Games machine - opinion

  PurplePenny 22:18 08 Jan 2004

I'm going to build Kev a games machine. It has to be fairly portable and it has to be small. To that end I've opted for a cube. I originally wanted to base the machine on the CF-S768

click here

but the specs were not good enough so I decided on the Shuttle SN41G2 instead:

click here

Shuttle XPC SN41G2 AMD Socket A Aluminium Barebones System
# Chipset: North bridge:Nvidia nForce2 South bridge:nVidia MCP-T
# VGA : Geforce4 MX, 128 MB VGA share memory
# Audio : Realtek ALC650 6 Ch
# Power: 200W (PFC)

It has onboard graphics and sound and many reviews have found the graphics OK for games. I can add a better card later.

AMD ATHLON XP2800+ Barton

Seagate Barracuda 80Gb 7200rpm UDMA100 Hard Drive

Samsung 512 Pc2700 DDR333 (1 now add another later)

Samsung 52x24x52x16x

Elements Plasmar 5C 15ins TFT Silver & Black
# Contrast Ratio 400 : 1
# Response Time : 16ms
(the games will be put through the widescreen TV but we'll need a screen when used elsewhere so it will have to be small)

Wired optical mouse (not chosen it yet - anyone got any preferences?)
Keyboard - should this be wired too?

If we had the money I'd go for a bigger HDD, more memory, faster chip ... in fact if we could afford it I'd get the Shuttle AMD64! But this is about the best that we can afford so what do you think?


  soy 22:29 08 Jan 2004

What about this case: click here

Its supposed to be designed specifically for Mobility. i.e. Lan parties.

  PurplePenny 22:51 08 Jan 2004

Thanks Soy - I did look at the Lanboy because it had some good reviews on a games forum but it is a bit too big for us (we haven't got much room in the flat). That's what is such a shame about the Cubesystemz case - it is small and has a handle and was obviously designed with LAN parties in mind ... but the specs of the mobo just aren't up to what I want. I considered buying it anyway and upgrading to a better mobo later - but it uses a flexATX which seems to be smaller than all the flexATX mobos I could find.

Whilst looking for small cases, small form factor mobos etc I came across a carrying strap designed to allow people to take their PCs to LAN parties .... the illustration showed it being used with a *huge* tower, not a mini, not even a midi, it looked full size! I certainly wouldn't want to walk anywhere with it on my back.


  TBH1 23:43 08 Jan 2004

Games machine - - - don't they make PS2's and XBoxes anymore ???

definatley a good machine...

just make sure that you have good cooling...

as for the keyboard and mouse, go corded..

mouse i use a mouse off ebuyer £4 optical, 5 button's, comfy.. it is a take on the M$ intelli mouse explorer..

  PurplePenny 12:04 09 Jan 2004

Would the mouse be the Chic 1300 (ebuyer 26388)? That's the one that I had my eye on.

Cooling is the one thing that I'm a bit worried about - it is such a cramped case. On the other hand the reviews say that it keeps cool even during a heavy gaming session.

Thanks Pilch,


  plankton 12:46 09 Jan 2004

I think TBH1 has a point. All games are brought out first of all for PS2 or Xbox, and they never work properly on a desktop or laptop, or are made as a cut-down version, and the hardware is sooooo much cheaper and portable. You can also get a good/excellent TV/monitor to go with it......;o)

  Mysticnas 14:16 09 Jan 2004

cutdown versions? I don't think so.

Usually games that are released on consoles and then on PC are usually improved for the PC.

This usually means better graphics, better gameplay etc...

There's a whole host of games that are better for PC than their console cousins!

Collin McRae, FiFa.... loads...

There are however a few downsides to PC gaming...

The ability for multiplayer gaming is somewhat feable, 2 players using a keyboard, or going to the expense of adding 2 usb joypads/sticks.

Then there's internet gaming, it's much easier on PC.

As to cooling, i think one possibility you could have, is perhap's once you get the case, on the side panel and even on the top is to cut blowhole's, that will increase the amount of air ten fold through the case, although you wil need to get some air filter's.

Sometimes though if you wanted to be flash is that you can also get some cases with windows in, these are even better for adding fan's in, you can add LED fan's etc, making it bit of a crowd puller at the LAN parties!

As for keyboard then i mught recommend this one perhap's? click here I know the chap that own's the company ( and used him many time's!

Definate recommendation!

  duckers 14:59 09 Jan 2004

1. SN85G4 shuttle for AMD 64 CPU's
2. SN45G with NVidia nForce 2 Ultra 400 board
3. Shuttle ST61G4 for Pentium 4
4. Any of the pentium options with 865 or 875 chipsets.

To be honest the geforce 4 MX440 doesnt cut it when t comes to gaming now, its a little outdated and wont touch the latest games..

Personally on a budget I would build:
SN45G, Athlon XP 2500+, Maxtor IDE 160 gb 7200RPM UDMA 133 hard disk, 1024MB(2X512) TwinMos DDR400, ATI OEM 9600 Pro graphics card. If the budget stretches buy an AMD 2800+ 0r 3000+ CPU.
All this can be bought for under £500.

To read reviews of the newer shuttle XPC's click here

Also why is everyone in this forum obsessed with PC cooling? the cases own cooling is good enough without all the extra drilling and cutting... if it wasnt they wouldnt sell many would they??

  PurplePenny 15:09 09 Jan 2004

Hey that's an osCommerce based site - I like what they've done to the basic osc setup - it can look very boring in its out-of-the-box state.

Cooling - there are alternative panels for the Shuttle - one has holes and the other has windows. I can't find anywhere that sells them though - the only place that I've seen them is on the Shuttle website!! :-(

PC v consoles - some games only ever seem to be available for PC and there is always a far bigger selection for PC in our local games stores. Also this way we have another PC :-)

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