SFFReview Archives

Thermal Paste Roundup: First Round

Thermal paste, the goop that helps keep our little monsters from overheating, is often overlooked in the pursuit of a better performing and/or quieter system. Even I, up until a few months ago, would rely on just the cheapest product to get the job done. Thermal Interface Material (TIM) is a critical component in any PC build. It helps fill up the microscopic holes, scratches and defects in both the processor heat-spreader and the heat-sink base. Without the paste, we would be relying on air to do this for us, and air is a relatively poor heat conductor. Without further …
SFFReview Archives

ASRock FM2A55M-DGS

With the release of AMD’s ‘Trinity’ APUs, we’ve been treated to a varied selection of new motherboards to suit. Today we will be taking a look at ASRock’s ‘budget’ offering, the FM2A55M-DGS, a M-ATX board featuring a great price and decent feature set. It looks good, but is this a solid performer? AMD’s Trinity APU series is based off the HD6000 graphics processing units, and ‘Piledriver’ CPU cores. While the Piledriver CPU portion has been controversial, the HD6000 technology is a proven performer. ASRock has developed various boards for the FM2 APUs, from this budget offering to high end ATX …
ITXGamer Archives

ECS H61H2-MV Review

AMD revealed the DTX and M-DTX in 2007 to answer the call for small form factor motherboards, and to compete with Intel’s BTX and M-BTX (2005). Both disapeared quickly though, with only OEMs soldiering on. With only the limited OEM boards available, neither form factor really took a foothold in the enthusiast market. Various manufacturers have produced a smattering of M-DTX boards for retail, with Zotac being the only notable one until now. The main issue was the fact they they almost always had Intel Atom or equivalent processors embedded. What the community wanted was upgradability, and support for the …
SFFReview Archives

Press Release – ITXGamer Joins the LOSIAS family

(29 September 2012) LOSIAS Technologies is pleased to announce the acquisition of ITXGamer.com, and welcome ITXGamer users and visitors to the family. ITXGamer is a world leader in gaming related SFF discussions, focusing on the hardware aspect of the amazingly compact systems. “Acquiring ITXGamer will cement our position as the world’s leader in SFF reviews, news and community offerings. LOSIAS’s position in the SFF world will help broaden the horizons of ITXGamer users, as well as assist them in the community” says John Morrison, LOSIAS head editor. With both organisations dedicated to the world of Small Form Factor Computing, the …
SFFReview Archives

Intel 1155 Stock Cooler Comparison

Sometimes the most appropriate cooler solution for a SFF rig is in fact the stock cooler. With this in mind, we set out to see which stock cooler for Intel’s socket 1155 was the better option, and by how much. Specifically designed by the CPU manufacturer for your CPU, the stock coolers are commonly derived for their poor performance and awful noise output. In some situations, such as HTPC and home servers, the CPU load is usually low enough to enable any cooler to run at low speed. Other situations, like my LAN rig, flakb0x, involve a low wattage (< …
SFFReview Archives

PCS4VETS – Alfred Shuryan’s Purple Heart “Merit” Build

Alfred A Shuryan, although being a newer member of our community, has been hard at work (an understatement!) getting the parts together and beginning the work on the Purple Heart “Merit” casemod. Raising awareness of a cause so close to the hearts of many is an admirable task. Many LOSIAS members are vets themselves, and/or have family members or close friends who have served. Please support Alfred in his work – comment on his build, the cause. Even if you cannot donate, it is the attention and awareness that is the driving factor behind this build, so share the forum …
SFFReview Archives

Asrock H61M-ITX Motherboard Review

ASRock, originally a spin off of ASUS, has been making inroads into the mainstream market since it’s inception in 2002. While originally viewed as the budget ASUS arm, the quality and innovativeness of ASRock products has only become better over the years. Today we will look at the ASRock H61M-ITX motherboard. While the product has been on the market for a while, it still features as a budget M-ITX board with a lot of potential. In fact, this is why I chose it for my flakb0x build! Built around Intel’s H61 chipset, the H61M-ITX has a lot of expansion and …
SFFReview Archives

Single Slot Graphics Cards – Space Saving, But Rare

In the world of enthusiast computing, we’ve come to a crossroads. Crossfire and SLI performance is such that it’s not quite worth it (yet) to run dual graphic cards, over a big single. The sacrifice many of make now is losing a slot to a dual (or even partially triple) slot graphics card. While many boards have saved costs/PCI express lanes by not putting a slot where it will be blocked by a dual slot card, there are many boards in the SFF world that lose a useful slot. In the case of M-DTX, we lose the only other slot …
SFFReview Archives

Why Use a standard motherboard in you mods

I’ve been a case modder for over a decade now, and whilst I am relatively unknown, some of my designs are not. I have made many entries into design contests around the world.   Having been involved with the casemodding world for so long, I’ve seen the community begin to stagnate. Everyone wants a feature on MPDC, CaseModBlog, Bit-Tech, etc etc. So the recipe for the old classic mods has now become the norm. Fine, I say, this is the way tech moves along. Yesterday’s supercomputer performance is today’s desktop performance, then tommorow’s smartphone performance. Same goes with most, if …
SFFReview Archives

Featured Mod – Gambo’s 2 1/2;

Here at SFFReview we support modders, from the regulars to the newbies. Over the past week, one of our newer users, Gambo, has stunned us all with the first scratchbuild he’s ever attempted, and it’s amazing! Project 2&½ was designed for surfing the net, CAD and light gaming, and it embodies the SFF spirit we all love here. Built from aluminium, and housing a Gigabyte H55N-USB3 ITX motherboard, this is a little powerhouse. Here is a brief walk through the build, the full worklog is in our forums! Gambo began with our favourite CAD tool – Google Sketchup.  The case …
SFFReview Archives

The state of SFF as we know it

Over the last couple of years, a minute part of computing history, the market and ‘modding’ communities have slowly become aware of the feasibility of smaller, more efficient computer systems. Over the course of this article, I will endeavor to decipher the current situation, as well as make a few suggestions as to where I think we as a community should be heading. As always, this is my personal opinion, so take it with a grain of salt! Courtesy of Wikipedia: “A small form factor (SFF) is a computer form factor designed to minimize the spatial volume of a desktop …