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Old May 21, 2010, 10:04 PM
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kingnubian kingnubian is offline
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Default ITX Linux Workstation Build

The time is fast approaching for my next build. It will be an ITX based one, my 3rd ITX build in the last year, as I've grown to love this format for various reasons. Here are some points/requirements for this proposed build. This build will be used as a daily general computing workhorse. It will not be used to play games as I have that base already covered with another pc.

-> This build will run Linux exclusively (Either Linux Mint, Suse 11.3 (When it drops), or PCLinuxOS 2010.1).
-> Must be very quiet yet powerful & fast enough to run today's modern applications (Not A Game Machine Though).
-> Must be built with up to date components.
-> Obviously Linux compatibility is a must.
-> Would prefer to choose an ITX case that can fit a standard ATX power supply for the sake of choice.
-> I would prefer that the chosen case be able to fit a cooler the size of the Scythe Big Shuriken (My heatsink of choice for tight spaces.
-> Must be reasonably priced but not if it means sacrificing the above points.

-What Is This Build For?-
Daily computing tasks such as surfing the net, multimedia, document creation, communication, ect, ect.


So with that out of the way here is some of the hardware I have been looking at.

-Motherboard-

Intel based gets the nod here so far due to the availability of S1156 based motherboards. From what I have been reading the ECS H55H-I seems to be a great board for the price but with no USB 3.0 or SATA 3 it isn't very forward thinking. The Zotac H55ITX-A-E is another contender but while being more expensive than the ECS, it does at least have integrated WiFi (Bu at an almost $50 premium over the ECS board!). Still USB3 & SATA3 are NOT among the deciding factors for this build at all.

I did not include any model from Intel since being an overclocker at heart, Intel gets passed over due to their usual lack of any overclocking options in their shipping bios.

I am not against an AMD offering, I still love my Zotac GF8200 ITX build, but I am being swayed by my cpu choice.

-Processor-
Intel Core i3-530

The Core i3 has the combination of speed, easy overclockability & cool running efficiency that seems to make it a perfect choice for this setup. As a bonus it includes Intel VT-x technology since I am a virtualization junkie as well not to mention Hyperthreading.

-Case-

Here is a sticking point. I would prefer an ITX case that supports a full sized ATX powersupply. I just feel that I would prefer the choice of silent powersupply than have my choices limited by the small selection of SFX based units around. I would also be able to go modular which would be a big advantage given the limited space that the ITX platform affords. This is not written in stone however.

Some I've been looking at include the Lian Li PC-Q08 (Not really available yet), Lian Li PC-Q07, Lian Li PC-V351A, Silverstone SG05B, Silverstone SG06B.


So here is the beginning of my next build. I would like to start ordering parts within the next week or two.

Opinions & Observations are welcomed.
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