1. #1
    Pandaren Monk
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Northern Sweden

    Power Effiecent mini-ITX office/programming computer?

    Hey, what's up? =)

    I'm trying to figure out what to take into account when building a low-power, compact (pref. something you can hang up behind a 24" monitor), pref noise-less computer made for office/programming tasks. I did a search here on the forums but I can't really find anything (other than gaming-oriented mini-ITX systems, which is to be expected on a gaming fan forum). I would google, but being new to the concept I've hard time googling. Besides, most of the hits I do find when googling aren't all *that* related to what I'm looking for.

    This isn't exactly a Help with build-type of thread, but more in the lines of discussion about the topic, to enlighten both myself and anyone finding their way to this thread in the future. While individual components could be suggested, I'm not really looking for suggestions on complete builds unless there are information coupled with it (like a tutorial explaining why these components were chosen, alternative components, etc).

    So I was looking at different Pico-PSU's, but I don't exactly know where to get them here in Sweden, especially when taking my wish to order a complete system into account. I've also looked at different low-power mini-ITX boards, as well as CPU's/APU's, but the best site where I can order all components for a system seems to be in England (and since I have to go to a company dinner in a few minutes I don't have time to dig up the link, if this topic wasn't posted already it'd have to wait until I got back and could make a "proper, complete" OP).

    Well, until I get back and can update this OP properly, anyone who can share reading information/youtube stuff on low-power mini-ITX systems? I was thinking of having an SSD in the system for the superior IOPS for database stuff (WAMP, huge excel documents, etc), as well as being as cheap as possible with as high as possible performance/watt while being strong enough to manage Windows 7 stuff, MySQL tables/Excel documents with 100k+ rows, youtube, etc without annoying delays. Another goal is to have it completely free from moving parts (ie fans, with an SDD, pico-PSU and passive cooling the only moving part would be the On-button), but having one or two low-RPM fans in exchange for a considerable jump in performance is okay as well.

    Note that this is for 2D, text based work. No games will be played on this system. Low noise level is key due to sensitive hearing and a wish to have the system on 24/7.

    I'll be back later this evening to update missing information / remove unnecessary info / ranting, etc. Due to my mistake with the enter key I had to pretty much wing it asap.

    I accidentally hit enter instead of backspace when changing a typo in the title. And now I can't change the typo >.<
    Last edited by Raphtheone; 2013-01-12 at 03:30 PM.
    Sabïna of Whipe @ Frostmane EU, no longer playing. Youtube Channel
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  2. #2
    the elephant in the room is an Apple Mac mini. Any aversion to one? You can go straight-up windows with no OS X if you prefer. Power usage is insanely minimal, and it's perfectly quiet.

  3. #3
    I am Murloc! Cyanotical's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Quote Originally Posted by Zoofreak View Post
    the elephant in the room is an Apple Mac mini. Any aversion to one? You can go straight-up windows with no OS X if you prefer. Power usage is insanely minimal, and it's perfectly quiet.
    it's an elephant of a price, on average it starts at twice the cost of most ITX builds, and you still have to buy windows

    OP start with this:

    from there you can add an I3 or pentium and a bit of RAM and a 60GB SSD

    look for a case that has a built in PSU

    avoid getting an integrated APU, they are cheap and there are plenty of them, but most in the ITX FF are E-350s which honestly are crap for daily use, i have one and i avoid using it
    Last edited by Cyanotical; 2013-01-12 at 07:31 PM.

  4. #4
    Fluffy Kitten llDemonll's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    AMD A4-5300 Trinity 3.4GHz Dual Core

    AMD A8-5500 Trinity 3.2GHz Quad Core

    Both are lower power usage, and both will accomplish what you want. Frankly, just about anything made within the past 3-4 years will accomplish what you want to do with it. Mini ITX boards are hard to find for them right now though
    "I'm glad you play better than you read/post on forums." -Ninety
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  5. #5
    I am Murloc! Cyanotical's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    newegg lists one FM2 ITX board:

    if you can get that and a trinity APU, then you would be set for a very good desktop PC

    being in Sweden, you actually have a slightly better selection of ITX cases than we do here in the states, simply because the better cases out there have no good importers

    something like this would be good:
    Last edited by Cyanotical; 2013-01-12 at 07:35 PM.

  6. #6
    In Sweden we have 2 available FM2 Mini-ITX boards. http://www.prisjakt.nu/produkt.php?p=1448822 and http://www.prisjakt.nu/produkt.php?p=1453657

    If you want a really small case that you can fit behind the monitor you should probably be looking at http://www.prisjakt.nu/produkt.php?p=1073374

    However I think a Intel system like this is more power efficient http://www.inet.se/kundvagn/visa/2835679/2013-01-12

    The Intel CPU has a TDP of 35W where as the lowest TDP of a FM2 CPU is 65W.

    Something like this is also available http://www.inet.se/produkt/1406904/i...c3217iye-svart and all you have to do is add some RAM and a SSD.
    Last edited by n0cturnal; 2013-01-12 at 08:54 PM.
    Intel i5-3570K @ 4.7GHz | MSI Z77 Mpower | Noctua NH-D14 | Corsair Vengeance LP White 1.35V 8GB 1600MHz
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  7. #7
    Brewmaster Biernot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    I also think, the i3-3220T is probably the best way for a low-power/decent-performance system that does not need any GPU performance.

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i3-3220T 2.8GHz Dual-Core Processor ($129.60 @ Amazon)
    Motherboard: Asus P8H77-I Mini ITX LGA1155 Motherboard ($99.99 @ Amazon)
    Memory: Kingston HyperX Blu 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($36.99 @ Microcenter)
    Storage: Samsung Spinpoint M8 1TB 2.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive ($89.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Samsung 840 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($89.99 @ Adorama)
    Case: Lian-Li PC-Q11B Mini ITX Tower Case ($128.74 @ Mwave)
    Total: $575.30
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-12 16:39 EST-0500)

    Disregard the case, it is just a placeholder, as pcp doesn't have the case i intended: Lian Li PC-Q12 (comes with 300W 80+ SFX psu)
    The price should be similar, maybe a few bucks more. The good thing about this case is the possibility for several 2.5" hard drives if you need some storage room. At the same time, it looks just so sleek. The only downside is the 300W psu, because even under load the whole system will only run at about 20% load of the psu, which is bad*** for efficiency.

    *** not THAT bad, as 80+ means, that the psu has at least 80% efficiency between 20-80% load.

    It's a shame that Lian Li stopped the PC-Q09. That was a nice little package.

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