Build A GeForce GTX 750 Ti Mini ITX PC For Less Than $530
With today’s launch of the GeForce GTX 750 Ti and GeForce GTX 750, NVIDIA has redefined the definition of “entry level gaming”, creating graphics cards with stunning performance, unmatched power efficiency, and access to NVIDIA’s latest and greatest innovations, like G-SYNC, GameStream, GameWorks, and ShadowPlay.
Starting at $119, first-generation, Maxwell-powered GeForce GTX 750 Class GPUs offer incredible value, are up to four times faster than previous-generation entry-level GPUs, and are officially the world’s most efficient graphics cards, requiring no more than 60 Watts of power, delivered directly via motherboards without the need for costly PCI Express power supply connectors.
This combination of incredible value, class-leading performance, and unprecedented power efficiency make the GeForce GTX 750 Ti and GeForce GTX 750 the perfect GPUs for system upgrades and new, affordable DIY PCs.
Once upon a time, building your own PC was as daunting as navigating Dante’s inferno; myriad compatibility issues had to be navigated, certain brands of RAM refused to work with specific motherboards, components were beyond fragile, and physically assembling the system itself was a lethal proposition thanks to razor-sharp edges in each and every case. Thankfully, that is no more.
Nowadays, assembling your own system is a much simpler proposition thanks to helpful instruction manuals, thousands of online tutorials and walkthroughs, like our intro to PC components, and general common-sense construction that prevents improper installation. Cheap components still have innumerable drawbacks, but if you shop around you can find high-quality kit at affordable price points.
Finding these quality components amongst the thousands of available options is now the biggest challenge associated with DIY PCs, so we’ve put together an excellent, affordable GeForce GTX 750 Ti PC that currently costs less than $530.
With our selected components, the latest and most popular games will run at up to 83 frames per second at medium-to-high detail levels, with enough headroom to enable NVIDIA GameWorks options and extra detail levels in titles like Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, Call of Duty: Ghosts, and Batman: Arkam Origins.
At 1920x1080, our GeForce GTX 750 Ti, Intel i3-3240 Mini ITX PC hit a solid 30 frames per second with medium quality presets and GPU-accelerated PhysX effects in the highly-demanding Metro: Last Light benchmark. During general gameplay, frame rates of 40-50 were commonly observed, giving us a smooth, enjoyable experience. Similarly, smooth frame rates were observed in demanding Assassin’s Creed IV and Battlefield 4 scenarios, ensuring stutter-free game sessions in the popular action games.
In games such as BioShock Infinite, Batman: Arkham Origins, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, League of Legends, War Thunder, World of Tanks, and World of Warcraft, frame rates increased to up to 200, enabling us to increase settings, and in several cases max out available settings, resulting in stunning scenes that cannot be replicated on any console.
|GPU||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti||$149.99|
|Chassis||SilverStone Sugo Series SG05B Mini ITX Case||$79.99|
|CPU||Intel Core i3-3240 Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz LGA 1155 55W Dual-Core Desktop Processor||$119.99|
|Motherboard||ASRock H61MV-ITX LGA 1155||$49.99|
|RAM||Kingston HyperX XMP Blu Red Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1600 KHX16C9B1RK2/8X||$69.99|
|Hard Drive||Western Digital Blue WD10EZEX 1TB, 7200 RPM, 64MB Cache, SATA 6.0Gb/s, 3.5" HDD||$59.99|
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 or 750 Ti: $119 - $149
The new GeForce GTX 750 Ti and GeForce GTX 750 GPUs are not only the world’s fastest entry-level graphics cards, but they’re also the world’s most efficient, requiring only 60 Watts of power at full load. What’s more, they do away with the requirement for a 6-pin PCI Express power supply connector, drawing their power solely through the PCI Express motherboard slot, enabling the purchase of affordable 300 Watt power supplies.
Your choice of GPU depends on the performance level you’re seeking, your budget, and whether you wish to play graphically-demanding titles with settings like MSAA, which can increase Video RAM requirements to 2GB (an amount found only on the GeForce GTX 750 Ti).
If you’re only interested in League of Legends and other undemanding games you may be tempted to purchase a budget card. However, at $119 the GeForce GTX 750 is less expensive than, or comparable in price to the most popular budget GPUs. With up to four times the performance and double the power efficiency, the GeForce GTX 750 is therefore a far superior proposition, granting access to the GeForce GTX ecosystem, featuring innovations like ShadowPlay, G-SYNC and GameStream, and opening the door to more demanding games that may take your fancy in the future.
So even if your interest lies solely with LoL, GeForce GTX 750 Class GPUs are still the cards to get. You’ll benefit from ground breaking features and class-leading performance at an unbeatable price point, and have the performance and technology at your disposal for more intensive titles in the future.
SilverStone Sugo Series SG05B: $79.99
The $80 SilverStone Sugo Series SG05B comes equipped with a 300 Watt 80 PLUS power supply, making it the perfect chassis for our affordable Mini ITX system. Inside you’ll also find a 120mm cooling fan, ample space for the diminutive GeForce GTX 750 Class GPUs, space for aftermarket CPU cooling, and support for 2.5" SSDs and 3.5" HDDs. On the outside there are two USB 3.0 ports, in addition to the usual audio and mic ports.
At only $80 the Sugo is one of the best value Chassis-PSU combos. There are cheaper options, but you’ll struggle to find something of comparative quality, and finding an affordable, high quality PSU that fits a Mini ITX case can be a real headache. By including both a PSU and a quality cooling fan, the Sugo simplifies the build process and gives you a great foundation for the rest of your components.
The one downside is the requirement to use a half-height DVD or Blu-Ray drive if you insist on having internal optical storage capabilities (half-height drives are considerably more expensive than full-size drives, and far harder to source). Given the overwhelming trend towards digital media, and the fact that you can install operating systems from USB, we’re marking the DVD drive as an optional extra. Silverstone recommends their own drive, though you can find others online. Personally, we’d opt for a more affordable external USB drive if the use of optical storage is an absolute necessity.
Intel Core i3-3240 Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz LGA 1155 55W Dual-Core Desktop Processor: $119.99
To keep costs low we’ve chosen a previous-generation, dual-core Ivy Bridge CPU, which provides sufficient performance at medium-to-high detail levels. Intel’s CPUs perform well in multi-core titles, have strong per-core performance, good price-performance ratios, and include a functional heatsink and fan in the box.
If you’re intending to play titles that are optimized for four cores, like Metro: Last Light, you may prefer to purchase the $179.99 Intel Ivy Bridge Core i5-3350P. To reduce the impact of that extra cost scout out Micro Centers and other stores for deals; in the past we’ve seen the i5-3350P on sale for as little as $139.
Alternatively, you may wish to bring your system fully up to date with an Intel Haswell CPU. However, this increases the Dual Core CPU cost to $124.99, the Quad Core cost to $189.99, and ups the minimum motherboard cost by $15, as we’ll detail below. Compared to Ivy Bridge, Haswell increases per-core performance by up to 10%, which may be worth the extra $20 outlay.
ASRock H61MV-ITX LGA 1155: $49.99
Our Ivy Bridge CPU requires an Ivy Bridge motherboard, one of the most affordable being the $49.99 ASRock H61MV-ITX. Eschewing mod cons and fancy features, the ASRock H61MV-ITX simply does the bare basics at an unbeatable price.
If you decided to upgrade your build to a Haswell CPU you’ll require a LGA 1150 motherboard, of which there are many. In our research we found the $64.99 ASRock H81M-ITX LGA 1150 and the $74.99 ASRock B85M-ITX LGA 1150 to have the best reviews for boards priced under $80, and as with the ASRock H61 they both eschew fancy frills for solid performance.
Kingston HyperX XMP Blu Red Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1600 KHX16C9B1RK2/8X: $69.99
RAM prices have doubled in recent years, adding considerable cost to any build. At the time of writing, the listed Kingston RAM was one of the more affordable 8GB sets, but given the current instability in the RAM market you should scour e-tailer listings for deals and rebates before purchase. With luck you may save $10-$20.
Western Digital Blue WD10EZEX 1TB, 7200 RPM, 64MB Cache, SATA 6.0Gb/s, 3.5" HDD: $59.99
$59.99 for the reliable Western Digital Blue 1TB drive is a bargain – not long ago you’d only get the 500GB, slower Green drive for the same price. Running at a full 7200 RPM, with 64MB Cache and support for the latest SATA standard, the Western Digital Blue WD10EZEX is unbeatable at this price point.
If you’re getting into PC gaming for the very first time, or have other requirements, you may need some optional extras:
- The half-height, internal, $25.99 Samsung SN-208FB/BEBE DVD drive will fulfil your need for optical storage in the SilverStone Sugo Series SG05B chassis, and the $27.99 Samsung SE-208DB/TSLS will perform the same role externally via USB.
- Windows 7 may be needed if this is your very first PC, or perhaps Windows 8.1 if you wish to benefit from DirectX 11.2’s game performance optimizations in Battlefield 4. Windows 8.1 buyers should be upgraded automatically, for free, to Microsoft’s newest revision of Windows 8, rumored to launch in the not too distant future.
- If you wish to convert your Mini ITX system into a Steam Box, you’ll require Valve’s free SteamOS. Please note that the currently-available beta is an early version lacking many of the operating system’s final features.
- The $139.99 Acer G246HLAbd is one of the best budget 24” monitors available, and going by reviews it appears to work well in games, with minimal input lag and little to no ghosting.
- At $47.99, the Logitech G400S is one of the best and most affordable gamer-focused mice, though you can of course get generic mice for as little as $5. Between the two price points the $26 Logitech M500 is an excellent, low-cost option.
- Logitech’s $14.99 K120 is the budget keyboard of choice. It’s spill resistant, solidly built, and warrantied for two years.
- If you wish to overclock your GeForce GTX 750 GPU (easy as 1,2,3 with applications like EVGA Precision X), you can learn how to keep your system stable and in tiptop condition with our free guide.
If you’ve followed our GeForce GTX 750 Ti Mini ITX build guide, you now have a powerful yet affordable system, capable of playing the latest games at an excellent level of detail. You also have access to groundbreaking, NVIDIA-exclusive innovations like G-SYNC, GameStream, GameWorks, and ShadowPlay, enhancing your experience in and out of every single game.
No other GPU offers the same level of performance, power efficiency, and value as the GeForce GTX 750 Ti, and only it and GeForce GTX 750 enhance games and your experience in a meaningful manner in the "entry-level" marketplace. With unmatched features, efficiency, power, and value, the new GeForce GTX 750 Class GPUs redefine the definition of “entry level”, giving price-conscious gamers an experience equal to that found on medium and high-end graphics cards.
Whether you're looking to upgrade your old Integrated Graphics PC, or build your very first system, the new GeForce GTX 750 Class GPUs should be your first choice for the foreseeable future.