Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: Ideas for a new SFF (please!)

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    109
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked
    0 times in 0 posts

    Ideas for a new SFF (please!)

    Hi folks,

    A few years ago I used to build a SFF every month, and when it came to PCs I had it pretty much sussed. However, my current PC is almost 2 years old now, and it was using fairly good bang-for-buck components at the time, but is seriously showing its age now. So, it's time for a new build.

    I think SFF is still the way to go, but the higher end units are v expensive. I mean, I've seen a Core 2 Duo DELL tower with 2GB ram for £270 (without monitor). So, I'm looking for advice.

    It needs to be small, sexy and sleek. I've had previously a number of SN41G2 units, and currently have an Aopen EY65 (http://www.pcpop.com/minipc/04/12/56023.shtml - for pics). My main PC usage is internet, digital photos, and as a very capable media centre (I run XP MCE, and can't see myself moving to Vista Ultimate any time soon, unless people can advise a reason to). I'm considering a new graphics card, as my 9800pro is too old now. I also definately need a PCI slot, for my Xfi Elite soundcard.

    What I *think* I want:
    Future proof for 64bit Vista Ultimate in the future
    Core 2 Duo - is it really the best bang for buck right now?
    2GB ram.
    Probably 250GB x2 Samsung drives (I have one already).
    Unit to be silver and/or black, and v small.

    Price under £300 for the above, before looking into a new graphics card.

    Any ideas for units? - much thanks!

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    109
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked
    0 times in 0 posts

    Re: Ideas for a new SFF (please!)

    So, no one has tried building a SFF with a Core 2 duo on a budget?!?

  3. #3
    The King of Vague Steve B's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Glasgow
    Posts
    5,051
    Thanks
    116
    Thanked
    67 times in 63 posts

    Re: Ideas for a new SFF (please!)

    hey ho,
    If you're on a budget, steer clear of the shuttles. The C2D compatible boards tend to be over £200 and will destroy any budget you have!
    What about an Asus barebones kit, maybe this.
    Stick with the lower end of the Duos, as they're nice and cheap. Something like this should suffice.
    That takes it up to circa £160, which should leave room for nice RAM: some of this perhaps?

  4. #4
    finding nemo staffsMike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    11,498
    Thanks
    197
    Thanked
    794 times in 741 posts
    • staffsMike's system
      • Motherboard:
      • evga 680i
      • CPU:
      • e6600
      • Memory:
      • geil ultra pc6400
      • Storage:
      • WD 320gb
      • Graphics card(s):
      • leadtek 8800 GTS 640mb
      • PSU:
      • ocz gameXstream 700w
      • Case:
      • akasa eclipse
      • Monitor(s):
      • dell 2007wfp and Lg L194WT
      • Internet:
      • pipex homecall

    Re: Ideas for a new SFF (please!)

    £300 is a very tight budget for this sort of thing.

    Something like a silverstone sugo 1 is a very nice case but it costs £80. There are some nice antec ones for about £50 but you can see you budget being washed away already.

    I'd probably say this is the best deal for a case + psu but i dont know if its silent.. i would hope it is

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Produ...oductID=509816

    Something like a Gigabyte G33 mATX board costs about £60
    2gb of RAM will be £50
    The hard Drive will be £40
    The antec case + psu £55
    SATA dvd writer (if you need one) £20

    So at this point you're at £225

    A decent media grpahics card is the 8500GT and it will do games at low res to. £60
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Produ...oductID=615617
    i have one of these and it stays very cool for a passive card.

    But thats £285 with no CPU

    cheapest CPU is the intel pentium core 2 duo (E2140) which is a 1.6ghz but it will over clock to 2.4 - 2.8ghz on a decent SFF HSF so about £60 for the CPU + Cooler.

    £345. (£325 without optical)

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    109
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked
    0 times in 0 posts

    Re: Ideas for a new SFF (please!)

    Thanks for the ideas guys.

    Hmm - £300 was too tight. I might need to revise that up a bit, to perhaps £400.

    Steve B - that Asus is v v cheap, but just too big for my tastes - thanks anyway.

    I've seen a Shuttle SD32G5 for ~£200, but I was really hoping for a much cheaper alternative.

    staffsmike - the Antec id also v cheap, but I personally can't take the design. The sugos are a much nicer alternative, but still larger than what I was intending. Maybe I need to accept that there are no core 2 duo sff on the market which are realistically priced...

  6. #6
    finding nemo staffsMike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    11,498
    Thanks
    197
    Thanked
    794 times in 741 posts
    • staffsMike's system
      • Motherboard:
      • evga 680i
      • CPU:
      • e6600
      • Memory:
      • geil ultra pc6400
      • Storage:
      • WD 320gb
      • Graphics card(s):
      • leadtek 8800 GTS 640mb
      • PSU:
      • ocz gameXstream 700w
      • Case:
      • akasa eclipse
      • Monitor(s):
      • dell 2007wfp and Lg L194WT
      • Internet:
      • pipex homecall

    Re: Ideas for a new SFF (please!)

    I don't know much about the cases smaller than the SUGO style ones as I havn't considered anything smaller than that for myself.

  7. #7
    Editable... jimbouk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Bristol
    Posts
    2,546
    Thanks
    188
    Thanked
    187 times in 148 posts
    • jimbouk's system
      • Motherboard:
      • ASUS M5 A97 R2.0
      • CPU:
      • AMD FX-6300
      • Memory:
      • 8GB DDR3
      • Storage:
      • 128GB SSD + 500GB HDD
      • Graphics card(s):
      • AMD Radeon HD 7870
      • PSU:
      • Corsair HX 520W
      • Case:
      • Some large ATX case
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 7
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell U2713HM
      • Internet:
      • Orange...

    Re: Ideas for a new SFF (please!)

    Asus do other smaller cases, they come as barebones like a shuttle so you'll have to dig around to get one with the right motherboard for your needs.

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Produ...rs=4&OrderBy=1

    The Pundits are the smallest, Terminator second and the V ones are just generic mini-towers. Make sure you get enough expansion slots for what you need though (and they aren't low-profile it that'd be a problem).

    The P1 and P2 will take 2xPCI, the P3 will take PCI-Ex16,x1 and 2xPCI but only in low profile, and the T3 takes PCI-Ex16 and PCI. Sounds like the T3 fits the bill the best...
    Last edited by jimbouk; 26-08-2007 at 03:28 PM. Reason: More details

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Bath, Somerset, UK
    Posts
    209
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked
    1 time in 1 post

    Re: Ideas for a new SFF (please!)

    £300 for a new rig is a tad tight if you want SFF .

    You could consider a S/H SD39P2 with a CPU, that should be just within your budget and if overclocking is not your thing the current BIOS is nice and stable with the dual and quad cores. Downside is that it uses the older 975 chipset (not a huge problem on a SFF), is has on board Realtek HiDef audio but you have the PCI slot for your existing sound card if you need it.

    I have not personally had very much success with the G series Core2 shuttles (2 DOA) so can’t really comment there.

    If you’re not sure that Shuttle is for you any more then you’re looking at MiniATX if you want any sort of powerful desktop. Cases tend to be a little bigger then the P series Shuttles but not by that much. I have no problem moving mine about .

    I have built some nice rigs using the SilverStone Sugo SG01 but it's a costly case (coming in at about the £80 mark without a board or CPU). Also, depending on the board cooling can be a little weak and stock coolers can foul the case.

    Next down the Thermaltake Lanbox (the plain VF1000BNS, not the horrid windowed and handled mess they do ). This has also made me a nice rig or 2. The Lanbox is a very tidy case to work with but requires patience to build without screwing up .

    Both of those options could be paired with your choice of boards, PSU’s (wait for Scan to have a decent one on Today Only) and CPU's (An E63** or E66** if you can stretch is a good bang for buck CPU). Add to that 2GB of RAM and a mid range GFX (again, it would not hurt to consider S/H) and your just over your budget but next time around it's just a MiniATX board change, the PSU etc. can be carried over.

    Of course I am assuming you will carry the OS from your current rig or there is another £60 or so to consider.
    "John Willis is a toaster that talks! - It knows your name.".

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    109
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked
    0 times in 0 posts

    Re: Ideas for a new SFF (please!)

    Thanks for all the replies so far.

    Perhaps a Core 2 Duo isn't the best idea, given the budget. I understand that if given a platform such as mATX the majority would go for a Core 2 Duo over an AM2, but given that I want a v small unit, would an AM2 based shuttle be better?

  10. #10
    finding nemo staffsMike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    11,498
    Thanks
    197
    Thanked
    794 times in 741 posts
    • staffsMike's system
      • Motherboard:
      • evga 680i
      • CPU:
      • e6600
      • Memory:
      • geil ultra pc6400
      • Storage:
      • WD 320gb
      • Graphics card(s):
      • leadtek 8800 GTS 640mb
      • PSU:
      • ocz gameXstream 700w
      • Case:
      • akasa eclipse
      • Monitor(s):
      • dell 2007wfp and Lg L194WT
      • Internet:
      • pipex homecall

    Re: Ideas for a new SFF (please!)

    You would get more bang for bucks with an AMD system. You just need to watch out for the very high end ones like the 6000+ they tend to run a little hot, especially on low profile coolers but as long as you aren't overclocking i'm sure it would be fine.

    The motherboards are cheaper too.

  11. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    109
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked
    0 times in 0 posts

    Re: Ideas for a new SFF (please!)

    DJWillis - good ideas there - thanks.

    I suppose a mATX could be the way to go, if I can find a suitable board. I don't care for fancy graphics or sound onboard, as I intend to use my Xfi Elite and a dedicated graphics card. Going for a Shuttle is the expensive option, esp if you consider I won't use the sound or graphics onboard. Then I got thinking about barebones, I'm assuming...

    ~£70 for a decent case, like a sugo
    ~£60 for a decent mobo
    ~£45 for a quiet PSU
    ~£10 for a HSF

    That's £185 already, and the new SG33G5 is becoming available now for £220, which includes all of the above. It also has the G33 chipset, giving it some future-proofing in terms of 45nm cores (am I right in that?).

    The particular processor I have my eye on at the moment is the E6750, which at ~£120 seems v v good value considering the E6600 is £130 and the E6700 is £190. And the SG33G5 can even take quad core processors, like the Q6600 - which I might just go for if my pay-rise happens soon(!).

    So, as usual, my initial budget is thrown out the window...

  12. #12
    finding nemo staffsMike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    11,498
    Thanks
    197
    Thanked
    794 times in 741 posts
    • staffsMike's system
      • Motherboard:
      • evga 680i
      • CPU:
      • e6600
      • Memory:
      • geil ultra pc6400
      • Storage:
      • WD 320gb
      • Graphics card(s):
      • leadtek 8800 GTS 640mb
      • PSU:
      • ocz gameXstream 700w
      • Case:
      • akasa eclipse
      • Monitor(s):
      • dell 2007wfp and Lg L194WT
      • Internet:
      • pipex homecall

    Re: Ideas for a new SFF (please!)

    G33 should be ok for the next range on Intel CPU's yeah.

    Since i'm bored at the moment i'm having to hold myself back from selling the barebones of my PC and doing a SFF quad core upgrade lol.

    Must resist though got a new laptop coming lol

  13. #13
    Homestarr Mod
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    3,863
    Thanks
    17
    Thanked
    31 times in 28 posts

    Re: Ideas for a new SFF (please!)

    i have been looking at the Asus T3 seems like quite a nice SFF especially with the ext SATAII, shame it doesent come in black but i still might go for it

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Changeover to SFF (ideas please :) )
    By muddyfox470 in forum PC Hardware and Components
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 28-12-2006, 07:46 PM
  2. TOP 5 SFF PCs FOR AROUND £150
    By denz13 in forum PC Hardware and Components
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 19-10-2006, 05:14 PM
  3. Some SFF Advice please....
    By nimbu in forum PC Hardware and Components
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 07-11-2005, 07:21 PM
  4. Wall-Hung SFF from Foxconn
    By Steve in forum HEXUS News
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 31-05-2005, 04:33 PM
  5. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 15-02-2005, 10:32 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •