Why are you interested in SFF?

Arboreal

Master of Cramming
Silver Supporter
Oct 11, 2015
542
554
Welcome to the forum!
I'd certainly like to see your rig, custom Parvum cases often have something very unique to them.

iF, I'll get it dusted down and get the camera out soon. It's the standard 240x240x300m size with a custom front panel, as I din't want the Parvum diagonal stripes on the front.

Welcome! Nice to see you over here :)

Thanks Aibo, I'm not worthy! Seeing Nova on [H] has brought me here and inspired some case planning for me.
Feeling at home already, I'm off now, as it's late.
 

Soul_Est

SFF Guru
Moderator
Silver Supporter
Feb 12, 2016
1,480
1,872
My biggest reason is to fit as much power (within reason) into the smallest form factor imaginable. The inspiration and motivation come from a continuous lack of funds and using my favourite Linux distro, Arch Linux. Having used a Late-2006 MacBook from 2006 until 2012 and a ThinkPad X200s from 2012 until now I have come to appreciate and even relish in squeezing as much utility from the machines that I have in my possession. My main machine is the aforementioned ThinkPad X200s which I cut my teeth on improving its battery runtime as much as possible (up to 12 hours on a nine cell battery) while at the same time getting the best performance out of the software running on it. SFF is to me the best thing since building my own PC back in 2003 (AMD Athlon XP 2500+ and ATI Radeon 7000 64MB!).
 

jsco

Average Stuffer
Feb 2, 2016
60
55
i'm upgrading my media center pc to something 4k-capable, and i want it to do dual duty as a quiet living room pc and as a travel/lan party rig. SFF is the intersection of fitting big hardware into a living room, fitting a gaming pc into 21" roller luggage, and having fun pushing the limits of enclosure design.
 

PlayfulPhoenix

Founder of SFF.N
SFFLAB
Chimera Industries
Moderator
Gold Supporter
Feb 22, 2015
1,049
1,960
I'm clearly late to the party, but let me give it a try.

I'm interested in SFF for pretty much everything except small sizes... Which, I know, sounds weird, but I'll try to explain.

---

What I like about building SFF systems is the attention it gives to focusing on what you want. That focus is forced, because of an external constraint of "get your build to be as small as possible", but the consequence of that constraint is that builders must spend a lot of time understanding what's most important in their computers. And that means that builders are invariably spending a lot of time understanding themselves.

With a monster ATX enclosure, you have all the room in the world to install whatever you want, so you don't really need to think critically about what 10% of functionality you use 90% of the time, when you're first planning your build. You have more room than you know what to do with, after all. Furthermore, since you can just add more storage or cooling or PCI devices willy-nilly later on, you're incentivized down the line to grab hardware the moment it becomes affordable, rather than when the cost-to-utility ratio is optimal.

This dynamic isn't limited to PC building, either - it has strong corollaries in the rest of our lives. Take a look around the room you're currently sitting in, for example, and recognize and count all the belongings you have. Now, ask yourself - how many of those have you used today? How many have you used this past week, month, or year? I'd be willing to bet that you can't even remember the last time you used or appreciated half of the stuff that currently surrounds you. I'd also wager that an even smaller subset of that stuff has actually given you happiness, joy, fulfillment or meaningful utility.

That's where the problem lies, and what SFF solves for me, because when you have a lot of stuff that you don't use, it gets in the way of (and diminishes) the stuff you do use. Imagine how much better the room you're in would be if you took the money spent on the not-so-useful stuff, and poured that into getting better versions of the really-useful stuff. Imagine the benefit to PC builders, if we were all able to cut out the cruft of non-useful functionality in our builds, and pour those resources into maximizing the things we rely on every day.

The cost of absence is easy for us to wrap our heads around, but the cost of presence is much higher than we realize.

---

I personally believe that most people would be better off if they spent more on fewer things, and PC building is merely another area in which this is true. In fact, that philosophy is perhaps partly responsible for why Cerberus (the enclosure James and I have been working on) is as expensive as it is, relative to the market - it's the option for enthusiasts that want to spend the money where it counts, and realize the absolute best manifestation of the build that fulfills their precise needs or wants, and nothing else.

TLDR: SFF isn't a size, it's a philosophy. Count me as a believer.
 

Phuncz

Lord of the Boards
Editorial Staff
Moderator
Gold Supporter
May 9, 2015
5,186
4,519
I personally believe that nearly everyone would be better off if they spent three times as much on a third as many things, and PC building is merely another area in which this is true. In fact, that philosophy is perhaps partly responsible for why Cerberus (the enclosure James and I have been working) is as expensive as it is, relative to the market - it's the option for enthusiasts that want to spend the money where it counts, and realize the absolute best manifestation of the build that fulfills their precise needs or wants, and nothing else.
I have been following this concept for about 5 years now, more or less with anything that is over € 10,- value. I've spent a lot of money on a bed and on car tires for example, not because they look fancy but they are chosen for 100% performance and reliability, along with being used daily for important functions. I didn't want a box-spring bed which screws up the matrass' design and comfort, so I found a metal (aluminium) frame that's as basic as one could ask and I searched for the best matrass I could find. I can't imagine sleeping better.

The same with my car: I don't spend money on shiny rims, I spend money on tires. Pretty rims don't keep my car on the road better, influence braking, acceleration and grip (unless you're talking about unsprung weight), but my tires do. But my PC choices are often fueled by desire more than usability, because I could just as well live with a €300 PC. It's very hard to justify almost any PC purchase I do since the tangible improvement is never in balance with the cost. But I spend an insane amount of time behind a keyboard and screen (hobby, interest and work) and I can say I got my job because of this, so in the end I just say: eff it, I want a Nova case case.
 
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Stevo_

Master of Cramming
Jul 2, 2015
449
301
First SFF was a Dell Dimension 5100C at ~9.7L, ran that for quite awhile but when that gave up the ghost I started looking for something even smaller that used non-proprietary parts and found Lone Industries L1 and then L2 on [H], both great little boxes 4.7L and 5.3L IIRC. My priority these days is least footprint on my desk possible but still have a fairly kick-ass PC. (Forgot about the Node 302 after the Dell, the mini-fridge only lasted a few months just too damn big at just shy of 20L)
 
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Pat-Roner

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Feb 18, 2016
140
103
Not first post here, but I've always loved sff because, I've never seen the point of having a case full of air, and love the concept of powerfull hardware in a small case.

It started with this baby; Shuttle XPC 75 g2



And then I got this Asus T2-P



Then I have a long period with Macbooks and In 2011 I got my self a mac mini which I loved.



Last year my mac died, and I actually wanted to do a hackintosh in the Ncase M1.
But after installing windows 10, and just using that for a couple of days, I actually really liked it, so I felt no need to install Os X (i eventually did, but win10 was pretty good, so uninstalled it)

Now I want to try the Cerberus, because my constant hunt for a truly silent pc, I want to have a case where I can have full size fans to cool my gpu. Actually my only problem with the m1 atm.

Also don't we all love to build and tweak our pc's?
 
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Pat-Roner

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Feb 18, 2016
140
103
Oh yes we do! :)



Here's a very detailed review of it: http://ixbtlabs.com/articles2/barebone-asus-t2p/barebone-asus-terminator2-eng.html

What a cool idea, I really like how they arranged the front I/O and the Audio DJ functionality, as unnecessary as it might be.

Yes, it was a great case, and the Audio DJ feature was a killer on lan partys. I preferred my Shuttle with blue cathodes and fan controller, but It was a good replacement.

Memories..

Nowadays I'm just waiting for the Cerberus and maybe the Nceres new mATX case.
I think I have an addiction.
 

Pat-Roner

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Feb 18, 2016
140
103
Just wait until you decide to design your own case, that's a bottomless hole that sucks in time and money.

That is something I've been thinking way to much about. Theres a lot of awesome cases now, but with I still feel something is missing in the living room. Something elegant, liquidcooled and with an r9 nano perhaps.
 

jtd871

SFF Guru
Jun 22, 2015
1,166
847
I wish that I were independently wealthy (Powerball, anyone?) so I could spend the rest of my life in my own little Tony Stark-esque workshop creative fantasy. (I will, however, bow to my current reality and be - mostly - content to merely buy a custom-designed SFF case and live with any perceived "imperfections" in said case.)
 

C4B12

Scratchbuilder
Jan 11, 2016
137
252
www.minimalisticpc.com
Well I have been modding for a long time, especially building my own cases. I have never needed more than one graphics card or a seperate audiocard.

So I could get smaller hardware and custombuild my cases around that particular hardware, which is something I really enjoy.

On the road I found Losias and then SFFR. I also started my own SFF-website called Minimalistic PC's where I posted reviews and news, nowadays it is mostly only a modding site.

I really enjoy this site, keep up the good work everyone. :)
 

PlayfulPhoenix

Founder of SFF.N
SFFLAB
Chimera Industries
Moderator
Gold Supporter
Feb 22, 2015
1,049
1,960
I wish that I were independently wealthy (Powerball, anyone?) so I could spend the rest of my life in my own little Tony Stark-esque workshop creative fantasy.

Ditto. Ditto...

I also started my own SFF-website called Minimalistic PC's where I posted reviews and news, nowadays it is mostly only a modding site.

I quite like your website, though my inner-UX-obsessed-web-developer thinks you should simplify it a bit given what you publish, and how focused it is.

Pretty much all the projects on there fit within "SFF", too - is that intentional? Or more a consequence of a minimalist focus anyways?
 
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C4B12

Scratchbuilder
Jan 11, 2016
137
252
www.minimalisticpc.com
I quite like your website, though my inner-UX-obsessed-web-developer thinks you should simplify it a bit given what you publish, and how focused it is.

Pretty much all the projects on there fit within "SFF", too - is that intentional? Or more a consequence of a minimalist focus anyways?

Thank you. How do you mean by simplifying it? Well I mostly only do SFF-builds, the site were aimed at doing reviews of SFF hardware before, but I dont do much reviews anymore. :)
 

TinyAudio

Cable-Tie Ninja
Jan 9, 2017
188
131
What I like about building SFF systems is the attention it gives to focusing on what you want

spend three times as much on a third as many things

I like that the size makes you decide exactly what you need not only what you want. Within that the tinkerer inside of all of us can make that size work with those needs. Can't stand external PSU's OK your case will need to be slightly larger, but have your heart set on that one case OK take a hit on your GPU go low profile and use the free space to throw in your AC-DC supply.

I used to own more clothes than Liberace, only less bedazzled. Now I have 5 black and 3 white plain T shirts. Admittedly they cost £45 each but are the most comfortable thing I have ever worn and are bomb proof. No stretching or going out of shape in the wash (I like these T's :p).

For me it is definitely a mindset whether natural or enforced.
 

IntoxicatedPuma

Customizer of Titles
Editorial Staff
Silver Supporter
Feb 26, 2016
984
1,248
I'm interested in SFF because I realized in my teens that I had a small penis and I felt that people obsessed with SFF & promoting it as "efficiency" is a spin i can relate to.

Also I am tired of ATX cases with 10 hard drive bays, 4 5.25 bays, and room for 200mm long power supplies and 3x 280mm radiators, that are then filled with a B85 board, an i3, and GTX 950.
 

Dedaciai

Trash Compacter
Jan 31, 2016
40
16
@Aibohphobia the reason I got interested in SFF is after purchasing a very large, and very expensive, monster gaming rig (3-Way SLI, huge PSU, E-ATX MB, the works). After about 3 months of having it, I realized it worked no better than my friend's mATX rig. I quickly sold the whole thing off and I'm now using an NCASE and looking forward to purchasing a Dan A4. In the end, it still fascinates me how much a little SFF build can do compared to there bigger brethren.