ITX Mid-range Gaming build
This week, 2 days late, I’ve got an ITX Gaming build. This is designed to replace an XBOX One / PS4, but then completely annihilate it on specs. You have so much more choice when using a PC for gaming.
Here’s what I’ve got:
|CPU:||Intel Xeon E3-1230 V3 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor||(£199.80 @ More Computers)|
|I’ve chosen the Intel Xeon E3-1230 V3 CPU. This is the Haswell version and it a bit more expensive than previous versions, but it gives us access to a bigger and better range of motherboards. This CPU has the power of the i7 (it’s the cheapest E3 which supports HyperThreading) and has no support for onboard graphics. By being quad-core and supporting hyperthreading it is essentially an 8-core processor. You’re probably thinking that there’s no point ot that in a gaming computer. Well, with the release of Windows 10 and DirectX 12 there’s going to be much better support for multi core processors…|
|CPU Cooler:||Zalman CNPS8900 Quiet CPU Cooler||(£25.62 @ CCL Computers)|
|The Zalman CNPS8900 is a fantastic low-profile CPU cooler. Quieter and more efficient than the stock cooler, and for not a lot extra. With this being an ITX build it’s small and cramped, so good cooling is a must.|
|Motherboard:||MSI Z87I AC Mini ITX LGA1150 Motherboard||(£59.84 @ Scan.co.uk)|
|The MSI Z87I AC motherboard is perfect for this build. It’s reasonably cheap (coming in at under £60) and supports everything we’d need. USB 3.0, 4 x SATA3, PCI-E 16x, support for 16GB RAM – and the best feature – AC WiFi. Of course you could use the onboard LAN port (or both of them), but AC WiFi is the future.|
|Memory:||G.Skill Value 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory||(£73.01 @ Dabs)|
|16GB DDR 3 RAM for £73? No brainer.|
|Storage:||Sandisk X110 128GB 2.5\” Solid State Drive||(£44.54 @ Scan.co.uk)|
|Everyone should have an SSD. It’s the one thing that can really make a difference. Everything works faster with an SSD. There’s really no excuse.|
|Storage:||Toshiba 2TB 3.5\” 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive||(£48.96 @ Amazon UK)|
|And here’s a big mechanical drive to store all of your other bits and bobs on.|
|Video Card:||Zotac GeForce GTX 960 2GB Video Card||(£161.94 @ Aria PC)|
|Here there as the choice between the slightly cheaper R9 280 or the much more efficient GTX 960. I’ve gone with efficiency for the cramped ITX build. It runs cooler, and that’s important for a build like this.|
|Case:||Silverstone RVZ01B Mini ITX Desktop Case||(£72.64 @ Overclockers.co.uk)|
|This case is the only one I’d recommend for an ITX desktop style. It’s had great reviews and can support a full size PCI-E graphics card.|
|Power Supply:||Silverstone 500W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular SFX Power Supply||(£73.80 @ Scan.co.uk)|
|And it just so happens that the cheapest fully-modular SFX PSU is a Silverstone one. Again, never buy an unbranded PSU. I’ve gone with a fully modular one to lose some of the unnecessary cables.|
|Optical Drive:||EVGA 100-OD-S101-BR DVD/CD Writer||(£37.41 @ Amazon UK)|
|You might not need an optical drive. Unfortunately, the case only supports slot load drives. I’d recommend ditching this if you don’t need it.|
|Keyboard:||Aula SHIHUNZAN Wired Gaming Keyboard w/Laser Mouse||(£24.39 @ Amazon UK)|
|I’ve picked the cheapest gaming style keyboard and mouse combo. The great thing about gaming on a PC is the keyboard and mouse. In my opinion, it’s the only way to play FPS games.|
|Other:||SPEEDLINK Xeox Pro Analog Wireless Gamepad for PC/PS3||(£24.94 @ Scan Computers)|
|And for everything else there’s a gamepad. This part isn’t on PCPartPicker, so I’ve added the link from Scan.|
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2015-02-15 10:08 GMT+0000
Then add on a copy of Windows 7 / 8.1 from eBay for about £40 and you’re set.
Higher end – swap the Xeon for a better one (or an i7), swap the 960 for a 980, bigger SSD, better keyboard/mouse, better gamepad.
Lower end – swap the Xeon for an i5 (or lower still an i3), use 8GB RAM instead of 16GB (but I’d try and stick with 16GB), lose the DVD drive, smaller mechanical drive, swap the graphics card for a GTX 750Ti or an R7 260.