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Thread: HTPC RE-build: Watch it happen!

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    HTPC RE-build: Watch it happen!

    Part inspired by Shooty*'s original HTPC build thread and the death of my HTPC motherboard making this rebuild necessary, thought I'd post my rebuild attempts.

    The motherboard is an Asus M3N-H/HDMI which has an in-built Geforce 8300 chipset for HD-DVD/BD decoding. I'm currently awaiting it back from Ebuyer under RMA, along with the processor, an Athlon 64 X2 5600+ 2.9GHz Energy Efficient Socket AM2 1MB L2 Cache.

    The RAM is an OCZ 4GB (2x2GB) DDR2 800Mhz/PC2-6400 GOLD XTC Memory Kit CL5(5-5-5-18) Kit which is left over from my original order.

    The CPU fan is a Zalman ZF9225ATH, with lots of copper & heatstinks. It works well on the CPU without the fan plugged in, but I'll have it connected to a controller. It's all but silent when running anyway.

    The case is a Silverstone GD01B-R which has some nice hidden panels at the front for drives and connections and has plenty space inside. A 480w modular Tagan PSU will power everything, and 2 Nexus Real Silent 80mm fans provide some extra cooling with low noise, replacing the Silverstone fans that came with the case.

    The case has space for 6 HDDs, mounted on their side in a foam-padded caddy to keep vibrations down. The screw areas have rubber padding to assist with this. Currently, these drives comprise of 1x500gb, 3x750gb & 2x1.5TB drives, labelled so I can find them easily.

    The optical drive is an LG-GGCH20L Blu-ray & HD-DVD combo drive which also sits in it's own removable caddy. To maxmise case space, I've used a set of 5.25" to 3.5" spacers to add another 750gb drive under the Optical drive.

    Cards inside the HTPC will be a Silicon Image 3114 4-port Sata controller and an Asus Xonar HDAV Slim for Bitstreaming uncompressed audio from Blu-rays. It's currently residing in my backup HTPC whilst the RMA'd items are shipped back to me.

    More to follow soon!

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    hexus.zombeh! format's Avatar
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    Re: HTPC RE-build: Watch it happen!

    Watching with interest
    ~'Armaments, universal debt, and planned obsolescence--those are the three pillars of Western prosperity'~ Aldous Huxley




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    Re: HTPC RE-build: Watch it happen!

    Should get this moved into the project logs section

    tip for you with photo bucket
    <url=http://i692.photobucket.com/albums/vv290/skinleech/06-BDRomFront.jpg><img>http://i692.photobucket.com/albums/vv290/skinleech/th_06-BDRomFront.jpg</img></url>
    replace the <> with [] and you get this


    Thumbnail you click on takes you to the full image
    The thumbnail is the same address as the image but with th_ infront of the image name.

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    Re: HTPC RE-build: Watch it happen!

    Quote Originally Posted by Pob255 View Post
    Thumbnail you click on takes you to the full image
    Doesn't seem to work for me. Will take another look with the next batch of pics perhaps.

    Phoned Ebuyer today, seems my RMA'd board & returned CPU were out for delivery today (not that they gave me a consigment number to check for some reason) so I'll go and pick them up tomorrow, and the re-build can hopefully commence over the weekend.

    Hooray!

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    Re: HTPC RE-build: Watch it happen!

    Pfffft.

    Well, went to pick up the items today - Ebuyer forgot to include the CPU when they sent the replaced motherboard. Great...

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    Re: HTPC RE-build: Watch it happen!

    OK, so I got the CPU on Friday, and spent some time installing on Saturday.

    Firat up is the Xonar Slim card that I took out of the backup HTPC. It's much smaller than the regular HDAV 1.3 card and loses the stereo RCA connections it has. It's also 24p compatible out of the box, PCI rather than PCI-E and doesn't require a molex, which is nice.

    It's got 2 HDMI connections and an Sp/dif on it, you feed a HDMI (or DVI to HDMI) cable from your graphics card/on board chipset into the Xonar's In HDMI port, then feed another cable out into your AVR. It comes with both of those cables as well as an Asus specific version of Total Media Theatre 2, which allows you to bitstream the uncompressed audio from your Blu-ray disks, unlike the regular version. You can also use the serial to upgrade to TMT3.

    I got a couple of QED HDMI cables to feed from the 8300 to the Xonar, then into my Onkyo 876 AVR.

    Here's the motherboard inside the case so it's got plenty slots for all I need (2 pci and that's all) and has a good set of connections on the back panel with sp/dif, gigabit LAN & HDMI out. There's a VGA header on the board so you can output over that too if needed. The board costs about &#163;55 so is pretty reasonable.

    In order to keep the inside of the case as clear as possible I routed the front panel USB/card reader cables underneath the HDD tray's base. l also moved most of the HDDs down one space in the caddy in order to clear up the PSU area so I could bunch some cables there (modular PSUs always seem to have huge long cables). The downside of this is that one of the drives now covers the SATA ports, so I had a bit of trouble getting some of the cables in. I need to replace 2 regular cables with left angles ones when I can.

    Next, I cabled up the BD-ROM and the HDD underneath, then bolted that in the case. I needed to cable them up first as the Zalman CPU fan is pretty close to the back of the BD drive.

    It's hard to see, but next I put both PCI cards in & finished cabling up all the drives, followed by the PSU, tucking the excess cables in by the HDDs, as well as using a cable tie towards the back of case. Finally, I added the cross bar in the case, which also acts as another thing to help route cables with the help of velcro cable ties. It's not as neat inside as I'd like, some shorter SATA cables should really go on my shopping list.

    More to follow on the set up to the AVR/TV etc as well as the software running on the PC.

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    Senior Member Pob255's Avatar
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      • CPU:
      • PhenomII x4 955 & CM Hyper 212+
      • Memory:
      • 2x 4gb Corsair Vengence 1600mhz cas9
      • Storage:
      • 250gb SATA Westerndigital + 500gb samsung +1tb Samsung
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      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell 21" ips something

    Re: HTPC RE-build: Watch it happen!

    OK, so I got the CPU on Friday, and spent some time installing on Saturday.

    Firat up is the Xonar Slim card

    that I took out of the backup HTPC. It's much smaller than the regular HDAV 1.3 card and loses the stereo RCA connections it has. It's also 24p compatible out of the box, PCI rather than PCI-E and doesn't require a molex, which is nice.

    See it works just fine, although for some reason the pic sometimes does not appear in the preview post, but it will if you post it.
    Just quote this post to see how to format it

    6 hd's and a blueray but only 6 sata ports? how did you manage that?

    If you can stack the sata cables neatly ontop of eachother you may be able to neaten that up a bit

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    Re: HTPC RE-build: Watch it happen!

    Quote Originally Posted by Pob255 View Post
    OK, so I got the CPU on Friday, and spent some time installing on Saturday.

    Firat up is the Xonar Slim card

    that I took out of the backup HTPC. It's much smaller than the regular HDAV 1.3 card and loses the stereo RCA connections it has. It's also 24p compatible out of the box, PCI rather than PCI-E and doesn't require a molex, which is nice.

    See it works just fine, although for some reason the pic sometimes does not appear in the preview post, but it will if you post it.
    Just quote this post to see how to format it

    6 hd's and a blueray but only 6 sata ports? how did you manage that?

    If you can stack the sata cables neatly ontop of eachother you may be able to neaten that up a bit
    I'll take another look at that when I'm at home: maybe I misunderstood your original post, but I thought you's daid you could format it to display the thumb first, then with a click onto the image, the full size one would display.

    As for the SATA ports, it's actually 7 HDs and a BD/HD-DVD drive as there's another 750gb underneath the BD/HD-DVD drive.

    The motherboard has 6 ports, but 2 are disabled unless you are using RAID which I am not. So I have a 4 port Silicon image SATA controller to cover the other HDDs which is noted in the 1st post.

    Yeah, I'd looked at stacking, but at the time was more concerned with making sure the RMA'd board was working ok (which it is). Once I get some shorter cables that'll help matters. I'll end up swapping the 500gb drive for another 1.5tb at some point too so that'll be the ideal opportunity to change things round.

    Cheers!

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