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Thread: tossing the large, noisy tower for an SFF system




  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Portland, Oregon, USA
    Posts
    29

    Default tossing the large, noisy tower for an SFF system

    I built my current pc back in January 2006, and other than adding a DVD-RW drive, nothing else has changed. Here it is presently:

    AMD Athlon 64 1.8GHz
    Gigabyte K8NXP-SLI mobo
    MSI NX6600GT w/ 128MB memory
    1 GB system ram
    120 GB Maxtor HDD, SATA II
    Mad Dog DVD-RW drive
    Sound Blaster 16 audio card
    Ultra tower case

    I built this system with expandability in mind but since I am not even using one-quarter of the case capacity, it's large, weighs a ton, and is noisy, I'm thinking of going with something smaller, much smaller.

    Here is what I am thinking:
    - In Win BL640 or In Win Mt. Jade case (these are sff cases, the bl640 is the slimmest but it uses low-profile cards and a TFX psu, which don't seem to be too popular)
    - AMD Athlon 64 X2
    - MSI K9AGM2-FIH mobo (or comparable competitor boards)
    - 2-3 GB system ram
    - my current HDD
    - my current DVD-RW
    - onboard audio

    For video cards, there doesn't seem to be too many choices in the low-pro cards but I did find some 8400GS cards. If I go with the Mt. Jade case, I can use full-width cards.

    Now for my usage. The last game I bought was C&C: Generals two years ago so I am not a real big gamer (lack of time, not interest) but I am interested in Supreme Commander, C&C: Tiberium Sun 2, any RTS games, and the Grand Theft Auto series. Not much into FPS games. Other than that, the computer is used for Internet, Office programs, and mp3/WMA playback.

    My questions are these:

    - Will this new system play games like those mentioned above with all features turned on and at least 1024x768?

    - What is the likelihood of more low-profile video cards coming down the line? Is the GS8400 card any good? How about the onboard ATI x1250 GPU? Any good? Better or worse than my current card?

    The main thing I am looking for is small size and little to no noise.

    Thanks for any recommendations or criticisms.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Portland, Oregon, USA
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: tossing the large, noisy tower for an SFF system

    Sorry, I mean Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    286

    Default Re: tossing the large, noisy tower for an SFF system

    You mite as well get the one which is a full profile case since cards which are low profile are not very higher performers such as the 8400GS u mentioned. Besides, u mite as well skip the integrated graphics and buy a discrete one, since onboard just doesnt cut it for games nowadays. Talking about the 8400GS it may be ableto play the older games on decent graphics settings, but not the latest ones such as CNC3. I think there should be Radeon HD2600 series which are low profile and offer quite decent performance.

    If you really want a smaller case, consider a micro-ATX case, but the downside is that u cant install FULL ATX motherboards in the future which wont be a problem if ur not a gamer.

    Keep in mind if you do decide to get the slimmer case, watch out as you can only install low profile add-in cards such as sound/graphics/LAN.
    Asrock P55-Extreme
    Core I5 @ 3.2GHZ
    2x2GB G.skill Ripjaws DDR3 1600
    ASUS HD5850
    1TB Samsung SATA II
    Corsair TX650W PSU

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Central Alberta , Canada
    Posts
    1,019

    Default Re: tossing the large, noisy tower for an SFF system

    I do not think that you will be able to get your ATX mother board into a SFF case. I could prolly do a search and find the answer but I'll leave that up to you.
    Antec 900 case (4 120mm and 1 200mm lighted fans + UFO flashing light set + 2 12" and 1 6" Mutant Mods meteor lights) - Aerogate ll thermal controller - Asus M2N-e SLI - AMD 64 X2 AM2 6400+ - Corsair TX650 PSU - MSI 450GTS Cyclone OC - 2 X 2GB Patriot Extreme Performance PC2 6400 RAM - SATA 320 GB Seagate HD, SATA 300GB Maxtor HD and IDE 80 GB Samsung HD - Floppy Drive/Card Reader Combo - LG SuperMulti Lightscribe 18x DVD RW - Plextor PX-716A DVD r/rw - Windows 7 Home Premium 64

    Crude but Effective ... it is a way of life.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Portland, Oregon, USA
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: tossing the large, noisy tower for an SFF system

    randomness, thanks for the tip about not being able to play C&C3 with the 8400GS card. Even though I rarely play games any more because of lack of time, I will still take that into consideration.

    PraireDawg, I am well aware that my ATX mobo won't fit in an SFF case, hence the new mobo listed in my original post. I will have to get a micro-ATX board which works for me.

    I have not been able to find the In Win cases that I mentioned so I am going to have to adjust my case selection some. I looked at Shuttle's offerings and they look like nice, small cases with what looks to be mini-ITX boards. A mini-ITX would also work for me because I won't ever use SLI and I really don't need any more than 2 expansion slots. What is everyone's opinion on mini-ITX?

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