Help w/ first SFF Build


[H]ard|DCer of the Month - December 2009
Apr 7, 2006
Hey guys, looking to build a SFF PC. Will be used as my daily driver w/ occasional gaming use. GPUs will mostly be used for work purposes (cracking hashes). Smaller the better, but being quiet is my #1 concern.

On to the questions.

1. What will you be doing with this PC? Gaming, Photoshop (or other intensive programs), Web browsing, strictly HTPC/Playback, etc. (If you have multiple things you want to do with the system, make sure you rank them from most important to least important).

Web, email, hash cracking.

2. Will you be overclocking? (If so, are you looking to watercool?)

No overclocking. Self-contained WC systems like Corsair could be an option, but simplicity is key. Not looking to build custom loops, separate parts.

3. What's your budget? Are tax and shipping included in this budget? Is your budget flexible? Is cost a driving factor in component selection?

Cost is not a driving factor, I was thinking $700 for Case, Mobo, CPU, RAM, PSU. Could go higher, but not looking for anything exotic. Performance/$ is more attractive. Looking for best value, if its less great, if its more thats ok too. Maybe call it a Max of $1200?

4. Where do you live? Do you have any big B&M (brick and mortar) computer chains nearby (e.g. Microcenter, Fry's, etc)?

Dallas, TX - Frys, Microcenter are nearby if there is something on sale. But I will most likely buy off Amazon and ebay. Have several hundred dollars of GCs.

5. What exact parts do you need for that budget? CPU, RAM, case, etc. The word "Everything" is not a valid answer. Please list out all the parts you'll need (especially if you will need 3.5" hard drives or expansion cards as these may restrict case options).

GPUs - I am thinking 1 or 2 of the new Nvidia 1080 cards, but could be convinced otherwise.

6. If reusing any parts, what parts will you be reusing? Please be especially specific about the power supply. For reused parts, list brands, model #s, and, if applicable, firmware revisions.

I have a Samsung SM951 256gb m.2 SSD I would like to reuse.

7. What specific features do you need in a motherboard? RAID? Thunderbolt? Crossfire or SLI support? How many USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gb/s? etc. Which is more important, size of the system or having the particular feature? Make sure you indicate *required* vs. *wanted* for each feature you list.

PCI M.2 for previous mentioned SSD. - Required

8. What resolution output do you need? 4k playback, 1080p playback, etc for HTPC or give a vertical/horizontal resolution for gaming SFF rigs. Do you need multiple monitor output?

3x 4k output desired.

9. Does this system need to fit into a particular space and do you need an optical drive? Think entertainment center shelves, closet space, rackmount, etc. Many modern SFF cases have either removed the optical drive or have been constructed so that removing the ODD increases the configuration possibilities immensely.

Noise and Size, in order, are the most important factors. No ODD required.

10. How comfortable are you with custom case design/modification and electrical wiring? What tools do you have (Screwdrivers/Leatherman, Drill, Dremel, Metal snips, Soldering Iron, Bending Brake, CNC/Welding machines/Plasma cutter, etc...)?

I dont want to do anything custom.

11. How important is the noise/silence of this sytem? HTPCs typically want to be quiet while all-out SFF gaming rigs don't care ;)

Noise is the most important factor.

12. How mobile does this system need to be? Need a carrying handle or carrying straps? Is weight important (carry-on bag, etc)? Water cooling quick disconnects, etc?

Portability is not important.

13. Do you already have a legit and reusable/transferable OS key/license? If yes, what OS? Is it 32bit or 64bit? Remember that OEM copies of Win7 have issues with new motherboards :eek:

Have several 8.1 pro licenses. Would be open to something that included a Win10 pro license.

14. When do you plan on building/buying the PC? Immediately, in a couple weeks, 3-5 years? :p

If you plan on sli 1080's you'll want a 600w psu. Get a good one like a seasonic gold or platinum.
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