right, could you help me on this?


I am a FH squatter
Dec 22, 2003
My business partner and I are splitting company after about 7 years working together. We're still good friends, and only live around the corner from eachother.

Anyway, seeing as I did all the books/accounts/invoices, his computer (a pentium I think) isn't really up to the task. He'll need something a bit more modern.

He also intends on getting broadband installed, he was totally computer illiterate a few months ago, but now hes getting quite into it, and I would imagine if he had a good enough computer, he'd get into the online gaming scene.

So, what would you recommend? It will be built with bits from www.scan.co.uk, it doesn't need to be uber fast, just reliable, acoustically quiet if possible, small, and easy to use. It also needs to be able to play some of the more modern games with a realistic fps.

How much do these shuttle things cost? Or is that too much money? I've looked into TFT screens, but theyre too expensive, so a 17 inch CRT would probably be ok.

Thanks in advance for your help.


Fledgling Freddie
Dec 27, 2003
i'd go for a 1.8 Duron* on an nForce2 mother board...

with an ATI9000-9600 depending on gaming wants...

*if your lucky it'll come unlocked...

(and i personally don't like shuttles, having had an overly small case for a year, it sucks...)

(and 1 PCI, who's idea was that???)


Fledgling Freddie
Dec 22, 2003
Hi Tom

Shuttles vary in price from ~£150-£250, depending on the features you want. They come in a multitude of different models, so be sure to check they fit your needs. Also, note wyrd_fish's comments, as Shuttle's aren't for everyone (although, in fairness, it is clear what you're getting). In their favour, they are: very small, attractive, potentially as powerful as their desktop counterparts. Against them, they are: limited in their expansion options, potentially rather hot, potentially rather loud (varies from machine to machine and subjective to the user).

Going on price, you may well want to go with AMD, unless your budget can stretch to Intel's kit (which many would say is worth it). Assuming AMD for now, you can either go with today's 32-bit technology or go 64-bit. The former would probably comprise of an nForce2 motherboard (simply because they are popular and widespread) and an Athlon CPU (Durons are good budget chips, but for gaming performance the Athlon is perhaps your best bet). Alternatively, you could go 64-bit, which is more expensive, but would yield better performance and be more forward-looking. This would probably comprise of an nForce3 motherboard (although other options are available) and an Athlon 64 3000+ CPU (simply because they are 'cheap' at around £150).

Price wise, say an AMD Athlon 2500+ Barton CPU and a SN42G2 (an nForce2 Shuttle) would be around ~£65 and ~£170, but this is only a very rough estimate which I haven't checked. For an AMD Athlon 64 3000+ and an SN85G2 (an nForce3 Shuttle) you'd be looking around ~£150 and ~£230'ish (~ denoting a fairly wide variation in prices, which, again, I haven't as yet checked). Which you go for is up to your friend's needs. Both systems come with a case, motherboard (with good integrated sound and networking capabilities), CPU cooling solution and power supply.

In terms of graphics, a mainstream solution may be most appropriate. Foremost amongt these are, from ATI: 9600Pro, 9600XT, 9800 non-Pro (increasing in price and performance as the list goes along) and from nVidia: 5700Ultra, 5900XT/SE, 5900 non-Ultra (as above). Other solutions are available, although the ones listed above to be the latest, non-superceded, products.

Shuttles don't include a hard-drive (some Shuttles support SATA and RAID), RAM (think PC2700 (333Mhz) or PC3200 (400Mhz) unless you want to go overboard with performance RAM) or an optical drive (DVD, CD/RW etc.) so they would all have to be added.

Anyway, I could go on, sorry for not being more concise. In short:

  • Consider is a Shuttle is right for you/your friend.
  • Consider how much performance you/your friend wants and what your budget will allow.
  • Think AMD or Intel, and thus what Shuttle (if you go with one).
  • Think what else you need (graphics, HDD, RAM, DVD etc).

It has recently been cited that waiting may be the best option in terms of buying a new system (because of the new hardware standards coming this year) but if your friend doesn't want, nor need, to be on the cutting edge, this may be less of an issue.

Kind Regards

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