PC Mini?

by David Sklar

Do the designers at Apple truly have a monopoly on small, stylish, quiet desktop computers? If I want a small, non-ugly, non-noisy computer to run Windows or Linux on, what are my options? Do I have any options?

The Shuttle XPC is too big and its shape is too obtrusive. My scanner is 9 x 13 or so, but only an inch high, so it's easy to have in an accessible location but be invisible when I'm not using it.

Are the "Ultra Small Form Factor" chasses (chassises?) from Dell, IBM, etc. the best I can hope for?

[Brief Update: After I viewed this entry, the context-sensitive AdSense ads at the bottom of the page had an ad for Simplified Innovation -- which has some OK small case options.]

Where can I get a small, stylish, quiet PC on which I can run Windows or Linux?


22 Comments

scnp
2005-01-13 09:08:47
mini-pc fixed
Take a look at the nanode.


Nanode Launch Page


Unfortunaltely via delayed and the nano's fire was taken by the mini.

davesmith
2005-01-13 09:24:51
Mini-itx
I have a mini-itx system in one of these cases (running Fedora Core 3). At 10.75" x 11.5" x 2.5", it's desktop friendly, though I use mine as a portable WiFi file server.
greenfly
2005-01-13 09:43:31
No monopoly, just late to the game
The Cappuccino line if mini PCs have been around for some time. The above link is an old review of one, but they have since upgraded to newer models.
Dunx
2005-01-13 11:17:53
Linux
You could always run Linux on the Mac mini... Certainly for the Mac mini web server I'm considering this would be a good option.
roger69
2005-01-13 12:06:22
Linux
I've run Linux on a Mac, and after having used OS X now for a year or so, I started wondering "why"?


OS X runs apache just as well as Linux does.
Any of the packages you might need or want from the OSS world are available via Fink or DarwinPorts, or you can just compile them yourselves.


Okay, it's not an OSS kernel. If you want to muck about with the kernel, go Linux. Otherwise I think OS X is just as capable - and I think it's more responsive on a G4 than the Linux kernel is.


Roger

spullara
2005-01-13 12:25:43
Linux
Actually, it is an OSS kernel called Darwin and so it is possible "to muck around with it". The desktop isn't open source though.
spullara
2005-01-13 12:30:21
mini-pc fixed
Amazingly, the Mac Mini is still only 60% of the volume of the Nanode which has about the same volume as a 15" Powerbook.
dand644
2005-01-13 18:08:38
LOGIC Supply

Others have already mentioned systems based on the VIA mini- and micro-ITX motherboards. Another U.S. supplier for systems based on these motherboards is LOGIC Supply.


I was surprised that a similarly configured system from them - 256 MB, fanless, notebook HD, &c. - costs about the same as the mini. I don't know how the processor speed or video compare, however.


If I were going to run Linux or BSD, then I think that I would prefer one of these systems to the mini. There are some options here for expansion, e.g. cases with more drive bays or motherboards with 2 network interfaces.

Dunx
2005-01-13 21:09:04
Linux
I've had a Mac for two years and haven't quite got around to installing Linux on it. It runs all the programs you talk about, although I have been having problems with installing the latest version of software because I am still running OS X 10.2 (I'll probably upgrade to 10.4 and skip 10.3). This is not a problem I've had with my Gentoo Linux box.


The other consideration is space. Running headless, there's not much point having a WM. That's much easier to zap in Linux. An I prefer Linux's case sensitive file systems.


Other than that, you're quite right of course.

brian_d_foy
2005-01-14 02:56:32
Gumstix
Gumstix are about the size of an iPod Shuffle :)
MSchienle
2005-01-14 10:32:42
Case sensitive
If you format the disk as a UNIX file system instead of Extended HFS (working on a Linux system at the moment, so those names are approximate), you will have a case-sensitive file system.
sanchonevesgraca
2005-01-14 21:16:42
Mac OS X Server without window manager
Mac OS X Server can run headless without the window manager (via a startup option). But note that the window manager resource consumption is about 10% of the processor capacity on a G4 (even less on a G5) so having it running is not an issue for many scenarios. And some applications require a window manager, even for an headless application server.
rbaguley
2005-01-18 17:26:58
Stealth PCs
The Canadian company Little PC makes some nice small systems that are about the size of an external CD-ROM drive. They do PIII and P4-based models...
Dr_Ricky
2005-01-22 07:57:48
LOGIC Supply
I was surprised that a similarly configured system from them - 256 MB, fanless, notebook HD, &c. - costs about the same as the mini.


I took a look, and I think, like CapuccinoPC, the price is misleading. The cost is comparable if you exclude any kind of memory, drives, OS, or, in this case, even burn in labor! By the time you figure those in (and I wouldn't exclude QC given the fanless nature of the box), you're easily almost twice the price of the comparable Mac mini. All the more why the Mac mini is such an impressive accomplishment.

endeavor
2005-01-27 14:46:30
Check out the line of mini pc at cappuccinopc.com
they have a lot of custom casing and complete system, from pentium 4 to fanless systems.


http://www.cappuccinopc.com

endeavor
2005-01-27 14:48:03
Check out the line of mini pc at cappuccinopc.com
they have a lot of custom casing and complete system, from pentium 4 to fanless systems.


www.cappuccinopc.com

mini_pc
2005-10-28 05:08:59
Check out the line of mini pc at cappuccinopc.com
I found this company selling the high quality mini pc in reasonable price.
http://www.sd-omega.com
mini_pc
2005-10-28 05:13:25
Stealth PCs
Site
Map (http://www.sd-omega.com/sitemap.html)


Very nice mini pc, that is the best I have seen so far.


Features


Fully functional P4/Celeron Northwood 2.0Ghz ~ 3.20Ghz w/512KB L2 Cache
Fully functional P4/Celeron Prescott up to 3.0Ghz w/1M L2 Cache
Intel 865GV / ICH 5, supporting 800MHz FSB
Fully support Intel Hyper Threading Technology
On-board 10/100 LAN, USB 2, 1394(Optional).
Ultra low noise and low power consumption
Support standard 3.5" hard disk
5.8"(W) x 10"(D) x 2.75"(H) (14.8 x 25.4 x 7 cm)
Applications


Home Entertainment Center
Gateway, Router, Transportable PC
Personal Desktop, Office System
Industrial, Control, Data Collection, Data Center
Application Server, File Server, Game Server, ...etc.
Detail Specifications


Processor
Intel P4/Celeron Northwood 2.0Ghz ~ 3.20Ghz (512KB L2 Cache)
Intel P4/Celeron Prescott up to 3.0Ghz (1M L2 Cache)
Support Hyper Threading Technology
VRM 10.0 standard
Memory
Support Dual-Channel DDR 400/333/266 DIMM
Maximum 2 GB, with 512Mb technology
Core Logic
Intel 865GV / ICH 5(North / South)
FSB support up to 800Mhz
Video
Intel Extreme Graphics 2
Support up to 64MB DVMT video memory
Audio
Software AC '97 Audio CODEC
LAN
Built-in high speed Ethernet 100/10Mbps LAN controller
FireWire (Optional)
Built-in OHCI 1394a 1.1 compliance
Support up to 400Mb transfer rate
USB 2.0
Integrated 4 independent OHCI controller supporting USB 1.1 ports
Integrated 1 EHCI controller supporting USB 2.0 ports
Dynamic connection support to USB 2.0 or USB 1.1 devices
IDE
Dual Independent ATA-100/66/33 support
Support up to 4 IDE devices on dual channel
Hardware Monitor
System, processor temperature, voltage and fan speed monitor
Auto Thermal FAN speed control
Power Management
ACPI 1.0b compliance and OS direct power management
Wake-on event: RTC/USB Keyboard/Modem/LAN/Keyboard/Mouse
Switch and Jumpers
Front Panel:
1 x IEEE 1394 Firewire port
1 x USB 2.0 / 1.1 Port
1 x MIC Port
1 x Ear Phone output Jack
Power-on button
Reset button
Power-on and HDD LED
Back Panel:
1 x RS232 COM port
1 x parallel printer port
1 x RJ45 10/100Mb Fast Ethernet
1 x Line-Out output Jack
2 x USB 2.0 / 1.1 Ports
1 x 15 pin VGA
1 x 19v DC Power Jack input
Dimension & Weight
14.8 x 25.4 x 7 cm
2.5KG (fully equipped)
AC/DC Adaptor
Input 100~240V AC Universal
Output 19V DC out
Storage Devices
Support all Standard Slim CD-ROM/DVD-ROM, CD-RW, DVD-RW Combo
Support all 3.5" standard IDE hard drive, ATA-100/66/33


mini_pc
2005-10-28 18:59:32
Car pc??? Mac Mini or pc mini? The smallest pc in the world!!!
SD-Omega (http://www.sd-omega.com) provides small pc, small computer, mini pc, micro pc systems for limited space application. Mini PC . Products:Pentium M Series, Pentium 4 Series , Pentium 3 Series , Book Size Serices Car PC Series , SD625C , SD625FC - Fanless , StandalongDVR


SD-Omega mini pc.


SD620, SD620A, SD620D/F, SD620E, SD620AD, SD620I, SD620G, SD620P, SD620S, SD620T and SD620H



Full function Pentium 4 system
800Mhz FSB


Product Features


Fully functional P4/Celeron Northwood 2.0Ghz ~ 3.20Ghz w/512KB L2 Cache
Fully functional P4/Celeron Prescott up to 3.0Ghz w/1M L2 Cache
Intel 865GV / ICH 5, supporting 800MHz FSB
Fully support Intel Hyper Threading Technology
On-board 10/100 LAN, USB 2, 1394(Optional).
Ultra low noise and low power consumption
Support standard 3.5" hard disk
5.8"(W) x 10"(D) x 2.75"(H) (14.8 x 25.4 x 7 cm)
Applications


Home Entertainment Center
Gateway, Router, Transportable PC
Personal Desktop, Office System
Industrial, Control, Data Collection, Data Center
Application Server, File Server, Game Server, ...etc.
Detail Specifications


Processor
Intel P4/Celeron Northwood 2.0Ghz ~ 3.20Ghz (512KB L2 Cache)
Intel P4/Celeron Prescott up to 3.0Ghz (1M L2 Cache)
Support Hyper Threading Technology
VRM 10.0 standard
Memory
Support Dual-Channel DDR 400/333/266 DIMM
Maximum 2 GB, with 512Mb technology
Core Logic
Intel 865GV / ICH 5(North / South)
FSB support up to 800Mhz
Video
Intel Extreme Graphics 2
Support up to 64MB DVMT video memory
Audio
Software AC '97 Audio CODEC
LAN
Built-in high speed Ethernet 100/10Mbps LAN controller
FireWire (Optional)
Built-in OHCI 1394a 1.1 compliance
Support up to 400Mb transfer rate
USB 2.0
Integrated 4 independent OHCI controller supporting USB 1.1 ports
Integrated 1 EHCI controller supporting USB 2.0 ports
Dynamic connection support to USB 2.0 or USB 1.1 devices
IDE
Dual Independent ATA-100/66/33 support
Support up to 4 IDE devices on dual channel
Hardware Monitor
System, processor temperature, voltage and fan speed monitor
Auto Thermal FAN speed control
Power Management
ACPI 1.0b compliance and OS direct power management
Wake-on event: RTC/USB Keyboard/Modem/LAN/Keyboard/Mouse
Switch and Jumpers
Front Panel:
1 x IEEE 1394 Firewire port
1 x USB 2.0 / 1.1 Port
1 x MIC Port
1 x Ear Phone output Jack
Power-on button
Reset button
Power-on and HDD LED
Back Panel:
1 x RS232 COM port
1 x parallel printer port
1 x RJ45 10/100Mb Fast Ethernet
1 x Line-Out output Jack
2 x USB 2.0 / 1.1 Ports
1 x 15 pin VGA
1 x 19v DC Power Jack input
Dimension & Weight
14.8 x 25.4 x 7 cm
2.5KG (fully equipped)
AC/DC Adaptor
Input 100~240V AC Universal
Output 19V DC out
Storage Devices
Support all Standard Slim CD-ROM/DVD-ROM, CD-RW, DVD-RW Combo
Support all 3.5" standard IDE hard drive, ATA-100/66/33


More details from the manufacturer's website: http://www.sd-omega.com

mini_pc
2006-01-25 23:49:08
Car PCs, mini PCs run Linux and windowsXP from mini pc manufacturer sd-omega
Car PCs, mini PCs run Linux and windowsXP



A mini pc, car pc manufacturer located in China is shipping an extensive line of Pentium-based mini PC that run Linux and WindowsXP. The SD-Omega Mini PC line comprises 44 variations, include passively cooled and fanless models targeting car PCs andHTPCs (home-theater PCs), car pcs, and DVR models.

The SD-Omega Mini PC systems are housed in lightweight aluminum cases that measure 5.7-inches wide (up to 6.2-inches wide,


in models equipped with cooling fins), 9.8-inches to 10-inches deep, and between 1.65 and 2.75 inches tall. Full article from Article source: http://linuxdevices.com/news/NS3892602873.html


Additional details are available at the website of mini pc manufacturer. http://www.sd-omega.com

Andy
2006-04-20 20:06:05
Manufacturer of barebone system ( carputer, auto pc, mini pc barebone, mobile pc, car pc, industrial pc, small pc, mini computer )


A systems integrator in GuangDong province, China, is shipping an extensive line of Pentium-based miniPCs that run Linux. The SD-Omega MiniPC line comprises 44 variations, include passively cooled and quiet models targeting car PCs and HTPCs (home-theater PCs), car pcs, and DVR models. More details from http://www.linuxdevices.com/news/NS3892602873.html


Additional details are available at the SD-Omega website http://www.sd-omega.com

Pere
2006-06-03 03:18:24
What about the Cubit 5 by hoojum?


http://hoojum.com/new/gallery/view_album.php?set_albumName=cubitt5


Ok, it looks like a toaster, but certainly cool.