In about 3 weeks I'll be building a system based around an AOpen MP965-D
. In case you're not familiar with this barebones beauty the website giving the specs and some pics is here: http://minipc.aopen.com/Global/spec.htm
I like this thing. It's tiny which means I'll be able to take it with me in my bag quite readily. (I already have a laptop but I'd like something with a little more grunt. NB: I won't be gaming on this thing.) It also has a good amount/variety of ports, a good chipset, etc.
Silence isn't an absolute must in this instance at all. However, I'll be using this computer predominantly in Bangkok and therefore considerations of heat are important. The reason I'm waiting 3 weeks before I build it is that I'm holding out for the new Penryn 45 nm CPUs to become available (I currently live in Australia) in the hope that they will:
a) offer greater performance; and
b) run cooler than the current 65 nm Intel mobile CPUs.
I'm weighing up all the mobile CPUs in the 45 nm range (i.e. T9500, T9300, T8300, T8100
). Here's Intel's comparison page: http://www.intel.com/products/processor/core2duo/specifications.htm?iid=prod_core2duo+tab_spec
Do you think that buying a T9500 (which runs at 2.60 GHz) and throttling it down to say 2.20 GHz will improve temperatures (and as a side effect, CPU fan speed) significantly? Or am I best to simply go with the T8100 (which runs at 2.10 GHz) and will presumably be much cheaper?
Furthermore, the T9xxx CPUs have 6 MB of cache whereas the T8xxx CPUs have 'only' 3 MB. What are your thoughts on potential performance differences and power consumption differences depending on the amount of cache on die?
Another question relates to the HDD that I will need to put inside
the barebones case. Should I be looking at a 7200 RPM 2.5 inch drive or do you think a 5400 RPM 2.5 inch drive will be sufficient? That is to say, is the difference in speed noticeable? I've never used a 5400 RPM drive before. I don't need a lot of storage space. In some senses, the less the better as I have external drives for my storage needs. The drive in the case will only run the OS and applications. Again, remember that silence isn't the priority here but is seen by me as an added bonus.
I'll be putting in 4 GB of RAM and running either one of the Ubuntu flavours of Linux or Windows XP x64 (a license of which I already have).
Thanks for reading thru' my rather long post. I hope I've made myself clear. Any comments would be highly appreciated.
PS: Is anyone aware of AOpen's plans to release a newer version of this barebones system in the nearish future? I hate buying a machine only to find that a new and better one by the same company is on the market the following week.