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 Post subject: Sandy Bridge Mini-ITX HTPC Build - Power + Silence Hopefully
PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 6:42 am 
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Time to do a new HTPC build for the living room... my goal is a powerful multipurpose machine that can do some light gaming, htpc duty (no tv tuners on this build since it streams from the tv server in the basement), and as quiet as possible in a small package. I also will be using a sandy bridge processor for the excellent IPC and performance per watt. This will be a Mini ITX Build. In the spirit of SPCR, I will also attempt to purchase the quickest components that can run passively, hopefully resulting in the build being as quiet as possible. Hopefully I can get all cooling done with 1 front 120mm fan and whatever the PSU blows out the back as well.

Currently all parts are ordered and making their way to the house.

CASE: Silverstone Sugo SG05-B
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My previous HTPC case is just a little too long in the stand that it is in, which interferes with using the USB ports. This case is a mere 11 inches deep so that should fix my problem. I had a antec veris with media front panel before. Nice case, but too many issues with the vfd, when I happened across this SUGO case, it really inspired me to do this build. It is very simple and small.

CPU: INTEL Core i3-2100 Sandy Bridge

I really debated whether to go with a core i5 sandy bridge quad core processor instead of the core i3,... but I figured I really wouldn't need the extra cores, could save a few bucks and although the idle power usage is only better by a few watts, load power consumption and heat should be much less, with a small build like this, I want power, but not overkill power that will require more cooling and noise. I like a snappy system, which is why I'm going for sandy bridge. I have a 2600K in the desktop Build and it has been awesome. The Core i3 at 3.1ghz and should do quite nicely I think.

CPU Cooler: Thermalright AXP-140
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This looks like the best bet for fitting a cpu cooler into the SG05 and possibly running it passively. The GeminII cooler looks like it would have been a bigger better cooler to run passively, but is impossible to find for sale anywhere in the US. Other options were the Samuel 17, but it also is NOWHERE to be found for sale.... For as many reviews that I have read and seen on the Samuel, you would think you could actually buy the product :(. Only time will tell if this puppy will run passively or not. Sandy Bridge is also incredibly power efficient in general, so I am hoping it can rely on just the PSU and front 120mm fan intake.

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-H67N-USB3-B3

I am hoping I didn't make a mistake here by getting a gigabyte board instead of an Intel board, I hear the Intel boards are known for having much lower power consumption than other brands.. Only Time will tell. But this board should be a good partner for the Core i3 2100. I am hoping I will have two adjustable fan headers just in case, but I'm not holding my breath, since I plan to just run one front fan, I'm hoping only one is all I will need. Don't plan on overclocking this build, although this board would support a little limited turbo style overclocking... except the core i3 doesn't support that anyways; if anything I may have to underclock the CPU a bit if the temps start getting toasty.

GPU: Radeon HIS 5570 2GB Passive
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I purchased this card because A) It is passive. B) 2GB of ram, which should help at 1080p resolutions a little bit. C)It also has reasonable power consumption and will provide high performance for any game I am going to throw at it (minecraft, HL2, and other older games). One problem here though... on the gigabyte motherboard, the heatsink on the 5570 wraps around to the top of the card and is going to bump into the AXP-140... I plan on getting the dremel out and making grooves in the GPU's heatsink to make the card fit with the CPU cooler. Thanks to SPCR for the pics.

HDD: SuperTalent UltraDrive ME 60GB

This SSD is being carried over from the previous iteration of HTPC, it is still a solid, silent performer with low heat and power consumption. (Indilinx Drive) I don't store anything on this HTPC, it pulls all videos and tv streams from a server downstairs, so the small amount of disk space is not a problem.

Memory:

I have a few sticks lying around; not sure which set will go in yet.. stay tuned... I will go for 2x2GB DDR3 1333 with low voltage (1.5v)... Anything to save a few watts.

Yes I know this is a gallery thread.... sorry no pics yet, but I should have parts tonight, and I will surely post some pictures of the build; until then; any comments, criticism or suggestions are surely welcome.
Thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: Sandy Bridge Mini-ITX HTPC Build - Power + Silence Hopef
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 10:06 am 
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Posts: 43
I received all parts last night except the AXP-120, so I couldn't start putting this together last night. But it should should come sometime today. Here is a shot of everything so far.
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Also, I used my kill-a-watt to get some numbers on the system I just replaced so I can compare.
Previous system was a Phenom II calisto 3.0ghz with 4GB DDR3 1.65v memory, in a BIOSTAR TA880GB+ Motherboard, using integrated graphics and the UltraDrive ME SSD. And a SATA 5.25" DVD Drive.
IN BIOS: 91 Watts
IDLE IN WINDOWS CNQ Enabled: 68 Watts

Once I have the new system built I will compare, I am hoping that even with adding a discrete graphics card (5570) I can retain the same wattage.


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 Post subject: Re: Sandy Bridge Mini-ITX HTPC Build - Power + Silence Hopef
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 12:38 pm 
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Location: US
cbutters wrote:
The GeminII cooler looks like it would have been a bigger better cooler to run passively, but is impossible to find for sale anywhere in the US.


Newegg carries it:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... pk=GeminII

The GeminII is 62mm high without the fan. I would trust it with a 500 rpm fan, but not going fully passive.

How tall is the thermalright 140?

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 Post subject: Re: Sandy Bridge Mini-ITX HTPC Build - Power + Silence Hopef
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 2:12 pm 
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ces wrote:
cbutters wrote:
The GeminII cooler looks like it would have been a bigger better cooler to run passively, but is impossible to find for sale anywhere in the US.


Newegg carries it:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... pk=GeminII

That one is the GeminII S, the Gemin II is much larger, 81.2 cm and a whopping 847g (see here: http://www.anandtech.com/show/2221/2 ) seen lots of SG05s using that cooler passively on some other forums.

ces wrote:
How tall is the thermalright 140?

it is 70.2mm and 550g.

If the thermalright 140 can't handle it passively using the case and PSU fans, I will throw a slim scythe fan onto it at low rpm.


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 Post subject: Re: Sandy Bridge Mini-ITX HTPC Build - Power + Silence Hopef
PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2011 9:27 am 
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Image
All the parts gathered up.

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Gigabyte board with AXP-140

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AXP-140 Installed.

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Picture of the clearance on the PCI Express

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The passive HIS HD5570 card is definitely going to have trouble here, time to pull out the dremel.

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Before picture of gpu heatsink.

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After some dremel work....

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Picture of the the clearance.

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Inside of the SG05

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MOBO Installed

Got tired and had to go to sleep so that is as far as I have gotten at this point.
Some observations...
The stock PSU and front FAN on the SG05 is very quiet... I was thinking of replacing both of them with higher quality smoother tone fans, but they are very quiet and I think I will keep it as is for now...
I was able to power up the system for a bit, and I am coming to the conclusion that i really am going to need to put a fan on the axp-140, the case shell is quite open, and there isn't really a clear airflow path, the cpu temperatures are great, but the motherboard itself doesn't seem to be getting much airflow and is heating up quite a bit... about 125F which isn't too high, but if I put a slim fan on the axp140 at low RPM it shouldn't make any additional noise. I am going to attempt to wire both the axp-140 fan and the front intake fan up to the one CPU header so I can control both via software.


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 Post subject: Re: Sandy Bridge Mini-ITX HTPC Build - Power + Silence Hopef
PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2011 9:55 am 
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Another note about power consumption so far:

Previous HTPC:
IN BIOS: 91 Watts
IDLE IN WINDOWS CNQ Enabled: 68 Watts

New Sandy Bridge HTPC
In BIOS: 53 Watts
Idle in Windows: 38 Watts

I am very happy with the power consumption figures here! I thought that with the added 5570 vs the previous system with integrated graphics (880g) that I would see roughly the same power consumption, but I am seeing about half the power consumption of the previous system! awesome...


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 Post subject: Re: Sandy Bridge Mini-ITX HTPC Build - Power + Silence Hopef
PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2011 11:23 am 
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Location: Missing in Finnish wilderness, howling to moon with wolf brethren and walking with brother bears
Thanks for sharing. I've been looking that particular case as I am really thinking to build AMD Fusion surfmachine using that particular case. Very nice job with the HIS' heatsink and nice build. Thank you for sharing with us :). I know myself that case looks even better now for my Fusion ^^

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 Post subject: Re: Sandy Bridge Mini-ITX HTPC Build - Power + Silence Hopef
PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2011 3:02 pm 
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cbutters wrote:
i really am going to need to put a fan on the axp-140,
How are you going to do (or have done) that? Seems like the fins are already snug up against the PSU.

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"Aristotle calls man the rational animal. All my life I have been seeking evidence to confirm this" Bertrand Russell
"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former" Albert Einstein


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 Post subject: Prolimatech Samuel 17 availability
PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 9:21 pm 
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cbutters wrote:
Other options were the Samuel 17, but it also is NOWHERE to be found for sale.... For as many reviews that I have read and seen on the Samuel, you would think you could actually buy the product
While you can't buy it, sidewindercomputers.com has an auto notify button you can use to be notified as soon as it becomes available. Auto notify for Samuel 17 availability here:
http://www.sidewindercomputers.com/prsa17forhts.html

After some study, I am beginning to like the Samuel 17 more and more. It is almost as effective as the Scythe Big Shuriken, but materially shorter. (the new Scythe Scythe Kozuti is looking good as well) see:
viewtopic.php?p=538745#p538745

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"Aristotle calls man the rational animal. All my life I have been seeking evidence to confirm this" Bertrand Russell
"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former" Albert Einstein


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 Post subject: Re: Sandy Bridge Mini-ITX HTPC Build - Power + Silence Hopef
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 2:40 pm 
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ces wrote:
cbutters wrote:
i really am going to need to put a fan on the axp-140,
How are you going to do (or have done) that? Seems like the fins are already snug up against the PSU.


I have a thin scythe fan (from a big shuriken) it worked just fine, i just strapped it to the heatsink with some wire. Will get some final pics up soon.


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