I've been researching building a mini-ITX pseudo-gaming PC, based on the upcoming Silverstone Sugo SG05 and probably something like an MSI IM-Q35. I hadn't seriously considered a Shuttle system until I took a very close look yesterday at a couple new-ish models - SP45H7
. And I'd want to use a Shuttle PC62 power supply (200W, fanless, with external power brick), and make it fit if it doesn't have the appropriate mounting holes. The size is only a little bigger than the Silverstone case, so I could live with it.
But can I silence the rest of the system?
First of all, I would be doing RAID with a couple SSD's, and then have another 500Gb 2.5" drive for storage. Shuttle says that there's not onboard RAID, so I guess I'd have to go with a PCI card for that... Would that be worse/better/same as an onboard solution? My concern is that standard PCI might not have enough bandwidth. Another alternative is going with one of the slightly bigger Shuttle systems. And also, I shouldn't have a problem fitting 3 notebook drives with some slight ghetto-modding, should I?
Fans - I would definitely replace the one in the back with a very quiet one... and probably put in another fan wherever I can make it fit. First of all, any problems with those suggestions? And secondly, where should I put the extra fan for maximum cooling, ideally without cutting any new holes (at least on the exterior of the case)? Note that I would be using a PCIe graphics card, so anything that gets a bit of airflow there would be nice (e.g., on the "left" side of the case but from the front). Oh, and I guess that if there's a northbridge fan, I'd take it off... if it gets too hot, I can put on a bigger passive heatsink (or I can do that, either way).
Would there be a difference in the power efficiency of the chipsets (P45 vs. G45)? My intuition tells me that G45 would be better, but I'm not sure if there would actually be any difference if I'm not using the onboard video or sound. Again, keep in mind that I'm using a PCIe card for graphics, and note that I use a USB DAC for sound. Both of the motherboards have an ICH10 south-bridge. And speaking of which - what about power use of onboard RAID controller on something like P35 or X48 chipset vs. G45 + PCI RAID card?
Slim optical drive mounting - possible? Willing to do minor modding for this... Really don't want to use a full-size optical drive, but I think that the cases have "hidden" drive bays, so it might be hard to get around them to allow a slim optical drive to open.
Are there any other mods that come recommended for such shuttle systems? How easy is it to mod Shuttle cases/systems, in general?