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Project: Ground Control..... SFF Computing

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hello

To follow my tradition since joining this community, I will document my build/mod activies

As the name suggests Im putting together a Small Form Factor (SFF) based computer to save much needed real estate on my desk.

The purpose of this build is for a Media PC / LAN Box to be used as a secondary PC to the main one in my sig.

With this scope in mind I gathered the remaining components from around the house which are surplus to requirement due to regular system upgrades over the last year.

What I have:

AMD Athlon64 3700+ (CABGE 0516TPAW)


Kingston Hyper-X KHX3200K2/1G (Winbond BH-5) 2x 512MB DDR400 (2-2-2-5 1T)


XFX 6800GT 256MB PCI-e Graphics card (Dual DVI / S Video Out)


Seagate ATA133 80GB Hard Drive (Although I think I may substitute for one of the drives from my main rig)


To complement these parts I was looking at the Shuttle SN25P since this would be the most logical choice. Since these were in short supply at a reasonable price (well within my price range) I looked at alternatives. Micro ATX was out of the question since these were also not suitable do to again a lack of hardware available.

Well to cut it short I was looking at the alternatives to the shuttle and came across the AOpen XC-Cube EZ482 on clearance at an online retailer for the sum of £117. My reasoning for going for this over a more upgradable option was that all the parts that get upgraded in my main pc can then upgrade the SFF box recyling all my hardware that would otherwise be collecting dust and doing my bit for the enviroment





Review: http://www.trustedreviews.com/pcs/re...FF-Barebone/p1

This fits the bill as a media pc and also as a reasonably respectable LAN PC.

On top of this I have ordered a DVD/RW drive and a copy of Windows XP to finish off the build requirements.

Build Day: Saturday 23rd March

In the end I decided that the SATA drive option was by far the best option when inspecting the compactness of the case.
I surrendered one of my hard drives from my main rig.

Maxtor Diamondmax 9 SATA 120GB


The Aopen EZ482 unpacked and ready for the parts to be installed.


The first task was to remove the drive cage and install the optical drives. For this system I also purchased a SATA DVD/RW drive (NEC 7170s) and mounted that in the cage also. I must admit im glad that I chose the SATA drives since the cabling was very tight.


The next task to perform was the removal of the cpu cooler. This was held down by 4 long screws in eah corner of the HSF. The Aopen bespoke cooler looks like a fairly good cooper based heatsink with heatpipe arrangement. Cooling is provided by an 80mm Aopen branded Low RPM fan.

The thermal pad :


I removed this since I have never really liked thermal pads and therefore gave it an acetone rince to remove it and to also clean up the baseplate for examination.



Not the smoothest of baaseplates when compared to manufacturers like Zalman or Thermalright but since this is hardly a monster overclocker I doubt this will be too much of an issue. (Note to myself: Must buy lapping kit at some point......)

Next task was to drop the CPU into the socket and mount the Heat sink and fan.


With this done the next step was to install the memory modules:


After counting up all the molex connections available I noted there was three. Two are to be designated to the optical drive and hard drive leaving one for my GPU.
With this in mind, I put together a cable to connect the power to the GPU.
I took at molex Y-Splitter and a dual Molex to PCI-e 6 pin



Card Installed:




The last step was to attach the power cables and sata cables to the drives and drop the drive cage into the chasis.

The finished project:





Build Time - Approx 2 hours.

Now onto The windows install. and stability testing. The operating system is installed and the chipset drivers also. Having a few issues trying to get the LAN connection to work currently.

More to follow
Desktop
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Opteron 165 CCBBE 0615DPMW 2.6GHz (9x290) DFI NF4 SLI-D (HR-05-SLI Passive Chipset Cooler) BFG 8800GTS OC 640MB 620/1860 Mushkin Redline 4x1GB DDR475 (3-3-2-7 2T) 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
3x 74GB WD Raptor (RAID 0) + 2.2TB of SATA HDDs NEC DVD/RW SATA XP Home Edition SP3 IIyama H481S 19' TFT 1280x1024 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Eluminix (Backlight) OCZ Modstream520w 28A,12v Single Rail Antec P182 Razer, Copperhead Blue 
Mouse Pad
Razer Exactamat 
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Desktop
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Opteron 165 CCBBE 0615DPMW 2.6GHz (9x290) DFI NF4 SLI-D (HR-05-SLI Passive Chipset Cooler) BFG 8800GTS OC 640MB 620/1860 Mushkin Redline 4x1GB DDR475 (3-3-2-7 2T) 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
3x 74GB WD Raptor (RAID 0) + 2.2TB of SATA HDDs NEC DVD/RW SATA XP Home Edition SP3 IIyama H481S 19' TFT 1280x1024 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Eluminix (Backlight) OCZ Modstream520w 28A,12v Single Rail Antec P182 Razer, Copperhead Blue 
Mouse Pad
Razer Exactamat 
  hide details  
Reply
post #2 of 9
*watches*
Studio Machine
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Q6600 @ 2.6 Ghz I forget. nVidia 8400 2GB DDR2 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
1x320GB, 1x750GB CD/DVD+-RW Windows Vista Ultimate SP1 & Arch Linux 64bit 19inch Acer X193W 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech UltraSlim Pathetic 350w Cube 2 Quid Bargain Bin Thing 
  hide details  
Reply
Studio Machine
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Q6600 @ 2.6 Ghz I forget. nVidia 8400 2GB DDR2 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
1x320GB, 1x750GB CD/DVD+-RW Windows Vista Ultimate SP1 & Arch Linux 64bit 19inch Acer X193W 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech UltraSlim Pathetic 350w Cube 2 Quid Bargain Bin Thing 
  hide details  
Reply
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Updated:
Desktop
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Opteron 165 CCBBE 0615DPMW 2.6GHz (9x290) DFI NF4 SLI-D (HR-05-SLI Passive Chipset Cooler) BFG 8800GTS OC 640MB 620/1860 Mushkin Redline 4x1GB DDR475 (3-3-2-7 2T) 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
3x 74GB WD Raptor (RAID 0) + 2.2TB of SATA HDDs NEC DVD/RW SATA XP Home Edition SP3 IIyama H481S 19' TFT 1280x1024 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Eluminix (Backlight) OCZ Modstream520w 28A,12v Single Rail Antec P182 Razer, Copperhead Blue 
Mouse Pad
Razer Exactamat 
  hide details  
Reply
Desktop
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Opteron 165 CCBBE 0615DPMW 2.6GHz (9x290) DFI NF4 SLI-D (HR-05-SLI Passive Chipset Cooler) BFG 8800GTS OC 640MB 620/1860 Mushkin Redline 4x1GB DDR475 (3-3-2-7 2T) 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
3x 74GB WD Raptor (RAID 0) + 2.2TB of SATA HDDs NEC DVD/RW SATA XP Home Edition SP3 IIyama H481S 19' TFT 1280x1024 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Eluminix (Backlight) OCZ Modstream520w 28A,12v Single Rail Antec P182 Razer, Copperhead Blue 
Mouse Pad
Razer Exactamat 
  hide details  
Reply
post #4 of 9
awesome i didn't know they made such things
post #5 of 9
Woot!

Looks Good
Studio Machine
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Q6600 @ 2.6 Ghz I forget. nVidia 8400 2GB DDR2 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
1x320GB, 1x750GB CD/DVD+-RW Windows Vista Ultimate SP1 & Arch Linux 64bit 19inch Acer X193W 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech UltraSlim Pathetic 350w Cube 2 Quid Bargain Bin Thing 
  hide details  
Reply
Studio Machine
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Q6600 @ 2.6 Ghz I forget. nVidia 8400 2GB DDR2 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
1x320GB, 1x750GB CD/DVD+-RW Windows Vista Ultimate SP1 & Arch Linux 64bit 19inch Acer X193W 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech UltraSlim Pathetic 350w Cube 2 Quid Bargain Bin Thing 
  hide details  
Reply
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Yeah looking forward to giving it a run for its money

Total project cost £200. Not including the parts that I already had about the house anyway.

£120 for barebone
£60 Windows XP Home
£20 DVD/RW drive.

Not a bad little project

Just need to work out why the LAN is not working
Desktop
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Opteron 165 CCBBE 0615DPMW 2.6GHz (9x290) DFI NF4 SLI-D (HR-05-SLI Passive Chipset Cooler) BFG 8800GTS OC 640MB 620/1860 Mushkin Redline 4x1GB DDR475 (3-3-2-7 2T) 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
3x 74GB WD Raptor (RAID 0) + 2.2TB of SATA HDDs NEC DVD/RW SATA XP Home Edition SP3 IIyama H481S 19' TFT 1280x1024 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Eluminix (Backlight) OCZ Modstream520w 28A,12v Single Rail Antec P182 Razer, Copperhead Blue 
Mouse Pad
Razer Exactamat 
  hide details  
Reply
Desktop
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Opteron 165 CCBBE 0615DPMW 2.6GHz (9x290) DFI NF4 SLI-D (HR-05-SLI Passive Chipset Cooler) BFG 8800GTS OC 640MB 620/1860 Mushkin Redline 4x1GB DDR475 (3-3-2-7 2T) 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
3x 74GB WD Raptor (RAID 0) + 2.2TB of SATA HDDs NEC DVD/RW SATA XP Home Edition SP3 IIyama H481S 19' TFT 1280x1024 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Eluminix (Backlight) OCZ Modstream520w 28A,12v Single Rail Antec P182 Razer, Copperhead Blue 
Mouse Pad
Razer Exactamat 
  hide details  
Reply
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Bump

Went off to PC world yesterday and got a PCI Network Card to get the thing operational.
Desktop
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Opteron 165 CCBBE 0615DPMW 2.6GHz (9x290) DFI NF4 SLI-D (HR-05-SLI Passive Chipset Cooler) BFG 8800GTS OC 640MB 620/1860 Mushkin Redline 4x1GB DDR475 (3-3-2-7 2T) 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
3x 74GB WD Raptor (RAID 0) + 2.2TB of SATA HDDs NEC DVD/RW SATA XP Home Edition SP3 IIyama H481S 19' TFT 1280x1024 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Eluminix (Backlight) OCZ Modstream520w 28A,12v Single Rail Antec P182 Razer, Copperhead Blue 
Mouse Pad
Razer Exactamat 
  hide details  
Reply
Desktop
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Opteron 165 CCBBE 0615DPMW 2.6GHz (9x290) DFI NF4 SLI-D (HR-05-SLI Passive Chipset Cooler) BFG 8800GTS OC 640MB 620/1860 Mushkin Redline 4x1GB DDR475 (3-3-2-7 2T) 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
3x 74GB WD Raptor (RAID 0) + 2.2TB of SATA HDDs NEC DVD/RW SATA XP Home Edition SP3 IIyama H481S 19' TFT 1280x1024 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Eluminix (Backlight) OCZ Modstream520w 28A,12v Single Rail Antec P182 Razer, Copperhead Blue 
Mouse Pad
Razer Exactamat 
  hide details  
Reply
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Could anyone please suggest the best way to hook this up to a non HD television?

I have heard that powerstrip can set the required resolutions etc for out puting to a television is this the case?
Desktop
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Opteron 165 CCBBE 0615DPMW 2.6GHz (9x290) DFI NF4 SLI-D (HR-05-SLI Passive Chipset Cooler) BFG 8800GTS OC 640MB 620/1860 Mushkin Redline 4x1GB DDR475 (3-3-2-7 2T) 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
3x 74GB WD Raptor (RAID 0) + 2.2TB of SATA HDDs NEC DVD/RW SATA XP Home Edition SP3 IIyama H481S 19' TFT 1280x1024 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Eluminix (Backlight) OCZ Modstream520w 28A,12v Single Rail Antec P182 Razer, Copperhead Blue 
Mouse Pad
Razer Exactamat 
  hide details  
Reply
Desktop
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Opteron 165 CCBBE 0615DPMW 2.6GHz (9x290) DFI NF4 SLI-D (HR-05-SLI Passive Chipset Cooler) BFG 8800GTS OC 640MB 620/1860 Mushkin Redline 4x1GB DDR475 (3-3-2-7 2T) 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
3x 74GB WD Raptor (RAID 0) + 2.2TB of SATA HDDs NEC DVD/RW SATA XP Home Edition SP3 IIyama H481S 19' TFT 1280x1024 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Eluminix (Backlight) OCZ Modstream520w 28A,12v Single Rail Antec P182 Razer, Copperhead Blue 
Mouse Pad
Razer Exactamat 
  hide details  
Reply
post #9 of 9
i hear the same rumour.
yes, i believe so as most T.Vs do not run the usual PC monitor outputs, like my dell laptop (1260x800P).
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