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Old 03-04-2005, 09:27 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Building a new shuttle system on the CHEAP

Here's an overview of my budget, I'm a college student that earns less than $250 a month, I'm having to sell off a Powermac G3 motherboard and its 448 MB RAM, selling off an old copy of Windows XP, and my copy of iLife 05 just to help finance this project. I'm really just intending this system to suffice my need to play an occaisional game, as Macs, as we all know, are not the best for games...

I am going to buy a Shuttle SK41G case I found for $130.
Into this I am going to put something like an Athlon XP 2200+ or 2400+.
512 MB RAM (add more in the summer when I have real income)
A used CD-RW drive that was given to me (dual layer DVD burner this summer)
Radeon 9550 128 MB 128 bit memory (probably update the bios to Radeon 9600)
120 GB 7200 RPM 8 MB cache (probably Magnetic Data Technology brand, they're real cheap)

That's really all I plan on adding so far, I just bought a brand new iBook G4, so I dont have much cash flow for a big system right now, plus I want something tiny that won't take up space on my desk at my frat.
Now, what do you think of these components? Also, I would like to play Doom 3, HL 2, and Halo on this, I understand that these components obviously won't make these games look amazing, but can I expect them to be playable?
Thanks so much for your help.

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Old 03-04-2005, 09:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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your gonna waste money gettin a shuttle case
whats your budget? im sure i can make or others can make a great setup

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Old 03-04-2005, 09:50 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default whats wrong with shuttle?

I know Shuttle isnt high performance, but its better than all the other XPC offerings I've seen.
I know I can get a better tower system for the money, but I don't want a tower, if I wanted a tower I'd get a full out AMD-64, no question about that.
But, I have a tiny desk and want a tiny pc, I'm a huge Mac fan and considered the Mac Mini, but it has terribly weak hardware and isnt very upgradable, so now I'm considering the XPC form factor.
My budget is approx $400, maybe a little more, maybe a little less.
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Old 03-04-2005, 11:24 PM   #4 (permalink)
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shuttle case is too expensive....but you don't care much about anything else becuase the ibook should hold you over for anything you don't really school work
AMD Newcastle skt 754 3000+
Elitegroup 755-A2 ATX motherboard
120 gig PATA Hard drive
128 mb AGP 8x ATI Radeon 9250
300 watt 12 volt psu
Antec SLK 1600 case
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Old 03-05-2005, 12:01 AM   #5 (permalink)
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With a "9600", non-overclocked 2200+-2400+, 512MB of generic RAM, and basically everything else stock..i'd say your stretching it trying to play Doom3.

the 9550 128MB will play it, but on lower-medium settings.

I suggest you get a MOBILE 2400+ (even if you are not overclocking) because they run alot cooler than a desktop 2400+ chip. Inside an XPC you have VERY limited the lessened voltage will help alot keeping it cool and running. It should be powerful enough to handle Doom3/HL2 @ 2.0GHz, but not on full blast (as you probably expect)

The RAM is a big factor. You specified 512MB...but what speed? PC2100/2700/3200/3500...what? With 2100/2700 i would say you might want 1GB at least. With 512MB PC3200 You should be able to run Doom3 on medium settings or so no real problems.

PC3200 and a MOBILE 2400+ will be your best option...because you can run 200*10 (2.0GHz) and it will give you a boost in performance compared to 166*12 (~2.0GHz) As your bandwidth is boosted and your FSB is higher. Your mobo should be able to handle 200MHz FSB.

So, your main worry is actual gfx card, the rest should really be OK to run Doom3 and the like on around medium settings. The 9550 might be limited due to DX support, pixel shading..all that, but it should run no doubt.

Hope the XPS machine works out for you. My sister is in college so i know what it's like trying to help her fine best bang for the buck stuff that will actually FIT where she needs it.
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Old 03-05-2005, 12:30 AM   #6 (permalink)
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yea, shuttle cases are good for tight rooms, and good for lan partys. but i dont think the price is worth the case. you can probaly get a lian li case with that money. i say your better off buying a cheaper case.
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Old 03-05-2005, 04:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks for your input, so I think I'll probably put the Athlon XP Mobile chip in there with PC3200 RAM, that sounds like a good setup.
As far as graphics, would a GeForce FX 5600 128 MB be better than a Radeon 9550 128 MB that is flashed to Radeon 9600??
As far as cases such as Lian Li, of course they're a better case for the money, but they also take up all the room at my desk, which is why I'm sticking to small form factor only, I dont want a full tower, plus I have to move back home and back to school before and after summer breaks, dont really want to hassle with a huge computer, not worth it to me.
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Old 08-01-2005, 04:43 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Go for ebay or just shop around on the net you will fin bargains or something at least a wee bit cheaper I know as i am building a shuttle myself - best of luck

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