Mega-ITX: Part 1

At the moment my PC pumps out a serious amount of noise, which is fast becoming annoying. Ok, I have a lot of kit in there, most of it I could do with out. What I would like to do is reduce this noise to a minimum. The problem is that unless I go to an alternate cooling system, I will still require fans which are the source of the noise. If I have quiet fans, then the components get hotter and the lifespan decreases. If I goto water cooling, I have a big outlay on the initial setup, and still require a radiator and fan to vent the heat. Hence a low power system is required that required no active cooling.

I have been working with computers for a long time now, but it was not until I moved home from University in December 2002 that I realised how noisy they had become. I now have a PC in my bedroom that kicks out a lot of noise, even using silent components. In addition to this, I have been looking at the Mini-ITX mods and projects for a long time, and patiently waiting for the Nano-ITX to be realised. Anyway, summer 2004 I finally got bored of waiting and having all that noise that I thought I should finally do something about it.

What I wanted was a computer that would be silent, in the true meaning of "silent", that I could use to check my emails and produce all of my material for my job (teaching) on. I also wanted this to be cheap, especially if there was a chance I could seriously mess it up. Therefore I went with the VIA EPIA 5000 motherboard, purchased from Mini-ITX.com for £74.03.

In addition I was re-introduced to Linux in 1999 by Simon Tredwell. The last time I had touched Linux was in the first year of my degree (1995/1996) when Linux kindly wiped my hard disk, loosing several months of course work! Although most of my work is Windows based, I am using Linux more and more. As such I would like a small box (CD case size) that can run Linux and possibly Windows (although not necessarily). I have come across several little Linux boxes, most notably Open Brick. However, there are other small (Mini-ITX and Nano-ITX) motherboards (see Mini-ITX and EPIA Center), which I could also use.

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