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 Post subject: Small, silent, HTPC
PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 6:20 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2012 6:06 am
Posts: 2
Hi folks,
I'm trying to put togheter a HTPC, a silent one... but haveing a hard time deciding what case to go for.

The specs i prefer for the case:

1. Small as possible (atleast depth can't be over 34cm)
2. need a bluray player in it (slotin preffered)
3. intergrated IR receiver would be nice

the cpu i'm going to juse i guess is an i3 2120T.

The box is going to be used only for xbmc (all files will be stored on a NAS)..

Anyone with some good suggestion for a case to use?


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 Post subject: Re: Small, silent, HTPC
PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 10:01 am 
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Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
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Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
The easiest way to get <34cm depth is to go with a mini-ITX board. Most of the mobo makers -- Asus, Gigabyte, MSI, Intel, Zotac -- offer good mITX boards these days. There are lots of case options, starting with the Antec ISK-300. Most are far from silent off the box, but decently quiet if you slow/swap fans and choose a good low profile CPU cooler -- among such coolers, the Scythe Big Shuriken 2 is tops (tho you do need to consider fit, esp. if you are going to use the PCIe slot). No HDD is a very good thing -- low heat and no added noise. It should be easy for you to build a cool & quiet system.

You could also consider one of those mini-mac style or book size barebones systems from Zotac, Jetway, Asus, etc. They're decently quiet and very small. Many are using some Atom variant, which still isn't great for HD video -- I'd take an AMD for better video performance and the thermal difference is not significant. There are also a few socket 1155 barebones in this class of barebones (or complete systems).

Keep in mind that if you're using a big screen TV and will have the PC in the TV stand, your seated distance is far enough away that a somewhat noisier PC will still be perfectly acceptable, especially when any program material is playing. In my setup, a PVR with a noisy HDD and fan (even modded -- the drive is fitted with rubber grommets and the fan is swapped/slowed) sets the noise floor of the room; it's over 20 dBA at 1m -- and about 2-3 dBA lower from where I normally sit 7' away. I can hear the PVR almost all the time when the TV is not on, but it's pretty quiet, mostly broadband and not intrusive. I've set the thing up on big hockey puck size soft rubber feet to prevent vibration from the drive from getting into the cabinet. My HTPC only has to stay below the noise level of the PVR to be inaudible -- pretty easy.

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 Post subject: Re: Small, silent, HTPC
PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 12:11 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2012 6:06 am
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After a new confrence with the wife (hehe), she said to my supprise that she actually prefers if the look is more similar to the receiver, and not just as small as possible:). So means 44cm (width) and aprox 32-35cm depth so guess this is leaving me with some more options than i thought :)

Is silverstone SST-GD04 or Silverstone Grandia GD006 some of the best options then? or is there others that is worth checking out?


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 Post subject: Re: Small, silent, HTPC
PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 4:08 am 
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Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 11:23 am
Posts: 608
Location: Germany
Nmediapc

http://www.nmediapc.com/htpc7000b.htm

I have only read about this one, since they charge 90$ shipping fee to germany while the case only adds up to somewhere around 60$.


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 Post subject: Re: Small, silent, HTPC
PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 4:47 am 
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Joined: Sat Jul 10, 2004 12:24 pm
Posts: 220
Location: US
If you can afford one, these fanless HTPC cases with heatpipes and external heatsinks are beautiful. There are a few companies that make different variations of them. Sometimes you're limited to using only one of several different motherboards, because of the heatpipe arrangement, so do some research first.

http://atechfabrication.com/products/He ... Client.htm

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Motherboard: ASUS P8Z77-M PRO CPU: Intel i5-3750K CPU Cooler: Scythe Mugen 3 Rev.B Memory: G.Skill Ares DDR3 1600 16 GB
Boot Drive: Samsung 830 SSD 128 GB Work Drive: WDC WD1001FALS 1 TB 7200 RPM Optical Drive: Samsung SH-222BB DVD-RW
Case: Fractal Design Define Mini Fans: 2 x FD 120mm front, Scythe 120mm PWM rear Power Supply: SeaSonic M12II 620


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 Post subject: Re: Small, silent, HTPC
PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 5:36 am 
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Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
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Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
raysv wrote:
Is silverstone SST-GD04 or Silverstone Grandia GD006 some of the best options then? or is there others that is worth checking out?

Silverstone probably makes the biggest range of HTPC cases. The GD04 is a better case imo, than the GD06, though there are more similarities than differences. For airflow/cooling and overall layout, it's excellent. Build quality is slightly bettered by the Antec Fusion, but that's a bit wider & deeper.

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