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Corsair 250D Mini ITX Gaming Build

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philip March 3, 2014

I have wanted to build a mini-ITX system for quite some time. The original plan was to keep the budget of this build around $700, but after looking closer at the case I couldn't resist bumping up to a more powerful system. The 240mm radiator mount along with full length video card and power supply support make it ideal for a small form factor powerhouse.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

Type Item Price
CPU Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor $229.96 @ OutletPC
CPU Cooler Corsair H100i 77.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler $97.16 @ Amazon
Motherboard ASRock Z87E-ITX Mini ITX LGA1150 Motherboard $124.99 @ Newegg
Memory Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory $86.99 @ Newegg
Storage Samsung 840 EVO 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk $89.89 @ Amazon
Storage Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $59.98 @ OutletPC
Video Card EVGA GeForce GTX 780 Ti 3GB Video Card $679.99 @ NCIX US
Case Corsair 250D Mini ITX Tower Case $89.99 @ Microcenter
Power Supply Corsair CSM 550W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply $69.99 @ Newegg
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available. $1528.94
Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-03-03 15:07 EST-0500

Front View

Side View

Side View

Personally I think the 250D is a great looking case. The side mesh windows not only provide ventilation, but do a good job of showing off the radiator and video card.

Power button

The power button is nicely disguised but easily pushed.


The brushed metal face is a nice touch, but we managed to scratch ours just placing it on our desk surface. You'll want to be extremely careful with it - it scratches easily.


The H100i mounted without too much difficulty. It was depth constrained, however. We wanted to fit an H105, but after measuring it was clear it wouldn't fit. Here's the amount of clearance we had with the H100i:

Radiator Clearance

As you can see, we had just a fraction of an inch of clearance remaining. It was fortunately enough that we could route cables from the CPU block through.


The 780Ti fits easily in the 250D, and will provide ample performance for gaming. I absolutely love the NVidia stock cooler design. It looks great, and it feels great (for that too brief moment you have it in your hands during installation).

Top View

Cable management was surprisingly easy for an ITX build. The space behind the front panel provides plenty of room to work with the cables. Clearly we could do better with the cable management, but for now this should suffice. It does seem to cry out for custom length sleeved cables though.


The grey-tinted top window provides a view of the case internals.

I've had the opportunity to build with quite a few ITX cases, and the 250D has been the best experience to date. There's plenty of room to work with (when there isn't a radiator mounted). It supports full length power supplies and video cards. And last but not least it looks great. What more could you ask for?

Comments Sorted by:

judebato 5 points 62 months ago

Look awesome!!

somedude56 3 points 62 months ago

Cutting it a bit close with the psu, but great looking build.

JackAlexander 1 Build 3 points 62 months ago

Cool build, especially since I recently built a 1500$ mini ITX rig myself. How tall is the case though? I don't like mini ITX cases that are too tall, doesn't feel like 'mini' when its almost a small tower size. Prefer shoe box style like the Elite 130. I am jelous of the 780 Ti...

Akut 1 Build 3 points 62 months ago

I recently also did a ~1500CAD mITX build in an EVGA Hadron. I like it considering it fits in a backpack. It is a tad taller than I thought it was gonna be, but hey, it holds a full gaming rig :D

[comment deleted]
mattwil 3 points 62 months ago

Does anyone know what the advantage to upgrading to a 200mm fan in the front would be for this pc?

Unless I am wrong it is intake like the H100, so would making it bigger mean cooler (at the same rpm) or quieter (at lower rpm with same air intake due to size increase). Am I right? Thanks!

sensei 2 points 62 months ago

Yes. A large fan theoretically has superior CFM/dbA than a smaller fan of the same design giving more room to improve temperatures vs. noise.

1ChanceGaming 1 Build 2 points 62 months ago

Love compact power very nice

cdchasdaniel 1 Build 2 points 62 months ago

I'm going to be ordering a very similar build next week. I'm waiting for my bonus check to come from work.

cdchasdaniel 1 Build 2 points 62 months ago

Although I was planning to use the Corsair H60 CPU cooler.

I saw this comment "The H100i mounted without too much difficulty. It was depth constrained, however. We wanted to fit an H105, but after measuring it was clear it wouldn't fit. Here's the amount of clearance we had with the H100i:"

Can anyone verify whether the H60 will fit? I'm not even sure I understand what is meant by "depth" or how to figure out what the depth of the H60 is. Are you referring to the depth of the fan?

Akut 1 Build 1 point 62 months ago

referring to the total depth of the radiator + fan(s). your measured clearance would be from the side of the case to the CPU waterblock.

cdchasdaniel 1 Build 2 points 62 months ago

Thanks so fan+radiator (25mm+27mm) against the side of the case was just enough to fit and the H105 (24mm+29mm) wouldn't fit.

Actually I misspoke. I was looking at the H55 which is (25mm+27mm) so I'll be good.

xolot1 1 Build 2 points 62 months ago

Gets up and applauds Another amazing build! keep them coming!

animostic_shep 1 Build 2 points 62 months ago

Put the panels on without testing it. Something is going to be broken.

philip staff submitter 10 Builds 6 points 62 months ago

I like to tempt fate.

[comment deleted]
Rufus_239 2 points 61 months ago

Looks quite nice but will it blend?

SuperVenom101 1 point 62 months ago

I'm thinking of building something similar. What are your temps like with for the CPU and GPU? Are they overclocked at all?

Akut 1 Build 1 point 62 months ago

Love this! Only change I would make would be to orient the RAD fans as output, and swap that front fan for a 200mm intake, as well as switch the rear fan, keeping positive pressure but instead of expelling the heat from the rad into the case, it would be sent out, bringing in fresh air. I (think) this would lower overall temps.

mattwil 1 point 62 months ago

This was my idea too, I wonder why they had the RAD as input...

DigitalBoy0101 1 point 62 months ago

I just took delivery of an H100i for an upcoming build, and Corsair recommends this orientation in the guide (yes, I actually read it, OMG!)

However, in my build, I'll use it as you propose, as an exhaust setup. I feel my case will have enough ventilation that the higher air temps of using exhaust air vs intake air will be easily mitigated.

philip staff submitter 10 Builds 1 point 62 months ago

Input is the recommendation per the H100i manual. At the end of the day though we can always try it both ways and see what results in lower temperatures.

Unholygeek226 1 point 62 months ago

It's an impressive build, I'll admit that much. But I much preferred the "Steam box" you guys worked on a little while ago. The Steam Box build had a larger sense of portability to it, much like consoles (as in you could put it in a suitcase/briefcase and take it with you on a trip).

philip staff submitter 10 Builds 1 point 62 months ago

I wish I could say we built that Steam box, but that was a pre-made system (we featured it because iFixit did the teardown of it).

stebo 1 Build 1 point 62 months ago

Wheres the power supply located? i couldn't see it in any of the pictures.

philip staff submitter 10 Builds 1 point 62 months ago

It's underneath the motherboard. (There's a part of the video where I install it into the case - look for about the 9m20s mark.)

stebo 1 Build 1 point 62 months ago

Hey Philip, I can kinda see it now, Also, do you use this for gaming or was it just something to do at the time? I mean is it a build you use, or something you put together and took apart?

hartjo1 1 point 62 months ago

Beautiful build, Philip. I'm not able to watch the video, so pardon me if this is addressed, but is the CPU overclocked? If not, is there any other reason to have the water cooling?

DJTykko 2 Builds 2 points 62 months ago

In a confined mini ITX case, water cooling could have benefits to even a normal CPU, honestly. Opens more space and ensures cooling to the tightest spot of the enclosure.

JoeCool16 1 point 62 months ago

I like the build, especially with the mini-ITX case. However I'm still looking forward to some low end budget builds, $500-$700 range perhaps? Nice job on the great looking build!

Trelor 1 point 62 months ago

Nice build, but that small of a PSU is just making me worry about it. Under HEAVY load with maybe a mild OC, it will blow. EVGA even recommends at least a 600 Watt.

paceman04 1 Build 1 point 62 months ago

I'm usually not a fan of ITX cases but WOW! Looks very spacious and easy to work with, might have to try one!

epicfacecr 1 Build 1 point 62 months ago

Can't wait 'till next month's $700 build!

awilzman 3 Builds 1 point 62 months ago

I have a similar build on queue for August!

tinyldb1 1 point 62 months ago

I have 1 question for you , you built this computer and had parts that are not on the parts list to compare is there a reason for doing that I also noticed that you build with some video cards and they also are not on the parts list??

philip staff submitter 10 Builds 1 point 62 months ago

I'm not sure I understand what you're asking. All our builds show the full part lists including all the parts we used in the build - regardless of whether we had to buy them, had them on hand, or if they were provided by the manufacturer.

tinyldb1 1 point 62 months ago

i guess the video card i was looking at was not on the part to see if it was compabable or not

tinyldb1 1 point 62 months ago

OK thanks for taking the time to explain it to me too bad no dummies book for me but your videos are all excellent i cant wait sometime to watch them very informative and thanks again. I m up dating my computer and just don't want to screw it up for the first one.

johnnyfireblade 1 Build 1 point 62 months ago

I'm seriously considering buying this exact combo (and adding another 8GB RAM). However, colleagues have advised to go AMD due to Mantle being on the way, but of course we also have NVIDIA's G-Sync en-route. Is this just a VHS vs Betamax battle again, or is it really worth investing in either of those technologies at this stage?


mattwil 1 point 62 months ago

I am not an expert, nor have experience with these, so someone might be able to answer better, but from what I believe, Mantle mostly reduces cpu overhead, which will make a difference on slower processors, which this isn't. Then G-sync will require special monitors I believe.

So if either of those sound like something worth investing in, go with that company. Personally i'm an Nvidia guy without question, but I would probably be willing to try and if it wasn't that I need cuda cores for Adobe Premiere and After Effects, so I have a reason to use them.

johnnyfireblade 1 Build 1 point 62 months ago

Historically, I'm a big NVIDIA fan too, Matt. Used them since the old 3DFX days. I'm leaning more towards the GTX with my gut feeling, I just want to sanity check it first with some people who hopefully aren't biased either way. ;)

johnnyfireblade 1 Build 1 point 62 months ago

Right, my build options have been decided and the parts ordered. This lot should be arriving at my workplace tomorrow: http://uk.pcpartpicker.com/user/johnnyfireblade/saved/473l

johnnyfireblade 1 Build 2 points 61 months ago

I've almost completed the build, but the bottom tube from the cooler is really fouling on the USB2 port block of the Z87E, pushing on the back of it and actually tilting it toward the back of the case (noticable angle when looking side-on). This can't be right, surely? Tube can't go above the port block either as the radiator just won't move down enough to latch the mounting bracket.

NCG 1 point 59 months ago

I just noticed the same problem. I was thinking about switching the fans to the inside as a pull. Lemme know how yours turned out. Anyone else have this tight fit?

NCG 1 point 59 months ago

UPDATE: Worked well!

johnnyfireblade 1 Build 1 point 61 months ago

Wow, this thing is quick! Still got some OS tweaking to do, but it boots up to login screen in about 10 seconds. :)

cdchasdaniel 1 Build 1 point 61 months ago

As I mentioned higher up in the comments that I was doing a similar build. Well, here it is. http://pcpartpicker.com/b/NU5

I love how fast it boots up and everyhing is just so snappy. I really want to thank you for posting this video. It gave me to confidence to go with this build.

uRdoomd 1 point 61 months ago

This thing looks like it could generate it's own power :P

dromni 1 Build 1 point 61 months ago

Philip you of course are a lot more of an expert than I am at building PCs in general but I personally think that the BitFenix Prodigy looks a LOT better than this case and that it should give you more clearance after installing the H100i. Just my personal opinion :)

mjl2142 1 point 61 months ago

I think the photos give me my answer, but would I be out of luck on swapping the motherboard for an ASUS Maximus VI Impact but keeping the radiator setup?

I really prefer that board, but it looks like the top daughter board on it will get in the way of the radiator.

Tristor 1 point 61 months ago

I wish I had watched this video before doing my 250D build. I too found out the hard way it doesn't have enough depth for the H105, only the H100i. After building a new beastly Haswell desktop, for the cost of the 250D, the H100i, and an Asus Z77 Mini-ITX mobo, I was able to convert my old Ivy Bridge desktop into a capable LAN rig. Really fantastic case, and I'm comfortably running a delidded 4.7GHz i5-3570K within it using the H100i along with a slightly overclocked GTX 670 4GB. Great build.

SneakyBastardSword 1 point 61 months ago

looks good, but i figured out an equivalent for over $200 less. http://pcpartpicker.com/p/3t332

1Rogue 2 Builds 1 point 58 months ago

Not equivalent, as the mobo would have parts blocked by the h100i

RockIsChamp 1 point 61 months ago

Dumb question, will the 550W power supply handle overclocking of the cpu well without any problems? I'm not that familiar with this particular situation.

2nd question, would bumping the processor up to the i7 equivalent worth it or no?

Seghasivk 1 Build 1 point 61 months ago

Next I would like to see a $500 build based off of the AMD FX-6300, NZXT Source 210, and GTX 750. I see a lot of builds like that on PC websites and I'm also doing one similar to that soon. Some pointers would definitely be nice. :)

SmokeStack 1 point 60 months ago

If you wanted to keep on completely on air, where would you put the fans and which ones would be intake versus exhaust?

exquicorp 1 point 60 months ago

Take note of what mobo you are using. I have the Asus Deluxe and the H110 cooler will NOT fit with the fans on the top side of the radiator as they are installed here. It will fit on the bottom side (which is, incidentally, how Corsair recommends as its default)

I found it wouldn't really fit with the tubes on the back side - I could get it to fit on the front side but that renders the 5.25 bay unusable unless you don't mind really pushing down. I opted for no 5.25 bay so no issues.

I would recommend sticking with the ASROCK to get this configuration built.

Ice_Koll 1 point 60 months ago

Is MOBO compatibility not working for anyone else?

Blakeny 1 point 60 months ago

Is there a place too put a wired/wireless network adapter?

Teabaggingcash 1 point 59 months ago

What's the best optical drive for the corsair 250D

dev.andrey 1 point 59 months ago

Is there a chance for same GPU but with ACX to work in this case? or it will be too hot inside the case?

yossarian 1 point 57 months ago

I bought this exact build and I have put it together...but it won't power up. I've pulled everything out of the case, tried different combinations of connected components.

Can the PSU run by itself? The motherboard should power up even if only connected to the PSU, right? I've done the basic troubleshooting. I'm pretty sure I have the right connections in the right places.

No idea where to go from here.

noxcovenant 1 point 43 months ago

I'm not a huge fan of your PSU selection and H100 mounting position (it looks bent in an awkward angle) but... I really appreciate your video since it helped me build my case.

Bumps up your 7/10 to a 9.5/10.

18hockey 1 Build 0 points 62 months ago

Wow, looks great! Do you think you could take a couple pictures with the lights a bit dimmer to really show the GeForce logo?

silvatwinkie 0 points 62 months ago

I built my own version of this for those who are looking to save money, but not sacrifice power. Here it is... http://ca.pcpartpicker.com/user/silvatwinkie/saved/45r7

aproxymate 2 points 60 months ago

I am interested in saving money on this build but cannot see your list. Can you fix that?

silvatwinkie 1 point 60 months ago

Sorry! I accidentally deleted it! I'll re-link it once I make it again.

Questors 0 points 62 months ago

It is a nice build and looks nice. However, I am a bit dismayed at the cheap Corsair knockoff of the CaseLabs S3. It doesn't look exactly the same, but as the video went on and more of the case was viewable, the similarities were shamefully undeniable. It even sounds "tinny" when being moved around. Kudos to the builder for using a mat and anti-static wristband. Finally someone who understands the negative effects of static electricity on electrical components.

thomasf94 2 Builds 0 points 62 months ago

That is awesome, next build for me is definitely going to be a mini.

uh20 -1 points 62 months ago

for whoever is interested, i planned out a cheeper build with the same case in at $810 http://pcpartpicker.com/user/uh20/saved/3YMl

a $600 build is also possible with an amd APU, but you could choose a smaller case for that though.

silvatwinkie 2 points 62 months ago

Meh... your build is maybe (maybe!) good for work and simple things, but honestly, that is a waste of money.

OfficialNapalm -2 points 62 months ago

HTPC build would be pretty funny.

Try having a strict colour scheme in a build (make it different, like black/green).

DJTykko 2 Builds 1 point 62 months ago

Razer probably would not call that a "different" colour scheme... lol

faggofi -10 points 62 months ago

Great build!, proud to be part of an intelligent group who downvotes everything i write

threewordphrase 10 points 62 months ago

Now you're just asking for it.

silvatwinkie 1 point 62 months ago

Why all the downvotes? Has he done something wrong?

[comment deleted]