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 Post subject: Silent HTPC advice
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 8:37 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2008 9:10 am
Posts: 4
Location: England
I'm planning the following build for a totally silent HTPC running Windows 7 (possibly Embedded or ThinPC) and probably XMBC + TMT5.

ASUS E45M1-I Deluxe (Mini-ITX w. AMD E-450 APU)
2x 4GB DDR3 1333 RAM
FSP 90W DC-DC PSU w. 19V DC AC adapter (similar to Pico-PSU)
120GB OCX Vertex SSD (since its going spare)

I'm also planning to put a slim blu-ray drive in there. What I'm really not sure about is the case. I'd like to keep the total volume and weight as low as possible but I think I'd prefer it to be wide rather than tall or deep. This gives me plenty of front panel space and plenty of space on the top for vents and avoids having to mount the optical drive above the hot CPU. The nearest thing I've seen is the Tendraw H116 but its a bit bigger than I need and seriously limits my choice of blu-ray drive. I'm actually considering getting a case custom made by Protocase UK. They don't do anodized aluminimum but the gloss black powder coat might look okay. Alternatively I might try adding a front panel of black or heavily tinted acrylic. But I can't decide what to do with the blu-ray drive. I quite like the idea of having a cut-out in the front panel the full size of a slim drive. This would allow me to choose the drive freely (and upgrade it easily in the future) and save me having to rig up an eject button. The problem I anticipate is that the drives all seem to have fairly grey, matt and textured bezels and I'm not sure how well they will match the glossy finish I have in mind. What I really want is something like the bezel used on the Asrock CoreHT. Can anyone offer advice on the following?

a) A slim blu-ray reader or (better still) writer with a very glossy black bezel
b) Replacement bezels in glossy black
c) A reliable technique for adding a glossy black finish to a matt textured bezel (e.g. paint, etc.)

Any advice on getting a case and/or front panel fabricated would also be great.


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 Post subject: Re: Silent HTPC advice
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 8:52 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:22 pm
Posts: 1892
Location: Guatemala
Maybe something like Habey EMC-800B or Morex Black T-3500, check if you will be able to use it fanless. If you like the asrock prebuild, maybe you should also consider it, ASRock CoreHT 252B-4G50/B seems very nice with a mobile cpu inside :)

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


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 Post subject: Re: Silent HTPC advice
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 10:26 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2008 9:10 am
Posts: 4
Location: England
I actually have one of the old Core100HT models in my bedroom (whereas the new system will be for the lounge). Its a bit too noisy for me and has ended up in the cupboard (for soundproofing). The heatsink isn't big enough and there aren't enough vents in the case. I imagine the new CoreHT will be similar. Secondly, Sandy Bridge still has the problem with 23.976Hz refresh rates. It really has to be AMD Fusion or possibly Ivy Bridge.


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 Post subject: Re: Silent HTPC advice
PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 10:49 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2008 9:10 am
Posts: 4
Location: England
Still not totally sure what I'm going to do about the case but the contents has started arriving. I'm still waiting for the motherboard and psu but I've got a 180x32 pixel VFD from Noritake and a USB 3.0 memory card reader from Hama. The ASUS motherboard has a header for two USB 3.0 ports onboard so I'm going to use one for the card reader and the other for a front mounted USB port. I think I'm going to make the whole front panel out of a single piece of laser cut dark tinted acrylic.


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