A new build - to mini-ATX or not to mini-ATX?

Associate
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I'm about to embark on a new build after many years on hiatus. I had started looking at the loveliness that is the BitFenix Prodigy case until I realised it was a mini ATX.

Apart from the physical space limitations (I will not be too bothered by that) are there any major disadvantages to using a mini ATX compared to a standard ATX board? Are the boards that are generally available for Intel i7's of comparable speed/quality/bleeding-edge to that of the standard ATX's?

For my build I want quality, speed (games) and not a monolith sized case. I will only be using 1 gfx card for now, an ssd and a HDD also. An optical drive I can either slap in or have external.

I realise this may need to be shunted into the MOBO thread but the question does pertain to general mini-ATX form factor queries.

Also, knowing my forum rules ( :D ) I did search the forums a little for the answer but either nobody discusses the topic or my search skills were insufficient! (I think the latter!)
 
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The biggest problem i can see is that they only have a single pci-e slot and that will be taken up by the graphics card. That means making do with onboard sound and that is something, that i personally, could not put up with.
 
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The biggest problem i can see is that they only have a single pci-e slot and that will be taken up by the graphics card. That means making do with onboard sound and that is something, that i personally, could not put up with.

I keep thinking about going to it, but then i think what you just said. Not just about on board sound but losing the option to add other things if i ever need them which puts me off.
 
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I'm also about to consolidate my huge Corsair Graphite 600T into the BitFenix Prodigy case... Personally I can't wait! :)

I recently built one to be a media/gaming PC to be hooked up to the TV. realised I'm on it more than anything else so have moved it to my desk to be my main one to save some space until we move.

Moving into a new house mid-december and I'll have no space for my Corsair case so going to put it all in a Prodigy case.

http://forums.overclockers.co.uk/showthread.php?t=18461395

I feel that the only downside has already been mentioned. No space to really upgrade. Saying that... I've only ever used on-board sound and never had a problem with it, not in this day and age! I also don't see the point in going SLI/Crossfire so i'm never going to need the extra slots anyway.
 
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I share some of the sentiments above w.r.t. having a single graphics card as I am not an enthusiast gamer (I got old!). I would want to run two monitors at 1920x1200 for example (gaming can be done on a single monitor).

I wasn't considering an after-market sound-card until I was mentioned by pastymuncher.
It'll be hooked up to my old Logitch 5.1 (Z5500's) or my headphones (Sennheiser 650's). While those excellent 650's alone justify a sound card AND an amp I don't use them enough for pro-audio :( Perhaps to have the option of expandability would be nice though. This would not be a solution offered by my the smaller form factor unless good external soundcards exist.
 
Soldato
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Excellent external soundcards exist. I used to use one in my old band hooked up to an old Dell X300 lappy. Used it for live performance for about 3-4 years :)

I think most of the modern day Headsets come with external USB soundcards! I have the SteelSeries 5H and they have a little USB soundcard with them.
 
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So here's what I've come up with so far:


YOUR BASKET
1 x MSI HD 7970 Lightning BOOSTED Edition 3072MB GDDR5 PCI-Express Graphics Card **OcUK Exclusive** with FREE FARCRY3, Hitman Absolution, Sleeping Dogs & 20% off MOH Warfighter PC Games £379.99
1 x Samsung 256GB SSD 840 PRO SATA 6Gb/s Basic - (MZ-7PD256BW) £199.99
1 x Intel Core i5-3570K 3.40GHz (Ivybridge) Socket LGA1155 Processor (77W) - Retail £173.99
1 x Asus P8Z77-I Deluxe (Socket 1155/Intel Z77.DDR3/S-ATA 600/Mini ITX) £159.98
1 x Corsair Hydro H100 Extreme Performance Liquid CPU Cooler (Socket LGA775/LGA1155/LGA1156/LGA1366/LGA2011/AM2/AM3) (CWCH100) £86.98
1 x Corsair Vengeance Low Profile 16GB (2x8GB) DDR3 PC3-12800C10 1600MHz Dual Channel Kit (CML16GX3M2A1600C10) £74.99
1 x BitFenix Prodigy Mini-ITX Cube Case - Midnight Black £64.99
1 x Corsair AF120 Quiet Edition Low Noise High Airflow - Dual Pack £19.99
1 x Corsair AF140 Quiet Series Low Noise High Airflow - Single Pack £14.99
1 x BitFenix Spectre PRO 230mm - Black £14.99
Total : £1,204.98 (includes shipping : £11.75).




I haven't been here in a while - did i read somewhere free shipping for forum members with multiple posts? (I'll need to look that one up).

Anyway, perhaps the above spec is a little overkill since I will not be overclocking really and I am not a huge gamer. Perhaps the gfx card is a little expensive for my liking at the moment.

Now if I could only edit my forum posting title - I should have said 'ITX'!
 
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The memory I just guessed at based on someone else's build too. I haven't had a chance to research that area yet...
 
Soldato
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The motherboard you have chosen is awesome, I'm running that one at the moment in my BitFenix case :)

What are you going to be using the PC for exactly? 16GB seems a bit overkill on the memory front! 8GB is generally fine for most things

Certainly an OTT spec if your not a huge gamer and not overclocking!.. but then again, if you have the money, why the hell not! :D
 
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Id go, 8gig memory, 7850 card and the ssd can be had cheaper, keep seeing them pop up on hotuk deals around the £120 mark for thay capacity, awesome build though, im itching to upgrade and looking at something like this :)
 
Soldato
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Thing to note is you've picked the high airflow for the H100 fans, you'd be better off with the high pressure ones instead.

Also worth noting the H100i is a better choice now. (The fans that come with it are pretty good too so you'd be able to ditch the extra 120mm's)
 
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noted:)

I knew the gfx was overkill at that price. Around £250 for a card would be more reasonable - i was looking at the Gigabyte ATi Radeon HD 7950 Windforce for example.

Memory - I'll check it out. Is there any preferred option for this board?

SSD - i will stick with that choice since its the best :)

Still need:
-psu: im guessing a modular 450-500w would suffice
-quiet 200-230mm front fan (removed the bitfenix one i have above as it doesnt appear to be all that quiet)
-memory - as above
 
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