by Mike McNamee Published 01/10/2008
The New Machines two new machines were built with the specifications set out in the tables. We aimed at quiet, low heat output, low noise machines with smaller footprints and avoided the very small formats, one attempt at burning down the house is sufficient. The workstation is aimed at a performance suitable for a professional photographer doing a moderate amount of retouching, but storing back-up files on another machine (fewer hard drives equals less heat and noise).
Power consumption has become something of a topic in computing at the present time. We too had become concerned about our power consumption, electricity bills and the stifling summer heat of the office (we do not have any heating on in the winter either). The second machine needed a more stylish look, suitable for placement in a client viewing room, with both computer monitor and television outputs.
Features of the Cases We decided to build Micro-ATX systems (the motherboard form factor is microATX or mATX). The Antec 'tower' case (NSK3480) is very small at 14'' deep, 14'' tall and just under 8'' wide. Allowing space for the cables at the back, the front sits 18'' away from the wall. A standard PC case's front usually sits 24-25'' from the back wall, so this is quite a significant reduction! As people have moved from CRTs to LCD monitors, desks have either shrunk in depth, or people have moved them further back towards the walls; this PC fits in well with this arrangement.
The other machine was built using the Antec Desktop mATX case (NSK2480). If you have the space on your desk, it's actually a better layout and design, providing more internal space, and is much easier to work on. It is 17.5'' wide, 16.5'' deep, and 6'' tall. The primary cooling fans are mounted on the right side of the case, although there is a vent in the top above the PCI-Express graphics card slot, to allow heat to rise out of the case.
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