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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, these are the core components:

Processor: AMD Athlon 5150 APU (4 cores, 1.6ghz)
RAM: 4GB(2 x 2GB) Crucial 1600 Mhz
SSD: 64GB ADATA
MOBO: ASUS Mini-ITX
PSU: Mini-Box pico-PSU-160-XT (160 watt)

As for the case, I'm using an 8 x 8 x 8 plastic ballot box:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00I0G5RVS/ref=ox_ya_os_product_refresh_T1

The goal is to cleanly fit everything inside, and paint the box so that it looks like the Minecraft grass block.


I'm still debating on what ports I'll make accessible, but right now I'm thinking the only cuts I'll make to the case will be for the ethernet port, 2 USB 3.0 ports, power adapter, holes for the motherboard mounts, and power button. HDMI/VGA/DVI will be accessible only with the case lid open. I'm also looking at including a pci-e wifi card, so that only the power adapter wire will run off of the case if ethernet is not used.

Being that the case is a ballot box, there is a pre-cut slot on the top. I'm still deciding on what to do with that...I measured it and found that it is the perfect width to install a slot loading disc drive. But for a minecraft server that is utterly pointless...I would attempt to fill it in and then paint over it, but that sounds like a lot of work...

In terms of case orientation, I was thinking about putting the lid facing forward and opening downward, similar to how a mailbox opens.

As for an operating system, I was initially just going to put Windows 8 on it since I have a spare license or two, but now I'm leaning more towards Ubuntu server. My only hesitation with Ubuntu is the drivers for the fairly new AMD chip.

I got the parts in the mail yesterday, and assembled the core components just to see how things fit in the case. Here are some pics:









My plan is to start mounting things and drilling into the case this weekend, after which I'll be prepping it for paint.
 

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How are you going to paint it like that? Individual squares? Seems pretty tough to me. Might want to try and get a vinyl wrap printed somewhere.

Maybe the slot in the top can be your cooling exhaust... Then you could put an intake fan or your PSU fan on the bottom so you can't see it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah, it would be a tedious paint job for sure, but I figured I'd just watch a season of something on Netflix and paint squares for several hours. I'm looking into a vinyl wrap as well though, just can't find one that is cheap enough yet (the entire build will come in around $350). And yeah, I'll probably keep the slot for air intake, but since I'm using the PicoPSU it actually won't produce much heat or have a fan, so the only part that might get hot is the AMD chip. The benchmarks I've seen for the 5150 show that it really doesn't get too hot under load, so I don't expect heat issues...but we'll see.
 

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what not use some sponge or cork board and make a square stamp? would take 10-20 minutes a side that way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Not a bad idea, I'm definitely brainstorming ideas to streamline the painting process a bit.

Also, if anybody has experience with Minecraft servers, I was wondering what specs gave them what type of performance?

With this server I'm just looking to run no more than 4-5 players at a time, and after looking at the Minecraft wiki I think it's more than enough for that. But then I got to thinking about which component will bottleneck first (other than internet speed), and my guess is the CPU freq will be a little low. The mobo I have will allow for some slight overclocking, so I could probably push it close to 2.0ghz if that does become an issue, but then I have to worry about heat a little more. I feel like the speed of the SSD and the 4GB of 1600mhz ram will prevent most level loading issues, but that remains to be seen. This server will be solely dedicated to running minecraft, so nothing else will be running in the background, and if I run Ubuntu server most of the system resources should be free for Minecraft.

I read somewhere that minecraft server since v1.1ish has supported multiple threads, so hopefully the quad core will get a little bit of use.
 

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Vinyl seems like you'd spend just as much time cutting out squares and applying them, as most vinyl is going to be solid colors.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well I'd go to a local print shop and just have them print a 24" x 16" sheet with the block texture, and then just cut out the 6 sides and apply them. The issues with that being the cost, and I'm worried it'll look like crap...
 

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I happen to work in the sign industry, and i can tell you you could get the amount of vinyl you need for 30-50 bucks. Problem is the printing and the labor and the markup will be the expensive part if you have a sign shop or printer do it.

Its actually quite easy to apply vinyl, and you wouldn't want it cut as then you'd have seams on every corner which will peel over time. Vinyl wraps are not designed to be permanent.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you for the insight. The more I've looked into wrapping it in vinyl the more I just want to paint it...despite how difficult it will probably be, it'd be more permanent and probably look just as good or better, if done correctly.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ad hoc View Post

Does a MC server even need an APU or GPU? It isn't actually displaying anything.
to show the screen so then you know you can set up the server yes but other then that you wouldnt really need anything more powerful then what the op has.
 

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How much memory and what CPU would you recommend for an 8-person MC server (may also be used for Unearthed, TF2, and a few other games)?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ad hoc View Post

How much memory and what CPU would you recommend for an 8-person MC server (may also be used for Unearthed, TF2, and a few other games)?
i wouldnt be the best judge for that. it would be best if you headed over to general processor discussion and asked.
 

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Getting back to the paint of the case, have you looked into hydrographics? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrographics_(printing)
I have absolutely no idea what it may cost but it's just the first thing that came to mind when i thought of an easy way to do the case up like the grass cube.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by ad hoc View Post

Does a MC server even need an APU or GPU? It isn't actually displaying anything.
The GPU is definitely overkill for a MC server, but it was a $45 quad core chip that runs at 25W...so tough to beat the value, plus I could always convert it to an HTPC or something later on...
Quote:
Originally Posted by ad hoc View Post

How much memory and what CPU would you recommend for an 8-person MC server (may also be used for Unearthed, TF2, and a few other games)?
From what I've seen, it depends on what OS you're running...Windows 7/8 will need more RAM than Ubuntu server. But for 8 people, 4GB should be more than enough regardless. As for processor, I don't think # of cores matters as much, but I'd do at least a dual core and try to hit 1.6-1.8 ghz. I went for a 25W chip because it will be running 24/7 and I didn't want it to have an impact on the power bill or create much heat.

As for my progress, I did work on it a little bit tonight. Basically just mounted the motherboard by drilling 4 holes in the bottom of the cube, and then also put the SSD in there.







Once I get my power button in the mail I'll be cutting a hole for it and wiring it to the Mobo. I'll also be cutting a hole for the 12v DC adapter plug. Once I have all of the holes cut I'll start wet sending the acrylic to prep for primer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by XanderTheGoober View Post

Getting back to the paint of the case, have you looked into hydrographics? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrographics_(printing)
I have absolutely no idea what it may cost but it's just the first thing that came to mind when i thought of an easy way to do the case up like the grass cube.
Thanks, I'll definitely look into it, from what little I know about the process though I can't imagine it's very cheap.
 
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