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Replacement for SFF PC (Dell C521)


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#1 Axel

Axel

    --[Est. 1986]--

  • Joined: 05-August 03
  • Location: Milton Keynes, UK

Posted 06 March 2013 - 22:35

Hi there.

I've got a friend who's has a PC with a dead motherboard. It's a Dell C521 small form factor thing with a bespoke micro btx board (or something) in it and it appears to be impossible to get a replacement board.

Posted Image

What are my options? I could build a new microATX pc or just buy a new SFF PC from dell (or others?). The thing is the depth of the case can't really be more than 250mm and the height no more than 115mm. I think there's a bit of play in the width but the current case is 400mm and I don't want to exceed that. The reason for these limitations is the alcove it's going into is pretty tight and this C521 fits perfectly.

I'm actually wondering if I could bodge a miniITX board in it but that just seems like it's goin to be messy.

Any ideas or suggestions would be awesome.

Spec wise - bog standard really. Gets used for word, web browsing and bbc iplayer. Nothing taxing.


#2 i_was_here

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 00:49

If your friend will be needing support for his/her PC, then I would definitely look into getting a new similar PC from Dell.

If you want to build your own, this ITX case meets your space requirements:

http://www.newegg.co...N82E16811112361

It has no bay for an optical drive however.

#3 +BeerFan

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 03:46

http://www.ebay.com/...cat=0&_from=R40

#4 Simon-

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 03:57

This is what you get for buying Dell and other prebuild brand machines. Non-Standard parts that are impossible to replace. Your only hope is to have it covered by warranty/extended warranty.
Either get a new PC or get a new Chassis/Motherboard and move everything into the new chassis.

#5 lars77

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 05:15

At one of my client's offices I've thrown out a few of those same Dell machines (same deal, usually dead PSU or motherboard). There's just little reason in putting any money into something that old. Plus if you manage to replace any of the parts it's always going to be spare parts from other units or refurbs, those machines don't use standard PSUs/motherboards. Most SFF machines have this problem..

If you really need another SFF just buy a current model. Even another Dell SFF would be a better purchase vs putting money into the C521. You can even get it w/ an extended warranty if you're worried about failure rate. (or if you're extra motivated you can try rolling your own SFF with more standard parts, maybe a micro atx or mini-itx based system?)

Incidentally, if you're shopping around, these SFF machines run pretty well especially when paired with SSDs. Have a few of these running at different offices.
Dell Vostro 270s

#6 i_was_here

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 05:43

BTW if you are interested in the Vostro 270s, its dimensions are:

Height: 271.00 mm (10.67 inches)
Width: 100.00 mm (3.94 inches)
Depth: 376.20 mm (14.81 inches)

#7 OP Axel

Axel

    --[Est. 1986]--

  • Joined: 05-August 03
  • Location: Milton Keynes, UK

Posted 07 March 2013 - 10:40

I was certainly looking at the vostro's as they look like a pretty good deal. I'm gonna measure the space and double check that is the limitations. I'll work out the cost of building vs pre-built. I think a low-cost CPU (pentium), 8gb RAM (so cheap!) and an SSD will make it fly for every day tasks.

#8 OP Axel

Axel

    --[Est. 1986]--

  • Joined: 05-August 03
  • Location: Milton Keynes, UK

Posted 07 March 2013 - 11:16

Any thoughts on the following:

Screenshot on 3.7.2013 at 11.08.48 AM.png

Links:

Asus P8H61-MX USB3 Socket 1155 VGA DVI 8 Channel Audio mATX Motherboard

CiT S003B Black Slim Micro ATX or Mini ITX Case 300w PSU Built-in Card-reader

Crucial 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600Mhz Ballistix Sport Memory Kit CL9 (9-9-9-24) 1.5V

SanDisk 64GB Pulse SSD - 2.5" SATA-III - Read 490MB/s Write 240MB/s

Intel Pentium G860 3.0GHz Socket 1155 3MB L3 Cache Retail Boxed Processor

#9 OP Axel

Axel

    --[Est. 1986]--

  • Joined: 05-August 03
  • Location: Milton Keynes, UK

Posted 07 March 2013 - 21:18

So any thoughts on the build chaps?

#10 OP Axel

Axel

    --[Est. 1986]--

  • Joined: 05-August 03
  • Location: Milton Keynes, UK

Posted 08 March 2013 - 09:38

?

#11 i_was_here

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 16:21

As long as the case fits your dimensions, it looks like a fine build. BTW in the screenshot, whats with the two exclamation mark icons?

#12 OP Axel

Axel

    --[Est. 1986]--

  • Joined: 05-August 03
  • Location: Milton Keynes, UK

Posted 08 March 2013 - 17:09

As long as the case fits your dimensions, it looks like a fine build. BTW in the screenshot, whats with the two exclamation mark icons?


Thanks for the reply! It just means that particular item isn't available for next day delivery.

#13 OP Axel

Axel

    --[Est. 1986]--

  • Joined: 05-August 03
  • Location: Milton Keynes, UK

Posted 08 March 2013 - 18:08

Revised slightly. Will probably order tonight.

Attached Images

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