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Old 02-14-2006, 11:34 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default help building an SFF

I've been intereted in getting an SFF PC for a while now because I'll be moving out soon and a laptop wasn't really in my budget (around £400-£450). but I find its very expensive to buy a pre made one from retailers in the UK. so I've decided to make one myself (nothing too powerful, just a system for word processing etc). thing is this is the first time I'll be building one myself.

I was in doubts about the motherboard which I would have to buy. are there specific types of motherboards I have to go for or do I just get the "normal" boards?

I would be grateful if anyone could point me in the right direction here in terms of what parts I should go for.(sorry I'm a newbie!)
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Old 02-14-2006, 02:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
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okay, maybe this shows that I'm not really THAT good at this, but I'm unsure what an SSF is.

Ryan
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Old 02-14-2006, 02:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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SFF is short for small form factor. the difference being the size of the case- its about 1/3 the size of "normal" cases. this is why I was confused as to what motherboard to get, since the case would be much smaller. also I was worried about power since most of these cases (shuttle for example) come with 230 watt PSU- I think- built in.

If anyone who's built an SFF PC before could give me a few tips here, that would be nice.

EDIT:
I guess I'll have to get a barebone kit to solve the issue with motherboards. I'm still confused about power.

would 230 watt be enough for say Sempron/AMD 3000+ , 512 MB RAM and low end graphics? I was thinking maybe getting a 754 socket since I won't use it for games or that.
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Old 02-14-2006, 05:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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after some research, I've listed some of the parts I would want:

AMD Sempron 2800+ (SDA2800BXBOX) 64Bit Architecture 1.6ghz Skt 754 Box- £52

http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/produ...duct_uid=94650

RAM - Corsair (VS512MB400) 512MB, DDR400 / PC3200- £26.99

http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/produ...duct_uid=48122


Hard Disk - Western Digital 160GB Caviar SE SATA OEM- £57

http://www.lowestonweb.com/products/...FD8770BD2&td=1

DVD writer- LG GSA-4167BAL 16x DVD±RW Dual Layer Internal IDE (Black) - OEM- £26.90

http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/produ...duct_uid=97237

BAREBONE KIT - AMD Socket 754, 800MHZ FSB, nVidia nforce 3 250 Dual Channel DDR333/400, 1A1P - £208

http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/s...tml?SHU-SB85G4


I was thinking maybe upgrade later on from the sempron to athlon. maybe I'm talking crap. Please could someone give me some feedback on this, as I'm oretty sure I've made some amatuer choices.
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Old 02-14-2006, 07:37 PM   #5 (permalink)
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what exactly are you using this system for? The Shuttles are good sff systems but are quite expensive. Try looking up mATX setups, they offer more choices since you can choose your own motherboard, they offer more room and are not that much bigger than mITX or shuttle cases.
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Old 02-15-2006, 12:02 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Why not just buy a shuttle PC? They are about the size of a small desk lamp.

http://us.shuttle.com/
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Old 02-15-2006, 01:03 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by talldude123
Why not just buy a shuttle PC? They are about the size of a small desk lamp.

http://us.shuttle.com/
I don't live in the US and the resellers in the UK charge a fortune to make one. it works out much cheaper when I make it myself- the system above would cost me around £350-£380 which is very reasonable.

but, I will also look at some mATX cases+motherboards later on.

just out of curiosity, if I were to install that sempron 2800+ in that 754 socket chipset, what would be the highest I could upgrade to on that motherboard? (processor-wise)

thanks for all your advise!
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Old 02-15-2006, 02:55 PM   #8 (permalink)
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http://www.shuttle.com/share/product...85G4_V3_DM.pdf

That should be the spec sheet for your barebone shuttle case: It says "AMD Athlon 64 CPU with 16000MHZ". I bet they have a bios update to be comaptiable with with rest of the socket 754 athlons also....
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Old 02-16-2006, 04:11 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by doodle dee
http://www.shuttle.com/share/product...85G4_V3_DM.pdf

That should be the spec sheet for your barebone shuttle case: It says "AMD Athlon 64 CPU with 16000MHZ". I bet they have a bios update to be comaptiable with with rest of the socket 754 athlons also....
hmmm the motherboard in my current system has the same setup- "AMD Athlon CPU with 16000MHZ Hyper transport link"- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...90#DetailSpecs

but I'm currently using an AMD 3000+ soon to upgraded to 3400+

my question is, can I use ANY socket 754 cpus with my barebone system above?
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Old 02-24-2006, 06:16 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I have a Shuttle XPC and I love it!
Power is not an issue in these, I have mine tricked out (well, mostly) for gaming and its awesome.
They are kinda pricey though, especially for just word processing.
If you're trying to go small and cheap just get a $500-$600 basic laptop (is it Acer that is the big thing in UK?).
A Shuttle will easily cost you that much.
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