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Thread: Slim, but extreme.

  1. #1
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    Default Planning a mini Extreme build.

    I'm planning out a build for a friend who has been using a laptop for many years and games mainly on consoles. I'd like to build him something that will show him how much MORE a PC can really do compared to his laptop. The catch is, though, that his "old laptop" was a real beast of a thing. It's a few year old Qosmio factory special-ordered with the biggest screen available, best i7 mobile cpu, and high end graphics, with 64gigs of RAM! He didn't special order it himself, he was the second owner. The guy who originally bought this thing, though, went absolutely crazy.

    He (my friend) routinely does things like have 80+ tabs open, while watching videos, AND processing video encoding and rendering for marketing materials in the background. I've convinced him that a "real computer" would make even that thing look obsolete, but after being used to a laptop for so long, he doesn't want "anything big." My goal then, is to pitch him something as small as can be, but with power to spare. When I asked him what the budget would be, he replied with "The price is no object, as long as it's worth the cost."

    Hmm, this is a switch for me. I'm always looking in the bargain category for "what's the best value" but now I'm looking at "what's the most badass thing I can get without paying a ridiculous price?"

    My first draft is looking like an i7-6900k on an ASROck X99-E-ITX with a GTX 1080 in a Silverstone ML08B, but the more sane side of me is leaning toward i7-6700k on a Z170-Gaming 5 also with a 1080 of course.

    Any thoughts? ...and I don't mean on which one. I mean ANY suggestions. The high-end is new territory for me.
    Last edited by HyperactiveSloth; 03-02-2017 at 01:17.

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    Default Re: Slim, but extreme.

    what is proven is always the best option

    start with lookin at the bench marks, what systems have the best performance on record
    the entire system spec is usually recorded in the better bench's data

    then u can virtual a system for the cost evaluation, customer's purchase, build it, water cool it, OC it, once thehardware is there, max the potential limit with care
    learning is good .....understanding is better .....pleas teach with wisdom............................................ ..............calemus

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    Default Re: Planning a mini Extreme build.

    Quote Originally Posted by HyperactiveSloth View Post
    I'm planning out a build for a friend who has been using a laptop for many years and games mainly on consoles. I'd like to build him something that will show him how much MORE a PC can really do compared to his laptop. The catch is, though, that his "old laptop" was a real beast of a thing. It's a few year old Qosmio factory special-ordered with the biggest screen available, best i7 mobile cpu, and high end graphics, with 64gigs of RAM! He didn't special order it himself, he was the second owner. The guy who originally bought this thing, though, went absolutely crazy.

    He (my friend) routinely does things like have 80+ tabs open, while watching videos, AND processing video encoding and rendering for marketing materials in the background. I've convinced him that a "real computer" would make even that thing look obsolete, but after being used to a laptop for so long, he doesn't want "anything big." My goal then, is to pitch him something as small as can be, but with power to spare. When I asked him what the budget would be, he replied with "The price is no object, as long as it's worth the cost."

    Hmm, this is a switch for me. I'm always looking in the bargain category for "what's the best value" but now I'm looking at "what's the most badass thing I can get without paying a ridiculous price?"

    My first draft is looking like an i7-6900k on an ASROck X99-E-ITX with a GTX 1080 in a Silverstone ML08B, but the more sane side of me is leaning toward i7-6700k on a Z170-Gaming 5 also with a 1080 of course.

    Any thoughts? ...and I don't mean on which one. I mean ANY suggestions. The high-end is new territory for me.
    Ryzen is releasing in early March. There COULD be a 6 core 12 thread chip in the $250 range. Preliminary benchmarks are looking good, but they are very sparse. Even if you stay Intel, it's very likely Ryzen will drive the pricing down.

    I'm gonna be working on a couple Z270 boards and one thing I can say is the lighting effects are pretty great. Ebay had a 7700K for $310 yesterday.
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    Default Re: Slim, but extreme.

    I know Josh is all eager for Ryzen, but I'm not nearly so optimistic. Sorry Josh.

    I saw one thing in your list that really drives multi-threaded processing, and that's "Video Encoding". More Faster Better is the key when encoding video. The more simultaneous threads you can run @ higher clock speeds the better. So. I'd look into an i7 on a Z170 or Z270 (no real need to go to X99, as the extra PCIe lanes and RAM won't likely help you very much UNLESS you take the plunge and go for one of 6 or 8 core monsters), probably an i7-7700K. I'd match the 64GB of RAM in the original machine because he does Rendering.

    I'd probably pick a mid-range video card like a 1060 or 1070. Nothing too extreme because you want to keep your power and cooling envelope relatively small. A 1080 is nice and all, but you're driving your power and cooling requirements up for that, and given his profile, I doubt he'll see much benefit from it.

    I could be wrong though and that 1080 would be SWEET. Personally, I'd probably go with a Evga 1070 FTW ACX 3.0, but that's cause I love Evga video cards.

    In order to keep the case size small, I'd probably try to find a MB with two M.2 slots, and completely dispense with the 2.5" form factor for SSD's. Use M.2's only.

    Motherboard is probably the hardest part. You need to pick your form factor, then find a case. Water cooling is an option, but in a smaller form factor, one of the the CLC's would probably be your best bet, just from a fit perspective. If you want to go MicroATX this would do the trick: 2 M.2 Slots: Asus PRIME Z270M-PLUS Micro ATX LGA1151 Motherboard (PRIME Z270M-PLUS) - PCPartPicker if you stick with ATX, then the MSI 270 Gaming M5 looks like a good choice (also 2 M.2 Slots) MSI Z270 GAMING M5 ATX LGA1151 Motherboard (Z270 GAMING M5) - PCPartPicker. Throw a solid Crucial MX300 1TB in the secondary M.2 and a 512GB Samsung 960Pro in the boot slot, and he'll be in game before he see's the Windows boot logo.

    You have an array of case choices...I'm not even going to go there. PSU's, I'd stick with Seasonic or Evga. Unless you're going to SLI this beast, I'd go with whatever PC Part Picker said your wattage was, plus around 25-30%

    Based on this list, you come in @ around ~590 or so (with 30% overhead), so I'd probably look for a 600-650 Watt Gold/Platinum like an EVGA Supernova G2 650 Gold (Think 750 or so if you're going SLI AND running 64GB of RAM)


    Whatever you do, good luck and enjoy it. I'm getting eager to build a Z270 or X99 myself. I finally finish my Master's in May, so perhaps I'll reward myself with a Late Spring/Early Summer new build.....can't wait!

    S.

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    Default Re: Slim, but extreme.

    Actually, I'm making it even tougher on myself. I'm restricting myself to mATX or ITX. Unfortunately ITX seems to mean no more than 32GB, so that's a big issue. However, instead of being spoiled for choice when it comes to cases, even the "smallest" mATX cases seem HUGE to me. I'm looking for something not much bigger than the ML08B I linked above. The "slim" mATX cases I'm finding are about 3 times that size. As far as the 1080 I immediately figured on that since he said that the next PC he has will have to be VR capable. If he's going to be playing around with VR I didn't plan an skimping with the GPU.

    Also, as usual, you're input is very helpful.
    Last edited by HyperactiveSloth; 09-02-2017 at 20:13.

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    Default Re: Slim, but extreme.

    Quote Originally Posted by HyperactiveSloth View Post
    Actually, I'm making it even tougher on myself. I'm restricting myself to mATX or ITX. Unfortunately ITX seems to mean no more than 32GB, so that's a big issue. However, instead of being spoiled for choice when it comes to cases, even the "smallest" mATX cases seem HUGE to me. I'm looking for something not much bigger than the ML08B I linked above. The "slim" mATX cases I'm finding are about 3 times that size. As far as the 1080 I immediately figured on that since he said that the next PC he has will have to be VR capable. If he's going to be playing around with VR I didn't plan an skimping with the GPU.

    Also, as usual, you're input is very helpful.
    Hmmm...

    Yup, you have a couple of difficult to solve problems there.

    ITX is certainly challenging.

    You're going to have trouble dissipating the heat of even 32GB of RAM (let alone 64G, a fast processor and a 1080! WC would be extremely tough in a ITX. It might be small, but I suspect it would end up being a noisy beast.

    mATX isn't much better, but there are more options. Sadly most of them are mini-towers or cubes.

    32GB of RAM should be sufficient...I doubt he's got any more than that in the laptop, and the processor and some NVME SSD's are going to be a LOT faster than his laptop processor and ssd...heck the RAM will be faster too, as will the Video card. So the fact that he's limited on Rendering to the 2GB of RAM that Windows leaves free should be more than sufficient <grin>.

    Keep in mind with those ITX slim cases (and mATX slim), you're going to be severely current constrained as well. MOST of them come with a PSU, and it's not typically high power (<= 350Watts), nor do you know anything about the manufacturer (usually).

    I think you're going to have to decide between svelte and no 1080/64GB of RAM that's likely hot and noisy, or a chunky with everything (including 64GB and a 1080), where you use the case to make a statement: https://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...9SIA66Z38G2791 (I've never used Rajintek, but they have a number of these cases)...or perhaps a Silverstone ML03 (SilverStone Technology Co., Ltd.INTRODUCTION?ML03) or Silverstone ML04 (SilverStone Technology Co., Ltd.INTRODUCTION?ML04) ...or...if you go with really kinda chunky, you could go with this "VR focused" case: https://www.nzxt.com/product-overview/s340-elite

    Interesting conundrum to be sure! I'm jealous...I so need to be building a PC right now! LOL

    S.

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    Default Re: Slim, but extreme.

    Perhaps I could take something like the Cooler Master Elite 100 and convert the PSU chamber into a space for the GPU and then use a DC-DC with an external power brick. Geez, I love to make things complicated, don't I?

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    Default Re: Slim, but extreme.

    Ooh, THIS could be perfect! FC10 Alpha Fanless Chassis | Streacom

    Although it wouldn't be fanless when I'm done with it.
    Last edited by HyperactiveSloth; 09-02-2017 at 21:47.

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    Default Re: Slim, but extreme.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gu3 View Post
    Hmmm...

    Yup, you have a couple of difficult to solve problems there.

    ITX is certainly challenging.

    You're going to have trouble dissipating the heat of even 32GB of RAM (let alone 64G, a fast processor and a 1080! WC would be extremely tough in a ITX. It might be small, but I suspect it would end up being a noisy beast.

    mATX isn't much better, but there are more options. Sadly most of them are mini-towers or cubes.

    32GB of RAM should be sufficient...I doubt he's got any more than that in the laptop, and the processor and some NVME SSD's are going to be a LOT faster than his laptop processor and ssd...heck the RAM will be faster too, as will the Video card. So the fact that he's limited on Rendering to the 2GB of RAM that Windows leaves free should be more than sufficient <grin>.

    Keep in mind with those ITX slim cases (and mATX slim), you're going to be severely current constrained as well. MOST of them come with a PSU, and it's not typically high power (<= 350Watts), nor do you know anything about the manufacturer (usually).

    I think you're going to have to decide between svelte and no 1080/64GB of RAM that's likely hot and noisy, or a chunky with everything (including 64GB and a 1080), where you use the case to make a statement: https://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...9SIA66Z38G2791 (I've never used Rajintek, but they have a number of these cases)...or perhaps a Silverstone ML03 (SilverStone Technology Co., Ltd.INTRODUCTION?ML03) or Silverstone ML04 (SilverStone Technology Co., Ltd.INTRODUCTION?ML04) ...or...if you go with really kinda chunky, you could go with this "VR focused" case: https://www.nzxt.com/product-overview/s340-elite

    Interesting conundrum to be sure! I'm jealous...I so need to be building a PC right now! LOL

    S.
    The Silverstone Milos are definitely in my "would like to use" list, but just like the Elite 100 I mentioned, it would involve a bit of fabricating since they're only made to accept low-profile GPUs... which counts out just about anything current or powerful. They do have a BIT more room, though, so instead of having to go external on the PSU it would probably be possible to modify the expansion slot area to just intrude into the PSU chamber and adapt to a slightly smaller PSU (TFX or FlexATX). Yep, it's a real exercise. That Streacom I just posted a link to definitely has my attention now.

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    Default Re: Slim, but extreme.

    ...and that's another reason to go mATX instead of ITX. It would allow the use of an NVME that the ITX can't.

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    Default Re: Slim, but extreme.

    Yeah...you thinking of using one of those PCIe right angle adapters? (like these: http://www.ameri-rack.com/ARC1-PEX16_m.html)? If you did, you might be able to fit the whole graphics card in the space above the motherboard. You'd have to build a totally custom expansion slot interface panel, but you may not have to intrude into the PSU Space, even in that Streamcom.

    PSU is a really difficult problem. But, with this list of parts (https://pcpartpicker.com/list/xLMWPs), you might get away with https://www.amazon.com/FSP-Solution-...=flex+atx+500W

    As long as you don't go nuts on the cooling that is.

    However, if you want to go really nuts, you could use one of these: Desktop PCIe Enclosures | One Stop Systems (or something similar). The cables tend to be a bit expensive, but I've seen this done with Titans for Graphics compute.

    If you did that, you could pull the size of your internal PSU down to something like 300 Watts, and need a hell of a lot less cooling in the system box.

    S.

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    Default Re: Slim, but extreme.

    The Streacom actually already is set up to accept a dual slot card, but requires a special psu and modifications to achieve airflow (because it's designed not have any fans). So, the choice is between an expensive aluminum case that would need modification and custom power. OR Something like the CM Elite 100 that would need altering of the back plate and also a custom PSU. I'm still on the lookout for any other options. I'm planning to run a few things by the guy I'm building it for so I have a better idea of the direction I should go before getting ahead of myself.

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    Default Re: Slim, but extreme.

    Eureka! I found out there's an alternate version of the Lian-Li MUSE. I'd seen the C37 before which is nearly the same as the Silverstone ML03B (the one I'd originally thought of altering to extend the backplate for horizontal PCI and shrink the PSU chamber down to TFX size. Well, it turns out the MUSE PC-36 is exactly that.



    This pretty much ticks all the boxes. Only 4" thick and relatively small at about 17" x 15". High build quality and sleek looks. I think he might like this enough to go ahead and plan the build. I'll still have to see if he would rather give up a bit of ram and an NVME drive to make it even smaller, but at least this way I'll have a good option for either way. I'm gonna have fun with this tonight. lol I know, I'm weird.

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    Default Re: Slim, but extreme.

    they make a great case do you remember this review


    Slim, but extreme.-035.jpg


    SilverStone Raven RVZ 01 Small Form Factor Case Review | Pure Overclock

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    Default Re: Slim, but extreme.

    Quote Originally Posted by vinman View Post
    they make a great case do you remember this review

    SilverStone Raven RVZ 01 Small Form Factor Case Review | Pure Overclock
    Yes! That is my personal favorite case of all time. The only reason I'm looking at others is for the option of using mATX instead of ITX. For ITX I would suggest to my friend either the Raven or the Milo 8, but since the Milo is just a bit smaller and slimmer, he'll probably pick that. I'm still gonna pitch the Raven to him, though. ...IF he goes for ITX.

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    Gu3
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    Default Re: Slim, but extreme.

    I'm not sure why you'd have to drop an NVME drive....or RAM, unless you're worried about power budget. A lot of mATX motherboards support dual M.2 Slots and 64GB of RAM. Ahh, wait, I see...if you convince him to go ITX. Got it.

    Wait...what about this:


    Build-in 300W TFX power supply with 8cm fan

    Ummm....300 Watts? I mean presumably, you could use a nice external PSU that provides a big hunko 12V high amperage LOVE to your Graphics Card directly, but otherwise...well...you MIGHT get away with 32GB of RAM, a single NVME drive and a Geforce 1050TI...but you'd be pushing 275 Watts. You can get 400W TFX supplies, but they're made by nobody I've ever heard of. At that point, the Raven would seemingly be a better choice, as Silverstone makes their own SFX (400W) PSU for that case. Because of the ITX you'd be limited on DIMM slots and NVME slots anyway, so you might get away with a 1080...dunno. The power budget will still be kinda tight...1060 or 1070 more likely.

    You don't pick simple things to try.

    Personally, I'd turn sharp right and use one of these: http://www.feros.us/#about

    It's got to be slim sexy and uber cool if it's hanging on the wall and water cooled. Right?

    S.
    Last edited by Gu3; 13-02-2017 at 23:23.

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