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Thread: Two motherboards in one case?




  1. #1
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    Sep 2002
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    Does anyone know of a case that'll accept two ATX motherboards? I would like to build a system that has one Linux machine and one Windows machine with a keyboard/mouse/video switch to flick between them. It needs to be semi-portable so I can take it on-site to clients, hence me wondering about dual motherboard cases.

    (I know that things like virtual machine programs are alternative options)

    Thanks
    Gary

  2. #2
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    Nov 2001
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    Neat Idea, but do you want them to share drives and stuff? Because that isn't possible.

    The easiest thing I can imagine would be buying Two 'desktop' cases and then attaching them together with some sort of strap.

    Would Dual boot work for your situation?
    "In their capacity as a tool, computers will be but a ripple on the surface of our culture. In their capacity as intellectual challenge, they are without precedent in the cultural history of mankind." - Edsger Dijkstra

  3. #3
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    Sep 2002
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    Thanks for the reply.
    The machines don't need to share any drives, they'll have their own drives and will communicate thru network cards.
    Dual booting isn't an option because I need them both running at once. The linux box is for web application development. The windoze box is for testing using Internet Explorer.
    Yeah I'd thought of using two cases, it's what I do now, I'm just trying to find a more compact option!

    Gary

  4. #4
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    Aug 2002
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    I don't know of a case that is designed for 2 mobos, but I would bet that with some modding, 2 of the new mini itx, all-in-one boards from Via would fit in a mini-tower case along with 2 hds, 2cds, 2 mini atx p/s, and a kvm switch. The boards are only 170mm square and have 1 pci slot which you might not even have to allow for in the modding. It comes with an i/o plate that would make the modding easier.

  5. #5
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    Nov 2001
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    Carry 2 laptops ?
    AMD Thunderbird AXIA 1000MHz @ 1400MHz
    MSI K7T266 Pro2
    Globalwin FOP-38 w/Delta
    1024MB PC2100 DDR (2-2-2)
    Leadtek Geforce 3 TD - 210/500
    Soundblaster Live!
    Plextor 16x10x40x
    20GB WD 7200RPM ATA66
    40GB WD 7200RPM ATA133
    60GB Maxtor 7200RPM ATA100
    Enlight Case / 17" Hansol Monitor

  6. #6
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    Sep 2002
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    MWP from OCAU built his own dual-mobo case, see here: http://pcdb.overclockers.com.au/view...=MWP&page=pics

    Watercooling is a bit extreme for your application but I'm sure you could learn something from his design should you decide to build a similar case yourself.

  7. #7
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    Sep 2002
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    Ah yeh! Nice to see that someone's done it!
    I think the outcome is that there are no cases on the market (a nice hole in the market for some manufacturer!) so it's gonna be DIY. Gonna have to think about the most efficient way to cram to mobos power supplies etc in a case. I'm thinking about using one of those plastic storage tubs, not pretty but easier to modify.

    [Yes I could use two laptops, but I don't need screens and keyboards; and I would like fast RAID disks, loadsa memory etc]

    : party ha

  8. #8
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    May 2002
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    Do you have to have 2 mobos to run Linux and Windows? I have seen some cases where u just install linux on a drive then Windows on another. So you would have 2 drives, then you could switch between them with a button. Wouldn't that be a lot simpler? Its a PCI slot card, it can handle up to 3 different drives that you can switch through for each OS. I will make a link to it and see if it helps you any.

    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...u=R75-2000%20P
    :shoot3: :shoot2:

  9. #9
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    Sep 2002
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moctezuma05
    Do you have to have 2 mobos to run Linux and Windows? I have seen some cases where u just install linux on a drive then Windows on another. So you would have 2 drives, then you could switch between them with a button. Wouldn't that be a lot simpler? Its a PCI slot card, it can handle up to 3 different drives that you can switch through for each OS. I will make a link to it and see if it helps you any.

    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...u=R75-2000%20P
    :shoot3: :shoot2:
    These cards are essentially a dualboot on steriods, they won't really do the job. gstimson are you sure that software like vmware won't do the job? i've demo'd on win2k boxes running linux in vmware before on hardware as low spec as P2-450/256mb. as long as there's a reasonable amount of ram vmware behaves ok i've found.

  10. #10
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    Sep 2002
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    Yeah VMWare might be the best solution. I first tried it a few years ago on redhat5.2. It was pretty good then so I guess its very good now! I think real machines are preferable to virtual ones, but this is sounding much easier than hacking around with cases.

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