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Thread: Another “small box” build!

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    Question Another “small box” build!

    A close friend has asked me to build him a small ‘general purpose’ PC, in as small a case as possible. We were originally looking at Intel NUC’s but have decided that are a bit too ‘proprietary’ as well as being quite limited in expansion options and component choices, so are now looking at a slightly larger case, (no more than 20cm x 20 cm) using an Intel powered mini ITX motherboard. He would also like an internal optical drive, and the operating system will be Linux (probably Mint 16 Cinnamon) rather than Windows!

    I have found Jake_UK’s similar build threads of great interest, as well as giving us a few idea and pointers, and have currently come up with the following spec:

    Case: Streacom ST-F1CS EVO Aluminium Case – Silver (preferred choice)
    Motherboard: Asus H81I-PLUS – mini ITX
    CPU: Intel Core i3-4130 3.40GHz OR Intel i3 4330T 3.0GHz 35W
    CPU Cooler: Silverstone NT07-115X (low profile as only 34mm clearance available & I don’t like push pins!)
    Memory: 8GB (2 x 4GB) Kingston HyperX DDR3 1600MHz or similar, such as Corsair Vengeance Low Profile
    Hard drive: Samsung 840 EVO 250GB SSD OR Crucial M500 SSD - 2.5” 240GB
    Optical drive: LiteOn DL-8ATSH Slim SLOT Black 8x slim drive – or similar
    Adapter cable: Serial ATA Power Adapter Cable (Single)
    Power Supply: picoPSU 160w with AC/DC adapter block
    Case Fan: Scythe Mini Kaze, (40mm x 10mm) – or similar quiet fan

    Although I am sure that some folk will consider the choice of CPU (and possibly other components also) to be a bit excessive, this system will hopefully be in use for quite a few years, so we are looking for a bit of built in ‘future-proofing’ here. Hence the choices of the lower power Haswell range. Fortunately budget is not too much of an issue, although we don’t obviously want to go too much OTT!

    All thoughts, opinions and comments are welcome, but I will again stress that this is not intended to be a gaming system, but more of a reliable, but compact ‘work-horse… and of course a quality product!
    Last edited by Montala; 09-02-2014 at 02:11 PM. Reason: Mobo model correction!

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    Bows out! CAT-THE-FIFTH's Avatar
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    • CAT-THE-FIFTH's system
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    Re: Another “small box” build!

    You might also want to consider an AMD APU too:

    http://forums.hexus.net/pc-hardware-...tem-build.html
    http://forums.overclockers.co.uk/sho...php?t=18576384

    Trinity,Richland and Kaveri should work OK in the case you suggested. More and more applications will start to get GPU acceleration as time progresses. Some examples of potential gains:

    http://www.extremetech.com/computing...geneous-chip/5

    Edit!!

    These Viako cases used to be sold on Ebay too:

    http://viako.en.ec21.com/Viako_Mini_...1_4327902.html

    IIRC,it is the OEM behind the Streacom cases.

    Second Edit!!

    This is the seller:

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/it_tech_uk...p2047675.l2562

    They are UK based and sell a number of hard to get cases in UK - they can import a number from Korea for you at added cost.
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 06-02-2014 at 07:05 PM.


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    Re: Another “small box” build!

    Hi,

    Thanks for your prompt... I am sure there must be a 'Thanks button' here somewhere, but I haven't found it yet!

    It is very much a personal choice I know, but I have always been a bit of an Intel 'fanboy', so would like to stick with an Intel based system.

    In this particular case size is very important to the user, so we don't really want anything larger than 200 x 200 x 80 mm (W x D X H) and to include space for an an internal optical drive, which does narrow the options down a bit!

    I did find your info on Viaco interesting though, and particular the eBay seller you mentioned. Having just had a quick look at the cases on offer there we might just find something a bit mire suitable than the Streacom offering.

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    Bows out! CAT-THE-FIFTH's Avatar
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    • CAT-THE-FIFTH's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Less E-PEEN
      • CPU:
      • Massive E-PEEN
      • Memory:
      • RGB E-PEEN
      • Storage:
      • Not in any order
      • Graphics card(s):
      • EVEN BIGGER E-PEEN
      • PSU:
      • OVERSIZED
      • Case:
      • UNDERSIZED
      • Operating System:
      • DOS 6.22
      • Monitor(s):
      • NOT USUALLY ON....WHEN I POST
      • Internet:
      • FUNCTIONAL

    Re: Another “small box” build!

    I just find the Intel IGPs limiting TBH(unless it is an Iris Pro which is just expensive) and I think the AMD ones will prove far more useful with the way things are heading. Those tests on extremetech are good indication of where things will be heading and how much IGP acceleration will improve applicaition performance. IMHO,I do wish the Core i3 CPUs had the HD5000 or HD5100 IGP instead of the HD4600 even if it meant a bit lower CPU performance.

    Anyway,have you looked at this H81 thin-ITX motherboard:

    http://www.dabs.com/products/asus-h8...rds&origin=pla
    https://www.asus.com/Motherboards/H81T/

    It comes with a built-in DC-DC power supply but you will need to get a power block IIRC.

    Another forum member is using it in a build and looks decent enough for the price. It lacks a PCI-E slot but the F1 case is too small for an expansion card anyway.


    Those despicable Elk,stealing the pond weed!

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    Re: Another “small box” build!

    Quote Originally Posted by Montala View Post
    Hi,

    Thanks for your prompt... I am sure there must be a 'Thanks button' here somewhere, but I haven't found it yet!
    Thanks button appears when post count = 15
    (\__/)
    (='.'=)
    (")_(")

    Been helped or just 'Like' a post? Use the Thanks button!
    My broadband speed - 750 Meganibbles/minute

  6. Received thanks from:

    Montala (11-02-2014)

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    Re: Another “small box” build!

    Thanks to 'Cat-the-Fifth' for his last two replies.

    Although the Asus 'thin-ITX' motherboard you mention looks interesting, I am not sure it was actually ever intended for release in the UK, as the supplier you quote (who appears to be about the only one here anyway) is currently showing it as "Ordered upon request", which could mean anything! I think therefore that I will stick with my choice of the H81-Plus which is freely available.

    Looking at cases again, although there is quire a variety available, I think I would prefer to purchase one from a reputable UK supplier, such as Scan, Overclockers.co.uk, or QuietPC from whom I would also be buying other components at the same time. I feel that it is also more re-assuring to go for a product which has already received a number of very positive reviews, rather than something which, although may actually turn out to be a 'better' product, is still a bit of an unknown quantity.

    That's just me anyway, and I know that others will think differently!

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    • aidanjt's system
      • Motherboard:
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      • PSU:
      • EVGA G3 750W
      • Case:
      • Fractal Design Define C Mini
      • Operating System:
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    Re: Another “small box” build!

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    I just find the Intel IGPs limiting TBH(unless it is an Iris Pro which is just expensive) and I think the AMD ones will prove far more useful with the way things are heading.
    Uh, not if Linux is his OS choice.
    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: Another “small box” build!

    Quote Originally Posted by peterb View Post
    Thanks button appears when post count = 15
    So it does!... I should have known that, shouldn't I?

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