Small mini-itx build for college

Hey guys,

So I have built myself a relatively large, mid- tower gaming PC (Fractal Arc Midi R2 case) but I want something much much smaller for college.  I prefer to go the AMD route, but Intel is fine too as long as it is reasonable priced.  I want a decently capable, mini-ITX system, with the smallest mini-ITX case that I can still fit a GTX 750/ 750Ti into.  Also looking for something that doesn't look like garbage, there are so many ugly mini-ITX cases out there :/ the Prodigy is also a bit big for my tastes.  Any suggestions for a case?

Love small builds, hmm, check out the Fractal Design Node 304. It should definitely fit a 750 Ti and run cool and quiet.

Will a Node 304 also fit a full length card? I have an old EVGA GTX 570 lying around, I might use it for a bit until I get the cash to buy a 750Ti

I'm still waiting for steam-box sized mini-itx cases, with a pcie riser-card

I expected that a few months after valve's announcement we'd see a flood, but all i can find are low-powered office boxes.

Yes it does fit full length graphics cards,  I think a full length GPU means you can only fit 4 storage devices. You should check out the Tek Syndicate Youtube Video on it. It will give more deatils.

I have a 304 and did a college build in it haha.

It will fit a GPU up to 310mm in length but you have to remove one of the hanging hard drive brackets so you lose 2 drives. 

If you want to go AMD, you'll probably want to go with an Athlon. FM2+ is the only socket with decent  ITX motherboards. AM3+ has very few ITX motherboards, and they're all pretty horribly.

There are zero AM3+ mini itx boards

Thanks for correcting me. I was always under the impression that were very few. Checked newegg and there weren't any.

So, OP, either FM2+ or LGA 1150 are basically your only options

Motherboard wise you have very similar options so its up to you CPU choice, you would be looking at a 760k AMD route, or intel the only sort of cheap option before you get into i5 would be like an i3 3220 or something

I think the Cooler Master Elite 130 would do you some good. It has a lot of space for bigger graphics cards, so that should not be an issue. 

Yeah, long GPUs are no problem.  I have a HD 7950 Dual-X in mine.

Issue with the 130 is the lack of a dust filter, thats why I like Corsair and Fractal, all intakes have removable filters, I would be looking at the 250D or the Node 304

I was about to suggest the 250D but I then thought that it might not be as inconspicuous as the OP might want it to be. If he is looking for something that won't be noticed a lot, the Node 304 would be better in that respect. Still, it's up to him. I just took a crack at it. 

I was lurking around the small form factor section on and found a link to some filters for the CM 120 and a few others.

Edit: there is also the Asrock M8 case mobo psu thingy

i would recommend to go intel if you want a mini itx rig. you could grab an i5 non k with an H87i mobo. thats basicly a nice combination, only con, no OC.

This is a good option.

Or the Xeon 1230V3 like I have in mine. 

yeah the xeon would be even more awesome. ☺

EVGA Hadron is not an ugly case, it comes with a nice 500W power supply, and depending on the budget Intel can offer more in the mini itx form factor...

I wan't to avoid the price premium associated with Intel products.  All I need is something for school work and light gaming.  I already have a spare GTX 570 graphics card, so I leaning towards getting an FM2 board and an Athlon Quad 760K.