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Small Form Factor I'd like to build a NUC-killer on the cheap...

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Cleggmeister, 5 Oct 2016.

  1. Cleggmeister

    Cleggmeister Of reasonable knowledge...

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    Ola!

    My last build was my i7-920, many many years ago! I'm subsequently not down with the newfangled stuff anymore :( Though still capable :)

    My needs are thus: Build a killer SFF/NUC which will be silent or near silent, output to my TV via HDMI, run Ubuntu and give me lots of processing power. I'd like to fit a smallish 2.5" SSD and 8GB RAM. I'll also need a three USB ports and a gigabit ethernet port.

    BUT, I have no idea where to start! I could accommodate a small tower PC, however if I can fit everything into a ***-packet sized box that would be preferable!

    No need for optical drives, capacity storage etc as I have a server and the aforementioned 920 still happily whirring away. I'll be doing photo manipulation hence my desire for something with 8GB + and a bit of grunt.

    Of course if a NUC or a BRIX is the right thing I'll buy one of those, but I'd rather build it myself for the satisfaction :)

    Many thanks in advance!

    Cleggy.
     
  2. phuzz

    phuzz This is a title

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    I'd start off by looking at Mini-ITX sized boards, which will give you a big range of different CPUs to pick from, from a Celeron to an i7. For your needs a mid-range i5 is probably about right. It's got integrated graphics, so for 2D stuff it's fine, but there's a PCIe slot if you decide you need a proper graphics card for gaming.
    You can get AMD boards in the same size, but I don't know much about AMDs range any more,. It might turn out to be cheaper, but you'd have to go read a bunch of reviews.
    For either AMD or Intel it's worth looking at the TDP (a measure of how much heat it will put out), and aiming for a lower power chip as that will require less cooling, so it'll be quieter.
    The AMD boards are still on DDR3, the Intel Skylake ones are use DDR4.
    Then it's just a matter of finding a case you like, the ITX mobo means there's some really small ones out there. One thing to note is that many of the cases use Small Form Factor PSUs, but if you're just powering a mobo/CPU and SSD you'll be fine with a small power supply. The case is a very subjective decision, so pick the one you like the look of, all small cases are a pain in the bum to work on anyway ;)
     
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  3. theshadow2001

    theshadow2001 [DELETE] means [DELETE]

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  4. Cleggmeister

    Cleggmeister Of reasonable knowledge...

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    Thank you both very much for the insights, very good to know. I'll price up some components later. Hadn't thought about gaming, but tempted!
     
  5. davvy76

    davvy76 Member

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    If you want diy gaming in an ITX sized case similar to a nuc, ie 17x17cm with say a max of 7cm height forget it, unless you spend big on socketed broadwell, eg. https://www.scan.co.uk/shop/computer-hardware/all/cpu-intel/core-i7-socket-1150-broadwell (At which point you're very close to a skull canyon based nuc in price)
    Intel in their wisdom have neglected to release a socketed skylake cpu with iris pro. The only other options are the Amd apus, 7870k and so on but to be honest the gaming prowess (game dependant of course) is severely lacking unless you drop to 720p along with the details. Having said that zen could be an option if you're in no rush, theres information floating about that it's igpu could be pretty decent.

    For reference i'm talking a case of this size or there about:
    https://www.scan.co.uk/products/cit...60w-external-power-adaptor-1x-usb-30-20-black
    Still a touch bigger than a nuc mind!

    Now if you're just after browsing, photoshop, video etc then you have a lot of potential to build a nuc killer
     
    Last edited: 6 Oct 2016
  6. jinq-sea

    jinq-sea 'write that down in your copy book' Super Moderator

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    Intel Q87T (equivalent), i7-4790T (equivalent, probably), RAM, and SSD? Running in an Akasa Euler passive case, and Robert's your Mother's Brother.

    I've got similar running as my ESXi server, and it flies. The only thing is, it's not really much cop for gaming, so if that's a dealbreaker, as you were ;)
     
  7. BeauchN

    BeauchN Active Member

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    You don't have to go huge if you do want gaming though. Take a look at the Silverstone ML09: it will fit mITX and a low profile dual slot GPU in about 7l. Admittedly the best GPU you'll get for that is a 750ti but we can live in hope given the efficiency of the latest cards.

    Not much larger is the RVZ02 or ML08 and you can fit as big a GPU as you like in one of those.
     
  8. Cleggmeister

    Cleggmeister Of reasonable knowledge...

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    I think I'll ditch the "hardcore" gaming requisite on this box and save that for my existing i7.

    I love that AsRock DeskMini 110 - just what the doctor ordered for my web/email/photo editing/general faffing on the lounge telly. I also have my trusty Wii in the lounge for Super Mario Galaxy! :)
     
  9. davvy76

    davvy76 Member

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    One nuc killer:

    [​IMG]

    If you want quad switch the i3 out, also you may need a low profile cooler for this build. I don't know how tall the stock cooler is on skylake T cpu's. You also have room for a mechanical 2.5" drive should you want more storage.

    Another option if you want complete silence:
    http://www.it-tech-uk.com/minisys-t...x-case.html#/front_panel-without_optical_driv
    You'll need a dc board and ac-dc adapter with this though, the same site sells them.
     
    Last edited: 7 Oct 2016
  10. jinq-sea

    jinq-sea 'write that down in your copy book' Super Moderator

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    Cleggy - I've just listed something very similar to the machine I referred to above - I've no use for it, and it's had little use here. It's only rocking an i3, but it's plenty fast enough! It's in my clearout thread in the MP.
     
  11. nimbu

    nimbu Well-Known Member

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    Have you considered Steam streaming? I messed around with it on my i7 NUC and Wow and it worked pretty well. Only issue I ran into was occasional latency on the wireless network.
     

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