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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings all.

My ancient ATX tower is well beyond obsolete. I have a new job, and it is long past time for an upgrade. I'm trying to find something, but the options are dizzying.

Here's what I need:

* Mini ITX (or another small form factor). I am tired of big.

* Passive processor cooling if possible. I don't need speed, and my girlfriend is tired of loud.

* At least 2 DIMM slots, and something that can handle at least 8 GB of RAM

* I want to kit it with two 2.5" drives for a daily backup run, so I need at least 2 SATA jacks on the board.

* It must not choke on Linux, and I would prefer not to have to compile a kernel, flash the BIOS, or any of that tomfoolery.

* Low-power operation and good power management would be lovely.

I don't need:

* Any sort of onboard wireless or bluetooth or any of that. This thing is going to be bolted to my desk, so Mom's old-fashioned Ethernet will be fine.

* USB 3. It would be nice, but USB 2 is fine.

* PCI whatever. If all the above criteria are met, I'll have no concern for what sort of PCI slot(s) it has.

* Advanced onboard graphics. Right now, I'm driving a 19" VGA flatscreen. I don't intend to buy a new monitor until this one croaks.

And did I mention CHEAP? Yes, I'm so damned green I left a lot of $$ on the table so that I could work from home. So I have to save my "other" green any way I can. If I can hit the aforementioned metrics with an obsolete or remaindered board on clearance, I'm fine with that, provided there's still a warranty. I don't mind building the system myself, or I'll gladly shell for a built one if it scratches all the aforementioned itches.

Basically, I want to use this as a file, print, and email server (Samba, CUPS, and IMAP). Eventually, I want to figure how to set up a VPN. I am not a gamer, and I don't intend to use this as a media server. I am not partial to/biased against any processor or board manufacturer. I just want to find a reliable platform to handle my life's back end, as I am too much of an untrusting old fart to leave it to the good corporations behind the cloud.

Your sagacious and learned commentary would be much appreciated. Thank you very much for any attention you can bring to bear on this.

--W
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Psyclum: Thanks for the suggestion. I hadn't given a netbook much thought because in my (admittedly quite limited) experience, they pare everything they can out of those gadgets, and I strongly suspect that the ability to drive any video larger than the tiny little netbook screen is likely a non-starter. Likewise, I would be concerned about running into problems trying to get Linux to run on one of those. My level of understanding is about as current as my old hardware, though, so I welcome your correction.

--W
 

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Expand Always in Always
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Might I suggest that you look into the AMD E-350 line of motherboards.You can find them in the Open Box section for a few less dollars also.They meet all of your requirements,and then some.I personally ran a Amahi(test box) with the Asus Pro with not problems what so ever.

If your looking for more power go for a Celeron G530/40 or a Pentium 620/30 and a cheap mobo,value ram and your set.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by wabernat View Post

Psyclum: Thanks for the suggestion. I hadn't given a netbook much thought because in my (admittedly quite limited) experience, they pare everything they can out of those gadgets, and I strongly suspect that the ability to drive any video larger than the tiny little netbook screen is likely a non-starter. Likewise, I would be concerned about running into problems trying to get Linux to run on one of those. My level of understanding is about as current as my old hardware, though, so I welcome your correction.
--W
well, I guess your primary problem would be linux compatibility
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i'm not into linux so i can't tell you if there is a distro that will run on either a C50 chip or a E350 chip. pretty sure there would be one tho. linux is good like that
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as far as gpu capability, afaik as long as it's a codec with hardware decode support, then the C50 should do fine for 1080p content. however if you are relying on software decoding, then you may have to get a E350 or better. again, i don't know if any of this is in linux... but knowing what i know about linux. someone's already got a working copy somewhere
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who knows, they might have it running on a xbox by now
biggrin.gif
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Funny you should mention it:

http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=400945

Yeah, they run linux on that. Back when I was an active nerd, I knew people at my LUG who'd try to run Linux on a toilet if they could just find a serial port on it.

I bit the bullet and bought a Foxconn barebones from NewEgg. It's Intel-based (the R50-H1, running an Intel H67) We'll see how it goes. I doubt I will be able to get it excited with the tame uses I have planned for it, but ya never know. I was down to that or a true fanless AMD board, but the 60 extra bucks and its gigabit Ethernet glitch under linux spooked me off. So I will close the door when I'm not using the Intel one.

Thanks for your suggestions, everyone who responded. It enabled me to focus my attention more closely on the problem. Barring an RMA, I think this is going to work out fine.

--W
 
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