Looking at Converting

For small-form factor PCs and the (extremely small) people who love them.

Moderators: mac_h8r1, Nelliesboo

Should I switch from Full tower to an SFF?

Hell yeah, don't even think twice about it!
9
35%
Yes, but there might be a few problems you need to know
10
38%
No, keep your setup the way it is
5
19%
undecided (where I find myself currently at)
2
8%
 
Total votes : 26

Looking at Converting

Postposted on Sat Aug 23, 2003 11:35 am

Ok folks I would like some opinions on switching to SFF or not. For my main system I have an AthlonXP3000+ setup on an Nforce2 board all bundled in an Antec SX1030 case, but I've been bitten by the SFF bug. I LAN alot with friends and would like to be able to pick up this system with somewhat ease but I swear my current setup weighs close to 50lbs!

So, my question is this: Does it make sense to replace my main system with an SFF setup? I'm looking at the Shuttle SN45G (Nforce2 setup natch) and I would need to add Two drives to the mix and 1Gb of memory from the previous setup. Other than that, I figured I'd buy a DVD/CDRW combo drive from either Samsung or Sony as it looks like either is a nice fit. This is all followed by an ATI Radeon 9700Pro.

Also, what are some of the disadvantages that you've run into AFTER making the switch from form factors? Heat? Noise? GF/Wife/Significant other trying to steal it? :)

And finally, what other units are out there with the Nforce chipset (or comperable) that are made by other manufacturers than Shuttle?

All input would be greatly appreciated.

Regards,

-E
Image
mstrmold
Gerbil XP
 
Posts: 318
Joined: Mon Apr 15, 2002 3:09 pm
Location: Hollister, Ca

Postposted on Sat Aug 23, 2003 12:02 pm

It you can fit and power all the stuff you need in an SFF case, go right ahead. Personally I could never make the switch, but if you can fit everything you need inside a SFF and don't anticipate needing more, it would probably work for you.
...
mattsteg
Gerbil God
 
Posts: 15754
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2001 7:00 pm
Location: Applauding the new/old variable width forums

Postposted on Sat Aug 23, 2003 12:14 pm

I love my cubes. It's just being sure that everything you want will fit inside. For me the ultimate cube setup is:

SN45G
ATI 9700/9800 AIW
120G WD SE Drive
DVD+/-RW Drive
Universal Memory Card Reader for Floppy position

I defy you to come up with something this box can't do :D
No wonder television's a medium. It's so seldom rare or well done. -Mighty Mouse
Image
HowardDrake
Grand Gerbil Poohbah
 
Posts: 3568
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2001 7:00 pm
Location: Action Jim's Rumpus Room

Postposted on Sat Aug 23, 2003 12:20 pm

I too have a big AMD system in a Antec 1030 case. So does my best friend. We're both switching to SFFs next year when 64 bit AMD chips are in full swing.
Semi-official TR gaming group at http://www.coldblackeyes.com/forums/
emkubed
Gerbil Elder
 
Posts: 5848
Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2003 9:28 am
Location: Limbo

Postposted on Sat Aug 23, 2003 3:02 pm

HowardDrake wrote:SN45G
ATI 9700/9800 AIW
120G WD SE Drive
DVD+/-RW Drive
Universal Memory Card Reader for Floppy position

I defy you to come up with something this box can't do :D

:lol: Okay plug in 4 HDs or 2 PCI cards then :P (envious incase you can't tell)
Austin
Grand Gerbil Poohbah
 
Posts: 3673
Joined: Sat Apr 20, 2002 8:04 am
Location: Birmingham ENGLAND (some say Mars, or was it Uranus)

Postposted on Sat Aug 23, 2003 3:26 pm

Ok Howard, It looks as if that system can't make dinner and would probably be lousy in bed !!! :lol:
"Klaatu, Barrada Nikto!"
<img src="http://www.sparrowbot.com/Sigs/sig1.php?designer=drfish&sigid=8&user=niteslayer">
Niteslayer
Gerbil Jedi
 
Posts: 1557
Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2002 6:07 pm
Location: Peoples Republic of Taxachusetts not Romneyville anymore, boy are we screwed!

Postposted on Sat Aug 23, 2003 3:30 pm

Don't feel too bad, it isn't my box (yet) I just have to struggle with a SS51G with a P4 1.6A OCed to 2.1G and a DVD/CD-RW drive ;)
No wonder television's a medium. It's so seldom rare or well done. -Mighty Mouse
Image
HowardDrake
Grand Gerbil Poohbah
 
Posts: 3568
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2001 7:00 pm
Location: Action Jim's Rumpus Room

Postposted on Sat Aug 23, 2003 5:58 pm

Thanks for the input. As far as the DVD-R/RW and extra drive duties, I have a Pioneer A05 drive that I stuck in a USB 2.0/1394 enclosure as well as a 120Gb drive in a similar external case. I use that for my home movie transfers. Oh yeah, and many of the external devices I have are hooked up to a 7 port USB 2.0 hub. As far as what goes in the cube, well, a 100Gb boot drive followed by a 200Gb storage drive. You can put two hard disks in this correct? Just don't add the floppy :)

Thanks again,

-E
Image
mstrmold
Gerbil XP
 
Posts: 318
Joined: Mon Apr 15, 2002 3:09 pm
Location: Hollister, Ca

Postposted on Sat Aug 23, 2003 6:12 pm

you can stick 2 hard drives in, but 2 7200rpm drives sitting snuggly against each other may get a bit hot. if i was you i would mod the case a little and use a couple of extra fans (one over graphics, one over hard drives)
hazardous_being
Gerbil XP
 
Posts: 322
Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2003 11:43 pm
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Postposted on Sat Aug 23, 2003 6:17 pm

HowardDrake wrote:Don't feel too bad, it isn't my box (yet) I just have to struggle with a SS51G with a P4 1.6A OCed to 2.1G and a DVD/CD-RW drive ;)


He's got quite a few other boxes under his belt. :wink:
Shake it to the limit!
PING
YBK
Minister of Gerbil Affairs
 
Posts: 2859
Joined: Fri Jul 26, 2002 2:38 am
Location: Sydney

Postposted on Sat Aug 23, 2003 9:07 pm

Well I want to put this on my desk and I want it to be relatively quiet. My current setup sounds like a hair dryer on low setting. Also, since it sits below my desk this thing feels like a heater blowing onto my legs. My wife likes the idea of the cube and she is all for getting rid of both the noise pollution as well as the heat (though it will be missed during the winter :) ). So, does the "Ice" heatpipe and fan cool sufficiently? What, if anything, would you change to make it both run cool and as noise free as possible? I doubt that I will be doing any overclocking with this rig as I just got a hold of an Athlon 3200+ which should do my speed duties quite nicely (as well as folding).

Thanks again,

-E
Image
mstrmold
Gerbil XP
 
Posts: 318
Joined: Mon Apr 15, 2002 3:09 pm
Location: Hollister, Ca

Postposted on Wed Aug 27, 2003 6:59 pm

Ok folks, I went out and ordered my new box! :) Got it for $264 +$12.00 to ship with no sales tax. I will let you know how it all goes once it's together.

-E
Image
mstrmold
Gerbil XP
 
Posts: 318
Joined: Mon Apr 15, 2002 3:09 pm
Location: Hollister, Ca

Postposted on Tue Sep 09, 2003 11:16 pm

Conversion complete. My mini l33t box consists of the following:

Athlon XP 3200+
1Gb DDR
ATI Radeon 9700 Pro
200Gb Western Digital 8Mb Special Edition HD
100Gb Western Digital HD
Lite On 48x24x48x16 CDRW/DVD combo Drive Black

It is oh so quiet and the wife gave me the thumbs up in approval. :) Trust me, that is a BIG deal.

Thanks all for your input.

-E
Image
mstrmold
Gerbil XP
 
Posts: 318
Joined: Mon Apr 15, 2002 3:09 pm
Location: Hollister, Ca

Postposted on Tue Sep 09, 2003 11:28 pm

And I trust this little gem is folding for TR ;)
No wonder television's a medium. It's so seldom rare or well done. -Mighty Mouse
Image
HowardDrake
Grand Gerbil Poohbah
 
Posts: 3568
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2001 7:00 pm
Location: Action Jim's Rumpus Room

Postposted on Wed Sep 10, 2003 10:55 am

But of course! I had to do a burn in on the new box, right? ;)


-E
Image
mstrmold
Gerbil XP
 
Posts: 318
Joined: Mon Apr 15, 2002 3:09 pm
Location: Hollister, Ca

Switching?

Postposted on Thu Sep 18, 2003 10:39 am

Let me know how you like it cause i'm considering switching over. I have 2 hard drives i'd like to put in there. How's the sound on this thing? I have a Soundblaster card if i had to put it in there.

[quote="mstrmold"]Ok folks, I went out and ordered my new box! :) Got it for $264 +$12.00 to ship with no sales tax. I will let you know how it all goes once it's together.

-E[/quote]
megbu36
Gerbil In Training
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Sep 18, 2003 10:36 am

Postposted on Thu Sep 18, 2003 11:00 am

The audio on that SFF will be better than your Sound Blaster product.
Semi-official TR gaming group at http://www.coldblackeyes.com/forums/
emkubed
Gerbil Elder
 
Posts: 5848
Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2003 9:28 am
Location: Limbo

Postposted on Thu Sep 18, 2003 11:03 am

I'm glad you're not having any of the issues I've got with my SN45G. The stupid thing won't post unless you reset it immediately after turning it on, and while it will fold 100% stable for days, when I game on it it has a tendency to blow up for no reason.
lookin at a thing in a bag.
AmishRakeFight
Graphmaster Gerbil
 
Posts: 1402
Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2003 9:41 am
Location: Racine, Wisconsin.

Switching

Postposted on Thu Sep 18, 2003 11:18 am

So I'm looking at getting an SFF but i'm not sure what the best bang for your buck would be. I'm a moderate gamer and I'd like to be able to install two harddrives which much problems. Any ideas? :D
megbu36
Gerbil In Training
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Sep 18, 2003 10:36 am

Postposted on Thu Sep 18, 2003 11:30 am

I have an SN41G2 with the following

2500+ Barton
1GB HyperX PC3500 RAM
2x 160GB Seagate 7200.7 w/8MB cache
Lite-On combo drive
9700 Pro
Hauppauge PVR 250 tuner
Dell 18" LCD


and it works beautifully

Before the year is out I plan on buying 2 more. A SN45G and a SK41G. The 45G will be mine. The SK41 is going to the fiance and the SN41 is going to her daughter (gotta get her in training for LAN parties :D ).


edit: I've had many different hard drives (1 200GB WD, 80GB + 120WD, 200GB WD + 60GB Maxtor, 100GB WD + 200GB WD all 8mb Cache) in this box and settled on the Seagates for low noise and low heat dissipation. The 200GB alone created more heat than both the seagates together.
ChangWang
Gerbil First Class
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 144
Joined: Wed Jul 24, 2002 8:41 am
Location: Douglasville GA

Postposted on Thu Sep 18, 2003 11:39 am

with two hard drives did you have any problems with overheating? or do you have a special setup?
megbu36
Gerbil In Training
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Sep 18, 2003 10:36 am

Postposted on Thu Sep 18, 2003 2:32 pm

So far so good with both hard drives. I have yet to experence any overheating issues, but I can hear when the hard disk access' due to how quiet all the other components are :) .
No special cooling on the hard disks, but I am starting to worry about it even though nothing has presented itself as having a problem. Wierd, huh? Just my track record at being the first on the block with something new I guess. I'm in waiting until something DOES happen :o

As far as booting/rebooting... hmm, no I haven't seen this at all with this platform. I'm wondering what process is getting "stuck" on powerup that requires you to do a hard reset for proper power on. I'd suspect either a pull up resistor on the mainboard or a capacitor that isn't holding a charge. Power supply could be the culprit too. You can buy an ATX power tester off of Ebay for $15 and it will show your +5v, +7v and +12v lines at startup to see if the PS is bad. Just a suggestion. As far as shutting down during gaming, you got me on that one. The usual culprit in this is either your box is overheating, or, bad memory.

-E
Image
mstrmold
Gerbil XP
 
Posts: 318
Joined: Mon Apr 15, 2002 3:09 pm
Location: Hollister, Ca

New SFF

Postposted on Fri Sep 19, 2003 6:05 am

So if you were to buy an SFF which one would you chose? I'm really thinking about switching but I dunno, the whole thing about going from a full size to this small cube is throwing me off.
megbu36
Gerbil In Training
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Sep 18, 2003 10:36 am

Postposted on Fri Sep 19, 2003 1:00 pm

Well, I decided that the trade off's were worth it. You have to weigh in all the pro's and con's if it works or not for you. Take a look at your current setup. Check how many PCI slots you are using, what you would need for your new setup AND what future expandibility you'd need. Is two hard disk's enough for you? Can you get by with one optical unit the doubles as a CD/DVD/CDRW reader?
I can tell you that I could just because I have both FireWire and USB 2.0 peripherals like a Pioneer DVR-105 burner and another 120Gb external Hdd so expansion from a drive standpoint isn't an issue. My PCI slot isn't in use at the moment, but what more do I need to add? Video capture? Nah, have a PVR in the living room.

Well, if you go with an AMD solution, I would recommend the SN45G from Shuttle. But I am being biased here for obvious reasons ;) . Its quite a nice setup. In the end it all depends on what you want out of your system.

-E
Image
mstrmold
Gerbil XP
 
Posts: 318
Joined: Mon Apr 15, 2002 3:09 pm
Location: Hollister, Ca

Postposted on Fri Sep 19, 2003 1:14 pm

Well I have only used an AMD for years actually (like it better than Pentium Chips), and the only extra cards I have are a Video Card, Sound Card, and Ethernet Card. I need to plug in two harddrives, and as of right now I can just not use my DVD drive, only really need the CD-RW. Any ideas where I can get the best deal? I need to pick up the Shuttle, processor and memory.
megbu36
Gerbil In Training
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Sep 18, 2003 10:36 am

Postposted on Fri Sep 19, 2003 10:06 pm

Best cube prices are at http://www.excaliberpc.com. Even cheaper than newegg. I'd recommend the SN41G2 if you plan to use the onboard, or the SN45G if you don't. I like the SK41G for a cheap cube option too :)
No wonder television's a medium. It's so seldom rare or well done. -Mighty Mouse
Image
HowardDrake
Grand Gerbil Poohbah
 
Posts: 3568
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2001 7:00 pm
Location: Action Jim's Rumpus Room

Postposted on Sat Sep 20, 2003 2:29 pm

Yup, excaliberpc followed by Atek computers http://www.atek.com for the cube.
As far as processor and memory, NewEgg has some of the better deals as long as you don't have to pay sales tax (California) as you usually can get their products with free shipping. My experience with NewEgg shipping is that they are extremely fast!

-E
Image
mstrmold
Gerbil XP
 
Posts: 318
Joined: Mon Apr 15, 2002 3:09 pm
Location: Hollister, Ca


Return to SFF Station

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests

cron