In this second post I'll talk about/discuss the reasons that led me to make and buy the 1st build, so here we go.
Well, I have all these ideas popping on my mind so I've decided to go on with the second post, but now is 2.20am and I'm a little tired. If you would excuse me there are some issues I'll talk at the next 1-2 post (HDDs, 2nd and 3rd build, pics and explanation of the pics). Hope that you enjoy reading the post, and as always feedback/help/etc will be highly appreciated
, so many thanks in advance.Why these components?Why mini-ITX?
Why not? No, I mean serious, why don't going on mini-ITX solution instead of a micro-ATX solution? Becasue I already have a mid-Tower gaming-Pc for all, so I want something which is small to put it at top of the mid-tower. Thus, I can put the 2 Pcs under the desk (combined ~66cm height). Also, it can be used as an HTPC by my fathers on the living room (on other posts and/or late I'll talk about the multimedia project I've thought) or I can carry it easily everywhere, like to one of my friends house who has a 52" TV, casual LAN party with them (although I'm not planning to play at high res & effects), etc.Why APEX MI-008?
First of all, I'm going to put x2 3.5" HDDs and x1 5 1/2" DVD-RW which I already have, so searching through cases for miniITX, probably the best value one would be this case reviewed here by Lawrence
. Then, I decided to give it a try because it is 22cm width and ~14cm height.
It also carries a micro-ATX form factor PSU of 230W, which I was not planning to use because of what it is stated in many reviews and builds I've seen about this case and similar ones: we need clearance up for the heatsink, and if we are going to give a taste of silence, the Intel stock is not a very good option. This issue leads us to the next point.Why a 150W picoPSU + 150W power brick?
Actually motherboards has 24 pin instead of 20 pin -plus 4 to 8 pins extra rails of +12V, and normally, if your system draw not so much energy, it wouldn't be a real problem that you lack of those 24 connections on your power supply (total of 20). By the way, I'll prefer to have the complete 24 pin just in case, and also the difference in price between 120W-20 pin picoPSU and 150W-24 pin it's ~10$. Furthermore, the 120W power brick + 150W pico PSU pack was not available, and for the same price it was the 150W power brick compared to other sites. So yes, the ideal combo would be 150W picoPSU + 100-120W power brick if you find it (8Ax12V, where 8A are the max load for the 150W picoPSU)
Also, by reading the instructions of 150W picoPSU
> for fanless operation de-rate the output of the 3,3V and 5V rails by ~35% or ensure PSU surface temperature should not exceed 65ÂºC, whichever comes first
5V and 3,3V are rated to 6A max load, so de-rating them means to have a 3,9A max load. I think I wouldn't draw more than 3,9A as you will see in the next point.
> combined and sustained output should not exceed 65% of total power or ensure PSU surface temperature shoould not exceed 65ÂºC, whichever comes first.
So 150W x 0,65 = 97,5 W ~ 100W. My system would draw at full load/extress probably no more than 90-100W as far as I've read on many configurations of many users around this and others forums. It would idle at 30-40W and at load 70-80W. So, I think the only problem would be the 65ÂºC as well as on the previous point.
> Input current should not exceed 8A. For current higher load, we suggest ussing a 2x2 mini-FIT JR as an input connector
I have buyed this picoPSU pack
. It has a mini-FIT JR, so it wouldn't be a problem. 12V x 8A = 96W
> peak load for individual rails should not exceed 60 seconds
> for long life operation, PSU temperature should not exceed 65ÂºCWhy an Intel-motherboard solution?
I know very little about AMD CPUs, so my natural choice would be Intel. Then, looking at mini-ITX motherboards I saw Zotac GeForce 8200-ITX WiFi
. It's a nice motherboard with undervoltage/underclock options with 4SATA connectors and all the pros desrcibed on the SPCR review BUT it has some cons: no new bios updates, some problems & some blu-ray drawbacks (then some 1080p drawbacks I thought).
So, the few candidates left were the Intel G45 and Zotac nVidia 9300 version for Intel. After comparing the 2 reviews here and in other websites (Intel Southbridge @90-100ÂºC, power on problems, no bios succesfull upgrades, etc), and keeping in mind the recommendation product of SPCR about Zotac 9300 (revisions and bios solve problems, 3 Satas, 1chip solution to northbridge+southbridg+graphics card, PCI-E!!), the choice was clear, although at the beginning I had decided the Intel one.
After all the searching & decisions were finished I roughly come across with JW MINIX 785G AMD 785G
. Then, I had done another further research of this card VS Zotac geforce 9300, although my little knowledge of AMD. The info & little reviews I had found:http://www.jwele.com/motherboard_detail.php?792http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/mother ... -chipset/1http://www.miniitx.biz/mini-itx-motherb ... hong-kong/http://vr-zone.com/articles/does-size-r ... 216-1.html
I don't know really how an AM2+ socket life was, compatibilities, etc, and also, the RAM of this board is SO-DIMM!! Thus, because of my lack of experience on AMD and SO-DIMM RAM modules, I decided Zotac 9300, although probably the characteristics of the J&W board may be greater than Zotac 9300 ones. I think MikeC
has/had a build or somebody over the forum, but then I was exhausted of thinking, assembling prices, consumption & heat over my head, so instead of installing a HSF + fan to cool my head in order to continue the reasoning pro/cons, I thought the Zotac 9300 was just fine for the work. Also, I can find it available at more websites and also at websites and stores in Spain and Madrid (where I live).
So then, summing-up the new Zotac Geforce 9300 Wifi I-E has some OC/OV quite interesting & also a -0.05/ -0.1V the CPU and a free range to establish the multiplier of the CPU, apart of their other characteristics which you can view on this review (version I-E)
. For silentpcreview info, please click on this linkWould be a good idea going to 9300 K-E version?
Maybe if you are looking for:
- going synchronous 1:2 with FSB, e6xxx and e7xxx has a 1066 FSB while e8xxx and quads, if I am not wrong, they had 1333 FSB. Although DDR3 RAM is more expensive than DDR2, which actually is expensive by the way.
- going into an ITX gaming rig solution: you put a quad, 4gb DDR3 @1333, PSU ~300W ATX form factor and a bigger case like Silverstone SUGO for example.
it would be a good idea (quality/value). On this thread we are basing the system on e5xxx family which might be a little overkill to our purposes, providing Atom 330+ION could move 1080p as sayed on its SPCR's review
and many users report this.Why then I-E instead of G-E 9300 version?
I-E is around ~20$ more than G-E (newegg used as standard prices, today 29/01/2010, the difference is 15$
), and in G-E all the previous problems has been corrected, so it would be nice to have it instead of I-E. I-E adds more OV/OC issues (but not so much) and a little UV/UC issues (max undervolt -0.1V), and the 9300 has more OC/UC capability. Also, having the late revision I think that makes the motherboard more reliable.
About OC/OV-UC/UV CPU/GPU I'll try to talk when I'll tweak it and test it.Why an e5xxx CPU?
On many sites, the e5xxx (200/300/400) had proven to be a low power CPU with also high and easy abilities to overclock (and also middle underclock/undervolting). Sorry, but you have to do a little web browsing because the articles I actually have are in Spanish.
Also, for quality/cost/value is a better choice over e3xxx, which has the same FSB @800. If you want to do some vt-x (hardware virtualization) issues, please look first at Intel e5300 website
to check that the model you are planning to buy supports it!! Also, notice that e5200 does NOT
support vt-x and e5400 only in some models.
I don't know if Zotac 9300 can handle vt-x because I now very little about hardware virtualization (and also software), so when I tweak the sys I'll probabply check for it.Edited
: at BIOS, it has the option to activate it. Nothing proved yet, sorry
but I think we can do it without any problems activating the option at BIOS.
The new e3xxx and e6xxx (wolfdale-3M), all the models have vt-x technology.
For more info about this, refer to this link of the forum.Why not e6xxx/e7xxx/e8xxx?
Because of the FSB @1066/1333 and its 'powerhorse'/ power consumption VS price. Also, I think an e3xxx or e2xxxx could handle -paired with our mobo Zotac 9300- 1080p HD content very well (the platform Atom 330 + ION could do it, at least on Zotac boards I've seen)Why then e5300 instead of e5200 or e5400?
Because e5300 is more avilable than e5200, a little better, about money issues is only ~5$ up, and it has a non-fraction multiplier (2,6 GHz means a multilpier of x13) and a e5400 depending on the stores, isn't worth. Also, e5300 & e5400 has in some models vt-x as commented before.
So, what can we do with this mobo + CPU? By reading, some users have 2GHz and 0,9V on e5xxx, so we can put a -0.1V and reduce the frequency at 2GHz (I'll have to check the normal operative voltage working of the CPU, I mean, the voltage that your motherboard puts on your CPU when you place your CPU at first time on the mobo without doing anything at the BIOS. I'll do it when tweaking the sys).
This is something I will do when finishing tweaking the HTPC, because I haven't done any UC/UV and I haven't read so much except of the UC/UV over here on SPCR.Why Scythe Big Shuriken instead of Nexus Low 7000?
Mainly, because it is a little lower and is by far more available at Spain than Nexus heatsink. Yes, it is a very difficult task to mount it and so on with LGA 775 pushpins -and also on every miniITX mobo, see the images on the next posts
, but I'll talk about this on the next post with some pics. From these lines, many thanks
with his advises about Big Shuriken and all the help/feedback brought by SPCR members/staff.Edited
: take in mind the Stabilizer
I've talk about beforeWhy 4GB of RAM instead of 2?
I don't know how far I will squeeze this tiny but maybe in the future, this HTPC will do some streaming via Gigabit Ethernet/Wifi to a Popcorn / Woxter i-Box 200
as part of my multimedia project at home. Maybe I will need more CPU, which I have on my actual Pc Game, an e8500, for which the pico 150W + 150W power brick is still enough (maybe I'll have to do a little underclock). Some friends told me about Samba and other things which I can't remember now and I have to read a lot about them.
In the worst case, these 2 sticks of RAM will take place on my Gaming Pc (which you can see at my signature), having 2 pairs of 2x2GB sticks (total of 4 sticks, total 8GB of RAM), so dual channel will work in both cases (although the optimal would be 4 sticks of the same part number (model) RAM)
Hope you have enjoyed the reading
some info added, some words corrected, hope to have expressed myself correctlyEdit 16/02:
some info added, some misspoken words corrected, hope to have expressed myself correctlyEdit 21/08/2011:
new info, results and alternatives added. Hoping to post some more ideas soon and the evolution of my htpc.