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Thread: SFF virgin - help please

  1. #1
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    SFF virgin - help please

    My 5 yr old dell tower has been destroyed by my 1 yr old twin daughters.

    I need a replacement that the wife says must be "discrete" (Ie invisible and with no wires!).

    I REALLY like the look of SFF Pc's.

    Currently looking at whether to Build My Own, or Buy Pre-Built

    Here are the choices:

    I like the Shuttle XPC SN85G4 for looks and +ve reviews.
    Pre-built, i could buy one from Mesh

    I also like the Aopen XC Cube AV EA65 especially for InstantON entertainment centre (as I have no standalone CD hi-fi) - InstantON means 5 second boot to access MP3's DVD's etc.
    Pre-built I could buy the EA65 system form CarreraSSC

    Problem is I have seen bad reviews for both Mesh & Carrera SSC.

    Iwould like to build my own bt have NO experience how to configure, purchase, assemble and problem solve (as I am in no doubt I would get it wrong first time).

    HELP or advice please

    Would like to build/buy a system to last 5 yrs for Multimedia Apps (Photos; DVD writing etc.) Small Office stuff & Computer Aided Manufacture (so decent processor & graphics). Not too fussed on gaming (though may dabble).
    Intel or AMD - you tell me!!

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Banned Jimmy Little's Avatar
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    Well I think most people here would say get a shuttle, I personally don’t have any experience with the other brands of SFF, but the three shuttles I have built were very easy to do, you get a step by step instruction book (with pictures ) on how to build and you can’t go wrong, as the motherboard, power supply and cables are already installed you just add the hard drive, cdrom, cpu and memory. It’s just like building lego, the bits you need to add can only really go in one place so you will be fine doing it yourself mate.. go for it they are very ‘neat and tidy’ plus can be moved around effortless and they are pretty quite compared to a standard pc these days.

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    What Bobby said: Shuttles are really easy to put together. A friend of mine has a Qbiq and swears by it. They have a second 5.25" drive bay too.

    Once you've gone SFF, whatever flavour, you'll never go back to big box.
    All effort is useless

  4. #4
    MD
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    • MD's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus P8Z77-M PRO
      • CPU:
      • i5 - i3570k
      • Memory:
      • 32GB Corsair Vengeance
      • Storage:
      • 2 x 256GB SSD's (Samsung and Crucial)
      • Graphics card(s):
      • NVidia 640
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      • Corsair 600W
      • Case:
      • Silverstone TJ08e MATX
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      • Win 8
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      • 24" Dell Flat Panel
      • Internet:
      • 60mb Virgin Media
    if you want a full break down of what to get if you go shuttle give us your budget and then we can price it up and spec it right for you.

    m@
    Please do not message me about Scan Free shipping, I no longer work for HEXUS.net

  5. #5
    AKA Chrispynutt Gunbuster's Avatar
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    • Gunbuster's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Aorus AX370 Gaming K7
      • CPU:
      • Ryzen 7 1700x + Scythe Kotetsu MK I
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      • 32GB: 4x 8GB HyperX Fury 2400mhz CL15 DDR4
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    I have been very impressed with my Soltek qBic in terms of build quality. I think the time has passed when Shuttle were the only good SFF builder and it would be unwise to discount other makes. They are still the brand leader, but if you want a media center style system that Aopen sounds great. Also Aopen generally get very good press on www.silentpcreview.com and www.sfftech.com. As for prebuilding its all relative If someone is willing to sell you what you want and slap a nice warranty on it cool. However I quite like tinkering with my qBic.
    AMD vs Intel is a whole can of worms I don't even want to open, although the last 5 processor I've used were all AMDs. Personally buy the best value processor for what you need, taking into account the SFFs available for that processor. Being I quite like the sound of that Aopen I'd say Intel. As for GFX get something like a Radeon 9600 they barely produce any heat and are very good for 2D power.

  6. #6
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    shuttles are nice, take 30 mins to put together, but they can be noisy, and tend to be hot. also the lack of upgradability can be a bummer, but then you are getting a very small, neat n tidy package :>
    er, if your northbridge fan is humming loudly, disconnect it. _dont_ kick the side of the case, it _will_ break it.
    i know :/

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