programming4us
programming4us
DESKTOP

Miniature Marvels - Decent-Spec Mini-ITX Cases

- How To Install Windows Server 2012 On VirtualBox
- How To Bypass Torrent Connection Blocking By Your ISP
- How To Install Actual Facebook App On Kindle Fire

Why build a full-height monolith when you can build a high-end PC in a pint-sized chassis? We rounded up a load of decent-spec mini-ITX cases and motherboards to find the best kit

Description: mini-ITX products

Size isn’t everything, as the saying goes. In fact, more and more mini-ITX products are being released, enabling us to build small PCs without compromising on hardware choices, overclocking ability or cooling. However, since mini-ITX was previously the preserve of low-power boards based on VIA EPIA, Intel Atom or low-power AMD CPUs, there’s confusion over whether mini-ITX is a genuine high-end contender, or a small featherweight.

For this reason, we’ve gathered three of the most highly spaced mini-ITX Z77 motherboards, as well as four compatible cases, to find the ideal combination for building a compact, powerful PC. We’ll prove you don’t need a full-sized board to achieve high-end overclocks, or a colossal case to accommodate an ambitious cooling setup, and we’ll even show you how to build a mini-ITX PC too.

How we test

To test the motherboards, we used an Intel Core i7-3770K CPU, a GeForce GTX 680 2GB and 4GB of Patriot 1,600MHz DDR3 memory. To test performance, we ran the CPC Media Benchmarks suite, alongside our own Arma II benchmark, before overclocking the boards and testing again.

To test the cases, we fitted them with an Asus P8Z77-I Deluxe, along with an Intel Core i5-2500K overclocked to 4.4GHz, using a vcore of 1.3V. Alongside this, we used a 140mm Enermax Eco 82+ 620W PSU, a GeForce GTX 570 1.3GB and 2GB of Kingston 1,600MHz DDR3 memory. To cool the CPU, we used a Zalman low- profileCNPS8900CPU cooler. Meanwhile, the GTX 5701.3GB's cooling fan was locked at 70 percent speed, and the system was placed under thermal load using a combination of Prime 95 and Unigine's Heaven graphics benchmark.

Motherboard results

Description: Motherboard

Gimp image editing

·         Asus P8Z277-I Deluxe: stock speed: 1,824; overclocked: 2,379

·         ASRock Z77E-ITX: stock speed: 1,775; overclocked: 2,330

·         Zotac Z77-ITX WiFi: stock speed: 1,772; overclocked: 2,351

Handbrake H.264 video encoding

·         Asus P8Z277-I Deluxe: stock speed: 3,241; overclocked: 4,249

·         Zotac Z77-ITX WiFi: stock speed: 3,114; overclocked: 4,243

·         ASRock Z77E-ITX: stock speed: 3,079; overclocked: 4,250

Multi-tasking

·         ASRock Z77E-ITX: stock speed: 1,566; overclocked: 1,921

·         Asus P8Z277-I Deluxe: stock speed: 1,564; overclocked: 1,977

·         Zotac Z77-ITX WiFi: stock speed: 1,530; overclocked: 1,923

Overall

·         Asus P8Z277-I Deluxe: stock speed: 2,210; overclocked: 2,868

·         ASRock Z77E-ITX: stock speed: 2,140; overclocked: 2,834

·         Zotac Z77-ITX WiFi: stock speed: 2,139; overclocked: 2,839

Intel SATA 6Gbps read (MB/sec)

·         Asus P8Z277-I Deluxe: stock speed min: 556

·         ASRock Z77E-ITX: stock speed min: 555

·         Zotac Z77-ITX WiFi: stock speed min: 552

Intel SATA 6Gbps write (MB/sec)

·         Asus P8Z277-I Deluxe: stock speed min: 528

·         ASRock Z77E-ITX: stock speed min: 526

·         Zotac Z77-ITX WiFi: stock speed min: 514

Arma II: Operation Arrowhead

·         Asus P8Z277-I Deluxe: stock speed min: 129fps, stock speed avg: 135fps; overclocked min: 146fps, overclocked avg: 162fps

·         ASRock Z77E-ITX: stock speed min: 123fps, stock speed avg: 135fps; overclocked min: 137fps, overclocked avg: 161fps

·         Zotac Z77-ITX WiFi: stock speed min: 122fps, stock speed avg: 134fps; overclocked min: 131fps, overclocked avg: 136fps

Description: Case

Case results

CPU delta T (°C)

·         BitFenix Prodigy: 43

·         Fractal Design Node 304: 46

·         SilverStone FT03-Mini: 48

·         Lian Li PC-TU200: 49

GPU delta T (°C)

·         BitFenix Prodigy: 48

·         Fractal Design Node 304: 58

·         SilverStone FT03-Mini: 58

·         Lian Li PC-TU200: 63

Cases

 

BitFenix Prodigy

Lian Li PC-TU200

Fractal Design Node 304

SilverStone FT03-Mini

Price (inc VAT)

$98

$212

$108

$155

Supplier

www.overclockers.co.uk

www.specialtech.co.uk

www.ebuyer.co.uk

www.scan.co.uk

Manufacturer

BitFenix

Lian Li

Fractal Design

Silverstone

Dimensions (W x D x H, mm)

250 x 340 x 310

220 x 360 x 320

250 x 374 x 210

189 x 235 x 397

Case volume (liters)

26.35

25

19.5

17.6

Materials

Steel, plastic

Aluminum

Steel, plastic

Aluminum, plastic

Available colors

Black, white

Black, silver

Black

Black, silver

Empty weight (kg)

6.69

3.49

4.83

4.41

Features

Front panel ports

2 x USB 3, microphone, headphone

2 x USB 3, eSATA, microphone, headphone

2 x USB 3, microphone, headphone

2 x USB 3, microphone, headphone

Supported motherboards

Mini-ITX

Mini-ITX

Mini-ITX

Mini-ITX

External 5.25in bays

1

1

0

0

External/internal 2.5in bays

4

0

0

2

External/internal 3.5in bays

5

4

6

1

Number of expansion slots

2

2

2

2

Max CPU cooler height (mm)

160

80

165

78

Max graphics card length (mm)

330

300

310

254

Max PSU length (mm)

160

140

160

SFX PSU only

Extras

Fyberflex handles

4 x hot-swap 3.5in bays, top-mounted handle

None

None

Cooling

Fans mounts

2 x 120 or 1 x 140/180/200/230mm front, 1 x 120/140mm rear, 2 x 120mm roof

1 x 140mm front

2 x 92mm front, 1 x 120mm/140mm rear

1 x 140mm floor

Fans supplied

1 x 120mm front, 1 x 120mm rear

1 x 140mm front

2 x 92mm front, 1 x 140mm rear

1 x 140mm floor

Dust filters

Yes (removable)

Yes (removable)

Yes (removable)

Yes (removable)

Fan controllers

X

X

X

X

Motherboards

 

ASRock Z77E-ITX

Asus P8Z77-I Deluxe

Zotac Z77-ITX WiFi

Price (inc VAT)

$185

$219

$185

Supplier

www.overclockers.co.uk

www.dabs.com

www.ebuyer.com

Manufacturer

www.asrock.com

http://uk.asus.com

www.zotac.com

Dimensions (mm)

170 x 170

170 x 170

170 x 170

Features

Chipset

Intel Z77

Intel Z77

Intel Z77

RAID

0, 1, 5 and 10 via Intel Z77

0, 1, 5 and 10 via Intel Z77

0, 1, 0+1, 5 via Intel Z77

Audio

8-channel HD audio via Realtek ALC898

8-channel HD audio via Realtek ALC898

8-channel HD audio via Realtek ALC898

Fan headers

2

2

2

Ports

Storage

2 x SATA 6Gbps, 2 x SATA 3Gbps, 1 x eSATA 3Gbps

2 x SATA 6Gbps, 2 x SATA 3Gbps, 2 x eSATA 3Gbps

2 x SATA 6Gbps, 2 x SATA 3Gbps

Audio

4 x surround audio, optical S/PDIF out

3 x surround audio, optical S/PDIF out

4 x surround audio, optical S/PDIF out

LAN

1 x 10/100/1000

1 x 10/100/1000

2 x 10/100/1000

WiFi / Bluetooth

V / X

V / V

V / X

USB 2 / USB 3

6 / 6

8 / 6

8 / 4

HDMI / DVI / DP / mini-DP

1 / 1 / 1 / 0

1 / 1 / 1 / 0

2 / 0 / 0 / 1

Overclocking control

Base clock (max)

150MHz

300MHz

300MHz

CPU multiplier

16x-63x

36x-63x

0-255x

CPU voltage (max)

1.7V

1.99V

+0.3V

RAM voltage (max)

1.8V

2.135

1.8V

CPU PLL voltage (max)

N/A

1.9V

N/A

VCSSA (max)

1.208V

1.56V

N/A

Cooling

Chipset

Heatsink

Heatsink

Heatsink

VRMs

Heatsink

Heatsink

Heatsink

Extras

 

Fan control and monitoring software

WiFi GO!, AI Suite, USB BIOS Flashback

USB 3 breakout adaptor

 

Other  
 
Top 10
- Microsoft Visio 2013 : Adding Structure to Your Diagrams - Finding containers and lists in Visio (part 2) - Wireframes,Legends
- Microsoft Visio 2013 : Adding Structure to Your Diagrams - Finding containers and lists in Visio (part 1) - Swimlanes
- Microsoft Visio 2013 : Adding Structure to Your Diagrams - Formatting and sizing lists
- Microsoft Visio 2013 : Adding Structure to Your Diagrams - Adding shapes to lists
- Microsoft Visio 2013 : Adding Structure to Your Diagrams - Sizing containers
- Microsoft Access 2010 : Control Properties and Why to Use Them (part 3) - The Other Properties of a Control
- Microsoft Access 2010 : Control Properties and Why to Use Them (part 2) - The Data Properties of a Control
- Microsoft Access 2010 : Control Properties and Why to Use Them (part 1) - The Format Properties of a Control
- Microsoft Access 2010 : Form Properties and Why Should You Use Them - Working with the Properties Window
- Microsoft Visio 2013 : Using the Organization Chart Wizard with new data
REVIEW
- First look: Apple Watch

- 3 Tips for Maintaining Your Cell Phone Battery (part 1)

- 3 Tips for Maintaining Your Cell Phone Battery (part 2)
programming4us programming4us
programming4us
 
 
programming4us