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Need Slim/Small Form Factor PC with 400 watt power supply or better

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#1 amn70


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Posted 12 December 2016 - 09:14 PM

I am knocking my brains out for a client of mine. They are looking for 4 new computers for their dental practice. The software they run is from Carestream Dental. Ordinarily I just order Optiplex or Precision Workstation but the problem is the client wants small form factor machines and small form factor Optiplexes and Precisions psu's max out at 250W and Carestream is requiring pretty intense minimum video card specs which all seem to need at least a 400 watt psu. Carestream minimum requirements state an Nvidia GeForce GTX 760 or better and need to meet, according to Carestream, a passmark score in the 4000 range., Problem is most all cards in that class require at least a 400 watt PSU.


Oh and I checked HP with their workstations and they too max out 250 watt psu's with the small form factor cases. Lenovo's small form factor business machines also have the same limitation. 


I am looking outside the box so to speak and considering Alienware Alpha machines which are miniatx machines with Nvidia Geforce GTX 960 onboard. They are pretty much geared to be game consoles but can be specd to meet our needs. Just not sure I like the idea of using gaming machines in a business environment as I am not sure about their long term reliability and also because Dell does not offer business level support and warranties with like they do with the Optiplex and Precision line. 


Going minitower would solve my problems but my client really would like to stick with small form factor machines or smaller to replace his existing Optiplex 3020 small form factor machines currently in the treatment rooms. The cabinets are set up for the small machines and wouldn't fit minitowers without alterations to their cabinets.


Looking for opinions and suggestions.


Thanks in advance,


Edited by hamluis, 15 December 2016 - 07:06 PM.
Moved from System Building to Internal Hardware - Hamluis.

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#2 JohnC_21


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Posted 12 December 2016 - 09:56 PM

Somebody else can confirm this but I think the sff computers use a TFX PSU. You would need to swap out the PSUs for a 400w. I looked at the specs for the Nvidia card and Nvidia recommends a minimum of 500 watts but for what the office is doing 400 watts may work.


I think your big problem is getting the card to fit in the sff case. For example here is the open case of the Dell t1700 sff case. Notice how close the current card is to the PSU?


Look at a GTX760. It's going to be a tight fit in any sff case. I'm not sure the double slot required by the card will fit the sff case. 


Hopefully somebody else can give some additional suggestions.

#3 jonuk76


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Posted 13 December 2016 - 06:45 PM

As John says, I think the problem is not just going to be the power supply, but physically fitting a twin slot full height card (which AFAIK all cards with a TDP of more than 75w are) into an SFF PC.  Most SFF PC's I've seen at best accept a single slot GPU, at worst they won't allow any card to be fitted.


The most powerful integrated on chip graphics solutions are things like the Intel Iris Pro P580 (e.g. in the Xeon E3-1585 V5) but unfortunately that doesn't get close to a Passmark score of 4000.


BTW you can spec up a workstation using non gaming parts (e.g. Dell Precision) but you'd need the Firepro W7100 or Quadro M2000 card to get the desired performance, which I think rules out the SFF option on those machines.

Edited by jonuk76, 13 December 2016 - 07:01 PM.


#4 JohnC_21


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Posted 14 December 2016 - 08:30 AM

Something I also forgot. Even if the card could fit I doubt very much if the 400watt PSU would have the appropriate PCIe 8 pin and 6 pin power connectors for the card. 





#5 synergy513


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Posted 18 December 2016 - 03:01 PM

a few years ago, this was a common topic and the solution back then was....a silverstone tfx 450w power supply, coupled up to a sapphire radeon 7750 or gigabyte gtx 750ti sff, Back then, the users sff was sporting an i5 in one of those little sff cases, and wanted more potential..




although a few years can be alluding to old tech for days gone by,,,posthumously a little googling i came up with a few interesting links:






but the quadro or firepro line is more focused on detailed imaging like medical or geology, but way more expensive. The reason those workstation cards gain appeal in those applications is kind of warped. any performance card will function , but when the image gets moved around by spinning and panning and zooming, the double precision performance and the special drivers play a part in keeping the image from turning into a slide show.


also, the new pascals from nvidia scream fp64 double precision and energy efficiency..i can be fairly certain AMD isn't lagging too far behind..






after a nifty search, the old   k1200 looks the part...and sports the GM107 GPU, same as the gtx 750




a while back, fellow member jonuk made a great point..excessive heat produced by the PCs power supply and other components is really a sign of efficiency sub-par performance, as the technology has improved the efficiency, less heat produced by wasted energy means the high-performance laptops and sff such as alienware become more feasible than they used to be when they were constantly under threat from excessive heat.


higher efficiency means great things can manifest from small packages

Edited by synergy513, 18 December 2016 - 04:08 PM.

Moore's Law : 4d Graph in Progress

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