this ability.

    I did some more reading and an HD5450 will do the job:

    http://www.amd.com/us/products/deskt...verview.aspx#2

    It does have Eyefinity;however one monitor has to have displayport.

    AMD has SurroundView though. It means if you use a 785G or 880G based motherboard with a compatible card you can use both the IGP and discrete card at the same time. This means you can use three to four monitors.

    The thing is the Core i3 is more a gaming orientated CPU IMHO. I personally think that an Athlon II X4 or Phenom II X6 for around £80 to £100 would be a better choice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ulti View Post
    If you go for the AMD processors then I'm afraid you'll have problems with the PSU. I've been searching eBay every now and then for a 120/150W PicoPSU + Adapter for cheap but haven't been lucky thus far.
    According to a chap that did an A8-3850 build on OcUK it ran fine off a 150W PicoPSU. There is also the 65W A8-3800 which requires much less power too. Remember Llano integrates all functionality apart from the disk controllers onto the CPU;hence the chipsets consume very little power and the IGP has extensive power gating.

    There is this 150W DC-DC PSU sold by Scan:

    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/150w-...-88-efficiency
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 15-12-2011 at 01:31 PM.

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    Re: Clueless trying a small quiet build

    Argh. So just when I thought I was decided on i3 + H67, now you're pushing AMD big time

    Will HT help the multitasking a lot or do I really need to look at an AMD with 6 cores?

    Can anyone explain the question I asked earlier about onboard ITX GPU and i3 with H67 trying to run 2/3 monitors?

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    Re: Clueless trying a small quiet build

    Just seen this adaptor which convert the displayport to a DVI input:

    http://www.play.com/PC/PCs/4-/167089...1|prd:16708971

    This means an HD5450 or HD6450 will be able to drive three monitors fine. The cost should not be more than £40 to £50.

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    Re: Clueless trying a small quiet build

    Quote Originally Posted by dulcificum View Post
    Argh. So just when I thought I was decided on i3 + H67, now you're pushing AMD big time

    Will HT help the multitasking a lot or do I really need to look at an AMD with 6 cores?
    HT will help up to a degree. However,it is not always fully effective. It depends on what sized system you want to get. Having been a Shuttle and mini-ITX fan for years there are limitations you need to accept for the smaller form factor. The main issue is the lack of expansion especially with RAM and also with many of the cases.

    The six core Phenom II X6 is £104 so is in the same price range as a Core i3.

    If you are going mini-ITX there are a few FM1 and AM3(not AM3+) motherboards for around £100 and under. The Intel sockets have a better range and tend to start at a lower price point.

    Quote Originally Posted by dulcificum View Post
    Can anyone explain the question I asked earlier about onboard ITX GPU and i3 with H67 trying to run 2/3 monitors?
    AFAIK,the HD2000 and HD3000 IGPs don't support three monitors but only two. OTH,AMD SurroundView and Eyefinity do support at least three monitors. In all cases you need to have a discrete card for supporting more than two monitors.

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    Re: Clueless trying a small quiet build

    Thanks - I'll look into all that. Seems going AMD might be a bit more pricey though and I'm trying to save cash for monitors. Also, don't want another GPU if possible.

    If I'm going ITX, how restricted am I in my choice of CPU cooler because of the case size?

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    Re: Clueless trying a small quiet build

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    Just seen this adaptor which convert the displayport to a DVI input:

    http://www.play.com/PC/PCs/4-/167089...1|prd:16708971

    This means an HD5450 or HD6450 will be able to drive three monitors fine. The cost should not be more than £40 to £50.
    I read that HD5450 can only support two outputs at once. Also, I can't find any ITX boards that take 6 core AMD CPUs. I'm still tempted to go with Intel instead and maybe even splash out for a 4 core i5...

    The main issue is finding a mobo that can do three monitors. Or maybe I just need one that can do two and I can add a discrete GPU when I get the third but is that possible with the on-chip GPU and H67?

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