Build It: The Midsize Menace



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My last PC build was mATX. It's a good balance between cost/size/performance. Being able to use standard/existing parts is a plus. :)

I don't see the advantage of mounting the motherboard upside-down though. Lower center of gravity?



the upside down mobo lets you use long gpus that go over the hard drive cage.



I knew that didn't look right! The dimensions in this article are wrong. The correct depth is 14". 15.16" x 8.27" x 14.72"



I was looking for a good MicroATX box, when I read the April article. I used the following for my build;

Silverstone TJ08B-E case
Asus P8Z68-M PRO Motherboard
Intel 3770k CPU
8GB DDR3-1866 memory
Antec NEO ECO 620C Power Supply
Antec Kuhler H20 620 CPU Water Cooler
CoolMaster Blade Master 120mm PWM Fan
22x OEM Sata DVD Drive
2 TB Hard Drive
Win 7 x64
MSI Nvidia Geforce GTX 580 Lightning Video Card
8 Pin GPU power adapter

The CoolMaster 120mm Fan replaced the 2 pin 120mm fan of the Antec Kuhler H20 620 to allow controlling that fan speed independent from the water pump. The MSI GTX 580 Lightning needed two 8 pin PCIe power, so the second one comes from an unused PATA drive power using the adapter.

By using the Antec Kuhler H20 620, it leaves the motherboard area very open for good cooling, much better than the passive cooler used in the article. And, with the video card dumping out up to 400 watts itself, this keeps the air flowing smoothly.

My biggest disappointments in the case design are lack of a firewire connector on the front, and lack of screw-less or captured screws for the side covers and the cover for the card slots.

Since I always seem to be taking boxes on the road, I'll probably mod the case with a handle on top.



Who would want Blu-ray in their pc to begin with? I think it's a total joke. Why would I put a slower optical drive in that has to use a lot of background processes to update firmware, decryption keys, not to mention you have to buy updated software. It just seems like a joke to me. I have one. I never bothered to update anything for Blu-ray support.



To each his own, as the song goes. I've have a large number of ripped BluRay movies. I record them on rewritable disks and it works great . . .



I have a blu-ray drive in my PC. With Hard Drive prices the way the are, I dont have enough room to put all my blu-rays on my drives. And no, I am not compressing them. The picture quality is only half of the reason I buy blu-rays, I want the audio and compressing it loses fidelity. I like the sound blu-rays give. Plus, I just have to put a blu-ray in. I am not waiting an hour to rip each blu-ray disc.



This is good if you want to use an mATX motherboard for a specific reason, but for $2000 you're really not saving much money and you don't even have BluRay capability. I'd be more interested if you could use a less expensive mb and GPU, but that's just if I were building it. It's still a nice machine . . .



I think for the case, a Fractal Define Mini would also be a really good choice. It'd be a lot more spacious to work with also.



Thanks guys. Going to use this as a blueprint for my next rig.



Good to see the 3820 getting used. I picked mine up for $289. Sweet deal. You guys got screwed on the ram price though lol. Good build.


zaphodbeeblebrox 42

cant wait till i complete my build.

all it needs is the bit fenix prodigy

so far i have

6GB of ram 1600

hd 6990

2 120GB ssds in raid 0 pushing over 1 Gb/s WOOT

320GB side hard drive.

i5 2500k mini itx mobo with more features than i know what do with

1 Kw power supply

EYEFINITY is awesome :)

all for around 1300 XD

which makes me wonder why would u do this build? it seems like u are better off get last generation parts for a hell of a lot less money and it is better performing. well the card is anyway. 2500k is good enough for most applications



Nice to see an mATX build. I've got a NZXT Vulcan and its funny the looks I get when people see me carrying it around by the handle. :p

It will struggle to fit a full size tower cooler like the onein the build but I managed to get a Zalman CNPS5x (92mm) in there which cools well enough for my stock clock. You can also get full size graphic cards in the Vulcan but I cheaped out and got a 460. :)



I love this case. I came from the Silverstone Fortress 2 and it threw my back out almost everytime I picked it up to go to a LAN. So I got this and picked up a micro atx z77 ASUS Maximus V Gene. I had to modify the top of the case to fit my AX1200 but now everything is in there minus my 5.25in drive. Its so much lighter and easier to carry now. Plus it looks darn good. Though there is no room left inside between my dual 470s and my dual fan H70. Removable motherboard tray is amazing.



I just went from an FT02 to the TJ08-E too! Both great cases, of course, and the Fortress has better cooling, but the TJ08 is just so much smaller. 



Yeah, definitely cooling wise, the FT02 wins. I am keeping the case for a future build that wont go anywhere. It was just way too heavy to carry around. I have dual 470s and those get hot. I am pretty sure I will have to drop on of the 470s which I am pretty sure isnt the cases fault, its the fact that the 470s are right next to one another and the second card isnt getting any air.

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