View Full Version : Garage Computer: SFF or Full-Size?

01-24-07, 02:33 PM
A co-worker wants to keep a computer in his garage to basically run some RC model software and RC model simulators. Initially he was thinking of a SFF system but as he was telling me about it, he mentioned his garage isn't temperature controlled. The summers here get pretty hot and humid so I told him, it might be better to get a mid-to-full size tower that will have better air flow and can have more fans if needed.

The disadvantage of the tower is that it'll go below his work-bench where it's a little more dusty (buggy). The SFF would go on top where it's a little cleaner.

He doesn't want a laptop and wants something upgradeable.

Any recommendations on whether to go with a SFF or mid-to-full size tower?

01-24-07, 03:35 PM
I'd be tempted to go with the mid tower. Expecially if it gets hot in the summer. Just make sure he has some filters on the fans and dust shouldn't be too much of a problem...You could probably get away with a SFF PC, but they're way more difficult to do anything in and will definately run hotter...whether it would be too hot, I don't know.

01-24-07, 05:12 PM
Watercooling would be the best option lol..

SFF would work if the components arn't hot runners, Depends whats going in it I guess.

01-24-07, 05:52 PM
Thanks for the input einstein_314 and Orsenfelt.

The components would be fairly low-end. Here are some requirements for the software:

AeroFly Pro Deluxe Recommended System Requirements:

- Pentium 4 with 2.0 Ghz or
- AMD 64 with 1.6 Ghz
- 256 MB RAM
- OpenGL compatible 3D-graphics card with 128 MB (256MB are only required if using AeroFly with full antialiasing and very high monitor resolutions)
- For optimum sound quality we recommend a high quality standalone PCI soundcard.

FS One Recommended System Requirements:

- Operating System: Windows XP or Windows 2000
- Processor: 2.8 GHz Intel Pentium IV or better or AMD Athlon XP3000 or better
- Memory: 1 GB RAM
- Hard Disk Drive Space Available: 4 GB
- Video/Graphics: NVIDIA or ATI graphics card with at least 128 MB VRAM
- NVIDIA: GeForce 6000-series or 7000-series (6600 or better)
- ATI: Radeon X-series (X600 or better)

01-24-07, 06:19 PM
Ouch that P4 is gonna make things hotter. How are the temperature changes there and does he plan on leaving the rig on 7x24? If it's hot and humid outside, imagine how much worse it'd be in the garage.

Maybe he can get one of those cheap wall AC units and have it blow directly onto the PC or rig up a dryer vent hose to direct the cold air into the system. Otherwise it won't matter how much dust there is as the intake air will be just as hot as the heat generated by the system and no cooling will take place.

Freezone? ;)

01-24-07, 06:51 PM
It doesn't have to be a P4. I've never payed much attention to the temps. Do the P4s run much hotter than the AMD 64s? Most likely he'll end up with some sort of AMD cpu since I'll probably be giving him some of my older stuff unless he goes with a SFF system which I think is kind of being ruled out.

It won't be left on 24/7.

Yeah, we did briefly discuss different methods of cooling today. He may not be adverse to that as long as the solutions are inexpensive (most aren't, are they?).

01-24-07, 07:55 PM
Looks to me like he doesn't need a very powerful computer. Which means not too much heat being produced. So a SFF would probably be ok. But I would still lean towards the Mid tower just for ease of working on it. SFF pc's are a pain to work in.

01-24-07, 08:27 PM
Oops I missed that bit about the AMD or P4 for the 2nd proggy.

Mid-tower for sure then. I've got a SFF for the kids and it's a PITA to mess with. Let us know what you come up with.

Hey, I've got a water-cooling kit for sale... </shameless plug> :D

01-24-07, 09:46 PM
The most important thing would be to get filters on those fans. For the components, a low-end Athlon 64 should run just fine and will be inexpensive. Toss in an Audigy Value and a GeForce 7600 GT and he should be golden.

01-25-07, 09:01 AM
Thanks for the input guys. I'll relay the info to him today.