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On the lookout for nice mini/cube style cases...

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On the lookout for nice mini/cube style cases...

Postby the1casey on Wed Dec 11, 2002 6:33 pm

I've seen a couple of really nice cases online over the last year but now that I'm ready to build myself a nice mini-pc I can't seem to find any decent ones for sale... can anybody help me out and point me to some nice cases?

thanks

Casey
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Postby Derek on Wed Dec 11, 2002 7:22 pm

the1casey: You first have to ask yourself what you mean by mini-pc and what you want to do with it. There are a few form factors out there. First, ATX is the big one for most standard computers. You can get smaller ATX cases (mini-towers) that will still fit an ATX mobo.

Next, there are the various Shuttle XPCs. The come in one standard case that is cube style. 2 big bays and 2 small bays. http://us.shuttle.com/product_mini.asp The cases look pretty sweet and come with a motherboard and PSU built in. You must provide the CPU, RAM, Video, HDD, Optical Drives, etc. LAN and not so go audio are built in. Depending on the parts you use, it can be a killer system or just a basic machine.

Finally, my favorite, is the Via Epia platform. Its a 17cm x 17cm motherboard that has a processor embedded in it. You just need the board, case, RAM, HDD, and optical. Only downfall is that is isn't incredibly powerful. It has hardware MPEG2 for DVD, and has enough horsepower to decode DIVX and MP3, but it's definatley not a gaming machine. More of a Firewall/Internet/Email/DVD/MP3 computer for the living room or something similar. www.mini-itx.com is a good site for info. There are many cube style cases for this. Here's the basic cube for that: http://www.caseoutlet.com/NWPc/Checkercube/checker.html . There are also a lot of newer cases like this: Image on their way. Mini-ITX is exploding, and with the release of the new Epia Ms, there is a lot more power behind the systems than the previous generations.

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mini-pc

Postby the1casey on Wed Dec 11, 2002 7:28 pm

Thanks for the great info! I love that case (pic) however you're right, it's not powerful enough for me. The shuttle xpc looks very nice so I think I may go with one of those.

Question, I want to stick a combo cdrw/dvdrom drive in the xpc, do you know if those faceplates on the xpc will cover the drive face (to keep the look the same on the case) or will those covers have to be taken off?

thanks!
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Postby dodecahedron on Wed Dec 11, 2002 7:39 pm

hello Derek! :D

who are you?
just 1 post and already a CD-RW PiMP! :o
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Postby Derek on Wed Dec 11, 2002 7:46 pm

the1casey: The XPC's covers will be replaced by the drive front. Some people might have modded the front to stealth the drive, but that's not a basic task by any means!

Heres what it might look like with the DVD Drive in there:
Image

dodecahedron: Thanks for asking, you'll find out soon. ;)

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Postby dodecahedron on Wed Dec 11, 2002 7:49 pm

OK then...
in the meantime, WELCOME! :P
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
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Postby dhc014 on Wed Dec 11, 2002 7:50 pm

Those are some nice looking cases, thanks Derek ;)
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shuttle case

Postby the1casey on Wed Dec 11, 2002 7:57 pm

nothing explains things better than a photo! thx, it still looks great to me although having matching drive faces would have been a nice touch. I think I'm going to pick one of these Shuttles up.

I was also just told that Soyo is coming out with something similar. Any news on this?

Just tell me to beat it if I'm asking too much! lol

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Postby Derek on Wed Dec 11, 2002 8:14 pm

It is possible they are building a SFF pc, but I've heard nothing about it.
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Postby dhc014 on Wed Dec 11, 2002 11:50 pm

dodecahedron wrote:OK then...
in the meantime, WELCOME! :P


Hehe, read here.
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Postby eFrisky on Thu Dec 12, 2002 4:16 pm

mmm nice 1 Derek! It seems that there is a fair bit of interest among the hardware community in the little Via motherboard at the moment. I've seen lots of hits on the classic Dutch hardware search site recently:
http://www.tweakers.net/pricewatch/cat/47
Last week I saw the two most recent Via mobos up there in the top 5 LOL!

I figure that in the new year I might buy the M9000 for use as a DivX/mp3/surfin' machine for the living room. Just wondering if I can get a half-decent capture card to fit in it and maybe use it as a PVR..? Ideas?

The money I save on a "full" PC (another duallie, which I was planning on building until I read about the Via platform), will be invested in a TX-NR900 from here:
http://www.onkyousa.com/

A sweet new surround amp with an Ethernet socket. Imagine the possibilities for a "connected" home. mmmmmmmmm
Drool, Drool, Drool, Drool, Drool.

/me runs off to find a towel to mop up the drool...

Must have more consumer electronics! More! More! Oh yeah! mmm mmm mmm mmm Give it to me!!!
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Postby Derek on Thu Dec 12, 2002 4:57 pm

Efrisky, glad I could be of help. I'm actually planning on building a MP3/DVD/DiVX/Web/Email box out of the Epia M9000. It has the horsepower to do all that stuff, much more than the previous M8000. My plan is to build the computer itself inside a broken, gutted DVD player case for that "home theater" look to it. Last thing I want is some fugly case sitting in my home theater.

Make sure to get a remote of some kind for it as well. Keyboards and mice are not very functional on the couch. I was leaning twoards the ATI Remote Wonder since it has plugin support for new programs. I will be able to control PowerDVD for VCDs and DVDs, Winamp for MP3s, BS Player for DIVX, and do some minor surfing with just the remote (!!!!!).

That Onkyo reciever is pretty neat. I'm interested in their Net-Tune protocol. It's a shame it costs $1500. I got a great Pioneer Elite (the low end of Elite) for around $400 3 years ago. It's still doing awesome, and she'll stay with me through college. Only complaint is that it wont convert compostite -> S-Video or vice versa. So you have to use all S-Video or all composite.

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Postby dhc014 on Thu Dec 12, 2002 5:13 pm

eFrisky wrote:...More! More! Oh yeah! mmm mmm mmm mmm Give it to me!!!


:o
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Postby the1casey on Fri Dec 13, 2002 1:43 pm

Hey Derek, one last thing, what light are you using to light the front panel up? I'm going to buy this pc this weekend and like that neon lighting...


thanks man



Derek wrote:the1casey: The XPC's covers will be replaced by the drive front. Some people might have modded the front to stealth the drive, but that's not a basic task by any means!

Heres what it might look like with the DVD Drive in there:
Image

dodecahedron: Thanks for asking, you'll find out soon. ;)

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Postby Derek on Fri Dec 13, 2002 6:19 pm

That isn't my case. It's just a picture I linked to. You will need to buy the lightup faceplate from Shuttle. They come in a few colors like blue, red, green, etc. You should be able to get it where ever you get the case.
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