Sport & Auto
- About Future
- Digital Future
- Cookies Policy
- Terms & Conditions
- Investor Relations
- Contact Future
Nvidia's GeForce GTX Titan video card has a serious cool factor. It's the fastest single-GPU card on the market, for one thing. And it beats the competition without sounding like a fighter jet or getting hot enough to trigger a meltdown. Finally, at 10.5 inches, it's shorter than the reigning single-card champ, the GTX 690, by half an inch, making the Titan suitable for deployment in small gaming PCs. In fact, when Nvidia launched this card, it specifically pointed out that it was designed for use in small form factor PCs, so we just had to see how things would play out in a Mini-ITX environment. And why stop with the card? We figured we might as well throw in a nice CPU, motherboard, a fast SSD, and some extra cooling so we could dabble in overclocking. Even though we started off with the innocent goal of gauging the experience of building a Titan-based SFF rig, in the end we decided to see just how far we could push this tiny system, and came away surprised by how much performance can be had in a rig with such a small footprint.
With our GPU already decided, we had to figure out which platform to build around, and going Mini-ITX narrowed our choices considerably. First off, there are no LGA2011 motherboards in that form factor, and second, Intel’s new socket 1150 Haswell microarchitecture isn’t available as of press time, leaving just AMD or Intel’s venerable Socket 1155. Because this is a maximum-performance machine, we went with Intel, especially since we wanted to overclock and we know from experience that we can push a Socket 1155 CPU to 4.4GHz. That push necessitated a large CPU cooler and an overclockable motherboard.
To hold it all, we chose Silverstone's Sugo SG08 case. It’s small and tastefully appointed, yet large enough for both our Titan GPU and an aftermarket CPU cooler since its PSU is mounted in the front of the box instead of the rear. There are larger SFF cases that offer more room for fans and wiring, but we wanted to see the Titan sweat a bit, so we went with the Sugo. We also like the fact that it includes a 600W power supply that’s customized for the chassis; a very nice touch that we’ll discuss later on in more detail.
Wrapping it up we chose an OCZ SSD for our OS drive and a WD hard drive for media storage. We went with a slot-fed optical drive since that is the only type this case accepts and we didn’t want the bay to sit empty. Finally, we used a low-profile Silverstone Nitrogon NT06-Pro CPU cooler and Windows 7 Pro.
|Case||Silverstone Sugo SG08||www.silverstonetek.com||
|GPU||GeForce GTX Titan||www.nvidia.com||$1000|
|RAM||2x 8GB Vengeance||www.corsair.com||$100|
|SSD||256GB OCZ Vector||www.ocz.com||$250|
|Hard Drive||2TB WD Caviar Black||www.wdc.com||$150|
|OS||Windows 7 Professional 64-bit||www.microsoft.com||$100|
|Optical Drive||Samsung SN-208DB/BEBE||www.samsung.com||$22|