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I'm thinking about trying to build one of those mini computers for Christmas. Like shuttle makes... anybody have any suggestions as to a good small case? Will I need specialized hardware inside it or does it just fit in a more compact area? Thanks.

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I built one Shuttle system - it was excellent.

You have to first decide what are you using a small form factor (SFF) PC for - gaming? PVR? LAN party rig?

Best to stick with a lower speed processor (e.g. Pentium 4 2.4 GHz Northwood - do not get a Prescott!) as the faster ones get too hot for the small form factor's cooling system

The SFF systems I've seen mainly have an AGP slot for a video card. They use onboard sound, ethernet, firewire etc. so you really don't need other PCI cards.

The Shuttle system I built was for a PVR and could fit a Radeon 9200 All-In-Wonder with no probs.

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Well, I don't want to spend too much money so it's primarily going to be just a decent mid-high end computer. I'm gonna try to get a Nvidia card because this computer will be running linux. This way I can have my main computer and one with linux to play on. Did you buy the shuttle case direct from shuttle? Thanks.

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(CompuSmart here in Canada).

CompuSmart rocks, if you don't have access to a Chinatown in a University district, as I do. I've spent a lot of money at CompuSmart since they appeared in Toronto.

I've spent much more in Chinatown. Found a great store that gave me a heck of a deal on a FireWire networking cable because I purchased a dirt cheap Logitech keyboard at the same time.

Canadians, look for CompuSmart if it's nearby. Not always the best price, but their sale prices are stupidly good.

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It's smaller and designed to fit in the micro PC cases like Shuttle makes. You do lose the ability to add extra hardware. If you are lucky, you can get one with an AGP slot and one PCI slot. If you get an ATI All-In-Wonder video card, you have your TV and recording capabilities plus you have room for a sound card like an Audigy 2 ZS (great for a 7.1 sound setup for a home theater experiance).

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Well, I decided to go with a regular ATX case. I got a 550 Watt power supply and put that in. I also put in an old CD drive and floppy drive, as well as 4 SCSI 9 gig 10,000 RPM drives. I've got a PCI SCSI Controller that I'm going to use. I've been looking online and have pretty much decided on this:

http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc....-103-483&depa=1

It's in my price range. However, I'm at a loss as to what motherboard to get. There's some on newegg that are about $80 dollars and most seem to be around $100. There's one here that is on sale until tomorrow...

http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProductDesc....-136-147&depa=0

I want 10/100/1000 LAN onboard. No Video onboard. Audio onboard. USB and Firewire. An AGP slot. RAID support. ATX form factor. And of course the 754 socket for the AMD64 processor. You guys have any thoughts? Thanks. :)

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I had my eye on that DFI LANPARTY MOBO and after seeing it real at local FRY's store that is the first time I would considering adding UV lites.

I'm up for for some upgrades on an old 1GHZ Pentium

look up Tom'sHardware.com review on this DFI LANPARTY mobo and see if it would convince you further.

Good luck, let us know what happens

Cpl :thumbsup:

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Well, I got it. As well as a 512MB stick of RAM. I'll probably pull one from my current system to boost it to 1 GIG. Thanks for the link. The reviews online sold me. I'll post some pictures later. :)

Edited by firefly2442
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You never push the pins of a CPU in. It drops in after being aligned, or it's not aligned. Never put pressure on the pins of a CPU. Ever.

Now, the heatsink, that's where a bit of pressure (and I mean a bit) is alright.

If the chip won't drop, check the keyed corner to ensure it's aligned properly.

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Check out links to the Thermal Paste Shootout here:

http://forums.3dretreat.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=4804

The Shin-Etsu paste comes on top, but it's hard to find, and there are different variations.

I'd suggest you usually can't go wrong with Arctic Silver.

Either Arctic Silver 5

http://www.arcticsilver.com/as5.htm

Or Arctic Silver Ceramique (which is what I used) if you want s non-conductive thermal compound.

http://www.arcticsilver.com/ceramique.htm

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Ok. So I put everything together. Nervously, I push the power button....

nothing happens.

Oh right, the power supply button in the back. I switch that on and push the power button again...

The system hums to life and I look at the screen and it's starting up! It immediately goes to the BIOS. There, I instantly go to the System Health section where it has system temps and fan speeds. The CPU temp is hovering around 50 degrees C. That's OK, the thermal paste proabably has to burn in. However, there is a setting for the fan speed. I see that it's at 50 degrees that the CPU fan kicks in at 100%. Well, I want it a bit lower so I put it to 45. Then I go and restart the computer. Now all I can do is watch the logo come up and I don't know how to get back to the BIOS. I tried F10, F8. Everything I could think of. Either I'm not pushing it at the right time or it's the wrong button. HELP! :wacko:

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Ok, I've spent ALL day trying to get this to work. I've got a Symbios SCSI Controller (8952U). It's great, it's got a SCSI connector for external drives and internal. I hook it up and hook up 4 of 9 GIG 10,000 RPM scsi drives that I have. Start it up. Boot linux. Go to format drives. Only one shows up..... hmmm.... I go back and go into the configuration utility. Not much help. I tried every single setting I could think of to get it to work. It seems to default to a single drive. I took it out and tried it in another computer. Same deal. Any thoughts? ...

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What version of Linux are you using? Does it include drivers for your particular SCSI controller card?

I know with installing WinXP, you usually have to install a RAID controller's drivers from a floppy disk shortly after booting from the WinXP CD.

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I looked into it some more and it seems like the drivers I am using are outdated. I got the new ones but I can't install them because I don't know where the Linux Root Tree is at. The default is /usr/src/linux but it's not there. I'm using DSL (www.damnsmalllinux.org), a variation of Knoppix. I asked over there at their forums so maybe they can tell me....

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do they have cases desined kind of like a laptop without the screen ? and motheroards to fit, but i.e in the back of the case has all the plugs as a regular pc would have......

im talking like mabe 14x14x1 inches or maybe smaller,

mainly because my sister was looking at this thing here,

http://hip-e.com/

wich is alright it is kind of intreasting but its a basicly still a computer with a price of 1800$

im sure i can make somthing with similare if not more peformance and it still be pretty compact and small and similare looking wich she likes,

dell.jpg

like dell cases are nice but i want somthing thinner still .

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