Question New Micro/ITX Build: Balance of Performance and Low Power Consumption?


Aug 11, 2012
Greetings. Been a while, as I got great advice years ago here and have loved my PC build since then.

1. I'm thinking of a new build in ITX or Micro ATX form factor for gaming that has the best balance of performance and power consumption. I'm not concerned about overclocking or cutting edge performance (I may do minor tinkering, but generally, I'm not trying to hotrod anything), but I do want to play in solid 1080p for a few years to come, perhaps with just a GPU upgrade in a few years. Excluding OS and storage, and case, what would be your build for under $1000? (GPU, motherboard, CPU, memory, PSU) Also, what would be your cooling solution? Couple of fans?

If you want to throw in case suggestion, by all means, but that boils down to taste so much, that I figured I wouldn't ask and not considering that for the budget.

2. Same question, under $700.

EDIT: I'm looking at purchasing in a few months and know that prices will be coming down for most components, especially current gen. Just trying to get build ideas now.
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mITX isn't cheap. The boards cost more, the cases cost more, the time to build right is more, the research to get things to fit is a lot more, psus cost more, mITX is all about building within restrictions, unlike ATX which is only restricted by case size.

In my build, there are literal clearance tolerances of 1-2mm physically between some components.

So budget becomes a secondary consideration, it's not like you can just grab the cheapest gpu in the range you want, it might be too long or too thick, so end up paying more for a different gpu, that will not only fit, but work better with airflow characteristics.
Good place to start, it solves several issues right off the bat, which normal SFF cases must be dealt with.

For psu, I'd recommend Corsair SFX Platinum, the Gold rated versions use a flat ribbon cable, which can be aggravating to work with, side benefit the Platinum are quieter and more energy efficient and run cooler as a result.

$700 isn't going to happen with current gpu prices, not and get anything decent enough to have spent the money on.
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