Budget SFF Box Build

Machupo

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I am considering a new build (after using laptops primarily for the last 5-6 years) and wanted to see what considerations I should make based upon the latest hardware available.

Goals for the build: SFF, portable, under $1k, good for occasional gaming (civ vi, minecraft, etc), run off a 160W picopsu, have a TB3 port to plug into my Akitio TB3 Dock w/ 10gbe, as quiet as possible. Will use system for occasional handbrake as well.

A couple of these goals seem to back me into a corner, namely the requirement for TB3 in a small form factor, especially when combined with the desired power envelope and price point.

Here's what I've come up with so far:

Case: Reusing a Mini-ITX M5X Enclosure (2.3L) - $0
Power: Reusing a PicoPSU 160 - $0
Motherboard: ASRock X570 Phantom Gaming ITX/TB3 - $240
CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 5700G - $330
Cooler: Noctua NH-L9i chromax.black - $55
RAM: 16GB (2x8GB) HyperX Predator 4000MHz DDR4 CL19 - $173
SSD: Samsung 980 Pro 1TB - $177

Monitor/KB/Mouse will be re-used from a previous build. I know the cooler is an intel mounting version... it's a weird quirk of this motherboard that it has 115X mounting around an AM4 socket.

Total comes around just under $1k, but I imagine there are places I can shave a bit off. My only gripe with this build right now is the lack of PCIE 4.0 support in the motherboard... seems like a silly thing to leave out.

Not planning to go discrete on the GPU at this time.

Thoughts?
 

TheHig

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AM4 TB3 and itx means yep, the Asrock x570 Mobo. It’s the only one. The pcie 4 support is there on the Mobo but the 5700g is pcie3 only. The only suggestion I have is to go with a 5600g for now to shave a few bucks and see what the next APU looks like. Hopefully the RDNA APUs will be pcie 4.0. Unless you are I a hurry we hopefully will have news on that front by end of year. The 5600g is still my pick if it had to be now and you don’t mind upgrading later.
 

Machupo

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Good call on the 5600g to slide into a upgrade next year.
 

defaultluser

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Sounds easy for that pico 160 to handle. You'd better be happy with no future video card, as that psu plus 65w CPU can't handle anything faster than the 5700g IGP!
 

toast0

[H]ard|Gawd
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Is the only thing you're using TB3 for a 10G ethernet card? You could maybe put that in the one slot you get in mini-itx, and then not need thunderbolt and have a wider selection of cheaper motherboards. Although, not all ITX cases have room for a card.

I haven't been following roadmaps closely since I finished my builds last year, but I didn't think we were expecting any more AM4 APUs at this point; I assume if you get a 5700g, there won't be an upgrade. (Let me know if I missed a roadmap, official or leaked, though).
 

Machupo

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The TB3 req is primarily due to the dock I use with my laptops; just ease of use / plugging in the mitx box instead of running new cables to the monitor, etc.

Ended up downgrading the CPU to the 5600g. Added benefit was that this kept me under $1k post tax & shipping.

Only mod I see having to do to this (unless there is a newer bios for the mobo) is to swap out the 40mm chipset fan with the same be quiet one I used on my 10g switches. Will post pics when I get the parts / finish the build.
 

Machupo

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20211015_072952.jpg


Getting there -- just need to chuck in the picopsu and the ram (arrives on Monday). Nice tiny build :)
 

Machupo

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Well.... that didn't work. Bios wasn't new enough to support a 5600g and this particular board wouldn't update the bios from a usb w/o the processor.

Motherboard going back (along with intel noctua); Gigabyte B550 itx board and the nh-l9a chromax hs/f on the way. Scrapping my thunderbolt plans and just going to deal with the 2.5Gbit network that the board can support.
 
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chameleoneel

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Well.... that didn't work. Bios wasn't new enough to support a 5600g and this particular board wouldn't update the bios from a usb w/o the processor.

Motherboard going back (along with intel noctua); Gigabyte B550 itx board and the nh-l9a chromax hs/f on the way. Scrapping my thunderbolt plans and just going to deal with the 2.5Gbit network that the board can support.
I would see if Geeksquad or something similar, can flash that bios for you.
 
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