Advice/timing on an mITX work+gaming build

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Nice Marmot
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Joined: Mon May 05, 2003 1:02 pm

Advice/timing on an mITX work+gaming build

Post by Nice Marmot » Fri May 18, 2018 10:24 am

I've been running a Q9550 system in a P180 since 2008 as my home work (software/firmware development, some scientific computing, and a bit of game development hobby) and gaming machine. It's seen a switch to SSD, a small RAM boost, and a few different GPUs since then (8 GB & GTX 960 now), but it's getting to the point where there are titles in my Steam library that just can't run well (Linux ports of Tomb Raider and Rise of the Tomb Raider among others), and that'll just get worse once I start looking to replace my 1912x1200p monitors with 1440p or 4K. I'd also like to shrink my PC footprint, as GPU is my only expansion card and I can't remember the last time I used my DVDRW.

For a new case, my first intention was a Fractal Core 500 or Node 304. But looking at GPUs, it seems like the quietest options these days all require 2.5 slots for their coolers, and the Fractal ITX cubes just don't have the width. The workaround looks like going with a Fractal Nano S paired with an SFX PSU to provide a decent gap for the GPU cooler to stick into--with the downside that the GPU and PSU will be blowing hot air at each other.

Possible Build:
- CPU: Ryzen 2700X
- Mobo: ASUS Strix X470-I
- RAM: 16-32 GB, specs TBD
- GPU: MSI Gaming X 1060 6GB
- SDD: 850 EVO 1TB (reused, may look at an M.2 drive as prices come down)
- PSU: Corsair SF450
- Case: Fractal Define Nano S

But I'm having two existential questions about a new build right now:

1) The Nano S is nice, but I was hoping for smaller volume. With all these GPUs moving to 2.5 slot coolers, are ITX case manufacturers about to adapt by slightly widening their cube offerings? Or are there other small footprint cases that can sufficiently but quietly cool these kinds of components?

2) The Nvidia 10 series is a couple years old at this point, and reports are the 11 (or 20) series is landing in July. Does a new GPU right now make sense, or better to hold off a little longer (either for price drops on current generation or see what the new generation offers)? Yes, this is kind of the old "always something around the corner" issue, but given the unusually long gap between generations it seems a bit more concerning today.

Other notes/questions:

3) While my heavy CPU power needs are more for gaming than work loads, I'd like to support AMDs return to relevance by going Ryzen on this build. I'm also interested in trying undervolting the CPU (ideally at stock clocks + XFR2/Precision Boost 2 on) for lower power/temperature/noise. Anyone have experience undervolting the 2000 series Ryzens?

4) Figuring out RAM specs for Ryzen still seems overly complicated, especially with RAM prices still inflated. Is going with the max "official" MHz Ryzen supports reasonable, or are you leaving a ton of performance on the floor by not trying for 3200 or higher? Better to spend money on lower CAS than higher MHz? Doesn't help that ASUS's RAM QVL for the X470-I is a bad link at the moment.

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Re: Advice/timing on an mITX work+gaming build

Post by CA_Steve » Fri May 18, 2018 4:09 pm

What about the Fractal Define Mini C (the Nano S limits to 2 slot gfx card)?

While the GTX 1180 is expected to drop in July, the comparable GTX 1160 or 1150 might not happen then. If past behavior is any predictor, it could be another 2-3 months.
1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, Asrock Z97 Anniversary, MSI GTX 1660 Gaming X, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung 860 Evo 500GB, Crucial MX100 256GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic SSR-550FX. 35W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)

Nice Marmot
Posts: 75
Joined: Mon May 05, 2003 1:02 pm

Re: Advice/timing on an mITX work+gaming build

Post by Nice Marmot » Fri May 18, 2018 6:23 pm

Thought about the Mini, but at that point the footprint/volume isn't hugely different than my existing P180 build. I'd probably just hold out longer with the Q9550, or go for a significantly cheaper stop-gap ATX build & reuse case and PSU.

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Re: Advice/timing on an mITX work+gaming build

Post by Abula » Fri May 18, 2018 7:13 pm

Or as you considered the node304 and wait for a dual slot card, the 1170 and 1180 won't be ground breaking cards, seems lower lower arc size, gddr6 and a little more cuda cores, so it might be easier to cool, specially the 1170, so I would wait till July to see what happens.

If want a case smaller than ATX but still funcional with still space for big gpus and tower coolers, look into silversone tj08e. Or keeping in ATX I like the less depth of the define C.

I usually use my psu for a long time but I also have had psu rails fail slowly destroying a lot of hardware overtime, I don't use them above 5 years now.

BTW your cpu will cripple the performance of any of today's gpus, I think it's a very good upgrade what you are planning, I don't see anything huge on the horizon, aside maybe a 8core from Intel rummored to be the i7 9700k coming with z390 around Q4, but will be a minor upgrade over a 2700x / 8700k.
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StreaMi - Intel i9 7940X + AsRock X299 Taichi + Asus GTX1080Ti Strix | WorkMi - AMD 1950X + AsRock X399 Taichi + MSI GTX1080
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