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Thread: SteamBox / Media PC project

  1. #1
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    SteamBox / Media PC project

    Ok so been meaning to do this build for a while now, never really got round to it.

    Ever since I built my new server I have had my old box lying around doing nothing, Plan is to do a bit of modding and put together a Steambox / Media PC.

    Hardware wise the plan is to get it to a level similar to next gen consoles but using as little power as possible.

    Current hardware is as follows :

    Well used original Silverstone SG05, By original I mean steal non painted internals and the 300w PSU.

    Asus P8H61-I Motherboard

    4GB 1600MHz 1.5v Corsair memory

    320gb 2.5" HDD (I intend to stick with a mechanical drive over a SSD so that I can get Steam on there with some games)

    Couple of pics below of the current hardware.

    http://imgur.com/a/XwNoK

    So here is what I plan to do, not final defiantly looking for opinions here on the hardware and any mods

    CPU, Thinking to match next gen ill be looking at 8 threads, I know the CPU's in the next gen boxs are no where near the performance of a modern dekstop CPU but if the last gen has taught me anything a chip with half the cores of a console but 5x faster cores just wont cut it *cough* GTA IV *cough*
    So currently looking at the Core i7-3770T, 45 watt part so nice and low on the power usage, clock speed is low but will turbo nicely when only a few cores are in use, great for older games.

    GPU wise, not sure yet, ill add that in later, atm gonna just get the CPU and set it up with a OS and get it doing media dutys, will prolly look at some form of Radeon, see if I cant get a fanless model in there.

    Thinking of also swapping the PSU, Silverstone have a nice new 450w unit that will fit this, Modular so will be really tidy in there as all I will have is 1 HDD and 1 GPU and as a bonus its gold rated.


    So onto the modding, need to order a new front panel from Silverstone as I have broken this one (couple of retaining clips broken), Gonna take the drive tray out and drill out the rivets holding the HDD bracket on, once this is done ill be able to fit a bigger / fatter fan under the optical cage, should give me better cooling there without anymore noise, gt a 140mm fan and a 38mm think Panaflo I am thinking of using atm, will test them when I have removed the HDD cage.

    Once thats removed ill grab a adapter that's generally used in laptops to allow you to put a HDD in a Optical bay, should fit in nice in the optical bay, give me somewhere to mount the HDD and free up space for cooling.

    Cooling wise, looking to stick with air, preferably one fan at the front and the PSU fan and that's it, considered water but for this I think it will be overkill, and I am not keen, been stung with leaks before, not to keen to try again.
    Seen a few passive solution's for the SG05, looks like Coolermaster had a great heatsink in the past, may try to get one of Ebay or something, any other suggestions here?

    Also open to any other ideas on modding it, wish I had the skills to do a nice Steam / Valve inspired paint job but unfortunately I fail in that area


    So thats my current plans, thoughts? Ideas?, Any input welcomed

    Before anyone says, nope I am defiantly not watercooling it, I am a Aircooling fanboi
    Salazaar : <Touching wood as I write this...>


  2. #2
    DDY
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    Re: SteamBox / Media PC project

    I had a SG06 for a while, it's the same as the SG05 but with a different front panel, link to build log.

    Here's my input based on my experiences with the SG06;

    - Don't bother with a bigger fan, 120mm is enough,
    - Removing the 3.5" bay is a good idea,
    - Get rid of the front fan filter, it does more harm than good,
    - Even with a single 120mm at the front, you can easily get away with passively cooling a 45W TDP CPU (for example),
    - Save yourself some money and Velcro your second 2.5" drive to the ODD bay rather than getting an adapter, you can have two 2.5" drives and an ODD if you stick the second drive on the bottom of the bracket (for example),
    - A fanless graphics card is a bad idea, there will be virtually zero air flow over the GPU area meaning, either; an over heating card or having a cooler but slower GPU,
    - Finally, air cooling ftw

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