Classicamiga Forum Retro Edition
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Thread: Should I build a new PC?
Stephen Coates 01:20 28th October 2018
The SSD arrived the other day and I finally got round to trying it out today.

I did some benchmarks with CrystalDiskMark and it benchmarks much faster than the Seagate HDD as expected.

I copied my Linux install on to it to try out and it did seem to boot faster, but that was hard to measure, because I buggered something up, and now Linux spends 40 seconds polling the floppy drive before it will do anything .

crystal_ssd.png crystal_hdd.png
J T 02:53 30th October 2018
Originally Posted by Stephen Coates:
40 seconds polling the floppy
Stephen Coates 14:51 16th November 2018
I notice a lot of SFF cases don't seem to have any external drive bays. One would think a cube PC or a pizza box PC would at least have room for a laptop-size CD drive and a card reader.
Stephen Coates 21:18 17th November 2018
These MicroATX cases from In-Win looks really good.
But no b***** drive bays!

Fractal Design have some nice ones. I rather like the Node 202. But, again, NO DRIVE BAYS. I suppose we can accept that on such a small case, but even some of the massive ones are missing drive bays.

These MicroATX cases from BitFenix looks pretty cool, and they at least have one drive bay.

Pondering Lian Li's options, they do have one that is a bit smaller than my current one, and has 3 drive bays, but its not much smaller.
They have some neat 'slim' cases, but they are stupidly expensive at 300+.

If you fancy something a bit different, you could always go with one of these:

Stephen Coates 17:58 23rd November 2018
I've just been pondering a Shuttle XPC. I always used to really like the form factor of these, but I never bought one.

They have models with both a 5.25" drive bay and a 3.5" drive bay, as well as two PCIe slots - one for a graphics card and one for another kind of card.

They do one with the recent H370 chipset for the recent Intel Coffee Lake CPUs. I'm thinking a low end Coffee Lake i3 might be a good option.

Now, can a Coffee Lake CPU make me a cappuccino?
Harrison 00:19 25th November 2018
I quite liked the idea of SFF cases and bought a system when they first appeared years ago. Showing its age, it had an AMD XP 3000+ CPU with 1GB ram and an AGP card. It was quite a nice little system with a completely aluminium case with all side and top panels slide off for easy access.

It was however not a great design as it would overheat. I had to cut fan holes in the side of the case to mount 80mm fans with a custom grill to make it look nice. Helped but not perfect. The AMD XP chips were the issue though because they liked to run hot, idling in the 40s, and in the 60s under load. But with a ceiling max temp of only about 68 -75 degrees.
Stephen Coates 08:40 26th November 2018
I bought a Shuttle XPC SH370R6.

Now to choose what hardware to put in it. Looks like the current Core i processors have lower power requirements than my current Core2Quad. I'll be interested to try out the built in Intel graphics, although I expect I will change to a proper graphics card eventually.
Harrison 09:22 4th December 2018
If you are not gaming then thr GPUs built into the Intel i processors are fine. The last couple of laptops we own use them without issue.

My download and home server is also running an i3 and using the built in GPU and it's perfect as Im not using it for gaming, just the desktop and command prompt. Can even run dual monitor setups perfectly well.
Harrison 09:27 4th December 2018
BTW, nice looking case. Seriously consider an M.2 SSD for the boot drive as it's supported. As for which CPU to go for, it depends how many cores you want, and if you also want hyperthreading. The i3s are fine for pretty much all general uses as they are dual core with hyperthreading, so the OS sees 4 cores. The i5 lacks the HT so you just get the 4 real cores. And the i7 has 4 cores and HT so you see 8 in the OS. There are other factors such as cache sizes, and built in GPU version. All the 8th gen CPUs are nice though. Lower running temperatures are also great with the current chips for a SFF case.
Stephen Coates 02:13 6th December 2018
The Shuttle barebones machine finally arrived today. It is indeed a really neat little system.

I'm quite tempted with an i5 of some kind at the moment. I'll also need some memory. I currently manage OK with 4GB, so I don't need to get loads, but I will certainly go for more than I have now.

It is tempting to try an M.2 SSD, but I'll stick with the SATA SSD I just bought for now. I'll likely upgrade to an M.2 one eventually.

I'm still eager to try out the Intel graphics, but my existing Radeon HD7770 seems to have better benchmark results:
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