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Last response: in Systems
October 29, 2010 2:57:28 AM

Been lamenting component choices for two years. Upgrading from a Dell P4/3.0GHz/2GB/XP system.

- Gigabyte GZ-SPIM51-P0B
- 150w PicoPSU for MB/CPU/IGP
- 60w Gigabyte PSU for drives and fans
- AMD Phenom II X4 945 (will OC within the limits of the PicoPSU and case air flow)
- Scythe Big Shuriken
- APEVIA FC-01 fan controller
- Case modified to accept 3 VANTEC TF6025 60mm fans (super quiet)
- 12lb lead sheet affixed to bottom of case for weight (see below)
- Rexus 3.5" CPU/HD LCD thermometer
- Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB
- WD Green 1TB
- Lite-On tray load DVD-ROM/R/RW w/Lightscribe support
- Win7 Ultimate

Case is essentially the size of a home audio DVD player and makes provisions for mounting of a monitor via VESA bracket. Specs call for 24" due to weight however, with 12lbs of lead in the case, I will be mounting dual 25-28" Samsungs (1920x1200) on a custom VESA bracket.

Both power supplies will be modified to power on and off together, and all internal wiring will be cut down to custom lengths to allow for minimal space occupied and maximum airflow inside the case. Case was opened up near the HD bays to facilitate airflow, and all unnecessary holes in the case were sealed. Airflow will be adjusted as needed via lexan sheet ducting to facilitate direct airflow over necessary components.

Present system sees 1.5-2GB RAM in use 24/7 with an idle CPU load of 15-25%, spending most of its time around 90% when I'm working (GPS mapping, Google Earth, web, managing a dozen GB+ sized PST files in Outlook, and mild picture and video editing).

Hoping the end result will be a very fast, very quiet, small-footprint system to replace this gargantuan, loud, and aging mid-tower I'm using now.

Will ultimately go to two many-core Xeons (or equiv at that time) with a discreet video card once components shrink enough to fit in an as yet undetermined tiny case (SG-05 had major sex appeal before I settled on the Gigabyte). This system will last several years, however, as I continue to wait for the industry to catch up to where I want it (very small, very fast, very efficient, very cool running, very silent). Someday we'll have 48 cores (and the software to use them) under the hood of a device the size of a deck of cards. I look forward to it.

Thanks to all for the help with my various questions.

Most components are here, waiting on a few. Will post a pic or two when complete.

More about : build details

October 29, 2010 3:01:08 PM

Why the 1TB WD Green and not two Spinpoint F3 1TB?

Everything else looks solid. Keep us posted.

Also, where are you getting the picoPSU from?
October 30, 2010 4:15:19 AM

I already have the WD in my existing system so it will be moved into the new one. Plus the WD runs very cool and doesn't draw a lot of power (5400rpm) so I can focus cooling on the Samsung.

Looks like the fan for the CPU HS won't fit so I may end up undervolting the CPU depending on how much airflow I can get across the HS. This has been an interesting and fun build so far, several challenges to overcome. Although the MB, with MOSFET heatsinks, will support 125w CPUs, given my meager power supplies and cramped space for fans, I'm glad I went with a 95w CPU. Hopefully it works well, otherwise I may have to drop to a 65w..... Maybe an i3 would have been a better choice overall. We'll see how it turns out.
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October 30, 2010 4:16:02 AM

Sorry, PicoPSU came from
October 30, 2010 4:20:01 AM

Why are you building such an odd setup
October 30, 2010 4:35:50 AM

High fun factor. Challenging and interesting. I want a very small, very fast machine.
October 30, 2010 8:50:26 AM

tucansam said:
High fun factor. Challenging and interesting. I want a very small, very fast machine.

Ah, thought so.