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MSI, Shuttle or Aopen


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#1
dango111

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Hello :tazz: ,

I really like the look of the recent SFF (Small Form Factor) PCs, but I can't find much advise on them. Can some owners please let me know their current sytems and the sytems they'd get now if they haven't got their dream machine right now?

I really like the MSI MEGA 865 Pro and have come up with the following spec for a basic system that I can upgrade over the next twelve months or so.

MSI Mega PC 865 Pro
http://www.msi.com.t...ail.php?UID=602
Celeron D 340 2.9GHz SKT478 - FSB533 256KB Cache
Cosair 1024MB DDR400 PC3200 184DIMM
Western Digital 200GB Uide100 7200rpm 8mb cache
LG 16x DVD dual layer IDE

All in @ £470, which is already over my upper price limit!

Thanks in advance, Dango111
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#2
warriorscot

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I would avoid celerons all together and would probably go for amd instead as they tend to be cheaper, what are you wanting to use your pc for as well.
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#3
warriorscot

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http://www.overclock...alog/Aopen.html that and a amd 64 3000+ should do you fine.
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#4
dango111

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Hi WarriorScot,

I noticed your system when I was looking around this site, very nice. I'm looking for a hi-fi, tv & DVD replacement system. One of the nice things about the MSI is that you can operate all those things without powering up the OS.

I checked the link, but there are several boxes there. Which one did you have in mind?

Thanks for the speedy reply, Dango111
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#5
dango111

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WarriorScot,

Just had a better look at the ssytems you linked to and now know that only one of them would take the AMD 64 processor you recommend, so you must have meant that one.

Sorry and thanks again, Dango111
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#6
warriorscot

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Yeah alot of them are really good the overclockers site is actually the best ive seen for barebones pcs ive seen yet. It has onboard gfx which was the main reason i reccomended it. Although they are all slightly different you should pick one that fits your needs best. Although most have the non OS funcionality you want the aopen one i linked uses as msi mobo as well as far as i know.
Thanks i use my system for the same as you are wanting pretty much would have had a barebones myself but im a bit of a gamer and wanted the space and extra features that come with a full sized pc. Although mines isnt very big at all, smaller than your average pc. just the way the case is designed really.
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#7
dango111

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Thanks for the advice WarriorScot. I have priced the following system from overclockers and would appreciate a quick check before I buy.


AMD Athlon 64 3000+ Venice 90nm (Socket 939) - OEM
AOpen XC-Cube EZ482 (Socket 939) - Black
AOpen COM5232G 52x/32x/52x/16x CD-RW/DVD Combo Drive - Retail
Western Digital Caviar Special Edition 200GB 2000JD SATA 8MB Cache - OEM
Corsair 1GB DDR Value Select PC3200 CAS2.5 Kit (2x512MB)

Anyone else with any suggestions for alternative systems?

Cheers, Dan :tazz:
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#8
warriorscot

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Looks good to me very nice indeed. The ram is slighly cheaper on ebuyer not much though. I usually go looking for parts i want on overclockers as they only keep the best and have the easiest to use website ill then go with my parts list and try and find them cheaper. In the end i probably only saved 50 pounds on everything and i did still get a couple of things from overclockers but on a budget 50 pounds is quite a bit.
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#9
dango111

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Hi WarriorScot,

Just placed the order :tazz: fingers crossed...

Will post pics and let you know how it turns out.

Thanks for all your help, dango111
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#10
warriorscot

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No bother, look fordward to finding how it turns out. Good luck.
Best advice for putting together a pc: be patient dont get frustrated, stop, think, double check the manual then do. Dont turn it on until you are finished and dont panic.

Have fun.
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#11
dango111

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Hi Mate,

The machine arived yesterday and I was up until 3.30 getting it going. It's awesome. Well, I haven't used it that much yet, but it's still wicked. That was an excellent suggestion. :tazz: I was really surprised by how easy it was to put together. Won't be buying a Dell, or the like, ever again!

One problem that you might be able to help me with... When I installed the OS (XP pro) the only option it gave me was a 130GB partition. Once install was completeed I realised that it's not recognising the remaining 120GB of my HDD. ;)

More detail... I bought a Western Digital SATA cable as recommended by the site, but the manual that came with the XC-Cube said to use the supplied data cable for the data bit and an adapter on the regular legacy power cable for the power bit. I've checked the WD website and they say to check that your mobo can support their "both in one" lead before using it. Aopen don't provide that sort of info, so I figured that I would do as the manual says, and use the cables supplied with the XC-Cube.

I have a couple of other problems, but I've dealt with similar before, so shouldn't be a problem: sound card not recognised, some wierd stuff with my router.

Grafics are far better than I was expecting for onboard chipset. That was wise thinking.

Thanks again, Dango111
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#12
warriorscot

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Yeah its the daddy of integrated gfx its basically just the ati x300 card but they integrated into a motherboard. No substitute for a good gfx card like an x800 but it is enough to keep you going. You need SP2 in order for drive sizes larger than 130GB to be read. Also make sure the jumpers on the back arent set to clip the drive.
on the cable front both sets of cables shoulf work give the ones that came with the HD a go maybe there is some thing WD drives need compared to normal SATA drives.

Edited by warriorscot, 03 August 2005 - 08:06 AM.

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