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i5 8400 no GPU itx build.

Joined
Jul 10, 2018
Messages
82
Motherboard
Gigabyte Z370N WIFI
CPU
I5 8400
Graphics
UHD630
Mac
MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro
Mobile Phone
Android, iOS
Hi all,

So I've used MacOS for some time. My machines were always the Macbook 13'' (air and pro). I hate the new Mac laptops so much and I need a small build for an upgrade from my current system. Here are the parts:

- i5 8400 (already bought).
- Gigabyte H370N WIFI - I'm so open to other cheaper itx mother-boards, but I do need dual monitors without GPU - programmer's choice. If there's an option without Wifi and BT to make it cheaper then great, since they're not natively supported anyways.
Things I don't need from this: wifi, bt, m2, dual lan, vr (seriously???)..
- 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4 DRAM 2400MHz. Corsair, I forgot the model.
- Samsung 860 EVO 500GB.
- Case: Realan H80 -> this one: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Rea...sis-for-without-power-supply/32719449939.html
- Power supply: Since it's a small case. I'd like to go with its bundle which has 150W mini power supply.
- For Wifi + BT: BCM94331CD from my local shop which looks like this: https://cf.shopee.vn/file/5d4baba1459e1b90e458d012b2be4574

Question:
- Any bottle neck in the build?
- Would that 150W power supply be enough. It peaks at 200W.
- Do I need the BCM94331CD or I can somehow make it work with the stock wifi + bt that comes with the mainboard (yes, I do read the buyer guide, just that I still saw someone trying with the stock CNVi wifi).
Working means iMess, Handoff, Continuity..
- If yes, can someone please point out in the H370N mainboard where I plug the BCM94331CD in, I read somewhere it needs PCIe and USB plugged in as well? I saw PCIe written in the m2 slot part also, can I use this for the Wifi card?
I've build PCs before (way back then), but have no experience with PCIe stuff (I never had a GPU). Says if I have a full size GPU, can I still use this card with H370N board?

Thanks everyone, I haven't completed my build but every information's been very useful.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jun 4, 2018
Messages
44
Motherboard
ASUS Prime H310T/CSM
CPU
i5-8400
Graphics
UHD 630
Mac
MacBook Air
Mobile Phone
Android
I don't think there are any major bottlenecks, other than graphics. i5-8400 are powerful enough for most applications; in fact, it is said to trail or overtake i7-7700 in performance. FYI, my planned build is very similar to yours; my research tells me that if you don't really game on your rig nor do graphics intensive jobs (say, rendering or hashing), then you will be fine and happy with your rig.
That 150W power supply is low but should be just -- just -- enough. A bit more fans or a couple power-drawing USB devices and your computer could shut down. I would go with a 200W or 250W PSU.
If you want to try the intel stock WiFi: it is "free" but might not work (and most likely won't). Broadcom cards in the guide are tested to work without hassles. So, it's your choice.
It appears that the PCIe card you are looking for takes a PCIe x1 slot (basically any PCIe slot, as all PCIe's are downwards compatible) and a front panel USB 2.0 socket. Here's a picture (I think I missed one of the two front panel USB 2.0; they are all the same).

You will need special converters to get a actual PCIe card to connect to a M.2 socket; the bus should be the same, but the interface aren't.

If you ever decide to add a GPU, you will need a beefy PSU (say, 400W+?). There are two ways to empty out the PCIe slot for the possible GPU addition:
  1. remove the stock WiFi and use a Broadcom M.2 E key (or A/E key) WiFi module, e.g. DW1560/BCM94352. The moudle comes off easily.
  2. remove the stock WiFi and use a M.2 to PCIe converter. It's very messy, so 'tis not recommended.
If you don't care about the amount of USB 3.0 or 3.1 you can get, you can just buy a H310 ITX mobo; the extra PCIe bandwidths you can get from a H370 or B360 are stuff you can't use on a mini-ITX anyways. That puts the cheapest mobo on Newegg at $79, and surprise! It still has a M.2 slot, WiFi module, a HDMI, a DP, a DVI-I, and even a PS-2! Backwards compatibility, man. The process of changing stock WiFi or adding that specific WiFi card should still be the same.

By the way, you might be interested in Streacom's case: they do look nice, and it might be possible to build a fanless rig with their passively cooled line.

Hope these helps!

PS: M.2 are actually kind of nice. You can get a M.2 SATA SSD at the same price as a 2.5 inch SSD, and that would save so much space. NVMe can be expensive, so I guess that is what you mean by "I don't need M.2".
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jul 10, 2018
Messages
82
Motherboard
Gigabyte Z370N WIFI
CPU
I5 8400
Graphics
UHD630
Mac
MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro
Mobile Phone
Android, iOS
There are two ways to empty out the PCIe slot for the possible PSU
- Why do I need PCIe slot for the PSU? I thought the PSU will need the 24-pin connector on the mainboard. Then whatever needs power I'll run a cable to that component?

- Thanks for taking the time to make the picture and explain the Broadcom cards installations . The card in my local shop is from iMac late 2012 so I guess it's the same as your guide's option.
I always though the PCIe module would plug in both PCIe slot and USB socket at the same time so was confused there. Looks like there will be a cable from the the PCIe module to USB socket.

- The power supply makes me nervous also, I'm just gonna go for a bigger-wattage one.

-
I actually would go for NVMe cause of the significantly faster speed. Not M2 SSD just for the form factor.
But I understand the urge of getting a-little-better components tho :)).
Anyways, there's hardly a decent new mainboard nowadays without the M2 slot. So maybe I'll get a smaller-capacity NVMe for boot drive later.
I've never had a GPU during my 20 years knowing computers I think. But of course if I need one, I'd go for a bigger case and better PSU options.

Again, thanks.
 
Joined
Jun 4, 2018
Messages
44
Motherboard
ASUS Prime H310T/CSM
CPU
i5-8400
Graphics
UHD 630
Mac
MacBook Air
Mobile Phone
Android
Why do I need PCIe slot for the PSU? I thought the PSU will need the 24-pin connector on the mainboard. Then whatever needs power I'll run a cable to that component?
Sorry, meant to say GPU. Silly mistakes…
 
Joined
Jul 10, 2018
Messages
82
Motherboard
Gigabyte Z370N WIFI
CPU
I5 8400
Graphics
UHD630
Mac
MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro
Mobile Phone
Android, iOS
I saw the mainboard you mentioned as well while looking for options.
Thing is I haven't found any build on this forum which uses H310 chipset. In fact I don't think anything other than the Z370 is fully, strongly supported with hackintosh, due to the new hardware updates of these later chipsets..

I'm planning to have this done somewhere within the next two months. I'll wait for more concrete options on the mobo than. Or I'll go with the Z370 just for the sake of simplicity.

Btw, I saw your build in another thread. Have you done it? How'd it go?
 
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