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Thread: Stylish HTPC system: The Build

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    Stylish HTPC system: The Build

    So, after all the help that people provided in the Review My Build thread, all the bits eventually arrived and I started to do some building!

    Components:
    ASRock FM2A75M-ITX AMD A75 Chipset (Socket FM2) DDR3 Mini ITX
    60GB Corsair Force Series 3, SATA III SSD, SandForce SF-2200, Read 525MB/s, Write 490MB/s, 80K IOPS
    AMD A10 5700, S FM2, Virgo Core, Quad Core 3.4GHz, AMD Radeon HD 7660D 800MHz, 65W, Retail
    8GB (2x4GB) Corsair DDR3 Vengeance Jet Black Low Profile, PC3-12800 (1600), Non-ECC, CAS 9-9-9-24, XMP, 1.5V
    Streacom F1C Silver Home Theatre Aluminium Chassis
    Hitachi 1TB Travelstar 2.5" SATA-III Hard drive- 5400RPM 8MB Cache
    Sony BC-5600S Slim Internal Slot Blu-ray - with left hand eject button!
    picoPSU 160W picoPSU and AC/DC adapter block
    Reeven Vanxie RC-0801 Low Profile CPU Cooler
    Scythe Mini Kaze, 40mm x 10mm Quiet Cooling Fan
    My first observation was that the case is a quality item. No sharp edges, no defects and nice and solid. The magnetic top is a nice touch and fits beautifully flush. Looks like a consumer bit of AV hardware and will look right at home in the living room.

    The flash on the camera makes the sandblasting on the case stand out an awful lot more than it does under normal lighting but below is the case with the drive cage hanging out the back. Lower left on the case front is the window for the remote receiver (not bundled with the case BTW), upper left is the hole awaiting the ODD eject button I have yet to fit (which is why one has to be very particular about the ODD used) and lower right is the power button.

    Apologies for the quality of the pictures by the way: bad lighting made it even harder for the camera to deal with the close ups.



    Here's the rear I/O (the socket to the right of the vents is power) and a corner shot attempting to show one of the small (but strong!) magnets that hold the top of the case:





    Here's how everything looks installed, but with the drive cage still out as I am missing is a power cable for the 2nd HDD (which I've just bought today):



    Now, the one issue encountered so far is (unsurprisingly) due to trying to squeeze just so much HW into such a tiny amount of space. I have got the vertically mounted 2.5" drive to slide down next to the PSU OK (or at least I hope I have as I haven't powered on yet!) but mounting the second 2.5" drive (which goes underneath the ODD, hanging off the underneath of the cage) conflicts with the CPU heatsink fan (by just a few mm!). Without the 2nd drive, no problem. Without the fan on the CPU, no problem. But with both there is just not enough room.

    The Reeven Vanxie is no six footer by any measure (in fact it's just 34mm high), and only just higher than the RAM in the shot below, but is is just a few mm too tall for this case with two HDD.



    I believe I really do need the two drives in this HTPC: the SSD for OS & apps and the 1TB HDD to hold the everyday media so I think I'm in the market for a new even lower heatsink/fan! I'm thinking the Gelid Slim Silence AM2 should work. It states Socket FM1 and I understand FM2 is actually no different in this respect - can anyone confirm/deny?

    One other thing people might be able to educate me on: There are two cables coming from the power button, each with a two-pin connector on the end but the case manual makes no mention of what is what! I believe one will the the power and the other the power LED, does that sound right? There are indications on the cables, one pair has short dashes along one wire with crosses on the 2nd wire, the other has long dashes on one wire with a load of generic manufacturer text on the other wire. Pic below. I assume this is a standard legend of some kind but not one that I know of!



    I'll continue the build when I find some time over the weekend (hopefully) and provide an update next week...

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    Re: Stylish HTPC system: The Build

    Well, I finally found a bit more time to complete the build!

    I couldn't find anything to point me in the right direction with the case cables so just went with good ol' trial and error (which didn't result in any permanent errors!)

    I swapped out the Reeven Vanxie heatsink/fan for the Gelid Slim Silence AM2. There is an updated version of this heatsink/fan but I could only find it on US websites. All the technical specs (noise, HWD, etc.) of the new unit are the same as the old so went hunting for the old one but couldn't find it in stock anywhere in the UK! Shipping from Germany turned out to be peanuts anyway so problem solved and the second drive now sits just in the case above the heatsink - and I mean just: there is room to slide just two sheets of paper between them!

    Here's the Slim Silence, which features the fan buried away inside the heatsink, installed on the mobo along with RAM:



    Here's the drive cage with Blu-ray on top, SSD below and HDD vertically to the side:



    And here is everything connected up:



    Linux Mint XFCE installed and media copying across to the HDD:


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    Thumbs up Re: Stylish HTPC system: The Build

    Everything looking good HW wise so time to squeeze everything into that tiny case. This took a few attempts and some careful cable management/planning as with such a small unit a) there is obviously not much room, and b) SATA, power, etc. cables tend to me longer than they really need to be so excess length needs to be tucked away somewhere (each side of the ODD seems to be the best place).



    Lid on (pen strategically position for a sense of scale with this tiny case!):



    And here it is with XBMC (v11 Eden) running!!



    I've got two XBox 360 wireless controllers working as remotes (and of course as game pads for the SNES emulator running through XBMC!) but there is one software niggle to iron out: The HDMI audio is not showing up as a device under 'aplay -l'. Analogue & digital is there so am temporarily using HDMI for video only and using an analogue audio cable but obviously this second cable is really superfluous and I'd like to get rid of it.

    All in all very pleased with the result - it's a tiny smart-looking little box and it packs a lot of power. I now just need to get the rest of the living room up to the same high standard!

    I might even try launching some 'serious' games on the box, though in a few weeks I'll be building the Stylish Gaming System which will perform that function a lot better!

    Thanks everyone for your help and advice on the hardware.

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    Re: Stylish HTPC system: The Build

    What were temperatures like with the DVD drive in place? I'm tempted to try and put a low profile graphics card above the CPU with a riser card, similar to this - http://www.sweclockers.com/galleri/8843-laines-nano. Not sure if everything will get too hot though.
    Main - Intel Core i5 2300 @ 3.5GHz, 8GB DDR3 1333Mhz RAM, Asus P8P67 Pro, Coolermaster iGreen 600w, GTX 480, Antec One Case



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    Re: Stylish HTPC system: The Build

    I've got it pulled apart at the moment to try and improve the cable management and to swap the 9mm SSD for a 7mm (all to improve airflow/circulation) so can't give you exact figures but the temps were above the figures I'd seen in CPU benchmarks but acceptably so (i.e. kind of what you'd expect given less airflow within the case).

    Personally I would be very hesitant to put a Gfx card in there as it is obviously a component that will produce it's own heat (it looks like a sound card they're installing in that Swedish build). Maybe if you drilled some holes in the top of the case to allow the heated air to rise and escape??

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    Re: Stylish HTPC system: The Build

    Looks cool, like a mac-mini but better looking

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    Re: Stylish HTPC system: The Build

    Yep I'd put some holes in the top above where the fan on the graphics card will be. I'm not sure if I want to try and fit all this in an F1C case, getting the F7C would be much easier!
    Main - Intel Core i5 2300 @ 3.5GHz, 8GB DDR3 1333Mhz RAM, Asus P8P67 Pro, Coolermaster iGreen 600w, GTX 480, Antec One Case



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    Re: Stylish HTPC system: The Build

    Hi,

    I do realise that the last comment in this thread was over a year ago, but I would like to thank Jake for sharing his build experiences, and also the detailed component spec.

    It is only recently that I 'discovered' the Streacom F1C case, which I think would be ideal for my current requirements... probably paired with an Asus H87I-PLUS Motherboard, and a single SSD.

    Rather than expand further here, it will probably be best if I start a new thread... possibly starting with a 'Review my build' page, one I have finalised my initial component choices.

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    Re: Stylish HTPC system: The Build

    Quote Originally Posted by Montala View Post
    Hi,

    I do realise that the last comment in this thread was over a year ago, but I would like to thank Jake for sharing his build experiences, and also the detailed component spec.

    It is only recently that I 'discovered' the Streacom F1C case, which I think would be ideal for my current requirements... probably paired with an Asus H87I-PLUS Motherboard, and a single SSD.

    Rather than expand further here, it will probably be best if I start a new thread... possibly starting with a 'Review my build' page, one I have finalised my initial component choices.
    I found revisiting this thread interesting too! Please do start a thread, these build projects are always interesting and often generate new ideas!
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    Re: Stylish HTPC system: The Build

    Having been reminded of this build,the A8 7600 is going to be even more of a better fit than an A10 5700!


    Those despicable Elk,stealing the pond weed!

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    Re: Stylish HTPC system: The Build

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    Having been reminded of this build,the A8 7600 is going to be even more of a better fit than an A10 5700!
    Indeed, and I might be looking to do a build like this soon so it is annoying that the best fit cpu for me isn't actually on the market. Bah!

    OFC if you could program the 7850K down to 65W TDP then they could have extracted maximum money from me.

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    Re: Stylish HTPC system: The Build

    Personally I am an 'Intel man' at heart, and as the system won't be used for gaming, or anything too demanding, I have 'downgraded' my choice of motherboard to an Asus H81I-PLUS, possibly paired with an Intel Core i3-4130 3.40GHz (Haswell) Socket LGA1150 Processor.

    I really must start another thread now though!

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    Re: Stylish HTPC system: The Build

    Quote Originally Posted by Montala View Post
    Personally I am an 'Intel man' at heart, and as the system won't be used for gaming, or anything too demanding, I have 'downgraded' my choice of motherboard to an Asus H81I-PLUS, possibly paired with an Intel Core i3-4130 3.40GHz (Haswell) Socket LGA1150 Processor.

    I really must start another thread now though!
    My build would be for my mum, and whilst she doesn't really play games my kids will get near it so it has to be able to do at least mild gaming. A decent draw distance on Minecraft is a minimum

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    Re: Stylish HTPC system: The Build

    Quote Originally Posted by Montala View Post
    Personally I am an 'Intel man' at heart, and as the system won't be used for gaming, or anything too demanding, I have 'downgraded' my choice of motherboard to an Asus H81I-PLUS, possibly paired with an Intel Core i3-4130 3.40GHz (Haswell) Socket LGA1150 Processor.

    I really must start another thread now though!
    I would probably get a Celeron dual core then.

    Quote Originally Posted by DanceswithUnix View Post
    Indeed, and I might be looking to do a build like this soon so it is annoying that the best fit cpu for me isn't actually on the market. Bah!

    OFC if you could program the 7850K down to 65W TDP then they could have extracted maximum money from me.
    Looking at the Hardware.fr and Hexus reviews,by AMD APU standards the A10 7850K seems closer to a 65W TDP:

    http://hexus.net/tech/reviews/mainbo...r-a88x/?page=8
    http://www.hardware.fr/articles/915-3/consommation.html
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 04-02-2014 at 04:58 PM.


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    Re: Stylish HTPC system: The Build

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    Looking at the Hardware.fr and Hexus reviews,by AMD APU standards the A10 7850K seems closer to a 65W TDP:

    http://hexus.net/tech/reviews/mainbo...r-a88x/?page=8
    http://www.hardware.fr/articles/915-3/consommation.html
    Yeah I saw that. On a proper system where I was just trying to keep the noise down that would be fine, but some of these ITX cases come with 90W or 120W power supplies. I would want a hard ceiling on the usage.

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    Re: Stylish HTPC system: The Build

    Well, after reading through the first few posts in this thread again, and much "Googling" and comparison checking, I have finally come up with my proposals for a similar Intel based build, which I have described in the Review My Build section of this Forum.

    I think everything I have listed there is fully compatible, but I would welcome any comments... or concerns, before I actually start to place any orders!

    Thanks.

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