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 Post subject: Re: building a SFF system for Linux
PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 1:06 am 
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The Mini Skeleton has enough room for the cooler for a 35 W CPU, you don't really need anything bigger.

The Silverstone SG05 would give you the option to use a more powerful processor, up to and including the Core i5/i7 models.
I would still get a fan controller, and perhaps look into swapping the 120mm front fan for a quieter model.


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 Post subject: Re: building a SFF system for Linux
PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 3:41 am 
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dougz wrote:
f the following, I'd probably go for the H61N, but maybe other posters can make a suggestion.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductLi ... rchInDesc=

An SSD will make a big difference in system and program startup, the system will feel much snappier.
If the main drive is an SSD I would go with a H67 board since they have Sata 6GBb/s like the newer SSDs, i.e. Crucial m4 which would be my recommendation. A Crucial M4 starts at $115 for 64 GB vs $90 for a Scorpio Blue. If you need more space the price difference will be much bigger though.
mzimmers wrote:
The mini's an interesting idea, but I'm in the mood to tinker a little. Plus I like the idea of something a bit more modular.

So, if I start with:

case: Antec Mini Skeleton
MB: Intel DH67CF
CPU: i3-2100T

...does that sound like a sensible start? All I'll need is a drive (maybe a Scorpio Blue) and memory then, and that's pretty cheap.

Another question: this case has a relatively huge fan sitting a few inches above the CPU. Do I need a dedicated CPU cooler in addition?

Thanks.

It does sound sensible if you like the Antec Skeleton, I find it hideous. You do need a top blower cooler, but not necessarily an extra fan.
I would recommend a Lian Li Q07 with a Pico PSU and external power brick.
If you use an external PSU, there is enough room to fit a large cooler like the Scythe Ninja 3 or Thermalright HR-02 Macho in a fairly small package. On a 35W CPU you might not even need a fan on these huge coolers, or maybe just a very low <500rpm one.

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 Post subject: Re: building a SFF system for Linux
PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 3:55 am 
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boost wrote:
It does sound sensible if you like the Antec Skeleton, I find it hideous. You do need a top blower cooler, but not necessarily an extra fan.
I would recommend a Lian Li Q07 with a Pico PSU and external power brick.
If you use an external PSU, there is enough room to fit a large cooler like the Scythe Ninja 3 or Thermalright HR-02 Macho in a fairly small package. On a 35W CPU you might not even need a fan on these huge coolers, or maybe just a very low <500rpm one.

Close to my current setup. It runs Xubuntu btw. ;)

With the DH67CF though, be careful when choosing a CPU cooler, it has a large IC on the back, making a lot of big coolers impossible to install. I had a perfectly good Ninja 3 that I intended to use, had to get a Arctic Cooling Freezer 13 Pro instead. Not a bad cooler, but not my first choice.

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 Post subject: Re: building a SFF system for Linux
PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 7:35 am 
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Hi, boost -

Thanks for the suggestion on the SSD. The Lian Li case is just too big for what I want, though. Originally I was hoping for something roughly the size of my Mac mini. I know that's not going to happen, but I still want to stay as small as possible.

Vicotnik: If I upgrade my chip to a 65W model, I probably don't need a super-aggressive CPU cooler, do I? But, if I did want to install something like the Ninja 3, what board would you recommend? (And of course, this puts me back in the realm of the bigger cases, I'm sure.)

Faustus: any particular recommendation on a fan controller? I ask because I'm thinking of adding one to my Stardom drive enclosure.

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 Post subject: Re: building a SFF system for Linux
PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 10:03 am 
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There will be a revised version of the Antec ISK 100 out soon. The Antec ISK 110 looses the fan and will hopefully fix the alignment issue. The only suitable cooler is the Scythe Kozuti, which is perfectly fine for a 35W CPU.
Another nice case is the Lian Li Q09. The Scythe Kozuti will fit, but I couldn't find if a Big Shuriken would fit, too.
The Morex T-3500 looks to be well ventilated and comes with a suitable Pico PSU style PSU.
The Yeong Yang YY-C581 is a bit bigger but would fit a bigger CPU cooler if no optical drive is installed.
The Silverstone OEM cases Petit 06 and Petit 09 look nice, but I don't know if they're available.

If the computer can't be bigger than a Mac Mini, why not buy a (used) Mac Mini?

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 Post subject: Re: building a SFF system for Linux
PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 11:33 am 
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Hey, boost -

Thanks for the links to the various cases.

Maybe I should clarify something: when I said I was hoping for something the size of my mini, I didn't mean that I demanded it; it was just something to shoot for. Obviously, if I'm going to use a mini-ITX board, it's going to be bigger.

Now, that said, one of the reasons I don't want any bigger case than necessary is, it's going to be wasted space.

1. I don't need or want an optical drive (or even an opening for it, though I'm probably stuck with that).
2. I don't need a graphics card
3. I only need one disk, and 2.5" is fine. I'll probably go with an SSD anyway.
4. I don't even need many external connectors: one Ethernet, a USB for keyboard, something for monitor, and one more USB port is about it.

I mean, that's really *it.* Just something to run some flavor of Linux, and Qt. The GUIs I produce through Qt will be modest enough not to need a graphics card. Now, if I need a CPU cooler, so be it...I'll happily get a case that will accommodate one. But I'd rather keep the box as small as practicably possible.

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 Post subject: Re: building a SFF system for Linux
PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 10:06 pm 
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boost wrote:
The only suitable cooler is the Scythe Kozuti, which is perfectly fine for a 35W CPU.


The Kozuti is perfectly fine for a 95W CPU. I'm using one on my i5-2500k and after the ASC cured, it hits about 68* under 4xP95+FM, which is of course completely unreasonable load (and admittedly, it's much cooler now than it was a couple of months ago). I'm aware a lot of people here aren't happy with that sort of temperature, but it's a long way from thermal throttling, and as a ceiling for artificial load, it's perfectly fine for a general-use system. I've never come anywhere near that when gaming, and I doubt this system would either. As a side benefit, the Kozuti is small enough that it only needs screws through the motherboard, not a backplate, and won't interfere with the circuitry on the back of the Intel motherboards.

I'd recommend a full-voltage 2100 for the OP, or a 2130 if a little more oomph is desired. Both should be well under 90W with SSD. You have enough power to not need the 2100T, and it's just slower than the 2100. It's not special.


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 Post subject: Re: building a SFF system for Linux
PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 4:57 pm 
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I just realized an option that I'd like, and hadn't thought of before: a Bluetooth adapter.

I suppose I'm better off in the long run going with a conventional case, in the event that I realize I need something else down the line. (Sorry if I'm sounding fickle here; I'm just trying to avoid any unfortunate choices.) So let's say I go with the Silverstone SG05. Can someone suggest a CPU/cooler/motherboard?

Oh, and boost: when you said there will be a revised version of the Antec ISK 100 out soon, what do you mean by "soon?"

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 Post subject: Re: building a SFF system for Linux
PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 7:11 pm 
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mzimmers wrote:
I just realized an option that I'd like, and hadn't thought of before: a Bluetooth adapter.

I suppose I'm better off in the long run going with a conventional case, in the event that I realize I need something else down the line. (Sorry if I'm sounding fickle here; I'm just trying to avoid any unfortunate choices.) So let's say I go with the Silverstone SG05. Can someone suggest a CPU/cooler/motherboard?


CPU is whatever you want to spend for, essentially. i3-2100 would be great. G620 or G820 would be good cheaper, and anything from the i3-2300 to i3-2500 would be great if you want a quad core. For the cooler I believe a Big Shuriken 2 will be great if you use ram without tall heatspreaders. Motherboard I'd go with

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6813157238 if you wanted H67 or

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6813131727 if H61 is ok, only because I like Asus and have no experience with Asrock, though they're supposed to be good too.

For the record, if I were building a mini-ITX system, that's about identical to what I'd be doing. SG05, BS2, i5-whatever, 8gb RAM, that Asus board.


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 Post subject: Re: building a SFF system for Linux
PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 7:38 pm 
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BS2?

And, what's the advantage(s) of the Asus mobo over an Intel?

Thanks.

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 Post subject: Re: building a SFF system for Linux
PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 9:26 pm 
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mzimmers wrote:
BS2?

And, what's the advantage(s) of the Asus mobo over an Intel?

Thanks.


Sorry, Big Shuriken 2. Personally, I built one PC around an Intel motherboard a few years ago and found it much more painful to get the drivers installed and figure out the documentation for things like the front panel connectors than with all the other brands I've used, even when they're using all Intel chips. I don't think there's anything wrong with the Intel boards though, and the one I used has worked fine since I got it up.

Oh, the other brands usually have bigger heatsinks on the VRM and controller hub. I tend to like that.


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 Post subject: Re: building a SFF system for Linux
PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 9:39 pm 
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OK, I don't know which chipset I need. They'll both run the i5 CPU, right?

I read that the H67 supports a faster SATA interface. Does that mean it will read my internal drive faster? That could be worth paying for.

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 Post subject: Re: building a SFF system for Linux
PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 2:59 am 
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mzimmers wrote:
Oh, and boost: when you said there will be a revised version of the Antec ISK 100 out soon, what do you mean by "soon?"

Soon means I can see details of the case and pictures on a retailer's website in the EU. A British site lists delivery date 29/11.
mzimmers wrote:
OK, I don't know which chipset I need. They'll both run the i5 CPU, right?

I read that the H67 supports a faster SATA interface. Does that mean it will read my internal drive faster? That could be worth paying for.

The drive has to support the faster speed, too. A hard drive doesn't even read or write data as fast as Sata II, except from cache (8-32MB). A new SSD is close to the Sata 6Gb/s speed limit.
H/P61 boards don't have Sata 6Gb ports, B65 boards have one, H/P/Q67 and Z68 boards have two.
mzimmers wrote:
I suppose I'm better off in the long run going with a conventional case, in the event that I realize I need something else down the line. (Sorry if I'm sounding fickle here; I'm just trying to avoid any unfortunate choices.) So let's say I go with the Silverstone SG05. Can someone suggest a CPU/cooler/motherboard?

The SG05 severely limits the height of the CPU, because the PSU is mounted above the CPU. With a SFX PSU the only aftermarket coolers that fit are the Scythe Big Shuriken and Prolimatech Samuel 17. With a Pico PSU you can use a much bigger cooler like the Scythe Katana 3, Xigmatek Loki SD963, Cooler Master Hyper TX3 or Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro Rev. 2. The fan speed of the Scythe starts at 300RPM, it should be the most quiet of the bunch.
I suggest the ASRock H67M-GE/HT, it is one of the few mATX S1155 boards with two external and two internal USB 3.0 ports.
If the case you choose doesn't have front USB3.0 ports (i.e. SG05) or if you don't need them you could use the Intel DH67BL or MSI H67MA-E45. Intel and MSI boards use the least power on idle and MSI has good a good fan controller on board.
For Linux the Intel Pentium G860 is perfect, if you want to use an OS where Intel offers more than rudimentary drivers (Windows 7/8), the Intel Core i3-2130.
[edit]f-ing links[/edit]

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Last edited by boost on Tue Nov 15, 2011 2:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: building a SFF system for Linux
PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 7:49 am 
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mzimmers wrote:
OK, I don't know which chipset I need. They'll both run the i5 CPU, right?

I read that the H67 supports a faster SATA interface. Does that mean it will read my internal drive faster? That could be worth paying for.


Yeah, as far as I'm aware any 1155 board will run any 1155 CPU at the moment; that will change when Ivy Bridge is out. However, I'm running an i5-2500K on an H61 myself. It works perfectly. SATA-3, as mentioned above, is only important if you have a fast SSD you'll be using. I got a relatively slow SSD, just for quietness, so it wasn't important for me.

As for coolers, besides the Big Shuriken 2 I mentioned, and the Samuel 17 also mentioned, the Scythe Kozuti is low-profile and, critically, won't extend over the RAM, so it allows the use of memory with tall heatspreaders. If that's not a factor, the BS2 will give lower temperatures and I believe costs about the same.

How much do you care about dual-core vs quad-core?


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 Post subject: Re: building a SFF system for Linux
PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 8:00 am 
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Scrooge wrote:
How much do you care about dual-core vs quad-core?


Beats the hell out of me. My main concern is not buying something that will become instantly obsolete. I'm willing to invest in headroom if it makes sense.

I don't envision this system being heavily taxed, but I don't mind putting a few bucks into overkill. I still don't think I need a graphics card, for example, but I wouldn't object to getting a case big enough to fit one.

If that Silverstone case has issues with the PS, I can reconsider the Lian Li. Maybe I can even find a use for that optical drive opening in front, like mounting a fan controller there or something.

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 Post subject: Re: building a SFF system for Linux
PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 4:04 pm 
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mzimmers wrote:
Beats the hell out of me. My main concern is not buying something that will become instantly obsolete. I'm willing to invest in headroom if it makes sense.

I don't envision this system being heavily taxed, but I don't mind putting a few bucks into overkill. I still don't think I need a graphics card, for example, but I wouldn't object to getting a case big enough to fit one.

If that Silverstone case has issues with the PS, I can reconsider the Lian Li. Maybe I can even find a use for that optical drive opening in front, like mounting a fan controller there or something.


Gotcha. To me, quad-core is a factor for 3-4 years out, maybe 2 at the earliest, if you're not running programs that you know right now are heavily multi-threaded. For example, when I build my sister a new system on Ivy Bridge next year, it'll be quad-core, because I do that about every 6-10 years. I only got a quad-core for my HTPC that can be upgraded at will because I wanted one, and in the budget of that system the difference between an i3-2100 and an i5-2500k was about 9%. For you, I'd ask, do you plan on writing heavily multi-threaded code, and how multi-threaded is your compiler? The jump from a Pentium G860 to an i5-2300, to go from dual-core to quad-core, is about $100.


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 Post subject: Re: building a SFF system for Linux
PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 4:14 pm 
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I'm not planning on writing anything that's going to be multi-threaded. My compiler will be whatever the latest stable release of gxx is for Linux. Again, I don't expect my needs are going to be great; I just don't want to paint myself into a corner by trying to save a few nickels here and there.

If I go with the Lian Li Q09, it appears that I'll have room for pretty much any CPU cooler that I'd need, right? I'm planning on putting "ordinary" memory (whatever that means) in it. And, I would like to add a Bluetooth card, but this isn't essential.

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 Post subject: Re: building a SFF system for Linux
PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 4:54 pm 
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mzimmers wrote:
I'm not planning on writing anything that's going to be multi-threaded. My compiler will be whatever the latest stable release of gxx is for Linux. Again, I don't expect my needs are going to be great; I just don't want to paint myself into a corner by trying to save a few nickels here and there.

If I go with the Lian Li Q09, it appears that I'll have room for pretty much any CPU cooler that I'd need, right? I'm planning on putting "ordinary" memory (whatever that means) in it. And, I would like to add a Bluetooth card, but this isn't essential.


Then based on this:

http://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-t-70 ... art-0.html

I'd say it depends on the complexity of your coding. I don't think you'd hate a G860, but an i5 might be worthwhile. I spent a long time considering the choice between a 2500K and a 2125, for whatever it's worth, so you're not alone.

According to the manufacturer websites below, the SG05 has more cooler space (82mm vs 40mm):

http://www.lian-li.com/v2/en/product/pr ... =63&g=spec
http://www.silverstonetek.com/product.p ... 10&area=en

But really, I have a 2500K cooled by a Kozuti that can keep it under 70c under full-on torture test for 20+ hours. That's the weakest of the three coolers we're recommending, and the Big Shuriken 2 will keep any CPU you're considering cooler than mine, and much quieter (and mine isn't loud!). You want my advice?

SG05, Big Shuriken 2, H67 motherboard, basic RAM with no heatspreader sticking up, and if the difference between the G860 ($100) and i5-2300 ($180) isn't going to hurt, get the i5-2300. Another $10 can buy you another 300MHz if you want it, in the form of a -2400, and then another $20 will get you a -2500 and another 200MHz. Personally, the -2400 looks most appealing to me, but the differences among these i5s is going to be minimal compared to the G860. Assemble those, code happy, don't think any more.


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 Post subject: Re: building a SFF system for Linux
PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 8:47 pm 
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Those sound like fine recommendations, Scrooge. Now, if I'm not mistaken, an "H67 motherboard" refers to a few different products, right? Is this the one I want?

I'm almost certainly going to get a SSD, if that matters here.

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 Post subject: Re: building a SFF system for Linux
PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 2:51 am 
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mzimmers wrote:
Those sound like fine recommendations, Scrooge. Now, if I'm not mistaken, an "H67 motherboard" refers to a few different products, right? Is this the one I want?

I'm almost certainly going to get a SSD, if that matters here.

If you're optimizing for idle power draw, yes.
If you need or want bluetooth and wireless the ASUS P8H67-I DELUXE might be worth a look, although the price is pretty steep. And the Asus only accepts laptop SO-DIMMs, hardly any price difference, but worth noting.
If you use the Q09 with a Big Shuriken I'd suggest a quad core i5-2400 over a dual core i3-2xxx. The price difference is small and it gives you more headroom. If you want to minimize the cost, go for a Pentium G860.
Even if you don't write multithreaded code, the compiler will benefit from more cores.

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 Post subject: Re: building a SFF system for Linux
PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 6:20 am 
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Hi, boost -

I don't particularly care about idle power draw; I just was wondering if that was the particular board that scrooge had in mind.

What about the ASUS board that you referenced makes it a better choice for WiFi/Bluetooth applications?

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 Post subject: Re: building a SFF system for Linux
PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 9:45 am 
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mzimmers wrote:
Hi, boost -

I don't particularly care about idle power draw; I just was wondering if that was the particular board that scrooge had in mind.

What about the ASUS board that you referenced makes it a better choice for WiFi/Bluetooth applications?


Sorry it took so long for me to get back to you. The Asus board above has Wifi and Bluetooth onboard, so no need to use an expansion card OR a USB adapter. I had forgotten about that one because Newegg doesn't have it anymore, but that sounds like it's right up your alley. The Intel one wouldn't be bad either.

And as said, I´d stay away from the i3 line in general. The G860 has the same speed, only losing hyperthreading (which I'm not a fan of) and some dedicated video encoding style tools that you're unlikely to use. It might also be missing virtualization, come to think of it, but you didn't sound like you needed that either. In any case, I think I'd push you towards the i5. "Never need to say you're sorry" is a motto I like to live by for these things. The i5, whichever flavor (other than the -2390T that you won't be able to find if you try, probably), will handle all your needs for the foreseeable future. The G860 is likely to feel dated much sooner.


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 Post subject: Re: building a SFF system for Linux
PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2011 10:39 am 
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Well, it's a good thing I didn't jump too quickly on an economy build. So...my boss now tells me that performance DOES matter on this simulator I'm writing (after saying for months that it didn't). So, I'm definitely going the i5 route.

Is there a time of year when the manufacturers typically all announce new stuff? If I'm on the cusp of that happening, I can wait a little while longer; otherwise I might as well jump.

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 Post subject: Re: building a SFF system for Linux
PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2012 6:35 am 
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Hi folks!

I'm planning to put up a cheap NAS PC, running Linux , for purpose of running Squeezebox Server and a DLNA server, and torrent station. It would be a headless machine, without any display attached.

Are the Intel D525MW or D510MO mobos (both ATOM) recommendable these days?

I tought also a cheap H61 socket 1155 motherboard with a cheap Sandy Bridge, example Intel G620T processor, it would cost a little bit more, but not severely, also it would be more powerful, I guess, however I think I don't need that horsepower to this headless NAS.

What do you think?
Thanks a lot!


Last edited by batka on Sun Jan 01, 2012 1:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: building a SFF system for Linux
PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2012 10:01 am 
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I've been saying for months that new Atoms were around the corner so take this with a grain of salt but, aside from possible driver issues, they're a significant improvement over the old ones while remaining cheap.
The new Atom boards exist, half a dozen manufacturers list them on their website, pre-production models have been reviewed, the mobile versions have been available for a while for laptop buyers, hundreds of retailers have the desktop boards listed for weeks and some will even sell them to you but no one has shipping dates or stock. At this point, I've given up trying to guess when these new boards could become available.

In the meantime the D510MO is still good and has no driver issues.
The only problem is that it's going to lose value fast as some people will be selling them when they can get their hands on the new generation.

If you go with Sandy Bridge, there's little point in paying more than a G530 costs which is the cheapest non-crippled Sandy Bridge. I don't know the prices in Hungary but someone said some models which are more theoretically more expensive were actually cheaper in Italy.
The problem with Sandy Bridge is that stock heatsink needs a fan and can get loud in some poorly ventilated cases. With the right case, you can use Atoms without any fans. The new Atoms should run cooler so they should be compatible with more cases for fanless operation.

If you want several drives and don't need a very quiet box, check out HP's Microserver.

I don't know the requirements for DNLA. The other stuff will well on Atoms (or low-power AMDs).


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 Post subject: Re: building a SFF system for Linux
PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2012 1:43 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2007 6:53 am
Posts: 72
Location: Budapest, Hungary
Thanks a lot for tips,

Also here in Hungary the G530 costs indeed way less than the G620. Regarding the heatsink, I have a spare Scythe Mugen 2 Rev B, so cooling passively would be no problem, although it has a big size. :)

Yes, I understand that D510/D525 Atoms are losing value when new Atoms coming out, but it's ok for me if adequate.

Requirements for DLNA is not much, it's just a streaming . I won't use any transcode on server side so it's only streaming.

I'll see what I end up. :)


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 Post subject: Re: building a SFF system for Linux
PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2012 9:07 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2006 4:46 am
Posts: 206
mzimmers wrote:
Well, it's a good thing I didn't jump too quickly on an economy build. So...my boss now tells me that performance DOES matter on this simulator I'm writing (after saying for months that it didn't). So, I'm definitely going the i5 route.

Is there a time of year when the manufacturers typically all announce new stuff? If I'm on the cusp of that happening, I can wait a little while longer; otherwise I might as well jump.


The only new thing that will be interesting for you is Ivy Bridge, which I believe will be out in the late Q1/ early Q2 timeframe, and won't cheaper or particularly faster. It will have things like USB3 built into the chipset, but for work purposes, Sandy Bridge should be plenty adequate unless you really don't mind waiting 3-4 months. Ivy should have lower power consumption, though.


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