Planning a secondary build for experimenting with Linux and portable gaming rig, requesting build advice and sanity check

So as the title suggests thanks in part to the new linux channel, I've started to get into it again, it's been a few years since I used it in any meaningful way so I want to build a secondary system, so as I'm messing around with it, if (read: when) I critically screw up I don't take down my main system. I'm also want this to be something I can easily take to a LAN party so I'm thinking a m-ITX build is what I need.

This build will in time get a lot of hand me downs from my main rig as I upgrade it, which may affect what I buy for this, for example my GPU is an R9 290 Tri-x, this is a 305mm (12") card so that limits my choice of case. Here is the rest of my current build as it stands .

I have a couple of parts lying around that should be fine for the time being including a CX600 PSU, Radeon HD 6850, a HDD and I can take the Samsung SSD from my main system (I haven't been using it anyway since I found out about the dodgy firmware). I also have all the peripherals I should need. And I don't need a windows licence (though I might get one later and add a partition for that if game compatibility is a big issue).

Here's where the sanity check starts to come in, as I may well be overlooking something obvious. I'm thinking if I get a z87 ITX motherboard, a G3258 and 8GB DDR3, it should leave me with a decent system for now. I will overclock it when I upgrade the cooler in my main rig and put the 212 evo in this. Then when I eventually when I upgrade the CPU/MoBo/Ram in my main rig I can put the 4670k in the ITX rig and the G3258 in the sabertooth and make a decent home server or something out of it (This is still a few years out as I have no real need for one atm).
I have a budget of ~€400-500 and I am shopping from Ireland (Which effectively means I'm shopping from England and having it shipped over).

There are the parts I'm considering atm, I welcome any suggestions of other options, thanks for any help you can offer

Full build (Including parts I already have)

Amazon Links.

You should see if you can't squeeze everything into this case. It's not by a large name (DIY-PC), but I actually just picked one up for exactly the same thing, and extra machine to just dabble and mess with. It's incredibly small, light-weight and actually really well built. It looks like a case from Fractal Design, which is what I used for my first Mini-ITX build, and I wish this case would have been out at the time. Everything as far as I can tell would work just fin, just be a little cramped as you could already expect. A friend of mine has the BitFenix Prodigy and it's actually rather bulky and heavy. He's considering swapping it out.

Thanks for the suggestion, but......"Supports up to 230mm VGA cards" so it won't fit the 290 from my main rig when the time comes to upgrade it.

The prodigy wasn't my first choice for this build either, the case I really wanted is the Corsair 380T, but that has the same problem, there doesn't seem to be many m-ITX cases on the market that can fit a 305mm GPU. I'm still looking for other options, but I don't want to give up the ability to repurpose that GPU when it is replaced.

I would also look at the Cooler Master Elite 130 as the case. then just get a cheapish 120mm AIO liquid cooler when you decide to OC. it will fit GPUs up to like 340mm long. sure you wont be able to reuse your 212+ but its not a crazy loss since its only $30

Im planing on doing a mitx build in it some time in the next few years. as soon as I feel the need to upgrade my i7 4770k PC. well unless an mitx case comes out I like more until than.

1 Like

I second the Elite 130. Also, I would recommend the Gigabyte GA-Z97X Mini-ITX board over the MSI. I have been burned too many times by MSI. GB version has AC wireless too. According to Newegg

MSI Z77 ITX board owner.

I wish I went with a Gigabyte or some other brand.

Defiantly going to change the board then, I can't seem to find the model number you mentioned, is this the one you mean?

won't the 4 pin CPU power connector affect overclocking on that?

Watched the hardware canucks video on the elite 130, not sure about that one, seems like a bit of a dust magnet for one thing.

yes that is the board. and no, the 4 pin should not be an issue. The elite 130 is only a dust magnet IF you have positive pressure cooling.

Just came across this,

It looks like it might be a better option than the prodigy or 130, it will fit the 290 and apparently it launches sometime this month, I'm want to find a review before committing, but I think it might be worth waiting for.