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Thread: Micro ITX case advice

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    Micro ITX case advice

    I am looking to build or buy a Micro ITX system. Not sure where to start though. I very much like the Apple Mac Mini case so something of that size but good spec? Again, not sure about budget but not more than say £400? ish!

    Anyone able to advice what components to get or is there a complete system available 'off the shelf' that i can buy and even upgrade if need be. I don't really game but would like it to have 4gig ram and a good CPU and a very quiet PSU!!! Many thanks in advance

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    Re: Micro ITX case advice

    I'd strongly consider something like this
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Product.aspx?WebProductId=1043201

    you could build your own but I don't see much advantage.

    They come without blu ray for about £250, even cheaper..
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Asroc...320GB-HDD-HDMI

    If you did want a case, maybe something like this..
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Silve...th-fanless-PSU but given the extreme lack of graphics options you will no doubt end up with an AMD IGP solution for graphics... or an ION board as above.

    More of a mini iTX gaming solution
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Silve...00W-80plus-PSU

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    Re: Micro ITX case advice

    Are they better than the New Mac Mini's?

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    Re: Micro ITX case advice

    Well the CPU is much better (for performance) than the ION system. That said, the ION is bettter specced and uses less power..

    Horses for courses.. I'd get the ION system for media, and based on price basic gaming and general purpose stuff. I'd only get a mac mini if the system needed a strong cpu and in that case would buy one of the silverstones and get a zotac mini ITX motherboard found here
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Product.aspx?WebProductId=992833

    That said I might be biased.. this summing up my feelings on mac minis.
    http://forums.hexus.net/apple-mac/14...-good-use.html

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    Re: Micro ITX case advice

    The Silverstone is a bit reluctant to show the external PSU - certainly there's no mention of its size. I assume it would be very similar to a 120W laptop PSU.
    Found only one review of it (in German and not very detailed):
    http://www.minitechnet.de/silverstone_lc12_1.html
    Still at 184x93x255mm it's only 4.36 litres which is pretty small. However, the Mac Mini measures 165x165c51mm which is less than 1.4 litres making it less than a third of the size of the Silverstone.
    Of course a self-built ITX machine is upgradeable whereas the Mac Mini is barely able to be opened.

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    Re: Micro ITX case advice

    Quote Originally Posted by kompukare View Post
    The Silverstone is a bit reluctant to show the external PSU - certainly there's no mention of its size. I assume it would be very similar to a 120W laptop PSU.
    Found only one review of it (in German and not very detailed):
    http://www.minitechnet.de/silverstone_lc12_1.html
    Still at 184x93x255mm it's only 4.36 litres which is pretty small. However, the Mac Mini measures 165x165c51mm which is less than 1.4 litres making it less than a third of the size of the Silverstone.
    Of course a self-built ITX machine is upgradeable whereas the Mac Mini is barely able to be opened.
    Well I don't think anyone would expect a self built Mini ITX to rival the mini in size but you could easily exceed it's performance for less money.

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    Re: Micro ITX case advice

    The Mac mini can be upgraded though as i have seen this mentioned?

    Is the Mac Mini a quiet beast?

    So confused! Thought the ION system was under powered from what i have read but you guys say no?

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    Re: Micro ITX case advice

    Quote Originally Posted by pcup View Post
    The Mac mini can be upgraded though as i have seen this mentioned?

    Is the Mac Mini a quiet beast?

    So confused! Thought the ION system was under powered from what i have read but you guys say no?
    Can it? You can maybe change the RAM or HDD although it's probably a nasty job knowing apple.. if at all possible. I don't care to know much about them though

    Id imagine it is quiet yes. As is the ION.

    Under powered for what? It's a dual core atom, it's be no means a power house but it's certainly got plenty enough kick for most general PC use including light gaming. Niether will be good for it though being strangled by the relatively rubbish graphics.

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    Re: Micro ITX case advice

    Actually the Mac Mini is one of the few Apple products in which I can see some merit. Okay, like every small Apple product opening it (without damaging it!) requires nerves of steel and an endless supply of lollipop sticks, but for a very small and quiet media server (I know the hard disk is a bit small and being 2.5" the maximum is 500GB) nothing else comes close.
    Actually, Apple apparently list a special modified putty knife in their service manual for the Mini.

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    Re: Micro ITX case advice

    Quote Originally Posted by kompukare View Post
    Apple apparently list a special modified putty knife in their service manual for the Mini.
    Shame they can't be engineers and specify screws..

    Still not seeing the benefit of the mini over something like the Asrock ION which will esentially do everything the mini does...and more.. and is cheaper.

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    Re: Micro ITX case advice

    If you're after a nice looking, compact system then try this case;

    http://www.itx-warehouse.co.uk/produ...?ProductId=806

    Expensive but it's really a nice looking bit of kit. Add in an E5300 (£50), 4GB DDR2 800 (£40), a 320GB 2.5" HDD (£45), the Zotac 9300-ITX WiFi (£115) and a 120/110W Pico PSU (£55) and you're looking at £455 all in. You could save about £50 by knocking that spec down a little (smaller HDD, less RAM, 8200-ITX WiFi board) if that's too expensive or there's a huge number of cheaper ITX cases around to choose from.

    Of the prebuilts mentioned i'd go for the Ion one personally. It's a good, cheap and small all-rounder. The single core Atom processors are a bit crap, the whole OS feels like it's struggling at times (from what i've seen on netbooks anyway) but the Dual Core variant is able to keep up as long as you're not running processor intensive apps.
    Last edited by McPhee; 18-07-2009 at 12:31 AM.

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    Re: Micro ITX case advice

    There is also the recently released Antec ISK 300-65, this would be a good fit for an Atom build.

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    Re: Micro ITX case advice

    So Ion looks the best then.

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    Re: Micro ITX case advice

    Depends on what you want to use it for, I would agree with staffsMike assessment. The Ion (dual core version) is decent for an everyday PC, but bear in mind that the Atom doesn't play flash videos great if that is a consideration for you. I think viewing in the standard window, it is ok, but full screen it will get choppy. But I hear the Atom with the ASRock box and the Zotac board can also be overclocked to 2Ghz which will improve things.

    If you want a beefier setup, go with the Zotac ITX board, or there is the J&W Minix 780G if you want to use an AMD cpu.

    As an additional comment, Antec are also working on an ISK 400 mITX case if you are prepared to wait. It's supposed to have an internal 250w PSU instead of the external brick on the ISK 300.

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    Re: Micro ITX case advice

    Oh, ok. More to think about then.

    Just want a capable Mini PC that will sit on my desk, is quiet and runs Internet etc well. Not into gaming as i said and as for flash, well, only ever view it in a small screen section.

    I still keep looking at the Mac Mini though as it is so small and said to be very quiet indeed.
    Last edited by pcup; 18-07-2009 at 10:21 AM.

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    Re: Micro ITX case advice

    Yeah, I'm in the same situation, also want to move to a mini ITX build for an everyday PC, haven't decided on which option to take yet. Still researching. Although I'll probably wait until what the Antec ISK 400 is like before making a decision.

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