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Thread: Recommendations for parts in a "small" cheap dual boot build

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    Recommendations for parts in a "small" cheap dual boot build

    Hey guys, I was wondering if it would be possible to get some recommendations (maybe even some advice) regarding small form computers.

    I've decided that I rarely need to play games on my PC (since I use my Xbox) as well as the fact I don't really have time to play games that often at the moment and so my big dinosaur of a PC is about due for a replacement. I'll first state its specs.

    AMD Athlon 64 skt 939 3000
    2gb of PC3200 RAM
    X1950pro graphics card
    160gb hard drive
    460 watt X-PRO power supply
    some other stuff.

    I need a computer which can dual boot Windows Vista and Linux. My current computer can do it but I haven't found a distro of Linux which is compatible with my USB wifi enabler (Belkin something - can't remember) so ideally, having a PCI WiFi card which is compatible with Linux and Windows would be fantastic.

    Apart from that, the cheaper the better really. Could I recycle my Power supply? I'll probably use my current graphics card and I'll get a second harddrive.

    Regarding "small" cases. Since I move around quite a bit (home and uni), I'd much rather have a smaller computer. What are people's experiences with those shuttle micro atx cases? I'm more drawn to one of those then another huge case like I currently have.

    Thanks

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    Re: Recommendations for parts in a "small" cheap dual boot build

    How about

    Antec NSK3480 + 380 earthwatts PSU ~£55
    4GB PC6400 ~£35
    AMD 7750+ black edition ~£60
    780G based motherboard ~£50
    640GB Western Digital AAKS ~£50
    Something like this for your wireless ~£10
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Edima...eless-PCI-Card

    and a DVD writer or blu ray

    Even with blu ray that will barely go over £300 and the case is very quiet and very small really. Shuttle cases are fine but expensive and don't always offer the airflow or noise you would like to have. With this case you could add any graphics card you like and a couple of 92mm fans and it would still be cool and quiet

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    Re: Recommendations for parts in a "small" cheap dual boot build

    thanks for the reply Mike. I've just put this computer together however. It just needs a powersupply. What do you think of this?

    Last edited by Phalanx; 03-01-2009 at 06:40 PM.

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    Re: Recommendations for parts in a "small" cheap dual boot build

    I have the NKS4000 as the case for my back computer and it is not small!! The NKS3480 would be a better choice but you are limited to mATX motherboards if I remember rightly!! It also comes with a reasonable PSU. The one you already have and the one you specified are not the best choices IMHO!!

    I would go for a decent quality power supply. An Enermax 425w or 525w for £50 to £60 would do the job. However if money is tight Scan usually have a decent 700W FSP for under 30 quid on Today Only.

    I also have Edimax EW-7128G which was recommended by staffsMike. It work out of the box with Ubuntu 8.10

    If you are going for a full ATX motherboard the following is excellent value for money:

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/148802

    Here is a review:

    http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/575

    If you want to go smaller than even then the NSK3480 one of the Silverstone mATX cases or a Shuttle would do.

    You can the Silverstone SG02 for under £60:

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Search.aspx?q=SUGO

    It will take a mATX motherboard.

    Here is a review:

    http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/S...tone/Sugo_SG02

    It should also fit a full size PSU too. You will also need to make sure that the CPU cooler is not to tall also.

    There is also a carrying case for the SG02 which is available.

    I have owned two Shuttles - the first is the smaller G series Shuttle and the second is the larger P2 series Shuttle. I have the matching carrying cases which you can also get. They are really convenient to move around unlike full sized computers.

    To summarise the advantages of Shuttles are:

    1.) Size. The G series is even smaller than the SG02.The larger P2 series are also quite small considering their spec.

    2.)Easy to assemble. The Shuttles already have the PSU and motherboard pre-installed.

    3.)Excellent PSUs. The PSUs are capable of powering much more than what the wattage rating indicates.

    4.)Well built

    5.)Portability. Comes with matching cases.

    Now here are the problems:

    1.)Cost - can be more expensive for the higher end models.

    2.)Noise - a bit on the noisey side unless you get quieter fans

    3.)Heat - SFF PCs will have a higher working temperature due to their size. However considering what people put in their Shuttles this is no surprise!!

    4.)RAM compatibility - You need to get RAM which is either on the official compatibility list or is already known to work OK. Shuttle motherboards are known to be very picky about RAM. For instance my SD37P2 preferred 4gb as 2x2gb sticks as opposed to 4x1gb sticks even though the manual did not state this at the time!

    5.)OC - can be more limited than a normal setup.
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 03-01-2009 at 07:30 PM.

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    Re: Recommendations for parts in a "small" cheap dual boot build

    If I go for an ATX motherboard, will I still be able to build a small PC? (Not sure if this is a stupid question).

    I can't find your NKS3480 anywhere on Scan or Ebuyer. Is it not available anymore?

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    Re: Recommendations for parts in a "small" cheap dual boot build

    Quote Originally Posted by Phalanx View Post
    If I go for an ATX motherboard, will I still be able to build a small PC? (Not sure if this is a stupid question).
    No, you'd need at least a mid-tower ATX chassis.
    Quote Originally Posted by Agent View Post
    ...every time Creative bring out a new card range their advertising makes it sound like they have discovered a way to insert a thousand Chuck Norris super dwarfs in your ears...

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    Re: Recommendations for parts in a "small" cheap dual boot build

    Quote Originally Posted by aidanjt View Post
    No, you'd need at least a mid-tower ATX chassis.
    So is that a yes if I use a mid tower ATX chassis?

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    Re: Recommendations for parts in a "small" cheap dual boot build



    This is with an ATX motherboard and a midi tower case. Not sure what you guys make of this? I might include a graphics card if I can find a cheap one better than an x1950 pro.

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    Re: Recommendations for parts in a "small" cheap dual boot build

    Quote Originally Posted by Phalanx View Post


    This is with an ATX motherboard and a midi tower case. Not sure what you guys make of this? I might include a graphics card if I can find a cheap one better than an x1950 pro.
    Just get a board with an nVidia IGP if you want *everything* to work now. Or you can get an AMD 780G board which will work with everything in a year or two. That'll save you from having to buy a descrete GPU, which you wont need if you wont play games on this PC.
    Quote Originally Posted by Agent View Post
    ...every time Creative bring out a new card range their advertising makes it sound like they have discovered a way to insert a thousand Chuck Norris super dwarfs in your ears...

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    Re: Recommendations for parts in a "small" cheap dual boot build

    Quote Originally Posted by Phalanx View Post


    This is with an ATX motherboard and a midi tower case. Not sure what you guys make of this? I might include a graphics card if I can find a cheap one better than an x1950 pro.
    Quote Originally Posted by Pingu2003 View Post
    pc world were / are selling a 9600GT 512mb (in store only) for £10.85 (no not a typo)

    will be very very limited but still around trust me
    http://forums.hexus.net/current-barg...b-49-97-a.html


    It's 4.98*

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    Re: Recommendations for parts in a "small" cheap dual boot build

    Even if it was £0.25, it would still be spending more money than nessecery.

    Another issue is with wireless cards, while Linux 2.6.27 (the kernel used by all the current distro versions) has added support for a whole heap of extra wireless cards. The only wireless cards which have an Iron Clad guarantee of working are Intels. Make sure you google around extensively before clicking on some random cheap-no-name-brand wireless card.
    Last edited by aidanjt; 03-01-2009 at 09:02 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Agent View Post
    ...every time Creative bring out a new card range their advertising makes it sound like they have discovered a way to insert a thousand Chuck Norris super dwarfs in your ears...

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