Is this THE group to discuss ITX form factor?

Discussion in 'DIY Computers' started by MM, Sep 4, 2009.

  1. MM

    MM Guest

    I want to build a small PC to run software for my digital piano. I am
    considering the following components:

    Asustek ITX-220 Celeron I945GC mini-ITX Mainboard PartNo: ITX-220

    CFI A8989 Cube Case - White/Black PartNo: A8989-QGI

    Kingston 2GB 533Mhz DDR2 PartNo: KVR533D2N4/2G

    I've built/upgraded several standard desktop PCs in the past, but
    never anything this small.

    MM
     
    MM, Sep 4, 2009
    #1
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  2. MM

    Adrian C Guest

    Ahem ... "I want to build a small PC to run software for my digital
    piano." ;-)

    After some redecoration here, I'm staring at this old beaten up 50's
    Berry piano with untunable strings and wondering about gutting it and
    installing a PC and speakers in the shell ...
     
    Adrian C, Sep 4, 2009
    #2
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  3. MM

    Adrian C Guest

    Sorry, I'm not the OP.
     
    Adrian C, Sep 4, 2009
    #3
  4. MM

    MM Guest

    Yes, I can kinda believe that. However, the parts I listed cost only
    about £110 so it won't cost a wad of dosh just to see the thing
    running. I can test initially with one of my existing hard drives (I
    have drive racks for the standard PCs) and I also have a couple of
    spare CD-ROM drives, so fitting one in order to install an OS on a
    test basis should be fine. Then later on I can buy a new SATA drive (I
    only have IDE ones currently), a DVD writer and so on. The spec for
    the case says it has a 3.5 and a 5.25 drive bay, and I have several
    spare keyboards and mouses.
    Oh, I usually take probably far longer than necessary, as I've only
    built/upgraded systems for my own use (haven't bought a new/branded PC
    for donkey's years). I'm retired, so I've got all day, and then
    there's tomorrow as well!
    That's all I need. The mobos in these desktop PCs I currently have are
    ABit KV85s (identical builds, one for dev, the other for testing and
    experimenting), and the onboard graphics on these are fine for what I
    need, which is to run my Know The Notes program. What I need is a very
    compact PC next to/under/above the digital piano, plus a widescreen
    LCD monitor fixed (VESA bracket) to the wall in front so that I can
    sit at the piano and watch the screen while Know The Notes is playing.
    See www.littletyke.myzen.co.uk/ktn/index.html so that you can see what
    I'm on about!
    One of my racks is running Ubuntu and every now and again I whack it
    in to let it update. Linux is great like that and, touch wood, has
    never failed to complete an update. I still don't use Linux much
    though, since all the software I write is in classic Visual Basic 6. I
    did dabble with Kylix a bit (hence the moniker), and have an old
    version of Delphi somewhere, but I've been working with VB for years,
    so it's like an old, comfy pair of slippers.
    I think you'll have got the picture by now! Many thanks for the
    feedback.

    MM
     
    MM, Sep 4, 2009
    #4
  5. MM

    MM Guest

    Yes, that could be quite a gadget to show off to your mates! But are
    those strings really untunable? You can obtain thicker wrest pins that
    don't slip. Mind you, the piano has to be worth it, as restringing is
    quite a job. Many people have done it, though.

    MM
     
    MM, Sep 4, 2009
    #5
  6. MM

    MM Guest

    Good points, thanks. The case that caught my eye because it is cheap
    and looks quite cheerful in red or white (not keen on black for a PC
    case) is this one http://linitx.com/viewproduct.php?prodid=12435

    It does have an internal power supply, and you're right, I do want a
    quiet PC. Yes, I've looked at www.mini-itx.com but also the one just
    mentioned, and a couple of others. Thing is, it was only a couple of
    weeks ago that I had the idea of building a special PC just for the
    piano and started researching the bits and pieces, so I'm a complete
    novice at this game. (Mini ITX, I mean; I don't have a problem with
    ATX.)

    Another "problem" I find is the sheer number of different mobos and
    CPU combinations. At the end of the day, one can do research until the
    cows come home, but sooner or later you just have to bite the bullet
    and build one, I reckon. That's why I want to build a really cheap one
    first, so that if it's a total disaster I won't have lost a great deal
    if I re-use several components (hard drive, keyboard etc) that I
    already have. I am having second thoughts, though, about the mobo I
    listed in the OP (Asustek ITX-220 Celeron I945GC mini-ITX Mainboard),
    because I've since seen several reviews where the product has been
    DoA.

    Bear in mind that this proposed small form-factor PC won't need an
    awful lot of power. Just enough to to run XP, say, plus a reasonable
    onboard graphics chipset will do fine. Sound output will be either
    direct to the digital piano or through my Boss Dr Synth sound module,
    so the onboard mobo audio support won't be needed.

    MM
     
    MM, Sep 4, 2009
    #6
  7. MM

    Adrian C Guest

    That's the problem, the pins do slip and the piano has spent too many
    years getting baked and frozen in front of a patio window. The result is
    we may start getting rather too crazy with tweaking and snap something -
    and after repairs (however done) it's out of tune the following week. :-(

    I don't think it's worth that much, but I'll get the advice of someone
    before I let loose with the angle grinder ...
     
    Adrian C, Sep 4, 2009
    #7
  8. MM

    MM Guest

    A part of me always dies when I see a piano being broken up... I hated
    those piano-bashing competitions that were all the rage in the 1960s.
    The cases on old instruments are often works of art and a tribute to
    carpeters' skills, even if the piano itself may not have been up to
    much. According to Google, Nathaniel Berry and Sons, London England,
    started production in 1866. Ever thought of a freecycle ad? If nothing
    else you might get it shifted out of your house/flat for free!

    MM
     
    MM, Sep 5, 2009
    #8
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