SFF college computer build, need help!
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Author:  Resiroth [ Sun Jul 04, 2010 9:06 pm ]
Post subject:  SFF college computer build, need help!

I've finally decided to build a SFF computer for college (I like to game). This allows me to buy a cheaper laptop and not worry about battery life. Anyway, this is the proposed hardware:

4gb ram
intel e7400 (2.8ghz stock, might go to 3.4 if I need to..it's 45nm so it should be reasonably cool)
GTX 465 (going to flash to 470) will overclock for use in games, and downclock when outside of games. I don't care about noise while gaming.
500GB hard drive...possibly 80gb ssd (replacing) since an external will store all of my movies/music.
microATX motherboard:(not positive about this one, was looking at
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6813128357
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6813128388)
modular OCZ 550W fatal1ty power supply (surprisingly quiet)

lian li v351b or TT lanbox lite are the two top running cases. Prices look like 80 dollars for the TT (90 without a window) and 110 for the lian li. I'm pretty concerned about the potential cooling issues with both, the lian li has the ugly perforations in the front that I'm not particularly fond of, but looks like it has better build quality. The lanbox looks great in terms of modularity (basically everything can be removed) which appeals to me since I don't plan on having a DVD drive or bulky hard drives (no more than 1, maybe 2.5/ssd sized.) The lanbox would allow me to remove the extra bays I wouldn't be using...is this possible with the lian li?

In addition: What CPU cooler do you guys recommend? I'm currently using a xigmatek 1283, but that has a clearance of 160mm which apparently isn't realistic. I want a quiet one that has the capability for mild overclocking (10-15%).

I would be transporting this by plane (carry-on) so if anyone has any tips about how to ease that process they'd be appreciated. Thanks for your recommendations!

Author:  JamieG [ Sun Jul 04, 2010 10:13 pm ]
Post subject: 

If you are not too price-constrained on the case:

http://lan-gear.com/shop/index.php?l=product_detail&p=1 (US$179)

Author:  Resiroth [ Mon Jul 05, 2010 1:31 am ]
Post subject: 

Thanks for the response, that looks good but it seems a bit pricey haha. I'll continue to look into it...
200 mm (W) x 360 mm (H) x 312mm (L) for silverstone SG03B-F
288 mm (W), 217 mm (H), 370 mm(L), for the blackheart
222 mm (W) x 176 mm (H) x 276 mm (L) for a new case I'm considering.
It's mini-atx, but that may be what I'm looking for...
http://www.silverstonetek.com/products/ ... 5&area=usa
People say you can slot in an ATX power supply without issue if you are not going to use the optical tray (which I'm not). The difference in size may be substantial...just trying to weigh the options/variables...I would need a arctic cooler or w/e from newegg so that's another 35 (none of the smaller cases support larger coolers except the one you posted) so that's a benefit if I go with the darkheart.

ITX motherboards look like they're more expensive than micro ATX too..50-70 dollars more expensive.
http://www.sizeasy.com/page/size_compar ... -vs-lanbox
naming was garbled but the black is the sg03B-F, the yellow is the darkheart, and the smallest of the bunch is the SG05. My case is an ATCS840.
The Darkheart definitely is a more appealing squarish size than the lanbox, but at nearly three times the price (200) it better be...
Thanks for the suggestion though...I'll keep it in mind.

Here's another link with the lian li:
http://www.sizeasy.com/page/size_compar ... vs-lian-li
and with a few removed:
http://www.sizeasy.com/page/size_compar ... vs-lian-li

The lian li has some definite appeal as it is a compromise between the darkheart and the lanbox...but I'm not really digging the perforations in the front. With black it is pretty good looking though...If anyone else has thoughts please chime in, especially about the noise/cooling for the lian li.

Author:  Trav1s [ Mon Jul 05, 2010 4:37 am ]
Post subject: 

GIGABYTE GA-G31M-ES2L Motherboard

I have used this board to build three different systems. One with an e5200 for me and two with e3200's (one for church office and one for local business) in the past year. All are running onboard graphics. Can't tell much difference between the e5200 and e3200. Had some problems getting PATA set up (did an RMA) on the first one but the others were fine. All systems are running 2 gigs of ram. One of the e3200 systems is running Win7-64 without a hitch. Even with a mild overclock on the one at church it runs cool and is quiet. FWIW

I used this case for one (got it for $30 shipped!) and really like it. Check it out. I know you are thinking small but as you mentioned, moving to m-itx does not come without cost...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6811121071

Move to m-itx and I would suggest this case.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6811129080
Running Zotac mobo with an e5200/2gigs of Ram with 2 laptop drives (one -OS/one-data) and a leftover laptop DVD-rom drive. This is my file server that runs 24/7 and you cannot hear it when you sit at the desk where it is located. My second quite machine at home and my wife really notices loud machines after I built the quiet ones.

Author:  ilovejedd [ Mon Jul 05, 2010 5:11 am ]
Post subject: 

Do you already own the E7400? If not, then I suggest considering an LGA-1156 based build with H55/H57 motherboard and Core i3-530 or AM3 based on 780G/785G/880G motherboard and Phenom II X2 550.

Author:  hud [ Mon Jul 05, 2010 12:23 pm ]
Post subject: 

As an owner of the Lanbox Lite I can tell you it isn't any good. At least if you don't mod it. Few hints if you decide to get it:

1. The stock fans are a joke. Get new ones. With some quick dremel work you can mount two 92mm fans in the front with way less restricted airflow then stock (had setting like this for a long time). And if you plan to get rid of the optical drive bay you could fit two 12cm fans in the front. I myself am in the process of putting an 18cm Air Penetrator on the front.

2. With some very ghetto modding I was able to sgueeze a Mini Ninja in there. SI-128 fitted in without any (case) modding, but I had to remove the support bars from it to be able to mount a fan below the heatsinks fins. AXP-140 should also fit in. If you are removing the optical bay you could move the PSU to the front of the case allowing you to use any heatsink you want to. Somebody even stuck an Orochi in there.

3. With all the bays removed you would have to figure out some place to stick your HDDs into. Maybe the floor of the case.

4. Modular PSU is a must with no real place to stick extra wires into. I myself wasn't wise enough to get one. On the other hand I was stupid enough to buy this case.

5. This is no Shuttle. Actually, this thing is huuuge. If you want a SFF case, you will be sorely disappointed.

6. If you like to tinker with your system the case is a nightmare. Sides aren't removable so if you want to access the mobo you'll have to remove the PSU bay. There goes all petty attempts at cable management. And if you decide to remove the motherboard tray, you'll have to disconnect all wires going to the frontpanel.

7. Basically there's nothing you can do easily. Everythings removable and modular and stuff, but you also have to remove everything to do anything. Want to change a single fan? Be ready to empty the whole case to get access to it.

8. The whole case is just retarded.

Author:  Resiroth [ Mon Jul 05, 2010 12:41 pm ]
Post subject: 

Thanks again for the help guys, I do indeed own the e7400. I also own a xigmatek 1283 that I could use with the darkheart, but obviously not with a mini-itx build.

I was running some quick cost breakdowns:
130 motherboard
100 case(ish)
40 dollar cooler (http://www.frostytech.com/articleview.c ... cleID=2288)
so around 270+ taxes etc.
200 shipped (no tax)
50-60 motherboard
pretty small difference in cost.

The lan gear bag, while a bit too "extreme" for my taste, appears to offer sufficient protection while moving the darkheart. Does anyone know of similar cases for the sg05, or other mini ITX cases? I'd ideally like to carry it onto the plane (3-4 feet drops are terrifying for computers). Does the bag come with the darkheart? Since it looks like that type of bag would be at least 40 dollars somewhere else.

It also appears that I may have missed out on the mini ITX beta from lan gear by a day (Doh!). http://www.lan-gear.com/miniITX_spec_mom.php looks fantastic, especially for me as I don't plan on having any more than 1 3.5 inch drive, maybe even just an ssd. I also certainly wouldn't want a dvd drive so that makes this compact system quite appealing.

I'm glad to hear the motherboard is solid, 50-60 dollars just seemed too little but it appears that's enough for a mATX build. Does anyone know of some good mini-ITX boards? It needs to be LGA 775 as that is the socket of the e7400.

If the dvd drive and 3.5 inch bay is not used could a 3rd party power supply be used in the SG05? That's another bonus for the lan gear mini itx...

Thanks for the reply hud, it seems that the lanbox isn't what I'm looking for, you've saved me some time and pain. I was considering grabbing it as the cheapest solution, but it's clear I need to go a lot smaller if I want to carry this on a plane.

EDIT: the cases have to be shuttle-ish. they can't be standard form factor as that would be more awkward to carry on planes.

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