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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What's the difference between half length and full length PCI slots? I'm thinking of getting a Dell Optiplex GX260 with the small desktop case:

http://www.zdnet.co.uk/reviews/graph...gx260-lead.jpg


This would be perfect for a home theater pc but I'm concerned about the fact that it has half length PCI slots. I'm going to have to add a TV Tuner card and I want to be sure it will work.
 

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Are you sure it is not half height PCI slots? I have not seen a true full length card since the early ISA slot days. There are some long PCI cards (like the HDTV cards) but non-of them run the length of the case.


The reason that I think it might be half height is case you are showing is smaller top to bottom that the normal ATX case. You can use full height cards sometimes in these cases if there is a Riser Card (an the internal space).
 

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The guy in the office next to me has one of those and his has 2 blanked slots in the back, turned horizontal so it must use some type of daughter/riser card for the PCI slots. From the outside it looks big enoughtto fit most cards in there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
No the spec definitely says "half length". There are three types of desktop chassis you can get on the Optiplex: ultra small form factor, small form factor, and small desktop.


Ultra small form factor offers no expansion at all.

Small form factor has "1 low-profile PCI" slot

Small desktop has "Two half length" PCI slots


I wish I had one of these computers handy to look inside.
 

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yeah, I believe it means full-length. you're very unlikely to run across this, but my accessdtv card is about a 3/4 length card. Or at least, it seems that way when I try to get any kind of cablage around it...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
EricN - holy RAID cards Batman!


Hehe, if that's full length I should have little trouble putting a TV tuner into the thing.


By the way, on the small form factor optiplex, it says that is uses "low profile" PCI slots. Are there any low profile tuners?
 

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With the small form factor case, you will only have 1 half-height PCI slot and 1 half-height AGP slot and you'd be limited to the types of cards that sgriffin posted links to. With the small desktop case, you should have two full height (but 'half-length') PCI slots which should fit the vast majority of PCI cards, except some of the raid controllers like the one EricN posted or a Compaq Smart Array 2/P.:)


(I work a bunch with the small form factor cases at work, and they are extremely quiet and look pretty decent, but you are also very limited to the cards you can use due to the half-height size. I had considered getting one myself for my HTPC, but wasn't happy with the limited expansion possibilities.)


Just my two cents, hope this is helpful...
 

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Yeah, half-height PCI is MUCH more restrictive for an HTPC than half-length. Your selection of video cards especially so.
 
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