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 Post subject: First HTPC - NSK2480
PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2009 12:44 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2003 8:30 pm
Posts: 32
Location: Montreal, Canada
After building P180 and P182 systems, I present you my first HTPC. First, the components list:

Case: Antec NSK2480
PSU: included
CPU: Intel E6300
CPU heatsink: from an Intel Q6600 (spare)
Motherboard: Asus P5N7A-VM
RAM: 4 GB Mushkin
IGP: GF 9300
GPU: MSI 8400GS passive
Tuner: Hauppauge HVR-2250
Wifi: D-Link DWL-G520 (spare)
HDD: Seagate 7200.7 500GB
ODD: LG BD/DVD-RW (spare)
OS: Win7 RC x64

This is a pretty standard HTPC build (thanks avsforum). It is not too powerful and only boasts one HDD (storage on the server) which makes it a good silencing candidate. I've taken the following steps to get this system silent:

1. I've suspended the HDD in the free 5.25" bay under the BD drive and installed some packing foam between the HDD and the drive bay bezel.
2. Replaced both Tri-cool fans by 2 Scythe S-Flex SFF21E fans.
3. Swapped the PSU fan by a Scythe SFF80C fan (80mm, 2000RPM).
4. Used a Q6600 heatsink instead of the stock one. It is larger, heavier and the fan is lower pitched.
5. Enabled Speedstep in BIOS.

There are 3 fan headers on this motherboard and only two are controlled (CPU and Chassis). I wasn't sure the chassis header could power both S-flex fans so I 5-volted the rearmost fan to a molex connector and plugged the "front" fan to the chassis fan header.
Although the original PSU fan wasn't so loud (more of a faint whine), replacing it with the SFF80C rendered the PSU silent. Had I known, maybe I would've bought the SFF80D instead of the C as not too much air is moved out of the PSU. On the other hand, the exhaust is only mildly warm under load.
The cpu fan is clearly the loudest part of this box. It's not too bad when at 800RPM (slight whine) but when it ramps up it is unbearable (high pitched whine). I am using Speedfan to keep it under control.

Image

Image

Image

Load testing

Fan speed is fixed.
CPU fan: ~860 RPM (almost silent)
SFF21E (both): ~450 RPM (silent)
PSU Fan: ~650RPM (silent)

Temps at idle (after an hour of light usage):
Ambient: 24C
Core0: 38C
Core1: 35C
GPU: 48C
Mobo: 38C

Temps under load (two threads of prime95) taken at plateau:
Ambient: 24C
Core0: 59
Core1: 59
GPU: 52
Mobo: 47

For kicks, I re-ran the Prime95 and let Speedfan in control. Under load i got:

CPU fan: ~2000 RPM (loud)
SFF21E 5-volt: ~450 RPM (silent)
SFF21E: ~850 RPM (~silent)
PSU fan: 650 RPM (silent)

Ambient: 24C
Core0: 53
Core1: 53
GPU: 50
Mobo: 40
PSU Fan: ~650RPM

In practice, CPU fan should not ramp up so i'll keep it around 850 RPM. This should give me a practically silent HTPC.

Future
Buy a Minja?
Get rid of the wifi card. But for this, I need to route cat5 in my walls. Let's say medium-term.
Get rid of 8400GS and use IGP. I use the 8400GS because I need sd tv-out. I'll use IGP once I get an HDTV. Not a family priority right now.
Paint the silver front panel in black (Krylon Fusion). Maybe tomorrow!

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Main: Antec P182 | i5 750 - Venomous X w/ Scythe 120mm | Gigabyte P55A-UD3 | 4 GB G.Skill DDR3| 8800GT+Accelero S1 | Seagate 500GB | Corsair 520HX
Server: Kingwin KT-424 | Tualatin 1.1 @ 1.44 - SLK-900A + L1A | Abit ST6 | 512MB PC133 | Radeon 8500 LE (passive) | RAID1: 2x ST 250GB 7200.8 IDE (decoupled) | Enermax EG365P-VEFC


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 Post subject: Re: First HTPC - NSK2480
PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2009 5:10 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2008 10:31 pm
Posts: 822
Location: Melbourne, Australia
rootdown wrote:
Future
Buy a Minja?
Get rid of the wifi card. But for this, I need to route cat5 in my walls. Let's say medium-term.

I highly recommend the Minja. You should have no problem running it passive with your current case config.

If you want to lose the wi-fi but not dig into your walls, look into something like ethernet over powerlines.

It gets expensive if you are trying to connect than one or two computers to a router, but it is an alternative. I've got the NP285 mentioned on that page I linked to, acting as a connection between my ADSL modem in the living room and my PCs in my bedroom (I then split the link with a mini-hub in my bedroom). Let me know if you want more details, but I am pretty happy with the set up.

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My PCs:
Main PC (E5200, G31, Lian Li Q07) | Gaming PC (E6850, X38, 5870 Vapor-X, P182) | HTPC (4850e, 780G, 3450, NSK2480B)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2009 6:40 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2003 8:30 pm
Posts: 32
Location: Montreal, Canada
It's not so much I don't want to dig into my walls as they are pretty accessible from the basement, but I don't have time right now.

I looked at the link and ethernet over powerline could be a solution instead of 802.11G wireless. Doing some light research, I found that some products state they may interfere with dimmers and some other electronics.
Did you get any interference? I've got numerous dimmers and some of my electrical circuits are not so well designed (lots of splices, it's an older house) especially the living room circuit (doh!).

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Main: Antec P182 | i5 750 - Venomous X w/ Scythe 120mm | Gigabyte P55A-UD3 | 4 GB G.Skill DDR3| 8800GT+Accelero S1 | Seagate 500GB | Corsair 520HX
Server: Kingwin KT-424 | Tualatin 1.1 @ 1.44 - SLK-900A + L1A | Abit ST6 | 512MB PC133 | Radeon 8500 LE (passive) | RAID1: 2x ST 250GB 7200.8 IDE (decoupled) | Enermax EG365P-VEFC


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2009 7:38 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 10:00 am
Posts: 2131
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
If you're hosting all your media (particularly HD) on a server, you really don't want to use wireless. Gigabit Ethernet is the only way to go. Never have to worry about wireless phones, microwaves, or anything else in the ubiquitous 2.4GHz range.

And definitely get the Ninja Mini. I have one on my E6550 running semi-passive, with the top and rear exhaust of my Antec 300 nearby.

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HTPC: OrigenAE X11|Gigabyte GA-MA785GPMT-UD2H|Phenom II x3 740BE w/AC Freezer 7|150GB Velociraptor|Corsair VX450
Main: Antec 300 (SlipStream @ 800rpm/140mm @ 5v)|Asus M4A88TD-M|Phenom II x4 945 (Mugen2 pass.)|Asus EAH6850|Samsung 830 128GB|Antec TP750
WHS: DF-85|P8H67-M Pro|I5-3450S/Hyper 212+|Corsair AX650|Sandisk Extreme 240GB, 2xWD20EARS, 2x WD15EARS, WD15EADS


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 2:19 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2008 10:31 pm
Posts: 822
Location: Melbourne, Australia
rootdown wrote:
I looked at the link and ethernet over powerline could be a solution instead of 802.11G wireless. Doing some light research, I found that some products state they may interfere with dimmers and some other electronics. Did you get any interference? I've got numerous dimmers and some of my electrical circuits are not so well designed (lots of splices, it's an older house) especially the living room circuit (doh!).

Can't say I've got much idea about the dimmer switches issue - my renovated 70s-era apartment isn't so fancy! I'm not sure how splices affect the issue, but for the adaptors to be able to connect they have to be on the same circuit from memory.

Sorry I can't be more helpful.

_________________
My PCs:
Main PC (E5200, G31, Lian Li Q07) | Gaming PC (E6850, X38, 5870 Vapor-X, P182) | HTPC (4850e, 780G, 3450, NSK2480B)


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 Post subject: Painted it black!
PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 8:09 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2003 8:30 pm
Posts: 32
Location: Montreal, Canada
I painted black the silver front bezel of the NSK2480 this afternoon. I used Krylon Fusion - Black Gloss spray paint. That was more work than I expected. Even though the can says no priming/sanding, you should sand off the bezel's silver paint. I learned it the hard way :roll: as the Krylon paint would "bubble" in some spots even when applying thin coats. Ugh, noob error...

Anyway, after two coats, the result ain't bad at all. The gloss is nice and looks better in person as the photo exagerates it (due to no flash, long exposure, hand held, reddish hardwood floor). It really is a deep black gloss... and a fingerprint magnet.

Image

As for networking, time to get myself some cat5e and a gigabit switch. Thanks JamieG and jhhoffma.

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Main: Antec P182 | i5 750 - Venomous X w/ Scythe 120mm | Gigabyte P55A-UD3 | 4 GB G.Skill DDR3| 8800GT+Accelero S1 | Seagate 500GB | Corsair 520HX
Server: Kingwin KT-424 | Tualatin 1.1 @ 1.44 - SLK-900A + L1A | Abit ST6 | 512MB PC133 | Radeon 8500 LE (passive) | RAID1: 2x ST 250GB 7200.8 IDE (decoupled) | Enermax EG365P-VEFC


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 1:32 am 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:01 am
Posts: 443
Location: Foster City, CA
I was thinking of the Krylon, but the Black Satin finish instead.

1000 grit, sanded once? then spray?

Also, any idea if a full length card like a GTX 275 would fit in there?

Thanks!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 7:10 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2003 8:30 pm
Posts: 32
Location: Montreal, Canada
Satin finish probably will be more forgiving than Black Gloss. Imperfection in the sanding job can be seen with Black Gloss. I decided to paint on a whim without putting too much thought into it beforehand. I had a leftover can of Black Gloss, so I used that.

Same thing for sanding. Once I came to my senses and decided to sand the silver paint off, stores were closed and I made do with what I had. I sanded the bezel in three passes (120, 280 and 400 grit). It came out really nice but some spots near corners I went a little too strong with the 120 and it shows a little after painting. If I had to redo, I would still sand in 2 or 3 passes but I would start with finer grit.

Once sanded, I spray painted without priming. No problem there.

I think a full length card will clear the RAM slots of this particular motherboard (see photo #2 in the OP). Can it be so long as to no fit the case, I don't know.

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Main: Antec P182 | i5 750 - Venomous X w/ Scythe 120mm | Gigabyte P55A-UD3 | 4 GB G.Skill DDR3| 8800GT+Accelero S1 | Seagate 500GB | Corsair 520HX
Server: Kingwin KT-424 | Tualatin 1.1 @ 1.44 - SLK-900A + L1A | Abit ST6 | 512MB PC133 | Radeon 8500 LE (passive) | RAID1: 2x ST 250GB 7200.8 IDE (decoupled) | Enermax EG365P-VEFC


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 8:09 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2007 2:35 pm
Posts: 811
Location: Greece
Paint should have no problem adhering to sanded plastic so you don`t need primer though it can help you spot any imperfections. 120 grit is indeed too rough for plastic and can take a lot of work too fix especially around the corners...

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My PCs: Workstation : HTPC in a CD player case : Custom Mini ITX projects


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 4:39 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 1:45 pm
Posts: 310
Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Looks all too familiar :D
One other thing i did to make it look better is to use a black permanent marker to blacken the metal edges of the USB ports and the mic/headphone jacks.

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Gaming rig: Tt Tsunami,P5Q Pro,Q9450 w Ninja,8GB RAM,4870 1GB w S1,WD 640GB,SB X-Fi Plat,ZM-MFC2.Kama PWM in PSU,others S-FlexEs.
HTPC: NSK2480,GB GF9400,E5200 w/ Minja,4GB RAM,WD GP 1.5TB,Nova DVB-S. Minja PSU fan,S-FlexEs case fans.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 9:34 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2003 8:30 pm
Posts: 32
Location: Montreal, Canada
hybrid2d4x4 wrote:
Looks all too familiar :D

Heck, my HTPC also extends off the rack by an inch!

Thanks for the permanent marker trick. The case looks much better now.

_________________
Main: Antec P182 | i5 750 - Venomous X w/ Scythe 120mm | Gigabyte P55A-UD3 | 4 GB G.Skill DDR3| 8800GT+Accelero S1 | Seagate 500GB | Corsair 520HX
Server: Kingwin KT-424 | Tualatin 1.1 @ 1.44 - SLK-900A + L1A | Abit ST6 | 512MB PC133 | Radeon 8500 LE (passive) | RAID1: 2x ST 250GB 7200.8 IDE (decoupled) | Enermax EG365P-VEFC


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 5:51 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 1:45 pm
Posts: 310
Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
No prob, and actually, I've been able to slide mine back about an inch since I've made the switch to the IGP with DVI+VGA output and no longer needed to use the DVI-VGA adapter on the old 6600GT with dual DVI :P

_________________
Gaming rig: Tt Tsunami,P5Q Pro,Q9450 w Ninja,8GB RAM,4870 1GB w S1,WD 640GB,SB X-Fi Plat,ZM-MFC2.Kama PWM in PSU,others S-FlexEs.
HTPC: NSK2480,GB GF9400,E5200 w/ Minja,4GB RAM,WD GP 1.5TB,Nova DVB-S. Minja PSU fan,S-FlexEs case fans.


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