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Thread: Passive-cooled HTPC refresh

  1. #1
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    • wazzickle's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus H470M-itx
      • CPU:
      • i5 10500
      • Memory:
      • 16Gb DDR4 HyperX Fury
      • Storage:
      • Barracuda 510 1TB M.2, 9TB total between 2x seagate barracuda HDD
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Intel Onboard HD 630
      • PSU:
      • Pico PSU 160W
      • Case:
      • Streacom FC8 Alpha OD
      • Operating System:
      • W10
      • Monitor(s):
      • Samsung UE50JU6800 4k TV
      • Internet:
      • Garbage 4g dongle from 3

    Passive-cooled HTPC refresh

    After a few years of glorious service my motherboard conked out - the chipset was running extremely hot just seconds after power on, didn't fancy delidding it - and I reflect on the general good luck I've had with computers and components that almost none of them have had issues, at least not once they've been built.

    Compatible motherboards seemed very thin on the ground so it seemed like a good time for an upgrade. To replace the i5 7600, step in the i5 10500, accompanied by the ASRock H470M-itx.

    There are a couple of other changes I've made to my original design, namely storage, but the time was right to look at my case upgrade path. I've had my eye on the Streacom DB4 - also passively-cooled - for a while, and as luck would have it, when I went onto eBay, there was one for sale with most of a GPU cooling kit with it, in good condition, an hours drive from me, at a good price, with no-one else bidding. A late bidder pushed me up to my actual maximum bid, £161, street value over £300.

    My previous case, the Streacom FC8, has an IR receiver by Flirc built in that hooks up to the motherboard and I kinda got really used to that convenience, pairing it with my soundbar remote to allow perfect HTPC functionality as I can control everything I need there. The DB4 doesn't have either the chip or the shield but there's no particular reason I couldn't just do the same with it so I just have the chip dangling out of the front. It picks up the IR signal perfectly and is quite small and doesn't look out of place or spoil the looks at all (imo).

    The optical drive doesn't seem to be working anymore. I suppose that's bad luck. Never used it much, and to adapt the DB4 to it restricts options and needs a special kit. So am without it. If you have a DVD that you're desperate for me to watch, well, there's no longer any optical drives in the house so you'll have to bring your own round.

    This is my second passive-cooling build, everything's a little less daunting once you know what you're doing, and the build was pleasant and easy. Thermals are good, I can get the CPU to 85C under load but is staying around 30C (room temp 20) under light loads. The case is spacious, intuitive, and very well-machined.

    In terms of the other components, well, I have no complaints nor comments, really, they're all doing their jobs, which are limited to staying stable and happy and playing back 4k content, for which it's overkill.

    Case: Streacom DB4
    CPU: i5-10500
    Motherboard: Asrock H470M-itx
    RAM: Kingston HyperX Fury Black 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-2133 CL14
    Storage: Barracuda 510 1TB M.2 NVME, 2xBarracuda (5+4TB) HDD
    PSU: PicoPSU 160

    Having sold my PS4 recently I've got a new gaming PC arriving in an NCase M1 so there's every chance I do some swaps and come out with a 'best of both worlds' build or something. Check this space!

    Pics available here

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    CAT-THE-FIFTH (26-10-2020)

  3. #2
    Moosekateer CAT-THE-FIFTH's Avatar
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    • CAT-THE-FIFTH's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Less E-PEEN
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    Re: Passive-cooled HTPC refresh

    So are you rebuilding the Core i5 10500 into the Ncase M1 or using a different CPU??


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  4. #3
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    • wazzickle's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus H470M-itx
      • CPU:
      • i5 10500
      • Memory:
      • 16Gb DDR4 HyperX Fury
      • Storage:
      • Barracuda 510 1TB M.2, 9TB total between 2x seagate barracuda HDD
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Intel Onboard HD 630
      • PSU:
      • Pico PSU 160W
      • Case:
      • Streacom FC8 Alpha OD
      • Operating System:
      • W10
      • Monitor(s):
      • Samsung UE50JU6800 4k TV
      • Internet:
      • Garbage 4g dongle from 3

    Re: Passive-cooled HTPC refresh

    The NCase M1 is coming with an i7 7700k an a 1070 and 16gb ram and that seems like it's going to perform about the same as the i5; think my next upgrade path is a 2070 or 3070 or similar.

    Also on a project to explore the possibilities with a second DB4 that I have arriving, and that's one full and most of the rest of another set of GPU expansion heatpipes, and got a nofan CR80 so very curious about whether I could use that and all 4 walls and cool a 2070 aero or similar (undervolted) and top-notch processor, again possibly underclocked. Interesting times ahead.

  5. #4
    Moosekateer CAT-THE-FIFTH's Avatar
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    • CAT-THE-FIFTH's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Less E-PEEN
      • CPU:
      • Massive E-PEEN
      • Memory:
      • RGB E-PEEN
      • Storage:
      • Not in any order
      • Graphics card(s):
      • EVEN BIGGER E-PEEN
      • PSU:
      • OVERSIZED
      • Case:
      • UNDERSIZED
      • Operating System:
      • DOS 6.22
      • Monitor(s):
      • NOT USUALLY ON....WHEN I POST
      • Internet:
      • FUNCTIONAL

    Re: Passive-cooled HTPC refresh

    The H series motherboards do limit the RAM to 2666MHZ IIRC,so it will reduce gaming performance(you can see the Gamersnexus and HUB reviews of the Core i5 10400) with a dGPU. If the Core i7 7700K comes with a Z series motherboard,you can run the RAM at higher speeds which should help.

    OTH,the Core i7 7700K does sell for over £200:
    https://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_f...&LH_Complete=1

    You could probably get a Core i5 10600 or Ryzen 5 3600 for less money.



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    Re: Passive-cooled HTPC refresh

    Infrared was always an interesting conundrum, I began HTPC life many moons ago with a rebranded Fujitsu (Scaleo E) Pentium 4 which had a combined VFD and IR receiver.

    Since that all died (ostensibly due to heat too) I've had a custom built RC6 receiver that I sourced from US eBay years ago and that's stayed in a Bitfenix Prodigy M through two rebuilds.

    The other reason I'm adding to the post, my current build (Ryzen 3600, mentioned above) runs a lot hotter under load than the previous AMD 1045t I had. Difficult balance really but sounds like you've planned it well

  7. #6
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    • wazzickle's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus H470M-itx
      • CPU:
      • i5 10500
      • Memory:
      • 16Gb DDR4 HyperX Fury
      • Storage:
      • Barracuda 510 1TB M.2, 9TB total between 2x seagate barracuda HDD
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Intel Onboard HD 630
      • PSU:
      • Pico PSU 160W
      • Case:
      • Streacom FC8 Alpha OD
      • Operating System:
      • W10
      • Monitor(s):
      • Samsung UE50JU6800 4k TV
      • Internet:
      • Garbage 4g dongle from 3

    Re: Passive-cooled HTPC refresh

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    The H series motherboards do limit the RAM to 2666MHZ IIRC,so it will reduce gaming performance(you can see the Gamersnexus and HUB reviews of the Core i5 10400) with a dGPU. If the Core i7 7700K comes with a Z series motherboard,you can run the RAM at higher speeds which should help.

    OTH,the Core i7 7700K does sell for over £200:
    https://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_f...&LH_Complete=1

    You could probably get a Core i5 10600 or Ryzen 5 3600 for less money.

    It's coming with a Z270 ROG motherboard, neither gpu nor cpu having been overclocked - despite being into tech and pc gaming for almost 30 years this will be my first time overclocking! I see that Asus have AI overclocking now - not sure whether it's available for that motherboard, technically I'm already overlclocking my i5 10500 with BFB for a 4% uptick but I think I'll be trying to do this one manually.

    All-in, with gaming keyboard and mouse, the system cost me £750 and I'm reasonably confident I could sell it for parts and make more than that. When I get a 2070 or better I will also be upgrading the RAM in terms of both size and speed.
    Last edited by wazzickle; 27-10-2020 at 03:42 PM.

  8. #7
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    • wazzickle's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus H470M-itx
      • CPU:
      • i5 10500
      • Memory:
      • 16Gb DDR4 HyperX Fury
      • Storage:
      • Barracuda 510 1TB M.2, 9TB total between 2x seagate barracuda HDD
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Intel Onboard HD 630
      • PSU:
      • Pico PSU 160W
      • Case:
      • Streacom FC8 Alpha OD
      • Operating System:
      • W10
      • Monitor(s):
      • Samsung UE50JU6800 4k TV
      • Internet:
      • Garbage 4g dongle from 3

    Re: Passive-cooled HTPC refresh

    delete

  9. #8
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    • UseItNow's system
      • Motherboard:
      • It's holding everything together!
      • CPU:
      • It's in my PC
      • Memory:
      • It's remembering, alright?
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    Re: Passive-cooled HTPC refresh

    I do love the look of the DB4, almost tempted to replace my F12C (which is now EOL or very difficult to get a hold of), mind me asking, what software of setup you've gone for with the software?

    Thanks and thats a lovely build!

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