Flat Like A Pancake: The Slim Optical Drive
Installing the Slim Optical Drive
Let’s face it, no gaming PC is totally complete without an optical drive. Our mini-ITX-based build is no exception.
The installation is easy enough, but unless your drive is one of the few with a full-size SATA connector, you'll need to buy one additional part in order to get it working.
A Necessary Part: Slimline to SATA Adapter
If you want our advice, don’t buy an expensive slim optical drive with full-size SATA connectors. Instead, grab a cheap drive and a slimline-to-SATA adapter, which you should be able to find for less than $10 online.
You might run into a problem where the adapter sticks out too far and runs into the CPU cooler. Fortunately, the Praeton's fan can be moved enough to accommodate the adapter's extra length.
Brace yourselves, the motherboard installation is next. We recommend that you install the board first, then connect SATA cables to the hard drive and SSD, and finally, reinsert the drive cage. Assembling the case in any other order almost guarantees scraped fingers.
I demand a proper Mini-ITX case from the manufacturers!
I have a "Zero dB PC" as one of the next projects, complete based on a AMD APU (A10 5700). We should stay a little parity, all last Mini-PCs were AMDs ;)
The performance of a HD 7750 is wellknown and this little card is in the most cases the slower part. This is from the other project:
I would like to know why there is no real SFF love in the AMD camp for non APU's, I really want a new mATX mobo with 3 PCI-e slots, so I can do a tri-fire setup with LC in my mini P180, 2x7970's just are not enough. I also want to replace my aging 890gxm-g65 so I can OC my FX8350, this board has known issues with its power circuitry beyond stock (I would know, I have cooked 3 of them, 2 from trying to OC, and one from a long gaming session)
At the $500 price range, I've seen many laptops that perform similarly to builds like this.
The laptops also have the advantage of:
- screen (don't have to use)
- battery (for power outage)
One disadvantage with gaming laptops is that under load the little fan tends to be annoying. It would be really cool if you could easily plug in an external cooling unit that bypasses that fan.
INTERESTING BUILD, though I would strongly disagree with the "good enough for an HDTV" comment about the graphics card. It's a gaming PC. Just because it's hooked up to an HDTV instead of a monitor doesn't make it "good enough"; Far Cry 3 still won't run great.
I'd like to see a little more CPU and GPU processing power while keeping noise in check. Let's see what can be done with $700?