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The Mini-ITX build begins.

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#1
The Mini-ITX build... RESUMES!

-WARNING- This project involves working with LETHAL voltages! Do NOT open your power supply without proper training and knowledge.

So far...

-Zotac GF9300-D-E motherboard (on-board gfx is crap don't kid yourself otherwise)
-Intel E6750 Core2duo CPU
-Asus EAH4550 512mb ddr3 ATI HD4850 512mb ATI HD4870 :D

GF9300-D-E info found here.
http://www.zotacusa.com/zotac-geforce-gf9300-d-e-itx-wifi-lga-775-mini-itx-intel-motherboard.html

I couldn't be happier with this motherboard. It has a handfull of bios settings to allow for overclocking and the E6750 was happy to do 3ghz without any voltage adjustment. I'm using the stock Intel cooler and I'll post some temps when the build is finished.

I haven't settled on a chassis though. I intended on the Winsys Wi-01-BK because of it's 200w power supply and the ability to use a low profile graphics card. Here's a photo of that case.
http://ep.yimg.com/ca/I/directron_2073_214427739

After looking at a few more chassis I took a liking to the thin ones such as the Jetway JC-111-B http://www.jetway.com.tw/jw/case_view.asp?productid=586&proname=JC-111-B

It has 2 full-height slots turned 90deg. I wondered if I could sneek a HD3850 in there if I relocated the HDD as low as I could. By removing the existing mount, and attaching the drive directly to the bottom of the chassis by drilling some mounting holes, I think it would fit nicely. I've found flexable pcie risers to make the connection back to the motherboard. One can be seen here. http://www.mini-itx.com/store/images/1921-fr10x.jpg

The last problem is powering the HD3850. I have a 12v 7-amp power brick that might work. I would add another DC-in jack to the case and label it 'GPU'. Internally the power would be switched on via. relay when the computer turns on.
 
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#2
Here's a few photos of the 4550 and my old trusty x1950pro for comparison. The 1950 is the same size as the 3850 so I'll have something to go by until I get a 3850. It would mount in the jetway sideways as shown. Or maybe a 4850?
 

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#3
Lets see if this works. =)

EDIT - Yup it works. (pic 2)

EDIT - Runs a 3870 also. (pic3)
 

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#4
I think I found a better powersupply solution by using a 1U supply. Cardboard mock-up shows it might fit. Too bad I don't have internal case dimensions. I feel like I'm talking to myself but someone has to be watching...right? :rolleyes:
 

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[Ion]

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#5
Looks good, subbed
 

newtekie1

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#6
I'm watching!
 
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#7
Anyone have a 1U psu kicking around?
 
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#8
This little motherboard is amasing. E6750@3.2ghz 1600fsb at stock voltage. Prime stable for a few hours now 59c. WiFi is rock solid also.

The onboard graphics (9300) runs Halflife2 at 1280x1024 liquid smooth. I'm not doing a review or I'd have more detail. It couldn't pull off 2000 in 3dmark06 yet it runs HL2 fine? I'll have to look into that and even try Crysis if I can find the CD. If your looking for a mini-ITX, I have nothing bad to say about this board. I've read the wake-on-usb isn't working for those with a usb remote building a HTPC. There is another revision coming out soon with this fixed and another SATA port.

I should be ordering the case and U1 PSU tomorrow. I hope I can make it all fit in a Jetway case.
 
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#9
HD3870 scored a 10,800 in 3dmark06. At the moment I'm running all this on a 300w micro ATX supply but I picked up the 1U 450w supply today for $95 (ouch). I'm still waiting to hear back from the supplier about the case. I settled on the GA630iBK Type-A http://www.g-alantic.com.tw/g-ga630ibk.htm

The case should support a HD4870 double slot card -if- I use a laptop HDD relocated to the bottom. With a single slot card a full 3.5" HDD can be used.

The whole point of this is to see just how powerfull a small form factor PC could be. Most if not all of them are limited by the power supplies. I'm going to try making passive heatsinks for the mosfets in the m-ATX PSU and run it without a fan. After all, it has to be quiet too.
 
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#10
Here's a nice use for those old square cpu heatsinks. I cut a chunk off to make a little heatsink for the mosfets.

 

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#11
My case is finally on the way. The now bios modded 4850 I bought off the forum (thanks Gabkicks!) is quit happy in it's new home on the Zotac. It runs Crysis on high 1280x1024 at very playable framerates. Not many "not square" 2.5" tall ITX builds can run Crysis. :D I have to modify the little 300w mATX PSU I'll be using. The capasitors stick up a bit high so have to put in some shorter caps and extend the heatsinks out the side where they will bolt up to a hunk of surplus socket 478 cooler. This puts the fins right in the path of the inlet fan. The key to making this work is keeping that PSU cool. I may even have to put the filter/rectifier/caps on another pcb elsewhere in the case and run the 160vdc line to the main PSU board. Case comes Thursday so watch for pics!

The 4850 is pulling off 11,232 in 3dmark06. I might tweak around a bit and see if I can squeeze a bit more. bwahaha

EDIT - 12,163 was the best I could do and still keep it near silent.
 
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#12
damn that is a tight fit! where are you going to put the psu? because that case you linked to doesn't look like it will take one internally without removing all the casing and some serous modifications to it.

even then are you sure the hd4850 will fit without using a dremel?
 
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#13
I have to modify the little 300w mATX PSU I'll be using. The capasitors stick up a bit high so have to put in some shorter caps and extend the heatsinks out the side where they will bolt up to a hunk of surplus socket 478 cooler. This puts the fins right in the path of the inlet fan. The key to making this work is keeping that PSU cool. I may even have to put the filter/rectifier/caps on another pcb elsewhere in the case and run the 160vdc line to the main PSU board. Case comes Thursday so watch for pics!.
:D

The PSU will mount below the dvd drive bay. I have about 1.5" height and 7" width and about 4-5" depth. I'll post a pic in just a min.
 

MKmods

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#14
This looks like a perfect build for a HD5750.
 
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#15
This looks like a perfect build for a HD5750.
A double-wide card WILL fit in the case but you will have to use a 2.5" HDD. I will try to install my 4870 to test fitment but I'm pretty sure it'll fit.
 
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#16
Here's some pics to show the power supply placement, HDD location, and the additional 80mm thin fan I'll be adding to get some direct air near the video card's inlet. I had a thin 80mm and it just clears the 3.5" HDD's power and sata connectors. I have to shorten the wires off the PSU. There's just no room for wires.




 

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MKmods

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#17
my thought was the 5750 would be the same length as the mobo. I really wish I had picked up one of these tiny mobos that had a pciX on it.
 
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#18
my thought was the 5750 would be the same length as the mobo. I really wish I had picked up one of these tiny mobos that had a pciX on it.
I have the lenght for the card once the case's HDD brackets are removed. I just realised I didn't post a pic of the inside of the case. :rolleyes:
 
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#19
One thing I like is the fans on the right side. The front fan will be blowing directly on the PSU. The PSU has a fan controller on it and I'll hook that fan directly to it. The one towards the rear will be wired in parallel with the CPU fan. The additional 80mm fan I'm adding on the bottom could connect to the motherboard's only available fan header but that header does not have any fan control. I will probably tie it parallel into the videocard's fan.

 

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MKmods

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#20
lol using a riser card you could run a 5870 X2 in there
 
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#21

MKmods

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#22
:rockout: Tinsnips FTW!

(oh yea theres that whole no 5870 X2's yet too)
 
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#23
MKmods, I did order the riser that puts the card in the top slot. That's what makes the magic happen. :)

This one.

 

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#24
it looks like the heat from the graphics card could be a concern cos there are only small vents on that right hand side where the graphics card will sit.

you could probably cut one or 2 out to let the graphics card exhaust heat out the case if it does become a problem.
 

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#25
I picked up one for my PCI (intel Atom) they are really handy. They have reverse, backwards and flex ones too.

Geo:He can cut a hole in the bottom of the case to act as a cold air intake for the GPU.

EDIT: I just saw the 1U PS (its gonna block the air on the gpu)