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 Post subject: Going for totally silent AMD64 HTPC
PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2004 8:55 am 
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Joined: Wed Dec 29, 2004 7:08 am
Posts: 2
I am in the early planning stages of designing a living room HTPC which will be used almost 100% for audio (not connected to TV). I want something that is very silent (my family will not tolerate the noise), but also useable down the road if I want to change things around and use it as a DVR.

I have not selected my exact HTPC case, but most of them require a micro-ATX MB, so that is what I am looking at.

So my basic setup ideas are:

CPU: AMD Athlon 64 3000+ Winchester (90nm): WHile the VIA EPIAs can be cooled passively, I want some extra horsepower for down the road in the case I want to turn this machine into a PVR. Also looked at the Pentium Ms on the AOpen motherboard, but they are very pricey ($500+ just for CPU/MB). I figured that I would run the A64 with Cool n Quiet and it would probably stay clocked at 1GHz most of the time anyway (since playing music is easy).

Motherboard: MSI RS480M2-IL (ATI chipset): This motherboard is not out yet, but is due soon. It's the only socket939 that has integrated graphics. Since I will be doing zero gaming, I don't need a powerful video card. This seemed like a good option, it appears to be passively cooled and I don't have to put a video card in the machine which would just get in the way of airflow. Only drawback I can see is only 100Mbit ethernet, but oh well.

CPU Heatsink: Unsure/suggestions?: THis has been a sticking point. I have looked at the Thermalright XP-90 and SP-97 as well as the Zalman CNPS7000B-Cu. I have no experience with aftermarket HSF, I have always used stock fans, so any suggestions would be helpful. I really want to go for as silent as possible. Not sure I want to go way out with a water-cooled solution...probably beyond what I want to do. Since this machine will be idle most of the time, any chance the CPU could be passively cooled?

Power Supply: Seasonic Super Tornado 300W: This seemed like a popular quiet PS. Given that I have very little in the box, 300W seemed more than enough. Going for a fanless PS seemed good from a noice standpoint, but after some reading, they don’t seem too popular. I think I need the airflow anyway.

Hard Drive: Samsung SATA They seem to be the most popular around here, although I am not sure how to go about getting one with a Nidec motor that everyone loves. The Seagates seem to be gaining in popularity too.

DVD-RW: NEC ND-3500A: Already own one in my other machine and love it.

Audio: AudioTrak Prodigy 7.1: Since this is going to be a music server, I didn't want to settle for on-board sound. This board seems to get high marks for people interested mostly in music instead of gaming.

Cases: This has been an area of long research and I am still not settled on anything. I like the CoolerMaster ATCS (ATC-620C-BX1), the Silverstone LC01 and the SS LC03V. Not sure yet.

Thanks for any suggestions!

Bryan


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2004 10:27 am 
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CPU Heatsink. SP97 is for Socket A, not Athlon64. The Zalman 7000B will cool your Winchester easily and its fan undervolts very well, even under 5V. It probably won't run passive though so if you want to go fanless, you should look at the much more expensive XP120 (and check that it fits your motherboard) Edward Ng has a passive A64 system with the XP120 so it can be done.

Is that Prodigy with the VIA Envy24HT chip? Those with the Envy24 chipset are usually very good. Others of the same genre are the M-Audio Revolution and the Terratec Aureon. They'll all probably sound the same so you might want to do a package/price comparison between the three.

btw,

WELCOME TO SPCR !!!!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2004 10:43 am 
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THanks for pointing out my oversight on that SP97...not paying attention. I will have to wait until I can get more info on that new MSI board before knowing what is going to fit.

The Prodigy 7.1 is Envy24HT based. It is currently the reigning champ in the audio forum over a HTPCnews.com. Apparently the M-Audio has driver issues over SPDIF. THe Terratec Aureon is supposed to be identical to the Prodigy, but people seem to think that AudioTraks custom drivers are superior.

Thanks!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2004 10:47 am 
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Easily done; mine is at 2.2GHz and 1.35 Volts. If you're going for only 1GHz, you can get away with only ~0.80-0.90 Volts. Even an XP-90 will do fine at that low speed and voltage with minimal air flow.

-Ed

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 01, 2005 8:42 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2003 4:37 am
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Edward Ng wrote:
Easily done; mine is at 2.2GHz and 1.35 Volts. If you're going for only 1GHz, you can get away with only ~0.80-0.90 Volts. Even an XP-90 will do fine at that low speed and voltage with minimal air flow.

If only the ATi chipset wants to play... :?

Jan

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 03, 2005 2:35 pm 
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burcakb wrote:
CPU Heatsink. SP97 is for Socket A, not Athlon64. The Zalman 7000B will cool your Winchester easily and its fan undervolts very well, even under 5V. It probably won't run passive though so if you want to go fanless, you should look at the much more expensive XP120 (and check that it fits your motherboard) Edward Ng has a passive A64 system with the XP120 so it can be done.
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The 120 mm version doesn't do much over the 7000 model, see http://www.tech-report.com/reviews/2004 ... dex.x?pg=1


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