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mini itx pci express x1 mod build

Discussion in 'System Builder's Advice' started by cliffmidnite, Apr 19, 2009.

  1. cliffmidnite New Member

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    Hello all. I have been a fellow reader for sometime and this is my first post. i am looking to build a mini itx form factor gaming and media center for my hdtv. I have built a few pc's for others using zotac 7100 630i mini itx board. the board goes for about $60 at Newegg. (BACKSTORY) I Have a few year old dell e510 with pentium D940. i bought an 8800 gts 320 for $70 a while back and it wouldn't fit into my pcie x16 slot due to my massive stock heatsink.So after so internet reading, i got a dremel and cut outr the backside of my pcie x1 slot and inserted the msi 8800gts 320 oc edition. I had been on a serious mission to play Crysis for the first time and didnt have money for a single slot card or buy a new pc so I did some expereminting and the 8800 booted right up in my pcie x1 slot and it also played crysis rather decent at Medium settings at 1280x720. I was just happy to play at any setting. I now have a GTX 285 an E8400 at 4ghz on a P45 playing warhead on my 42inch with the 360 controller. This in cool and all but my antec 300 case is a monster in my living room and i could settle for a smaller form factor. I benched my 8800 gts with Passmark software (www.videocardbenchmarks.net) it scored a 444 in my x1 slot and scored around 950 in a true pci e x16. another note, my gtx 285 scores around 2000 on passmark and oc's to 2500 score. however I tested a gtx260 core 216 and in scored around 1800 stock and 2300 oced. They have those for $180 and I got my 285 for $325. Back to my main point.. I am considering a zotac 7100 build with a pciex1 mod and addind an 8600gts. it scores around 550 on Passmark video card chart so my assumption is that a less powerful card will not be as handicapped by the x1 speed. I would just get a pciex16 mini itx, but they are arould $150 and I want to keep a small form factor so long cards are out of the mix.

    I am curious to know more about how a card works in terms of how it uses the bandwidth of the pcie slot. For instance, would it be best to use a card with more ram vs more shaders, vs higher gpu speed as i am going to be bandwidth limited to x1 speed. What actual functions are limited by the slower bandwidth and how do different resolutions factor into this. This system will be more for viewing HD content and midrange gaming like team fortress 2 and valve games, but will play high end games around medium I was thinking of zotac 7100 itx $60 E5200 $60, 8600GTS 256MB $54 and something like the Nexus Psile(google it)case with dimensions of 8.85"x8.85"x7.75" case with slotload burner. I will be using the dremmel mod I spoke about for the pci ex1 to x16. I will be using a 200 watt pico psu as well.
  2. cliffmidnite New Member

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    I also am trying to find a cheaper case than Nexus Psile with the same characteristics. small and good looking
  3. Fitseries3

    Fitseries3 Eleet Hardware Junkie

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  4. EnglishLion

    EnglishLion New Member

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    I wouldn't like to say for sure without testing but I think you will still see significant reduction in performance from the 8600 in the 1x slot. As a percentage I would expect the reduction to be less but still noticeable.

    From my understanding the bandwidth relates to data (to be worked on) passed to the gpu and passed back from the gpu (work completed - although most gpu work completed goes to the onboard display circuitry and out to the monitor). The gpu power relates to the time taken for the gpu to do it's work with the data. Of course someone correct me if I'm wrong...

    If it's valve games you're most interested in with the SFF PC then a higher powered onboard GPU might be a good way to go - you can get a Zotac 9300.
  5. Geofrancis

    Geofrancis

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    yea the zotac 9300 is the only 775 itx board out there with a pci-e 16x slot outside a couple of industrial and oem boards
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2009
  6. Chryonn

    Chryonn

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    let me be the first to welcome you to the forums!

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