So, in my opinion, it no longer makes sense to build your own PC (and five years ago, I was on the fence about it).
I've come to this conclusion after spending 10 hours trying to get a Foxconn AT-5570 nanoPC from NewEgg up and running with anything faster than 10MB/s HDD throughput. (From an SSD, no less).
Their download page is broken, so I can't download BIOS updates.
The stock drivers that come with it? Crash Windows 8 on boot.
I had to renew my subscription to DriverAgent to try to fix the mess, and after installing everything, it's still crawling accessing the HDD.
I've now been waiting over an hour for it to install PCMark so I can test it, and the WD Black^2 drive won't partition to unlock the extra 1TB of storage.
Verdict? Abject, utter failure.
Now to decide if I want to cut my losses, or hopefully find another nanoPC or similar which works with Windows 8 and has a 2.5" SATA bay.
People - do yourself a favor. Unless your time isn't important toyou, just buy off-the-shelf stuff. The manufacturers are lousier than ever at keeping your drivers up to date, so if you build your own, you're in for a world of hurt.
Simon Cooke is an occasional video game developer, ex-freelance journalist, screenwriter, film-maker, musician, and software engineer in Seattle, WA.
The views posted on this blog are his and his alone, and have no relation to anything he's working on, his employer, or anything else and are not an official statement of any kind by them (and barely even one by him most of the time).