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Thread: Newbie SFF builder with some questions re: SN85G4

  1. #1
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    Newbie SFF builder with some questions re: SN85G4


    I'm building a SFF pc that will be left untouched for about 3 years. I don't intend to upgrade or overclock it in that time period. (Company benefit that I get £500 contributed to it every 3 years)

    After several weeks of reading, I eventually plumped for the:

    SN85G4 - I personally think this is the best fascia of all the Shuttle's, but have read on some forums people hate it.
    £205 (All prices include VAT)

    AMD 64 3200+ - Could have opted for the new AMD 64 3000+, but at £40 more I went for the 3200+, I think some review somewhere mentioned it offered up to a maximum of 5% improved performance.

    120 GB Seagate Barracuda Serial ATA 7200rpm 8MB cache HDD - Could have went for the 160 GB, but read comments on ebuyer that it was rather noisy, so 120 GB it is as a friend of mine has it and has verified amongst others it is quiet.

    These 3 parts have been ordered now and is nearly £500.

    I know this is more expensive than other Shuttles, but wanted future proofing for 64 bit OS's when it gets released by Microsoft.

    The alternative was the ST61G4 with the Intel P4 chip. Them two together was more expensive than the above.


    I am still mulling over what RAM to go for. Currently has a shortlist of 3:

    Corsair® 1024MB TwinX Dual Memory [2 x 512MB] XMS 3200 DDR 400MHz Low Latency [1024-3200LLPT] - £186.63

    Kingston® HyperX 1024MB 3200 DDR [Kit of 2] 400MHz CL2 KHX3200AK2/1G - £171.50

    TwinMOS 1GB (2x512MB) DDR PC3200 Dual Channel Kit (MY-007-TM) - £110.16

    I checked the support list from Shuttle and the Corsair and Kingston ones mentioned above are definetly supported.

    Does anyone know if the TwinMOS ones available at overclockers the compatible ones in the Shuttle suppport list.

    I've read that Corsair Low Latency memory is probably the option to go if I want to OVERCLOCK (unlikely), the Kingston HyperX is solid as a rock, the TwinMOS is certainly the most cheapest out of the three.

    Basically, as I don;t intend on overclocking it, is there any performance gain in getting the expensive corsair/kingston memory?

    Any thoughts/advice/recommendation most welcome?

    Another item I am having to reconsider is the graphics/video card. I had originally intended to buy the ATI Radeon 9800SE All-In-Wonder. I don't know much about this stuff at all and am completely baffled by the various prefix names of ATI cards. ASUS, Sapphire, Hercules etc. Is this because ATI Radeon has allowed these other companies to use their core technology as a starting point to build on and tweak?

    Anyway, the Hercules 3D Prophet AIW 9800SE 128MB +stereo TV tuner
    +remote control VIVO 8x AGP Retail sounded good enough for me, a built in TV tuner card onto the graphics cards with remot.
    This was for the price of £159.80

    I'm not a serious gamer nor multimedia fanatic, but may dabble into it a bit more and definetly watch DivX/DVD movies etc on the TFT I intend to buy so I figured a decent mid range graphics card was required.

    Well ... it turns out that this card is not compatible with the SN85G4 PSU

    On the upside, some owners of this card says it can be noisy when combined with small Shuttles. I am now considering a 9600XT.
    Sapphire Radeon 9600XT Atlantis 256M DDR AGP, ATI 9600XT, DVI-I, TV-Out, Retail - £128.08

    Anyone experienced with graphics cards care to comment? Thanks.

    The other two remaining parts are a DVD burner and new TFT (finally sick of the bulk desktop space consuming CRT's)

    On the list is the soon to be released Pioneer 107 (8X DVD burn), don't want to buy the Pioneer 106 £92.83 (4X DVD burn in black) at the moment, so I will need to borrow a CD-ROM for OS installation.

    TFT is going to be the LG 1710B - £329

    Sorry for the long post and thanks for reading.

    Anyone with SFF PC building experience able to provide any tips/advice?


  2. #2
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    Jan 2004
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    A quick note on RAM, plus some other thoughts

    I'll just say this about RAM: apart from overclockers pissing contests (and I've had plenty of those myself in my day ), I don't think there's much point in going with ludicrously fast stuff. The performance differences are very marginal. I get all my RAM from Crucial because it has always been rock solid and their customer service has always been outstanding. Their guaranteed compatibility system doesn't currently list the SB85, but I'm sure if you email them they'll work it out with you. 1Gb from them will be around the £100 mark. If anyone can show me a benchmark where the fancy-dan RAM is so much faster that it's worth almost double the cost, I'll eat my words... but I doubt it.

    Everything else seems fine to me. However, a word of caution about buying a PC for three years -- none of us have any idea what PCs will look like next year. Three years is so far away, it might as well three thousand years. It could be that this system is still viable in three years, or it could be we're all driving hover cars and using 1Thz processors in PCs the size of matchbox. I always tell people to buy their IT kit cheap and often. The depreciation curves means you need deep pockets to do it any other way.

    I'll tell you one thing I'm pretty sure of though: that 120Gb disk will feel pretty small by then. But you could always get a Firewire or USB add-on drive further down the line.

    The graphics card is about as safe a bet as you could make, but again, in three years for any sort of 3d gaming at all (even playing shareware) it will almost certainly be seriously overwhelmed. At least the VIVO features and the remote will still be useful though. I have a four year old ATi 128 All In Wonder here that's still pretty useful to me for TV in and out. | | blog | old pics | new pics

    Shuttle SB62G2 | P4 2.4C | 512Mb | 80Gb | 19" CRT, 15" LCD | Debian GNU/Linux
    Athlon 1700+ @ 2080Mhz | 512Mb | 120Gb | 17" CRT | Windows XP
    Apple iBook | 800Mhz G3 | 640Mb | 30Gb | Panther

  3. #3
    goatboy funnelhead's Avatar
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    Nov 2003
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    • funnelhead's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Gigabyte Ultra Durable Z170
      • CPU:
      • Skylake 6600T + NZXT Kraken X41 Watercooler
      • Memory:
      • 16GB DDR4
      • Storage:
      • 256GB NVMe M.2 + 512GB SSD + 2TB HDD
      • Graphics card(s):
      • AMD 980X
      • PSU:
      • 850W modular
      • Case:
      • Fractal Define R5
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 10 Entreprise
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell 34" Ultrawide
      • Internet:
      • Virgin 200Mbit
    You might want to condsider this mate:

    also though i am a big fan of twinmos (see sig), i've read at toms hardware that this shuttle version isnt so mad about it. I would go for the corsair or some crucial - both good stuff.

    also i would consider this:

    hope this helps.

    Do you think when Jesus comes back..... he ever wants to see another cross.......? *{God bless you Bill}

    #Dual 50W Xeons @2.5Ghz, 16GB, 34TB DrivePool, UPS#
    #Plex on all the screens#
    #Squeezeplay on all the Jogglers#

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