Build Your Own Mini-PC For The Office

A Home-Grown Mini-PC: Tough Competition For Desktops & Notebooks, Continued

From the processor to the graphics adapter to the motherboard, almost every component has gone through a rapid succession of changes in recent years, except for the PC case. Most users own a big tower case whose size alone poses a considerable obstacle when deciding where to put it. Often, the ugly metal boxes are smack dab in the middle of the room, wasting space and trying the nerves of everyone in the room with their whizzing fans and grinding hard drives. Little do most users know that today's technology offers something much better.

Here's the box in which Shuttle delivers its bare-bones SV24 system.

Compare the size: on the left, a conventional PC case with a water-cooling system; on the right, an ultra compact Mini-PC (Spacewalker SV24).

Using the basic Spacewalker/Shuttle system as an example, we'll show you know to put together your own individual and ultra compact PC in relatively few steps. Unlike conventional PC systems, all the components in this computer have been squeezed together to fit in the tiny case, so assembling the system requires much more care. The target market for this system clearly consists of users who work predominantly with office applications or who plan on using the sleek system as a multimedia device. There won't be any problems integrating it into a network or hooking up digital cameras. Configuring and assembling this little mini-PC was a real joy for us. Nonetheless, there is still room for improvement in the design.