Author Topic: TBG's Guide to Assembling a Mini-STX PC (2017)  (Read 6214 times)

Ari Altman

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Re: TBG's Guide to Assembling a Mini-STX PC (2017)
« Reply #90 on: May 21, 2018, 10:39:32 PM »
ScotY and J35Bowman,

I still think STX is one of the greatest things to ever happen in the PC industry, it just came at a bad time. A Kaby Lake-based STX system will live a good long life, and in fact, not only did I just bring TBG's STX test system back to life with a new Pentium G4620, I also personally purchased what is likely to be one of few remaining AsRock DeskMinis in stock at Newegg. This will be going to an older relative with simple needs, and I'm building it up with a Pentium G4560, a Seagate FireCuda, and 8GB of RAM. So, ScotY, in answer to your question, that's what you should get for your relative. I wouldn't worry too much about the STX form factor disappearing, as that only matters for people who might want to upgrade their PCs in the future. This PC will be a capable web browser for years to come!

By the way, in case you guys missed it, TBG's STX system was used as the test bench for the new ultra-low-profile CPU cooler shootout, so if either of you are looking for a cooler upgrade, you might want to consider one of the two options tested!
« Last Edit: May 21, 2018, 10:45:06 PM by Ari Altman »

J35Bowman

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Re: TBG's Guide to Assembling a Mini-STX PC (2017)
« Reply #91 on: May 22, 2018, 03:06:25 PM »
Probably the wrong thread, but it pertains to the cooler test you alluded to (thank you for that, by the way. It may well prompt me to spring for the L9I, for an even quieter HTPC). The next computer I build will most likely also be a SFF. I want to go AMD (not a fan of Intelís business practices, plus why not support the underdog whoís making it a competition again). I was thinking the Antec ISK110 with a Ryzen 5 2400G. Am I right in presuming the Wraith Stealth will be too tall, but the L9A will fit the case without any problem?

Ari Altman

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Re: TBG's Guide to Assembling a Mini-STX PC (2017)
« Reply #92 on: May 22, 2018, 09:33:26 PM »
Probably the wrong thread, but it pertains to the cooler test you alluded to (thank you for that, by the way. It may well prompt me to spring for the L9I, for an even quieter HTPC). The next computer I build will most likely also be a SFF. I want to go AMD (not a fan of Intelís business practices, plus why not support the underdog whoís making it a competition again). I was thinking the Antec ISK110 with a Ryzen 5 2400G. Am I right in presuming the Wraith Stealth will be too tall, but the L9A will fit the case without any problem?

Turns out I can give you a pretty firm answer on this, as shown below:



While Antec doesn't provide a cooler height specification, TBG has an ISK110 in its fleet, so I know it's 48mm. Thus, the short answer is that you're going to need the Noctua NH-L9a-AM4. It's the only cooler on the market that will fit on a Ryzen CPU in the Antec case without a mail-order adapter. Period.

Now, here's the long answer: there's a reason TBG pulled all Ryzen Ridge CPUs from its PC buyer's guides... AMD really messed up when it came to motherboard support, and for ITX builds, it's simply terrible. Until the X470 chipset arrived, if you bought an AM4 ITX motherboard, it was nearly guaranteed NOT to support Raven Ridge. And while you can go for an X470 board today, there are very few X470 ITX boards, and they are all too expensive to earn a TBG recommendation for a low-cost build. The only model I'd recommend you consider is the stripped-down Biostar X470GTN.

J35Bowman

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Re: TBG's Guide to Assembling a Mini-STX PC (2017)
« Reply #93 on: May 23, 2018, 03:50:00 AM »
Iím not building it yet. Iíll be waiting for B450 boards to arrive.

ScotY

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Re: TBG's Guide to Assembling a Mini-STX PC (2017)
« Reply #94 on: June 24, 2018, 11:47:39 AM »
Hi Ari,

Thanks once again for all your support!  I have been using both DeskMinis these days and both have been working great!  One is still dedicated to the CNC machines and one (this one) is now my desktop web browser since my laptop died last week. ;D  :o

Totally off topic, but I'm wondering if you can give me a little advice?  First, the laptop...I'd like to try and "save" a few files I have on it and have watched various techniques on youtube on how to do this.  The laptop started acting up (it wouldn't allow me to input my password on startup), then eventually Windows 10 won't start.  I think the HD is still functional.

Second question is...is there an easy way to wirelessly transfer files from my desktop to the CNC computer?  Both are on my wifi network and I could use a USB drive but I'm lazy and it's cumbersome.  The computers are in the same room but running a hard wire of some sort would not be worth the trouble.  I've tried researching this, but most of the solutions are confusing and I'm not sure what method to use.

One more question that I just thought of...is there a small form factor computer build that has better graphics performance?  Fusion 360 nags me all the time saying the Deskmini's graphics performance might not be good enough.  It seems to work but if there's something better, I might want to try it.

Thanks again,
Scot

Ari Altman

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Re: TBG's Guide to Assembling a Mini-STX PC (2017)
« Reply #95 on: June 24, 2018, 06:23:46 PM »
Hi Ari,

Thanks once again for all your support!  I have been using both DeskMinis these days and both have been working great!  One is still dedicated to the CNC machines and one (this one) is now my desktop web browser since my laptop died last week. ;D  :o

Totally off topic, but I'm wondering if you can give me a little advice?  First, the laptop...I'd like to try and "save" a few files I have on it and have watched various techniques on youtube on how to do this.  The laptop started acting up (it wouldn't allow me to input my password on startup), then eventually Windows 10 won't start.  I think the HD is still functional.

Second question is...is there an easy way to wirelessly transfer files from my desktop to the CNC computer?  Both are on my wifi network and I could use a USB drive but I'm lazy and it's cumbersome.  The computers are in the same room but running a hard wire of some sort would not be worth the trouble.  I've tried researching this, but most of the solutions are confusing and I'm not sure what method to use.

One more question that I just thought of...is there a small form factor computer build that has better graphics performance?  Fusion 360 nags me all the time saying the Deskmini's graphics performance might not be good enough.  It seems to work but if there's something better, I might want to try it.

Thanks again,
Scot

Scot - glad to hear your two DeskMinis are working, and it seems the second one arrived just in time to replace your laptop.

Here's my input on your three questions:

(1) saving files - the best option is to remove the hard drive from the laptop and install it in an external case like this one. Of course, this will only work if the hard drive is still functional.

(2) Wireless transfers can be achieved through Windows Sharing, but it's pretty unreliable. If you have a wireless router with a USB port, you can insert a thumb drive in it and use it as a cheap network storage device that can be accessed from all PCs on the network. And actually, hooking up a physical cable between the two machines would not be the way to do this.

(3) You won't find an SFF machine with more graphics power at anywhere the size of your PCs. You'd have to go to something over 2x bigger, like the SilverStone ML09, which I'll be publishing a review of soon, and even then, you'll be pretty limited in the video cards you can use, and of course will need all new components, as your current STX gear will not work. If your CNC projects seem to be working, I'd leave well enough alone.

ScotY

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Re: TBG's Guide to Assembling a Mini-STX PC (2017)
« Reply #96 on: June 24, 2018, 09:12:23 PM »
Thanks for the info, Ari!  I recently got a Google OnHub device and it, unfortunately, does not support USB devices.  :o However, my old Netgear router does (I think), so I think I can connect it to the OnHub...what a mess! ;D

Anyway, thanks again for the tips and Iíll be on the lookout for that review!

Ari Altman

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Re: TBG's Guide to Assembling a Mini-STX PC (2017)
« Reply #97 on: June 24, 2018, 09:40:31 PM »
Thanks for the info, Ari!  I recently got a Google OnHub device and it, unfortunately, does not support USB devices.  :o However, my old Netgear router does (I think), so I think I can connect it to the OnHub...what a mess! ;D

Anyway, thanks again for the tips and Iíll be on the lookout for that review!

I'm not a big fan of Google's networking products, but that's water under the bridge at this point.

Unfortunately, your solution will not work. The USB device is only available to devices connected to the router's wireless network, and since your PCs will be connected through your OnHub, they won't see the Netgear's USB drive.

ScotY

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Re: TBG's Guide to Assembling a Mini-STX PC (2017)
« Reply #98 on: June 24, 2018, 10:15:08 PM »
Oh, that sucks! :o I should have asked before I bought that thing but it had a really nice review by some tech guy...shoulda known you can really trust Amazon reviews. Is there any other way that you know of?

Ari Altman

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Re: TBG's Guide to Assembling a Mini-STX PC (2017)
« Reply #99 on: June 25, 2018, 01:19:51 PM »
Oh, that sucks! :o I should have asked before I bought that thing but it had a really nice review by some tech guy...shoulda known you can really trust Amazon reviews. Is there any other way that you know of?

If you're interested in regularly transferring data between two PCs on the same network, and aren't using a router with a USB port, you could in theory go for a network drive. For a short time, companies were selling hard drives with built-in WiFi, but these really didn't play to well in the consumer market due to reliability problems, and were really targeted at smartphone and tablet users, not PC users. There are still some products being cleared out of inventory that you can buy, but I don't feel comfortable recommending anything to you. What people do now is build a NAS, such as a Synology solution. The pricepoint, even for a basic solution, is pretty high, but it's much more robust. Here's their entry-level DS216se unit, which can hold up to two hard drives, like this WD Red 2TB.

With that being said, if this is just a one-time transfer of files, use a USB thumb drive. Setting up a network drive is far more trouble than it's worth in this situation.