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Experience/advice with Small Form Factor?

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  • Experience/advice with Small Form Factor?

    Short story, I am going to be building a midrange gaming box for myself at the end of the month, and my wife wants in on the action. I'm looking to build her something quiet, small, and not power-hungry. I'd like for it to be somewhat upgradeable. I was looking at the bare-bones deals on Newegg, and am liking the small designs. I honestly don't know anything about these, so I would love some advice on whether these SFF cases are good, or are simply too small and constrict air flow too much. As for budget, I really don't want to spend more than $500 on it, because she just wants a "recipe/internet" computer, but wants to play with Vista. picky woman. ;)

    Thanks everyone, I appreciate all the help you can give.

  • #2
    Re: Experience/advice with Small Form Factor?

    Oh Sir... Let me tell ya... I have built two in the last 8 months... The only negative I can tell ya is that it's a bit more $$ for a Gaming PC... but that is always the case I guess..
    My Last one I did is the best built option..and you can do it on the cheap (minus monitor)..considering a recipie PC doesn't need 3d Graphics Etc..

    CASE: Shuttle SD32-G2-SV-V1 Intel Socket T(LGA775) Intel Core 2 Extreme / Core 2 Duo / Pentium EE
    CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E4300 Allendale 1.8GHz

    Then the rest is up to your needs and taste.... This is my current Gaming Machine and if you are used to buying the box and throwing the PC together you will be very IMPRESSED with the Engineering that goes into these Shuttle Boxes.. The Crazy ICE cooler for the CPU is one example... But at this point I have no problem recommending these machines for Gaming (Maybe not SLI users) let alone Recipes and net browsing..!! Very Nice!.. and small...!

    I threw together a box based on a Silverstone SUGO1 Case (this is a bit larger than the Shuttle boxes...and will cost a bit more in the long run..since it is only a case..you supply MB and PS etc..) ..the only benefit is that it's a bit bigger and can hold multiple HD's and 2 - CD/DVD drives etc..

    If I were to do another one I would go with the Shuttle boxes... The video/sound are built in and the PS is speced for the machine.. (Check the reviews on newegg and the forums here : http://www.sfftech.com/ )

    Peardog
    |TG|ARMA Pathfinder
    ..now where did I put my keys?

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    • #3
      Re: Experience/advice with Small Form Factor?

      ...as for Airflow .. the Shuttle's have been pretty well designed to do what they do... Again.. If you can squeeze a Huge Gaming Card into it then you may have Power and Airflow issues... But I have a GeForce 7600Gt Card in mine and have no issues)...I threw a couple of Gig of OCZ ram in there and it works well (and is pretty quiet..)
      |TG|ARMA Pathfinder
      ..now where did I put my keys?

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      • #4
        Re: Experience/advice with Small Form Factor?

        Yea, I too have the Shuttle. Mine is running a AMD 3000+ Athlon XP. Yes, I know it's old to some of you. It does a decent job of keeping things cooled down. It is really quiet even with the case off. Have fun!

        In the pursuit of... something.

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        • #5
          Re: Experience/advice with Small Form Factor?

          Here is what I have it narrowed down to:

          http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16856110075

          http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16856101002

          http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16856101011

          http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16856110053

          These are the ones I'm looking at as of now. Some of the reviews complain about graphics cards not fitting in, and needing "low-profile" cards. What are some capable low-profile cards?

          Any recommendations from the boxes above? Any bad ones listed?

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          • #6
            Re: Experience/advice with Small Form Factor?

            I really like the Shuttle products - that 3rd one down is akin to 6 that I have built on the intel chipset. Two of them had problems over the first year - I am not quick to point at Shuttle though because the build required the BIOS chip be removed to flash it with a BIOS that would recognize a 64-bit CPU - more on that.

            Be sure and check CPU compatability, all the case/mainboard sets I got had BIOS's that weren't current with the latest chips - but the BIOS update was readily available on their website - but you can't flash a BIOS without a recognized CPU!

            I am not a fan of low profile cards.

            My ex-wifes shuttle has a full size ATI graphics card in it and a wireless card - no problem.

            OH.. and keep in mind, if you so much as even have to work on the memory - you've got to take the whole thing apart.
            sigpic


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