What is this MINI-ITX PC enough for?

Started Jul 20, 2013 | Questions
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Mark1t Regular Member • Posts: 246
What is this MINI-ITX PC enough for?

Hi guys!

I'm looking forward to build a mini ITX pc, and I want you to help me/give suggestions.

CPU: Intel I7-4770K

GPU: Sapphire HD 7770 OC

PSU: Corsair CX430

MOBO: This is what I don't know. Please help me. I saw the Asus h87i-plus, but maybe I want a cheaper board. It's good if it's asus, because I like the AI suite.

Chassis: BitFenix Prodigy

RAM: 2X4 Gb Kingston hyper x blu

What is this setup enough for? Photoshop? Maybe After Effects? Battlefield 3/4?

Thanks

Mark

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Not An Ace Regular Member • Posts: 175
Re: What is this MINI-ITX PC enough for?

Mark1t wrote:

Hi guys!

I'm looking forward to build a mini ITX pc, and I want you to help me/give suggestions.

CPU: Intel I7-4770K

GPU: Sapphire HD 7770 OC

PSU: Corsair CX430

MOBO: This is what I don't know. Please help me. I saw the Asus h87i-plus, but maybe I want a cheaper board. It's good if it's asus, because I like the AI suite.

Chassis: BitFenix Prodigy

RAM: 2X4 Gb Kingston hyper x blu

What is this setup enough for? Photoshop? Maybe After Effects? Battlefield 3/4?

Thanks

Mark

It's very difficult to piece up embedded systems. It's not for the faint hearted. You should have knowledge of digital electronics, signalling, firmware, and drivers.

markkuk Contributing Member • Posts: 683
Re: What is this MINI-ITX PC enough for?

Not An Ace wrote:

Mark1t wrote:

I'm looking forward to build a mini ITX pc, and I want you to help me/give suggestions.

CPU: Intel I7-4770K

GPU: Sapphire HD 7770 OC

PSU: Corsair CX430

MOBO: This is what I don't know. Please help me. I saw the Asus h87i-plus, but maybe I want a cheaper board. It's good if it's asus, because I like the AI suite.

Chassis: BitFenix Prodigy

RAM: 2X4 Gb Kingston hyper x blu

It's very difficult to piece up embedded systems.

The original poster isn't talking about an embedded system, it's a small form factor Windows PC.

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technic Veteran Member • Posts: 8,932
Re: What is this MINI-ITX PC enough for?

Mark1t wrote:

Hi guys!

I'm looking forward to build a mini ITX pc, and I want you to help me/give suggestions.

CPU: Intel I7-4770K

GPU: Sapphire HD 7770 OC

PSU: Corsair CX430

MOBO: This is what I don't know. Please help me. I saw the Asus h87i-plus, but maybe I want a cheaper board. It's good if it's asus, because I like the AI suite.

Chassis: BitFenix Prodigy

RAM: 2X4 Gb Kingston hyper x blu

What is this setup enough for? Photoshop? Maybe After Effects? Battlefield 3/4?

I can't comment about the hardware details above, but don't worry about photography use unless you have very high demands.

I'm using a mini-PC with Atom 330 processor and 2 GB RAM. It works fine for Photoshop CS, Canon DPP and most other photography applications. That Atom 330 cpu is about as fast as a Pentium 4 (from ten years ago or so), and much slower than the i7 cpu in your mini-ITX.

For processing/compositing large images or batch processing my system takes its time, but as long as one is a hobby user that is hardly an issue. Would not recommend it for professional photography use obviously, or for processing video in After Effects. But in general IMHO people worry too much about getting the latest hardware. My system is very small and quiet and uses very little power; to me that is more important than the highest 'spec'.

Not An Ace Regular Member • Posts: 175
Re: What is this MINI-ITX PC enough for?

The bottom line is Mini-ITX is not for hobbyists. It is not plug and play. It's for people who work on digital electronics, firmware, and device drivers. You should be an electronic engineer or UNIX (not Linux) software engineer. If that's not you, then make sure you can get a 100% refund of your money before purchase.

Neil R Junior Member • Posts: 34
Re: What is this MINI-ITX PC enough for?

Disregard the "not an ace" comments.  His tag name is appropriate.  The specs you have are fine and should do you  fine for whatever you want to do and in the future, unless it is serious video editing.  I would add an SSD for the os and apps as well as a HDD for your pics/ data.  Happy building!

RalphSmith New Member • Posts: 15
Re: What is this MINI-ITX PC enough for?

Mark1t wrote:

Hi guys!

I'm looking forward to build a mini ITX pc, and I want you to help me/give suggestions.

CPU: Intel I7-4770K

GPU: Sapphire HD 7770 OC

PSU: Corsair CX430

MOBO: This is what I don't know. Please help me. I saw the Asus h87i-plus, but maybe I want a cheaper board. It's good if it's asus, because I like the AI suite.

Chassis: BitFenix Prodigy

RAM: 2X4 Gb Kingston hyper x blu

What is this setup enough for? Photoshop? Maybe After Effects? Battlefield 3/4?

Thanks

Mark

Mark,

You are embarking on a technical specialization.

Purchase the configuration, brand new, pre-integrated, burned-in, and tested by mini-ITX supplier.

Google for "Mini ITX" suppliers.

Ralph

Park Kultry New Member • Posts: 14
Re: What is this MINI-ITX PC enough for?

Beware. You have to have an expert technician integrate MINIITX.

Jen Yates Senior Member • Posts: 1,413
Re: What is this MINI-ITX PC enough for?
1

Park Kultry wrote:

Beware. You have to have an expert technician integrate MINIITX.

Resurrecting an old thread to add incorrect information.

There was a time when mini-itx systems were hard to work with, but that was almost a decade ago.

These days a mini-itx based system is no harder to setup than a full sized PC rig.

Park Kultry New Member • Posts: 14
Re: What is this MINI-ITX PC enough for?

The point is that only preassembled mini ITX will work since they are not made for consumers but for system integrators and large manufacturing firms who have staffs to work on difficult problems requiring custom driver and firmware codes changes.

Roland Wooster Senior Member • Posts: 2,037
Mini ITX is as easy as any other PC build.
1

Mini-ITX, and Thin-Mini-ITX boards are often easier to install than ATX or Micro-ATX boards - simply because they are smaller. However, all the connectors, and all the screw mounting holes are in the exact same location as ATX and Micro ATX, just using a subset of the screws of the larger boards.

They are utterly trivial to install. I've built at least 6 Mini-ITX, and a few Thin-Mini-ITX All In One systems too.

The single biggest difference between Mini-ITX, MicroATX, and ATX is the board size, and thus primarily the number of PCIe backplane slots. Mini-ITX has only one slot, MicroATX has 4, and a full size ATX has 7 (unless the CPU or memory blocks the first one, in which case it'll have 6).

Mini ITX is 6.5" by 6.5", Micro ATX is 9.6" by 9.6", and ATX is 12" by 9.6" but the CPU location, memory location, power connector, screw holes, 1st PCIe connector and often the USB internal cable headers are all in the same location.

The only downside, they are often as expensive as a Micro ATX board - which will frequently offer you 3 additional PCIe slots, and probably additional SATA connectors. The plus size is obviously the size, and thus the fact that you can build them into much smaller chassis.

All the comments about needing advanced knowledge are complete rubbish, you need no greater PC building experience with Mini ITX than you do any other board design.

Roland.

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Tom_N Forum Pro • Posts: 10,584
Re: What is this MINI-ITX PC enough for?

Jen Yates wrote:

Park Kultry wrote:

Beware. You have to have an expert technician integrate MINIITX.

Resurrecting an old thread to add incorrect information.

Beware.  MINI-ITX systems are going to eat your delicious BRAINS!

Or was that ... MINI-ITX systems are going to suck all of your blood!  Close all the windows and hang garlic everywhere!

Or was that ... MINI-ITX systems are coming ... melt down your good silver and make bullets, since everyone knows that only silver bullets can kill a were-AAAAARRRRRGGGGH!

theswede
theswede Veteran Member • Posts: 3,936
Re: What is this MINI-ITX PC enough for?

Park Kultry wrote:

The point is that only preassembled mini ITX will work since they are not made for consumers but for system integrators and large manufacturing firms who have staffs to work on difficult problems requiring custom driver and firmware codes changes.

o.O

You're really claiming that mini ITX systems have a magic "end user tampering" detection system which kills them if they're not assembled by someone from this wand wielding staff!?

Because, you know, they're just motherboards with components, just like an ATX or mATX system, with perfectly normal CPU and memory sockets, and connectors looking just like connectors on any old system around. Nothing special at all, apart from size.

Could you provide some details on this detection system please, which require firmware codes changes to be appeased?

Jesper

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AlephNull Senior Member • Posts: 1,332
Re: What is this MINI-ITX PC enough for?

Park Kultry wrote:

The point is that only preassembled mini ITX will work since they are not made for consumers but for system integrators and large manufacturing firms who have staffs to work on difficult problems requiring custom driver and firmware codes changes.

You are incorrect. I assembled a mini ITX machine two months ago, and it is working perfectly. I assembled another the month before that. It's easy enough.

There are a great many mini ITX motherboards and cases readily available to consumers. You should look around before claiming that they aren't.

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Sam The Man Regular Member • Posts: 125
Re: What is this MINI-ITX PC enough for?

Mark1t wrote:

Hi guys!

I'm looking forward to build a mini ITX pc, and I want you to help me/give suggestions.

CPU: Intel I7-4770K

GPU: Sapphire HD 7770 OC

PSU: Corsair CX430

MOBO: This is what I don't know. Please help me. I saw the Asus h87i-plus, but maybe I want a cheaper board. It's good if it's asus, because I like the AI suite.

Chassis: BitFenix Prodigy

RAM: 2X4 Gb Kingston hyper x blu

What is this setup enough for? Photoshop? Maybe After Effects? Battlefield 3/4?

Thanks

Mark

Make sure newegg/amazon will take back all parts w/o a restocking fee since specialized OEM hardware never works when plugged in together. For instance, car add on mini-ITX systems are custom built in 1,000 unit quantities by electrical, software, and computer engineers.

Ron AKA Veteran Member • Posts: 4,875
Re: Mini ITX is as easy as any other PC build.

I don't see why a mini ITX would be any more difficult to build than a full ATX. There are some issues though that I can think of seeing your equipment list:

You have selected a rather expensive processor that is designed to be overclocked. An overclocked processor makes lots of heat and typically needs a big honking cooler, or a water cooler with an external radiator. If you get a small case to take advantage of the mini ITX form factor, I don't see how you will fit an internal cooler. Having a water cooler and external rad would seem to defeat the purpose of having a small case. Another option would be to forget the overclocking and just get a i7-4770 (no K). Will save you a few bucks.

The Asus Z87I Deluxe looks like a nice board for it. It has Fan Expert 2 which you will find very useful in keeping this thing cool. Remember though that if you have a small case you may have to use small fans, and small fans are noisier than large fans.

The Z87I has one PCIe-16 slot, so you technically can fit a graphics card. However some graphics cards take the space of two slots. Better check to see that there is enough room (length, width, height, and room for air circulation). It looks like you have selected a Radeon HD 7770 based card. That is what I have, and the HIS version takes two slots and has a cooling fan. If the card physically fits and there is room left for air circulation make sure your power supply has a graphics card power connector.

Another option is to forget the graphics card and use the internal graphics processor of the I7-4770. That will certainly cut your heat load, and eliminates the "will it fit" issue. But, the built in Intel graphics processor may be a little weak to play games with.

Another option is to use an AMD A10-6800 processor. It has an integrated graphics (Radeon) that has enough power to play most games at lower resolution. Don't see an Asus MB for it though, just a Gigabyte F2A85XN . They are ok as a brand, but don't think they have fan control. But without a hair dryer like graphics card in the box, heat should be less of a problem.

In summary, think about heat, space, and cooling. Good luck!

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theswede
theswede Veteran Member • Posts: 3,936
Re: What is this MINI-ITX PC enough for?

Make sure newegg/amazon will take back all parts w/o a restocking fee since specialized OEM hardware never works when plugged in together.

What on earth are you on about?? The computer I am using now is built from "specialized OEM hardware", and it works well enough to type this message on. On the first try, at that.

For instance, car add on mini-ITX systems are custom built in 1,000 unit quantities by electrical, software, and computer engineers.

No car manufacturer will buy that small lots of hand built units. It's much too expensive. The automotive industry has no margins at all and is incredibly cost sensitive. You just made this up.

Jesper

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theswede
theswede Veteran Member • Posts: 3,936
Re: Mini ITX is as easy as any other PC build.

You have selected a rather expensive processor that is designed to be overclocked. An overclocked processor makes lots of heat and typically needs a big honking cooler, or a water cooler with an external radiator.

If you get a small case to take advantage of the mini ITX form factor, I don't see how you will fit an internal cooler.

He listed the Bitfenix Prodigy.

http://www.bitfenix.com/global/en/products/chassis/prodigy/

It has space for internal water cooling if required, and won't have much air flow issues even with a wide card. And it's still a lot more compact than most mATX solutions.

Jesper

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Sam The Man Regular Member • Posts: 125
mini-ITX is very Difficult to assemble

Thousands of car HD/audio, car alarm system, and police/fire add on accessory companies use mini-ITX.

theswede
theswede Veteran Member • Posts: 3,936
Re: mini-ITX is very Difficult to assemble

Sam The Man wrote:

Thousands of car HD/audio, car alarm system, and police/fire add on accessory companies use mini-ITX.

And how does this in any way support your assertion that they are difficult to assemble!? That they are this common ought to mean they are standardized and well understood. As, in fact, they are.

Please explain, what about them is it that makes it so impossible to make them work properly?

Jesper

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