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 Post subject: Llano mini-ITX build
PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 5:43 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2004 9:55 am
Posts: 23
Though the Llano chip SPCR and most reviewers got (A8-3850) doesn't seem to be optimal for building a silent system, I was impressed enough by the 65W TDP A8-3800 (see http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/amd-a8-3800_21.html) that I'm planning on building a system using either that or the A6-3600 when they hit retail (should be next month). A few mini-ITX FM1 boards have been announced (Gigabyte GA-A75N-USB3, Asus F1A75-I, ASRock A75M-ITX), and I'm guessing they'll hit the market around the same time.

I've already purchased a 96GB SSD and memory (2x4GB of 1.5V DDR3-1866 was on a really good sale) and paid the Microsoft tax, and I have a DVD burner I should be able to repurpose for it. So mostly it's down to case/power/cooling, and here I really could use some advice.

I'm looking for the smallest, quietest, and least expensive mini-ITX case I can find, subject to two restrictions:
  • I want the PCIE slot to at least be usable with low-profile cards in case of future expansion needs (so, for instance, the Antec ISK-100 is a no)
  • I think I'll need at least a 90W PSU (so all the 65W gear that has been used for Atom/Brazos mini-ITX setups won't work)

About the 90W estimate: though xbit's test using a full ATX board drew only 65W under CPU or GPU burn, they didn't have an optical drive, were using 4GB rather than 8GB RAM, and didn't look at CPU+GPU burn. So I think I'd want 90W available to be safe.

The best idea I've come up with so far has been to get an Antec ISK 300-65 and either see if the included DC-DC PSU will do 90W with a better power brick (http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=488638#p488638) or just toss the included PSU in favor of a picoPSU-90-XLP. Better ideas, anyone?


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 Post subject: Re: Llano mini-ITX build
PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 11:09 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:22 pm
Posts: 2069
Location: Guatemala
For a case, since you are looking for a cheap mini itx setup, maybe consider [urlhttp://www.amazon.com/MI-008-Tower-Black-Chassis-Supply/dp/B001H0BA24/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1310882363&sr=8-1]Apex MI-008[/url] (sometimes it drops to $39), its been reviewed here also, SPCR Apex MI-008: A Cheap Quiet mini-ITX Case?, i seen people even fit normal size PCI card, i even seen moded for dual slot big gpus. In case you want to see the case and a build, check

HTPC Build July 21, 2009 (Parts Overview)
HTPC Build Pt.2 (July 25, 2009)
HTPC Build Pt.3 (Final Product)

For PSU, seems interesting the PWR-PICOPSU-90-XLP you mentioned, as long as you are fine with 90W. Replacing the PSU on the MI-008 will free you some room on the top of the mobo, might allow you to use a better cpu cooler (depending on how deep you optical drives goes).

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Other builds ---> ServeMi | CamMi | MiniMi | HTPCMi


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 Post subject: Re: Llano mini-ITX build
PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 4:42 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2004 9:55 am
Posts: 23
I'll keep tabs on the MI-008 and its Apex kin in case of a sale sometime between now and when the processors come out. If I have to replace the PSU, at $45 it's an OK deal but not a slam dunk. Since even the stock HSF for Llano is 5cm (http://forums.hexus.net/hexus-hardware/205645-so-i-build-me-llano-system.html#post2103458) I think having to replace the PSU is pretty much inevitable.

I wonder whether any of the other closely related Apex cases might be free of PSU HSF height clearance problems. Other models include the MI-100, 105, 110, and a couple of Rosewill-branded cases which apparently must be sourced from the same supplier because they look identical to Apex ones e.g. the RS-MI-01. Any other suggestions? I'm willing to spend somewhat more than the $45 esp. for gear which includes a PSU I won't have to /really want to replace...

By the by, I'm seeing things which claim that some DVD burners require preposterous amounts of power on spinup, which could be a problem if I end up trying to use a picoPSU. How have people dealt with this? I'd rather use an internal if possible and AFAIK slimlines are often expensive and (depending on the case) problematic to mount.


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 Post subject: Re: Llano mini-ITX build
PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 11:09 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 6:48 am
Posts: 717
Location: San Francisco, CA
Btw the ISK-300 was confirmed to be able to handle a 90w power brick and possibly even more. It's actually the option I'm taking...but only assuming the 65w doesn't work. I'm building a core i3-2100 htpc and hoping it'll stay within power parameters. (Almost done too!)
Important to note, the ISK-300 only takes slim dvd burners.

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Main: I5-3570K at 3.7ghz, 16GB DDR-1600@1.35v, Asrock Z77 Extreme6, Corsair 330R, Seasonic 760XP2, Sapphire Radeon 7950| Secondary/Lan: Core i3-2100, 4GB, Msi H67MA-E35, Radeon 6790, Sugo SG02| HTPC: Core i3-2100, 4GB, AsRock H67M-ITX/HT, Antec ISK300-65| NAS: Core I3-2100, 8GB, Antec TP-550, Lian Li PC-Q08B, 4X2TB WD Green| Lappy: Latitude D620 Core 2 T7600, Quadro NVS 110M


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