PC Build for College

I was thinking recently, as I sometimes do, I am going to college soon, and I will probably want to have a desktop PC with me. I already have a laptop to take notes with and do work on the go, but I am thinking I will want a full PC for entertainment including games, and also doing school work while in my dorm. I currently have a gaming PC, but I built it in a mid tower case and that thing is just too bulky and heavy to lug 7 hours to and from college. 

So, I decided to start researching building a Mini-itx PC. I figure I can just swap out my current EVGA 770 SC from my mid tower pc and put it in this new one, and I plan to get the corsair 250d mini-itx case so I can have a full sized GPU. 

My main problem in part picking is figuring out whether to go with intel or AMD. Since this is a secondary pc, that I want to be done kinda cheaply, I am gravitating towards AMD. Plus my current PC is an intel i5-3570k so I am considering going AMD just for the fun of it (I may invest in a radeon GPU as well but we'll see how the cash situation turns out). But then again AMD tends to run hotter than intel and that may become an issue in such a small case. So the questions are: AMD or Intel? What MOBO should I get depending on the CPU?

Some background that might help: I want to have a CPU that is preferably under $200 and can handle gaming and light productivity with ease. Also I am not really into over clocking so I would prefer to have an out of the box workhorse. 

Last thing: would going with a straight up APU and no gfx card be even worth considering? 

Upsides with AMD build I put together: Cheaper, better CPU, if not need of OS can put 100$ into GPU. Has 4 ram slots and not 2.

Downsides with AMD build: Can't get the case you want. Link: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/GgFq99 750$USD if you don't want the water cooler go with the hyper 212 evo from coolermaster. Can only use SATA2 not SATS3

Upsides with Intel build I put together: Cooler, get to get the case you want, around same price.

Downsides with intel build: Goes over 850$ for similar performance as AMD build, with operating system. Has 2 RAM slots instead of 4.  http://pcpartpicker.com/p/2Ldz99

Add in a SSD if you want *Edit on AMD downsides*

I would definitely not put a 8320 in that board.  It draws way too much power for that motherboard's power delivery system.

APUs are still weak imo.  A cheap GPU like a R7 260X would perform better than an APU by a large margin.

Since you don't really want to overclock, something like an i3 would be great for a small gaming rig.  Mini-ITX does seem to have a premium over Micro-ATX, as I found out with my own build.

I'm not sure what your price range for this build is, but take a look.



I'd recommenced changing the RAM because it might have to down clock for being to high of a voltage. I'd also recommend putting more money in the CPU, a dual core is not going to be good for multitasking.(The GPU does not matter, he has a 770 for that :D)

What about something like the i5-4460 with an ASRock H97M-ITX/AC? Or even one of the better i3s would probably work.

The i5-4460 is a very good bang for the buck CPU and is more than sufficient for any game on the market right now, and it will also run decently cool (could probably get away with the stock cooler).

The ASRock H97M-ITX/AC is a very feature-rich motherboard for the price. Only $90 and it has a WiFI/Bluetooth module and upgraded audio.

Ok here is what I was thinking for an AMD http://pcpartpicker.com/p/nJBW6h …the crappy part about going with AMD for an itx build is that you get really limited with the MOBO. I'm not a huge fan of this one but it was one of the only options. And with limited MOBO choices comes limited cpu choices. This cpu seems okay but and 8350 would be a bit nicer I would think. 

Also I was looking to keep the total system cost under 800 (not including gfx card cause I got one like I said) so this makes getting and intel build more difficult in terms of cost. Especially since I don't want to go with a cheaper dual core i3. 

Last ditch option would be to take the RAM I have in my current pc and use it in this new one. That would save like 80 ish bucks. Although really I wouldn't mind spending over 800 to get some good parts.  

*EDIT* I updated the link.   

Is ASRock that reliable though?

About the same as other brands. They used to have a pretty bad reputation, but nowadays they are right up there with the other popular brands. I've personally been using an ASRock C216 WS motherboard daily for the last year and a half or so.

There's also the ASUS H97I-Plus and MSI H97I AC for a little more.

Interesting. I'll keep them in mind.

Permalink in the top left of the page, please.

XMP profile should be selectable and work right off the bat.

Dual core with hyperthreading is pretty strong.  Games aren't really CPU-dependent, and for a budget build an i3 is plenty powerful.

What are you talking about with the XMP profile? And yeah games aren't terribly cpu dependent generally, but I play a lot of dayz/arma/and battlefield. All of those are known to be cpu dependent. And if I am going to buy a dual core intel i3 for the price I might as well get an AMD cpu with more cores and that is a bit faster.

Here is a decent build. The Case has a nice built in carrying handle so that should help. The CPU is Sub-$200 and a real Beast. The RAM is an amazing Deal at 2400Mhz and 8GB. Real Kingston HyperX Beast RAM for a BEAST machine.

I opted not for an SSD to keep it sub 1k.

The PSU is High quality and power efficient to help keep your dorm power usage to the minimum. 

The GPU is a good one that is equivalent of a HD7970 Ghz. Card.

The Mobo is good solid brand and board. Could opt for the Sabertooth though: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131877


PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/XdLHQ7
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/XdLHQ7/by_merchant/

CPU: AMD FX-8350 4.0GHz 8-Core Processor ($179.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-U12S 55.0 CFM CPU Cooler ($61.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($121.98 @ Newegg)
Memory: Kingston Beast 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-2400 Memory ($81.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($79.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: XFX Radeon R9 280X 3GB Double Dissipation Video Card ($204.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master Storm Scout 2 Advanced ATX Mid Tower Case ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: SeaSonic Platinum 860W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply ($149.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $942.91
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2015-01-21 06:35 EST-0500