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Mini-ITX linux workstation ~$775 CAD

moditir

Active member
Joined
Jun 20, 2007
Messages
33
Hey guys,
I'm building a mini-ITX linux workstation for scientific programming.

Listed in order of importance are:
  • linux compatibility
  • performance
  • silent operation
  • semi-portability

my budget is loosely around $775 CAD. I want to see how much performance I can get out of a mini-ITX box for half the price of the cheapest macbook pro :).

Here's what I'm thinking:
Code:
| component   | name                     | price | link                                                                                                |
|-------------+--------------------------+-------+-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
| motherboard | MSI H110I Pro AC         |   115 | http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130929&_ga=1.12049335.287217500.1464431855  |
| case/psu    | Antec ISK 300-150        |   110 | http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129080&_ga=1.50232229.287217500.1464431855  |
| cpu         | Intel Core i5-6500       |   265 | http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819117563&_ga=1.20477755.287217500.1464431855  |
| m.2 ssd     | Samsung 950 Pro 256gb    |   240 | http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820147466&_ga=1.20477755.287217500.1464431855  |
| ram         | Crucial 2x16gb DDR4 2133 |    75 | http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148859&_ga=1.218480410.287217500.1464431855 |
|-------------+--------------------------+-------+-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|             | Total:                   |   805 |                                                                                                     |
concerns I have:
  • linux compatibility of the onboad wifi on the motherboard. not sure where I could find out about this or if I could find a more compatible setup for around the same price.
  • getting the most out of the 950 pro ssd with only PCI-e x4 2.0. Is there anyway I could get a PCI-e x4 3.0 m.2 slot in a motherboard at this price and form-factor
  • booting off the m.2 drive. Is this still an issue?
  • silly mistakes. It has been a while since I built a PC.

Other than that, any thoughts and reccomendations are very welcome.
Pretty excited about this build.
Thanks.
 

frontier204

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 2, 2008
Messages
1,344
Location
ON, Canada
For the motherboard...

I can't recommend the Antec ISK 300-150. Its power supply was hot and loud for my desktop build with an AMD A8 processor and no other expansion cards at stock clocks. (That's why that power supply isn't even 80+ rated :whistle:) It sounded like the stock cooler (blower type) of an nVidia GTX 670 when the CPU was loaded.

I'll let someone else answer the SSD question because I use base model SSDs :bleh:
 

moditir

Active member
Joined
Jun 20, 2007
Messages
33
Wow! Thanks for the awesome response!
What do you think about going for:

silverstone sugo SG05BB-LITE, SILVERSTONE SFX ST30SF 300W Small Form Factor 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Semi-Fanless Power Supply - Newegg.ca
silverstone sfx st30sf, SILVERSTONE SFX ST30SF 300W Small Form Factor 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Semi-Fanless Power Supply - Newegg.ca

for the case and powersupply?

Also, I'm considering using the GIGABYTE GA-H170N-WIFI ( GIGABYTE GA-H170N-WIFI (rev. 1.0) LGA 1151 Intel H170 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Mini ITX Intel Motherboard - Newegg.ca ) motherboard instead of the MSI since it has a PCIe x4 3.0 m.2 slot. Again, I'm not sure about linux compatibility of the wifi on this board, and the gigabyte website doesn't seem to show the exact chip that they use.
 

MARSTG

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 22, 2011
Messages
4,471
Location
Montreal
You should go with an older solution that is fully supported. Here is a list of some pcie adapters for that. Linux wireless LAN support http://linux-wless.passys.nl As for case i would go with the InWin BP671 the version with the 200W PSU. It uses a standard TFX PSU unlike the ISK 150 which has a custom one. Replace the psu in the InWin with a Seasonic tfx 300w 80 plus bronze SeaSonic SS-300TFX Bronze 300W TFX12V v2.3 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Power Supplies - Newegg.ca i also heard that the oem 80 mm fan in the InWin is a bit noisy and has no pwm control. You might want to change that as well. Also the front led seems a bit bright, you decide what to do with that. SsD wise i would choose one that has the ability to write the data to the drive even with the power cut off. I think the option is called Flush in Flight, not sure about that, but i think the Crucial MX200 has that option.
 

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